Night OUT at the Ballet planned for Valentine’s Weekend

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Jason Facio has long wanted to see one of his most beloved arts, the Nashville Ballet, reach out to Nashville’s GLBT community.Jason Facio (left) and Paul Vasterling. Photo provided

As partner to Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet’s artistic director, Facio has longed for the time when his love for the ballet and the GLBT community could fuse into a fun-filled evening. Facio and Vasterling were recently profiled in Out & About Newspaper as one of Nashville’s “power couples” in the story “The art of love”.

Facio is finally getting his wish when “night OUT at the ballet” makes its debut on Saturday, Feb. 13. He hopes it can become a yearly event and perhaps evolve into something that could happen more frequently.

Robert Poe will play "the truck driver" in the ballet, "Filling Station."  Photo ProvidedFacio and some of his fellow ballet-loving gay friends have planned the night in conjunction with the Nashville Ballet.

“It’s a perfect way for you to celebrate the romance of Valentine’s weekend, see a fantastic ballet, and network with our GLBT community,” Facio said.

The night begins with a pre-performance reception at The Rymer Gallery, with delectable hors d’ oeuvres provided by Cha Chah (6 to 7: 30 p.m.). At 8 p.m. enjoy the Nashville Ballet performance of “American Originals” in TPAC’s Polk Theater and then afterward enjoy a late night dinner at Suzy Wong’s House of Yum.

"And if you mention Nashville Ballet you’ll receive a 20 percent discount on your food order,” Facio added.

Tickets to the ballet, including the reception at the Rymer Gallery, are available for all price levels (from $18.80 to $62). A 20 percent discount is available with the promo code GLBTBallet. To purchase tickets, visit this Web site or get them from TPAC box office downtown, at Davis-Kidd Booksellers or call 615-782-4040.

The American Originals program pays homage to some of the greatest American classics. Three ballets willNeal Coomer will sing in the ballet "Awaiting Redemption". Photo provided be performed including the Nashville premiere of the 1938 Filling Station, choreographed by Lew Christensen; a rare comedic marvel which follows the lively activities of a busy day at the filling station.

The second ballet is Paul Vasterling’s romantic, introspective ballet, Awaiting Redemption, featuring the music of country legend Hal Ketchum (sung by Neal Coomer), and finally, the night is completed with the unforgettable music of George Gershwin in Balanchine’s whimsical Who Cares?, featuring some of Gershwin’s best known hits such as "I Got Rhythm," "Strike Up the Band" and "Embraceable You."

The chance to sing at the ballet for Neal Coomer is much like a homecoming. Coomer and his long time partner Daniel Konicek have lived in New York for seven years, moving there from Nashville. The two lived in Sylvan Park, just around the corner from the rehearsal studios of Nashville Ballet.

“Neal has worked, and continues to work with Saturday Night Live, and many of your readers will recognize his voice in the intro of the show ‘30 Rock’, Facio said. “He has performed with Dolly, Sting, Billy Joel and many, many other stars.”

To lean more about Coomer, watch this video at YouTube.

For more information on the Nashville Ballet performance and remaining season, visit www.nashvilleballet.com .