GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

January 31, 2013

Rainforest lessons from animals

Around Cape Ann
Gail McCarthy

---- — Gloucester High School’s auditorium will be transformed tomorrow, Feb. 1, into a tropical rainforest. A comedy animal show will take place at 6:30 p.m. only, presented by the non-profit organization Understanding Wildlife.

It all started as a dream for founder and director Mike Kohlrieser. In the 1980s, he and wife Marcia became increasingly aware of animals facing possible extinction in tropical rainforests. Using his skills as an animal trainer and stage entertainer, Kohlrieser wanted to educate young and old alike about these animals.

They seek to recreate the sounds and sights of the Amazon region, and offer the audience a chance to see exotic birds, kinkajous, jungle cats, monkeys and snakes. Their goal is simple; to educate and inspire individuals to get involved and make this a better world for humans and animals. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Brown in Rockport

Singer-songwriter Greg Brown will perform tomorrow night, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, presented by M.E. Productions.

Brown, known for his “sandpaper-coarse but sensitive baritone,” offers insights into the realities and foibles of modern life tinged with a hefty dose of humor. Tickets start at $25. For information and tickets, visit www.rockportmusic.org or call 978-546-7391.

Artist talk

On Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m., Flatrocks Gallery will host a dialogue with Ken Riaf, Jon Sarkin and Paul Cary Goldberg, the artists in the current show titled “Driven.” They will talk about why art is not a choice for them, and how they are “driven.” The discussion will start with an examination of the drive to create, and will no doubt take on a life of its own. The gallery is at 77 Langsford St. in Gloucester. For information, call 978-879-4683.

Symphony fundraiser

The popular Soft Touch Dance Band will lead the February Frolic Dance and Auction to benefit Cape Ann Symphony on Friday, Feb. 1, at Cruiseport, Gloucester from 7 to 10 p.m. State Sen. Bruce Tarr will lead a live auction, which includes a ten-day trip to Europe, Patriots tickets, a chef’s dinner and wine for 12, trips to New Orleans or Sonoma wine country, and more. The event features hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cash bar. For ticket information and reservations, visit CASCelebrations@yahoo.com or call 978-283-6750.

Mardi Gras concert

Two New Orleans natives — Grammy Award-winning Charles Neville and Henri Smith and his eight-piece band — will perform a traditional Mardi Gras weekend concert at the historic Larcom Theatre in Beverly on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Half of the profits will benefit the Cape Ann YMCA teen trip to rebuild New Orleans. This is the fourth year the program will take local youth to New Orleans on this service-learning trip. Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door, or $15 for those over 65 or under 18. There are a limited number of VIP Packages (premium reserved seating, meet-and-greet, pre-show party and more). Tickets on sale at Gloucester Music and the Y Teen Center in Gloucester, at www.gimmelive.tv or 978-525-9093.

Youth acting class

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops is accepting 6- to 18-year-olds for its winter session, which starts Feb. 1. The 6-week workshop is taught by award-winning actress and Gloucester native Heidi Dallin and costume designer Lara Jardullo. Special projects for the winter session curriculum include students writing original short plays or adaptations of classic fairy tales and then costuming the characters. Students will be introduced to elements of costume design and using costume elements to enhance a character. For class times and to register, call 978-283-6688.

One actor needed

Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe is looking for one last actor, to portray Lucius/Strato. This character, ideally to be played by someone in the mid-teens to 20s, is an aide to Brutus. This show features 35 characters played by 18 actors. The troupe is in rehearsal now. For information, call Joseph Stiliano at 978-546-7675 or email cast2008@prodigy.net.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000 x3445, or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.

Also on tap Free lunchtime jazz Start February off swinging with free jazz at the Manninen Center for the Arts, Endicott College, 376 Hale St. in Beverly. The Brian Fitzpatrick Trio will perform Friday, Feb. 1, from noon to 1:50 p.m. for free with a light appetizer reception to follow. To reserve tickets for the free event, visit www.endicott.edu/centerforthearts or leave a message at the box office at 978-998-7700. Ailey dance lecture Residents can get a behind-the-scenes look at the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in a lecture and discussion withSylvia Waters, Ailey II artistic director emerita, and Ana-Marie Forsythe, chairwoman of the Horton Department, The Ailey School. The discussion will be held in the Rose Performance Hall at the Manninen Center for the Arts at Endicott College at 376 Hale St. in Beverly on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free. Through the use of selected texts, and archival footage of performance and interviews, guests will explore Ailey's vision. Special attention will be paid to his musical collaborations with Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Charlie Mingus. To reserve tickets, visit www.endicott.edu/centerforthearts.