Arts & Entertainment
SHOWING YOUR OATES
Among the list of life’s required reading—literature you should devour even if it wasn’t assigned in school—you’re bound to find a number of works of short fiction. A few essentials rush to mind: Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, and Joyce Carol Oates’s (above)Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. If you haven’t read that one yet, get thee to the library. Since the creepy tale’s publication, Oates has been honored with everything from the National Book Award to multiple nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. More than 40 years later, the 70-year-old writer is still at work on morbid tales: her most recent novel, last year’s The Gravedigger’s Daughter, also features a heroine who runs afoul of mad men and serial killers. Oates will be on hand to discuss her life, work, and fascination with scary dudes at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts on January 20. She’ll speak as part of the Center’s Open Visions Forum lecture series, which this year also hosts National Democratic Leadership Council chair Harold Ford, Jr., and New York’s “Insatiable Critic” Gael Greene.
Out Of The Arena
Let’s face it: We’ve all had moments when we’ve wanted to roll up the
windows of the car and just listen to “Mr. Roboto” on repeat. Yet even if you don’t succumb to Styx’s arena-rock guilty pleasures, no doubt you’ve seen them referenced relentlessly in pop culture. In South Park, Eric Cartman does a bombastic version of “Come Sail Away.” The same song is used as a bittersweet first dance between the main geek and the pretty cheerleader in Freaks and Geeks (he asks her hoping for a slow dance, but by the time they reach the dance floor the tempo had sped up too much). Even “Mr. Roboto” played a prominent role in a recent Volkswagen ad, starring Tony Hale of Arrested Development—the show eventually poked fun at the spot. Want to see—and hear—where it all started? The proggy band brings the arena sound to the Paramount Center for the Arts on January 23. Expect all the hits, and try not to get “Lady” stuck in your head all night.
New Kid On The Block
It’s not easy being the new kid in class: you have to
adjust to a new teacher, make all new friends, read different books. It’s not easy being a brand-new musical, either, but The Brand New Kid, performed by the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, seems to have come out okay. The Washington Post called it “highly entertaining,” and the Washington Times writes that it is “endearingly goofy!” Based on the popular children’s book by news anchor Katie Couric, The Brand New Kid follows second-grader Lazlo S. Gasky into his new class, where he’s teased until Ellie McSnelly decides to give him a chance. You’ll have two opportunities to catch the production in our area: the tour rolls into the Westport Country Playhouse on January 13, and it’ll reprise at the Performing Arts Center on January 20.