The hounds dig up a play about a devastatingly dysfunctional family, a Winona/global performance of a mass written in response to the Sept. 11th terror attacks, and a drama about 9/11 that might make you laugh.
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Ten years ago, a play about 9/11 with strong comedic elements would have been unthinkable. But actor and "Comedy Suitcase" co-founder Levi Weinhagen thinks enough time has elapsed to find a healing humor in the tragedy. Levi, who's also social media manager for "Minnesota Playlist," recommends Workhaus Collective's "A Short Play About 9/11." It follows three disparate characters, including a comedian, who in the wake of the attacks, struggle to resume their normal lives. It opens on Friday and runs through Sept. 24.
Last April, as Winona State University arts administrator Kathy Peterson recalls, her community was deeply moved by a performance of Karl Jenkins' "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace," by the Winona Oratorio Chorus. There will be a reprise of the 9/11-inspired work this Sunday, Sept. 11th, at Central Lutheran Church in Winona. The concert is part of "Global Sing for Peace," in which Jenkin's Mass will be performed in communities around the world.
Patrick Dewane agrees the nasty behavior of the troubled family at the center of the Pulitzer Prize winning play "August: Osage County," may hit close to home for many audience members. But the Twin Cities actor and writer is willing to put up with the discomfort to get to the laughs. It opens on Friday and runs through October 2.
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Let's face it - the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is inspiring a whole range of emotions and reactions. For some it's sorrow, for others frustration, and for others, it feels like it's time to move on.
In honor of that, I've chosen an array of events this weekend that suit at least a few different mindsets.
1. You are still mourning 9/11/01
Frozen Tears: In this event, which starts at 9:11pm this Sunday night, people will gather at the River Flats behind Coffman Union at the University of Minnesota and release "frozen tears" (basically small ice boats with lit candles in them) into the Mississippi River.
2. You are horrified by how the U.S. responded to the attacks, our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the vilification of muslims.
Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior: It is the not so distant future and suicide bombers have hit simultaneous cities across the United States. Arab and Muslim Americans are official enemies of the state and have been ordered into internment camps. Presented by Pangea World Theater at In the Heart of the Beast theater in Minneapolis, "Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior" tells the story of one Arab American womanʼs experience leading up to, during, and after her internment.
3. You look at current world affairs with bitter irony, and would enjoy a good laugh.
A Short Play about 9/11 follows three characters: a hilarious talk show host on the verge of being fired after a monologue of 9/11 jokes; a Russian bio-chemist whose frequent appearances as a terrorism expert are marred by his inability to stay sober; and a young woman who realizes the agonized face on all those "Missing" posters may be her own. The play charts their struggle to resume a normal life, and the surprising role humor and art play in the healing process. And it's funny.
4. You have moved on, and would rather spend your time celebrating all that is good in the world.
The Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts presents a day of free performances in honor of its grand opening this weekend. Sunday, from 11am-5pm, along with a bunch of free dance classes, allowing people to dance their cares away.
Whatever way you choose to spend this Sunday, peace be with you.
"People don't like artists," she said. "They're suspicious of artists. They resent them, if you've figured out that the people saying that they want to be an artist because they're going to their job every day, and they're resentful about it. I understand that. 'Well how come she gets to do that?'"
The comment inspired a series of reactions, which became the subject of yet another blog post.
That inspired a response from Seichrist, in which she both questioned some of the reactions, and offered this elaboration:
I don't need everybody to like me...
One reason, I made the statement was because I have seen that reaction to other artists that I have known. Also, because it's a mean culture. It's a bully culture. And a gutless one. And I have been bullied many times for being who I am. And I have seen others bullied in the same way. The direct line of the bullying messages was about being an artist. Being myself.
...I would dare to say it again: people don't like artists and um.....women. They don't like women. And uh, the person that shows them what they could do. Oh and they don't like me. Oh and they don't like when their motives are exposed for the opportunistic ones they are! And they don't like themselves sometimes so they say they don't like someone else.
The idea that I am supposed to shut up about it or take it quietly up the shoot is not my philosophy.
There you have it.
Posted at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2011
by David Cazares
Filed under: Music
Photo by Claudio Casanova
There's been a lot of talk in the jazz world of late about the quality of the music, with musicians and critics alike complaining that some players are nothing more than wannabe rock stars masquerading as jazz musicians.
Jazz enthusiasts with eclectic tastes surely know that the concept of art depends in part on the listener. But for music to be jazz, it needs rhythm, melody and swing.
The secret of the music also lies in its roots. As the trumpeter Nicholas Payton puts it, "the cure is the same as it's always been - the blues."
That concept isn't lost among the music's elder statesmen, among them bassist Eddie Gomez, a graceful, versatile and creative performer perhaps best known for his role in the Bill Evans trio. The bassist performs tonight at the Artists' Quarter in St. Paul.
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Gomez grew up in New York City, where he studied at Julliard and performed with a long list of influential performers, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Gerry Mulligan.
During the 1960s and 70s, he was the bassist for Evans, one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last century. A prolific performer, he has also played with pianist Chick Corea and worked as a studio musician for a variety of pop musicians.
Gomez also has led a number of his own groups, showcasing his ability to play traditional, modern and Latin jazz. He can play a mean blues and push the tempo.
But although Gomez often displays bursts of power and dominates the stage he can play with quiet and intense artistry, as he did with guitarist Jim Hall on the Bill Evans composition Very Early. It's a beautiful tune featured on the bassist's 1988 CD Power Play, largely a foray into modern music.
On stage and in recordings, the bassist delivers a varied technique of plucking and bowing, displaying his skill at melodic solos, increasingly a lost art in jazz. He appeared recently on the NPR show Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.
He will be joined onstage by Stefan Karlsson on piano and Rodrigo Villanueva on drums.