Part of the exhibition Land Art Generator Initiative at Annenberg Beach House. “The Clear Orb,” Jaesik Lim, Ahyoung Lee, Jaeyeol Kim, Taegu Lim and "The Pipe," Khalili Engineers

On the off-chance you haven’t had enough of election year politics, tonight (Thursday, 9/29) Mike Daisey presents “The Trump Card,” his one-man take on what makes Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump tick. There’s one performance only at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica at 7:30 p.m. this evening.

Daisey, a master monologist and storyteller, tells Trump’s story from his earliest days, tracking him as he makes himself into a new American archetype—the very first rich man famous exclusively for being rich. Instead of dismissing Trump as a simple con artist and huckster, Daisey breaks down what makes Trump tick—and in doing so illuminates the state of our American Dream and how we’ve sold it out.

Tickets are available online at www.thebroadstage.com or call 310-434-3200.

TRYING THE N-WORD

With the continuing spate of stories about police killings of African-Americans, The Broad has just added a timely topic, “Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word,” on Monday, Oct. 17.

It’s described as a one-of-a-kind interactive event that mixes dramatizations of litigation, jury deliberation and audience participation on the use of the “N-Word.”

Tiffany Johnson, a 9-year-old girl learns the “N-Word” during a Black History Month lesson. The school’s choice to include the word in its elementary curriculum disturbs her parents, who had taken precautions to shield her from this epithet.

The parents file a lawsuit against the school, seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. They argue that their daughter was too young and too tender and that the subject matter should be left to parents to administer. In their defense, the school argues that the lesson was age appropriate, and that the academic setting is most conducive for dissecting the intricacies of racial discourse.

During “Trial by Jury,” a short film depicts the trial and subsequent jury deliberation. The audience then has a chance to engage in a live open forum to express their opinions.  The program ends with an audience vote.

For tickets visit http://www.thebroadstage.com or call (310) 434-3200.

PHOEBE ZEITGEIST AT CITY GARAGE 

City Garage at Bergamot Station, renowned for its experimental works and, of course, nudity on stage, is back with “Phoebe Zeitgeist Returns to Earth,” a fresh take on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s absurdist play, “Blood on the Cat’s Neck.”

In 1974 Fassbinder imagined a beautiful space alien vampire on a mission to create a first-hand report on mankind. She landed in Nuremburg. Things didn’t go well.

Now, in 2016, a new research team has decided to try again, this time with an artificial intelligence in the same shapely guise. Like the Phoebe of the 1970s, she can learn the words people say but not what they mean. Unfortunately, this time she lands in the United States. In an election year.

This world premiere is a black-comic look at contemporary society and the wild irrationality of how we see ourselves. Ready for our interplanetary close-up? They report, you decide.

“Phoebe Zeitgeist Returns to Earth,” written by Charles Duncombe and directed by Frederique Michel, arrives onstage Saturday, Sep. 30. And ticket prices are NOT out of this world – details here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2600549

ENERGY GENERATING ART

Imagine large-scale outdoor art works that could turn seawater into drinking water and generate electrical energy from wind, waves and solar panels.

That’s just what the biennial “Land Art Generator Initiative” (LAGI) 2016 competition does, inviting collaborative teams of designers, engineers and artists to imagine design concepts that could theoretically be placed at the Santa Monica Pier breakwater. (There are no actual plans to build or install these works, the goal is to spark creative thinking and conversation.)

And you can be part of that conversation. The designs will be seen on the walls of The Annenberg Community Beach House gallery, and along with an opening reception on Tuesday, October 4, at 6 p.m. there’s a live discussion about the intersection of green technology, design and public art.

Speakers include West Hollywood Public Art Coordinator Rebecca Ehemann, Dean Kubani, Santa Monica’s Chief Sustainability Officer and architects Robert Ferry, Barry Lehrman and Elizabeth Monoian.

The great energy transition is already having an effect on our visual environment and landscapes—think wind turbines outside of Palm Springs and home solar arrays—and this is only going to increase over the coming decades as California works to achieve the mandates of the 2030 Climate Strategy. What sort of collaborations can spark true innovation in regenerative design? Find out more here: http://www.landartgenerator.org/competition2016.html

The exhibition will be on view through November 1 at The Annenberg Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway (why not take the newly reopened California Incline?). More details at annenbergbeachhouse.com.

 

Sarah A. Spitz spent her career as a producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica and produced freelance arts reports for NPR. She has also written features and reviews for various print and online publications. Contact her at culturewatch@www.smdp.com