Monday, June 23, 2008

A few farewells in the arts

I heard from Onkel Hankie Pants the other day that U. Utah Phillips had died a couple of months ago. This was a great loss to the folk music and activist communities. Long ago, back in 1979, we saw him at a Twin Cities Folk Festival and have never forgotten it. Later I bought one of his albums, which includes this piece:(Warning: a little rough language)

If you can get hold of the Priscilla Herdman album Darkness into Light, listen to her sing "I Remember Loving You" with Utah Phillips. Never fails to make me cry.

Then the other day I saw in the paper that Tasha Tudor has gone to her reward. One of the first books in my now-extensive collection of Christmas books was her Take Joy! which gave us many hours of reading-aloud-and-looking-at-the-pictures when the children were young.

Today there were two deaths announced -- one of a person and one of a theater. George Carlin died. He's one of the few comedians I've ever seen in person, once when I was visiting my old college roommate and her then-spouse in Oakland. We went to some big auditorium and heard the famous "Seven Words" bit, and others. Years later you could have knocked me over with a feather when George Carlin showed up as the host on "Shining Time Station."

And I was much saddened to see the demise of Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
Whether it was a victim of the economy, mismanagement, changing artistic visions, or whatever -- it will be missed. I've seen several productions there over the years, but the one that sticks in my mind (I may have written about it before) was THE NIGHTINGALE, which we saw as a family in December '90 or January '91. Based on tales of Hans Christian Andersen, featuring gospel singer Eddie Robinson as the nightingale, magical costumes and sets -- it's definitely at the top of my Top Ten Theater Performances of All Time.

Truly, art is long, but life is short.


Songbird said...

I had no idea Tasha Tudor was still alive! I especially loved Tudor's illustrations for The Secret Garden, felt I could walk right into them.

Crimson Rambler said...

and also Cyd Charisse...