What To Do This Weekend: Apr 14–19

Michael Fabiano (Don Carlo) and Nadia Krasteva (Princess Eboli) appear in SF Opera’s ‘Don Carlo’ from the 2015-16 season. The Verdi classic streams Saturday, April 17, through Sunday, April 18. See https://sfopera.com/opera-is-on/streaming/ for more info. Photo by Cory Weaver.

Believe it or not, we’re well into the second quarter of 2021, and along with longer days and warmer weekends, we have a seemingly endless array of arts and culture activities to enjoy. Whether you’re taking in a streaming performance at home or venturing out into the world, the Bay Area has some impressive entertainment and education on tap for you this week.

Discover how “art” is defined

Don’t miss Black Art Worlds with SeeBlackWomxn, a conversation that explores the power dynamics between artists, museums and curators, and delves into how the selection process of defining art takes place between those players. SeeBlackWomxn is a collective of artists, activists and writers raised on Black feminist theory that is partnering with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to present virtual programming and community partnerships throughout the spring and summer.

Wednesday, April 14, 5 p.m.
Info: deyoung.famsf.org/calendar/black-art-worlds-seeblackwomxn 


Reflect on artistic representations of the immigrant experience 

Artists Nimisha Doongarwal, Roya Ebtehaj and Andrea Guskin reflect on their work and join in an online discussion of their participation in the ARTogether exhibit Overlap: Home, Immigration and Identity, currently on view at San Leandro’s Bayfair Center. ARTogether is an Oakland-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering community among refugees, asylees and immigrants. The exhibit represents a visual conversation around the immigrant experience. 

Thursday, April 15, 7 p.m.
Info: eventbrite.com/e/virtual-artist-talk-tickets-148654628997 

Celebrate National Poetry Month with local creatives

In honor of National Poetry Month, the San José Museum of Art presents local poets reading their work amidst its galleries’ glorious artworks in Third Thursday: 12th Annual Poetry Invitational. Santa Clara County poet laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao hosts the festivities, which feature Bay Area creatives who have written new pieces inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions. 

Thursday, April 15, 6:30 p.m.
Info: sjmusart.org/event/third-thursday-12th-annual-poetry-invitational 

Take in the sounds of an iconic Bach collection

Cal Performances at home presents pianist Jeremy Denk in a concert of Book I of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Denk, a MacArthur Fellow, writer and musical commentator, has previously written about Bach and discussed how the composer’s music represents an “intoxicating combination” of the divine, logic and discipline. Even Beethoven referred to The Well-Tempered Clavier as his “musical bible.”

Thursday, April 15, 7 p.m.
Info: calperformances.org/events/2020-21/at-home-spring/jeremy-denk-piano/ 

Dig into the meaning of “good trouble” in the arts

The theme of this year’s ArtNow 2021 Exhibition is “Good Trouble” — so what exactly does that mean? In honor of the event’s 10-year anniversary, the New Museum of Los Gatos will dig into how the arts can function as a space to rally against racism, and the role young people can play in activism and social justice. Panelists include cultural equity and social justice leader Sofia Fojas, arts and culture administrator Ron P. Muriera, and co-founder and president of Mosaic America, Usha Srinivasan.

Thursday, April 15, 5 p.m.
Info: numulosgatos.org/events/2021/4/15/unpacking-good-trouble 

Catch SF Opera’s latest streaming session 

San Francisco Opera’s 2016 revival of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo is streaming this weekend, featuring an all-star cast of international talents. Directed by Emilio Sagi, the political drama stars American tenor Michael Fabiano in the title role and Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez as his love interest Elisabetta. The show is performed in Italian with English subtitles and runs approximately 3 hours and 34 minutes.

Saturday, April 17 through Sunday, April 18
Info: sfopera.com/opera-is-on/streaming/ 

Don’t miss your last chance to see a unique, thought provoking art exhibit

If you have yet to see Barring Freedom at the San Jose Museum of Art, this is one of your last chances to catch a glimpse of the innovative exhibit. On view through April 25, the exhibition features works by 20 U.S.-based artists exploring how we as a society see and understand America’s prison industrial complex. Inspired by the teachings of prison abolitionist and scholar Dr. Angela Y. Davis, the show features artists including Sadie Barnette, Hank Willis Thomas, and Sherrill Roland

On view through Sunday, April 25.
Info: sjmusart.org/exhibition/barring-freedom

 

Commemorate the finale of the SFFILM Festival with a stroll down Sesame Street 

It’s not too late to catch a flick at the SFFILM Festival, which officially wraps up this weekend. Grab tickets for a feel-good drive-in experience with Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, screening at the Fort Mason Center. Directed by Marilyn Agrelo, the film features archival footage, interviews and current commentary on the iconic show and how it shaped our culture. Can’t make it to the drive-in? You can also stream it at home!

Saturday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.
Info: sffilm.org/event/closing-night-street-gang-how-we-got-to-sesame-street/ 


Party online for a good cause 

Palo Alto’s Oshman Family Jewish Community Center presents its annual fundraiser, Gathering 2021. The virtual event is free for all and includes programming that includes singers Shoshana Bean and John Craigie, as well as The Hangover and Crazy Rich Asians star, Ken Jeong. Sponsors also get access to a pre-event live mixology party.  

