Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #47

October 25th, 2007  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report

Contents
ROACH BRINGS RICH HISTORY TO THE STAGE
AUGUST WILSON’S LEGACY PRESERVED
VIVA LA FRANCE
CELEBRATATON OF A LIFE
AFFLECK’S BABY IS FAR FROM GONE
REVIEW & INTERVIEW OF BROLIN FLICK
“FIRE” BREATHS RAW EMOTION
TCOF’s 2nd DINNER & A MOVIE
UP-COMING EVENTS


ROACH BRINGS RICH HISTORY TO THE STAGE
by Kay Bourne
left to right: Kortney Adams (Ona), Johnny Lee Davenport (Salif), Riddick Marie (Cadence) and Michael Kaye (Allen) in “A House With No Walls”

415 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47
Towards the end of ONA JUDGE‘s life, she was asked if she believed she made the best choice running from slavery. She had been fed and was fairly comfortable working in George Washington‘s Mount Vernon mansion house as a seamstress, (so talented that the U.S. President himself once described her as “a Perfect Mistress of her needle.”)

In New Hampshire, where she had fled, she lived her last years in abject poverty. When asked did she feel she’d made the best decision, she admitted her life was much more difficult than it would have been as a slave for Washington.

On the other hand, as a free person, she said, she had learned to read. She could come and go as she pleased. She could attend the religious services of the church of her choice. She had complete control over her time and how to spend it, taking up hobbies such as painting. “I have never regretted leaving Mount Vernon. I am free, and have, I trust, been made a child of God by the means.” (The research into Judge’s life in New Hampshire, by Evelyn Gerson, begun when she was a student in her home state’s university and completed as a cyber publication.)

The choice Ona Judge made and how she came to make it is one of the subjects of a new play directed by Lois Roach for New Repertory Theater, located in the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. “A HOUSE WITH NO WALLS” by Thomas Gibbons features Kortney Adams as Ona Judge.

“A House With No Walls” also explores a contemporary option that has created a heated debate between two archeologists: Should the section of Washington’s presidential residence in Philadelphia they’ve uncovered that housed his slaves be referred to as the “slave quarters” or the “servants’ house,” a phrase which whitewashes the facts. Gibbons got the idea for the play when he heard this argument going on; the dig is located on the property just outside his office window.

The drama, which is a National New Play Network rollout, runs through NOVEMBER 18.

It’s a play still very much in development. And Roach plays a significant role in polishing the text as the actors work on their parts and she sees ways the story can be told more smoothly. “I started with Draft 5 and I’m on Draft 7 now;” she said, “and, for instance, the vision I had of some of the characters in Draft 5 has shifted.” Roach says she is often on the phone with the playwright as they work together on the script. “He is accessible and open. Very receptive,” she characterizes.

National New Play Network is a not-for-profit consortium of 17 or so theaters from various places in the country, including New Rep. The group’s mission basically is to give a playwright a number of stagings of his work so he or she can fine tune it. Gibbons’ “Permanent Collection” produced by New Rep when it was located in Newton, was NNPN’s pilot script. New Orleans playwright John Bigeunet’s “Rising Water” commissioned by NNPN in 2006, has been nominated for a 2008 Pulitzer Prize.

Roach is taken by “A House With No Walls’” interest in choices. “I hope the production will give a contemporary audience a feel for the choices that were made and the arguments within. Who do you want to be as a person? “Where do you draw the line? Choices are not always welcomed and the choices one person makes are not always received well by another person,” she said.

New Repertory Theater’s website


AUGUST WILSON’S LEGACY PRESERVED
by Caldwell Titcomb
413 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 Although playwright AUGUST WILSON wrote a half dozen plays in the 1970′s, his crowning achievement was a cycle of ten plays depicting the Black experience, decade by decade, through the twentieth century. The project occupied him from the early 1980′s, and he finished the last play just before succumbing to liver cancer at the age of 60, in 2005.

The ten plays are usually referred to as “the Pittsburgh cycle,” since nine of them are set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, where Wilson was born and grew up. One of them, however, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” takes place in Chicago. Consequently, a new designation has been proposed: The August Wilson Century Cycle. It is under this title that the Theatre Communications Group has just published the whole group as a handsome boxed set of ten separate hardcover plays, each with a fresh foreword by a writer or actor.

