June 19, 2008...
Movie audiences recognize Sam Shepard from films such as the Right Stuff and Crimes of the Heart. But the actor is also an award-winning playwright, known for gritty scripts that often touch on the absurd. Just the kind of material Birmingham's City Equity Theatre likes to tackle. The professional theatre company launches its third season this week with Sam Shepard's play True West. City Equity's Jonathan Fuller tells WBHM's Tanya Ott that Shepard is a very significant figure in modern American theatre.
City Equity Theatre's production of True West runs through June 29th at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. In July City Equity presents "The God of Hell", Shepard's absurdist take on the Patriot Act and Abu Graib.
African chants and hip-hop on the same stage? For Annie Jo Edwards and her actors at Aldridge Repertory Theatre, it's only natural. This weekend they debut their original musical revue Rhythm & Roots, which traces African American music from colonial times to today. The show is more than a dull history lesson, however. Its six soulful performers promise to keep the beats going for a long time, as WBHM's Connor McCarty reports.
Rhythm & Roots runs through June 29th at the Virginia Samford Theatre's Martha Moore Sykes Studio.
For Birmingham doctor Kirk Withrow, making cigar box guitars is not only a hobby--it's a throw back to the days when musicians had no choice but to build their own instruments. Withrow performs at the fourth annual Cigar Box Guitar festival at Huntsville's Flying Monkey Arts Center this weekend. Reporter Gigi Douban sat with him in his garage workshop recently as he made a guitar.
What's going on around town? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Her voice and classically trained finger-picking guitar style, earn Birmingham songwriter Abby Parks many comparisons, most notably to folk icon Joni Mitchell. On her recording debut, the CD "Moving On", Parks plays all the instruments and handles the writing, mixing and production as well. The CD is a collection of folk styles and art-songs filled with images inspired by her travels, and ideas of faith, love and hope.(AUDIO MONTAGE)
The song is 'It's Not Over' from the CD 'Moving On'. Abby Parks plays Mimi's Coffee Bar in Talladega on June 21.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Gigi Douban, Connor McCarty, Coleman Lipsey, Islara Vazquez and Marlon Glenn. I'm Greg Bass. See you next week.