Sunday, April 18, 8 p.m. (mixology party starts at 7:30 p.m.)
Info: app.mobilecause.com/e/dpDLmg?vid=hyosp 


Take a breather and get creative

In San Francisco Public Library’s latest workshop, artist Ali Blum guides attendees through creative methods of relaxation with drawing and other healing artistic activities. The workshop culminates in writing a “letter of release” and the goal is to let go of fixed ideas and be in the moment, capturing any feelings that arise.

Monday, April 19, 7 p.m.
Info: sfpl.org/events/2021/04/19/workshop-know-your-name-ali-blum-artist 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

In another sign of concerts comeback, Summerfest books Mt. Joy, Trampled by Turtles show for September

Trampled By Turtles performs on the Which Stage at Bonnaroo on June 16, 2019, in Manchester, Tenn.

For two years, Maier Festival Park has canceled or postponed nearly every event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Festa Italiana, German Fest and Polish Fest for a second summer this year. 

But on Monday, Summerfest officials announced a brand-new event scheduled for September. 

The bands Mt. Joy and Trampled by Turtles announced a co-headlining tour that will include a stop at the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion Sept. 24.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Summerfest box office (200 N. Harbor Drive) and ticketmaster.com

The concert industry has effectively been shut down since the pandemic started in March 2020, but leaders in the live-music space have suggested touring will resume on a larger scale in late summer or early fall, as vaccinations continue, beginning with outdoor amphitheater shows and festivals.

At a board of directors meeting for Summerfest’s parent company Milwaukee World Festival Inc. last month, officials revealed a tentative events calendar that included six BMO Harris Pavilion concerts slated for this year, outside of any festival performances, from July through October. Four have yet to be announced. 

September is also when Summerfest is scheduled to take place after canceling for the first time in its 53-year history for 2020. Five other shows at the remodeled American Family Insurance Amphitheater are also still on for 2021, from July through August. Milwaukee Irish Fest, Black Arts Fest MKE and Mexican Fiesta are also still scheduled for August at Maier Festival Park.

But show postponements and cancellations are still happening even as new tours are being announced, with Khalid dropping out of a Summerfest 2021 headlining appearance last week, and Rage Against the Machine delaying their reunion tour for a second consecutive year. The latter’s Alpine Valley Music Theatre stop is now scheduled for July 9, 2022. 

The Mt. Joy and Trampled by Turtles tour was actually the second new show announced for the BMO Harris Pavilion Monday. 

Pop band AJR announced a June 4, 2022, date Monday, with tickets also going on sale Friday.  

Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or plevy@journalsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook at facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.

Piet also talks concerts, local music and more on “TAP’d In” with Jordan Lee. Hear it at 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9), or wherever you get your podcasts.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

From Hrlem to Africa

Harlem Fine Arts Virtual pioneering international exhibit to include: WaterKolours Gallery, Soweto Fine Art Gallery, Spence Gallery, Artists: Ademola Olugebefola, Otto Neals, Roederick Vines, John Pinderhughes, Danny Simmons, Glenn Tunstull, Frank Frazier and more.

 

First Black virtual art exhibit showcases 60 artists and galleries from around the world

Special to The Dallas Examiner

The Harlem Fine Arts Show is the largest, traveling art show in the country showcasing the talents of the African Diaspora. First held in February 2010 in New York City, the show has attracted more than 80,000 visitors over the past 10 years. It has also created economic empowerment, educational opportunities and professional recognition within the multicultural community.

This year, it opened its 2021 Virtual Art Show with over 60 artists and galleries from around the globe. The show, which is free to the public and accessible 24/7, will literally let your fingers do the walking through interactive displays showcasing some of the world’s preeminent Black artists – with over 1,200 works available, valued at more than $100 million. The fair will run continuously through July 31 at https://www.hfas.org.

“We are pushing the envelope in support of African Diasporic artists during these challenging times when they are not able to be in front of collectors,” said Dion Clarke, founder of the Harlem Fine Arts Show. “In our current climate, where awareness of the Black aesthetic is top of mind across the globe, it is imperative for us to reinvent the way we engage with multi-cultural artists utilizing today’s technology.

The HFAS is pioneering a 21st century Harlem Renaissance with this groundbreaking show, facilitated through a partnership with Online Viewing Room, a virtual platform that produces digital shows for venues in Paris, the Hamptons and other art hubs across the globe. The platform offers a creative digital approach for collector engagement, leading to reinvigorated sales for artists, according to the show’s promoters.

“We are proud to support the Harlem Fine Arts Show in its mission to increase awareness of African Diasporic artists and their work,” said Balazs Farago, CEO of Walter’s Cube, the parent company of Online Viewing Room. “Our platform has been designed to make their work more visible and accessible to a global audience while generating sales and revenue for artists.”

The virtual show will run for five months and be available 24-hours a day, on a range of devices, utilizing cutting-edge VR technology, and creating a simulated art fair environment that visitors can virtually navigate as they would a physical fair. Through 3D renderings, artworks will be displayed in high-resolution detail and will be available for purchase using a “Buy Now” option.

Just as at the in-person show, there will be a series of art talks, VIP experiences, and other events during the run of the show. HFAS will also offer a 24-hour live chat feature so attendees can connect with an art expert anytime. HFAS’s pioneering digital event is a unique way for collectors to connect with art and to each other, providing as close to an authentic experience as possible.

