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'Henry the Sixth' comes to life at the Old Globe

 June 27, 2024 at 4:29 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on KPBS. Today's arts and culture show features some of Shakespeare's early plays , an award winning author , and your weekend preview. Here's to conversations that keep you informed , inspired , and make you think. The globe is staging what may be Shakespeare's very first plays.

S2: It's this sense of look at me , watch me flex my muscles as a writer and and do these audacious things.

S1: Artistic director Barry Edelstein talks about the production of Shakespeare's Henry the Sixth plays. Then we talk with the author and illustrator of a queer coming of age book called Cross My Heart and Never Lie. Plus , your weekend preview. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The Old Globe Theatre attempted to mount its production of Shakespeare's Henry the Sixth plays before the pandemic disrupted its plans. But now the epic history plays are coming to life as the Henry the Six project , adapted and directed by Barry Edelstein. It marks the largest Shakespeare production the Old Globe has put on. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando sat down with Edelstein , who is also the Globe's artistic director. Here's that conversation.

S3: So this is not merely producing the plays for the audience to see. This is kind of the completion of a very big project for the Globe Theatre. So explain what this means.

S2: We are producing Shakespeare's three plays , Henry VI , parts one , two and three , which will complete the Shakespeare canon at the Old Globe. After nearly 90 years , Shakespeare wrote 36 plays that were published in the first complete works of Shakespeare in 1623. Generally , scholars attribute to more plays to him , making a total of 38 , and the globe has produced 35 of them. And finally , finally , nine decades later , we're getting around to the last three. So that's a big deal for us. It's a wonderful feeling of completion. Shakespeare's our house playwright. Our institution is named after his theater , and there's just a wonderful feeling of pride about it. Also , our research is to the best of our researchers ability. We think that there are maybe ten other theatres in the United States that have done this. It's worth asking why it's taken the globe so long to do them right. And there are two real reasons for that. One is the three plays tell one story of the reign of the English king Henry the Sixth , which was in the 15th century , during which there was a dynastic struggle , a civil war between two families , the House of York and the House of Lancaster , and they are symbolized by roses. The House of York's symbol is a white rose , the House of Lancaster's is a red rose , and that gave rise to the term the war , the Wars of the roses. So that's what these three plays are about , the Wars of the roses in 15th century England. And so you can't just do one of the three plays , you can't say , hey , what are you going to the globe tonight to see ? Oh , we're seeing Henry the Sixth , part three. Because without part one and part two , the story doesn't make any sense. Nor can you just do part one and leave it there , because then it's frustrating. So it's hard for a theater company to take these plays on because you're not just doing one like Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet. You have to do three , and they're huge. There's something like 175 named characters among all three of those plays , so it takes significant giant resources to do now. Now , the globe at this moment is the largest regional theater company outside of New York in the United States. So it's not like we're struggling for capacity. You know , we we do this great Shakespeare festival every summer where we do two plays. We've got the resources to be able to start thinking about this. So I thought if I could condense the three plays into two , it might make it more possible to do because it would be like any other summer at the globe. But then we thought , yeah , but that's somehow not going to be enough , because the plays deal a lot in big crowds , and the plays are interested in how political decisions made by leaders play out in the lives of regular people. And so from time to time , as you watch the three plays , you see the regular people of England on stage. And so we started thinking , how do we represent the regular people of England here at the Old Globe ? And we thought maybe the regular people of San Diego can be the people who play the regular people of England. So we built this platform that we call H6 , the experience , which has been nearly a year , eight months or so of workshops in the community trying to engage community members in San Diego directly in the making of this show. Then we filmed about 250 people who will be projected on stage via video , who will represent some of the crowd in these crowd scenes. We've had a couple of our closest community partners actually play some supernatural figures that are in the show who will show up by video , and then about 250 people over the course of the summer will actually have little cameo roles , the little walk on roles in the show. So by the time we open a month from now on July 19th and 20th , we believe that nearly a thousand people will have participated directly in the making of this show.

S3: Now , you are not just a theater director or executive of the Globe Theater. You are also a Shakespeare scholar. And these plays. These are the earliest works of Shakespeare. So can you give us a sense of what he might have been thinking , or what made him want to tackle this ? Because in a sense , he's opening with a franchise. He's got three plays in mind. So he was also a smart businessman. So give us a little sense of where Shakespeare was at when he was putting these plays together and how that kind of impacted what they turned out to be.