There is an overall, 19-page series introduction by John Lahr, senior theatre critic for The New Yorker magazine, who spent a good deal of time interviewing Wilson over the years. Lahr has done a fine job of explaining how Wilson portrayed the pulse of Black folk “as they moved, over the decades, from property to personhood.” He provides considerable information about Wilson’s life and method of writing (usually standing up at a high desk) on legal pads.

It was Wilson’s custom to submit the plays to regional venues, which afforded him the opportunity for revisions, before they eventually arrived in New York. Four of the plays began as staged readings at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut; six of them received their first full commercial staging at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. One of them, “Jitney,” played in ten cities before reaching New York. These new volumes print the casts and production data for the way stations and Broadway (though the Boston production of “Two Trains Running” somehow got overlooked).

I present the plays here in order of the years portrayed, not in the order Wilson wrote them:

“Gem of the Ocean” (1904). Foreword (4 pp.) by actress Phylicia Rashad, who won a Tony nomination for her performance in this play. She calls the work “a hymn in praise of freedom and moral redemption, an ode to community, a song of love, a wellspring of wisdom, and a summons to critical thought and action.”

“Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” (1911). Foreword (2 pp.) by playwright Romulus Linney, who calls it “a searing stage experience” and a representation of “life at its most beautiful.” Many agree with Linney, and Wilson himself, that this is the best play in the cycle.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (1927). Foreword (7 pp.) by Frank Rich, former chief drama critic of the New York Times, who writes: “For all the play’s digressional interludes and seeming plotlessness, its conflicts steadily build to a hugely theatrical climax.”

“The Piano Lesson” (1936), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Foreword (7 pp.) by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who says that Wilson “teases from African American vernacular its most salient elements: loaded metaphor, nuance, clever use of the unsayable and the resonant spaces in conversational exchange.”

“Seven Guitars” (1948). Foreword (16 pp.) by Pultizer-winning playwright Tony Kushner, who calls this a ” vast, troubled, complicated drama.” In his extraordinary discussion, Kushner draws Biblical echoes and inferences about time, and fascinatingly surmises why the word “seven” is in the title when there are only two guitars on stage during the play.

“Fences” (1957), winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. Foreword (7 pp.) by Columbia University professor Samuel G. Freedman, who knew Wilson and clarifies the autobiographical nature of the conflict between the play’s protagonist and his son. This is Wilson’s most popular work.

“Two Trains Running” (1969). Foreword (3 pp.) by Laurence Fishburne, who won a Tony Award for his performance in this play. He states that Wilson “unfolds his tale with great humor without stumbling into the frivolous….and confronts, head on, the quintessential issues of respect, identity, self-determination and freedom.”

“Jitney” (1977). Foreword (10 pp.) by writer and musician Ishmael Reed, who goes after a number of those who misunderstand Wilson’s work, especially critic Robert Brustein, who has never been an admirer of Wilson’s oeuvre. Reed states that “Wilson has to rank with Langston Hughes and Ernest Gaines as a writer – his ear was so good that his characters’ words could be set to music.”

“King Hedley II” (1985). Foreword (5 pp.) by the late Marion McClinton, who directed three of Wilson’s plays, including this one, and asserted that “Wilson shook the American theater until it finally began to part its eyes and see all of its invisible men and women….All of human history is in this play.”

“Radio Golf” (1997). Foreword (5 pp.) by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks , who interviewed Wilson shortly before his death. He told her that he “had to in some way deal with the Black middle class, which for the most part is not in the other nine plays.” She replies, “You are wild in ways that people aren’t even hip to….Within the lines of this play, you’ve made a place for the unconventional, the bit that does not traditionally fit, the outsider, the digression, the seemingly extraneous.”

The Theatre Communications Group is to be congratulated for making readily available one of the most colossal feats in American drama. For those who don’t want the entire Century Cycle, the plays can also be acquired individually.

Wilson’s box set information


VIVA LA FRANCE
by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne, 1806. Oil on canvas. Musée de l’Armée, Paris. Courtesy of the American Federation of the Arts.)
photo credit: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

414 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 French emperor Napoleon resuscitated the arts in a big, if sometimes self-aggrandizing, way, as the enthralling exhibit which opened this week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston attests. With its state portraits, silk gowns, an ornate, outsized gravy boat-like nef meant to hold Josephine’s eating utensils under lock and key between meals, the gilt throne, and Sevres porcelain commemorating the flowers that grew in the palace gardens, “Symbols of Power; Napoleon and the Art of the Empire Style, 1800-1815″ provides a feast for the eyes but also a lesson in propaganda, however elegantly expressed.

