Art Attack is the source for a variety of arts news in Halifax: Nova Scotian visual arts, theatre, dance, comedy, literature and more. Contact email@example.com to send a tip.
For some Nova Scotian cultural organizations, the upcoming election means short-term belt-tightening and long-term uncertainty over their programming schedules and budgets.
"No one's grant has been postponed," explains Michael Noonan, communications for Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture and Heritage. The usual jurying processes and panel assessments are taking place and grant payments are being made to organizations, but "what we have to operate under as a department in the absence of an approved budget by the legislature, we're limited to spending 50 percent of last year's budget. Up to 50 percent of what had been authorized under last year's budget as a department.”
This means that organizations such as Music Nova Scotia will be affected. According to executive director Scott Long, MNS will have to wait to receive the full amount of money—they're expecting 50 percent now—for their last round of the juried Export Development Program for Music. A partnership with the Culture division, the EDP administers a series of grants given to musicians and music industry professionals. According to their website, “$300,000 is distributed in a cycle of four deadlines. The focus of this investment is on Nova Scotians who are traveling or marketing outside of the province in various territories and with assorted export projects.”
For some organizations with big summer events, the timing couldn’t be worse, although Noonan says that the department is aware of the situation. “So that means under some circumstances that they can't give the full amount right now, but I know that what the department is attempting to do is to make sure that any organization who has an activity taking place during the summer months, like the Atlantic Jazz Festival...they are working their allocations in such a way that they would get 100 percent of last year's funding upfront at this point, so it would hopefully lessen any kind of difficulty they may face trying to put on an event,” he says. “The Culture division is looking at circumstances like that and trying to arrange the grant payments in such a way that anyone who really does need that 100-percent payment upfront right now they are able to fulfill that. But no one is being denied money at this point. It may come in two installments."
According to Sarah Watling, director of Jazzeast, organizers for the Atlantic Jazz Festival, which runs this year from July 10-18, the non-profit's biggest annual expenses and revenues come from the festival; so basically the two will balance each other out. But what is more worrisome is that the organization bases their annual budgets on "understood and expected increases" in funding. Like many non-profits that rely on a variety of sources for operational funding (grants, corporate sponsorship, fundraising), strategies are laid out for the next two to three years. And those budgets were based on the current government’s promise to double provincial cultural funding to $16.4 million by 2010-11. But a new government means a new budget, which could, according to Watling, keep their funding as status quo, or, as a worst-case scenario, see it decreased. And as my very smart boss Kyle Shaw pointed out in his editorial (along with a very handy chart), you can see that no other provincial legislature has sat less. So god only knows when that new budget will be passed, and how many other organizations will be affected.
Last week we posed a series of cultural platform questions to each of the candidates in the Halifax Citadel Sable Island riding—the location of most of the province's largest cultural organizations, e.g. Symphony Nova Scotia, Atlantic Film Festival, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia—to get a better understanding of their position on cultural affairs and funding. The answers are coming in now, so I'll get those up later today.
Everyone has a comfort zone, and I stepped out of it last night when I attended Café Da Po Po for the first time. I’m an observer at heart, and I was a little concerned that the interactive nature of “theatre à la carte” (a concept where the actors come to your table and perform the scenes or songs that you’ve ordered off a menu) would require more of me than I’m comfortable giving. I need not have worried. My initial unease at having “Moments in the Woods” from Sondheim’s Into the Woods sung inches away from me (Where do I look? Should I smile? Are people looking over here?) gave way to the realization that the performance was immediate, exciting and really good. Next up was some schtick delivered to the table by the wise Dr. Krapp who proceeded to give some advice on how to ease the tension in my family. Vigorous bell-ringing and duck-squeezing was required, and I found myself relaxing into the spirit of the evening. The last item was a scene from Antigone, solemnly delivered from behind masks. It was riveting theatre made more so by the proximity of the actors. In between, we enjoyed beer, nachos and other people's theatrical treats taking place throughout the room. Sometimes it pays to try something new. Why not start with next month’s Café Da Po Po?
Café Da Po Po happens on the last Thursday of each month at Menz Bar, 2182 Gottingen Street
Visit www.cafedapopo.blogspot.com for details.
