Well, if talking about my cat, defending Madonna, and confessing how I bawled at that damnable Benjamin Button denouement don’t keep me single—fie on you, little Brad Pitt baby, fie!—this will: I’m going to a quilt show. But I’m holding my head high. Greg Kucera Gallery hosts its opening reception for the Gee’s Bend quilt makers on Thursday at 6. It’s a chance to meet three of the women from the remote African American community in Alabama whose dynamic fabric patterns offer a more pleasing aesthetic experience than many modern art shows. (Not to single anybody out here but the Henry Art Gallery currently features two rooms filled with nothing but recorded and manipulated white noise. I can’t claim the emperor has no clothes because the emperor isn’t even around.)
You may tire of me writing about South African maverick William Kentridge over the next month—there’s a knockout exhibit at the Henry (not in the ambient noise rooms) in addition to Pacific Operaworks’ upcoming staging of his The Return of Ulysses. You’ll still want to go everywhere you see his name. His work feels invigoratingly hands-on and humane. He’s at Kucera, too, in the form of many prints based on his production of The Magic Flute.
Friday night I’m all about The Dutchess & the Duke at the Showbox Sodo Lounge. I interviewed Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz, D&D’s duo, for an October 2008 article and thought they were the kind of self-deprecating, seat-of-their-pants kids anyone would wish success (“Kids”? Somebody stop me: They’re both 30). Their disarming, 60s-sounding debut album garnered a Rolling Stone mention and continues to claim a spot on local bestseller lists—no surprise, since it’s brimming with harmonies, hand claps, and crisply sentimental woe (including last year’s single best song lyric: “You taught me how to love wrong and I learned it so long ago now I can’t change”).
The word genius is overused to the point of nausea but I’d apply it to Quebecois showman Robert Lepage. The guy’s mind picks up where most people’s thinking leaves off. I traveled to B.C. a couple of seasons ago to catch his one-man, multimedia look at sex, art and Hans Christian Andersen and I’m still talking about it (that emperor, contrary to Andersen’s story, sported blinding finery). So I’m looking forward to Saturday’s opening night of Lepage’s trippy take on the one-acts Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung, which should send everybody running to Seattle Opera. And don’t tell me you don’t like opera because, trust me, it doesn’t matter.
Yes, I will be watching the Oscars on Sunday. No, I’m not rooting for Benjamin Button. I’ll deal with the delicious annual debacle that is the Academy Awards in a Friday post, so come back and bitch at me then. But before the Oscars, I’ll enjoy the matinee of Max Ophuls’ cult classic Lola Montès. The movie is of no use to anyone on TV; it’s overextended but decadent and delectable on the big screen. And Ophuls sure messed with the whole art-imitates-life-imitates-art thing: He hired international blonde sexpot Martine Carol at the peak of her glamorous 1950s fame, turned her brunette, and cast her as a faded 19th-century sexpot. Carol quickly became a faded sexpot and died about a decade later. But, hey, that’s entertainment.