March 13, 2011

Arts Around Ithaca: What’s Happening this Week

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Music, Comedy and Campus Concerts

Ron White, State Theater, Mar. 18 — The Texas comedian who brought you the catch phrase “you can’t fix stupid” will be sipping from his trademark glass of Scotch and blowing his cigar smoke at the State Theater audience this Friday night. If you have stupid friends, bring them. Ron White has attracted laughter in a number of different fashions; Most famously, he joined forces with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy on Comedy Central’s “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” from 2000-2006, a wildly successful show that sold out audiences all over the country. The “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” was White’s first taste of large-scale success. According to his website, White spent about twenty years prior to this success becoming a mid-act club comedian, selling windows and living out of a truck at points in order to get by.  White has also received critical acclaim for his best-selling book, I Had the Right to Remain Silent But I Didn’t Have the Ability. Given his commanding stage presence and his gun slinging style, this statement must be taken seriously. I would not want to be the poor soul who finds his or herself caught in an argument with White this Friday night. Castaways: Mar. 18 and , Mar. 19, respectively. — The Foghorns, an “ass-kickin’ redneck stringband music”  group from Portland, of all places, will be pickin’ the banjo and fiddlin’ the night away with Richie Sterns on Friday. The following day, Ayurveda, a progressive rock band will bring their blend of spiritual Hinduism to a show that also features SIRSY, an indie pop rock group.

Museum Exhibits: Johnson and Tjaden

Johnson Museum: All Week — Use the last week before the break to catch the outgoing exhibits at the Johnson Museum. The  exhibit “Splendor of the Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of American Abstract Art” displays various abstract works selected by The American Abstract Artists, an organization of artists dedicated to the cultivating the discourse of abstract art and non-objective art. The exhibit features the work of the organization’s founding members, dating back to 1936, as well as more contemporary work. The exhibit “The Stories Objects Tell: Life in Latin America Before Columbus” uses ancient artifacts from Mexico and Peru to portray an image of daily life in the civilizations who produced them. Finally, the widely discussed “Unpacking the Nano” will be leaving on Mar. 27. Our main question at The Sun has been: can we categorize this as art or science? Take this week to make your own decision, or to dwell on the naivety of our question. More importantly, check out an exhibit that analyzes the design of the world’s most affordable car, critique’s automobile culture in the U.S. and ponders the global impact of a revolutionary invention. Tjaden Gallery: All Week — Tyler Dennis ’11 will be presenting his thesis work in an exhibition called “Natural Kinds,” which features a series of succint animations.

Featured Films at Cornell Cinema

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, Willard Straight Hall, Mar. 14 and 16, 9:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. respectively — The beginning of the end of the series that boasts almost an entire generation of readers. The Cornell Quidditch club will certainly be in attendance. The movie has received mixed reviews from critics, some praising the balance it strikes between a dark, serious tone and some lighthearted comedic moments, others bored by both the plot and the long length of the film. If you’re a Harry Potter fan in general, you probably won’t be disappointed. A King in New York, Willard Straight Hall, Mar. 14 and 15, 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. respectively — Directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin, this film, produced during Chaplin’s exile from the United States during the McCarthy Era, is a sharp critique of American politics at the time and the deep nationalistic, anti-communist sentiment that so directly impacted Chaplin. In it, Chaplin, as a recently deposed king in New York City, takes on immigration, Atomic Energy, anarchy and the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Originally released exclusively in Europe, the film was not seen by American audiences until the 1970s. Many deem this to be Chaplin’s finest (and most controversial) moment.  A Film Unfinished: Mar. 15 and 17 at 7:15 p.m. — This documentary, presumably an unfinished Nazi propaganda initiative, brings to life Nazi footage of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.