Ready, set … That blowing sound you hear is the sound of downtown business owners collectively exhaling; it’s the sound of dozens of beer truckers strapping their hernia belts tight and flying around the downtown flat track; it is that unmistakable whoosh-and-thud! of 10,000 new citizens being added to our fair city overnight. School is in session at Chico State, and for everything that owes its existence in Chee-ko! to the presence of the university, it is officially “go time.”
Never too soon to laugh Like a lot of things, much of what happens arts-wise in C-town follows the rhythms of the school year, and now is the time that we get to peek at the new calendars and plot out our arts attack. And speaking of attacking, our little contemporary playhouse The Blue Room Theatre opens its new season with a 9/11 comedy! Craig Wright’s Recent Tragic Events is set on Sept. 12, 2001, and gets all existential, posing questions about fate and free will against the backdrop of “the thing” (as the play refers to, you know, “the thing”) and a tragically/hilariously timed blind date. And apparently poet Joyce Carol Oates is played by a sock puppet, so that’s pretty rad.
Recent Tragic Events opens Sept. 7. Check www.blueroomtheatre.com for the theater’s complete 2006-07 calendar.
Music is art, too For a university’s arts calendar to be reputable there has to be a balanced selection of musical performances alongside the other performance and visual arts. And between the School of the Arts’ extensive student/faculty programming and the world-sized net Chico Performances casts for performers, Chico State is set. Highlights circled on my calendar include rock anti-icon Lou Reed (Nov. 5), country-folkster Lucinda Williams (Nov. 28) and lasso-spinnin’ yodeler Sourdough Slim (Feb. 17).
For a more avant-garde (and much cheaper) selection of music-as-art, keep watch on the calendars of two local galleries: The Crux Art Collective (www.cruxarts.com) and 1078 Gallery (www.1078gallery.org).
And then there’s Mabrie Ormes’ new exhibit coming up at Chico State’s Humanities Center Gallery, Listening Lines. Subtitled Visual Works Inspired by Music, the show is the result of more than a decade of drawings Ormes has done while watching Chico musicians performing around town. The new show features paintings based on her drawings.
Listening Lines opens Sept. 7, with an artist’s talk (4 p.m.) and reception (5-7 p.m.) with live music by a jazz quintet featuring pianist Shigemi Minetaka and trumpet player Rocky Winslow.
Plus, more! Also … More calendars to mark up your own personal arts calendar with:
• Artoberfest (October is Arts month in Chico): www.artoberfest.org
• Avenue 9 Gallery: www.avenue9gallery.com
• Chico Art Center: www.chicoartcenter.com
• Chico Cabaret: www.chicocabaret.com
• Chico State arts (galleries, film, theater, dance and music): www.csuchico.edu/hfa/chicoarts/artsinfo.html (also, pick up your copy of Kaleidoscope at the University Box Office: 898-6333)
• Chico Theater Company: www.chicotheatercompany.com
• Pageant Theatre: www.pageantchico.com
Jason Cassidy is a former CN&R arts editor and current calendar editor and is on the board of the 1078 Gallery.