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April 28, 2005

New at Center Stage

Is it right to do a wrong thing for the right reasons? That's the central question asked in The Voysey Inheritance, according to dramaturg Gavin Witt, who adapted Harley Granville Barker's early 20th-century script for Center Stage. The play, which focuses on a family of prominent British solicitors, begins in the Head Theater tomorrow.

The Voysey Inheritance offers an examination of ethics, marriage, the generation gap and "creative accounting" that has a decidedly modern ring. Irene Lewis directs Center Stage's production, which stars husband and wife Eric Sheffer Stevens and Jenny Sheffer Stevens as a courting couple. Laurence O'Dwyer and John Ramsey also star.

Showtimes at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. most Sundays; with matinees at 2 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays, and 1 p.m. May 11 and 25, through June 5. Tickets are $10-$60. For more information, call 410-332-0033.

-- J. Wynn Rousuck

Gidon Kremer

This was always going to be a hot weekend for the Shriver Hall Concert Series, with a recital scheduled Sunday night by exceptional pianist Yundi Li. But it got even hotter when an unexpected opportunity came along to present one of the world's greatest violinists and musical minds in a pre-Carnegie Hall concert. The folks at Shriver jumped at the chance.

Gidon Kremer will be joined by several soloists from the exceptional chamber orchestra he founded, Kamerata Baltica. The program includes two works by Dimitri Shostakovich -- the profound Viola Sonata and the enigmatic, often witty Symphony No. 15 (in an arrangement for piano trio and percussion).

The evening also offers a piece by contemporary Russian composer Alexander Wustin, his Prinoshenie (Offering) for piano quartet and percussion. It is dedicated to Kremer and to the memory of Shostakovich.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Shriver Hall, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St. Tickets are $33, $17 for students ($8 student rush tickets at the door). New or renewing subscribers to Shriver Hall's 2005-2006 season can receive free tickets to this performance. Call 410-516-7164.

-- Tim Smith

Big Peabody weekend

A great deal of significant musical activity is being generated by the Peabody Conservatory this weekend.

Conductor Hajime Teri Murai, who has been exploring the mind-expanding universe of symphonies by Gustav Mahler for several years now with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, has selected No. 6 for this season. The Sixth is nicknamed "Tragic" for reasons that are easy to hear, but it's not all darkness and worry. The score contains some of the composer's most glorious, uplifting music.

Meanwhile, Peabody Opera ventures into a very different world. It's a posh resort where three couples in different stages of married life are among the guests -- honeymooners Adam and Eve, mid-life crisis-fighters Noah and his wife, and senior citizens Sarah and Abraham.

Hotel Eden, a 1989 music-theater work by Henry Mollicone and Judith Fein, "is witty and audacious, but not ultimately irreverent," says director Roger Brunyate. Symbolism abounds, along with plenty of issues to mull over before check-out time.

Peabody Symphony performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Peabody Conservatory, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. Tickets: $18, $10 for seniors, $8 for students. Call 410-659-8100, ext. 2.

Peabody Opera performs at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. May 5 and 7 at Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. Tickets are $24, $12 for seniors, $10 for students. Call 410-752-8558.

-- Tim Smith

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