S2: We know that these are among his earliest plays. We also know they were immensely popular in the period , and yet they don't enjoy the same kind of reputation as Othello and King Lear and Hamlet and , you know , The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing , the great masterpieces of the canon , largely because Shakespeare is just young when he's writing them. And what I love about the plays is that you can see him attempting an idea that because I know his works , he will realise more successfully five , six , ten years later as a writer. So there are scene templates in these. Henry the Sixth plays that turn out to be a scene in Othello or a scene and As You Like It , or a scene in , you know , Henry the Fifth or something like that , that he hasn't quite solved. On the other hand , there is an enormous amount of thrilling stuff. There are all these great characters Margaret , Queen Margaret , one of the great female characters in Shakespeare , Henry himself extraordinary. There's this character named Sir John Talbot , who's this great chivalric knight , sort of mega soldier. And , you know , we know Romeo , we know hamlet , we know Othello , we don't know these characters. And it's a delight to meet them. What you clearly get in the play is a young artist on the make. There's no doubt that as you read them , you go , this is a guy who's trying to make an impression. And so I'm going to do a battle scene , and then I'm going to do a comedy scene right next to it. Then I'm going to have some supernatural spirits show up , and then I'm going to have some extraordinary political rhetoric , and then I'm going to throw a love scene in there just because. And it's this sense of , look at me , watch me flex my muscles as a writer and , and do these audacious things , which gives the production and the plays themselves this great energy and this great sort of youthful exuberance , which I have hugely enjoyed as we've been at work.

S3: And talk a little bit about Henry as a character and how he reflects other characters that are in Shakespeare's plays , but also how he's different from a lot of Shakespeare's protagonists.

S2: So the historical Henry was this sort of bookish guy who wasn't a very good king. Also , he became king as a child. His father , Henry the Fifth , conquered France in this miraculous sort of underdog victory. And of course , Henry the Fifth is one of Shakespeare's true masterpieces with all those great speeches. And his son just kind of isn't up to it , and not only isn't up to it , but is interested in other things. Henry is a religious man. Henry is a bookish man. Henry is a philosophical man , and he doesn't really like the rough and tumble of politics. And he doesn't really like the violence of war. And so all these other political forces rush into the void , and that's what causes this civil war. Not to mention that the Yorkists are still extremely angry about the usurpation of King Richard the Second , which at this point is two generations ago. Right. So it's a family carrying around a sense of injury from 60 years ago that they just can't let go. There's a wonderful scene in our second play where the characters debate the use of history , and one side says , this terrible thing happened 60 years ago. We need to turn back the clock to that moment and fix it so that history's true course can be resumed. And the other set of characters say , but wait a minute , it happened and it's done. And , you know , to use a phrase that we hear a lot , the facts on the ground are that I'm the king now and you can't just undo it. And so Shakespeare's thinking about that , and Henry in particular is thinking about that. And he's asking , once history is set in motion , what is our obligation to the nation itself ? How do we take care of the nation when the events of history are buffeting it , and when there are other parties trying to wrench it in different directions ? And , you know , it's just bracing and exciting. And one of the things that makes Shakespeare feel so current and contemporary , because we're having all those exact same debates right now in our contemporary American world and in our contemporary international world. And so we can go to the theater and watch this really gifted thinker work his way through those problems.

S3: How will this play ? Out in an election year to an audience that may have politics very much in the forefront of their minds.

S2: I'm extremely curious to see. I'm really excited to see. One of the great things about Shakespeare is that he's this kind of Rorschach test , right ? The inkblot is they're two different people look at it and see two totally different things. And one of the things that keeps Shakespeare current is that we can't pin him down. Is he a monarchist or is he an anti-monarchist ? Is he a capitalist or is he a Marxist ? And you can read the plays in those ways and come up with a good answer. Even the thing I was talking about before , you know , at times when you watch the play , you think , yeah , that usurpation of Richard II 60 years ago , that was a really terrible crime. And we need to undo it and we need to set history straight. Other times , you see. Yes. But the cost in blood and human life that it's going to take to do that means that whether or not it's right , we can't do it. So the plays are infinitely , um , interpretable depending on your own political bent. Now , you know , there are certain times when you hear a piece of language from 400 years ago and it sounds remarkably current. And you think , how did Shakespeare do that ? How did he know ? And there is one of the great American Shakespeare scholars is this guy named Stephen Greenblatt. And Stephen Greenblatt has written about , uh , the the phenomenon of authoritarianism that we're seeing surge around the country and used Henry six to help us understand that phenomenon. So , you know , some scholars look at it and say he seems to be a left wing progressive thinking about authoritarian movements. Others say , no , no , no. What he is is a conservative who values stability and continuity above all else. And I think our audience is going to watch the play and decide for themselves.

