Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: September 21, 2014
By: Laura Deni


Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson indicted on felony charge for beating his four-year-old son. Photo Tom Dahlin/Getty
When a white parent is accused of causing injury by beating their child they are hauled into court. No lawyer - appointed or otherwise - launches a defense based upon the fact that the parent is white.

Explosive child-abuse allegations surrounding Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has thrown into the spotlight the prevalence of child beating, especially within the black community, with those accused using their black race as an excuse.

Peterson was indicted on a felony charge for beating his four-year-old son with a switch - a tree branch which has had the leaves removed - in an act that exceeded "reasonable discipline" according to the Montgomery County, Texas, District Attorney’s office. The NFL player admitting to hitting his child with a belt and another beating with a switch, saying said the "whoopin'" was not unlike the discipline “he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”

The youngster reportedly suffered from numerous injuries - documented in photographs - including cuts and wounds to his ankles, legs, hands, back, buttocks and scrotum. The child also told authorities that his father hit him with belts and put leaves in his mouth while he was being hit, pants down, with the switch.

The police report also said that the child had told the officers he had been hit by a belt in the past and that Peterson "has a whooping room".

As first reported in the StarTribune, on Friday, September 19, Minnesota authorities filed a petition seeking a protective order for Peterson's 4-year-old son. In the petition, Hennepin County Human Services asked a judge to forbid Peterson to have unauthorized or unsupervised contact with his son, block Peterson from using corporal punishment or physical discipline on the boy and require Peterson to complete a parenting assessment.

According to the petition the child visited Peterson in Montgomery County, Texas, from about May 6-22. His mother, who authorities have not named, is the one who reported possible abuse to Hennepin County Child Protection services on May 22. Three exams over an seven day concluded that "his injuries are significant and may cause some scarring."

Hennepin County requested and received an order postponing the child protection proceedings until Peterson’s criminal charges are resolved. A Texas grand jury indicted Peterson on September 12 for felony injury to a child. His first scheduled court appearance in that case is October 8.

Charles Barkley
Hitting - a whoopin' - as apparently blacks love to call the event, is "a longstanding African-American institution."

The colorful former professional basketball star Charles Barkley, a frequent Las Vegas visitor, was anxious to defend Peterson.

"I'm from the South," he said during CBS's NFL pregame show. "Whipping - we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances."

In nine NFL seasons Lions running back Reggie Bush has rushed for 5,168 yards on 1,190 carries (4.3 avg) and 33 touchdowns, while also racking up 3,236 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 426 receptions. Bush reached 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards for the first time in his career in 2013. However, some might say that as a father he's dropped the ball; or at least fumbled in his ability to effectively communicate his parental game plan.

Bush was a guest on the WFAN Boomer and Carton radio show September 16, 2014 and defended Peterson, saying;

"I was punished the same way," Bush intoned. "And I know a lot of my friends and a lot of the guys I played with, they were punished the same way, too.”

"I got what we call whoopin's."

When Bush, who has a 1-year-old daughter, was asked if he would ever discipline his kids the way Adrian Peterson did. Bush answered:

"I most definitely discipline my daughter. I have a 1-year-old daughter, and I discipline her. Obviously, every person is different, and I definitely will use my best judgement to discipline her depending on the situation and what happens. I definitely will try to obviously not leave bruises or anything like that on her, but I definitely will discipline her, harshly, depending on what the situation is."

Reggie Bush, father of a 1-year-old girl, stated: "I definitely will try to obviously not leave bruises or anything like that on her, but I definitely will discipline her, harshly, depending on what the situation is."
These guys just don't get it.

Many offenders have been allowed to get away with brutality because they are celebrities.

Most citizens - from teenagers on up can name at least five individuals who are champions in some sport. Most citizens - from teenagers on up cannot name five Rhodes Scholars or winners of Genius Grants.

A 2014 University of Michigan study found that 30% of US 1-year-olds had been spanked at least once. There is a difference between touching a child with an open hand, using age appropriate force, as compared to a whoppin' using an object.

The black manhood mantra that one must use physical violence against others as a means of controlling them needs its own attitude adjustment.

Famous black dudes tweeted that they use a whoopin' to teach their kids right from wrong.

Not working.

The majority of crimes committed in America are committed by persons of color. Statistics show that black males still lag in academic achievement and dominate prison populations, and black females lead in abortion numbers and have almost three-fourths of their children out of wedlock.

Within the last two weeks blacks have gone on television to carp that a time out doesn't work, as if that's a justification for a beating a child. Time outs work if the child is tired and ready to sit down. What the television induced craze for time-outs and a naughty chair accomplished was to sell a lot of small chairs.

