Culture

Jerusalem
This weekend saw the Rogue Theater’s presentation of Jerusalem, a play by Jez Butterworth.  I realized I’d read about it, ‘cuz  Hugh Jackman — Wolverine himself — will return to the New York stage in a production of Jez Butterworth’s play “The River”, which I’d just read in the NY Times1, mentioning Butterworth’s last play,  “Jerusalem”.  Then I remembered reading about Jerusalem a few years ago when it was on Broadway2.

I understood most of the ref’s to England – Spice Girls, Susan Boyle, Frodo, Beckham, William Blake’s poem.  Yes, the play was pretty profane, but I thought the acting was very good, and I enjoyed it.  (You can still see it this coming weekend.)  Photo from the Rogue’s Facebook page.

jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land

Note: the poem has since been set to music, and was sung at the Royal Wedding.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yIWBO_7nio

jcc sculpture 013JCC Sculpture Garden
Sunday joined CAS3 for a tour of the Jewish Community Center’s sculpture garden.  It was created south of the building after the Alvernon Bridge was built over the Rillito and exposed the area.  It it now part of their Arts & Culture program, which also includes its art gallery (now exhibiting a quilt show) and their annual film festival.

You have no doubt seen this 40-foot sculpture by Del Geist4 if you’ve used the bridge.  It’s named Clavis Tower.  In archaeology a clavis is a Roman keystone.

jcc sculpture 004They also had a couple of new sculptures by Rotraut (pronounced “Roe-trout”)5, widow of Yves Klein.

We also had nice (kosher) afternoon tea, but with our standard wine instead of tea, of course.


Reading

black countJust finished The Black Count, by Tom Reiss, recommended by friend M, a historical tome (330 pages, with another 70 of acknowledgements, author’s notes on names – English v. French, notes, and selected bibliography).

It’s the story of Alexander Dumas’ father (the son, his namesake, was author of The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, and others).

Alexander the father was son of a French aristocrat who was a Haitian (Hispaniolan back in the 18th C.) plantation owner and one of his slaves.  Alexander was educated in Paris as a rich kid and an all-around Good Guy. He became a great general,  a 6’1″ black man in charge of 50,00 troops, mostly white, but was eventually screwed out of his position by Napoleon, who tossed out not only Alexander’s military compensation, but the Revolution for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and reinstated slavery in the French colonies.

Anyway, it was a bit historically dry for me, and I’m not that interested in military campaigns.  But it is obviously well-researched.

Scorpion
Friday morning grabbed the rest of the NY Times that I hadn’t finished (it takes me a whole week to read Sunday’s) from the floor next to my bed and stuffed it in the bag I take to the college, with my purse.  (Fridays afternoons are slow, as there are no classes, just the open lab, so I often finish the newspaper.)  When I took out my purse at lunch time I noticed a scorpion in the bottom of the bag.  It wasn’t moving, but I dumped out the contents and squished it.  Guess it had been in the newspaper.  Maybe my cat had killed it.  She does that.

1http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/theater/hugh-jackman-tests-his-limits-in-the-river.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As
2http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/theater/reviews/jerusalem-with-mark-rylance-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
3Tucson Museum of Art’s Contemporary Art Society
4http://delgeist.com/sculpture.html
5http://www.rotraut.com/index_en.html

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