S3: Well , it's one of the things that makes Shakespeare so relevant for so many centuries is the fact that he didn't really make those kinds of judgments and take those kinds of sides. And he's much more about just like the humanity of his characters and trying to capture people accurately. And then that's why , like , these things seem so resonant.

S2: I agree , I think as I've spent time with these plays and this goes back to when I was a graduate student , you know , 30 years ago , first encountering them. There does seem to be one point of view in it that's very , very clear , which is that Shakespeare seems to be arguing that if you divorce values from politics , then the only possible result is violence and chaos. And our two plays very clearly make that point when we're dealing with political leaders who are only interested in their own personal power , who are only interested in their own grudge , who are only interested in subduing the other party , and who have no interest in a bigger idea of England and what it means in a bigger idea of the nation and what its values are. When you're dealing with that kind of sort of grasping , um , you know , ugly power grab , then the only possible outcome is violence. And in that sense , the plays are kind of a warning flare for Shakespeare's own culture in 1592 1593 , saying , hey , unless we all understand that there's a greater vision of our society , we're going to fracture and blow apart. And it's a tremendous object lesson for us to be thinking about now , because the plays really do say human beings are capable of doing really terrible things to each other. And that happens inevitably when we lose sight of some kind of greater vision for our culture and for our society.

S3: And what can people expect from this production ? You've talked about the fact that there's going to be video elements , and that there's going to be like community members coming on to stage.

S2: It's a huge epic. And I can tell your listeners , Beth , that nobody will have ever seen anything like it. And it's going to be another generation before a theater like the globe can attempt this again. It is truly a once in a generation event. We've got 30 professional actors on stage , which is twice as big as our normal Shakespeare company. Here at the Old Globe. We've got this huge piece of a thousand community members participating. We've got a whole summer of all sorts of other programming to major American Shakespeare scholars coming out , panel discussions , a special interactive exhibit that's going to be on the old Globe stage. And. And this Shakespeare rarity that's full of energy and vitality. And it's funny and it's horrifying and it's violent and it's inspiring all at the same time. So really , what audiences are going to be in for is a rarity , a sort of special , unprecedented , unusual theatrical undertaking which I hope they will find just tremendously exciting , I do.

S1: That was The Old Globe's artistic director , Barry Edelstein , speaking with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando. The Henry Project kicks off preview performances on June 30th , with the pair of plays running through September 15th. Coming up , a book highlights the importance of representation by exploring themes of friendship , first crushes , and growing up in a queer coming of age story.

S4: And I wanted to show all the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride that is being in love and falling in love , where it can be really amazing and then it can be really terrible and terrifying.

S1: Hear more from the author when KPBS Midday Edition returns. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Becoming a teenager is hard. Friendships get complicated. Soak in first crushes. While author Nora Donnis explores the messiness of growing up in her graphic novel Cross My Heart and Never Lie. The book opens 12 year old Trevor's diary as she navigates seventh grade , cross My Heart and Never Lie won the prestigious Stonewall Book Award , which recognizes exceptional LGBTQ+ literature. You can also catch her at the Mission Hills Hillcrest Library this Friday. Nora is with us now. Nora , welcome to midday.

S4: Thank you so much for having me.

S1: Well , I'm glad you're here.

S4: You get to be in the head of the protagonist. And , um , especially in this story , there are lots of things that she feels like she can't tell her friends , she can't tell her dad , but she can tell it to her diary. So that allowed me to get really close to her and show how she's feeling in ways that she isn't showing to her friends or her family.

S1: Well , tell us more about Tuva and what she's struggling with in this book.

