Technically, the Kent Stage is about 80 years old, but under the ownership of the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, it will be celebrating it’s five year birthday this Saturday, March 24th with a special concert. So if you’re looking for a fun night out, have some dinner at the Pufferbelly, stroll up to the concert at 8 pm and then close the bar at Ray’s Place after the show. (If this city manager stuff doesn’t work out, I’ll be your social coordinator for a fee.)
The Western Reserve Folk Arts Association took possession of the Kent Cinema on February 18, 2002. On March 22, Kent’s own Hal Walker walked on stage as the opening act for Lucy Kaplansky. Together, they ushered in a new era at this soon to be 80 year-old building.
The Kent Stage now provides an intimate setting for theater as well as the rare opportunity to enjoy nationally and internationally recognized performers in a small northeast Ohio town.
During the past five-years, the Kent Stage has also seen performances by Tom Paxton, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Bo Diddley, Melanie, Janis Ian, Loudon Wainwright III, Livingston Taylor, Nickel Creek, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Al Stewart, Lisa Loeb, Leo Kottke, Pete Best, Leon Redbone, Vassar Clements, John Cowan, Little Feat, The Kingston Trio, Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention, Brian Auger, Bill Haley’s Comets, Greg Brown, Steve Forbert, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Riders In The Sky, David Grisman, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, Jesse Colin Young, India Aire, Chad and Jeremy, Sam Bush, Roger McGuinn, Dan Hicks, The Duhks, Josh Ritter, Cowboy Junkies, Over The Rhine, Donna The Buffalo, Asleep at the Wheel, Jonathan Edwards, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Robin and Linda Williams, and dozens more along with the region’s finest folk artists and the Children’s Musical Theater of Kent, the Kent Blues Festival, Up From The River Music Festival, and the
Kent State Folk Festival.
These performances have been attracting audience members from all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and 21 other states as well as Canada. The Kent Stage is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit corporation.
Thank You for your support!
LUCY KAPLANSKY &
Plus Hal Walker
Saturday, March 24
When Lucy Kaplansky was 18 years old, she shocked her neighbors in the Hyde Park area near the University of Chicago when, instead of going to college, she went to New York City with her boyfriend to become a folk singer. Fifteen years later, having become a clinical psychologist as well as a sought-after duet and harmony singer, she made another surprising decision: she gave up her private practice and her position at a New York hospital to pursue a full-time singing career.
Drawn to Greenwich Village in the late 1970s by the resurgence of the folk scene, she became a regular at Gerde’s Folk City. By 1982, she was a member of the CooP (later Fast Folk) and was featured on nine of the group’s “musical magazines,” along with Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, John Gorka, Richard Shindell, and others. By 1983, however, Kaplansky had enrolled in New York University with the aim of becoming a psychologist. Well known on the folk scene for her crystalline harmonies, Kaplansky sang harmony vocals on Nanci Griffith’s Lone Star State of Mind and Little Love Affairs albums and performed in New York clubs as a duo with Colvin while earning her Ph.D. from Yeshiva University. But when she and Colvin attracted attention from record companies, Kaplansky declined, becoming a staff psychologist at a New York hospital and establishing a private practice while Colvin recorded her first three albums for Columbia Records.
As a record of what Lucy had accomplished on the folk scene, and to give Colvin a chance to try her hand at production, the two collaborated on Kaplansky’s first album, The Tide, comprising three of Kaplansky’s own compositions and a collection of well-worn covers, including songs by Richard Thompson, Sting, and Robin Batteau. By 1994, when The Tide was released by Red House Records, Kaplansky decided to shift gears again and become a full-time touring folk singer. She spent much of the next few years playing the folk circuit of coffeehouses, church halls, and festivals, accompanying herself on guitar, and performing in concert with Shindell and Gorka. In 1996, Red House Records released her second album, Flesh and Bone, produced by Anton Sanko (Vega’s Solitude Standing and Days of Open Hand). It includes eight original songs (co-written with Kaplansky’s husband, filmmaker Richard Litvin), as well as duets with Shindell and Gorka. Ten Year Night followed in 1999. ~ Claire
Keaveney, All Music Guide
Official Lucy Kaplansky Website
An enigmatic singer/songwriter whose work veered from the bitterly comic to the profoundly spiritual, Richard Shindell gained his first notoriety via the Fast Folk Musical Magazine series (which previously launched then-unknowns like Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith as well). A native of Lakehurst, New Jersey, Shindell was a former seminary student whose first musical exposure came while playing guitar in the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band alongside the young John Gorka; he began composing songs during the late 1980s, quickly earning a word-of-mouth cult following. After a featured appearance on Christine Lavin’s 1991 compilation When October Goes, a year later he recorded his Shanachie label debut, Sparrow’s Point; Blue Divide followed in 1994, and in 1997 Shindell resurfaced with Reunion Hill. He next teamed with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky in the group Cry, Cry, Cry, issuing a self-titled LP in 1998; the solo Somewhere Near Paterson followed in early 2000. ~ Jason Ankeny, All
Richard Shindell is “America’s best singer/songwriter” according to The Los Angeles Daily News. “Let his extraordinary songs do the talking,” they urge; “this is the voice of a master.”
Official Richard Shindell Website
“I grew up blowing the harmonica along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Born into a musical family,10 years of piano lessons and choral singing prepared me for a life of musical expression and discovery. At Northwestern University, I was a history major; but my passion was for rhythm and movement. Exploring the sidewalks of Chicago, I learned to improvise on instruments that fit in my pocket – the harmonica, jew’s harp and three types of whistling. Then I bought a guitar and spent the next 20 years writing songs about work, community, and life in Ohio. Today, I enjoy making my living as a musician, musical director, teacher, composer, and actor. As an artist, I aim to bring beauty through music into the everyday lives of children. I offer a powerful and inviting musical force that celebrates the music that lives within every community.”
Advance discount tickets: $25.00
Day of Show: $28.00
Tickets are available at Spin-More Records, Woodsy’s Music, www.ticketweb.com, at the Kent Stage (330-677-5005) and at the door.