Whatever happened to punishing a child by taking away a favorite toy, not letting them watch their favorite TV show or play video games? Whatever happened to sending a child to bed early, not letting the kid have dessert for a week or informing them they can't go to a movie or over to their friend's house to play that afternoon? Whatever happened to giving the child added chores or taking away part of their allowance?

What happened is that the parents didn't follow through and stay consistent. It's easy to sit a child in a naughty chair for 30 seconds. It's easy to beat a kid. It's hard to actually parent.

If you give your two-year-old the run of the house without supervision, why are you surprised when they break something? Put a one-year-old who is causing trouble into a play pen.

Reports indicate that blacks seem to prefer using violence as the first option.

Earlier this month Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely after a video emerged of him knocking out his then-fiancee.

Jonathan Dwyer the 25-year-old running back of the Arizona Cardinals was arrested September 17, on domestic violence charges involving his wife and their 18-month-old child, police said.
Jonathan Dwyer was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault for breaking the arm of his wife and throwing a shoe at their 18-month-old baby. Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
One of the counts against Dwyer was "aggravated assault causing a fracture" against the 27-year-old woman and preventing her from calling 911. Another count was for aggravated assault against a minor, said Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump.

Sergeant Crump told the press that police were called to Dwyer's home on July 21 after neighbors reported a fight which began when Dwyer attempted to have sex with his wife, who refused him. When the cops arrived the woman told officers she hadn't been assaulted and denied he was in the home because Dwyer threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child if she told police about the assault, police stated in their report.

Police documented that the next day Dwyer punched his wife with a closed fist on the left side of her face, breaking a bone. Dwyer also punched walls and threw a shoe at his 18-month-old son. Fortunately, the boy wasn't hurt.

When his wife attempted to call police, Dwyer grabbed her cellphone and threw it from the home's second story. Witnesses told police they heard Dwyer's wife say, "I'm calling the police."

During his police interview on Wednesday, Dwyer acknowledged hiding in the bathroom when police responded to the first argument and sending a photo of a knife with suicidal threats.

Dwyer was arrested at the team's training facility in Tempe before practice and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail. He posted a $25,000 cash bond and was released from custody early Thursday morning, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

According to Crump the woman and the child have "fled the state" fearing for their safety.

Why black violence against the people they claim to love the most?

According to Black Rage by William H. Grier, M.D. and Price M. Cobbs:

"The callous and abusive behavior sometimes exhibited toward black children by often frustrated, stressed out black adults and parents has its roots in 400 years of Chattel Slavery.

"And the odds are that her parents were abused by their parents who were abused by their parents who were abused and so on from one slave generation to the next to the next - creating a unbroken generational curse that began during chattel slavery.

“The parent tells of a child both beloved and beaten, of a child taught to look for pain from even those who cherish him most, of a child who has come to feel that beatings are right and proper for him, and of a child whose view of the world, however gently it persuades him to act toward others, decrees for him that he is to be driven by the infliction of pain.

"Beating in child-rearing actually has its psychological roots in slavery and even yet black parents will feel that, just as they have suffered beatings as children, so it is right that their children be so treated. This kind of physical subjugation of the weak forges early in the mind of the child a link with the past and, as he learns the details of history, with slavery per se.”

In August 2011 LaShaun Williams a culture and parenting columnist for Madame Noire and community health educator and parenting education coordinator Toya Sharee had a discussion about spanking on

"Perceptions of spanking among the black community are minimally affected by the research. In fact, black parents are more likely to question mainstream methods of parenting that they would argue spoil the child. Many blacks have no tolerance for the prevalence of “talking back,” public tantrums and authoritativeness displayed by nonblack children and believe that the absence of spanking induces such behavior. Even black parents who opt to use the rod only sparingly sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of confused expressions and assumptions of “white parenting.”

"It’s not uncommon to hear parents of black children being raised in affluent white communities reiterate their blackness in justifying spanking their kids as a cultural reminder of who they are."

Child expert Dr. William Sears wrote that "spanking demonstrates that it’s all right for people to hit people, and especially for big people to hit little people, and stronger people to hit weaker people. Children learn that when you have a problem you solve it with a good swat. A child whose behavior is controlled by spanking is likely to carry on this mode of interaction into other relationships with siblings and peers, and eventually a spouse and offspring.

"There are parents who should not spank and children who should not be spanked," Sears cautioned. "Are there factors in your history, your temperament, or your relationship with your child that put you at risk for abusing your child? Are there characteristics in your child that make spanking unwise?

