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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts Programs

Tour

Shakespeare in Staunton

Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET

Experience one of the Bard’s plays in a way that Londoners of 400 years ago might have found when you spend a day at the American Shakespeare Center in beautiful Staunton, Virginia. Explore theatrical history in a fascinating director-led workshop, enjoy lunch in local restaurant, and then settle into the Elizabethan-style theater for a performance of The Tempest. Afterward, there’s time to explore historic Staunton on an optional guided tour.

Course

Supernatural Classics: Musical Magic, Ghouls, and Ghosts

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

From “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” to Don Giovanni to the “Mephisto Waltz,” classical composers have long delighted in taking audiences on deliciously spooky excursions into the musical realms of the supernatural. In the perfect overture to Halloween, lecturer and concert pianist Rachel Franklin leads a hair-raising tour of some of the best-loved classical music haunts, spotlighting works that offer encounters with spectral creatures, ghost ships, demonic valets, trolls, devils, and necromancers.

Program

Smithsonian Boomers Chorus: Legends of Song

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

If you love the music of the ’60s through the ’80s and want to sing some of the greatest hits from the top artists of that era, you're ready to join the Boomers Chorus under the direction of Ernest Johnson. It’s a program geared for people ages 55 and above who love to sing—and there’s no experience required.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "As Time Goes By" and "These Foolish Things."

Lecture/Seminar

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In a career spanning 5 decades, film director Alfred Hitchcock made 54 films, including such classics as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at Hitchcock’s achievements as the Master of Suspense and through dozens of film clips, examines his extraordinary creativity as one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from Ireland.

Lecture/Seminar

Lerner and Loewe: Musical Champagne

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

We’ve grown accustomed to their music. In temperament and background, lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe were wildly dissimilar, but their often-tempestuous relationship produced brilliantly crafted musicals rich with enduring songs. Pianist and American music specialist Robert Wyatt offers a sparkling toast to the team behind Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot.

Program

Supernatural Classics Concert: Tales for Halloween

Friday, October 28, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Just in time for Halloween, enjoy a thrills- and chills-packed lecture-recital from the chamber music ensemble SONOS, featuring pianist Rachel Franklin, violinist Christian Tremblay and bass player Jonathan Miles Brown. Players explore what constitutes “scary” music, trace the haunting influence of literary and historic sources on the Gothic, and take a playful look at the eternal fascination musicians have for the supernatural.

Course

More Stories from the American Songbook

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For decades we’ve danced, romanced, and dreamed to songs like “As Time Goes By,” “Night and Day,” and other enduring gems. In an afternoon series, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something brand new, yet still the same. This session spotlights the following songs: "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Mack the Knife."

Course

Giacomo Puccini: Master of Operatic Lyricism

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Rarely absent from the opera stages of the world, La bohème, Madame Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot are treasured for their powerfully expressive music and poignant depictions of human emotions. Musicologist Daniel E. Freeman surveys Puccini’s four most popular operas with an emphasis on the ways in which they reflect the composer’s approach to musical setting and character development.

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from the Caribbean.

Lecture/Seminar

From Streaming TV to the Oscars: How Netflix Disrupted the Entertainment Industry

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start as a DVD-by-mail rental service, Netflix has systematically changed the rules of the media business. Media expert Brian Rose explores how Netflix is primed to become the dominant source of leisure time entertainment throughout the world.

Course

Night and the Cities: Film Noir’s Suspense-Driven World

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

A police detective down on his luck. A beautiful woman with a shady past. Dead bodies in dark corridors and dim light seeping through Venetian blinds. This is film noir: a world of chain-smoking deceivers, drifters, loners, con artists and killers—all double-dealing their way toward an uncertain and possibly fatal future. Film historian and author Max Alvarez examines the origins and achievements of the brilliant actors, directors, writers, and craftspeople behind this remarkably enduring genre.

Tour

The Road to Nashville

November 6 - 10, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

Nashville is a 21st-century boom town, a cultural melting pot that attracts residents from across the nation and around the world. If the Ken Burns documentary Country Music sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this 5-day  tour offers the perfect way to do it.

Course

Dances of the World With PBS’s Mickela Mallozzi

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a globe-trotting series, Mickela Mallozzi, the executive producer and host of the popular PBS series “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi,” explores the history and evolution of dances from three distinctive regions and their role in linking communities and generations. This session showcases dances from the Silk Road.

Course

Piano Concertos: Front and Center!

Monday, November 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

A superb concerto performance is one of the great emotional highs of the concert experience. But how did this singularly theatrical art form evolve, and why does it remain as treasured as ever with audiences? In a 4-session course, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin uses live piano demonstrations and historic and contemporary film clips to explore the birth of the solo concerto, glory in its great masterpieces, and consider its role in more modern times.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Chinatown and LA Confidential.

Lecture/Seminar

Misty Copeland: Honoring a Trailblazing Black Ballerina

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Misty Copeland made history as the first African American principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, an achievement in which another trailblazing Black ballerina—her mentor, the late Raven Wilkinson—played a key role. Drawing on her new book, The Wind at My Back, Copeland tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other—and the dance world—forever. online options.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Broadcast News and Network.

Tour

Radio City Music Hall: Front and Center for the Christmas Spectacular

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Moonstruck and Notting Hill.

Lecture/Seminar

The Magic of Fred Astaire

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Whether it was partnering with Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, or a hat rack, Fred Astaire on film made everything appear easy and elegant. In a delightful program illustrated with video clips, media expert Brian Rose surveys the sweep of Astaire’s remarkable career, looking at his work both as a soloist and as the most romantic dance partner in Hollywood history.

Lecture/Seminar

From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show

Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Media expert Brian Rose surveys its changing appeal from decade to decade and examines how the talk show—and its hosts—continue to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation.