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FRIDAY | 4.26

FORGIVE US OUR SINS

When Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance premiered in 1907, it should have been a momentous achievement for the acclaimed 26-year-old playwright. Instead, the play sparked widespread controversy and international popularity for its risque content surrounding Judaism and sex work. In 1923, its run at the Apollo Theatre in New York City was cut short while cast, producer and theater owner were convicted on obscenity charges. In God of Vengeance, Yankl Tshaptshovitsh and his wife Soreh run a successful brothel in the basement of their home in a typical Polish Jewish town, but their unruly business has thwarted their dream of finding a respectable match for their teenage daughter Rivkele. Yankl commissions a Torah scroll and puts it in his daughter’s room to watch over her. But will God forgive his sins and allow his daughter to live a decent life? God of Vengeance tackles social and religious hypocrisy, our relationship with God and parents’ dreams for their children. To kick off its 2019 season, Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival is bringing Asch's controversial play to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, 409 W. Riordan Road, April 26-May 12. On April 26, 10 percent of the profits from its 7 p.m. performance will go toward Theatrikos Theatre Company. The company’s playhouse recently experienced severe flooding which halted some of its productions. Looking a little further down the line, in tandem with God of Vengeance, FlagShakes presents Indecent starting May 2.  The play is a storied production history of the controversy following the 1923 obscenity trial against God of Vengeance, written by Paula Vogler and commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre and American Revolutions. A May 4 event will feature guest speaker Robert Skloot, professor emeritus in the Department of Theater and Drama and in the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. For tickets and a full schedule of FlagShakes’ 2019 season, visit www.flagshakes.org

FRIDAY | 4.26

FROM THE STACKS TO THE CAVE

So a librarian and a barbarian walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the set-up to a great punchline, it’s real life here in Flagtown. We don’t joke when it comes to fun. Put on your glasses and ready your shushing fingers, or dig that old battle axe out of storage and come out to the Green Room for the Librarians and Barbarians Party. Featuring a costume contest with limited entry—so get there early to register—along with live music from Sap Dabblers and Pass the Butter. Dirty Nabz and Atsushi will also be spinning music back to back as Dirty Sushi. All this goes down Friday night at the Green Room, 15 N. Agassiz St., beginning at 8 p.m. This event is open to ages 21 and up, and entry is $5.

SATURDAY | 4.27

DANSER AVEC MOI

Are you a Francophile in need of an excuse to celebrate all things France? That’s where Vino Loco comes in with the Corks and Corsets Fancy French Wines Party. Channel your inner Monte Cristo or Moulin Rouge for the costume contest where corsets, stripes, iconic French moustaches, berets and other cultural staples are more than welcome. Bonus points if you can talk the talk as well as walk the walk. The party will feature wines from unique regions of France, complimentary hors d’oeuvres from The Cottage Farmhouse French Bistro, live music from Vincent Z and $1 raffle tickets for the chance to win a bottle of wine. All this and more at Vino Loco Wine Bar and Shop, 22 E. Birch Ave., from 6-10 p.m. Admission is free, proceeds from raffle and wine sales to benefit the Flagstaff Family Food Center. www.vinolocoflag.com

SATURDAY | 4.27

PARTY LIKE IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY

Long before David Bowie became a starman waiting in the sky, there was Sun Ra, the prolific and enigmatic jazz composer, pianist and poet. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, arrived on this Earth on May 22, 1914, and spent his early life involved in the 1940s Chicago jazz scene. Sometime during his college years, Sun Ra dropped out, claiming he’d had a visionary experience. He said in the midst of deep religious concentration that a bright light appeared to surround him, saying, “My whole body changed into something else. I could see through myself. And I went up... I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn.” Sun Ra went on to claim extra-terrestrial beings teleported him to a stage and told him the world was going into complete chaos, that he would speak through music and the world would listen. Soon after, he adopted the name Sun Ra, named after the Egyptian god of the sun, and sought to preach peace through his music up until his death in 1993. To honor his deep legacy, the experimental Interference Series—along with NAU’s College of Arts and Letters, NAU Jazz Studies and the NAU Honors College—is hosting the 2nd annual Sun Ra Birthday Bash, featuring local and student musicians performing his music, as well as special guest speakers who will provide historical and cultural context and background for the connection of Sun Ra’s legacy to Flag’s vibrant arts scene. The cosmic concert will be held at Kickstand Kafé, 719 N. Humphreys St., beginning at 7 p.m. $5 donation at the door. More information at www.interferenceseries.org

ONGOING

A NEW MENACE

Originally titled Tell Your Children and sometimes referred to as The Burning Question or Doped Youth, the 1936 American propaganda film Reefer Madness, directed by Louis Gasnier, looks at how the lives of a group of high school students spiral into madness after they become addicted to marijuana. The melodramatic events that unfold, including hallucinations, suicide, manslaughter and more, were aimed at teaching parents about the dangers of marijuana. Over the years, the film has been panned as one of the worst films ever made, spawning a litany of spoofs and parodies including Reefer Madness: The Musical. Under direction from Aimee Lucus and Sean Meehan, Flagstaff Music Theatre is lighting up its own production of Reefer Madness: The Musical. When working on bringing the tongue-in-cheek musical to life, Lucus says it wasn’t simply about making fun of the film. “The great thing about theater is that it’s meant to challenge us,” she says. “Sometimes people can have very strong viewpoints about things and are not willing to change that. When you present something that’s over-the-top and clearly a parody [as this musical is], it might give them pause and allow them a moment to think.” Catch performances of Reefer Madness: The Musical April 26 through May 5 at the Coconino High School Mini Auditorium, 2801 N. Izabel St. Performances will be held 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are available at Arizona Music Pro, at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

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