The exhibit organized by the American Federation of the Arts, New York and Les Arts Decoratifs, Paris is making a three-city tour, which began in St. Louis and culminates in Paris. The more than 200 works of art, some of them from the MFA’s own holdings, such as the botanical plates, the Service des plantes de la Malmaison, will be on view in the Gund Gallery through JANUARY. 27, 2008. (Two of the flowers painted on the dessert plates are imports to Josephine’s garden from South Africa which, during this period, sent boat loads of gladioli and other blossoms regularly to Europe.)

There are many other gorgeous examples of porcelain made at Sevres Manufactory in Paris, whose business had survived the French Revolution but thrived under Napoleon (and importantly for France’s economy, gave Asian import porcelain competition). One eye-catcher is a breakfast set for six, in the hard paste porcelain, decorated with colored enamels and gilding – egg cups, coffee cups, coffee pot, creamer, and sugar bowl – which belonged to the Empress Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s second wife.

Napoleon himself was a huge supporter of exhibits in a public museum believing they boosted civic pride and bespoke national heritage. (And to that end, he looted those places occupied by his forces of their artistic treasures to fill the newly established Louvre in Paris (1795), as well as founded what are now some of Europe’s most important museums in territories he took over.)

Napoleon greets visitors as they enter the gallery by way of a full length portrait of the Emperor in his coronation robes painted in 1812 by Robert Lefevre.

The impressive studio oil on canvas (now in the MFA’s permanent collection) pleased Napoleon more than another portrait placed further into the gallery. That work is by Ingres, who did his portrait of Napoleon at the actual time of the coronation, 1804. While frankly the better painter, Ingres to this eye does make Napoleon look on the pudgy side, although, of course, the emperor likely had more high brow reasons for disliking the work.

Both studies are replete with the symbols that appear again and again in art commissioned by Napoleon. In point of case, is the lion (his primary symbol) on the arm of the throne. Another repeated symbol are the gold bees woven into the ermine lined purple robes, a direct reference to the artfully made little winged creatures found in Frankish tombs of the 5th century, which the Corsican-born Napoleon used to imprint on people’s minds, that as far as he was concerned, he ruled in a lineage going back to the earliest French monarchy. Napoleon also favored putting a big letter ‘N’ surrounded by a laurel wreath on just about everything.

Exhibit details


CELEBRATATON OF A LIFE
by Kay Bourne
(Pictured: Calvin Burnett’s “JUGGLER” – 1948, one color line etching, of the Harmon & Harriet Kelley Collection)

416 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 CALVIN BURNETT, a founder of the Boston Negro Artists Association, later renamed the Boston Black Artists Association, died October 8 in the Medway Country Manor nursing home of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86. Poor eyesight in childhood that worsened bit by bit as the years went by eventually left the artist blind but he continued to participate in events that brought him together with other important artists from the Boston area he had united with on behalf of breaking down the barriers faced by people of color in galleries and museums, notably Richard Yarde, John Wilson, Marcus J. Mitchell, and Allan Rohan Crite, who died only a month before Mr. Burnett.

Artist, illustrator, and art educator, Burnett taught for 33 years beginning in the early 50′s at the Massachusetts College of Art where he himself had graduated in 1942. He received his master of fine arts from Boston University in 1960. He also taught at the DeCordeva Museum. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. from shows at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Roxbury to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He was one of the artists represented in the ground-breaking exhibit curated by E. Barry Gaither in 1988 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, entitled: “300 Years of Black Artists in the Commonwealth.” He is regarded by art historians as belonging to the group of artists who emerged in this area after the Great Depression and who are referred to collectively as the ‘New Voices in Art’ in 1940′s Boston, although many of the artists in this group, Burnett included, rose to prominence as the 50′s and 60′s progressed.

Born in Cambridge, Burnett was one of four children and grew up during the 30′s when the economy of the country was at a low. His father’s work as a physician barely kept them afloat and Burnett remembered how some patients were so poor they paid his father in chickens or beans. Mr. Burnett told a Smithsonian interviewer who taped the artist’s memories and thoughts for an oral history for the national museum’s archives that, “that may be one of the reasons that none of the boys – there were three of us – wanted to follow in his footsteps.”

