Poetry Time!

CC staff writer and critically lauded poet Steve Dalachinsky will be part of two essential poetry slams this weekend. If you not hip to him, or any of the other poets name-checked below, please mark your calendar and witness their glorious words and inspired readings in person.

The marathon poetry event, Dial-A-Poem Marathon, will take place at Red Bull Arts New York -- 220 West 18th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenue) -- on July 29th as part of the Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno project. Readers include Penny Arcade, Janani Balasubramanian, Anselm Kerrigan, Alexis Bhagat, Billy Cancel, Todd Colby, Steve Dalachinsky, Helga Davis, Chris Funkhouser, Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, David Henderson, Shelley Hirsch, Bob Holman, Christopher Knowles, Julie Martin, E.J. McAdams, Jonas Mekas, Tracie Morris, David Boscovich, Tommy Pico, Nicole Sealey, and Edwin Torres. Read more »

Unless You're Planning a Trip to China...

Terracotta Warrior Exhibit of the First Emperor
Pacific Science Center, Seattle
Thru September 4, 2017

Upon entering we were informed that this was a world class exhibit. Not certain what exactly that was meant to imply, the term stuck in my head as I began my journey... by the end of my time there I had my answer.

Presently on display at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, "Terracotta Warrior Exhibit of the First Emperor" offers a rare opportunity to view a large collection of the famed Terracotta Warriors of the the Qin Dynasty. Along with the legendary statues themselves, interactive displays help bridge the gap between a professionally curated instillation and a hands-on approach utilized elsewhere at the Pacific Science Center to engage school children. This touring showcase succeeds in being child friendly without being childish, inviting people of all ages to approach the exploration of these artifacts with the kind of beaming excitement often reserved for children.

Beginning with a dramatic and somewhat cinematic introduction, projected images and a looming voice-over prepare audiences for the ancient wonders just on the other side of a pair of closed doors. This presentation induces a fitting amount of anticipation for this momentous opportunity as the Terracotta Warriors aren't often on displayed outside of their home in the province of Shaanxi. Unless you're planning a trip to China some time in the future this may be your only opportunity to witness in person such an extensive collection of these haunting figures. Read more »

Steady As She Goes

Navigator in Love
Written by Lasha Bugadze
Directed by Adam Knight
Presented by Red Lab Productions and Otar Margania
at Teatro Circulo, NYC
July 13-August 6, 2017

Playwright Lasha Bugadze makes the idea of needing some direction in life very literal in Navigator in Love, part of the Georgian-American Theatrical Feast taking place now through early August in Manhattan. The world premiere of Navigator, which won the 2012 BCC World Drama Award for Best International Play, in a translation by Maya Kiasashvili is one of an array of events that make up the festival, the aim of which is to introduce American audiences to nine playwrights from Georgia, a country of four million that is described in the program as lying "at the crossroads of Europe and Asia." This celebration of Georgia and its venerable cultural history and vibrant contemporary theatrical community includes two full productions, free readings, and special events with wine and music. (See www.redlabproductions.org for a full schedule.) Read more »

C'Mon And Hear Steve Ross

Steve Ross
C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin
July 4th Celebration
Birdland Jazz Club, NYC
June 26, 2016

In a letter to Alexander Woollcott, Jerome Kern wrote that "Irving Berlin has no place in American Music… He is American Music." What better person to present the art of Irving Berlin than venerable singer and pianist Steve Ross, who presented this great American composer's work in a sterling evening entitled C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin July 4th Celebration, at the historical Birdland Jazz Club on Manhattan’s West 44th Street, where he shared the stage with seasoned bassist Jered Egan.

Steve deeply understands the art behind Berlin's voluminous body of work, in a manner unique to himself. His renderings of both well-known, lesser known, and even obscure Berlin songs are historically astute and performed in an exceedingly skillful manner which is at once serious and at the same time carefree. The word "skillful" may sound academic and dry, but Steve's show was anything but. Read more »

Musicals That Want More

Fun Home
5th Avenue Theare, Seattle
Through July 30th

When it comes to Broadway-caliber theatre productions, cities like Seattle get what New York is willing to give them. Very often this means local audiences only get a taste of the most mainstream, spectacular efforts the Great White Way has to offer, remaining unexposed to the more challenging and innovative works that do sometimes still happen there. As a result, theatre (particularly musical theatre) is relegated to its niche enclave of dedicated fans along with a wider audience of casual theatre goers who come knowing what to expect. While presenting an enjoyable way to pass a few evening hours this can also bear a disappointing stamp of mediocrity. Fun Home, currently playing at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, is a happy exception to this trend. Read more »

The Big Sick

Some romantic comedies transcend the mundane and crawl into your heart and stay lodged in there forever. The Big Sick is one such movie. Hard to imagine how a "coma comedy" could work, but in the able hands of veteran comedy filmmakers Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, This Is 40) and Barry Mendel (Trainwreck, The Royal Tenebaums), director Michael Showalter (Hello My Name Is Doris), and actor/writer Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), the outcome is unforgettable, especially given that it's based on Nanjiani and his wife's near-fatal relationship. Read more »

Caterwauling Towards The Light - Dusty Wright

Album is still receiving fab press; new reviews in The Big Takeover and The Brooklyn Rail.

