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A beautiful afternoon at the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Little Shop of Horas on the GreenwayIt was a beautiful afternoon on the cusp between summer and fall. In typical Boston fashion, this meant that one minute the sun was shining and warm; the next it was overcast. Children played leapfrog on the lawn. Adults danced. The occasional handstand or game of catch took place on the sidelines. Given no choice as to date (one hopes that a new Jewish Center for Art and Culture would voluntarily have chosen to celebrate during the Sabbath between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, with an event starting around the time religious Jews would be heading into musaf services), the New Center for Arts and Culture brought Brian Bender's delightful "Little Shop of Horas" out at noon, where they started off with a nice version of Flory Jagoda's "Ocho Kandelikos" and then favored the international music theme of the day by moving into a Latin-American flavorted "Papirosn," followed by a host of world music ranging from reggae to Turkish. The band stretched and hit some excellent grooves under the afternoon sun.

For dessert, we had David Buchbinder's crisp, intense "Odessa/Havana" project. Buchbinder was straight from a two-day Jewish-Palestinian cabaret run in Toronto, and the change of pace was sharp and delightful. At one point, a street marching band came by. The band didn't miss a beat and started jamming with the street band. Anyone who hasn't heard the ensemble's CD should do themselves a favor and order up a copy right away.

All in all, a nice taste of what might be coming once the New Center opens on the Greenway in 2011.