OperaDelaware will present the heart rending story of "Porgy and Bess" May 6, 11 and 12 at the Grand opera House. Hooray! This love story on Catfish Row by George Gershwin has several magical songs that have become beloved American classics. These in include "Summertime," "I Got Plenty of Nuthin" and "Ole Man River." This "Great American Opera" has guest artists Richard Hobson (as the "dignified, moving and high spirited" Porgy (Opera News) and Jninea Hobson with the "heart rending and touching" portrayal of Bess. (London Sunday Times) Tony Award winning conductor Stuart Malina and Director Extraordinaire Lee Kimball added to the star quality group. For tickets call 302-652-5577.

If for some reason you have forgotten how glorious the music from this show is, catch the performance of high lights from "Porgy and Bess" on April 26 at 12:30 p.m. The performance will be at First & Central Church, 11th and Market streets.

Jazz

OperaDelaware is offering a magical evening of fine art and opera on April 19 at the Delaware Art Museum. For tickets ($25) contact mwilcosky@operade.org for the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. event.

Violin

What could be more fun than hearing the actual violin that belonged to Mozart's father being played in gorgeous Longwood Garden? On Sunday, April 22, this rare treat will be in the Exhibition Hall at Longwood Gardens at 7 p.m. For tickets call 610-444-6363 to see if any tickets are left. Do park at the business entrance off Conservatory Road, or you might find yourself locked in after the concert.

Tick Tock

The Tick Tock Early Learning Center has thought of a really delightful idea to benefit the center - the Little Black Dress Event, to be held Saturday, April 28, from 4 to 8 p.n. at the Genesis Atrium, 101 E. State St., in Kennett. The idea is a girls' night out for all ages. Just wear black and drop by Genesis and pick out some bling that could be fashion or costume jewelry. There will be desserts, beverages and wine, and lots of jewelry in all price ranges. Tickets from Tick Tock Early Learning Center, 1694 Baltimore Pike, and Avondale, PA 19311 are $25 in advance, $30 the day of. Anyone under the age of 19 is only $10.

Turtle Dove

Lovers of excellent folk and country music learned with sadness that the venerable 15-year-old Turtle Dove organization that has brought so many top acts to the area will be closing its doors after two more concerts. One of the key personnel, Artistic Director Todd Tyson, who was in touch with the artists and could make the contacts, has moved to Vermont and the loyal board that has run the shows finds that it has become quite difficult with this key player gone. As told me by board member Jeff Yetter, "We are no longer in a position to bring the highest quality acts we wish to present... Our choice is to finish on a high note at the end of this wonderful season and gracefully say good night." We send them thanks for all the good music and joy they have brought us.

In the meantime, enjoy the last two big concerts they are sponsoring. The next to last will be the Honey Dewdrops at the West Grove Meeting House on April 28. The Honey Dewdrops is the duo of Laura Workman and Kagey Parrish, an award-winning, nationally touring husband and wife folk duet who perform fresh, original songs focusing on vocal harmonies and tight instrumentation. They blend old styles with new. Creating music that is powerful and heartfelt. Their debut record released in 2009 was No. 2 for two consecutive months,

For tickets call 484-732-8467. Doors of the Meetinghouse open at 7:30 p.m.

'Crowns'

The saucy musical, "Crowns," at the Delaware Theatre Co. is a foot stomping, hand clapping foray into the world of elaborate hats as worn to church by Southern black women. A beautiful hat that matches ones shoes and pocketbook gives one dignity, status, position, soul and joy, and that's all that's needed.

The play by Regina Taylor was adapted from the book of hats photographs by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry, has an outstanding cast of ladies with attitude who take no prisoners. The story is of a teenage girl from Brooklyn who has been sent South to live with her grandmother who introduces her to the local "hat queens." These ladies can sing, as can the lone male cast member, Doug Eskew, so the whole play becomes a musical feast. All of the cast members are outstanding, but Barbara D. Mills as the truckin' belligerent Mother Shaw with a sense of humor is fabulous and received an ovation for her rendition of "When the Saints Come Marching' In." This is a fun show that runs through April 29. Hurry in.

For tickets call 302-594-1100.

Shipwrecks

The lecture "Shipwrecks, Shipping and Joseph Shipley" will be presented by Hagley Fellow Jamin Wells on Sunday, April 22, at the Rockwood Museum. There will be a tour of the mansion at 1:30 p.m. followed by the lecture at2:30 p.m.