Were you abused as a child?
Do you lose control of yourself easily?
Are you spanking more, with fewer results?
Are you spanking harder?
Is spanking not working?
Do you have a high-need child? A strong-willed child?
Is your child ultrasensitive?
Is your relationship with your child already distant?
Are there present situations that are making you angry, such as financial or marital difficulties or a recent job loss? Are there factors that are lowering your own self-confidence?

"If the answer to any of these queries is yes, you would be wise to develop a no-spanking mindset in your home and do your best to come up with noncorporal alternatives. If you find you are unable to do this on your own, talk with someone who can help you."

A recent study attempted to explain why blacks tend to be more violent in nature, and why blacks dominate the prison population.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice; "Approximately 12%-13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 40% of the almost 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison."

The 2011 University of Texas at Austin study led by Elizabeth Gershoff, a professor and researcher on corporal punishment at the university, examined 20,000 kindergartners and their parents. She discovered that 89 percent of black parents use corporal punishment. She concluded that "African Americans are more likely to whip, paddle and spank their children, and use other physical punishments as disciplining tools."

The study showed that other races spanked their children with the open hand - Asians being the least likely to spank - while blacks used more violent methods against their children, such as belts and extension cords.

Gershoff said. "It all has negative consequences for children, and it's too easy for spanking to get carried into abuse."

While more than 30 countries have banned corporal punishment, Americans believe strongly in the privacy of the family; and state laws are opaque, including the state in which the study was conducted. Texas law seems to indicate that any marks from a beating must disappear within one hour. State laws do regulate violence against children. However, it is legal for a parent to hit a child as long as it is "reasonable" and does not cause "severe harm," based upon community mores.

Just because something is legal does not mean it is right.

The issue of blacks whipping their children has a serious potential of polarizing the white community.

At the moment it's black football players that have been thrown into the spotlight. It's not just black football players that use violence against children and women. From what has been stated, blacks seem to do this across the board, using whoopin' as a bragging right.

White Americans will start to feel uneasy. What about your babysitter or the coach of your child's team? Do they give their children whoopin's? Are the other kids in your child's school room, or on their sports' team, victims of whoopin's and how does that influence the way they treat your child?

How pervasive is the problem of overly harsh whoopin's and violence against girlfriends and wives among the black community and what responsibility does the white community have, if any? Should black violence at home become a white concern only if the betting lines on favorite sports teams change?

There are a lot of uncomfortable questions that need to be addressed.

It's a dangerous slippery slope.

No matter their race, if a person wants to work in the food industry they must have a health card. Obtaining that card requires watching a movie about cleanliness, including the washing of hands. Tax payer funds support programs which at least partially supply food, housing, medical services and schooling to children. A November 2012 Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends Project found that significantly more blacks than any other race receives food stamps. Including all races, 71% of recipients are non-white. Why can't the custodial parent accepting tax payer funded aid at least be required to attend parental training classes? Even if the required training resulted in only a small percentage of parents agreeing not to beat until the child bruises or bleeds, it would be an improvement.

The issue of using race as an acceptable reason for beating a child is abhorrent, and that has to be addressed by people of all races.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
In trying to stop the flow of negativity, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (who in a Friday press conference accepted responsibility, promised change and refused to resign) sent a September 15 memo to teams announcing the appointment of Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith as advisers on domestic violence.

All have a history of dealing with sexual violence.

Lisa Friel was previously the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office. Jane Randel is the co-founder of No more, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Rita Smith is the former executive of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Although some have criticized that none of the women are black, the make-up may be in the best interest of the purpose. Black women beat their children as often as fathers - sometimes more. Black women are prone to accept being abused by their husbands and boyfriends. While giving lip service to non-violence, a black woman might be apt to not just "understand" but subconsciously condone such conduct.

What hoisted up the NFL's sudden concern about stopping domestic violence wasn't concern about injuries to women and children, but fear for their bottom line.

Money is a great motivator.

Radisson hotels were the first to pull sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings. The follow day, September 16, Anheuser-Busch, whose Bud Light brand is the official beer of the league, issued a scathing statement of the NFL. "We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season," said the beverage maker in a statement released by a spokesperson. "We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league."

McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. also voiced similar concerns to the league.

Procter & Gamble canceled a major NFL sponsorship which was to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Nike suspended its endorsement contract with Peterson issuing the following statement: "Nike in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence of any kind and has shared our concerns with the NFL," according to a statement from the Portland, Ore.-based shoe brand. "We have suspended our contract with Adrian Peterson."