Mr. Burnett’s bad eyesight kept him out of the military in World War II and he worked instead in a shipyard. A few years after the war ended, he met Torrey Milligan who had attended Massachusetts College of Art where Mr. Burnett returned following the war to study art education. After knowing each other for about a decade, they married in 1960. In addition to his wife, he leaves their daughter, Tobey, of Leven, a village in East Yorkshire, England.

Adept, confident, and inventive with oils, pastels, wood cuts, collage, and photographic elements, Calvin Burnett took pride in his eclecticism. He produced stunning works. His efforts on behalf of the generations of artists of Color that followed have paid dividends, but the worth of his own work has yet to be rung up.


AFFLECK’S BABY IS FAR FROM GONE
by Josiah Crowley © 2007
417 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 “GONE BABY GONE” asks viewers: “Who is responsible for child abuse?” A child goes missing. Did someone kidnap her? Where was her coke-snorting barfly mother at the time? GONE BABY GONE, the taut, smart directing-debut of Ben Affleck, opens with this premise and goes onto explore the inner lives of both the “lowlifes” and the seemingly “respectable” citizens of Boston. Both segments of society presented in this film have plenty of secrets. And just as many questionable motivations behind their actions.

Recently, writer Dennis (MYSTIC RIVER) Lehane said that when he sat down to write GONE,BABY GONE he wanted to explore the question “What motivates an adult to abuse a child?” Using the crime genre to explore this question, Lehane created a tense book. Lehane used his background as a counselor of abused children to create a thought-provoking exploration of that question while entertaining the reader to no end.

Ben Affleck surpasses all expectations here in his directing debut. The Boston native who shared an Oscar with Matt Damon for co-writing GOOD WILL HUNTING, Affleck returns to the Boston area and displays an insider’s knowledge of this city. And Boston has never looked grittier, less attractive – which is perfect for this story of crime among the city’s poor and drug-addicted population. Affleck displays wonderful touches throughout: for one example, the extras on the streets and in the bars of Southie (many of whom are Southie residents he simply caught on camera) add so much to the atmosphere. Their worn faces tell stories of hard lives and tough histories.

I don’t want to give away too much of this mystery’s plot. Just know this is a smart, accomplished film with plenty of twists and turns that you will never see coming. The acting is aces. Supporting actress Amy Ryan, as the unlikeable, drug-addicted, racist mother, should start writing her Oscar speech now. Casey Affleck, the director’s brother, gives a solid, star-making performance. And how can you go wrong with actors like Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan?

Are you in the mood for a solid crime drama? This is it. If you’re up for it, you may also contemplate Lehane’s question:”What motivates an adult to abuse a child?” In essence, this is a morality tale about mostly immoral people. Great on a pure entertainment level. Equally good in getting the viewer to ponder Lehane’s question long after the film’s surprise ending.

Gone Baby Gone website


REVIEW & INTERVIEW OF BROLIN FLICK
by Josiah Crowley © 2007
418 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 The Coen Brothers‘ latest film is a classic, hands down. Based on Cormac McCarthy‘s tale of a working man, Josh Brolin in 1980 Texas who stumbles across a satchel of drug money ($2 million) and how that changes his life. Sure, he hopes that the money will give him a new start. What he doesn’t expect is a homicidal drug dealer .

As the dealer, Javier Badem nearly steals the film with a creepy yet hilariously intense performance as a killer who makes Christian Bale‘s character in AMERICAN PSYCHO look tame. This guy – this psychotic, insane, and all too resourceful man – LOVES his work. Indeed, from the number of dead bodies in this film, you might say he’s a workaholic.

Typical of the Coen Brothers‘ work, NO COUNTRY … is, in turns, frightening and scary. The fact that this film has no soundtrack – no music, just “real life”, every day sounds – takes the audience to another level without them even being aware of it.

The level of tension rises along with the body count. One doesn’t want to look away, but is almost afraid to anticipate what the next scene will bring.

With solid work by Tommy Lee Jones and a funny, brief appearance by Woody Harrelson , this movie will leave you scared and thoroughly entertained. Don’t watch it alone.