Dusty Wright's new album Caterwauling Towards the Light is available for digital purchase from Bandcamp (below) or from AmazonCDbabyiTunes, plus other digital sites. It is also number one Americana album on Billboard charts.

You can order an autographed CD from him direct; Paypal $12 to: puffdusty@gmail.com

And check his website -- DustyWright.com -- for upcoming shows and performances. Click on this FACEBOOK link to access more info and press.

peace, CC

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Be Grateful For Our Country!

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate and be safe! peace, Your Friends at Culture Catch.

Baby Driver or Oedipus Wrecks

Vroom! Vroom! Ansel Elgort, the cute-as-cute-can-be lead of the cancer romance, The Fault in Our Stars, bops around Baby Driver like Saturday Night Fever’s Tony Manero, with his ear buds semi-glued in. You keep expecting a few disco balls to pop into view while the Bee Gees let loose on the soundtrack.

Sadly, no balls. No white suit. And not much of a credible plot in this frenetic crime/coming-of-age hybrid. Read more »

Ornette: Tomorrow is the Question

Joining such memorable events as Ornette’s week at Lincoln Center in 1997 and the celebration in his honor at Celebrate Brooklyn which was the last time he played in public and which is now documented in an incredible box set alongside the memorial held for him at Riverside Church and Wynton's own celebration of Ornette at Lincoln Center will be Ornette Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question, July 11–16 as part of their yearly indoor festival. There will be a four-part series honoring Ornette's work as a composer, innovator, and performer. Read more »

LeAnn Rimes Brings The Proverbial House Down At Pride Fest!

On Sunday, LeAnn Rimes proved once and for all that she has outgrown the child prodigy country music label that launched her career at age 14(!) with the release of the mega-hit record "Blue," making her the youngest artist ever to win a Grammy (she won two). Read more »

For He Who Does Not Rock, We Salute You!

Me The People: The Trump America Musical
Triad Theater, NYC
June 24th through....

If you hate Trump like I hate Trump and you have the urge to smash your TV to smithereens every time you see his orange headed smirk, or hurl your phone into the river every time you read one of his tweets - DON'T DO IT!!!!!!! Go see Me The People instead!!!! Me The People is a laugh-out-loud-funny satirical revue at the Triad Theater on the Upper West Side and I guarantee it will turn your Trump loathing howls of presidential pain that have you hiding under the covers into Trump loathing howls of cathartic laughter that will have you rolling in the aisles. Four supremely talented cast members and one hard-working pianist skewer everything from shredding the Constitution (literally) to the Supremes to Russian Spies to Mar-a-Lago to Melania to Korea to Putin to chocolate cake to climate change to the prospect of post-impeachment president Mike Pence vowing to fix you if you're gay. Read more »

Watch Out For That Lava Flow!

The Floor is Lava
Written by Alex Riad
Directed by Jessica O'Hara Baker
Presented by The Farm Theater at Flamboyán Theater, NYC
June 15-July 8, 2017

The Floor is Lava, the new play from Washington Heights playwright and screenwriter Alex Riad, is part of the 2017 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, a socially- and environmentally-conscious festival whose productions choose non-profit organizations to benefit. The Floor is Lava benefits Girls Who Code, an organization that is dedicated to closing the vast gender gap in the technology industry and that currently serves 40,000 girls nationwide.

The Floor is Lava (debuting, coincidentally, at the same time that the children's game for which it is named has become the most recent social media "challenge") takes place in the basement of Tom (Ian Poake), one of those seemingly ubiquitous young white males with a billion-dollar app startup at an incredibly young age and a Mark Zuckerberg-inspired fashion sense. Read more »

Video of the Week: Melanie De Biasio - "No Reply"

Some artists transcend description, best they are not compartmentalized into a specific genre of music. Miss Melanie De Biasio is a Belgian artist that incorporates jazz, classical, nufolk, even electronica into her musically rich vocabulary to create her truly unique and atmospheric sound; not unlike Sigur Ros or Bjork or Joni Mitchell's jazz-informed work in the late '80s. This song was released on her 2014 album No Reply, an album I just got turned on to by my dear friend Michael Naso. This version of the song features strings and was recorded in a cathedral in Brussels. The arrangement is fantastic and it features a wonderful Gregorian contralto co-vocal by Romain Dayez. In fact, as much as I like this string-driven version of the title track, her song "The Flow" from that album is even better. It's got a killer groove. Think '70s era Gil Scott-Heron. And if that wasn't enough to take in, her new effort Lilies drops on October 6th. Check out her new single "Gold Junkies" -- one of the tracks from that album -- here. Take a deep breath and enjoy her wonderful music. I suspect the rest of America will be catching up with this extremely talented artist very soon.

The Girl With A Thorn In Her Side

Lynn Castle Rose Colored Corner Light (Light In The Attic)

Coming across visually as a prototype Nancy Sinatra about to enter The Valley Of The Dolls, Lynn Castle in the 1960s was an entrancing and beguiling entity. Her debut album finally appears a few years shy of her turning eighty, and it is a tremendous affair, an index of splendid and unrealized possibilities, as stark as it is haunting.  Read more »

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