Be wary of anyone who claims to have suddenly seen the light and promises to never again abuse. They may be trying to get back on the team or reinstate an endorsement. Trying to change generational behavior takes time. There is no magic pill, no quick fix, no 28-day recovery program.

Black leaders need to step up and acknowledge that their grandparents, parents and perhaps even themselves are wrong in their methods of discipline.

Selective equality is an oxymoron. Publicity surrounding blacks and child discipline give the impression of a convoluted and misguided approach to equality.

When blacks were slaves they were owned by masters who could administer beatings. Today, American children under the age of 18 are basically owned by their parents, who have the authority to discipline. Blacks revolted against being slaves with masters who beat them at will. But you slang the word to whoopin' and blacks think it's the thing to do. Those on the receiving end wear those marks as a badge of honor.

Blacks rightly asked for equal access to jobs, housing, wages and social clubs, but then they say - except - we don't "white parent."

That's puzzling.

When you draw blood on a child you scar a generation. Any significant social change takes three generations to accomplish. The black community needs to get started.

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Jenny Holzer, Ribs, 2010. Eleven LED signs with blue, red and white diodes, text: US government documents, 58 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches each. Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York. © 2010 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay
is the first major survey of a generation of artists working in the violent and uncertain decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect and reveal previously unreported information.

Covert Operations will include works by thirteen multidisciplinary visual artists and collaboratives: Ahmed Basiony (Egypt), Thomas Demand (Germany), Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 (United States), Hasan Elahi (Bangladesh/United States), Harun Farocki (Germany [German-annexed Czechoslovakia]), David Gurman (United States), Jenny Holzer (United States), Trevor Paglen (United States), Jenny Perlin (United States), Anne-Marie Schleiner and Luis Hernandez Galvan (United States; Mexico), Taryn Simon (United States), David Taylor (United States) and Kerry Tribe (United States).

They use legal procedures as well as traditional research methods and resources such as the Freedom of Information Act, government archives, field research and insider connections, to create sophisticated artworks that push beyond conventional thinking. The thirty-seven artworks included in Covert Operations employ the tools of democracy to bear witness to attacks on liberty and to embrace democratic ideals, open government and civil rights.

The exhibition title is a direct reference to Donald Rumsfeld’s eerie insight into our post 9/11 landscape. In 2002 he commented to the press corps: “[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

His assertion, although obfuscatory, is both logical and rhetorically accurate. Covert Operations presents works that directly address citizens’ constitutional rights and the vast expansion of federal power. Many of the artists examine the complicity of both governmental and individual actors in human rights violations. Others pry into the hidden institutional structures and economy of the United States intelligence community.

Other subjects include Black Sites, the geographic sites of clandestine governmental operations. Still other artists testify to personal discrimination in the name of national security. A visual art exhibition is a potent vehicle for shedding light on the complicated relationship between freedom and security, individuals and the state, fundamental extremism and democracy. As former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed, “Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

The exhibition’s rich conceptual themes include secrecy and disclosure, violence, power, subterfuge, surveillance, territory, geography and the visible versus the hidden. Subjects range from classified military sites and reconnaissance satellites to border and immigration surveillance, terrorist profiling to narcotics and human trafficking, illegal extradition flights to nuclear weapons.

September 28, 2014 – January 11, 2015 at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Rob Evans, Fossil, 1997, mixed media on paper, 27 x 38 inches, courtesy of the artist
features more than 40 of his pieces made over the past 40 years in this special exhibition.

Ranging in size from meticulously crafted two-inch square miniatures to monumental triptychs and altarpieces 12 feet in length, the pieces in the exhibit present the viewer with a cross section of themes the artist has worked with over the years.

The pieces draw unconventional metaphors from the local, natural landscape, and commonplace people; places and things near his home and studio along the Susquehanna River.

Presented in a broad variety of media - oils, acrylics, pastels, graphite, lithography, watercolor and digital printmaking - these themes include a series of mysterious interiors. The pieces evoke a decidedly narrative quality; images of insects and natural history specimens, figurative works portraying the artist’s family, and luminous studies of the Susquehanna River Valley during various seasons and times of day.

Evans grew up in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and received a BFA from Syracuse University in 1981. His works have been acquired by and exhibited in museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, San Francisco Art Museums, Portland Art Museum, and the Tretyakov Museum in Moscow.

In 2001 he was one of 25 artists included in the landmark traveling exhibition Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting 1950-2000. His works have also appeared on the covers of magazines, PBS radio and television specials.

September 27 - December 7, 2014 - American Gallery at the Reading Museum in Reading, PA.