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSH BROLIN:
by © Josiah Crowley 2007
Recently in Boston to promote this film, journeyman actor talked about how he learned to act long after making his first film, his greatest source of income (surprisingly, it’s not from his relatively meager film salaries) and the atmosphere on a Coen Brothers film set.

An actor who has more than paid his dues (everything from guest spots on 21 JUMP STREET to his own TV series, MISTER STERLING, opposite Audra MacDonald), BROLIN could have slid by on his good looks and charm, not to mention his family connections – his father is James (HOTEL) Brolin, his stepmother is Barbra Streisand and he’s married to Oscar nominee Diane (THE PERFECT STORM, UNFAITHFUL) Lane. Instead, he’s acted in plays like PICNIC (on TV) and directed short films, as well.

Long after debuting, at 16, in Steven Speilberg‘s THE GOONIES, Brolin said he learned “whatever I know about acting” from the five seasons he spent acting and directing plays at the GeVa Theatre in Rochester, New York.

This year alone, Brolin has appeared in GRINDHOUSE, the amazing low-budget THE DEAD GIRL, IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH. Opening this weekend is NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN to be followed next month by AMERICAN GANGSTER, the much-anticipated Denzel Washington-Russell Crowe crime drama.

The Coen Brothers, Brolin maintains, have “no egos” and “there’s not a lot of petting going on with actors” on their sets. “Usually, a director senses an actor’s insecurities and either bashes them or puts them on a pedestal” – both behaviors often a mistake, Brolin thinks. But they are straight shooters who “finish each other’s sentences” and create a “fun set”. He admires how the brothers use setting, ambiance and sound design to “become almost characters in their films”.

Surprisingly, Brolin‘s main source of income is not as an actor. “I don’t get paid much for my acting.” He is a day trader who owns his own company (Marketprobablilty.com) which “I work on every day – no matter what set I’m on; I simply open my laptop and get to work.”

If you’re in the mood to see an actor who has been around the block finally land a plum role in a great film, catch NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

No Country for Old Men website


“FIRE” BREATHS RAW EMOTION
by Lisa Simmons
421 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 Halle Berry (Audrey} and Benicio Del Toro (Jerry) are beautiful to look at in the new emotional drama, “Things We Lost In The Fire.” Set in a beautiful house with beautiful children, we come across a family who is grieving the loss of a husband and a father from a violent, unnecessary crime. Audrey fights to keep herself together as she tries to find some peace by taking in her husband’s (David Duchuvnoy) best friend (Del Toro), a lawyer turned heroin addict.

The film moves slowly around the painful sudden loss, using close ups and swift cutaways that work to get the most out of the characters emotions. Del Toro is wonderful to watch, as he struggles day to day not only with his addiction but with the guilt of living.

Overly dramatized at times, the film is a character piece without all the American over-the-top action sequences that are designed for the 17 to 21 audience. ( the audience by the way who actually has the time to see a movie on the first friday night it opens). THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, is not for them.

We expect certain things to happen between these two characters and Biers (director) never takes it there. It is really a film about loss, suffering and working together to get through the painful process of grieving. They balance their emotions trying hard not to push each other away because at this particular moment, each other is all they have to get through the loss.

By the end of the movie, you get the sense that they will both be ok and that there has been forgiveness, awareness and understanding which allows both of them to move on and begin to heal.

Things We Lost In The Fire website


TCOF’s 2nd DINNER & A MOVIE
420 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 The Color of Film invites you to its 2nd DINNER & A MOVIE, on Friday, NOVEMBER 2, at The Haley House Bakery & Cafe for the Walden Media film, AMAZING GRACE . Chef Didi Emmons will prepare a healthy, hearty meal consisting of Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash Pot Pie or Autumn Vegetable Pot Pie, as the vegetarian option; Tossed salad with cranberry vinigrette, corn bread, and your choice of sweet potato or apple pie, with whipped cream.

Doors open at 5:30pm, dinner to be served between 6 – 6:45pm and the movie will start promptly at 7pm, followed by a 15-minute discussion at 9pm led by Nina LaNegra of the Roxbury Media Institute.

AMAZING GRACE (Rated PG) is based on the life of British anti-slavery pioneer, William Wilberforce – played by Ioan Gruffudd, and follows his 18th century political career in Parliament, which placed him at odds with some of the most powerful men of his time, including the king. Albert Finney plays John Newton, author of the Amazing Grace hymn, a Wilberforce confidant. Also starring, Michael Gambon, and Senegalese recording artist, one of Time Magazine’s most influential 100 People, Youssou N’Dour. Directed by MICHAEL APTED (The Chronicles of Narnia; Gorillas in the Mist; Coal Miner’s Daughter).