Marla Hlady's Playing Piano. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Last night the Soundbytes festival kicked off with a performance at Saint Mary's University Art Gallery and an opening of Resounding, at Dalhousie Art Gallery. The Dal staff are such a class act, you'd never know it's been a tough week at the arts centre—a bronze bust of pianist Ellen Ballon was stolen late last week; gallery director Peter Dykhius told me there have been some leads and they'll make a news update today. (UPDATE: The bust was returned anonymously, with only minimal damage.)
Peter Flemming, Stepper Motor Choir, 2008. photo: Paul Litherland
Artist Marla Hlady deconstructed a piano that is run by various technologies. I love all the cables required to make it work, like a human body with lungs and hands and a brain. But the sounds it makes are not what you think. Daniel Olson, who uses everyday objects like pasta cutters, turning domestic noise into performative art, will be in town on June 11 to perform Coloured Plates, which will be a cathartic experience, I think, watching him toss a box full of the small plates, one by one, on the floor. For Peter Flemming's Stepper Motor Choir, there are 12 small motors, sitting on top of concrete blocks, that spin panes of solar glass, which create ringing sounds, based on the speed of the motor. OK, so the art gallery is in the basement of the arts centre, so you'd think the solar power is a problem, but there are black cables leading up the walls and up to the second floor balcony where it's collected. That's cool. Another cool thing is that the solar panels will be reused after the exhibition by the university's new School of Sustainabilty.
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s video Returning a Sound was shot on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, shortly after the island ceased to be a bomb-testing territory for the military. For 60 years, citizens weren't allowed to walk through the entire island, so when you watch the video, you'll understand the elation and meaning behind this simple act of driving over roads on a motorcycle, with a trumpet attached to your tailpipe. Scroll down to see a clip of the video and the artists' explanation, from Art 21, here.
A great opening to what should be a fantastic month. There's Sometimes Always, a show focusing on musicians who play with obsolete music technologies which opens at the AGNS next Friday. On June 10, things will get steamy at an audio bath house, at Seadogs. I'm looking forward to Vessna Perunovich's opening at SMU on June 26. When I worked at a museum in Toronto, she had created this amazing series of sculptures, using only pantyhose and hangers. And there are plenty more performances, radio broadcasts, concerts and more, all month-long. Go to soundbytes.ca.
Quebec-born comedian Jon Lajoie is touring his new album You Want Some of This, and will be making a stop in Halifax on September 10. Lajoie is one of those internet stories you read about and don't believe, but this one's for reals. A regular on Adam McKay and Will Ferrell's funnyordie.com, the two are said to be collaborating on a project with Lajoie, and he also has a talent development deal with HBO (My prediction: a Canadian Flight of the Concords). Tickets ($25) are on sale tomorrow, available at 494-3820 or artscentre.dal.ca.
Bill (Coco) Ruterana's umugwegwe fashion.
This Sunday night, at FRED from 7-9pm, there’s an art auction that shouldn’t be missed. Kevin Lewis, Michael Lewis, Melanie Colosimo, Laura Dawe, Andrea Dorfman, Michael Fuller and the list goes on and on, are all donating work in support of 4 Rwanda, an exhibition of four Rwandan artists coming to FRED in October. There's a special, local connection with these artists: two of the artists were hired by Halifax artist Kevin Lewis on the 2007 film Shake Hands with the Devil, the Halifax Film production which was shot in Rwanda; Lewis met the other two artists through them.
Here are bios of the artists coming this fall:
Bill (Coco) Ruterana was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and moved to Rwanda in 1994 at the age of 10, just after the war. A cartoonist and artist by trade, Ruterana turned to fashion design after painting on models’ bodies for a festival. Ruterana’s designs made a huge splash in Paris last February. Ruterana was one of a number of creative minds from across Africa showcasing their designs at Labo Ethnik, a celebration of youthful, innovative and multicultural fashion that is part of the programme of the prestigious Paris Fashion Week. His colorful designs are made of umugwegwe, a sisal like grass that grows everywhere in Rwanda.
Illustrator and comic book artist Jean Yves Masengo will be showing excerpts from a graphic novel in which he talks about the days that lead up to the war in 1994, when he was 14 years old. In the style of Maus (Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust), this is a first-hand version of a genocide though the eyes of 14-year-old Tutsi.
