It's amazing how the middle of the week can get cluttered with arts events in July. Once upon a time, a group representing the town's arts presenters would get together monthly and talk about their respective schedules. "Arts for All" (as the group was dubbed) morphed into the Middletown Arts Stakeholders Group and there's still plenty of give-and-take but, occasionally, 2 very good shows happen on the same night.
That happened on Wednesday July 2 when Elite Syncopation performed at The Wadsworth Mansion and the Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng Band played in the CFA Courtyard at approximately the same time.
This week, The Mansion Concert series features Village District-ers Rani Arbo, her husband Scott Kessel, Andrew Kinsey and Anand Nayak (collectively known as Daisy Mayhem) at 6:30 p.m. In a previous Middletown EYE post, you can read more about the show and watch a video. In the instance of bad weather (especially storms with lightning), the concert will be canceled.
The same evening at 8 p.m., the 2nd Annual Wesleyan Film Series begins its 4-Wednesday run in the Goldsmith Family Cinema on Washington Terrace. This year's offerings, collectively known as "Ingrid Bergman and her Hollywood Men", will not only feature great movies but also an introduction and a post-screening Q&A with members of the Wesleyan Film Studies Program. First up is "Notorious", the 1946 Alfred Hitchcock production that pairs Bergman with Cary Grant and also stars Claude Rains as the villain. The post WWII thriller is one of Hitchcock's best (and he made many great movies throughout his long career) and certainly worth seeing again on the big screen.
The series also features Bergman with Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca" (July 16), with Charles Boyer in "Gaslight" (July 23) and with Bing Crosby in "The Bells of St. Mary" (July 30.) All screenings are free and open to the public.
On Tuesday July 15 at 12:10 p.m. in Wesleyan's CFA Cinema, Kate Rushin will read her poetry and talk to the audience about her craft. A graduate of Brown University, Rushin has taught at Wesleyan and other schools around the state. Her collection, "The Black Back-ups" (Firebrand Books), was published in 1993 and is a wonderfully evocative series of scenes from the poet's life. She reads at a graceful pace, letting each word sink in the listener's mind. The pieces have sass and fire, soul and wit, beauty and honest emotions. This talk is free and open to all who enjoy word paintings. Best of all, there is no other event going on at the same time.