S4: Yeah , so Tuva is a 12 year old , and she discovers that over the summer , her one of her best friends , Vanessa , has gotten a boyfriend. And the first problem with this is Tuva hasn't really thought about getting boyfriends at all. This comes as a bit of a surprise if she doesn't feel prepared. And the other problem is that her other best friend , Beau , she thinks that boys and fashion and girly things is really annoying and gross and uninteresting , and she doesn't want anything to do with it. So this creates this conflict in two of us friend group , and she feels like she has to pick a side between being a girl who falls in love and is trying to be more like a teenager , and remaining a child and playing in the forest.

S1: Yeah , and you can also see so many other details too , like TUV is doodles and misspelled words. All very cute and colorful.

S4: The I tried to just go with what I felt was , um , age appropriate and also imagining being that age , wanting to decorate things. Um , and for me , drawing has always been a big part of how I express myself. Um , so I kind of gave that to Tuva as well , and let her express herself with these doodles , show how she's feeling with her little diagrams sometimes. Or charts , um , as well as her drawings. I just had a lot of fun with it. Wow.

S1: Wow. Well , so this is. It's a work of fiction , but I'm wondering if you drew from any personal experiences while writing the book. Yeah.

S4: Yeah. So the , uh , the first thing that happens with her , uh , friend having a boyfriend is based on something that happened to me. Um , I remember coming back from summer and discovering that , oh , no , people have started with , like , dating , and I'm not prepared , and I don't know how I'm going to deal with this and and feeling very behind everyone else. And then also , when Tuva does falls in love , it takes a while to realize that that's what's happening because she falls in love with a girl. And that's also based on my own experience as well.

S1: And the story was actually inspired by comics.

S4: Was called , which I think it's an Italian Disney property , but it follows this group of friends , uh , who are in high school. And then it turns out they have magic powers. And it's this whole fantasy , a parallel universe. But it also has a lot of these moments of just like being a teenager , figuring out friendships and crushes and , um , and that it was just such a refreshing and fun , uh , read that we all shared. And I wanted to kind of recreate that feeling of reading those books with my friends and , uh , feeling like you could see parts of your own life , um , even though they also have those big fantasy things that , uh , unfortunately , never happened to us. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. Well , you know , in the book , I mean , at first crushes , they're fun , but they can also feel so complicated. It's also a formative experience for many queer people.

S4: Um , her main problems will be a lot of other stuff that happens in her friend group. Um , but I wanted to show how it can take a little time to realize that you fall in love. I think a lot of movies , especially , you have this , like , two people lock eyes and it's just instantly , you know , that that's what it is. And I wanted to show all the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride that is being in love and falling in love , where it can be really amazing and then it can be really terrible and terrifying and , you know , just trying to portray that in a way that felt real to me.

S1: And you originally wrote the book in Norwegian. It's since been translated into many different languages.

S4: I , I never expected this to be translated into any languages. It felt quite personal and local when I wrote it. And to see that so many people can connect with the things that I have felt and still feel is extremely validating and very , very touching to me.

S1: And like we mentioned , you'll be accepting the Stonewall Book Award very soon.

S4: Again , I didn't even expect this to be translated , so to have this honor is amazing. And I to kind of be invited into the shelves of all of the queer literature that has become , uh , that has come out before. I think coming of age stories are really important for , for all kids. I really wish I'd had that , because I think one of the things that makes it hard to know what's going on , and to realize that you are having a crush and you can have a crush on someone of the same gender , is that you just never see it in fiction unless someone makes those stories. I definitely for me , I came out a lot later. I was 19 , and one of the big things that helped me realize it was orange juice , the new black , the TV show , um , which had so much queer representation in it. And that was really it was so much easier to connect with that and to connect with like a definition of what , uh , all of the letters in the LGBTQ stands for in the science textbook that we had at school. Like , that's not something you can relate to as a kid. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. I mean , and as you laid out , representation is so important.

S4: Obviously , I , I'm very happy when queer kids reach out to me and say that they , uh , were happy to see themselves and they recognize their situations , but also just kids in general who recognized the , uh , feels like a I portrayed their friendships and their struggles in a way that they could recognize. Uh , I was obviously nervous about because I , I wasn't 12 years old when I wrote this and had to try to remember what it was like. And I'm really happy that straight kids are reading it as well , because that means that they'll understand their friends better and know that you know everyone. Everyone's different and hopefully we be better friends as a result.

S1: Yeah , well , how did you first get into writing and illustrating and who were your your art inspirations ? Um.