Tickets are $25 and are limited to the first 40 who purchase on-line at the link listed below. The next DINNER & A MOVIE will be Friday, FEBRUARY 15, 2008. DINNER & A MOVIE ticket info


UP-COMING EVENTS
419 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #47 Urban Leage of Eastern Massachusetts presents PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME, a six week reading series with storytellers, designed for familes with children 6 and older, to foster a lifelong love of learning through reading. Storytelles include: Valerie Stephens, Bonnie Greenberg, Daryl Mark, Amy Patte and Guy Peartree. PRIME TIME will be every Saturday, 10am – noon, beginning OCTOBER 27 at Fields Corner, Mattapan and Codman Square libraries. For more information, call Pattie Knight at 617-442-4519 x 239.

The Comedy Connection in Faneuil Hall, Boston features Eddie Griffin on OCTOBER 26 & 27 at 8 and 10:15pm. For ticket information call 617-248-9700.

SOUL REVIVAL presents FELA LIVES this Saturday, OCTOBER 27 at Soul Central, 288 Green Street, 2nd floor, Central Sq. in Cambridge, with an annual multi-media dance/party tribute to Nigerian-born FELA KUTI, (1938-1997) the world- famous musical activist / genius and creator of the AFROBEAT genre of music, which blends traditional Yoruba/Nigerian music with jazz, funk, soul and African Hi-Life. Doors open 9pm – 2am.

EXTENDED UNTIL OCTOBER 28 TRINITY REP‘s season started SEPTEMBER 14 with a restaging of the bold political drama ALL THE KING’S MEN by Adrian Hall, adapted from the Robert Penn Warren novel, and directed by Brian McEleney and runs until OCTOBER 28. For tickets or more information contact the Trinity Rep box office, by phone at (401) 351-4242.

Providence Rhode Island’s Black Rep presents Jamaican playwright TREVOR RHONE‘s TWO CAN PLAY, a hilarious and revealing look at the perils of love, marriage, and the American dream, Jamaican style! directed by New York City based director MICHAEL ROGERS and featuring the talents of Black Rep Affiliate Artist RAIDGE and Boston-based Jamaican actress MARCIA FEARON. The show runs through NOVEMBER 11 at The Providence Black Repertory Company, 276 Westminster Street, Providence. Tickets are $18, and $10 for senior citizens and students, with Sunday’s 3pm matinee as Pay What You Can. For more information, call THE BLACK REP’s box office at 401-351-0353 or visit the Black Rep website.

COMPANY ONE presents Toni Morrison’s THE BLUEST EYE a play adapted by Lydia R. Diamond, OCTOBER 26 – NOVEMBER 13, at Boston Center for the Arts Click here for more information.

Rhythm at the Regent featuring Barbara Duffy and Company’s “Stages” Saturday, OCTOBER 27 at 8pm, The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington Center, call 781-646-4849 for information. Comprising New York City’s fleetest female feet, Barbara Duffy and Company showcases the power, sensitivity, and grace of tap with emotionally driven choreography that celebrates life through the universal power of rhythm.

It will be a Night of Celebrations at the 8th Annual High Hopes Gala to Benefit Joslin Diabetes Center, Saturday, NOVEMBER 3 at The Westin Copley Place, Boston, to honor Joslin doctors Martin Abrahamson and George King, as well as revel in its new relationship with Boston Red Sox Fan Favorite Kevin Youkilis. Tickets now available ($400 each); please call 617-732-2513.

Museum of African American History presents a “MILLENIUM CONVERSATION with Michael Eric Dyson” and a panel of Black elected officials on NOVEMBER 8, at 7pm discussing: ELECTING A BLACK PRESIDENT. Location to be determined, Admission is free, but rsvp’s are required by calling 617-725-0022 x25.

On NOVEMBER 8, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts invites Massachusetts artists of all disciplines to the Massachusetts State House for the first annual Artists Under the Dome Event! Click here for more information. Also, NOVEMBER 10 will be a FREE Artists & Entrepreneurship Conference” at the Boston Public Library. Click here for more information.

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