Recital in the rough
Hastings, York bring Colonial Fox, PSU Department of Music together to entertainment
Logan Qualls | reporter
Despite the chill from the cold outside, the Colonial Fox’s backstage was soon warmed by the wonderful voice of Stella Hastings accompanied by the brilliant Barbara York on piano during the Backstage Series, Recital in the Rough on Friday, Nov. 15.
The third installment of the series is the first collaboration between the Colonial Fox and PSU Department of Music.
The night began with an original piece from Barbara York and ended with featured selections from the musical “Colette.” Next, the duo performed a series of religious chants interspersed with cabaret-esque tunes. An interesting matching, as it required Hastings to seamlessly transform from a pious, somber monk to a sultry and flirtatious cabaret singer, quite literally, without missing a note.
The next selection “Four Personal Ads” by Dan Welcher, was especially entertaining. Four songs, performed as four different characters proved to be no challenge for Hastings as she captivated the audience with each glittering personality.
The next two songs, “No One is Alone” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” and “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez, were personal favorites of Hastings and performed beautifully.
Hastings says careful consideration was put into use when selecting material for the performance.
“We started rehearsing with the Welcher songs and built the rest from there,” said Hastings.
PSU alumna and avid supporter of the Colonial Fox renovation, Megan Caprice says she greatly enjoyed the evening.
“It was fabulous, a lot of fun,” she said. “The cozy, personal setting was different from your typical concert with so much distance between the audience and the performer. This allowed for a unique interaction with Hastings moving throughout the audience during her performance.”
Hastings says she has a personal connection to the theater.
“I love this space, I love everything about it,” she said. “The feeling I get when I’m in here, the look, the potential that’s here, the memories it holds, the acoustics, and I could not have done a concert like this in the more traditional setting of a recital hall.”
With high hopes for more performances in the future, the Colonial Fox presents a great opportunity for the Pittsburg community as an avenue for the arts and entertainment.
“I hope that this theater continues to entice different acts and different audiences, because everybody that walks through these doors will respond differently to the space,” Hastings said. “Being a member on the board of trustees for the Colonial Fox, it’s important to bring as many people in here, and share our story.”
Sarah Jenson, pr/marketing director for the Colonial Fox, agreed with Hastings.
“One of things we’ve been hearing most from the community is, get people in the building.”
The fourth concert in the series will be on Friday, Nov. 22. Titled “Folk Alley,” the night will feature performances from the Vogts Sisters, Frank Butorac and J.T. Knoll. The concert will start at 7:30. Space is limited and tickets are on sale for $10.