Despite formal training and a lack of proper art supplies (overly expensive in Rwanda), Antonio Nshimiyimana draws with eyebrow pencil and clay dust as though he were trained by a renaissance master to do so. Nshimiyimana’s parents died when he was two years old. He grew up at an orphanage that was across from an art school. As a child, he would wander across the road and watch the students work. As he began to draw, the instructors at the school noticed his natural talent and encouraged him. At the age of 10 he left the orphanage to live with an uncle, but still continued drawing. In 1994, when Nshimiymana was 14, the art school that fostered his talents was destroyed in the war. Today he makes his living in Rwanda, drawing portraits, painting and working on commissions.
Theogene Kabalisa was 21 years old in 1994. He is currently living and working Rwanda as an illustrator of children’s books. His work is published in Rwanda by Editions Bakame. Editions Bakame was founded in 1995, and it was the first publishing House in Rwanda to create and promote literature for children and young adults. Editions Bakame publishes folktales, picture books, nonfiction, and teenage novels. All the books are illustrated and written in Kinyarwanda, the national language. In addition, he is also a muralist as well as a scenic film artist. Kabalisa will show his watercolor paintings, some of which appear in children's books in Rwanda.
The adjectives that jump to mind when describing Cirque du Soeil’s Alegría (words like magical, breathtaking, spectacular) really don’t capture the essence of what makes this show so spell-binding. It has all the expected hallmarks —dazzling costumes, an innovative set and acrobatics that will make your heart race. But it says something about a show when it’s as interesting to watch the segues between acts as the acts themselves. Apparatuses appear before your eyes, constructed by a complicated choreography. Performers weave and dance across the stage, masking their ant-like efficiency with a dreamy artistry. The clowns will make you laugh and touch your heart, and the acrobats will convince you that the human body is capable of much more than you believed possible. So yes, Alegría is magical, breathtaking and spectacular, but it is also an uplifting and inspiring theatrical experience.
Alegría runs until June 7, $48-$96, 1-866-365-7469, ticketatlantic.com.
So I took a little lunchtime stroll over to Eyelevel Gallery to see the last of the 35 Days of Unorganized Art. It was like entering a Terry Gilliam movie. Artist Jennifer Simaitis was busy in the front putting pennies in baggies for the 1974 penny exchange. Dweebo's (Mitchell Wiebe) art school was in session, along with his prized, and only Pupil (Ray Fenwick). In the back, Jennifer Macklem's incubator of chicks were busy trying to bust through their shells. A few already made it out, all cozy around a heat lamp.
Here's a little video proof:
Not sure what to say about this that wouldn't involve another groaner Beatles pun (something about rocky raccoon or doing it in the road maybe), so I'll let you watch this for yourself (note: use the handy fast-forward arrow—you'll get the gist). Even if the list of puns in this video could be spread in length from one end of the Common to the other, the video does raise an interesting point. There's a lot of competition for entertainment dollars this summer, and arts organizations are going to have to find inventive ways of standing out. But really, if any cultural organization seems to have the gods either working for them/or against them, it's Jazzeast—their opening and closing Jazz Fest concerts are on the same nights as KISS and Sir Paul.
When racing greyhounds retire, they have to be retrained for life off the track. When athletes—-gymnasts, tumblers, divers, synchronized swimmers—-leave competition for a life in the circus, they also have to be reprogrammed. And that, in part, is Boris Verkhovsky’s job. As Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatic performance and coaching director, he’s responsible for 700 to 800 acrobats, out of 1,200 artists working for the circus worldwide.
A grad of the Institute of Physical and Sports Culture in Minsk, Belarus, and a coach for the national acrobatics team in the former Soviet Union, Verkhovsky was initially hired in 1993 as a consultant. Up until this year, he took care of all the acrobats, but with 17 shows on five continents, the challenge became physically impossible for one person. Now, he says his role is narrowed to developing performances for new shows.
Verkhovsky is in town for Cirque’s Alegría (Spanish for jubilation), on now at the Metro Centre. While six of the nine Cirque shows happening in the world are under travelling tents (“our little city,” as Verkhovsky refers to them), the auditorium shows still sparkle with Soleil signature charm: elaborate sets, grand musical compositions, exquisite bodies dressed in exquisite costumes and daring acrobatics that will have you praying for solid ground.