S4: I've , I've loved drawing my whole life and really started loving making stories when I was around ten , 11. Um , so it's been a lifelong passion. Um , a big hero of mine is Tove Jansson , the creator of the Moomin books and comics. I mean , she's a big inspiration , both because her art is so beautiful and amazing. Um , she , uh , was a queer woman , and she was both writing and illustrating. Um , so she's a big hero of mine. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. And you actually have a new book coming at the end of. A month. What can you tell us about it ? Yeah.


S4: So this new book follows the same group of friends as Cross My Heart in Never Lie. But in this book , they have to figure out how you organize and do activism because their local forest is due to be torn down in order to make room for a new parking lot. So this was inspired by youth activists in in my home country , in Norway , but also in a lot of other countries around the world. Um , and trying to show kids that you can use your voice and be heard even if you're under the the voting age and trying to sort of fix the way that I often felt very hopeless as a kid. When you got news about the climate crisis or the environment is , I think the best way to deal with that is showing kids how you can take action and make changes.

S1: Yeah , absolutely. Um , you got an event coming up here in San Diego soon. Tell me about that. Yeah.

S4: Yeah. So I am going to visit , uh , the library and , uh , we're going to do some reading from the book , and I'm going to do some drawing demonstrations and talk about the themes , uh , meet the kids. And , uh , so far away from from my home. So , yeah , I'm very , very excited. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. Because you're in Norway , so that is quite , quite the journey. Yeah.

S5: Yeah.

S4: This is the furthest that I've been away from home ever. So I'm very excited.

S1: I am sure I'm sure that's going to be one journey. I've been speaking with Nora Donis , author and illustrator of the book Cross My Heart and Never Lie. She'll be at the Mission Hills Hillcrest Library this Friday for a live illustration and book signing. The event starts at 4 p.m.. Nora , thanks again for joining us.

S4: Thank you so much for having me.

S1: Coming up , a symphony conductor talks about her mental prep and what she's thinking about before a performance.

S3: Being the conductor.


S1: Welcome back. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. This weekend in the arts , we have Shakespeare and Zombies , a floral arts show , a music festival from the San Diego Black Arts and Culture district , and a book fair , to name a few. The San Diego Symphony is also kicking off their summer season at the Ready Shell. For opening night , the orchestra welcomes conductor Gemma New to kick things off. She is a New Zealand born conductor with an impressive resume and many of her roles at orchestras around the world. She was the first woman to hold the role , including her current appointment at the New Zealand National Symphony Orchestra. New will conduct the symphony this Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at The Rady Shell. She spoke with KPBS Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans about her career and the performance. Here's that conversation.

S7: You said that you grew up going to the symphony in New Zealand , and now you are conducting the New Zealand National Symphony.

S6: So , um , I first came back to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the pandemic , and because the border was closed , I was one of the very few conductors who was able to work with the orchestra. And we did so many programs together over those years. And , uh , the first time I was really , uh , wondering what it would be like to work with , you know , half the orchestra you grew up with , with the National Youth Orchestra and those who are at school with you. And then , uh , you had half the orchestra who taught you as a young violinist and in young conductor. And , uh , it was like coming home. I mean , it literally was , but it was also a beautiful , um , it's a beautiful family of of really incredible , inspiring people and musicians. And I'm absolutely loving being able to be back there and do some incredible programs.

S7: I want to step back a little bit and talk about conducting as a profession , as it's kind of this mysterious role to me. I imagine it is a huge undertaking. You're juggling creative responsibilities and leadership responsibilities.

S6: And , you know , we that's what we aspire in what we , uh , lead in on stage to collectively and , uh , and , and you have to be so brave to perform this music , to play these solos and to strive for the best color or the best , you know , sensibility of dynamic or pulse and , um , and the virtuosity of these parts , um , you really have to give everything. And being the conductor , I want musicians to be as comfortable as possible so that they can fly , you know , and , um , bringing things together. The more calm you are , the more you can focus , um , the more you can listen and then you can make a really positive difference.

S7: Can you take us there to the podium so the musicians are ready in. Your arms are up.


S7: And of course , we have to talk about the music. So the Aaron Copland piece , four dance episodes from rodeo , that's possibly one of the most recognizable pieces of American music from the last century.

