Idaho Arts Quarterly » Central Idaho

Central Report

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They Don't Bite

They spin, bob, weave and leap, but they don't breathe fire. At least, not yet. The Golden Dragon Acrobats will roar into the College of Southern Idaho's Fine Arts Auditorium this week. They'll bring their circus-like show, complete with wild acrobatic moves and brightly colored costumes to the stage in a rare performance in central Idaho. The show draws on the more than 27 centuries of Chinese acrobat tradition; some say it's the longest-running folk art form in history. Folk, nothing. These people do things that defy gravity and common sense. The guy balancing on a stack of chairs is worth the price of admission alone. Some acts, like the dancer who chases hats being thrown around the stage, are at once baffling and beguiling. There are about 20 people in the troupe, and all of them go for broke, but do so in a way that manages to be visually arresting. We can't think of a better way to celebrate the Year of the Rat than by sitting down for a show by these artists. Find out more at GoldenDragonAcrobats.com.

March 24, 7:30 p.m., $21 for adults, $15 for children, 208-732-6288. CSI Fine Arts Auditorium, 315 Falls Ave., Twin Falls, 208-733-9554, CSI.edu.

A Woman For the Ages

When Wendy Wasserstein wrote her 1988 Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles, she captured a generation's evolution. Wasserstein weaves a tapestry of Baby Boomers wrestling with changing cultural mores and societal pressures. The play had its detractors, despite snagging a Tony, as well as the Pulitzer. Some critics decried the way it oversimplified some issues, or they differed with the title character's traits. Still others hated the ending. But that didn't stop it from selling out halls everywhere it was staged when it first came out. "The Heidi Chronicles is a play of our time, for our time, and one that, in many ways, defines it," wrote United Press International. The New York Times called it "mirthful and touching," while Newsday pegged it as "wonderful and important ... gloriously well-written." Now, the Company of Fools is ready to dust off this seminal play for Idaho. Andrew Alburger directs Maddie Cordovano, Scott Creighton, Kelly Kennedy, Christine Leslie, Claudia McCain, Keith Moore, Doug Neff and Debra Wagoner.

March 9, 7 p.m., Liberty Theatre, 110 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-578-9122, CompanyOfFools.org.

We Talk, Then We Play

They'll be mixing education with groovy jazz in Twin Falls when Matt Jorgensen and 451 come to town. The event is billed as a lecture as well as a concert. Those of you who feel like maybe, just maybe, you need a little help understanding this jazz business might consider making the trek to the College of Southern Idaho. The Recital Hall will be the place to find Jorgensen, a drummer, composer and arranger who formed the band in order to mix his various musical and intellectual interests. His latest album, Hope, has been getting plenty of raves in the Pacific Northwest; The Willamette Week called him a "hip, explosive drummer to be reckoned with." The album mixes the new and the old, with recordings of nine original compositions spliced with arrangements of Coldplay's "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" and Charles Mingus' "Fables of Faubus."

April 2, 5 p.m., FREE, 208-732-6288. CSI Fine Arts Auditorium, 315 Falls Ave., Twin Falls, 208-733-9554, CSI.edu.

So That's How They Do It

They're the bane and the savior of playwrights the world over. They can make or break a show. They can make an actor break down. Or they can break out just what went right with a production. They are the critics, and they frequently baffle the public. How do they get their opinions? Where do they get off saying what they say about shows that, gosh darn it, some people just plain love? Get the inside story when one of these mysterious personages takes the stage himself. Ron Cohen, who has written about and reviewed theater for decades for such publications as Women's Wear Daily, W Magazine, Back Stage and the London-based Musical Stages, will explore the ins and outs of the drama critic's world. Find out more about the fraternity of critics in New York City and how the critics do that voodoo that they do.

March 6, noon, Liberty Theatre, 110 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-6250, CompanyOfFools.org.

Get Some Fiber

Find out more about the ancient Japanese art of resist dye treatments with special guest teacher Becka Rahn from the Textile Center of Minnesota. Known as Shibori, the art form uses both cotton and silk fabric, taking simple patterns that can be repeated and rearranged to create new compositions of fabric. They call it resist dye treatment because there just isn't another way to directly translate the Japanese term. Anyone who's ever dabbled with tie-dying or other fabric-dyeing processes will have a glimpse of how this works, but there's so much more to learn. You'll leave the class with two silk scarves and all manner of cotton materials for future projects on your own. Get practicing: The International Shibori Symposium is already set for November of this year. But sign up early; the class registration deadline is Friday, March 14.

April 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun Valley Center for the Arts, 191 Fifth St. E., Ketchum, 208-726-9491, SunValleyCenter.org.