Almost 80 percent of the acrobats, says Verkhovsky, arrive through amateur sport. Others come from the stage or circus schools. General auditions happen around the world each year, run by a casting department of 60 people. Verkhovsky says that many candidates arrive through a virtual scouting process through their website. But just because you’re a top tumbler, doesn’t mean you’re Cirque material.
“When you look at people coming from sports, they are individual sports, like gymnastics. Being a trampolinist, you’re used to performing by yourself. The notion of being a team is quite abstract. When you come to Cirque du Soleil, you have to learn how to be part of a team, to work with a partner,” he says.
Verkhovsky gives the example of a gymnast on a balance beam. “You have a piece of equipment that’s always the same and you do what’s necessary for the balancing. In Alegría, there is an act we call Russian Bar, where two porters will be carrying basically a pole vault, which you could think of as a balance beam that a performer would stand on, but then they flex it and put the flyer up in the air. The flyer performs complicated routines and lands back on it. If I was to apply the same logic, if I was to apply a gymnastics attitude—-it doesn’t work because I have two porters that are responsible for the balance. To surrender to them, psychologically, is very difficult. But if you don’t surrender to them, it’s like a car with two steering wheels and two drivers trying to drive. It becomes a nightmare.”
Also tough is going from performing a handful of times a year in competition to eight to 10 times a week. “They have to learn to pace themselves, set performance targets that are reasonable and yet exciting to the public.” And, of course, there’s the artistic side: athletes can’t go into the “zone,” they must be present and ready to interact with audiences.
Statistically, a Cirque acrobatics career can last anywhere from 12 to 15 years. The cast of Alegría is fairly young, but Verkhovsky mentions that one of the show’s characters is a former acrobat who was doing high-calibre acrobatics into his mid-40s. “I think what impacts it is a decision,” says Verkhovsky. “Some people will perform one, two, three terms of the contract and then move on to other things. But some people will make a decision that this is their profession. Not what they do, a profession. It’s their lifestyle.
Running away with the circus? It’s very true. A lot of people don’t know what they’re getting in to, but they fall in love with it.”
Alegría runs until June 7, $48-$96, 1-866-365-7469, ticketatlantic.com.
One of the most unique publishers in Canada, and a local treasure, Gaspereau Press, announced today that they're reducing staff and the number of books planned for their upcoming season. Gaspereau treats each book like a art piece, or an object, with letter-pressed covers, smyth-sewn and bound. I can't imagine it's a lucrative business, but certainly a beloved and welcome one for book lovers.
Here's an open letter from co-owners, Gary Dunfield and Andrew Steeves:
On Tuesday 19 May, we announced to our staff that Gaspereau Press would soon be unable to meet its financial commitments if it continued to operate at its present size. In order to bring expenses in line with revenues, it was necessary to reduce the size of our workforce immediately — something that we found extremely difficult to do given the nature of our company and our personal relationships with our employees. As a result, two full-time positions have been eliminated: an editorial position (Kate Kennedy) and a bindery position (Freda Bezanson). It was also necessary to reduce the marketing & promotions position (Emily Leeson) to a part-time position. A temporary editorial position (Amanda Jernigan) was also ended in advance of its intended completion date. While this news has been difficult for all involved, we will continue to do our best to ensure that the transition will be smooth and equitable for those who will be leaving the company, and that those who remain will be able to adjust to the redistribution of responsibilities. We are grateful for their dedication to the ideals of the press and their hard work on its behalf during their time with us. As well as reducing staff, Gaspereau Press will also be reducing its publishing program by roughly one-third, from publishing twelve books annually to a projected eight books annually. To this end, three of the six books planned for release this autumn will be delayed and some promotional plans have been curtailed. It is important to emphasize that these changes are designed to ensure that Gaspereau Press will continue to produce the highest quality literary publications for Canadian readers while operating on a scale that is both fiscally responsible and sustainable. Our success in this, however, depends largely on the continued support of our staff, and on the support of the many fine writers and astute readers who share the aesthetic vision and cultural ideals which underpin the work of the press. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, Gary Dunfield & Andrew Steeves Gaspereau Press, Printers & Publishers
As a result, two full-time positions have been eliminated: an editorial position (Kate Kennedy) and a bindery position (Freda Bezanson). It was also necessary to reduce the marketing & promotions position (Emily Leeson) to a part-time position. A temporary editorial position (Amanda Jernigan) was also ended in advance of its intended completion date. While this news has been difficult for all involved, we will continue to do our best to ensure that the transition will be smooth and equitable for those who will be leaving the company, and that those who remain will be able to adjust to the redistribution of responsibilities. We are grateful for their dedication to the ideals of the press and their hard work on its behalf during their time with us.