Shakespeare

Several arts organizations have gathered together for the kick-off of "The Year of the Bard," the largest Shakespeare arts festival in the history of the state of Delaware. The first program will be the premiere performance of "Romeo and Juliet in 3D Drama, Duet, Dance" by First State Ballet with commentary by Dr. Jay Halio. The performance on April 22 will be at the Baby Grand at 2 p.m.

Trollies

Ray and Mary McKay will share their information about the good old days when there was a trolley from West Grove to West Chester. Traces of the trolley path remain in the form of level sections of the bank the road on as well as on route 82 at R-P Nurseries. They will speak for the Southeastern Chester County Historical Society on Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Kennett Friends Home. The public is welcome.

Earth Day

Friday, April 20, from noon to 4 p.m. Longwood Gardens will celebrate Earth Day with a behind the scenes open house at its Production Greenhouse. Even better you can get up close to all the enormous machines they use at the garden, from compost turners, mowers big tree planters. Activities include making a seed ball to take home and plant.

Clean-Up

It is time once again to clean up the Brandywine. The Young Friends of the Brandywine Conservancy will clean it up on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you would like to join them, call Kathy Freney Smith at 610-388-8315. This is a family friendly event, and groups are welcome.

S.A.V.E.

Local historian and author Kathleen Hood will speak on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the "History of Route 41: From Indian Trail to Interstate Arterial." The free talk at London Grove Friends Meeting is sponsored by the London Grove Forum and S.A.V.E. The public is invited.

Lucky

Congratulations need to go to local pianist Catherine Marie Charlton, who has had some wonderful things happen. Her current CD "Red Leaf, Grey Sky" won awards for "Best Instrumental Album-Piano" and "Best Cover Art" in the ZoneMusic reporter Awards for 2011. It is quite a personal triumph as her music is solo piano improvisations and she took the winning photo on the cover at Longwood Gardens. In addition her uninterrupted one hour solo performance "River Dawn: Piano Meditation," one of the best selling new age albums of all time has been licensed by the UK-based Hypnobirthing Institute to help mothers in Great Britain give birth gently and calmly.

Perhaps even better, three days before being notified of her awards, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter. She is busy booking concerts in the greater Philadelphia area. And can be found at www.CatherineMarieCharlton.com.

Illinois

Mark Leipold, a 2011 graduate of Unionville High School was named to the dean's list at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a 3.72 average. Mark, the son of Bob and Louisa Leipold, is also a University James Honors scholar majoring in industrial engineering

Horse

Those of us who travel regularly down Route 52 see the good looking leaping horse made of artificial greenery that is set up each year to advertise the upcoming Point-to-Point Races on May 6. This year it is placed next to a sign "Uncorked!" that refers to an upcoming exhibit about wine and its traditions. There is nothing wrong with the two items being together, but I am afraid the juxtaposition makes my mind wander into very strange areas. Am I the only one?

Theatre N

"In Darkness" - This is the engrossing true story of Jewish families hiding in the sewers of a Polish city to escape the Nazis during 14 months. April 20 at 2 p.m., April 21 at 2 and 8 p.m. and April 22 at 8:30 p.m.

"Take Me Home" Film Threat said -"This is the best comedy I have seen in years" Two desperate people meet and decide to drive to California to escape their harried lives, with a few detours on the way. April 20 at 8 p.m., April 21 at 5 p.m. and April 22 at noon.

Opera: Rigoletto -Verdi's classic masterpiece - Filmed at the Royal Opera House in London. April 22 at 2:30 p.m.

"Beyond the Myth: A Film About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination" - April 26 at 7 p.m.

"The Artist" -This Oscar winning film is in black and white. April 24 at 7 p.m.

Kennett Flash

Ed Wise & His New Orleans Jazz Band - Ed learned his Dixieland style jazz during 12 years in the city of New Orleans. He and his band left five montha before Hurricane Katrina, but after having made a CD of Dixieland. Friday, April 20.

Johnny Kay& The New JK Rockets - Johnny was the lead guitarist with Bill Haley and the Comets. And his has kept the sound alive. His show is a musical history of early rock n roll from a man who lived it. He plays tunes from artists he has loved during his 50 year career April 21.

Oratorio

The Northern Delaware Oratorio Society led by Sheila Bougeault will perform the Mass in D Major by Dvorak and Requiem by Durufle this Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. These gorgeous pieces of music should be heard at their best at Grace United Methodist Church, 900 Washington St. in Wilmington as that church has marvelous acoustics. Tickets are $15, which is a bargain.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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