Featured galleries and artists:

  • Soweto Fine Art Gallery – South Africa
  • John Pinderhughes
  • Joan Spence – Spence Gallery – Canada
  • Michelle Rene’ Art
  • Danny Jenkins – WaterKolours Fine Art
  • Classic works of Elizabeth Catlett
  • Jacob Lawrence
  • Romare Bearden
  • Charles White
  • Stanwyck Cromwell
  • Ademola Olugebefola – Manna777 Gallery
  • Otto Neals
  • Danny Simmons
  • Al Johnson Art
  • MBGreen Arts
  • Laura Gadson
  • Glenn Tunstull Studio Frank Frazier
  • Michael Escoffery
  • Diana Shannon Young
  • Roederick Vines Studio
  • I AM DOLLS
  • Joy Lyons Art
  • Baez Fine Art / Elizabeth Erazo Baez
  • Kalen McQuire Media
  • Shenna Vaughn
  • D.K. Dixon Designs
  • O’Bannon Studios
  • JMR Designs
  • Lisa DuBois Gallery
  • Matyo Creations
  • Nyeshia “Jaze Jeanye” Padmore
  • Blue Leaf International Arts Gallery
  • Artbywepa
  • Chris Osborne Art
  • Art By Aaron Reed
  • The Robinson Studio
  • Christopher Crenshaw
  • D’Artist Donna Ladson
  • DMV League of Artists
  • The Graham Collection
  • Omar Canate – Brother Omar
  • Bodiles Nu Art Studio and Gallery| Georgia Fullerton – F U L L F I N E A R T
  • Ancestral Beads by Larry Brown
  • African Authentics
  • Solwazi Afi Olusola – DARA: Ancestral Beauty Photography
  • The Royal Ivey Collection
  • Art That Touches Your Heart
  • Mark Sublett & Genaro Rafael
  • Art That Touches Your Heart Student Gallery

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Like Many Before Them, a Band of Friends Find Respite on Fire Island

Standing, from left: DONCHRISTIAN JONES, artist and musician, 31; DAVID VELASCO, editor in chief of Artforum, 42; HANNAH BLACK, artist and writer, 39; NICOLE EISENMAN, artist, 56; SARAH NICOLE PRICKETT, writer, 34; LAURYN SIEGEL, artist and designer, 43; FARIS AL-SHATHIR, director of Boffo, 39. Seated, from left: T.M. DAVY, artist, 40; LIAM DAVY, gardener, 40. Photographed in the Meat Rack in Fire Island Pines, N.Y., on Sept. 19, 2020.

Weekend Friends

For this creative group, the Pines remains a summer haven for queerness and connection.

Standing, from left: DONCHRISTIAN JONES, artist and musician, 31; DAVID VELASCO, editor in chief of Artforum, 42; HANNAH BLACK, artist and writer, 39; NICOLE EISENMAN, artist, 56; SARAH NICOLE PRICKETT, writer, 34; LAURYN SIEGEL, artist and designer, 43; FARIS AL-SHATHIR, director of Boffo, 39. Seated, from left: T.M. DAVY, artist, 40; LIAM DAVY, gardener, 40. Photographed in the Meat Rack in Fire Island Pines, N.Y., on Sept. 19, 2020.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Walk Through The Breonna Taylor Art Exhibit With Louisville Protesters 

“I’m outside.”

That was the text message I received from my best friend shortly after hanging up from his previous call. The reflection of headlights in the shape of my bedroom window glided across the ceiling and slowly came to a halt. That was all it took to pull me from bed and down to the front porch, where we discussed our plan for the evening. We made a pact ensuring that no harm would come to us if we stepped out into the protest zone. 

“Who’s gonna call my mama if something happens to me?”

I asked this with the expectation of reverse-jinxing myself if found in a position of potential demise. As Black men, my friend and I were still reeling from the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. We swore not to join their ranks, though their extrajudicial deaths were completely out of their own control. My friend convinced me to bring one of my cameras, noting that this was something that may need documenting. Seven people had been injured in a mass shooting in downtown Louisville. It was May 28, 2020. From that night onward, most of my year would be dedicated to capturing the moments of the movement in the streets, courtrooms, and conference halls of Louisville, Kentucky. 

Never would I have imagined that less than a year later, some of my work and the work of others documenting protests for racial justice in Louisville would make its way into an art exhibit at the Speed Art Museum. For “Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” the Speed leaned into guest curator Allison Glenn to create the only art exhibition in Kentucky that pays tribute to the members of Louisville’s protest community who were lost in 2020. 

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Amy Sherald’s painting of Breonna Taylor can be seen through a group of visitors through the main corridor of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

When I learned that this very same protest community was planning a visit to the Speed Art Museum this past weekend, it raised a lot of questions for me. Most importantly, what are their thoughts on seeing this kind of work in action? Rarely does the opportunity present itself to view part of your own stories in the scope of fine art. Here are some images and words from the day protesters visited the exhibit. 

Amber Brown/Protest Organizer

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Amber Brown sits for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Jon Cherry: What is it that you do in relation to the movement here in Louisville, Kentucky?

Amber Brown: For work, I drive a city bus. For [the] movement, that’s a much harder question. I’m an organizer… Yeah, that’s a lot. An organizer because I do service work, but I also organize direct actions, but also outings like this, and anything in between. I just plug in wherever I’m needed. I just put on the hat. 

JC: How did you come to find out about the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit at the Speed?

AB: Somebody posted it on Facebook about a month ago. I knew this was the opening weekend and I wanted to experience this. So I went online and reserved 50 tickets for 1 p.m. slot, and then I quickly realized that 50 wasn’t enough, but they wouldn’t let me reserve any more for 1 p.m. so I had to do 50 more for 1:30 p.m. I wanted to experience it with my protest family. We experienced all of this in real life, as a unit, so I felt like it was only right for us to experience it in this space, especially with some of the pieces that are up. 

