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Cue Sheet – October 2007


After my morning shift on KUAT-FM and an afternoon of fund-raising on KUAZ, I’m going home for some last-minute packing, then departing tomorrow morning for two weeks in Switzerland. Yes, it’s a strange time to mingle with the Swiss; the weather won’t be especially good, but it’s not yet ski season. But it’s the only mutually agreeable time when we could visit a couple of friends who are spending the fall semester in Zurich. I’m definitely ready for a vacation, having worked frantically to, among other things, stockpile enough installments of the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music broadcast series to see us through to Thanksgiving. The morning hours will be in good hands during my absence, so don’t touch that dial!



    My theater review in the current Tucson Weekly begins like this:

    Sometimes it pays to write yourself into a corner--or at least write your characters into one. Take a small group of flawed people who have little in common. Make them interact in unexpected ways by trapping them in a lifeboat or a jury room or, if you're writing a low-budget sitcom script, an elevator. Sit back and let the comedy and drama write themselves.
    Well, it isn't quite that easy, but it is a quick way to force characters into confrontation, and William Inge put the technique to good use in his 1955 comedy Bus Stop. Just outside Kansas City, a snowstorm strands eight people overnight in a diner, and even though this is the Midwest in the 1950s, the evening's dominant subject is sex. Maybe even love, but mostly sex.
    The UA's Arizona Repertory Theatre has revived the play, once a great Broadway and cinematic success but now relegated mainly to community theaters. As this Brent-Gibbs-directed production shows, the play still holds up very well in all respects but one: In a script that has many interesting and subtle things to say about coupling, the two central characters are utterly repellent.
    You can find the rest here.



    Via the blog oboeinsight, I happened upon this simple visual test to determine whether one primarily uses the left or right side of the brain. I distinctly see the dancer twirling clockwise, which supposedly makes me a righty, and that's a big surprise to me; the list of attributes accompanying the graphic pretty well describes me as a left-brain person. And you?



    Here's a press release I just received about a competition named after Caruso, but not the Caruso you probably have in mind:

    What: The 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and Gala Concert, hosted by the School of Music at The University of Arizona
    When and Where:
Saturday, Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m. Lecture, Crowder Hall, UA School of Music
Saturday, Nov. 3, 12:00 p.m. Competition. Crowder Hall, UA School of Music
Saturday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Gala Concert, Centennial Hall, The University of Arizona
    Cost/Admission: Free, open to the public
    The center of the jazz trumpet world will be The University of Arizona campus on Saturday, November 3, 2007, as the UA School of Music hosts the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and Gala Concert.
    The Caruso competition is considered the most prestigious competitive event for jazz trumpet artists in the world. The International Trumpet Guild (ITG) and the Herb Alpert Foundation sponsor this bi-annual event. It is the first time the UA has hosted this competition. The winning prize is $10,000 and the runner-up receives $5,000. The UA School of Music, UA Presents and Tucson Jazz Society have teamed up with ITG and the Herb Alpert Foundation to offer the competition and this incredible concert free of charge as a musical gift to our community.
    Thirty-four trumpeters, all under the age of 30, from Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and the United States submitted audition CDs and tapes this past spring for a chance to perform in Tucson this year. The five final contestants chosen were: Ambrose Akinmusire (New York, NY), James Davis (Evanston, IL), Matthew Holman (Chicago, IL), Tobias Kaemmerer (Chicago, IL), and Charles Porter (New York, NY). Mr. Holman is a graduate of Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson.
    The artists/judges for the Tucson final competition and concert are Byron Stripling, Pat Harbison, and Vince DiMartino. In addition to the judges, pianist and trumpeter Jeff Holmes will join all of the soloists during the Gala Concert. His arrangement of “Byouba,” written for the competition by Jeff Haskell, will be presented.
    Composer/arranger Kim Scharnberg is providing the performers with a new work, commissioned for this concert, called “The Miraculous Polar Bear Adventure,” which features all nine of the guest trumpet artists.
    UA Professors Jeffrey Haskell and Edward Reid are the co-hosts for this event.



    Seems like I wrote about half of the latest Tucson Weekly, and I’m not confined to the arts section. Oh, sure, there are two theater stories, including a review of a very good Borderlands show …

    Let's dispense right away with the silly question of whether an Anglo should write about characters of other ethnicities. Of course she should; it's the business of writers who aren't trapped in autobiography to imagine and understand other lives, lives of people necessarily much different from the writers.
    And if we enacted some foolish no-imagination rule, we'd lack Dust Eaters, Julie Jensen's fine drama about four generations of Goshute Indians and their white Mormon neighbors.
    Borderlands Theater is presenting the play in a marvelously acted production that maintains narrative and emotional coherence even though each scene brings a substantially different cast of characters.
    … the rest of which you can read here, before continuing on to a preview of a comedy ripped from today’s … er … e-mail:
    It's the inescapable "4-1-9" scam (named after the Nigerian statute that, ineffectively, outlawed it), a descendant of the good old "Spanish Prisoner" con. A few people fall for it and get bilked out of hundreds or thousands of dollars; one or two have even been murdered. Most of us just delete the messages ... day after day after day.
    Not Dean Cameron. He wrote back and scammed the spammers.
    Find out what happened next here. Then, if you’re so inclined, find out what I think about Jennifer Lee Carrell’s Shakespeare thriller, Interred with Their Bones, in the book-review section, and my opinion of Mona Lisa Corleone Sicilian Restaurant back in the Chow section.
    While you’re doing that, I think I’ll go take a nap.



    In case you’re tired of reading the latest turn-of-the-screw stories about unfit actress moms and drunken TV-star drivers,, here’s a piece of my exciting life:
    Yesterday I stayed home, sickish. My wife transferred her cold to me, and on Monday I was afraid I’d be in for a couple of days of nastiness, but I seem to have fended off the worst of it by staying home yesterday (but still waking up at 5 a.m., and taking only a one-hour nap after lunch, and spending five hours compiling an index for a Missouri travel publication, a job that requires another two or three hours of toil today).
    Now I’m back, and today I have to 1) finish the aforementioned index, 2) record two narration scripts for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music radio series, so we’ll have something to broadcast this Sunday afternoon, 3) write one of the aforementioned scripts, 4) interview Jennifer Lee Carrell about Shakespeare in the Wild West for a segment on KUAZ’s Arizona Spotlight, 5) look into either paying off a speeding ticket I got a week and a half ago zipping down the Catalina Highway after two nights of camping and hiking and NOT showering, or going to traffic survival school if I can fit it in before I leave for Switzerland in a week and a half, 6) take a nap, so I can stay up late when I 7) go to the UA production of Bus Stop tonight for a review I’ll write for next week’s Tucson Weekly. I guess I’d also better pay attention to my regular air shift between now and noon.
    I just don’t have time for bad parenting and drunk driving.


About Cue Sheet

James Reel's cranky consideration of the fine arts and public radio in Tucson and beyond.