'THE SLEEPER': At the Rep.
Guitarist Michael Carenbauer and cellist Stephen Feldman will join the Arkansas Chamber Singers as guest artists, and Holocaust survivor Nina Krupitsky will offer a pre-concert lecture before one of the two performances as the Little Rock group performs “Songs of Beauty Born of Grief” at two locations this weekend.
The first of the ACS’s concerts this season will be at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Mississippi Street Friday, Oct. 29, beginning at 8 p.m. The scene shifts to St. James United Methodist Church on Pleasant Valley Drive at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, and will include Krupitsky’s lecture at 6:30 p.m. David and Teri Itkin will narrate both performances.
Tickets for either performance are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Call 377-1121.
The “Songs of Beauty Born of Grief” concert is the first of the ACS’s “With Strings Attached” season. The program will feature selections of music that emerged from a time of chaos: the Civil War,
the Holocaust and religious and class strife in Ireland. The program will also feature the Arkansas premiere of war-inspired “The Procession Winding Around Me.”
“In this concert the audience will be stimulated not only by the beauty of the music but also by the way in which each composer deals with the texts and the use of the particular idiomatic writing for a type of stringed instrument,” said John Erwin, the ACS’s artistic director and conductor.
Rep opens ‘The Sleeper’
“The Sleeper,” the second winner of Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Kaufman & Hart Prize for New American Comedy, will have its world premiere at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and performances will run through Nov. 14.
The sexy, witty comedy with timely political undertones was written by Catherine Butterfield, whose script was chosen from more than 220 new plays submitted by playwrights in 33 states. Butterfield received a $10,000 prize.
The plot involves a suburban housewife waking up to post-9/11 reality and finding herself irresistibly drawn to her son’s tutor, who has opposing political leanings. A bizarre series of events shakes the housewife to her core while changing the lives of all around her.
Brad Mooy, the Rep’s artistic assistant, will direct a seven-member cast from New York and Los Angeles, with the lead played by New Yorker Amy Tribbey, who starred here in “Proof,” “Amadeus” and “Oleanna.” Christopher Cass, Clarinda Ross, Gino Anthony Pesi, Maggie Marshall, David Rhodes and Matt Walker round out the cast.
Performances times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Mooy will lead a sneak preview and pre-show discussion on Thursday, Oct. 28, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $28 and $20. Call 375-0405.
Comedienne Cho at Robinson
There’s no question whom nationally renowned feminist/comedienne Margaret Cho will vote for in the presidential election next week — that would be John Kerry, because “we have to change how things are” — but she would have liked to have seen more punch in the recent debates between her choice and George W. Bush.
“Yeah, I thought they were kind of really boring,” Cho said in a telephone interview. “I thought that they would fight more. They seem to be able to come together and be very civil, then talk behind each other’s backs. It’s pretty cowardly, but I guess that’s the nature of it.”
The Asian-American who grew up in California and got into comedy in her mid-teens isn’t one to hide her feelings, as she brings her much-talked-about show to Robinson Center Music Hall on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets are $34.50 and $23.50, available through Ticketmaster outlets, through charge-by-phone at 975-7575 or at the Celebrity Attractions office at Third and Spring streets.
Though she’s making a living with laughs, Cho can get serious about a lot of subjects. In fact, her most recent visit to Arkansas was to visit with Damien Echols of the West Memphis 3. She is publishing Echols’ memoir later this year. “I first learned of Damien through the film ‘Paradise Lost’ and then going back and being very moved by the case,” she said. “I was thinking other people would take care of it, or the film might free them, and then revisiting it a decade later and seeing nothing had changed and they were still in prison, I decided to get involved to see what was taking so long.”
Cho is also writing a book about this political year while seeing a film she wrote move into a production. She’ll also be touring in Europe and Australia with her comedy show.
“The show is definitely funny,” she assured. “Serious causes are a part of my life, but with what’s going on, you have to accept both the humor and the tragedy. That’s where our hope lies.”
Russian cellists jazz it up
The Russian-trained Rastrelli Cello Quartet will perform at the free “Trinity Presents …” Performance Series on Friday, Oct. 29, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Mississippi and Evergreen streets. The group is visiting nine U.S. cities in seven states as well as Canada this month. Three of the four members studied music at the famed St. Petersburg music conservatory, while two members also play with the renowned Wuetemberg Chamber Orchestra in Germany.
The Rastelli Quartet intentionally omits from their repertoire any pieces composed especially for cello quartet, choosing instead to concentrate on the widest range of classical, pop and jazz. Call 377-1161 for more information. Child-care will be provided at the church, but reservations are required; call 666-2813.