JC: Why did you feel that it was important to organize everyone to bring them here as a group?

AB: Because a lot of our trauma is on display here. You know, seeing art and photos by Tyler Gerth, – I was in the park when he was shot and killed, when he was murdered. I was there. I saw him laying on that pavement. I didn’t know him well before that, we had seen each other in passing, but I definitely feel his loss … I know his father, I know his sister, I can point them out on the street now. I’ve built relationships with his family, so to see pieces by him, of us, in his vantage point, was hard. Because it’s not something we’ll ever be able to experience again. He’s not going to come to a march tomorrow and to be able to take photos.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Travis Nagdy’s siblings gather to view Jon Cherry’s photo of him on display at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

AB: And then there’s a picture of Travis [Nagdy]. To see him up there and to know that the only reason there’s pictures of him the way that there is, like there’s a picture of just him, is because he’s not here, he was murdered. Because the only other person who has a picture like that is Breonna [Taylor]. That’s hard because I still go to the Square and think that any moment he’s going to come and give me a hug. That’s why I wanted everyone to experience it together, because, for me, I’m not a crier. I’m not someone that is prone to any kind of emotion besides anger and happiness, those are my two go-tos. So the fact that I’m sitting here crying, means that obviously it provoked some kind of emotion in me, so how can I make sure that, even if I may not be the one to give somebody else a hug, they have somebody there that they know and that they’re familiar with to give them a hug when they need it because they’ve seen these pictures and heard the story.

JC: After coming out of an exhibit like this, what kind of follow through would you like to see in the community? Did this start anything new for you?

AB: It does. It started a conversation I’ve had at least four times today about the existence of protest art and how are they going to tell our story. Because at some point in time, probably within the next year, somebody’s going to want to sell the story of Louisville, Kentucky protests. And like I’ve said at least three times today, I’ve definitely made this threat, if they try to tell our story and we’re not the ones telling it, they will not have access to that space because I will be the organizer to keep them from having that access. I think that it’s necessary that we have a central space that we can go for rest and to be able to experience the art that has been created, and experience the memories that have been shared between us, but also give access to the public to experience what protesting has been for the past year.

Alexandrea Vega/Artist

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Alexandrea Vega stands for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Jon Cherry: As an artist & protestor, what do you think whenever you come to an exhibit like this one?

Alexandrea Vega: It’s an important step for our community to acknowledge things that have happened, and things that are still happening. It’s very delicate and I think that the way that the Speed Art Museum handled it was very gracious. There’s so many elements to capture when it comes to such a traumatizing idea of the inequality in our society, so, what was shown in this exhibit, especially that video again, the versatility of just everything being seen. It was needed. 

JC: Why did you come to see [the exhibit] today?

AV: This is the spot that I’ll probably be coming back to multiple times, for its duration here, because my friend is on display. My friend Travis Nagdy was a prominent leader in the movement and I’m very thankful he’s here. That’s why I keep coming back. That’s why I’m here today.

Paulette Meggoe/Cyclist

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Paulette Meggoe sits for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Jon Cherry: You mentioned something about bicycling, particularly during the protests. What was that like? Can you describe your group, what you did, and why you were out there? 

Paulette Meggoe: It was something that gave me a reason to be a part of. Knowing the situation and being an avid cyclist, I used to race, so biking was a part of my entire life. So becoming a part of this group, the Say Her Name bike ride group, when I discovered them, I wanted to be a part of it because I felt like I could contribute to whatever the issues were. Whatever was going on, I wanted to be involved and a part of it.

We would ride with the protestors who were marching and we would help to control traffic from the streets, from the side streets, motorists or whatever, blocking if off to allow free movement and a continuous march, just to get it out there to say “this is unjust and it is not fair, not right, it’s just not.” 

JC: What brings you to the Speed Art Museum today?

PM: The Breonna Taylor exhibit. My daughter – she’s going to be 43 this year – she’s an EMT. She works and lives in New York City. Just the thought of her, and what went down with Breonna Taylor, made me feel the need to come and see and read, interpret for myself, into what went wrong and how this young lady lost her life at such a tender age. Because that could have been my daughter at any point in time, and I feel close kinship to this situation, so I came to satisfy my inner self. 

JC: What did you think about the exhibit itself?

PM: It’s well worth seeing. What dug deep into my soul was when I read her mom’s narrative on her child. The timeline. When I read the part where it was in Breonna’s own words, that she thought she was on her way to being something good, something great, that special person, and she was always giving, helping, caring. And her life was snuffed out so violently. It touched me. So I had to stop. As a matter of fact, to be honest, I stopped reading the timeline and I took a break. Took a little walk and I came back and I finished. Because it gets to you. It’s very emotional. 

Susan Hershberg/Wiltshire Pantry

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Susan Hershberg stands for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Susan Hershberg: During the pandemic, this entity closed, and my whole culinary team, most of the culinary team that had been here at the museum [cafe] was furloughed. A couple of team members were able to come and join our other commissary kitchen and I was able to keep them working, but it was a pretty big crisis to have a whole team out of work. And so with the opening of the Promise, Witness, Remembrance exhibition, I was able to move my culinary team back into the museum and I wanted to make certain that community groups and activists specifically who came to see the exhibition, I wanted to make certain that we were able to offer an additional layer of hospitality.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Allison Glenn speaks with protesters while eating in the grand hall at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

SH: Museums are not always the most comfortable spaces for activists, you know we haven’t always been welcomed through the doors of institutions like this, and so I really wanted to go that extra mile and make certain that people were not only being invited to the museum, but I wanted them to be invited for a meal, compliments of Wiltshire Pantry.

