Delaware Shakespeare Festival presents an intoxicating mix of Shakespeare readings, song, and romance perfect for Valentine’s week. DSF actors will read some of Shakespeare’s greatest love scenes, special guests will recite favorite sonnets, and the evening will be punctuated with song and opportunities for the audience to engage in Shakespearean wooing, all at The World Cafe Live at The Queen. 994-1400, worldcafelive.com
Becky Foster is caught in middle age, with no prospects of change on the horizon. Then one night a socially inept millionaire stumbles into her workplace and offers her a whole new life. And you get to ride shotgun in a way that most plays wouldn’t dare. “Becky’s New Car” is a thoroughly original comedy with serious overtones, a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken. See it performed by the Kent County Theatre Guild through Feb. 16. 674-3568, kctg.org
Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 this year. Who knew? In celebration, see the Sounds of the ’60s concert, part of the Cultural Crossroads Series at the Wilmington campus of The Music School of Delaware. The concert includes not only the Hendrix tribute, but also a Bossa Nova retrospective and the Philip Glass string quartet. There will be a 1960s trivia contest, and, for hippies over nine, a bracelet-making workshop. Visit The Music School Feb. 17.
On Feb. 16 join School alumnus Wilson Somers, composer of “Mass for the Homeless” and “Requiem for 9/11,” and guests in a celebration of Somers’ 50-year love affair with the piano. The program includes works by Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington, some classical pieces, and some of Somers’ own compositions. It will be quite a celebration. 762.1132, musicschoolofdelaware.org
Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild presents Guild members and area musicians doing short readings and performing songs on the theme of Body Parts in a Night of Literary Prose, Poetry and Song. It happens at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach on Feb. 19—and it’s all free.
The good people of Brandywine Baroque are back with “Dazzling Music for the Sun King: Marais to Bousset.” Include François Couperin and Jean-Marie Leclair in the program and you will, frankly speaking, being delighted. The concerts happen Feb. 23 Church of Our Savior in in Rehoboth Beach and Feb. 24 at the amazing Barn at Flintwoods on Center Meeting Road in Wilmington. 877-594-4546, brandywinebaroque.org
City Theatre Company and Equality Delaware will present “8,” a documentary “play” by Dustin Lance Black about the federal case for marriage equality. A cast of distinguished community members will read the groundbreaking piece. Proceeds benefit Equality Delaware. See it Feb. 23 at Theatre N at Nemours. city-theater.org.
See the The Harlem Gospel Choir, the premier gospel choir in the country, perform at World Cafe Live at the Queen on Feb. 23. The choir comes to us via a partnership between WCL, the Delaware Historical Society, Christina Cultural Arts Center and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council to celebrate the Delaware Historical Society’s exhibition “Forging Faith, Building Freedom,” which opens in July. worldcafelive.com.
