Shakespeare at the Livery
Think of Shakespeare on stage or screen, and you may picture aging actors in the leads. Or you might think of young people: for example, Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s street-smart Romeo + Juliet. What you certainly don’t imagine is children. Yet that is exactly who Sara Doehrman will be directing in Shakespeare Re-Mixed, a play she also wrote, at the Livery this weekend.
Doehrman’s eight-member cast consists of one 11-year-old; the rest are ages 6-8. These kids are barely out of first grade, yet they’ll be performing excerpts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet.
Doehrman is unfazed, and so are her students. In fact, the teacher became acquainted with the Bard’s works early on. She grew up in Telluride, and participated in the Telluride Schools’ 5th Grade Shakespeare Program. Angela Watkins, the head of that program, “has been my mentor ever since,” Doehrman says. Thus, the young director-of-Shakespeare-plays-with-kids studied with one of the best in the region. “I think anyone can understand Shakespeare if you pick the right pieces,” she says (which is something Watkins believes, as well). “I found scenes and characters the kids could comprehend.” Her students, for instance, are portraying, and particularly enjoying “the goofiness of” the fairies in Midsummer Night. Doehrman is including a timeline of the Bard’s life and significant works in her play, which the kids will also act out. The irony is, “A lot of parents are turned off by Shakespeare,” she said. “They don’t understand.” The little ones do. Shakespeare Re-Mixed is at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19-20, with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults, and $5 for students (kids under age 5 are admitted free).
Drums and Dance in Ridgway
When Kathryn Kubinyi heard West African drummer and dancer Fara Tolno perform at a Colorado State music convention a decade ago, she was captivated. So were her fellow teachers from this region. “We started buying African drums [known as djembes] for our schools with the school budgets,” she says. During the summertime, “We studied with him Boulder” (where Tolno is based). “None of us could get enough.” Tolno, who hails from Guinea, is a busy man. He has shared the stage with B.B. King, Youssou N’Dour, and Neil Young, among others, and teaches all over the U.S. Yet Kubinyi recently heard from “a drumming friend” in Gunnison that Tolno was in the region, and she managed to bring him to Ridgway for the week. Since Monday, he has been offering infectious, high-energy classes at the Ridgway school to students of all ages by day, and tonight and tomorrow (Thurs.-Fri.), he will instruct adults by night. On Monday, the first evening of Tolno’s arrival, residents of Placerville, Hastings Mesa and the Montrose Christian Church had all arrived to see him. “He’s a true master, who works with all ages and abilities and treats everyone just the same,” Kubinyi said. It was evening, and she had just returned home from her first whole day with the drum teacher. “He is so positive and encouraging. And so high energy,” she added. “I feel like I can’t unwind – like I need chamomile tea, and lots of it, before I can sleep.” Tolno will teach at Chipeta Sun Lodge Kiva on Thurs. (6-7:30 p.m.) and at the Ridgway Elementary School Friday (7-8:30 p.m.) and Sat. (12:30-2 p.m.). For more information, call 970/325-4895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit Tolno’s website (and get a taste of African drumming) at kissidugu.org.
In Telluride: Music and Film
Two movies worth seeking will be at the Palm this weekend. Adventure-skiing director Greg Stump’s long-awaited capper to his seminal Blizzard of Aahhhs (1987), entitled The Legend of Aahhhs, is making a tour of the mountain towns and will stop in Telluride for a second time (it premiered at the Sheridan last February). Legend traces ski films from Otto Lang to Warren Miller, with a superb, driving soundtrack (Stump calls it a rock opera). In an interview with the Denver Post, the director averred that the dangers of filming ski movies today have turned him away from this form of entertainment forever. “This is my swan song,” he said. Also at the Palm will be David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. Based on the novel by Don DeLillo, it’s the director’s eerie take on the global financial crisis. The cast includes Robert Pattinson, Juliet Binoche, Paul Giamatti and Samantha Morton. “I am a huge fan of Cronenberg’s. I loved Crash, History of Violence, Dead Zone, etc.,” says the Palm’s Kathy Jepson. “When this picture was offered to us through our digital content provider, Emerging Pictures, we jumped at it.” Manohla Dargis of the New York Times has called Cronenberg’s direction of Cosmopolis “impeccable.” For more information on both shows, visit telluridepalm.com.
Coming to Telluride next week: singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn, who plays the Sheridan Opera House. It’s the latest the Sheridan has booked a band into the month of October (the traditional “off season”), but Washburn’s music is worth the risk. Critics have proclaimed her most recent album, City of Refuge (2011), her best. City “reveals that Washburn has grown exponentially as an artist,” Thom Jurek of allmusic.com observed. “She’s created a visionary American music that extends its traditions as it embraces others, free of borderlines.” Kai Welch opens for Washburn. He collaborated with her on City and is also, so it happens, the late Sharon Shuteran’s cousin. The popular San Miguel County Court judge, who passed away earlier this year, had always hoped to see Welch play in Telluride. “In a way,” says the Sheridan’s Katherine Warren, “this is a final wish of hers coming to fruition.” The show is next Thursday, Oct. 25; reserved seats are $20. For more information, visit sheridanoperahouse.com.
Shakespeare at the Livery