1 SHAKE THE TREE
Dance choreographer Jean Isaacs recently contacted experimental-sound artist Margaret Noble and asked her to contribute a recent piece of hers to an arts festival that Isaacs was assembling. Noble was interested, sure, but she wanted to do something new. But what?
Noble eventually came across a text called The Unvarnished Truth, an academic document about people who sold their family stories for sustenance money, and it spurred the idea to explore how people's families' pasts influence their present. She shared the idea with writer Justin Hudnall.
"We started talking about artists selling stories, and what were our stories, and they kind of came together," Noble says. "The curiosity is: Are you informed by the stories of your family from the past—the experiences that they have? And how much does that influence you? And what happens when you do shake the family tree? Are you always going to be comfortable with the results that you get, and what you see and what you discover?"
Those notions will be investigated in Righteous Exploits, starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at White Box Theatre (2590 Truxtun Road in Point Loma's Liberty Station). The performance is part of Isaacs' Live Arts Fest, which continues through April 21.
For the show, Hudnall will weave a single narrative of three generations from his and Noble's families, with Noble's grandmother, Helen Hosmer—an activist with a thick FBI file—playing a leading role. Noble will project visuals onto three screens, play electronic music to underscore the narrative and use symbolic, abstract soundscapes to add texture.
"What we're hoping to have on stage is this synergy that's pretty experimental and out-there that creates a strong narrative feeling but has a theatrical feature," Noble says. However, she adds, "we are definitely not trying to be so abstract that people wouldn't get it; we want to speak to the audience, communicate with them and see what they connect in their own lives by us revealing our family trees."
These days, it seems like everyone's a photographer, especially now that the art form is evolving in the digital age and more accessible than ever. All someone has to do is download an app and pick a cool filter, and with a tap of a finger, they have a grainy image of their sandwich. Still, a photographer's eye for detail and perspective can't be faked. See what true shutterbugs can do with a smart phone at The Prodigy Show: Hipstamatic Addict Insane, opening from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Distinction Gallery (317 E. Grand Ave. in Escondido). The exhibition will be juried by Joseph Bellows and features photographs taken by artists like Kelly Vivanco and Kim Hirsch, using apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram. distinctionart.com
3 TAKE FLIGHT
Remember that scene in Almost Famous when everybody on the tour bus is all quiet and somber, but then they start singing the words to "Tiny Dancer" and cheer up? That's the kind of power Elton John has over people—he can lift spirits, and he can make big groups of people sing. In a tribute show dubbed Rocket Man: The Music of Elton John, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus will channel Sir John's songwriting magic with choreographed performances of hits like "Bennie and the Jets," "Candle in the Wind" and, of course, "Rocket Man." The show goes down at Birch North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave. in North Park) at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14. $25-$40. sdgmc.org