Because of the economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, I could not have done that without a fundraising effort to support us. We initiated a program we call Nourish and it’s about nourishing our community. We’re raising funds throughout the course of the exhibition to be able to provide complimentary meals for activist and community organizations, so that we can come together and experience the exhibition, which I think is triggering and traumatic for many of us, and then have an opportunity to sit with one another, in community, and break bread. Which I think particularly in times of grieving is very important for us to come together and process our feelings. What a better way to do that than with a meal that’s been prepared with love?

Jason Downey/502Livestreamer

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Jason Downey, a livestreamer and activist, stands for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Jon Cherry: What do you feel when you see some of pieces of this exhibit, did it confirm some preconceived notions that you may have had, did you have preconceived notions?

Jason Downey: I came in like I didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t looked at any of the trailers or advertisements, I just showed up and wanted it to be raw and real. You know, some of the photos and what not, it was very nice to relive some of those moments and good memories, and see all of the actions that [were] going on. Representation in some of the artwork is very strong, the flags with all the gun violence deaths over the years, of course the large portrait of Breonna [Taylor], and then the words written by Breonna’s mother, talking about the timeline of her life, were very emotional and moving. 

JC: Do you feel like what has been done here has done justice to honoring the movement here in Louisville, or honoring the lives of those who were lost? 

JD: I definitely think it’s very difficult to capture multiple peoples’ lives and influences over the course of 15 art pieces in three rooms. There’s never a good way to give justice to people that have died from causes like this, or in general, you know. I think that we could have 10 rooms and 400 pieces donated to what Travis [Nagdy] did, or Breonna’s life, or the photos that Tyler [Gerth] took, right? It would never really capture it. Of course, I always like to see representation of art and whatnot here locally, and there’s not a lot of that. I hope that will be captured elsewhere, but it is still very strong to see work from Black artists from all across the country that are actually represented, not just a bunch of white folks doing their interpretation they thought they should be. 

Ti’ant Wyatt/Protester

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Ti’ant Wyatt sits with Harley, his daughter, for a portrait at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Jon Cherry: Did the exhibit match with your expectations? How did you feel about it?

Ti’ant Wyatt: I didn’t really think more on the expectations, more on preparing myself mentally and emotionally, because a lot of that was really hard to hear, see, and read. It’s the truth, but the truth makes people uncomfortable, and that’s probably the best way to understand a lot of these things. 

JC: How do you feel coming out of it? I know you’re close to the people that are in this.

TW: My first [thought] was, “keep going.” Honestly, if anything, it hurts me a lot to know that [Travis Nagdy] can’t see himself in this museum today. I saw a lot of people who did see themselves today, and there’s always a way to go further, to keep going. There’s a deeper meaning to keep going. It’s fight harder, keep going. That’s the only thought I had coming out: keep going.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Jason Downey (L) and Alexandrea Vega (R) stand in front of Nari Ward’s “We the People” at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Allison Glenn speaks with protesters before Nari Ward’s “We the People” at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: People sit and watch while others walk about during the showing of Jon-Sesrie Goff’s “A Site of Reckoning: Battlefield, 2016” the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: A protester takes a photo of Amy Sherald’s “Breonna Taylor” at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Protesters admire various art works at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Allison Glenn speaks with protesters before Nari Ward’s “We the People” at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Michele Browning, Travis Nagdy’s stepmother, and Travis’ siblings sit for a photo at Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: A protester gets a closer look at one of Tyler Gerth’s images on display at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: Stephen Reily, director of the Speed, greets and speaks with the group of protesters at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: A protester stands to read an informational piece on the wall at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 10: “Breonna was ready.” Is seen on the wall, as part of a written timeline of Breonna Taylor’s life by Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2021. Protesters and their allies from Louisville’s Jefferson Square Park visited the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit by guest curator Allison Glenn.

Disclaimer: Photographer Jon Cherry has work in the exhibit — a portrait of his friend Travis Nagdy, a protest leader who was shot and killed in October.

Support for this story was provided in part by the Great Meadows Foundation.

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Today in the Culture, April 12, 2021: Art For Breonna | Wash Post dishes Chicago | Poet Laureate Angela Jackson

Lou Malnati’s

ART

Art For Breonna Taylor

Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” a group exhibition at Louisville’s Speed Museum through June 6, honors the legacy of Breonna Taylor one year after her killing at the hands of police. It’s curated by former Chicagoan (and Art 50 listee) Allison Glenn. The show features more than thirty works that reflect on Taylor’s life, her killing and racial justice protests. Contributing artists include Terry Adkins, Xavier Burrell, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Rashid Johnson, Kahlil Joseph, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson.

DINING & DRINKING

The State of Deep Dish

The owners of the Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria chain, founded in Lincolnwood in 1971 and now with more than fifty Chicago locations, want to sell, Bloomberg reports, looking for as much as $700 million. Shareholder BDT Capital Partners is part of the initiative.

