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in the Mix

in the Mix

(L-R): Actors Bianca Amato and James Waterston in Noël Coward’s “Private Lives.” The play runs May 25 – June 24 at the Huntington Theatre. (Paul Marotta photo)

(L-R): New England Patriots players Danny Aiken, Zelto Masko and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass. Bay CEO Wendy Foster pose with kids from the Franklin Field Program at the Big of the Year Celebration. (David Fox photo)

A Big Night

The 2012 Big Celebration for the Big Brothers Big Sisters was a huge event with more than 800 people in the ballroom at the Hynes Convention Center. It was a bit more formal than the Big Night 2.0 event I attended earlier this year, but no less impressive.

There was a cocktail reception, a silent and live auction, and of course, dinner and dessert. The highlight of the evening was the keynote address by Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots and the Kraft Group. He spoke graciously of his late wife Myra Kraft, family and giving back to the community. More than $800,000 was raised at the annual celebration.

Pretty Ugly

I recently saw an exhibit called “Pretty Ugly” at the Mills Gallery in the Boston Center for the Arts. I had no idea what it was about when I attended, but it’s really fascinating and eye-catching. It makes you think, “What is beauty?”

Described as “vacillating between the beautiful and the grotesque,” “Pretty Ugly” includes various paintings, sculptures and photography that made me pause and reflect on what I consider beauty, and what it means to me.

One of the images that I was drawn to was of a woman videotaped (I think), licking what appeared to be glass or a mirror. I could see her lips with bright pink lipstick and her tongue moving suggestively back and forth. When I first walked over, I thought, “What am I looking at?” But then, my eyes and brain made the connection and I was captivated by the image.

I found the other works of art to be similar in concept, thought-provoking and a bit weird. But as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Curated by Nina Gara Bozicnik, “Pretty Ugly” runs through June 24.

Beauty and the Beast

The official opening night of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” at the Boston Opera House was a full house of parents, children and media, including the lovely Janet Wu from WHDH-TV. The classic story of Belle — a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell cast by an enchantress — was brought to life by the wonderful actors Emily Behny and Dane Agostinis. It was a fun evening out, and since seeing the movie — and loving it — I found myself singing along to the title song “Beauty and the Beast.” After the show, it was on to the after party at Salvatore’s, where we met the cast and indulged in some excellent calamari, gourmet pizzas and mingling.

Private Lives

I attended the press night for the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Noël Coward’s sparkling comedy “Private Lives.” It was funny and for a two-hour production, it moved quickly. The back story of “Private Lives” is that characters Amanda and Elyot were previously married and accidentally meet again on their second honeymoons — with their new spouses. That old attraction resurfaces and rekindles between the former couple. Of course, drama ensues.

The writing was intelligent and witty, and it crackled. The lead actors, Bianca Amato as Amanda and James Waterston as Elyot, were superb and the direction was sharp and focused. If you’re looking to support the arts, go see “Private Lives” at the BU Theatre now through June 24. You won’t be disappointed.

Coming Up…

The Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre presents Earth, Wind and Fire with a full string orchestra on Tuesday, June 12, at 8 p.m.

The 14th Annual Roxbury International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, June 13, with an opening night reception at the National Center of Afro-American Artists and runs through Sunday, June 17. For more information on screenings, workshops, celebrity guests and opening night, visit

Comedian/actor Mike Epps hits The Wilbur stage the weekend of Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16.

The Comcast Center presents Drake: The Club Paradise Tour on Sunday, June 17.

The Wilbur presents the Ledisi B.G.T.Y. Tour with special guest Eric Benet on Tuesday, June 26, at 8 p.m. Tickets available at

Veteran RandB/jazz singer Phil Perry returns to Scullers Jazz Club for one night and two shows on Friday, June 29, at 8 p.m and 10 p.m.

On June 30, Boyz II Men perform at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods at 8 p.m.

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, email me at