Arts and Entertainment

BGSU’s “Amazons” shows making art under the Nazis as darkly comic tragedy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Frau in “Amazons and Their Men” is explicitly said not to be Leni Riefenstahl, the great German filmmaker who put her prodigious talents to the service of the Nazis. She is Riefenstahl’s moral doppelganger who allows us to view the filmmaker’s crisis of conscience between art and reality from another angle, one that puts her in even harsher light that reveals her self-deception. Art can never isolate itself from its context; reality has a way of infecting artifice. Jordan Harrison’s “Amazons and Their Men” opens tonight (Thursday, Oct. 19) at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at Bowling Green State University, and continues with shows Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Next weekend shows are Oct. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 and 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children; all tickets the day of the performance are $20. Tickets can be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts or the Wolfe Center box office. As the play opens, we find The Frau (Sarah Drummer ) filming what she perceives as her masterpiece “Penthesilea” a version of Greek myth in which and  the Greek hero and her enemy Achilles fall in love. It is clear what draws her to this story, Penthesilea, queen is a strong, dominant woman, not unlike how she sees The Frau sees herself. Yet the passions within the story are at odds with her controlling nature. Passion for her is a tool to achieve her goal of a visually stunning work…

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Arts beat: VIVE! has right stuff in performance of orchestral masterpieces

Ed.  Note: This is the first is a series of commentary and observations on area arts events. This will supplement, not replace, the coverage BG Independent news already provides. By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Usually when Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” or Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” are performed, the size of the orchestra approaches 100. On Sunday (Oct. 8) VIVE! Ensemble conducted by Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia took on those early 20th Century masterworks with a dozen musicians on each. The performance in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery, was stellar. What the pieces might have missed in orchestral heft they gained in translucent textures with subtleties of voicing ringing out through the ensemble. Diaz, a student in Bowling Green State University’s Doctorate in Contemporary Music program as are a number of the other musicians in the ensemble, shaped these pieces with clarity and a sure sense of form. As the “Rite” roared to a finish, two sets of timpani and a bass drum provided enough boom to drive the piece home. But the three percussionists on the “Rite” never overwhelmed the rest of the ensemble. Instead it was the audience that was overwhelmed and moved by the performance. A few more observations: * Both pieces open with signature solos, and Kenneth Cox on flute on “Prelude” and Joshua Hart on bassoon on “Rite” did justice to their solos. The smaller ensemble meant that all the solo parts stood in greater relief. The ensemble benefits from having such strong musicianship throughout its ranks. * The picturesque “Prelude” seemed perfect for an art museum, almost like…


Ann Beck celebrates her paintings in first solo show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ann Beck often sees her art hanging from people’s ears. Her handcrafted earrings are a familiar fashion statement in Bowling Green, where she sells them at the Black Swamp Arts Festival and at the Christmas Boutique hosted by Grounds for Thought, and elsewhere. Less common is a chance for her to see her paintings hanging from walls. Beck and art lovers have that opportunity this month during an exhibit at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The paintings are clearly by the same hand as the earrings with their bright colors and bold shapes, styled figures set in vivid landscapes. Though the paintings were created in the past three years, they represent a life in art that’s taken Beck, 49, from her native Colorado, to New Mexico, New Zealand and Bowling Green. The nature and myths of those places are all infused in the paintings. “I was one of those kids who always draws constantly,” Beck said of her start. In high school she had an inspiring art teacher. “I have a lot of success, and got a lot of awards.” But when she went to Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, she hesitated about making art a career. She wanted to keep her art close to her and wasn’t willing to “work for anyone.” She’s still not sure what she was thinking. “I was just young and dumb,” she conceded. “I took a ton of art classes, and just dropped out.” She traveled always continuing to draw. “An artist doesn’t give up.” Then she planned to return to study art…


New WBGU-TV show captures sound, atmosphere of Howard’s Club H

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Dive is a moniker that Howard’s Club H wears proudly. While owners Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly have made a number of cosmetic improvements to the Bowling Green establishment, the essential gritty rock ‘n’ roll essence of the place remains. Joe Goodman, of WBGU-TV, recognized that spirit as soon as he came in. The graffiti, the concrete floors and the smell of well-aged beer, he said, “reminded me of all the places I loved in New York City that I was missing. … It’s where real rock is born. This is where people cut their teeth.” So the television producer started thinking about how he could share this place viewers. Working with bands and the owners, he brought in a crew to film. The result is “Live at Howard’s.” As the posters declare “the dive comes alive on WBGU-TV” on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 11 p.m., and in that time slot every week for the next nine. The shows will then be rebroadcast early Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 a.m. The show’s premiere will be celebrated with a party at the club where the first episode will be shown. Goodman said the aim is for “Live at Howard’s” to be “a little manic, energetic” in keeping with the vibe of the gritty club. The aim is to feature up-and-coming bands both local and regional with a mix true to the club’s usual lineups. The first show features Howard’s regulars Tree No Leaves. The band headlined a show last December, when the first taping was done. Technical difficulties marred some of the taping. When Feehan…