Blue Screen, Blank Canvas
What digital information floats in cyber space, and what of it is worth your time? Find out as The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts presents “This Space Is Intentionally Left Blank” by Texas artist Kerry Adams, on view through April 21. Adams’ installation integrates traditional installation art and technology through the use of tablets that display live Twitter feeds. The installation encourages the viewer to engage with the exhibition by posting comments to Twitter with the hashtag #leftblank while within the installation. The exercise creates a literal dialogue with visitors about the ubiquitous nature of technology and the role of individuality and community in daily life. Introducing text, electrical cords, and tablet computers as aesthetic, sculptural elements, the exhibit hinges upon social media and physical engagement. According to the artist, being able to tweet to her exhibition “will allow you to add to the dialogue about attempts to communicate, failed communication, and the moments we miss right in front of us as we search for what is out of reach.” Ironically, as viewers approach the tablets to read the messages, a motion sensor forces the Twitter streams to turn off, metaphorically enabling us to unplug from the screen-based chatter and to re-engage with our present surroundings. According to Pear Analytics, most tweting includes spam, self-promotion and babble. Only 3.6 percent of tweets are considered newsworthy and 8.7 percent of pass-along value. In “This Space,” Adams’ work would seemingly suggest the gallery as a test site for face-to-face conversation. 656-6466, thedcca.org
The Father of Illustration
“Before Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth rose to the height of their profession as illustrators, there was Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose skill in book and magazine illustration made him one of the most popular artists of his time and earned him a reputation as the Father of American Illustration,” says Audrey Lewis, an associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum in nearby Chadds Ford. Go there to see his work in “The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley.” The self-taught Darley, active till his death in 1888, drew for works by such literary giants as James Fenimore Cooper and Nathanial Hawthorne. He settled in Claymont at a time when his work was so popular, books were advertised as “illustrated by Darley.” Take a look through March 10. 610-338-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
A Picture of Today
The year 2012 might have been Delaware Art Museum’s 100th anniversary year, but the celebration continues with “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle” Feb. 9-June 1. The exhibition features more than 60 works from eight of the most important contemporary illustrators. In 2011, the museum launched its centennial celebration with a major retrospective dedicated to illustrator Howard Pyle. “State of the Art” marks the celebration’s end and reflects on Pyle’s legacy. In the century since his death in 1911, American illustration has diversified into a wide range of art forms, including animated films, computer-generated images to graphic novels and conceptual art. “No single exhibition could possibly do justice to the noisy, rambunctious history of illustration over the past century,” says curator David Apatoff. “I’ve chosen instead to feature eight individuals whose diverse talents demonstrate that illustration is no longer the singular profession it was in Pyle’s day. It pervades our culture, reaching out to us from billboards, television, store windows, and computer screens.” Meet the artists.
Bernie Fuchs began his career creating realistic paintings for automobile advertisements. By the 1960s, he was at the forefront of illustrators whose impressionistic works redefined the field. He eventually became known around the world for his sense of color and design. He passed away in 2009.
Milton Glaser is among the world’s most celebrated graphic and architectural designers. His achievements range from the “I ♥ New York” logo to complete graphic and decorative programs for public spaces. He has been the subject of one-man shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Mort Drucker is one of MAD magazine’s most famous artists. An influential caricaturist, he is renowned for his pen and ink work. His TIME covers are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Phil Hale pushes the boundaries between fine art and illustration by making powerful compositions and combining traditional realism with moody, complex, evocative themes. Though highly regarded for his covers for books by Joseph Conrad and Steven King, Hale is recognized around the world for his fine art.
Sterling Hundley combines traditional artistic media with digital tools. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vibe and The New York Times. Hundley has won gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Illustrators Club in Washington, D.C. He is an instructor at The Illustration Academy and a professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.
John Cuneo’s drawings have appeared in many major publications, including The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and The Atlantic. He is highly regarded for the humor in his work and has been awarded several medals from the Society of Illustrators.
Peter De Sève began as an editorial illustrator in the 1980s and is well known for his covers for The New Yorker, along with his illustrations for TIME and Newsweek. He has also created character designs for animated films produced by Disney, DreamWorks Studios, Pixar, and Twentieth Century Fox, including “Mulan,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Ice Age.”
Ralph Eggleston was the art director at Pixar for “Toy Story,” the first full-length computer-animated film, as well as for “The Incredibles.” He was also the production designer for films such as “Finding Nemo” and “WALL·E.” His work has been recognized for its color, composition and sense of fantasy.
Curator David Apatoff began his career as a professional cartoonist and illustrator. He has illustrated children’s books and worked in a commercial art studio. He is the author of “Robert Fawcett, The Illustrator’s Illustrator” and “Albert Dorne, Master Illustrator,” and he writes the popular blog Illustration Art (illustrationart.blogspot.com). He has written extensively for Illustration Magazine and other publications. Apatoff practices technology law for a multinational law firm in Washington, D.C.
This is one cool exhibition, with something for everyone in the family. 571-9590, delart.org