APT: Holidames: Tangled In Tinsel

This was absolutely an hour well spent on a dreary December afternoon. While we are all safe at home and missing all of our seasonal favorites, Colleen Madden, Sarah Day, and Tracy Michelle Arnold are determined to make us merry, make us reminisce, and make us appreciate what we do have. And what we do have at hand in ‘Tangled In Tinsel’, is a unique and original and utterly entertaining virtual theater piece. As I have previously written, The American Players Theatre has taken the possibilities in Zoom and made them their own…and one of the pieces here even extols the ‘pleasures’ of Zoom.

But hopefully, I won’t give too much away here, but this is unexpected pleasure. A grab bag of original skits…some traditional…some very modern…and many very timely.

clockwise from top left: Tracy, Sarah, and Colleen!

This screen shot is from the opening segment where our actors lay the groundwork for their presentation…and share some comic and some poignant stories about their past lives in versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’! Oh what fun.

And interspersed we have a number of very effective readings of winter time poetry, ‘The Night Before Christmas’ (my favorite part), and the story of the Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus….and Christmas carols!!

Of course Scrooge makes an appearance engaged in conversation with his nephew, Fred. And you will easily forget that we have two women playing traditional male roles here. You are just mesmerized but the story and the presentation, and that old bias just slips away.

left to right: Scrooge and Fred!

And who woulda thunk, but with all of the time on her hands, Mrs. Cratchit now has a vlog and a very special guest in Mrs. Fezziwig! Hilarity ensues although there is some serious content here…although done in good cheer! And a surprise guest…who I won’t give away…they bring their whole here and the original ‘A Christmas Carol’ back to point.

And oh my goodness, you couldn’t ask for three more talented actors, who obviously enjoy working together…even though far apart…and I was just amazed as they all moved from conversation to drama to comedy to song…and excelled at each phase! Thank you Sarah, Tracy, and Colleen for your talents, spirit, and the willingness to bring this to us all.

As I said above, the APT has truly found Zoom to its liking and I could see this becoming a part and parcel of their future. So although I look forward to traipsing up the hill again next year, I could see spending another future winter day with the APT crew online.

The Holidames: ‘Tangled In Tinsel’ is available on line from now through December 29th. You can order access via the APT website to get a link to the video. Once you activate your ticket you have 24 hours to watch the presentation. Tickets run $24 but there is a discount if you also order the APT’s ‘This Wonderful Life’ at the same time.

In the meantime, here’s the trailer:

There Is Still Time To Contribute To Your Favorite Arts Organization!!

Yes, Giving Tuesday was some time ago. But I recently read an article that said the Milwaukee Art Museum is losing $10,000 for every day that it is closed. And we know that all of our other favorite arts organizations are suffering as well…particularly the performing arts groups that depend on holiday performances for a quarter to a half of their annual revenue.

And I know that most of you are really missing your annual fix of ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘The Nutcracker’ or other long term holiday traditions.

I am not going to suggest any group(s) in particular…just please donate to the arts organization(s) of your choice so that we will all be able to enjoy all of these things again in 2021!

Be healthy. Be happy. Stay Safe. Happy Holidays!!

Mario Moore: A Fellow At Work: Focusing On Black Workers At Princeton University.

There is nothing in the post that is original to me. But I have been spending part of my pandemic quarantine time these past few months attending Zoom lectures from the Princeton Art Museum. In their December email newsletter was a link to this presentation by Mario Moore about his show at Princeton while he was the 2018 – 2019 Hodder Fellow there. It is a year old but still relevant in 2020 and maybe even more so. I found it very intriguing and very rewarding. Here is the video included in the article and I would recommend that you click this link and read the entire story!

“The Work of Several Lifetimes,” an exhibition of new work created over the past year by Moore, presents etchings, drawings and large-scale paintings of black men and women who work at or around campus. Moore was a 2018-19 Hodder Fellow in the Lewis Center for the Arts; the fellowship is given to artists and writers of exceptional promise to pursue independent projects at the University during the academic year.

Moore was one of five Hodder Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year. Moore received a BFA in illustration from the College for Creative Studies (2009) and an MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art (2013). He has participated as an artist-in-residence at Knox College, The Fountainhead and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. His work has been exhibited at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, and Detroit Institute of Arts, and with the Smithsonian Institution. Moore’s solo exhibitions include Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. His work is included in the “Studio Visit Volume 31” (2015) and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s catalog, “Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art” (2014).