January 26, 2007

A fresh mix of spring arts events

Master puppeteer Sigit Adji Sabdo Soegito
Master puppeteer Sigit Adji Sabdo Soegito

The spring arts season at Sacramento State opens with an eclectic mix of world music, socially conscious art, stimulating performance, whimsical musical theater and an evening with a Broadway legend.
           
The University Library Gallery begins the season with its stunning exhibition, “The African Art Collection of Paul LeBaron Thiebaud,” which opened in the fall and continues through March 17. This exhibition of objects drawn from African cultures around the continent presents authentic African tribal masks and figurines that, in their time, were appreciated for their perceived powers and today can be appreciated for their artistic beauty. This will be followed by an exhibition of paintings by Chinese-born artist Jian Wang, who received his master’s degree in art at Sacramento State and whose work is displayed in public and private collections throughout the world. This exhibition opens April 3 and runs through June 23.
           
Two exhibitions at the University Gallery annex will explore the ways in which art can be used to address political and social issues. “R.C.A.F. Goes to College” highlights the work of Royal Chicano Air Force, a Sacramento-based artistic collective. The exhibition will include posters created from the 1970s to 90s to support the Chicano civil rights movement and the United Farm Workers, as well as newer work by 12 of its members. “R.C.A.F. Goes to College” opens with a reception Feb. 2 and runs through March 3. Then, in an exhibition titled “Body Image/Body Essence: Viewing Ovarian Cancer through the Art of Sculpture,” sculptor John Magnan creates a powerful artistic response to his wife’s long battle with ovarian cancer. This exhibition runs from March 20 through April 28.

The musical possibilities seem almost endless this season. The World Music Performance series opens with six concerts, beginning Feb. 8 with the all-female throat singing ensemble Tyva Kyzy. Other highlights include master puppeteer Sigit Adji Sabdo Soegito, accompanied by Gamelan Sari Raras, in a performance of Javanese shadow puppet theater on Feb. 24, and Stephen Kent, performing on the ancient Aboriginal instrument, the didjeridu, joined by Moroccan musicians Yassir Chadly and Bouchaib Abdelhadi on March 18. All concerts take place in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall.
           
Sacramento State’s Piano Festival opens Feb. 18 with guest pianist Jacques Després performing works by Kraus, Beethoven and Schumann. Despres has dazzled audiences for nearly two decades in his native Canada and the United States with his sensitive yet powerful style. He will be followed on March 17 by Faina Lushtak and on April 21 by Norman Krieger. Also on stage will be the finalists for the new Valencia Young Pianist Competition Feb. 17 – 19.
           
Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco highlights this year’s New Millennium Concert Series on Feb. 20 with an evening of Tangos and other dance music in the Music Recital Hall. Also on tap are performances from the Aulos Ensemble on March 18 and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio on April 19.  The series closes on May 10 with the annual Faculty Gala concert.
           
The Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra will be giving its first performance of 2007 on March 13. Under the direction of maestro Leo Eylar, the orchestra will perform works by Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and a new concerto by James DeMars, featuring Sacramento State music professor Deborah Pittman.

This year’s popular Festival of the Arts will run April 11 – 14 and include performances by jazz pianist Goeff Keezer and vocalist Julia Dollison joining the Sacramento State Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, as well as the Sacramento State Percussion Studio and the “President’s Concert,” featuring The Sun Quartet.       

The University’s department of theatre and dance starts off with a performance by Sacramento/Black Art of Dance, Sacramento’s State’s modern dance company, from Feb. 22 – March 4.  Then, Seussical: The Musical, directed by Richard Bay, runs from March 9 – 25. Based on the beloved books of Dr. Seuss, this family-friendly musical weaves together many of Seuss’ most familiar characters, such as Horton the elephant, the Grinch, and the irrepressible Cat in the Hat, into a story about the power of imagination.

My Visits with MGM (My Grandmother Marta)
, by playwright Edit Villareal and directed by Manuel Pickett, runs from April 20 – May 6. This funny and poignant work explores the difficulties of cultural assimilation and how a modern woman finds inspiration through memories of her grandmother.  And to end the season, seniors from the department of Theatre and Dance will showcase their work from May 9 – 20 in a performance directed by Lorelei Bayne.
           
The Sacramento State Opera Theatre will present Jules Massenet’s romantic fantasy, Cinderella (Cendrillon) beginning May 11 in the University Theatre. Performances will continue on May 13, 17, and 19.

On April 27, the University will present a unique opportunity to see “An Evening with Carol Channing.” This icon of American musical theater, best known for her Broadway roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello Dolly!, will bring her one woman show to the University Theatre. 
           
UNIQUE Programs brings a variety of entertaining events to campus this spring. “S.E.L.L.O.U.T.”, a nationally touring standup comedy show, featuringVince Morris, B.T., Billy D. Washington, and Louis Johnson, four black comedians who celebrate our differences one joke at a time, will be held Feb. 8. Then on March 6, the “Best of the San Francisco Comedy Competition” will come to campus.  Other performances include “Of Montreal,” an indie rock concert on Feb. 12; Camillia International Folk Dance Festival on March 11; Multicultural Night 4, featuring campus and community performances by groups representing a wide spectrum of ethnicities and cultures, on April 26; and Frida,Un Retablo, a bilingual play by Portland’s Teatro Milagro/Miracle Theater on May 1.
           
Tickets for events are available through the Sacramento State Ticket Office at 278-4323 or at tickets.com. A complete listing of University events is available at www.csus.edu/events.

For media assistance, contact the Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.