FOR THE BENEFIT OF MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY at The National Theatre in Washington, DC, Chris Gladbach and Katie Einspanier will host a reception at their Alexandria home on Saturday, September 27. Guests are encouraged to wear cocktail attire. While guests enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres, they'll be entertained by Happenstance Theatre Company, former White House Pianist and National Theatre Executive Director Tom Lee and Chris Astilla, a concert pianist, who will be playing excerpt from Prokofiev's Cinderella. An auction will also take place.

Military Appreciation Day at the historic National Theatre takes place on November 22, 2014. It's a day of arts programming and performance inspired by the golden age of circus provided by Happenstance Theatre. Families will be delighted by shows that bubble over with physical comedy, virtuosity and musical surprises from the sublime to the ridiculous. There will also be an inspirational book reading by Navy veteran and well-known children's book author Julia A. Maki.


Stuart Damon and Lesley ann Warren in Cinderella.
Lesley Ann Warren is a lady who played Cinderella to perfection in a long ago television special. After almost 50 years the ageless beauty will attend the September 23 performance of Broadway’s Cinderella, appearing on stage with the entire cast at the end and join in an encore singing of Ten Minutes Ago.

Warren is promoting the DVD release of her famous 1965 TV special Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, in which she starred as Cinderella opposite General Hospital heartthrob Stuart Damon as Prince Charming.

It's nice to see Warren promoting this release. There was a time when she didn't know if Cinderella was a curse or a blessing.

She began her career on Broadway as Snookie in 110 in the Shade, which led to her auditioning for Cinderella. That audition has been called a disaster. Devastated, she was delighted when offered a second chance. This time she nailed it.

Besides Warren and Damon, the musical starred three Oscar-winning actresses: Celeste Holm, Jo Van Fleet and Ginger Rogers. Walter Pidgeon, Barbara Ruick and Pat Carroll rounded out the cast. The score contains such standards as In My Own Little Corner, Ten Minutes Ago, Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful? and A Lovely Night.

The role launched Warren on a five-decade career. However, because of Cinderella she was signed to Disney and type-cast into sugary sweet parts. She rebelled.

During the 1970s she came to Las Vegas, even marrying her first husband Jon Peters at the Sahara Hotel. During one of her Las Vegas trips her local Las Vegas publicist approached me for an interview.

Publicists can have enormous power. They can help a career. They can also stall or even harm a career. And, publicists can gossip and are masters of innuendo.

For reasons never told to me, the local publicist didn't personally like Warren and made those feelings very clear. I was told not to mention Cinderella and to only call her Lesley Warren, not Lesley Ann Warren.

I met Warren and found her to be the total opposite of what the publicist had implied. Warren may have had a desire for roles with some meat on them, rather than the pap Disney fed, but personally Warren was the sweetest person. Polite, professional and charming.

By any name her career blossomed, including earning a supporting actress Oscar nomination for 1982's Victor/Victoria.

It's nice to have her back full circle, promoting one of the most charming television specials ever aired - Cinderella.


takes place at the Science Museum in London on September 26, 2015.

World-renowned writers Al Jean (The Simpsons) and David X. Cohen (The Simpsons & Futurama) are coming to the UK to present a unique event exploring the serious mathematics hidden within the shows’ comic genius.

Looking ahead to the opening of the new mathematics gallery at the Science Museum, they will reveal how high-level mathematics permeates these iconic TV series. Al and David will be in conversation with Simon Singh, author of The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, who said: “You may have spent several years watching The Simpsons and Futurama without ever realizing that they contain enough mathematics to form an entire university course. That is because many of the writers have advanced degrees in mathematics in addition to their unparalleled senses of humor. Be there or be a regular quadrilateral!”

Al Jean's main claim to fame is a degree in mathematics from Harvard University, where he studied under the conqueror of Fermat's Last Theorem, Andrew Wiles, and where he also served as Vice President of the world famous Lampoon humor magazine. Since graduating, he worked as a writer on the first series of The Simpsons and currently serves as Executive Producer and head writer. In addition to eight Emmy Awards, he has won a coveted Peabody Award.

David X. Cohen holds a Masters degree in Theoretical Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley, as well as a Bachelors degree in Physics from Harvard University. His main contribution to mathematics has been world-class research in the area of pancake sorting. He is Executive Producer of the critically-acclaimed animated series Futurama, and also spent five years as a writer for The Simpsons. He has won four Emmy Awards and four Annie Awards.