S6: I mean , the saying is , what's for dinner , right ? That goes with the hoedown music. And , uh , it's such a favorite. I've loved doing it. And every time I go back to the score , I have very happy memories from doing it with other orchestras. And I know this will make a new memory. Um , and for this program in general , we really wanted to have a festive flavor. Um , we wanted for our musicians to be highlighted with their virtuosity. And we also wanted to celebrate America. And of course , Copeland's music is absolutely perfect for that. I love his music so much. Appalachian Spring Symphony number three. The fanfare for the Common Man. And here with rodeo. For this concert , we have cowboys and lots of love. So , um , they come out showing all their muscles with Buckaroo Holiday. And then the choral Nocturne is a young girl thinking about her love. And then the waltz and the hoedown are the dances. Lots are full of folk tunes.

S7: You're also performing Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninov , but the program opens with John Adams fantastic short ride in a Fast Machine.

S6: And , uh , this is rather psychedelic. Um , he says it's like being in a really fast car and feeling wild and crazy. And , um , what I love about this piece is that , you know , this minimalist , incessant pulse that is exhilarating. It takes the wind out of you. You know , it's just , like , so exuberant that you're like , wow , that was amazing. You know , I barely could catch my breath and all the color changes , not only by the amazing instrument , uh , attention that he has , but also the harmonic shifts are absolutely amazing.

S7: So you have conducted in many cities and many concert halls , but this is your first time at the Rady Shell.

S6: It is such a stunning venue , and I was really lucky while it was in its initial stages to go and have a little tour of the facility , and I'm just so amazed at how stunningly beautiful it is for our audience to sit on that grass , and to then have that big shell that shows so many colors and of course , the highlights , the orchestra and for the orchestra as well. It's just such a stunning setting to make music. So. Uh , yeah. I'm really , really excited to , to get that first time performing there.

S1: That was New Zealand based conductor Jim Agnew , who will be leading the San Diego Symphony at Friday's opening night at the Rady Shell and Julia. The most interesting thing that I heard her say was that , you know , when she's up at that podium , she starts from nothing. It's like a blank canvas. Absolutely.

S7: Absolutely. And I love that. She also sort of brings in her whole body , all of her senses , and she has to start feeling it like a pulse. I love that I've never really thought of that moment before. The music starts as being nothing. So that was really cool.

S1: Yeah , indeed. All right , well , well , let's move on to what's happening this weekend around town. So we have that great option for classical music this weekend. You also have a mini book fair to recommend. What do we need to know about that. Yeah.

S7: So this is a spinoff of the Big North Park Book Fair which is scheduled for October. It's called the North Park Mini Book Fair , and it's at the North Park Mini Park , but I think everything else is going to be regular sized. The books are not going to be mini , and there's there'll be a smaller crop of bookstores that are going to be represented with booths and just fewer of everything. But if you've been to the regular North Park Book Fair , you'll know that it's quite large and even can be a little overwhelming. So this is nice that there's a smaller scaled option , but there's still a lot. There's going to be 30 booths. Um , booksellers include Mysterious Galaxy , the Book , Catapult Libre , Lula Books , Joyride Books , which is the Little Truck Bookstore , uh , Nuclear Comics , State Strange Publishing , and tons more. They're going to be having lots of activities , like a bookmark making craft with burning books , little art classes , a kid's storytime , and music performance. Clinton Ross Davis will perform and DJ shoeshine will do a DJ set. It's free and it's all ages , and it's also dog friendly. It's going to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. And while we were here , they have announced the date for the For the Big Book Fair in the fall. It's October 26th and that one will take over three streets in North Park.

S1: Wow , sounds really fun. And this Friday , the subprocess Latin Orchestra performs at the California Center for the Arts , Escondido. Tell us about this show.

S7: Yeah , so they are the self-declared first and only all female salsa band in San Diego , and they're celebrating their five year anniversary with a concert in Escondido. And they are not just a band , they're actually also a nonprofit. And they do a lot of partnerships and mentorships with local schools and other arts organizations. And they're also about to dig into a little bit more writing and recording of their own music. And so , um , we're listening right now to a performance at Bel-Air from last spring. They are such lively and engaging and talented performers. It's going to be a great show.

S8: Yes , I guess by no.

UU: I am la la la la. Oh. Yeah. So let me go anyway.

