The president and Martha Stewart are engaged in an executive laissez affair -- or so it goes in performance artist Karen Finley's newest work George & Martha, which opens tonight at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street in Boulder. The two-character satire, co-starring Finley and Neal Medlyn, is a contemporary nod to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Save for a few props, the two actors wear nothing on stage but the painted stripes of the slammer and those of the star-spangled banner. Is the politically charged performance explicit? "There's no penetration, if that's what you're asking," Finley replies "They are involved romantically."
Using artistic license, Finley depicts Martha engaged in presidential fellatio and Dubya bent over with a flashlight up his bureaucratic bum. George & Marthais not appropriate for all ages -- but then, this is Karen Finley, famed for loud, lewd and nude performances, and one of the "NEA 4" who rattled Jesse Helms and shook the National Endowment for the Arts in the 1990s. And with so much hot political fodder still handy, don't expect Finley to ease off now. "This is a bold experimental work," she says. "It is one of the most on-edge works I have done so far."
Music of the Foot
Prepare to have your eardrums pounded -- in a good way -- by the talented tappers of the Denver Percussion Company, who bring their energetic, Stomp-style performance to the Cleo Parker Robinson Theater tonight at 7 p.m.
"This is a high-energy show, filled with improv drum and tap-dancing techniques and rhythms; it has an industrial feel," says Dave Rickard, one of four artists who make up the DPC ensemble.
Michael Chabon brings his unique style to town.
Michael Chabon's first major breakthrough came in 2000, when an adaptation of his second novel, Wonder Boys, hit the big screen. The next year, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the wonderfully labyrinthine epic The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay-- a hilarious, moving romp that touches on everything from Harry Houdini and the history of comic books to the anxieties of World War II-era Czechoslovakia and boyish, brotherly love. It's doubtful that even Scorsese or Tim Burton could make sense of that one.
Chabon is one of contemporary fiction's most deft and playful craftsmen -- a writer who puts a premium on the pleasure of the reading experience. His books are as accessible and fun as they are smart and cerebral. Right now, he's enjoying a Midas-touch moment: He wrote the screenplay for Spider-Man 2, and a recent Chabon-edited installment of McSweeney's literary quarterly became a bestseller.
On Tuesday, February 15, Chabon will read and discuss his work, writing and the literary life, at the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Post-News Pen & Podium Series. For ticket information, call 303-871-7720. -- Laura Bond
Laughs All Around
The Second City troupe comes to Colorado.
For those of you who have not heard of the Second City players, allow us to bring you up to speed: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Bonnie Hunt, Chris Farley, Tina Fey.
Get the picture?
Unless you've been living in a dark, dank, unfunny hole for the past thirty years, you have heard of Second City. Originally a small cabaret theater started in the late 1950s by a group of University of Chicago students, Second City has grown into a legitimate comedic institution. The troupe is renowned for its consistently hilarious sketch and improv comedy, and it's been a fertile breeding ground for several generations of witty stars. And the onetime Chicago attraction has blossomed into a full-blown empire, with homes in Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Los Angeles and New York. You can even catch its shows on cruise ships these days. But if your immediate plans do not include any sea travel, fear not: Second City will come to you.
Today only, at 7 and 10 p.m. (the later show is 21-and-over), The Second City National Touring Company will wax comedic at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, Boulder, with revues featuring some of the greatest songs, scenes and improvisation from its archives. For tickets -- $16.50 for general admission, $21.50 reserved -- call 303-786-7030 or log on to www.bouldertheater.com. -- Adam Cayton-Holland