Simon Singh received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed a BAFTA award-winning documentary on Fermat’s Last Theorem, and his book on the same subject became a No. 1 bestseller. Singh presented a Channel 4 series based on his second book, a bestseller entitled The Code Book. After being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association in 2008, Singh was at the forefront of the Libel Reform Campaign. His most recent book is The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets.

BAD VIBRATION: CAN MUSIC MAKE YOU SICK? an illustrated lecture with Dr. James Kennway, Historian at Newcastle University.

Can music make girls lose all sexual restraint, causing nymphomania, pregnancy and the collapse of social order? Can Heavy Metal songs make American teenagers shoot themselves and/or other people? Can music can whip crowds into a frenzy, leaving them the pitiful stooges of Communist or other sinister causes? Can it can be used with other forms of thought control to turn people into Manchurian Candidate-style automatons? Probably not, but over the past two hundred years plenty of people have said so. This talk will outline the history of this debate, from eighteenth-century anxieties about the effect of the piano on teenage girls to Fox News theories that Gangnam Style is like a drug.

Dr James Kennaway has previously worked at Oxford, Stanford and Vienna. Monday, September 29, 2014 at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn.

TOLEDO NATIVE BRETT LEONARD will join Director Brian Kennedy for a free Masters Series talk on Thursday, September 25 at the Toledo Museum. Leonard will discuss the role of digital media in Hollywood and his own fascination with technology in film.

Hollywood heavyweights: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Pierce Brosnan all succumbed to Leonard’s directorial vision during the 1990s.

The filmmaker—best known for his cult sci-fi hit The Lawnmower Man has returned to Toledo to film Perfect Season, the true story of the Toledo Troopers, an all-female professional football team that won seven consecutive championships in the 1970s.

SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE starring Alan Safier as George Burns, written by Rupert Holmes and directed by Michael White, will be at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NY on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday September 28. Rupert Holmes, Alan Safier, and Moderator WABC’s Sandy Kenyon will have a talk-back after the 3pm performance on Sunday, September 28.

ICARUS AT THE EDGE OF TIME an incredible film and live musical performance event - film with Live Score by Philip Glass, Saturday, September 27, at the Sunset Center in Carmel, California.

Icarus at the Edge of Time is the story of a courageous boy who challenges the awesome might of a black hole. This stunning, full-orchestral work with animated film and live narrator brings a powerful modern twist to a classic myth, taking audiences of all ages on a whirlwind voyage through space and time, to the very edge of understanding.

Featuring an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, performed by an ensemble of world class musicians, conducted by Michael Riesman, film by Al + Al and narration written by leading theoretical physicist Brian Greene and David Henry Hwang, with Greene providing the live narration. Glass and Greene will both take part in an audience Q&A. The program will also include a screening of the Godfrey Reggio/Philip Glass short Anima Mundi.

THE 19th ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL is taking place this week-end around Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. in

“There are no star quarterbacks or pitchers,” says Linda Cheu, Director of the California Dragon Boat Festival that sponsors the event. “Only teams can win or lose dragon boat races.”

Each boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. It's a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance. Cheu, who has been a key promoter of dragon boating for more than 20 years, points to the sport’s diversity as a reason for its increasing popularity. “The Festival includes paddlers that are high school students, seniors, cancer survivors, competitive athletes, and teams from corporation, hospitals, museums, and community groups,” says Cheu. “All are attracted to this over 2,000 year old Chinese cultural tradition. The Festival has become one of the largest, free, family friendly event in Northern California. Last year we had around 40,000 attendees and we expect to meet or exceed that this year.” With its beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating today is the fastest growing international team water sport. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.

Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a scholar and advisor to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protest against government corruption. Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him. They beat drums and pounded their paddles on the river's waters and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from eating from Qu Yuan's body. Dragon boating evolved from the re-enactment of this legend at annual festivals.

Peter Del Vecho. Photo: IMDb
producer of Frozen, Peter Del Vecho (CFA ‘80), delivered a behind-the-scenes look at how he and the creative team at Walt Disney Animation Studios transformed Hans Christian Andersen’s traditional fairy tale, The Snow Queen, into a cultural touchstone and box office sensation.

Considered by many to be Disney’s best animated feature since the studio’s renaissance era, Frozen is the highest-grossing animated film of all-time and is the recipient of two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Peter will trace Frozen’s journey from the classic tale about an evil queen and heroic prince to the story about fearless princesses and the special relationship between those two sisters, Elsa and Anna, whom adults and children alike have come to love.

Presented by the Boston University College of Fine Arts, the event took place yesterday Saturday, September 20, 2014, as part of Boston University Alumni Weekend.

The week-end festivities also included an awards banquet honoring the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards, the most prestigious awards conferred by the College.

