Sunset for the Black Box
It looks like it's curtains for the Actors Co-Op's long-standing relationship with the Black Box Theatre on Homberg Drive. The Co-Op's current production of Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited will be the company's last work staged at the Black Box. Sunset, directed by Travis Flatt (also the singer for the art-metal band Sadville) and starring Greg Congleton and man-about-downtown Steve Dupree, runs through March 1. After that the company will move its productions, even though a permanent home has not been announced.
The play is set in New York and consists of a dialogue between an ex-con evangelical Christian named Black (Dupree) and an unbelieving academic called White (Congleton). Sunset premiered in Chicago in 2006.
"The Actors Co-Op is focusing our energy on joining the revitalization of downtown Knoxville," reads the company's most recent press release. The 2007-8 season concludes with Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade at Ironwood Studio in May, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Secret Garden scheduled for the Bijou Theatre in late 2008 and May 2009, respectively. Those productions follow the Actors Co-Op's holiday presentation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the Bijou in 2007.
In other theatrical news, the Tennessee Stage Company's annual New Play Festival culminates next weekend with the production of Paul Leeper's Dangerous Heterosexuals at Theatre Downtown Knoxville on North Gay Street. The play will run Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 9. Leeper, a Pennsylvania writer, is a familiar figure at the New Play Festival; his play Safe House was produced at the festival in 2005.
Do What Thou Wilt
Fans of local bands Adoration and the Red Cloud, both of which disbanded in the last couple of months, can take solace that members of each group have gotten together as The Book of Law. (The name comes from British occultist Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law.) Guitarists Matt Ross and Will Christ and drummer Matt McAllister of Adoration and bassist/singer David Davis of the Red Cloud team up for the new guitar-pop outfit, which will make its debut opening for VAST and Vertigo at the Valarium on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.
"We've probably got eight or 10 songs," Davis says. "We've pretty much just been working for this show. We got it before we recorded anything, so I'll probably record the show and put it on MySpace. We'll try to play some more shows and write some more songs in March."
Left of the Dial
You know that WUTK 90.3 FM, the largely student-run University of Tennessee radio station, gets no funding—not a penny—from the university, right? In order to maintain the quality that's won them best local radio station for two years running in Metro Pulse's annual readers poll, WUTK is holding a series of benefit shows, with all door proceeds going to support the station. The second Radio Active concert takes place Saturday, Feb. 23, at World Grotto on Market Square, with local bands the Big Deuce, Llama Train, and Ga-Na-Si-Ta. Doors open at 8 p.m., the show starts at 9 p.m., and the cover's a measly $5.
In his most recent mass e-mail report to fans and friends, former Can singer Damo Suzuki commented briefly on his most recent American tour, which included a trip to Knoxville. In October, Suzuki played at Pilot Light with a crew of local musicians, including Pilot Light owner Jason Boardman, Scott Murrin (Bright Shuttle), and Bill Warden and Cain Blanchard (Black Sarah). Regina Greene, who handled booking for Pilot Light before moving to Chicago, works for Front Porch productions, Suzuki's booking agency.
"Outside the venue at junction stands a preacher, shouting loud at passengers," writes Suzuki. (The fact that the Japanese-born singer has lived most of his adult life in Germany accounts for his tortured syntax.) "Sometime attacking passenger with loud voice. Police car and three policemen watching the happening. It's funny to stand on the street watching at people in this size of city in middle of U.S. Once I talk with one what is typical American music, I said country and western, she said Bruce Springsteen. Yeah, there is quite a lots of typical American music."