Contemporary concert music rocks at BGSU’s New Music Festival

From MIDAMERICAN CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC The 38th Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival will  showcase the work of more than 30 guest composers and performers October 18-21. The four-day international festival includes concerts, lectures and an art exhibition. This year’s featured guests include composers Steven Mackey and Sarah Kirkland Snider, guest ensemble Latitude 49, and a special performance by vocalist Shara Nova. Organized by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), the College of Musical Arts and the Fine Arts Center Galleries at BGSU, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages both the University and city communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Founded in 1980, the New Music Festival has hosted such notable composers as John Adams, Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Chen Yi, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Philip Glass, John Harbison, Lou Harrison, David Lang, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Christopher Rouse, Frederic Rzewski, Joseph Schwantner, Bright Sheng, Steven Stucky, Joan Tower, and more than 400 other guest composers and musicians. Most festival events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, visit festival.bgsu.edu or contact the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at 419-372-2685. Guest Bios: Deemed “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and- coming modern classical composers” (Pitchfork), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous”(The New York Times), “haunting” (The Los Angeles Times), and “strikingly beautiful” (Time Out New York). With an ear for both the structural and poetic, Snider’s music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. Snider’s works have…


BGSU arts events through Oct. 17

Oct. 5 – The International Film Series presents “The Mermaid” (2016, China, 94 minutes, directed by Xingchi Zhou [Stephen Chow]), with an introduction by Elizabeth Niehaus, doctoral student in American culture studies. Breaking box office records to become China’s highest-grossing film to date, “The Mermaid” sees hit director Chow (“Shaolin Soccer,” “Kung Fu Hustle”) bring his zany, comic style to a modern fairytale with an environmentalist message. After their peaceful existence is destroyed by pollution and underwater sonar, a group of merfolk send an alluring mermaid to kill the young businessman responsible. Their revenge scheme hits a snag when mermaid and tycoon fall in love. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 5 – The Visiting Writer Series features poet Christopher Kempf, author of “Late in the Empire of Men,” which won the 2015 Levis Prize from Four Way Books. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, The New Republic, PEN America and Ploughshares. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Oct. 5 – The BGSU Trumpet Guild will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series presents BGSU tuba/euphonium instructor David Saltzman. An active soloist and chamber musician, Saltzman was the winner of the 1996 Colonial Euphonium Tuba Quartet’s Tuba Solo Competition in Albany, New York. Since then, he has performed solo recitals at many regional and international festivals, and he…


Tickets Available for HYT’s “Magic Harmonica”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to present their third annual fall production for younger actors aged 6 – 12, The Magic Harmonica and Other Fanciful Tales. Directed by Keith Guion and featuring thirty children from many area schools, Magic Harmonica will be performed at Otsego High School (18505 Tontogany Creek Road) on Thursday, October 12 and Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online now at www.horizonyouththeatre.org/product/harmonica for just $5.00. The Magic Harmonica and Other Fanciful Tales by Janet Layberry is a collection of four enchanting plays sparkling with charm, wit, imagination, and a quirky sense of humor. In You Call That a Bedmonster?, Princess Julia discovers that Humphrey, the monster under her bed, is missing, and sends her guard out to find him. The Magic Harmonica brings a bit of excitement and adventure into an otherwise dull kingdom. But Hoo Is It For? takes us through an enchanted forest where nothing is what it appears to be, and the party which is rumored to be happening is hard to find. The Woobly Fiasco is a play within a play about a Stage Manager having trouble with her actors, who are supposed to be narrating a play about Wooblies, mysterious creatures who have become the caretakers of the animals with whom they share a crowded forest.   The cast members all play at least two roles within the four mini-plays and are as follows: Simon Baney, Lauren Carmen, Arianna Chung, Greta Chung, Emily Coan, Brianna Dunham, Reece Hall,    Emma Kate Holbrook, Bindi Hoskay, Emma Montion, Kathryn Mullins,…