East Coast Sets Sights On Chicago Food Scene

At the Washington Post, food critic Tom Sietsema sets outsider’s eyes on critics in the Chicago dining scene, rueing the loss of the voices of Phil Vettel and Steve Dolinsky: “Chicago’s revered dining scene recently lost a key ingredient: Experienced, trustworthy critics.” “Without a strong voice and sufficient resources to bring its dining scene attention,” Vettel tells Sietsema, “Chicago risks ‘becoming a fly-over city.’” With less drama, Michael Nagrant, quoted in the piece, wrote in Eater Chicago all the way back in February, “Chicago needs a food critic or two — better yet if they bring a fresh and diverse set of perspectives. I know this is true because I’ve seen the future and the resulting fallout. The decline of the major food critic didn’t start weeks ago when Vettel retired. It began a decade ago, when Vettel’s chief competitor, Pat Bruno, was fired from the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times named me as Bruno’s successor, but two and a half years later I was also let go when the Sun-Times killed the dining section.” Nagrant sets up his worthy exploration: “What we know about monopolies is that they often lead to laziness and exploitation. In the absence of another critic pushing him, what would Vettel get lazy about? To understand that, you need to understand what a food critic does and how they do it.”

Hire Education

WGN News identifies the most pressing shortage when Chicago restaurants prepare to reopen at the tail end of the pandemic: staff members.

Chef José Covers the Waterfront

Globe-girdling, disaster-busting World Central Kitchen humanitarian chef José Andrés plans a plethora of projects along the Chicago River through his ThinkFoodGroup, including Joe’s by the River, an all-day café with partner Gibsons. Also: Andrés long-mooted River North iteration of his Jaleo tapas restaurant is slated to finally open at 500 North Clark in the former Naha space.

Noodle Tanking

The state of Illinois has demanded repayment of a $150,00o pandemic business interruption grant from the proprietors of Uptown’s Tank Noodle, the Tribune reports. The restaurant lied about pending outstanding legal matters, the government says, which included a federal investigation that resulted in a March promise to pay about $700,000 in back wages to sixty employees, spanning a two-year period. Tank Noodle also gained notoriety for photos posted by the owners “on social media while on a flight to Washington, D.C., and attending the ‘Save America Rally’” that preceded the January 6 mob attack on the U. S. Capitol. (A few days later, they posted that no one with them had been part of the siege.)

FILM & TV

Camera Ambassador Becomes Third Woman-Owned Camera Rental House in U.S.

“There are only three rental houses nationwide that are owned and operated by women,” says Erica Duffy, who is now the sole owner of Camera Ambassador, the camera rental house on 14th Street. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be one of them.” The company’s main focus is equipment rentals, but it offers monthly workshops, feedback sessions, screenings, promotion of local filmmakers, gear sponsorships and the annual Community Builders Grant, a short film fund for filmmakers. “We are also in the process of opening a not-for-profit wing under Camera Ambassador,” Duffy says in a release. “Our goal with our new wing is to really elevate and serve our community to the greatest of our ability.”

LIT

Forty Years And A Hundred Issues Of DePaul’s Poetry East

DePaul marks National Poetry Month and the fortieth year and hundredth issue of its Poetry East journal with a celebration of “the power of poetry” at an April 21 event in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library, featuring editor Richard Jones and author Miles Harvey. Register for the event here.

Illinois Poet Laureate In Residence With Illinois Humanities

Illinois’ fifth Poet Laureate, Angela Jackson, will promote poetry at state and national levels, working with both Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. “Angela Jackson is a talented storyteller whose poems, books, and plays have captured the hearts of readers for decades,” Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker says in a release. “As Illinois’ Poet Laureate, she will be an invaluable resource to Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, offering guidance and support to the poets of tomorrow.” Gabrielle Lyon, executive director of Illinois Humanities, says that “We are eager to celebrate and amplify Ms. Jackson’s vital contributions to the world of poetry and the Black Arts Movement. And we know that having the Illinois Poet Laureate in residence with Illinois Humanities will be especially inspiring to young people around the state who participate in our Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards.”

MEDIA

L.A. Times’ Owner May Kill Trib Publishing Deal

The Wall Street Journal reports that one man, billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angeles Times, could kibosh the deal proposed by Hansjörg Wyss and Stewart Bainum Jr. to acquire Tribune Publishing. Soon-Shiong, holding twenty-five percent of the company, is the second-largest stockholder behind Alden. “Soon-Shiong said this week in an email he hasn’t yet made up his mind how to vote,” the WSJ reports. The votes of the hedge fund and the biotech billionaire would be sufficient to dismiss the upstart deal to keep local control and boost the fortunes of Tribune Publishing’s newspapers.

Scorned Zorn Hardly Forlorn

Eric Zorn’s Tuesday column about the killing of thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo met a wave of impassioned responses, as well as Zorn’s near-jocular Friday reflection that was not an apology. “When I mentioned [articles that refer to the age of victims] in a staff Zoom meeting Wednesday, one of my colleagues replied wryly with what he referred to as an old saying: ‘The easiest job in the world is raising other people’s kids.’ Ain’t it, though? Any time a teen gets into high-profile trouble, even when the teen is the victim, the Parent Police turn on the lights and sirens. Indifference! Neglect! Irresponsibility! They seem to have no idea.” In that column, Zorn also says that his “tone” was wrong. Zorn was concerned, too, he tells Newsweek, about the “tone” of social media. “Aside from the profane and threatening insults on Twitter, few of which even bother to make a point, I’ve received a number of thoughtful letters of disagreement arguing that I minimized the inherent, fundamental tragedy of the violent death of a 13-year-old, no matter the circumstances, and gave too much deference to the idea that the police might have been justified in shooting him… It’s impossible to have anything like productive dialogue in the performative, rock-throwing environment of Twitter. I value the medium for many things, but it’s a lousy forum for debate.” Robert Feder’s reflection on Friday: “After more than forty years as one of the Tribune’s most thoughtful and compassionate progressive voices, it was an unaccustomed position for Zorn, 63, to be pilloried as a ‘soulless monster’ who was insensitive to the feelings of an angry, grieving community.”

