Friday, May 25, 2007

"An Idiot Divine" in Cowtown this weekend (May 24-26)

Herb Levy--experimental & new music fan and founder of an org that produces shows of such music--is hosting yet another avant-garde artist: this time a 2007 Pulitzer Prize nominee.

From Herb's emailed announcement:

"I'm bringing Rinde Eckert, a great singer & performer, to Fort Worth for a three-night run of "An Idiot Divine", a concert length performance of two solo music-theater pieces: Dry Land Divine & Idiot Variations. The show is really wonderful, I've appended a quote from a NY Times review below that describes it better than I could. I hope that you'll come to see the performance. And please forward this to anyone you think may be interested."

Rinde was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for his play Orpheus X) and is also a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow for music composition. He's performed his own work throughout North America, Europe and Japan; he's also collaborated with many composers, musicians, and choreographers including Paul Dresher, Bill Frisell, Jerry Granelli, Margaret Jenkins, Steven Mackey, Sarah Shelton Mann, and John Oliver.

An Idiot Divine runs at 8pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 24-26 in the Sanders Theater of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center (the old Modern). Tickets are $20/$15 for seniors/students.

If you have questions, or wish to make reservations, you can e-mail Herb Levy at:
By the way, Herb's new organization is OTHER ARTS. Herb tells me that he will be producing a full year of concerts and shows starting in the fall of 2007. A new website is forthcoming...

Here's a photo of Herb (with Carol) at the Fellini birthday party earlier this year. (Uh, that's your typical wood faun lurking in the background.) Hosted by Don Young (of the wildly popular Fellini film festival (2006) AND the Fort Worth Prairie Fests), this celebration of all things Fellini featured a costume contest. Yep, Herb and his lady Carol won--this year.

That night, Herb slapped a slammin' 2-disc "mix tape" cd into my hand. It was the best thing you'd never hear on the radio. From Gang of 4 and John Zorn to Four Tet and Caetano Veloso, these songs were savory and unique. Move over, Paul Slavens. Herb Levy's the guy for 90.1 at Night--if you ask me. At least Paul and Herb could host on alternate Sundays, right? I go dreamin'......

Okay, the recommended show for this weekend:

"An Idiot Divine"
Friday & Saturday, May 25-26
Sanders Theater (at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center--y'know, the old Modern) Tickets are $20/$15 for seniors/students.

For more information on Rinde, you can check his website here.

_________________ critic's notes _________________________

Ben Brantley of the New York Times, on "An Idiot Divine":

"The line between man and music curves, squiggles, blurs and dissolves in 'An Idiot Divine,' Rinde Eckert's inspired set of performance pieces. Eckert is an instinctive showman who preens his considerable skills with contagious enjoyment. The idea of an instrument as something that is passively played upon takes on a swirl of shades of meaning: mechanical, cosmic, anatomical and psychological. Therein lies the essential premise and the great joy of Mr. Eckert's work. The music is everywhere, just waiting to be tapped, with results that may be beautiful or ungainly. This remarkable performer has the humility to acknowledge his own human awkwardness as well as his divine grace. How indeed, Mr. Eckert seems to be asking with equal parts earnestness and irony, do you separate the singer from the song?"

The New Yorker Magazine on "An Idiot Divine":

"With an assortment of musical instruments and his otherworldly voice, Rinde Eckert channels two 'edjits'. The first is a murderer doing time in prison, who teaches himself how to play the accordion and dowse for water. The second is harder to pin down: he speaks with a brogue, dresses like an Indian guru, plays a horn, a guitar, and various bells and whistles beautifully, and discourses amusingly on the individual personalities of his five fingers. With these talents, and his ability to perform one-man duets, Eckert elevates incoherence to a poignant clarity."

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