Opera sounds particularly glorious to me when it’s accompanied by the words “under two hours.” Does that make me a bad person? But, I swear, I’d recommend The Return of Ulysses even if it weren’t 105 minutes. (But it is. Say it again: 105 minutes. Ahhhhhh.) Pacific Operaworks’s debut production of director William Kentridge’s celebrated puppets-and-animation staging promises to showcase Kentridge creativity at its most ingenious.
Don’t give me smack about going to Hello, Dolly!. Yes, it still has that damn song—and if you have to ask which song, I don’t think we’ll be brunching together anytime soon—but Carol Channing is nowhere near it (she has to stay 500 feet away from me, which I know has been difficult for her but a restraining order is a restraining order). Anyway, the 5th Avenue’s Dolly is the outrageous Jenifer Lewis, who some of us know from her over-the-top triumph as a no-talent diva in the the 1999 mockumentary Jackie’s Back!. She may be the first person to make Dolly seem too small a role.
The Bad Plus begin a muti-day run at Jazz Alley on Thursday but I’ll be there on Friday. I think these guys are the most playful, pop-friendly thing to happen to jazz since Vince Guaraldi gave A Charlie Brown Christmas some groove. Nirvana covers without irony? Sign me up.
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Broadway Festival, in addition to a great program, should give electrifying evidence of a company that’s feeling younger and fresher with each new season. Not a bad looking bunch, either. (Oh, right, like it’s only about The Dance when athletic people put on tights. Sheesh.)
Even though I’ll just have seen PNB perform highlights from it on Saturday night, I’m checking out West Side Story on SIFF’s big screen at a matinee. I love that you can holler at the bad “ethnic” makeup and Natalie Wood’s Puerto Rican accent (“Si, Anita, eet ees beautiful! I love youse!”) and still get sucked in by the sentiment and rousing physicality. The musical boasts some of the sexiest moves on celluloid—and Oscar-winning Rita Moreno and George Chakiris look gooooooood.
Monday night is the last in a three-night stand at Neumos from Blue Scholars, who hooked me in when I talked to beat master DJ Sabzi after being genuinely moved by the bracing political soul at the center of their May 2007 release, Bayani. You don’t even have to like hip-hop to hear what’s thrilling in this duo’s resolve.
And, as my friend Barry would say, singin’ to the world—what’s the point in puttin’ it down? There’s so much love to share. (You’re not really going to ask me what that’s from, are you? Who raised you?)
Before I go—can we admit I’ve got a lot on my plate?—here’s the trailer for Dolly star Jenifer Lewis’s cult favorite Jackie’s Back! (which proves that, say what you will, Liza Minnelli still has great comic timing):