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First look: Palladium's first (half) season

October 16, 2010

Before we take a look at the long-awaited (at least, by me) about-to-be-announced lineup for the first season at the Palladium, let's keep in mind that this is actually a half season, with concerts scheduled only from the end of January through mid-June.

On the Classics lineup, there's the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Miro Quartet, the Vienna Boys Choir, Camerata Ireland, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, and the Cleveland Orchestra with Emanuel Ax. If you're going to test accoustics, this seems to be a good lineup to do it with.

That doesn't include some anticipated appearances by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra--which you can, of course, see just about any weekend a year at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. For those who don't dare go south of 86th St., the ISO can also be heard at Conner Prairie which, admittedly, doesn't have the Palladium's yet-to-be tested-but-much-touted perfect sound.

The Palladium will be the home to Michael Feinstein's Great American Songbook archives and, with Feinstein at the artistic helm, I was hoping for a far more exciting program of singers on the "Songbook" lineup. The most interesting choice is country singer Glen Campbell paired with songwriter Jimmy Webb, the master behind such songs as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "MacArthur Park," and "Up, Up and Away." The rest of the "Songbook" series includes Marvin Hamlisch (recently seen at Conner Prairie--here's hoping he brings guest singers along), Debby Boone, and, of course, Michael Feinstein. But where are the legends we haven't seen here already (Barbara Cook anyone?) or strong new voices? Frankly, a far more interesting series can be found at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.

On to Jazz, kicking off with a Jazz Meets Gospel program in February featuring Take 6 and Yolanda Adams. There's also a celebration of Miles Davis with Wallace Roney and Marcus Miller, a sax show headlined by David Sanborn and a very promising "3 Generations of Divas" show with Dianne Reeves, Nikki Yanofsky and Jane Monheit, who played the Cabaret at the Columbia Club just a few weeks back. With this show coming up in March, I can stop kicking myself for missing her.

Then there's Country, with Vince Gill, The Wright Brothers Band, The Charlie Daniels Band, and Clint Black each featured.

Finally, there's Dance, with Tango Buenos Aires in March and Savion Glover in April. Glover is perhaps the edgiest show on the schedule, since the tap genius has taken his art into more experimental directions even since his appearance at the Madam Walker Theatre a few years ago.

So after months of anticipation, that's the first round of offerings at the Palladium.

What do you think? Thrilled to see a favorite on the list? Anticipating expanding your cultural horizons? Disappointed not to see a blockbuster name (More than a few people expressed pie-in-the-sky hopes for someone like Bette Midler or an acoustic set from Bono)?

Your thoughts?  

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