Welcome to Delaware Today’s arts blog, the spot to dish on the many cultural opportunities available to Delaware audiences. We’ll cover as many genres as possible, and note cool events offered by organizations large and small, in all three counties.
Get ready. Lots of musical and theatrical performances in the weeks ahead. And October is National Arts and Humanities Month. Stay tuned.
The play “I Am My Own Wife,” will play thru October 4 at UD’s Roselle Center for the Arts’ Studio Theatre. UD’s Resident Ensemble Players take on this brilliant piece of literature that’s based on playwright Doug Wright’s conversations with German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Intensely gifted REP actor Michael Gotch portrays Mahlsdorf in this one-man show. And this one man portays 35 characters. His is an astoundingly solid performance, one that manages to keep audiences transfixed for two solid hours.
“I Am My Own Wife” tells the story of German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, actually born Lothar Berfelde. We meet the character’s abusive father, and we understand why his son killed him. Berfelde was left with the choice to either kill his father, or, along with his mother, be killed by him. Berfelde survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin as a transvestite. During his travels, he meets a prison guard, a nurse, a Stasi agent, a politician, a Neo-Nazi, and several others. We also meet Wright, who writes himself into the play, revealing his inner conflict. He needs to believe that von Mahlsdorf lived the life she claims to have lived. But data show otherwise.
Do not miss Gotch’ s performance. Every character is fully developed, regardless of gender, age or background. It’s a joy to watch great artistry at work, and satisfying to know that we’ll probably see Gotch on a Broadway stage in the near future. Trust us on this one.
Contact info: rep.udel.edu or 831-2204
Page 2: It’s All in the Hands
On September 26 Delaware By Hand will host its 4th Annual Outdoor Show at its new location at Hudson Fields in Milton (30004 Eagles Crest Rd.) Look for well-priced original artwork and a great farmer’s market.
Established in 2004 as a statewide network, Delaware By Hand showcases the talent and creativity of artists living and working in Delaware. But it doesn’t get the kind of ink it deserves. The artists involved in this collaborative effort are genuinely talented. Think of them as a group of local artists who want to offer beautiful work to local people.
Contact info: delawarebyhand.org
Page 3: The Mail Came
“Vietnam Mailbag: The Exhibit” opens September 24 at the Delaware History Museum in Wilmington. You don’t just see this exhibit. You feel it.
Fresh from a successful show at the Rehoboth Museum–which also is a fine place to visit–“Vietnam” is a poignant collection of war letters, weapons, patches and pins. The snapshots are most memorable.
The exhibit debuted at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover on Veterans Day 2008, with the release of the award-winning book, “Vietnam Mailbag, Voices From the War: 1968-1972,” by Nancy E. Lynch. The 456-page work on display (and available for purchase) is based on Lynch’s popular News Journal column, “Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag,” which received letters and pictures from Delaware servicemen.
Contact info: 655-7161 or dehistory.org.
Page 4: Biss-Ful
The Delaware Symphony Orchestra presents “American in Paris/Russian in L.A,” Sept. 25-26. Here’s your chance to see and hear guest pianist Jonathan Biss perform Gershwin. Maestro David Amado conducts.
At just 28, Biss has garnered international acclaim through his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances in North America and Europe. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2001, and has appeared with the finest American and European orchestras. And that includes the DSO, friends.
The Biss performance is the symphony’s Classical Series opener. But the season is graced with stellar musicians, including violinist Jennifer Koh (October 16-17) and pianist Alon Goldstein (February 12-13).
Contact info: desymphony.org or 652-5577
Like violins? David Bromberg Fine Violins, LLC, in partnership with The French Trade Commission, is hosting an exclusive exhibit of French artisans’ violins and bows from September 25-29, at Bromberg’s Market Street shop in Wilmington.
Sure, you can see exquisite instruments. But you also get to meet David Bromberg, a music legend.
Contact info: davidbrombergfineviolins.com or 472-6700
Page 5: Sugary Sweet
Ever been to the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival? Here’s your chance.
Expect about 200 national artists and craft designers to descend upon Wilmington to present their crafts in a festival marketplace at the Chase Center on the Riverfront
While the fest typically offers contemporary crafts to serious collectors and casual shoppers, the Wilmington show will also boast affordable, functional and decorative pottery, sculpture, glass, home décor, furniture and home accessories. Let’s not forget the cool stuff: leather, fiber and wearables, garden art, fine art and photography.
And this is a family gig. Master craftspeople will show their stuff, whether it’s papermaking, metal spinning or and stone carving. Adults can sample gourmet foods and hear musical performances, while kids can enjoy seeing fairytales come to life with Middle Earth Studio’s dress up theater.
Contact info: sugarloafcrafts.com or call (800) 210-9900.
Additional show information, artist profiles, and special offers may be found on the shows’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sugarloafcrafts.