New Rep Presents Pair of Concerts for “Love Weekend”

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New Rep’s Love Weekend features Yukihiro Kanesaka, Leon Beal Jr., and Althene Wilson. The concerts will feature the music of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack.

New Repertory Theatre (New Rep) is proud to present Love Weekend, a theatrical stage experience, on Saturday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Main Stage Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown.   

Internationally-acclaimed pianist/keyboardist and multi-instrumentalis Yukihiro Kanesaka will headline this Valentine’s Day event, celebrating love in tributes to two of the most soulful, artistic voices of our time, by two of the Boston area’s greatest vocal talents:  

Donny Hathaway, featuring Leon Beal Jr. on Saturday, Feb. 11, and 

Roberta Flack, featuring Athene Wilson on Sunday, Feb. 12 

Born in Japan, Yukihiro Kanesaka moved to Boston in 2000 to attend Berklee College of Music, where he is now an assistant professor. A master of jazz and soul genres, as a composer, performer and engineer, he has topped multiple international musical rankings, including as #1 of the 2017 UK Soul Chart. He has performed and toured with De La Soul, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), CeeLo Green, George Duke, and Mark O’Connor. He founded his own recording studio, “KOMUGIKO.” Joining Kanesaka for both shows will be Michael Christman (guitar), Domenic Davis (bass), and Osi Brathwaite (drums).   

Both Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack began singing in their church choirs, as did Leon Beal Jr. and Athene Wilson. Golden-voiced Leon Beal Jr. has opened for many legendary vocal groups including the Temptations, Blue Magic, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Whispers, The Stylistics and others. Athene Wilson, a performer of Jazz, Gospel and R&B, is a three-time Boston Urban Music Award winner. Both artists are known not only for their soulful, powerhouse, vocal styles, but their ability to convey the story behind the music.  

Love Weekend’s tribute to and by these artists encompasses both New Rep’s origins in a Newton church and its Renewal Vision of honoring diversity, inclusion and connecting community. With its commitment to creating opportunities, through theatrical stage experiences, to come together and encourage new ways of seeing each other and the world, New Rep is continuing its mission of speaking to the vital ideas of our time.  

“In every way, Flack and Hathaway epitomized the very essence of black love. For them, love was more than a spiritual and romantic force that lingers throughout mankind. It was a political emblem that solidified the strength and vibrancy of the black experience.”         

— Brandon Ousley, Albumism 

Love Weekend will also feature The Love Sampler on Saturday afternoon, at 2pm and 4pm, in the Black Box Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts. The hour-long Love Sampler will celebrate love from different cultures and perspectives, showcasing theater and music from a variety of remarkable local talent, and previewing excerpts from upcoming 2023 season productions, including a world premiere that originated in New Rep’s Pipeline Project.  

Tickets are $20 for the Saturday afternoon shows, and $25 for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon shows. They are on sale now and can be purchased online at: 

ALSO COMING UP: New Rep continues to build on its legacy of excellent, provocative, full theatrical productions. The full 2023 season will be announced soon – including two Tony Award-winning masterpiece plays that grow more resonant every day, and two world premieres from local talent that speak directly to Boston and its past, present, and future. 

About New Rep

New Repertory Theatre (New Rep) has been an award-winning professional theatre company for 38 years, staging productions and events that speak to the vital ideas of our time. New Rep is emerging from the pandemic with a renewed commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and accountability (IDEAA) infusing every aspect of the company’s work as it seeks to build community collaborations and give voice to the diverse interests of those communities. 

More information on New Repertory Theatre at

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