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I'll Be Sailing to Byzantium

ARTS continues its run of the Arizona Premiere of Sandra Deer's Sailing to Byzantium, a play premiered to critical acclaim at the renown Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1998.

The play is set in the home of Olivia and Hope Shakespear in Kensington, London and takes place in the spring of 1916, immediately following the abortive Irish uprising against the British in Dublin. Although Deer's story is based on real characters, she has taken fictional liberties in imagining relationships involving the Shakespears, their daughter Dorothy, their niece, Georgie Hyde-Lees, and some guests. The guests include the celebrated Irish Poet William Butler Yeats, his assistant American poet Ezra Pound, and Irish freedom activist Maude Gonne. In many ways is is the story of love gone awry.

Director Mark Raddatz has gathered an exceptionally strong cast for this production, including local favorite Debbie Winslow and Shakespeare Sedona Alumni Harold Dixon. Sailing to Byzantium runs at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village through September 6th. Tickets can be obtained by calling ARTS at 204-2064.

The Chicken Man

Features Local Favorite Sammy Davis

The Sedona Arts Center presents the dynamic and talented Sammy Davis, starring in the hilarious and thoroughly entertainingThe Chicken Man, written by Emmy-winning director Ron Bacon, a Sedonan.

The Chicken Man features Davis as the Voodoo King. There is an eerie resemblance between Davis and the Chicken Man. Let's just say they look like identical twins (that is when you add chicken feathers and dread-locks to Sammy).

The resemblance doesn't end there. The real Chicken Man charmed snakes and anyone who has seen Davis perform knows that he can be quite a snake charmer himself. He can mesmerize an audience without batting an eye. Bacon has subtitled the play "It's All About Love," and maybe that's what Davis and the Chicken Man really have in common - it's all about love.

For more on the show, check out the preview on page in this issue of The Red Rock Review. The Chicken Man opens on September 7th and runs through the 24th. Tickets are available by calling Sedona Art Center at 282-3809.

Witness Murder in West Sedona

Murder At the Hacienda is back at Casa Rincon this month. This hilarious interactive dinner theatre has something for everyone. The premise is based on the idea that everyone attending the dinner show is there to participate in a a casting call for a movie being filmed in Sedona.

The show is being directed by the Oak Creek Theatre Company's Mary Guaraldi. It features most of the original cast that wowed Sedona audiences with its last appearance. Cast additions include Ben Gorman ,who has acted with the Oak Creek Theatre Company and was seen most recently in the Shakespeare Sedona productions of Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night.

For more on the show, check out the preview on page in this issue of The Red Rock Review. Tickets are expected to go quickly and you can make reservation to be a part of this outrageous Whodunnit by calling Casa Rincon at 282-4849.

Country Music at the Cultural Park

Country Music star John Michael Montgomery comes to Sedona Cultural Park on September 9th. Montgomery's career is the stuff that myths are made of.

He was discovered by Atlantic records in 1991 when he was singing in the Austin City Saloon. Since then, he has had 14 number one singles, and sold over 14 million albums. He received the Country Music Associations prestigious Horizon Award in 1994. He recently completed his seventh album Home To You, which combines the romantic ballads that he is known for and some crowd pleasing country rock.

The John Michael Montgomery Concert starts at 7:30 p.m., at the Sedona Cultural Park. Tickets are available by calling 203-4TIX or 1-800-780-ARTS.

Tracking a Wildlife Artist

Mark your calendars for the middle of next month, world renown artist Judy Larson will be at Windrush Gallery on September 17. Larson, who has several books of her work published, is best known for her astonishingly life-like depiction of wildlife. She is a resident of Northern California.

Larson's unique approach to her work is through the use of scratchboard - a technique that can render magnificent detail but one requiring infinite patience. Scratchboard, an old, but little used medium, consists of a smooth, thin surface of hardened China Clay applied to a board. The subject is then painted solidly with black India ink to create a silhouette, and a working sketch (using white chalk) is made onto the dark silhouette.

Now the exacting work begins, engraving the image into the surface of the artwork. While many artists use steel nibs or engraving tools, Larson prefers to work with x-acto blades, changing them every few minutes to produce as fine a line as possible. Once the subject has been totally scratched, it is a finished black and white illustration, ready for the artist to add color. The methods of adding color are diverse. Larson prefers a combination of air-brush, gouache or acrylics for finishing with frequent rescratching for detail.

The reception at Windrush Gallery runs from 1:30-5:00 p.m. on Sept. 17th. Larson will also be demonstrating the scratchboard technique. For more information call Windrush Gallery at 282-7676

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