Emceed by Tony-nominated Theatre and Television Actor, David Garrison (CFA ‘74), the 2014 award recipients are:

Peter Del Vecho (CFA ‘80), the Academy Award-winning Producer of Frozen - Frank Ginsberg (CFA ‘65) - Founder, Chairman, and CEO, AFG& and Phyllis Elhady Hoffman (CFA ‘61, ‘67) - School of Music Professor, and longtime Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.


BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL the Tony Award winning Broadway musical based on the life of Carole King, has recouped its $13 million investment producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced.

The production can be enjoyed at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (OSF) actor Miriam A. Laube has been named a Distinguished Achievement recipient of a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. Laube will receive $25,000 as a fellow, while OSF will be awarded a $7,500 support grant.

Funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the Resident Actor Fellowships program is designed to support actors’ professional and artistic development, to enrich relationships between actors and nonprofit theatres and to ensure continued professional commitment to live theatre.

Under the fellowship, Laube will study the classic forms of Ovid’s poetry and Indian classical ragas to create a song cycle based on Ovid’s Heroides in collaboration with women actors of the OSF acting company. She will undertake courses at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Francisco, private study with Myra Melford, associate professor of Music at UC Berkeley, and John Fyler, professor of English at Tufts University, and travel to India to do an intensive course in Indian classical music in conjunction with Theatre Mitu. Laube hopes her work will foster a connection with a South Asian community who might be drawn to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

CALIFORNIA TRIPLES FILM TAX CREDITS in legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last Thursday during a Hollywood ceremony.

The law will increase funding to $330 million annually over five years, beginning in 2015. That compares with the current level of $100 million per year.

The legislation also permits more projects to qualify for the subsidies, including large-budget features and TV pilots, while phasing out the current lottery system used to select applicants. Instead, projects will be selected determined by the number of crew members they employ.

A brand new version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown through October 26, 2014
a totally reworked production of the great Meredith Willson musical with a new book and additional lyrics by three-time Tony Award nominee Dick Scanlan.

Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris.

In 2009 a revised script was presented in Denver at the Colorado New Play Summit. Willson's widow has endorsed the changes.

Directed and choreographed by three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall.

This new version begins with Molly in a lifeboat, with the story told in flashback, to a younger Molly coming to Leadville, the Colorado boomtown, and follows her adventures through to the sinking ship.

The production includes eight Willson songs, including many from Willson’s original Broadway score and one written for, but cut from, The Music Man.

There is a cast of 20 and a full orchestra. Colorado native Beth Malone stars as Molly Brown. She debuted on Broadway as June Carter Cash in Ring of Fire in 2006 and was recently in the Off-Broadway hit Fun Home.

The cast includes: David Abeles, Erich & Understudy for J.J,; Cameron Adams, Maureen/Ensemble;, Whitney Bashor, Julia; Karl Josef Co, Hichens/Ensemble & Understudy for Arthur; Jesmille Darbouze, Maude/Birdie/Ensemble; Donna English, Baby Doe Tabor/Ensemble; Alex Finke, Kit/Ensemble & Understudy for Julia; Jason Lee Garrett, Swing; Constantine Germanacos, Vincenzo; Patty Goble, Mrs. Sneed-Hill/Miss Lydia/Ensemble; Gregg Goodbrod, Kenneth B. Chapman/Dolce Trio/Ensemble; Michael Halling, Doc Morris/Fred/Dolce Trio/Ensemble; John Hickok, Horace Tabor/Ensemble; Kristie Kerwin, Swing; Omar Lopez-Cepero, Larry/Ensemble & Understudy for Vincenzo; Stephanie Martignetti, Pearl/Ensemble; Paolo Montalban, Arthur; Burke Moses, J.J. Brown; Linda Mugleston, Mary Nevin/Ensemble & Understudy for Molly; Keven Quillon, William/Ensemble/Dance Captain; John Scherer, Father Robinson/Dolce Trio/Ensemble & Understudy for Horace Tabor.

Michael Rafter, Music Adaptation, Music Director, Vocal and Incidental Arrangements - Larry Hochman, Orchestrator - Jim Carnahan and Stephen Kopel, CSA, Casting - Douglas Langworthy, Dramaturg - Kathryn G. Maes, Ph.D., Voice and Dialect Coach - David Dabbon, Associate Music Director / Conductor - Rommy Sandhu, Associate Director / Choreographer - Craig Breitenbach, Sound Design - Donald Holder, Lighting Design - Derek McLane, Scenic Design - Paul Tazewell, Costume Design; Stephen R. Gruse, Production Stage Manager - Christopher C. Ewing and Kurt Van Raden, Assistant Stage Managers.

