Hybrid Visions concert turns up volume
Art can be funny, art can be clever, art can be wildly madcap. The latest exhibition at the Dayton Art Institute proves that all of the above can be true.
Ken Butler’s Hybrid Visions is a collection - perhaps a potpourri - of wildly imaginative musical instruments now in the special exhibition gallery. The instruments are made of nearly anything imaginable.
There are hockey sticks, rakes and tennis racquets made into guitars. Violins made from swim fins, laptop computers and coat hangers. Pianos emerge from a pile of twigs and an artfully integrated bunch of wooden sticks.
Butler is a handsome young man who is trained in both music and art. He has coalesced these disciplines into an amalgam of fervid imagination. With the help of electronics, he makes each sing in various voices.
Last Sunday, he, assisted by drummer Eric Rice, gave a concert at the Renaissance Auditorium of the Dayton Art Institute. I was both pleased and surprised to find every seat occupied and lines waiting for tickets. The audience was not, as I expected, a bunch of new wave young musicians. Every age group was amply represented.
The play on each of several instruments was full of droning overtones, a Middle Eastern quality and a loudness which nearly had me screaming. There was enthusiastic applause after each number but the sheer weight of the sound had me running for the exit.
The exhibition is in residence through Aug. 10. I know that it will appeal to many. I can tell you that the instruments look much better on the walls of the museum than they sound. But, please remember, I’m a definite old fogey.
Dayton Theatre Guild’s Amy’s View
Dayton Theatre Guild named this past year’s selections “A Season of Decisions.” The current play, English playwright David Hare’s Amy’s View, is about much more than decisions. It is a slice of life taken, blood and all, from right below the heart.
It deals with a mother, daughter and her lover over nearly a period of 20 years. The vicissitudes they endure put them into pain, stress, estrangement and some labored resolution.
The play was often clumsily written. Each scene began with an enigma. Something had happened in the interim period which left the audience guessing. As the plot unfolded, the experiences did reveal the characters successfully.
If there was some ungainliness in the writing, there was none in the presentation. The play, on a masterful set by Blake Senseman, was directed by Ralph Dennler. The entire cast performed meaningfully. So much energy was focused on every relationship.
Alex Carmichal, Jill Evans, Goeff Burkman and Matthew Smith each had major supporting roles. The dynamics between mother and daughter, veteran actress Barbara Coriell and Muse Machine staffer Holly Kuhn, in debut, raised the level of the play to amazing heights.
Both Holly and Barbara created a zone of communication which transcended the often circuitous dialogue and cut to the very nerve center of the personal and often universal problem.
The Theatre Guild goes on a much deserved summer vacation. Look for this gifted company to come roaring back in September with Outward Bound.
Father Joseph Goetz exhibits at The Cannery
Father Joseph Goetz’ art exhibit If you ask my wife, Alice, “Who is the world’s smartest man,” her reply would be instantaneous – Father Joe Goetz. In fact, if you asked many others, you would get the same answer.
Father Joe, priest, teacher, theologian, writer, raconteur, gourmet and good friend - is also artistically talented. He is not a Sunday painter. His Sundays are too busy. Somehow, he has created a collection of watercolors, gouaches and drawings on subjects as far-ranging as Hamlet’s father, Vladimir Horowitz, Thomas Becket and Lord Halifax. He also does landscapes and scenes from so many parts of the world.
His genre is not bombastic or overly dramatic. He paints as he preaches and as he speaks with his many friends – gently, and with an accumulation of wisdom and sensitivity.
We were able to see a major display of his works at an exhibition sponsored by and benefiting Stivers School for the Arts. Held at the Cannery Art + Design Center on June 12, it was packed with admirers of Joe and his art.
To add special zest to the event, Stivers students played background music. A pianist, Jonathan Lynn, held forth. He was replaced by a string trio, violinist Danielle Snyder, violist Julianna Fadare and cellist Jonathan Carpenter.
The background music was so engaging the music ceased being background. Crowds of attendees stood in awed appreciation of these gifted young persons. This does not surprise anyone who knows the riches of Stivers’ magnificent academic experiment.
Bravo, bravi and thanks to all.
Starlite Diner a bright spot on Culinary Horizon
Hasan, who has been in the restaurant business for about 20 years, presides over the kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast orders of hotcakes, waffles and French toast are $2.99 and on the weekends omelettes are a mere $3.99-$4.99. The potatoes served aside are not frozen products, they are fresh and prepared to order.
The menu has remarkable depth and Chef Kilic is committed to trying to source products from local farms as he establishes relationships. The restaurant is open rom 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and serves daily specials such as cabbage rolls, stuffed peppers, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, roasted turkey, chicken croquettes, lasagna, salmon, tilapia and 15-20 homemade soups made fresh each morning. Most of these entrees are $8.95-$9.95 and include soup or salad, two sides and dessert.
My dear readers, there is so much food that my ex-husband has to take a doggie-bag home. (Some of you know how much Michael loves to eat) But, you may fight Fido for those leftovers or you can feed a small family from one entree.
Now I haven’t tried everything, but my recollections from what I’ve taste-tested are the chicken croquettes served atop homemade mashed potatoes. These are not gut bombs, but lightly coated, juicy, moist and big. The chicken pot pie is chock full of hand shredded chicken with vegetables and a beautifully browned, flaky crust. And then there’s the lasagna which for my money is as good or better than the local Italian eateries-hmm! The crab cakes have a nice crust and are moist and juicy however I would suggest an accompanying remoulade or chutney.
As the clientele develops, Chef is thinking of having a periodic Mid-Eastern cuisine night. For now you can order shish kebab and Moussaka However, if you want to have a party in your home or in the restaurant, he will prepare an authentic Greek/Turkish meal with two weeks advance notice. And for you who have Oktoberfest parties, order your cabbage rolls here, pop them into your chafing dish and relax.
Now some sweet talk. Vanilla bread pudding and rice pudding are must-trys on your list. Now I’m not a fan of bread pudding but this vanilla concoction is worthy of ranking with Brennans of New Orleans. I didn’t want to put it down.
The rice pudding is to die for and I encourage Chef Kilic to put a turkish version on the menu with a little rosewater and ground pistachios. Just order it-I pronounce it wonderful! And just in time for the grilling season, Chef Kilic sends along this recipe for chicken on the grill called Shish Taouk:.
To get there: The Starlite Diner, 4090 Wilmington Pike, Kettering
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Oakwood artist exhibits solo at DVAC
The Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) will host Looking Both Ways: David Leach, a solo exhibition of drawings, paintings and prints, thru July 3. An Oakwood resident, Leach will share new pieces that have not yet been exhibited, with select works from the past 25 years of his impressive career as an artist.
Leach is an Emeritus Professor at Wright State University, where he taught art – primarily printmaking and drawing – for 30 years. His work is included in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, the Dayton Art Institute and the Cincinnati Museum of Art.
The DVAC gallery, at 118 N. Jefferson St., in downtown Dayton, is free and open to the public six days a week, from11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information visit the Web site at www.daytonvisualarts.org or call (937) 224-3822.