Monday, March 8, 2010

Dinner with Caesar

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 6:14 AM

Hungry for a little Shakespeare?

Tonight there's a dinner preview of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s all-female production of Julius Caesar, which opens on March 26. Actors will perform scenes from the show and Iren Zombor, a cellist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, will play selections from Bach and Kodaly sonatas.

Monday, March 8, 6 p.m. Interim restaurant, 5040 Sanderlin Avenue. $35

Ticket are available at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bard Copy: The Eco-Logo

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 9:22 PM

I just got a copy of the Green Shakespeare Symposium's logo. And I like it enough to share it.


T-shirt friendly. Eat your heart out Che.

Be Thou Verdant: Rhodes to host "Green Shakespeare Symposium"

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 2:16 PM

In the immortal words of King Lear, "Nothing will come of nothing: speaketh of sustainability!" Okay, maybe that's not exactly what Lear said but you can take that up with the experts later this month when Rhodes College hosts Green Shakespeare: A Symposium on Ecocriticism and the Bard. The event promises to bring together a group of international scholars to "discuss how ecological concepts and green issues apply to the interpretation of works by William Shakespeare."

This will be a unique opportunity for audience members to converse with leading scholars in this emerging field of ecocriticism, which is the application of environmental studies to literature. For example, the discussion will explore ways in which Shakespeare's works explore the idea of "nature;" fantasies of rural retreat from the city and court; connections between humans and animals; anxieties about manipulation of genetic stock; and contemporary ecological disasters.

I'll have more on this as the event gets closer.

Bright Lights Big City: Ballet Memphis is going to the Kennedy Center

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 1:52 PM

In a recent interview Ballet Memphis' founding director Dorothy Gunther Pugh speculated that her company might currently be developing more original work than any other ballet company in America. It looks like all that hard work is paying off.

Ballet Memphis will make its John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts debut as part of Ballet Across America, an exploration of the breadth and depth of the art form that showcases the best companies from across the country.

Ballet Memphis will perform Trey McIntyre’s In Dreams set to the music of Roy Orbison.

Going Commercial: ArtsMemphis debuts five 30-second advertisements.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:25 PM

It was a little bit like being in church. While debuting a series of promotional videos last Tuesday ArtsMemphis' CEO Susan Schadt mentioned Memphis' third-place ranking on Forbes “most miserable” cities list and the room erupted in shout-backs. “We are not,” affirmed Chris Reyes the founder of Live from Memphis, ArtsMemphis' multimedia collaborators. Schadt called for an antidote to all the negativity, a directory of all the people and things that give Memphians pleasure Then she introduced LFM's creative director Sarah Fleming who said a few words about the new spots which will appear on TV, the Internet, and on the big screen at Malco's Cinema Paradiso.

I think “Pleasure-maker is going to be my new moniker,” Fleming said before screening “Art is...” a compilation of five 30-second spots using local performing artists to promote themselves and ArtsMemphis. “It's a good representation of the work we've done over the past several years,” said Fleming who is also a co-creator of ArtsMemphis TV.

“Art is,” thoughtfully shot by Memphis artist and videographer Eric Swartz and scored by local composer Alan Hayes is a throbbing montage of dance, welding, painting, acting and musical performance stitched together by a pair of actors, and a trio of dancers monologuing about the meaning of art.

The commercials are edited like Nike spots with dynamic visuals that never overwhelm the personality of the artists being interviewed. Some of the more up-front dialogue may flirt with arty cliche but Reyes & Fleming's team have managed to dig a little deeper and cram a lot of actual content into these 30-second bites.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gone not Forgotten: RECKLESS looked great at Rhodes, a Midtown coffee house went political

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

RECKLESS at Rhodes
  • RECKLESS at Rhodes
I exchanged some big openings this week for a chance to catch a couple of one-offs and re-evaluate an old favorite at an old haunt.

I first encountered Craig Lucas' Reckless when I was a student at Rhodes and it was fun to visit with this darkly comic, distinctly American answer to Candide in the place where I discovered it. And Candide for that matter.

David Jilg's gently surreal production effectively tells the story of Rachel a happy middle class wife and mother who goes on the run on Christmas Eve after her husband confesses he's hired a hit man to kill her. Reckless was a belated Christmas treat that looked so good it was easy to get lost in the visuals and not notice that everything started at a fever pitch and stayed there. This is a show about a woman who can't stop talking until, after enough horror, she finally does. The director almost has to be a conductor to pull it off. Still awfully glad I caught it before it went away. And sorry to have missed Hay Fever at the U of M, but Lucas' work arrives less often and I just haven't been in a Cowardy mood lately.

Church & State:
Java Cabana hosts a "new kind of political theater" that doesn't seem all that new. Or theatrical.

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