The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom does not teach its audience any lessons we don't know. What it does is smarter than that: Instead of spending the majority of the running time talking about how cruel and evil the music business is, the film truly succeeds by shining a light on uncredited back-up singers and their stories. Darlene Love's story might be the most powerful, with her voice being on such classics as "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and "He's A Rebel," but getting screwed out of credit for it. There came a point in life where she had quit the industry and was cleaning houses for a living, only to hear one of her songs on the radio and realize music was her destiny. Each singer has a remarkable story and when you see the person and connect them to their songs (especially hearing Merry Clayton do her bit from "Gimmie Shelter") it becomes jaw dropping to see how much influence these women had on some of the most popular songs in history. The documentary is a massive crowd-pleaser with some great personal stories (oh, and won last year's Oscar for Best Documentary), some excellent music recorded in ways we have not heard before, and some amazing people who changed music forever just with the sounds of their voice.
Monday, March 16. 7 pm. Tower Theater. 835 NW Wall St. $14
La Donna del Lago
Based on the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott and set in the Scottish Highlands, Gioacchino Rossini's La Donna del Lago (translated to Lady of the Lake) is one not to miss. While Regal has been showcasing quite a few operas from the Met over the last few months, this one has two of opera's premiere superstars in Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Florez. At over three and a half hours, La Donna del Lago is a must see for any opera enthusiast and most certainly worth the time.
Saturday, March 14. 9:55 am. Old Mill Stadium. 680 SW Powerhouse Dr. $18-$24