STAGE

Designs Of The Times

Reader theater editor Kerry Reid reports on a victory for a movement for pay equity and transparency for theater designers.

ARTS & CULTURE

Yelps In Horto

Yelp! reviewers rank twenty-five gardens in Canada and the U.S. and Garfield Park Conservatory is number one.

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LeMoyne Center carries on legacy, vision of late director

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A few months after losing its beloved executive director, Joyce Ellis, the LeMoyne Community Center in Washington is continuing her legacy.

“Serving the community was very important to Joyce,” said Linda Harris, the LeMoyne Center’s interim executive director. “I got here in 2008, and together, she and I worked on bringing her vision to fruition. Having been with her the entire time, it’s about keeping the legacy going and expanding on some of her visions, her dreams.”

Ellis, who had been executive director since 2007, died in December after battling cancer. Harris said the rest of the staff and volunteers are determined to continue the work they did together to better the community.

“We’ve always been a team, so we work together, and we all step up to do what needs to be done,” Harris said. “That’s one of the beauties of it – you have people who care about the center, and we all love the center and want it to thrive.”

Harris, who’s been with the center 13 years and was formerly the education director, said they’ve had several renovation projects going on at the center in the past year, including the newly completed gymnasium and bleachers. They’re also anticipating doing some roof work and renovations in the foyer and restrooms.

The LeMoyne Center already has seen a lot of “firsts” this year. This month, the center provided space for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, in partnership with Cornerstone Care and the Washington chapter of the NAACP. Also, for the first time, the center held fish fries every Friday throughout Lent.

“We did a lot of meals for people from throughout the city,” said the LeMoyne Center’s executive chef John Williams. “Some of the offices in the courthouse ordered big dinner orders, so the community supported us. We were selling about 30 to 40 pounds of cod a week.”

Williams will have a busy summer, too, cooking for the center’s summer camp programs and its Mobile Summer Feed program, which starts in June and will be packaging to-go meals.

“I’ll write the menus, like six weeks’ worth, and then start them over again,” Williams said. “I have a crew, and in this downtime, we’ve been training and cooking every day. Sometimes people in the community will smell it and walk over, and we’ll give them something to eat.”

According to Stephen Thomas, the LeMoyne Center’s Nutrifit director, he and Williams will be partnering on making YouTube videos that teach kids how to make easy, stove-free meals.

“We’re excited to be able to interact with the kids a little bit more this year,” Thomas said.

The COVID-19 regulations that forced them to provide to-go meals have actually made things easier, Thomas said.

“It’s opened the door for multiple meals to be served at the same time,” he said.

Due to COVID-19, the summer Camp Challenge will be modified this year, Harris said. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with free meals for students in grades K-12. They’ll have tennis and archery and take field trips to the zoo and aviary, Harris said.

“What we’re doing this year is breaking it down into two four-week camps,” Harris said.

Typically the camp runs eight weeks with about 200 students, but this year, a four-week camp will be held from June to July with 100 students and a second four-week camp with another 100 students from July to August.

“With COVID, we had to split them up,” Harris said.

In September, the center is hoping to be able to start up its “Homework and More” after-school program, which typically serves between 75 and 100 students. Last year, it offered a cyber-hybrid program that minimized the number of students in the building.

“Hopefully, COVID will be under control by then,” Harris said.

The LeMoyne Center staff and volunteers have other goals for later this year, such as adding more family-oriented programs and vocational training programs for young adults. They’d also like to revive former community art projects in Washington.

“Years ago, Washington had a Black arts festival,” Harris said. “It was a big deal in the community, but it kind of just faded away. We hope to bring that back, maybe sometime in the fall.”

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“Malcolm and Marie” is captivating and well-written

I have never been one to watch black-and-white movies, but I stuck it out for this particular one. It was definitely worth it. Written and directed by “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson, the Netflix original film “Malcolm and Marie” was captivating and very well-written. The only actors in the film were Marie, played by Zendaya, and Malcolm, played by John David Washington.

The film starts with the couple coming home from an awards show. Their house has its own identity with an angular architecture, huge glass windows and a gorgeous interior that adds so much to the movie scenes. The couple gets into an ongoing argument after Malcolm fails to acknowledge Marie as his muse who inspired a movie he created.

Zendaya and Washington’s chemistry is top-notch. The fictional couple’s switches from hardcore rage to playful banter are so natural and take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. Although I enjoyed every second of “Malcolm and Marie,” it was emotionally draining. I was exhausted by the end and I can honestly say that I would never voluntarily watch it again. It was almost two hours long of watching this beautiful couple bicker back and forth.

I think the film perfectly captured the true nature of relationships. The love and dislike you can have for someone at once is shocking. In today’s society, many people have misconceptions of what relationships are really like because of social media’s “picture-perfect” portrayal. This movie was definitely a shake back to reality.

Malcolm and Marie’s relationship was this constant push and pull. One minute, things seemed fine, but the next, they were taking harsh and belittling jabs at each other, the type of jabs that make you rethink your entire existence. The hardest part was trying to figure out whose side you were on.

