Another week in July with plenty to do, outside and in.
Today July 20:"Why Theater Today?" is the provocative title of a talk to be delivered at 12:10 p.m. by Eric Ting as the final program in the Summer 2010 "CFA Days" series. Ting, Associate Artistic Director at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, has directed several of the LWT's most successful productions including "Underneath the Lintel", "The Old Man and the Sea" and "Sylvia." He's also directed works at Hartford Stage, in Boston and and on the West Coast. Recently named as one of American Theater Magazine's "25 to Watch" (along with HartBeat Ensemble's Steven Ginsburg and Hartford-area native Anika Noni Rose), Ting will discuss the future of live theater in the 21st Century. The talk takes place in CFA Hall and is free and open to the public.
The Summer Sounds Series continues this evening on Middletown's South Green with the music of the John Valerio Band. Valerio's ensemble plays music that spans the decades from Duke Ellington to the Rolling Stones to Willie Nelson. The free performance begins at 7 p.m. In case of rain, the show moves indoors to South Church, on the corner of Main & Pleasant Streets.
Wednesday July 21:
Scroll down the page a bit and you'll read about the 6th Annual Citizens Band 5K Summer Fun Run. If you would rather pack a picnic and hear some funky rock music, the "Music at the Mansion" Series (on the expansive back lawn of the Wadsworth Mansion on the Long Hill Estate) presents the Michael Cleary Band at 6:30 p.m. The MCB, led by vocalist/guitarist Cleary (pictured left, courtesy of Seeing Spots Photography), is a dynamic sextet also featuring Lee Sylvestre (guitar), Vince Delaria (keyboards), Jedd Chlebowski (bass), Edmund Peart (drums) and Frank Bauer (percussion). Cleary assembled the band nearly 20 years ago and they are one of the busiest and most popular ensembles in the state. Check out the MCB and its music at www.michaelclearyband.com.
The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for those wishing to enjoy an early supper and stake out a shady spot. To learn more, go to www.wadsworthmansion.com.
Thursday July 22:
The Luis Lopez Herb Garden Series continues with the New Haven-based Downshift Blues Band. The quintet plays a saucy blend of Chicago blues, Southern Rock and classic Soul Music. Composed of Steve Plaziak (guitar), Tom Knapp (saxophone, flute, harmonica), Dan Rausch (keyboards, vocals), Ed DuBose (bass, vocals) and Russell Tolson (drums), Downshift is fun to listen to. The event takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Herb Garden, located on the corner of Main & Green Streets, and is free. The rain date is July 29.
Don't forget about the numerous events at the Green Street Arts Center (go to www.greenstreetartscenter.org to see the list) and the Oddfellows Playhouse Summer Shakespeare production of "Twelfth Night" (read it about here) running Thursday through Saturday.
Friday July 23:
The duo of Eiko & Koma present "Raven" at 8 p.m. in the World Music Hall of Wesleyan University, Wyllys Avenue. The work, part of the duo's 3-year retrospective, is described on their website thusly: "The earth is precious in part because it can be unyielding. The landscape does not squander its riches on us; we have to negotiate our survival. Thinking this way, and remembering the pungent street smells from their childhood in post-war Japan, Eiko & Koma add this dimension by scorching the set. The odor of burnt material becomes an aspect of the work and reminds us that it is not only we humans who are hungry; the animals and spirits and the earth itself are hungry for nourishment and for intimacy." The front page of the website - eikoandkoma.org - features an excerpt from the work. For ticket information, go to www.wesleyan.edu/cfa or call the Box Office at 860-685-3355.