As well as reducing staff, Gaspereau Press will also be reducing its publishing program by roughly one-third, from publishing twelve books annually to a projected eight books annually. To this end, three of the six books planned for release this autumn will be delayed and some promotional plans have been curtailed.
It is important to emphasize that these changes are designed to ensure that Gaspereau Press will continue to produce the highest quality literary publications for Canadian readers while operating on a scale that is both fiscally responsible and sustainable. Our success in this, however, depends largely on the continued support of our staff, and on the support of the many fine writers and astute readers who share the aesthetic vision and cultural ideals which underpin the work of the press.
Thank you for your continued support.
Gary Dunfield & Andrew Steeves
Gaspereau Press, Printers & Publishers
Photo credit from endofplinths.blogspot.com: From Leonard's HAND CUTS @ 161 Gallon Gallery, Halifax, Mar 27-Apr 9. Exhibition of handmade records produced by etching into copper plate, linoleum, paper, plastic and other Hand Wave methods.
The Obey Convention arts fest continues through this weekend with Hard Light, with work by 12 young videographers at the Khyber Ballroom, Saturday from 3-5pm, $5 at the door, followed by an open video screening, which is BYOV (bring your own video art on a playable DVD, 15 minutes or less) and watch it on a big screen. Music encyclopedist alert: There will also be a segment of Craig Leonard’s A Blasted History of Noise Audio Series after the screening. Between May 22-24 Leonard will present over 100 noise albums from 1965 to today. “In a flow of samples from alternating records continuously intersecting across two turntables, Craig works his way through albums from Dave Phillips’ They Live (2009) back to Sun Ra's The Magic City (1965).”
Leonard's art practice often involves meticulous musical archival: His project Gift for the Screamers involved finding the original members of LA punk band The Screamers to give them handmade vinyl records (the legendary band never released an official album); his installation Bad Seeds at Mercer Union meticulously documented (almost Beautiful Mind-like) connections and crossovers between various bands and their members. Look for him next at the AGNS, as part of the group exhibition Sometimes Always, which explores the fleeting nature of audio technologies.
We asked Leonard a few questions about his audio series:
Are there any constants throughout the time you examined, or any old trends that have returned?
This was a question around which I structured an experimental audio course at NSCAD recently: Does "noise" have definable attributes? By looking at a range of avant-garde recordings from John Cage to someone like Sightings, I'd say yes—dissonance, volume, distortion, unpredicatability and chaos — which may be present in varying degrees simultaneously or individually.
How did you pick the albums, and then the samples from the tracks? Did you have specific criteria? That must have been a tough decision.
The records will all be from my own (growing) collection. I've been collecting with purpose and abandon since having a steady paycheque over the last few years. I've used some well-researched discographies focused on noise and avant-garde records, like Dave Henderson's "Wild Planet" article in Sounds magazine (1983) and the legendary Nurse With Wound list (1979). I've used websites like Discogs and Allmusic, and then I've just followed different paths through my own record-hunting at shops whenever I can.
The Blasted HIstory of Noise (BHN) for Obey Convention contains noise benchmarks, but it's limited by what I was able to acquire myself, and arbitrarily constrained by the upper limit that I set myself of 100. There are plenty more that should be placed in the timeline, but it would be difficult to fit many more in though in a total of 60 minutes. It takes 10 seconds just to get the record out of the sleeve!
The general criterion was that the records explore sound experimentation, and specifically noise: dissonance, volume, distortion, unpredicatability and chaos.
Is there a connection between this audio series and your Bad Seeds installation? Could you overlay one on the other?
I'd say yes in that both projects came out of a love for music, research and collecting. I couldn't overlay Bad Seeds on BHN, but the opposite is possible. As a music map, BHN would fit nicely into a tonne of interconnected sub-genres.
What compels you to document music/music history?
