Headliners: ‘A View From the Bridge’ in HD; jazz drummer Tyshawn Sorey at Buckley Recital Hall

Published: 9/15/2016 2:15:40 PM

A different ‘View’

“Stunning, “staggering,” “electrifying,” “relentless,” “astonishing” — the critics couldn’t heap enough encomium on the 2014 production by Britain’s Young Vic theater company of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge.”

Miller employed a “Greek chorus” — narration by an onlooking lawyer — for the family drama, set in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn in the 1950s, to demonstrate his notion that classic tragedy could be used to frame the fate of the common man. In all previous stagings of the work, however, the concept has generally been submerged beneath period decor and kitchen-sink naturalism. It was left to avant-garde Belgian director Ivo van Hove to cut the staging to the bone, outfitting the cast in nondescript clothing (and requiring them to go barefoot) and reducing the set to an empty rectangular metal box evocative of both a fighting ring and an ancient amphitheater in order to allow the play’s primal emotions to come to the fore.

The play won a trio of Britain’s Olivier Awards, including Best Revival, Best Director and Best Actor for Mark Strong as the longshoreman Eddie Carbone whose irrepressible longing for his beautiful niece leads inevitably to ruin. Brought to New York in 2015, it won Tony and Drama League awards for Best Revival and Best Direction.

This week, Amherst Cinema offers two opportunities to see an HD screening of the performance: Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m. $24. amherstcinema.org

Maximal minimalism

As a jazz drummer, Tyshawn Sorey is an anomaly, first, because he’s also a composer whose compositions favor other instruments than the drums; second, because his jazz does not sound like what you might think jazz ought to sound like; and third, because his performance on percussion instruments is some of the most weirdly quiet music you’ll hear, ofttimes fading into the inaudible and leaving silence to reign for extended periods of time (The New York Times refers to this ultra-minimalism as “music at the sonic level of the creak of a chair or the shifting of a foot on the floor”).

Not that it’s all a low-volume affair. At various intervals, Sorey will attack the drums and cymbals with his mallets in brief but furious bursts of energy, the apparent purpose being to punctuate the meditative mood with moments of Zen-like clarity (one of his recordings in fact is titled “Koan”).

On Saturday, Sorey and his trio — including pianist Cory Smythe and bassist Chris Tordini — will be at Amherst College’s Buckley Recital Hall for an 8 p.m. performance as part of the Music at Amherst Parallel Series. $18 general admission; $12 seniors; $10 students. At noon, prior to the concert, Sorey will be at the college’s Arms Music Center for a discussion of his music and process (free). 542-2195 or amherst.universitytickets.com


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