Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) wrote some of the most macabre stories in the history of literature and, this being both the year of his 200th birthday and the Halloween season, The Russell Library presents actor and poet Timothy Ross Whelan on Wednesday October 21 at 7 p.m. in the Hubbard Room. Whelan, a chiropractor by day, will read and perform “The Bells”, “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Cask of Amontillado” as well as give details about Poe's short but productive career and, ultimately, sad life. Whelan's performance is free and open to the public - bring the young ones as Whelan is quite entertaining. For more information, call 347-2528, extension
Also on Wednesday, The Buttonwood Tree presents its monthly Open Theatrical Improvisation Workshop at 7:30 p.m. The focus this time is on "comedy." For more information, email email@example.com and put "workshop" in the subject line.
Thursday October 22:
"Soul of a People: Writing America's Story" continues at 11 a.m. with "Oral Histories from the 1930's." The event, featuring readings and a discussion with Dale Griffith, takes place in Room 808 of Chapman Hall of Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road. For more information, call 343-5830.
The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies at Wesleyan, Washington Terrace, presents Sari Kawana at 4:30 p.m. Kawana, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages at University of Massachusetts/Boston, will deliver a talk titled " Little National Subjects and Wartime Reading Practice", a look at wartime reading practices in Japan from the late 1930s - 1945. The talk is free and open to the public - for more information, call 685-2330.
The Common Ground International Film Festival presents the First Nations/Native American film "Dance Me Outside" at 7 p.m. in the Center for Film Studies at Wesleyan, Washington Terrace. The 1995 movie, based on a book by British Columbian writer W. P. Kinsella ("Field of Dreams"), is set on a reservation where a pair of friends are trying to figure out how to get into school and away from their daily routine. Things change drastically when a young Indian woman brings her white husband to a dance on the reservation and someone is killed. The screening is free and open to the public. For more information, call 347-2528, extension 135.
The Buttonwood Tree presents an evening of poetry and music at 7 p.m. Hosted by Colin Haskins of Riverwood Poetry, the event features the poems and stories of Jack McCarthy and the solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar work of Ronnda Cadle. To find out more about McCarthy (and read some of his fine writings), go to www.standupoet.net. To hear a sample of Ms. Cadle's playing, go to www.ronndacadle.com.
Friday October 23:
Shawn Persinger is Prester John is the name of guitarist/vocalist Persinger's program and he brings his unique music to The Buttonwood Tree for a 7:30 p.m. program. There is a legend behind the name of Prester John which may or may not play into Persinger's program. His music blends numerous influences, from hard-rock to traditional American folkthe tunes, and he has issued several fine solo CDs. He has added David Miller (mandolin, vocals) to the mix and that has moved the music in new directions. To find out more, go to www.persingermusic.com.
Boney's Music Lounge, College Street, welcomes back NuDirexion, the Hartford-based blues/jazz/fusion trio, for an evening of adventurous jams and melodic excursions. They'll begin playing at 9 p.m.
Saturday October 24:
(If this next entry feels and looks like deja vu, well...it's because it was mistakenly put in last week.)
The Russell Library presents the duo (in the picture) of Emil Altschuler (violin) and Jerome Mouffe (guitar) at 2 p.m. in the Hubbard Room. Altschuler, a graduate of both the Juilliard School and the Yale School, has performed on concert stages around the world. The Belgian-born Mouffe is a splendid guitarist who has studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg and is now working with the legendary Eliot Fisk at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The duo's repertoire includes music by Albeniz, Beaser, Piazzola, Paganini, Bach and others. The music should be quite impressive and enjoyable plus the concert is free and open to the public.
At the same time, the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan presents the premiere of "Ranky Tanky", the new and long-awaited family CD by Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem. Rani (fiddle, vocal), her husband Scott (Drumship Enterprise, vocal), Anand (guitars, banjo, vocal) and Andrew (bass, ukulele, vocal) have created an album that combines their love of Americana music (blues, folk, New Orleans and more) with their desire to connect with people of all ages (and let everyone know that it's fun to sing and play.) For ticket information, call 685-3355. To find out more about this fine quartet, go to www.raniarbo.com.
To catch a preview of the concert and the new CD, listen to this week's edition of "Eye on the Air" Friday at 1 p.m. on WESU-88.1FM or online at www.wesufm.org. Rani will be in the studio ad give us all the stories behind the "Ranky Tanky" project.
The Buttonwood Tree presents the quartet known as B Flat Tin Hat at 7:30 p.m. Comprised of Ted Paulsen (guitar, vocal), Jose Miguel Pasini (saxophones), Chris Graves (bass, vocal) and Joe Harris (drums), the band blends its myriad influences into a musical stew that is quite appealing. To find out more, go to www.myspace.com/bflattinhat.
Drummer/percussionist Liviu Pop returns to Boney's Music Lounge for a 8:30 p.m. gig featuring guitarist/vocalist Chris McDermott. Call 346-6000 for more information.