Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hot day at festival/What to see there

How is it October when it literally feels like 110 degrees outside?! I melted in the sun during Ringling International Arts Festival's Asian Family Funfest. Regardless of the heat, though, families had a great time watching Chinese acrobats entertain in the museum's courtyard. Plus, there were plenty of great activities for the kids, who received free admission into the museum for the event. You can read about in Sunday's paper.

I was able to escape the heat a little later to see the New York-based theater troupe Elevator Repair Service perform its workshop premiere of "The Sun Also Rises" (first part) that's based on Ernest Hemingway's novel. Since it is a workshop piece, still in the ironing-out stages, I'm not allowed to critique it - but I must say I loved 99.8 percent of what I saw. The acclaimed, cutting-edge theater troupe really does put the "clever" in theater. The play is my second favorite work at the festival. The first is Ella Hickson's "Eight," of course.

Wanna go, but not sure what to see?
Tomorrow is the last day of this wonderful festival. Part of me hates to see it end. The other part of me wants to have a normal life again (it's like I've lived at the Ringling all week). This will probably be my last post about the festival itself. I encourage everyone who hasn't been yet to go and if you have already gone, go again to see more.

Some of the performances ended today (I really wanted to see more dance stuff but I missed it). But out of what's left, here's what I recommend for Sunday (which is pretty much everything):
  • Chamber Music, featuring Mason Bates (I haven't seen it, but have heard good buzz on it)
  • Ella Hickson's "Eight" definitely
  • Elevator Repair Service
  • Meow Meow (a one-woman variety show with a little risque mixed in; she'll make you laugh)
  • Peter Brook's "Love is My Sin" (can't beat Shakespeare)
  • Cafe performances (I haven't been to a festival cafe, but have heard good buzz on all the events there - and it's free to the public at the Ringling Museum). Sunday's offering is local dance group Moving Ethos.
  • And Maria Pages' flamenco dancing (I haven't seen this either, but heard great things about it). It's sold out, though. But don't let that stop you. Sometimes people RSVP but don't show up. Ex: Elevator Repair Service shows have been sold out before the festival began, but there were a few empty seats at today's 2 p.m. performance. So you never know until you show.
- January Holmes

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