I'd have to answer the same as above: a love for music, research and collecting. However, I'm not interested in research and collecting for their own sakes. I have particular interests in "marginal" or "counter-cultural" artistic expression. These are the eclectic and provocative spaces where conventional culture, in whatever form, is afraid to go.
SHEARING PINX "HAURSPEX" 7" ART (STANDARD VERSION)
This weekend’s Obey Convention isn’t just about pleasing the ears. On Thursday night, 7-9pm at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola) there’s an art opening from Cosmic Bubblegum, musically accompanied by ECT and The Friendly Dimension.
Sadly, just as we’ve grown to love Cosmic Bubblegum, the bubble’s been burst: Nicholas MacMillan, the talent behind the graphic design and artwork (2006-09), is moving onto other projects, including a solo recording project called Ceramic Black Panther and a new design project. “I'm starting a business customizing vintage denim jackets with look-specialist Aja Robb—-street gang style, totally tough. It's time to move on,” writes MacMillan from the Calgary airport.
MacMillan uses a lot of found images and patterns—-constructing work mostly by hand—-that speak to a 1970s-glam muse. The NSCAD grad lists his likes as: “disco record sleeves, Roxy Music, ’70s fashion store Biba, mirrors, metallic, black-on-black, pretty girls, art deco, punk cut+paste, UK psychedelia, white fur, fake jewels, black silk stockings, eyes, lips, nice hair and heart-shaped sunglasses.”
Obviously, there’s a vintage flavour to MacMillan’s Cosmic Bubblegum work, but it’s far from kitschy nostalgia. “I kind of hate nostalgia actually,” he says. “I like living right now and would prefer to romanticize the future as opposed to the past. One of the most boring, conservative ideas is that there is something better in the past, and that we need to recapture or recreate it—-that's why so much rock ’n’ roll is boring now.
“I like borrowing from lots of different eras and aesthetics, but I want to combine them into something personal that looks like it isn't of any particular era. I want the thing I create to seem like they come from no particular era—-but from outer space, or a dream.”
I try really hard not pre-judge shows, but I had read Sheree Fitch’s YA novel The Gravesavers, and it seemed to me that the new theatre company, Halifax Theatre for Young People, was being overly ambitious in mounting it. It just didn’t seem possible that a play could convey the time shifts between 1873 and present-day in an easily understandable way, or that it would be able to capture Fitch’s lip-slippery language and offbeat characters. And what about the ship wreck? How on earth could any play not on a Mirvish-level budget hope to portray the all-important and terrifying shipwreck that is at the centre of the story? Well, I now know better than to underestimate the magic of theatre. Chris Heide’s theatrical adaptation has captured the beauty and poetry of Fitch’s work. Tessa Mendel’s capable and inspired direction ensures that even young kids will be spellbound. And as for the acting? The five core actors truly lit up the stage. The Gravesavers is must-see theatre for the whole family.
Show times: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, May 20 to 22, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 23, 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 24, 2 p.m., at the Bella Rose Performing Arts Centre in Halifax West High School.
Tickets: $10 per child or student, $15 adult or $40 for a family of four. Book tickets by phone (902) 457-3239, online at www.bellaroseartscentre.com, or get them at the door. Company website is halifaxtheatreforyoungpeople.weebly.com
There's plenty happening all weekend at the Maritime Tattoo Festival—even if you're not getting a tattoo this time around—you just have to use your BRAINS! Laugh with Candy Palmater, or get lit with Rob Hill and Marissa Gough. Full schedule at maritimetattoofestival.com.
If you’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies you probably won’t enj…ah, who am I kidding? Everyone has seen the Star Wars movies and everyone will enjoy Charles Ross’s one-man show. Ross, a jedi master of gestural comedy, has condensed the trilogy into a one-hour-long laugh-fest . He conjures up numerous characters including a whiney, feather-haired Luke, a spunky cinnamon-bun coiffed Princess Leia and a gross, lascivious Jabba the Hutt with only simple changes in posture, gesture and voice. His editorial asides are hilarious and his condensation techniques very clever—“exposition, exposition, exposition. Or for you kids blah, blah, blah.” This is a man who can conjure up the picture of a commander pissing himself in fear with one slight hand movement. The comedic force is truly with him.
Fri., May 15, 7 p.m., Sat., May 16, 7 p.m. and Sun., May 17, 3 p.m. At Neptune's Studio Theatre, phone 429-7070