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Musical duo Carmen Cancél & Jean Sophie Kim star at Old Town Center


Through amusing and often hilarious “bad date” stories and song, Cancél  and Kim wrap their vocal and musical skills around the glory, the grind, and the heartbreak of dating in the postmodern age. It’s an engaging tale of the glory and embarrassment found in the quest for a truly romantic life.

Through amusing and often hilarious “bad date” stories and song, Cancél and Kim wrap their vocal and musical skills around the glory, the grind, and the heartbreak of dating in the postmodern age. It’s an engaging tale of the glory and embarrassment found in the quest for a truly romantic life.


Originally Published: February 7, 2020 1:03 p.m.

If You Go ...

• What: “So, Is this a Date?” with Carmen Cancél and Jean Sophie Kim

• When: Saturday, February 15, 2020

• Where: Old Town Center for the Arts, 5th Street & Main, Cottonwood

• How Much: $20 advance, $22 door, $25 priority seating

• More Info: (928) 634-0940 www.oldtowncenter.org

Soprano Carmen Elisa Cancél and pianist Jean Sophie Kim travel from New York City to Cottonwood on Valentine’s Day weekend, to bring their witty and thought provoking concert: “So, is This a Date?” to Old Town Center for the Arts Saturday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.

Through amusing and often hilarious “bad date” stories and song, Cancél and Kim wrap their vocal and musical skills around the glory, the grind, and the heartbreak of dating in the postmodern age. It’s an engaging tale of the glory and embarrassment found in the quest for a truly romantic life.

Does modern dating confuse you? “So ... Is This a Date?” was born of a desire to express our surprise and bewilderment at the rapidly changing dating landscape. Until very recently there was a loose script for courting, and we all knew the story: subtle flirting, less subtle flirting, increasingly shameless flirting, consulting friends, hairdresser, bartenders about the risks of asking someone to go out with you, holding your breath while blatantly manipulating someone to ask you out, choosing a fetching outfit to withstand an evening of dinner, drinking, backseats of cabs, and the bleary-eyed walk of shame. 

You know, a fairy tale.

However, in our post-post-modern age, choosing prospective dates is about as exciting as choosing what you want to eat for dinner and ‘Instagramming’ about it, or browsing those online food-ordering options. Should you choose one as exciting as that gluten-free salad, ‘Mom would soooo like him?’

Or indulge in one as impossibly decadent as a chocolate Gianduja layer cake (amazing for all the wrong reasons)? Or try the salted caramel (hope those aren’t the tears of his children). Every day brings a new purgatorio as you scan the faces of would-be partners. Suddenly, you feel ravenous. Should you try everything?

How can we enjoy pursuing and being pursued when the quest for a mate is reduced to swiping through so many options, as if we are shopping for dinner, mattresses, or skinny jeans?

The hunt for a mate is positively unsporting in this age of GPS and night-vision goggles. It’s time to pull the plug on your phone and get back to the time-honored devices. Stop living up to, or down to, the standard set by your social media pages. And if the excitement of dating has nearly disappeared, you’ll just have to admit that you too miss the romance, the passion, and the chances.

Carmen Elisa Cancél

Hailed as a singer possessing a “crystalline timbre and intense acting ability,” (L’Arena, Verona, Italy) Puerto Rican soprano Carmen Elisa Cancél has excelled in opera, musical theater, and cabaret. Ms. Cancél was proclaimed “flawless” and “completely believable” (Creative Loafing Tampa) in her performance as the title character of Maria’s Song, a musical drama focused on the desperate need for immigration reform in the US. Ms. Cancél enjoyed success as Sarraghina in Maury Yeston’s Nine with the Intermezzo Festival in Bruges, Belgium.

She has also performed in Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Le nozze di Figaro, Show Boat, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Street Scene, and a reworked play version of Maria’s Song at Players Theatre in NYC. No stranger to the concert stage, Ms. Cancél has sung the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater as well as the Requiems of Fauré and John Rutter. Her singing has taken her throughout the US, Europe, and Latin America.

Jean Sophie Kim

Kim is a pianist, singer and conductor in New York City. She has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber player throughout the world. She has performed at the Alcazar Palace in Seville, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York, Fine Arts Building in Chicago and the Banff Centre in Canada, among others. As a choral conductor she works with the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus. She has conducted at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn College, Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, and the Roulette Theater.

This concert is produced in cooperation with Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. 

Old Town Center for the Arts is located at 633 N. 5th Street (5th Street & Main) in Old Town Cottonwood. Tickets for “So, Is this a Date?” are $20 advance, $22 door, $25 reserved seating. Tickets are available online at showtix4u.com, and also available in Cottonwood at Mount Hope Foods and Desert Dancer, and in Sedona at The Literate Lizard Bookstore.

For more information about upcoming events, visit www.oldtowncenter.org. For further information, contact Elena Bullard at 928-634-0940.