November 1, 2009

Small Box, a new opera set in a death row visiting room, will have its world premiere in Bloomington next month. The opera will be performed for one night only on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

With music by Herman Whitfield III and a libretto by Bruce L. Pearson, the one-act, hour-long opera takes a serious look at the death penalty without arguing either for or against.

"The opera," Pearson said in a phone interview, "offers a fairly typical cross-section of those who find their way to death row." With Small Box he hopes to "make people think by presenting a realistic view of prison life." The raw material, Pearson said, "is from getting to know the guys on the row."

November 7, 2007

For several years, I've wanted to attend the famed late-night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can't tell you why exactly, but there was always something appealing about dressing up like a nutcase and throwing toast at a movie screen, with die-hard fans shouting and singing along to every campy line.

Well, I finally popped my "Rocky" cherry. Granted, it wasn't a midnight showing, but I dressed up, I threw things, I yelled the appropriate lines during the movie -- and I had one hell of a time. Decadent doesn't even begin to describe it.

In case you don't know the story, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a two-hour long, 1975 camp-fest starring Tim Curry as the transvestite scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter who hosts a stranded couple in his mansion one rainy night.

October 12, 2007

If you want a holiday that's a perfect fit for the performing arts, you want Halloween. The costuming, the surprises, the begging for candy -- it all fits. So, if you're looking for something to scare you this October, or something to make you laugh, here are two plays and a film you might be interested in.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Victorian cautionary tale of a man caught between his better nature and his repressed inward desires is getting a new treatment in the Monroe County Civic Theatre's production, as director Russell McGee lays some modern elements on top of the classic tale. "I've had a fascination with Jekyll and Hyde for a long time," McGee says.

October 10, 2007

When Babita Upadhyay’s 3-year-old daughter returned from a birthday party and observed, “I was the only brown person there,” Upadhyay knew it was time to talk to her about diversity.

“Since then I’ve tried to educate her about many things regarding diversity, so when she goes out to the real world on a daily basis she is fully comfortable and confident in dealing with her surroundings,” she said.

When children embrace diversity, the world opens more doors for them, said Upadhyay. “The way to do this is by raising their awareness and by teaching them compassion.”

August 1, 2007

Camp counselors, beware: Jason is coming.

Seriously. Ari Lehman, who played the original Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, is coming to Bloomington. And he's psyched.

"It will be scary and brutal," he said.

But don't worry; he's just getting into character. As a special guest at the Dark Carnival Film Festival, he's going to "kill" the winner of the costume contest at the horror-themed dance party, just one of the events featured during the weekend of August 23-25.

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