At the end of this film, I realized that no matter how well you know or love someone, you will never get a full understanding of their emotions or what they want. All Marie wanted was Malcolm to say two words, and he never budged to utter the words until the end of the movie.

Some interesting topics the movie also covered were the male gaze, the White savior complex, the “woke White person,” and the centering of Black art around racial tension in society. For instance, Malcolm’s movie was about a young woman who struggles with an identity crisis and drug addiction. The fictional critics who wrote a review on Malcolm’s piece automatically centered his work around the racial issues that Black women face seeking medical treatment because he is a Black man.

This is similar to what most film critics do in reality to make themselves seem more “woke” and socially in tune. This is something that I never noticed, and I am glad the film brought awareness to that issue. It is very unfair to most Black creators that their work is automatically centered around racial tension and struggle when Black people actually have more layers to their everyday lives. Why could Malcolm’s movie not simply be about a young woman who struggles with drug addiction and an identity crisis? It is problematic to assume all Black art is about racial tension because it centers the attention around the oppressor (usually a White person).

Overall, “Malcolm and Marie” was excellent. Watching it all unfold was worth every second.

Click here to stream Malcolm and Marie on Netflix.

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Scientology Volunteer Ministers’ Massive Countrywide Response to the Pandemic Continues

Scientology Volunteer Ministers’ Massive Countrywide Response to the Pandemic Continues – African American News Today – EIN Presswire

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Summer Is Starting To Bloom

I know how gardeners feel when the seed catalogs arrive in the middle of winter.  It’s a signal that no matter how dismal the weather, there is hope for the future.

That’s how I feel, when in April, summer theater schedules are announced.  Yes, it’s months away from opening nights, but there is hope.

This year it’s more than hope.   It’s salvation.   In 2020 there were no announcements.  And, except for a couple of determined companies who found a way to offer a couple of productions under a tent, all theaters were closed.  That makes this April’s announcements a joyous occasion. 

All COVID protocols concerning masks, social distancing, and designated seating will be in effect both on stage and in the audience.  In most cases, there will not be tickets or programs and some organizations will require temperature taking and contact listings.  Nothing has been released about the need for vaccinations or a negative COVID test.  There will be inconveniences, but there will be theatre.

The Berkshire Theatre Group, is producing a three-play summer season.  They are also producing a series of concerts between May. 1 – July 3. The concerts will be offered in a tent outside the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.  

As for theater, the tent on the Stockbridge, MA. campus will host the Oscar Wilde classic comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest.”  It runs June 18 to July 10.     

The family musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” will be offered at the Colonial tent July 23- August 15.  This space has the distinction of being the location where last year “Godspell” became the first live musical offered nationally after the pandemic shutdown.   

The final show is “Nina Simone: Four Women.”  The play focuses on the famed African-American jazz singer’s transition from performer to activist.  It will be offered outdoors behind the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.  It runs  August 13-September 5.     

Barrington Stage Company has revealed that its season will be split between their indoor main stage and under tents on the property.

The season starts on June 10 with “Who Could Ask For Anything More,” a concert devoted to the music of George Gershwin.   It will be offered in a tent on the Barrington Stage property.    

July 9-24 a play with a to-be-announced title will be offered in the same space.   Also playing in the tent is “Boca,” a comedy about seniors living in Florida.  It runs July 30-August 22.

Barrington Stage’s indoor theater season begins on June 18, with a new play “Chester Bailey.”  It teams the popular Tony Award-winning actor Reed Birney with his son Ephraim.  It’s a World War II drama concerning a doctor and his patient.  It continues through July 3.  

July 16-August 1, presents the premier of “Eleanor” about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt.   

The indoor season finishes August 12 to 29 with “Sister Story,” a work about an actual person who had a hot line for people to anonymously confess their crimes.  This story is about one of the truly bizarre confessions left on the tape.  

BSC will also offer several special events – in including the week long “Celebrating Black Voices” in midtown Pittsfield, August 3-8.  

Williamstown Theater Festival is also producing outside this summer.  The first of the three events is “Nine Solo Plays by Black Artists.”  It will be offered on the front lawn of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance in Williamstown.  It consists of nine 30-minute pieces by Black playwrights written for actors of color.  They will be offered in three units, each featuring three plays.  It runs July 6-25  

The second piece, “Row,” is a world premiere musical describing the exploits of the first woman who attempted to row the Atlantic Ocean.  It was originally scheduled for 2020 and is part of the company’s audio book series.  It plays July 13- August 8. It is offered outside the Clark Museum in Williamstown.  

The third work is an immersive theater piece which will take place at various sites throughout the town.  It features and was devised by The Forest Arden theater company and will be performed July 20-August 8.

Shakespeare & Company just built an outside 500-seat amphitheater on its Lenox, MA property.  But to-date, the only title announced is “King Lear,” which stars Christopher Lloyd.  It opens July 2.

However, if you can’t wait for the excitement of live theater  – in only a couple of weeks, the local theater company, Playhouse Stage, will be producing a musical indoors at the Cohoes Music Hall.  “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will run Fridays through Sundays, April 30-May 9.  Seating is limited to 50 people a performance. 

The four person cast details the joys and problems of courtship and marriage.  The first act is a light-hearted look at dating; the second examines the equally funny realization that courting and marriage require two separate  skill sets.

It’s not only wonderful news for theater-goers.  It means that if theater can be produced safely you can be sure all the art forms will be represented in some manner this summer.

Bob Goepfert is theater reviewer for the Troy Record.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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