Gratuitous Shot

Copyright (c) 2009 by Flickr user Erin_M.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Erin McCann. Republished with permission.

Local photog Erin McCann was running around backstage at Montgomery College’s performing arts center Saturday night when she snapped this photo of young performers waiting for their moment in the spotlight.

“They were being led from a staging area across the hall to another off-stage hall, and then through the door to the stage,” she said of the girls, who were performing a bhangra-based salute to Bollywood. “This was taken right before they went through that door.”

With one click of her camera, McCann captured the apprehension, anxiety and delirium that percolates behind the curtain. She expects to post more backstage pics to her Flickr photostream next week.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Erin McCann. Reprinted with permission.

Updated Nov 9, 2009, to add Erin’s last name to the attribution and copyright. — JD

Queen of Soul holds court in new arts center

Credit: J. Deseo/SSP

Credit: J. Deseo/SSP

Montgomery College blew open the doors to its new performing arts center in South Silver Spring Friday night with that new-building smell and a soulful performance by Aretha Franklin.

Dressed in a full-length red gown (left), the corpulent Queen of Soul stood in stark contrast to the 500-seat theater’s cinderblock walls and chain mail curtains. That juxtaposition set the pace for a performance marked by stirring vocals and uncomfortable pauses.

Franklin started her performance with a monotone delivery of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher”. With her vocal chords warmed over, she soon belted out joints with most of the range that marked her 40-year-long musical career.

But the audience, which gave Franklin a standing O at first sight, was reserved most of the evening. The near-sellout crowd applauded politely, clapped along when The Queen demanded “Respect”, and nodded their heads to the beat. Otherwise, their responses to Franklin were subdued, which led to a few awkward moments. (more…)

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