Since I’ve just lived through the week from H-e-double-hockey-sticks, I didn’t have a chance to see or hear anything that I can report on personally. So today I’ll share a selection of upcoming or ongoing events that I think are worth noting.
Let’s start with City Garage’s remounting of their highly acclaimed 2007 production of Eugene Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano,” being billed by this adventurous and ambitious theatrical company as the “Christmas anti-play.” Ionesco, a Romanian who lived in France, wrote it in response to his experience learning English using a language technique featuring dialogue sentences that seemed untethered to any identifiable reality. It’s an early and classic example of theatre of the absurd that takes a linguistically wild swipe at middle class propriety.
This production of “The Bald Soprano” features a translation and adaptation by Frederique Michel, artistic director of City Garage and producing director Charles A. Duncombe, and runs in repertory with Charles L. Mee’s critically lauded “Orestes 3.0: Inferno” at the company’s new home at Bergamot Station Arts Center. There’ll be an informal conversation with the cast following the Dec. 2 matinee performance. For tickets and more information on the plays and the company visit http://www.citygarage.org.
Dinner to dye for
Learn how to dye fabrics naturally, while drinking and eating the same seasonal plants that provide the colors! Attend Your Local Hive’s “Dinner to Dye For” at Peter Fetterman Gallery, also located at Bergamot Station.
It’s a one-day-only, first-time-in-L.A. event, featuring textile artist and designer Sasha Duerr of San Francisco’s Permacouture Institute. There’s a hands-on workshop using flowers, herbs, berries, barks, nuts and more to create natural dyes in seasonal, foraged dye baths while sipping cocktails of botanical hues from the natural dye bar. A family-style dinner offers a menu of the same sumptuous plants that helped transform color onto cloth: crimson Russian red cabbage, grassy green avocados, violet musk artichokes, midnight black beans and an array of heirloom fruit ripe with color. Experience how taste corresponds to color while making your own creatively colored textile art, which will be displayed at the gallery during the dinner.
“Dinner to Dye For” takes place Sunday, Nov. 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Seating is quite limited, so reserve fast! For seats, call the gallery at (310) 453-6463 or visit http://www.permacouture.org.
Free this weekend as a companion event to his 18th Street Arts Center exhibition, “OPEN TUNING; E-D-G-B-D-G” is a performance piece by Eamon Ore-Giron accompanied by a musical performance from guitar trio Voluminous Sparks. Reminiscent of a ventriloquist act, Ore-Giron transforms the artist’s hand into the main character of a “play” exploring gestural movement, humor and sound to tell the story of a hardworking body part. Following the “play” Ore-Giron’s joins the members of Voluminous Sparks performing compositions written by the group, based on the open guitar tuning of “E-D-G-B-D-G.” It’s free on Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. More info at http://18thstreet.org.
“Searching for Sugar Man” is the documentary that all my friends are telling me not to miss. Rodriguez, a rocker playing in a Detroit bar in the late 1960s, is discovered by two renowned producers who are sure he’s the next big thing. But the album they produce bombs big. Rumors fly that Rodriguez committed suicide on stage, but after a bootleg recording made its way into apartheid South Africa, he became a phenomenon for two decades. Fans searching for his true story uncover an even more amazing tale of what really happened to Sugar Man.
I don’t know how much longer it will play at Laemmle’s Monica Four-Plex so go now! http://www.laemmle.com
I was the original producer of “Left, Right & Center,” KCRW’s popular political analysis show, and there’s nothing more fun (if you’re a political junkie) than watching this dynamic conversation unfold on a live stage. There are just a few tickets left at low prices ($29) to watch moderator/centrist Matt Miller, Robert Scheer on the left and special guest Matthew Continetti on the right as they take apart the results of our seemingly endless presidential election. They’ll be at The Broad Stage on Sunday, Nov. 11. Doors open at 5 p.m. with live taping at 6 p.m. http://www.kcrw.com/news/lrc-live-2012.
Can art be green? That’s the question posed by artist Cassandra Tondro, who launches the Green Art Movement on Sunday, Nov. 11 as she demonstrates in public, for the first time, her technique for making abstract paintings using colorful leftover house paint from recycling centers and the “mistint” shelves at home improvement stores. Artists have a way with materials, and Tondro’s mission is to demonstrate how creative re-use can be beautiful.
Live painting demo takes place 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Santa Monica’s YWCA, with a raffle benefiting YWCA that will reward a few lucky observers with the paintings made that day. Raffle tickets are available online here: http://www.tondro.com/event and at the event itself.
And due to popular demand, James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station has extended artist Martin Duvander’s LGBT-themed “Rainbow Crosswalks” exhibit through Sunday, Nov. 11. Born in Denmark, Duvander captures the street art vibe inspired by the city of West Hollywood’s crosswalks, painted in the colors of the LGBT rainbow flag, a project he championed. His mixed-media paintings are of movement luminaries and the equality movement. It’s the first LGBT-themed show that the Gray Gallery has hosted. Contact James Gray Gallery for details at (310) 315-9502.
Sarah A. Spitz is a former freelance arts producer for NPR and former staff producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica. She reviews theatre for LAOpeningNights.com.