30 September 2008


I guess watching dancers do their thing night after night has taken its toll on me: I’m attributing my latest back outage to artistic sympathy pains. In between wincing and whining, I’m self-medicating plus limping picturesquely around, looking for a place to do the stretches I’ve obviously neglected too much. In other words, the entries I was going to post are postponed until I can sit upright and think of something besides my lower back.

But I should be recovered enough by this Sunday afternoon (October 5) to make my first visit to the Castro Valley Center for the Arts, which replaced my high school’s cafeteria as my hometown’s center for the performing arts. We may not be getting Nixon, but his boss is at hand: we’re getting the world premiere of the Eisenhower Farewell Address for orchestra and orator by Jack Curtis Dubowsky. You can check him out on IMDB or on his own website.

Funny – in an sadly ironic, not a ha-ha, way – to think that back when I attended that high school, Eisenhower’s reputation was, shall we say, not high? And now his prescient warning about the military-industrial complex makes him look positively Lincolnesque compared to the spokeschimp for the plutocracy currently soiling the Oval Office.

Anyway, Dubowsky, whom I should point out I’ve never met, e-mailed me last summer and invited me to attend. He also sent a CD, which I have to admit I probably put off listening to longer than I should have because – well, years ago a co-worker of mine invited me to come see him in a play, and though the play itself wasn’t much, I remember my feeling of utter relief that he was a good actor. So, yeah, I also enjoyed the CD, which has kind of a contemporary jazzy sound, and I was thinking of how to describe it further when I saw that the composer had saved me the trouble: “Abstract, calm, spacious, free form, transcendental, contemporary, electronic acoustic mystical psychedelia from classical and film composer.” Some of those words (electronic and psychedelia, basically) would normally scare me off, but I enjoyed the disc and am looking forward to the performance.

The CV Center for the Arts is on 19501 Redwood Road, about a 20-minute walk from the Castro Valley BART station. You also get to hear the Jupiter Symphony. Check it out!


Civic Center said...

I'll be rehearsing the Coronation Scene in "Boris Godunov," or I'd definitely be joining you at your old high school. You might have to see this production, by the way. They have a chorus of about 100 and I'd forgotten how awesome the music is in this opera. Plus, it's the weird Moussorgsky original without any hero or heroine.

Hope you've got good drugs for your back. That, and slightly painful exercise, were the only things that saved me in the same situation.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Normally I'd be right on Godunov, but I'm concerned about Ramey -- should I be? I did talk to an expert in Slavic music who felt that Boris could be sung by someone not in his vocal prime. So I'm going back and forth about Idomeno and Godunov.