Performances through October 26, 2014 on The Stage Theatre in Denver, CO.


Directed by Jennifer L. Nelson.

Starring Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace.

When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffer Hoke Colburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship.

September 26-October 26, 2014 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.

THE HONEST WHORE by Thomas Dekker.

Adapted and directed by Marc Vietor.

With Bill Army, Helen Cespedes, Carson Elrod, A melia Pedlow, Matthew Rauch, and Rocco Sisto.

Can a lusty prostitute fall in love without losing her mind in the process? This surprisingly comedic domestic drama is presented as a Revelation Reading on Monday, September 29, at the Red Bull Theatre in New York City.

FLORENCIA IN THE AMAZON Libretto by Marcela Fuentes-Berain, inspired by the writings of Gabriel García Márquez.

Directed by Francesca Zambello.

Conducted by Carolyn Kuan in her WNO debut.

Inspired by the magical realism of Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, Florencia in the Amazon was the first-ever Spanish-language commission by major U.S. opera companies, and an instant audience smash when it premiered in 1996 under the direction of Francesca Zambello. WNO's Artistic Director now brings this fantastical opera to Washington, eager to revisit the production with fresh insight as part of her commitment to present a major American work each season.

Starring two-time Grammy Award–winning American soprano Christine Goerke as a famous opera singer who embarks upon an enchanted riverboat journey. Returning after 20 years to her South American homeland of Brazil, Florencia Grimaldi boards the El Dorado in disguise and heads up the Amazon to sing at an opera house in the capital. Along the way, she hopes to track down her long-lost lover, a butterfly hunter who has disappeared in the jungle. Beset by storms and a cholera outbreak, Florencia and her fellow travelers are carried deeper into the rain forest, while Ríolobo, a mystical river creature, guides them to life-changing revelations.

Also featuring Norman Garrett, Andrea Carroll, Patrick O'Halloran, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Michael Todd Simpson and David Pittsinger.

Set Designer: Robert Israel. Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber. Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough. Projection Designer: S. Katy Tucker. Choreographer: Eric Sean Fogel.

Company premiere - WNO co-production with LA Opera; originally staged by Houston Grand Opera and Cincinnati Opera. In Spanish with projected English titles. Titles may not be visible from the rear of the orchestra. Performances only through September 28 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.


MILEY CYRUS stars at the Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil on Wednesday, September 24. Friday her tour stops at the Arena Anhembi in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Next Sunday, September 28, she is in the spotlight at the Praca da Apoteose in Rio De Janerio.

PAUL McCARTNEY performs next Sunday, September 28, at PETCO Park in San Diego, CA.

JAMES TAYLOR performs his hits Tuesday, September 23, at the 02 in Dublin, Ireland. On Wednesday he's on stage at the Waterfront in Belfast, Ireland. Friday's gig is at the LG Arena in Birmingham, UK and on Saturday he's in the spotlight at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, UK.

LYLE LOVETT on stage Monday, September 22 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. On Tuesday the show moves to the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta.

PINK MARTINI the ultimate sophisticated lounge band draws from musical traditions around the world and across genres of pop, jazz, and classical. Their performance on September 24 kicks off the season for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont.

AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD performs September 22, at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. On Wednesday the tour stops at Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay in San Diego. Thursday finds them t the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ. On Friday they star at the Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas. Saturday's stop is at the Usana Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City. Next Sunday, September 28, they perform at the Paramount Theatre in Denver.


GEORGE HAMILTON IV who was inducted into Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in 1960 and continued to work until shortly before his death died September 17, 2014 at St. Thomas hospital in Nashville, where he was admitted over the weekend after suffering a heart He was 77.

The singer and guitarist began performing as a teenager in the 1950s and became the first country musician to perform in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia; he made his first visit to the UK in 1967.

He also became a regular guest singer with evangelist Billy Graham on his many rallies around the world. His most recent album, made in 2010, was a gospel-influenced collection featuring a host of guest artists.

Of Scottish heritage, Hamilton was a regular visitor to Scotland, and in 2004 produced an album of songs called Hamilton's Other Country. In the 1990s, he made a foray into stage work, playing the narrator in a production of Paty Cline The Musical for five years, including a run in London's West End.

Hamilton is survived by his wife who was his childhood sweetheart Adelaide Peyton, known as Tinky because of her childhood fascination with Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, two sons George V and Peyton and daughter Mary and several grandchildren.

Next Column: September 28, 2014
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Laura Deni

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