S7: So it's held at the California Center for the Arts Lyric Court space , which is like a courtyard event area just outside of their main concert hall. They do have bistro seating tickets. Those are $20 , but otherwise the concert is free. You can RSVP online to make sure you do get in. It's Friday at 7 p.m..

S1: All right. Sounds like a great experience there. There is a floral and ceramics art show this weekend called dirt.

S7: And it's for one weekend only. Opening night of this exhibition is Friday. They're going to have a little reception at I shop in South Park from 4 to 7. Um , some of the floral artists involved are Best Bud , the Flower Boy , trim and Tree design. And then they also have ceramicists that are showing their creations. So those ceramicists are lollipop , Jess Carter ceramics , wavy fingers and lots more. There'll be music from DJs and refreshments on Friday night , and I love that. This just feels a little different from your usual visual art exhibit. Um , the name dirt. I love how that applies to florals and then also clay ceramics. So that's cool. And this is only open through Sunday and you can catch it. If you can't make Friday night , you can catch it on Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 4.

S5: All right.

S1: In the theater , Loud Fringe Theater Group is bringing some Shakespeare and zombies to the stage this weekend. Uh , go ahead and break that down for me. Yes.

S5: Yes.

S7: So this is a mashup of zombie movie tropes with Shakespeare's comedy 12th Night , or what you will. This is by playwright AJ Shaw. It's called 12th Night of the Living Dead or What You Kill. So creativity points for the title there. So basically this sets viola , the heroine as a zombie. So the shipwreck that the play originally begins with actually kills her , and she carries out the rest of the play as a zombie. Um , this play is already a comedy , and this is making it even more absurd. It just feels like a natural extension of the original intention of the play. Um , and Loud Fringe is a smaller theater company in San Diego , and the do really great work. They push a lot of boundaries , and this is obviously no exception. It's directed here by Kate Rose Reynolds , who is a veteran on our stages and theater companies , and it also has a great cast. These shows are at the City Heights Performance Annex and it closes July 7th. This weekend. Shows are 8:00 Thursday , Friday and Saturday nights , and then a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. And the tickets for this are actually free with donations welcome.

S1: All right , finally , let's talk live music.

S7: It is the San Diego Black Arts and Culture District Music Festival. This is all day on Saturday from 11 to 8 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr Community Park. They have art and food and vendors and of course some music. The musicians that they're going to have performances from our Deneen Wilburn and Lyrical Groove , which is a project of Kendrick Dale and Brisa Lauren and then Rebecca Jade. Rebecca Jade has this huge catalog of music out , but she just dropped a new single last week. It's a version of Todd Rundgren's Hello , It's Me that she recorded with the Evan Marks Band.

UU: For a long , long time. Maybe I think too much , but something is wrong. That doesn't last. Long. Maybe I shouldn't think of you as my.

S7: And the Black Arts and Culture District Music Festival is totally free , but they do recommend reserving a ticket online. And then on Sunday , Labrinth , from Oklahoma , are playing at Soda Bar with High Five. The American bear. This is Larry's track. Give Me Something from their album that just came out in February. And at Lulu's Jungle Room on Sunday night. A rose is playing this. This venue is at the Lafayette. A rose is a local , but she has some roots in Tennessee. Her music is influenced by R&B , by jazz and soul , and we're listening to a somewhat older track of hers called Joe and another free show for you.

UU: This is Sunday night , I see. As soon as you.

S9: All right. All good performances , I'm sure.

S1: And a nice way to round out Black Music Month. You can find details on these and more arts events at KPBS. Org Slash Arts. I've been speaking with KPBS Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Julia. Thank you.

S7: Thank you. Jade.

UU: His love of.

S1: That's our show for today. If you missed anything , you can download KPBS Midday Edition on all podcast apps. Don't forget to watch KPBS Evening Edition tonight at five for in-depth reporting on San Diego issues. The roundtable is here tomorrow at noon. And before we go , I'd like to thank our Midday Edition team producers Ashley Rush , Giuliana Domingo and Andrew Bracken with the help of Lainie Alfaro , senior producer Brooke Ruth , arts segment contributors Julia Dixon Evans and Beth Accomando , technical producers Ben Read , lorsque , Brandon Truffaut and Rebecca Chacon. The Midday Edition theme music is from San Diego's own surefire soul ensemble. I'm your host , Jade Hindman. Thanks for listening and make it a great day on purpose , everyone.

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