Idaho Arts Quarterly » Southwest Idaho

Southwest Idaho Report

Gypsy Jam

Most bands dislike being classified by journalists, who prefer to group music into tidy categories to make it more accessible to the average listener. But if there's one group that truly defies categorization, it's ZUM.

The quintet combines Eastern European gypsy fiddle music with Argentine tango, jazz, Celtic, salsa, bluegrass, Arabic and calypso­—just to start. The result is a high-energy concert tour aptly named "Gypsy Tango Inferno." After years of successful performances across the United Kingdom and Europe, the group is coming to the United States on a tour that will include a stop at Albertson College of Idaho on Oct. 13. The one-night-only appearance promises to be a night of unique and passionate music brought to Idaho by a group of musicians with impressive credentials.

Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10-$15 for adults, $6-$11 for students. Albertson College of Idaho, Caldwell Fine Arts, 2112 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-454-1376 or 208-459-5783, albertson.edu.

In the Footlights

Boise Contemporary Theater is ready to raise the curtain on its 2007-2008 season with a lineup of four edgy plays to challenge audiences—in a good way.

The season kicks off on Oct. 10 with Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson. The play is set in a remote, snow-bound cabin in Alaska, where a reclusive man is awakened by a woman dressed in wedding clothes pounding on his door. The two wounded souls are trapped together and forced to face the pain of their individual pasts and what could be a promising present.

The season continues in November with Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins by Stephen Temperly. The play tells the story of Madame Flo, an eccentric 1940s New York socialite who builds a successful singing career despite the fact that she is incapable of producing a pleasant sound. As told from the viewpoint of her longtime accompanist and friend, Flo's unlikely rise to fame is chronicled in hilarious and poignant detail.

BCT moves on to The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh in January. The play looks at the very nature of art, as a writer is interrogated by a totalitarian regime and asked to account for the similarities between gruesome details in his short stories and a series of child murders.

Finally, the season ends with the world premiere of Last of the Breed, by Maria Dahvana Headley, opening in April. It's the story of Wyatt Munra, a man who lives on his pristine land in the mountains of central Idaho. But when the expansion of a nearby resort threatens his way of life, eminent domain laws are just the first of his worries. Munra's response to the threat reaches comic pinnacles as he tries to have himself declared an endangered species: an American Wildman.

Brilliant Traces, Oct. 10-Nov. 3; Souvenir, Nov. 28-Dec. 22; The Pillowman, Jan. 30-Feb. 23; Last of the Breed, April 9-May 3. All shows Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Single tickets: $30 Friday-Saturday, $15 student; $20 Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday matinee, $12 student; $12 previews. Group and multiple show tickets available. Fulton Street Theater, 854 Fulton St. 208-331-9224, bctheater.org.

Triennial Time

While we can't say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, we can honestly say that the Boise Art Museum's "Triennial" comes around rarely enough that it's a must-see when it does show.

Every three years for the last 70 years, the museum has scoured the state, looking for the best contemporary artists in Idaho. This year, a field of 249 artists was narrowed to 25, thanks to months of work by associate curator Amy Pence-Brown, the show's juror.

After traveling the state to meet with artists competing for the honor of being in the show, Pence-Brown selected 75 works by the 25 final artists to hang in the museum from Sept. 1 through Nov. 25.

The show features Boise-based artists Chris Binion, BOCOLAB, Brooke Burton, Katarzyna Cepek, Michael Cordell, Kristen Furlong, Charles Gill, Angela Katona-Batchelor, Geoffrey Kruger, Susan Latta, William Lewis, Andrea Merrell, Troy Passey, Dan Scott and Anika Smulovitz. Also featured are Jan Boles from Caldwell; John Reilly of Meridian; Theodore Waddell of Hailey; David DeVillier of Ketchum: Marilyn Lysohir, Gerri Sayler and Todd Volz of Moscow; and Rudy Kovacs, Dennis Proksa and Margo Proksa of Pocatello.

All of the artists will be present at a reception on Sept. 20, when the grand juror's prize will be announced. The winner of this award receives $1,000 and a solo show at the museum. One $500 award and two $250 awards will also be given out.

Sept. 1-Nov. 25, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $5 general admission, $3 seniors and college students, $1 children grades 1-12. Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Dr., Boise, 208-345-8330, boiseartmuseum.org.

Movin' In

When it comes down to it, Boise is a long way from Broadway in many ways, but nevertheless one of the most popular Broadway musicals in recent years is coming to town.

The Tony Award-winning Movin' Out, based on the music of Billy Joel with choreography by Twyla Tharp, will fill the Morrison Center at Boise State Sept. 21 to Sept. 23. The show, which ran in New York City for more than three years and earned critical acclaim throughout its run, combines the narrative songs of Joel with the dances of Tharp to tell the story of a group of friends through two decades, wrapping in the idealism of post-World War II and the unrest of the Vietnam War. The entire tale is told without dialogue, relying only on music and movement.

Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; Sept. 22, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sept. 23, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets $36.50-$64 plus Select-a-Seat fees. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, mc.boisestate.edu. Tickets, 208-426-1110 or Idahotickets.com.

—Deanna Darr