THE ARTS: Euripides' 'The Bacchae,' plus concerts and a holiday wreaths class
This is not the usual telling of Euripides’ The Bacchae, depicting a mortal struggle between the forces of control and freedom.
Opening Thursday, Nov. 29, this production from the Department of Theatre and Dance turns Dionysus into a wickedly sexy rock star and the Bacchae into his groupies. There’s original music to match, and dominatrices for good measure.
And humor. “I wanted to make this Greek tragedy accessible and enjoyable for today’s audiences,” said the director, Granada Artist-in-Residence Barry McGovern, whose screen and stage credits include acting roles in Far and Away, Joe Versus the Volcano and Waiting for Godot.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: The Bacchae, translated by Derek Mahon.
- Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 — 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 2 — 2 p.m.
- Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 6-8 — 8 p.m.
ADVISORY: Rated PG-13 for language and violent images.
Music department concerts
Concert Band with the Gamelan Ensemble and the Mira Loma High School (Sacramento) Concert Band — Lights and Halo, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets: online, or (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787.
The Mira Loma program comprises the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss, Albanian Dance by Shelly Hanson, Spring Festival by Chen Yi; and CorOlympus, composed by the band's director, Michael McAllister, and featuring the UC Davis Concert Band director, Pete Nowlen, as horn soloist.
The UC Davis Concert Band program includes two works inspired by gamelan — referring to a unified collection of musical instruments, mostly made of bronze, that are characteristic of the many musical traditions of Java and Bali in Indonesia. And, in between these works, the UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble, directed by Henry Spiller, will perform the real thing. The ensemble has a concert of its own set for Thursday, Dec. 6 (see below).
The UC Davis Concert Band program starts with Ferris Wheel by Jason Nitsch, then comes the gamelan section featuring Bali by Michael Colgrass, the UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble and the West Coast premiere of Twenty Minutes on the Midway Plaissance by Clarence Dalbey. Twenty Minutes, a musical tour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, includes the gamelan-inspired Java Hut movement.
The evening will conclude with the UC Davis band's presentation of "The Music of Video Games," featuring such titles as "Halo," "Super Mario Brothers," "Kingdom Hearts" and "World of Warcraft."
Baroque Ensemble — Shinkoskey Noon Concert, 12:05 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby, Mondavi Center. Free.
Percussion Ensemble Davis — Musicircus, by John Cage. This unique work was first performed at the Stock Pavilion, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1967. It included jazz bands, pianists, dancers, mimes, vocalists, films, slides, black lights, balloons, cider and popcorn. Musicircus is the expression of several of Cage's fundamental ideas about artistic creation and execution. In anarchic fashion, each performer or ensemble responsibly contributes to what becomes a larger mélange of sound and vision. Free. 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 105 Music Building (note new location). Free.
Gamelan Ensemble — Shinkoskey Noon Concert, 12:05 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 115 Music Building. Free.
University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra with the Pacific Boychoir — 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center. Tickets: online, or (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787.
- Mozart — Te Deum and Laudamus Dominum from Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339
- Beethoven — Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C Minor, op. 80, featuring Steven Bailey, piano
- Andrew Lloyd Webber — Requiem, featuring Shawnette Sulker, soprano, and Wesley Rogers, tenor
Craft Center class: 'Harvest and Holiday Wreaths'
The Craft Center still has openings for one of its most popular annual classes: "Harvest and Holiday Wreaths." It is scheduled this year from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, taught by Annie Main of Good Hummus Farm and Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm, organic farms in the Capay Valley.
The class announcement states: "Learn the techniques to create your own gorgeous evergreen or dried flower wreath in this one-day workshop."
The fee includes a large assortment of evergreen branches, herbs, dried flowers and other embellishments from the instructors' farms. Participants also are invited to bring their own materials.
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