Tonight we have eloquently elucidated conspiracy theory, thanks to an appearance from President Bartlet Martin Sheen and the involvement of other, more local, acting talent, plus even more JFK.
First, there’s a staged reading of a new play called Noah’s Ark, written by a Philadelphia woman named Ginny Cunningham and based on a book by nonviolent activist James Douglass called JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters. It’s about President Kennedy’s gradual turn away from nuclear war toward a policy of peace, which, as the book tells it, put him in the crosshairs of the military and intelligence community who would have preferred “winning.” The actor Martin Sheen is a fan of the book, which is how he got involved in tonight’s reading (he’s volunteering his time), and the actor’s friend Matt Clark directs. Local actors include Bruce DuBose (one of D’s best), Vickie Washington, and Mark Oristano. Both Douglass and the playwright will be in attendance. Proceeds benefit the Dallas Peace Center.
Also tonight, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra offers the first of four performances this weekend dedicated to memorializing the anniversary of the assassination of the president. Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell makes for a pretty high-profile guest artist, while the program, helmed by Jaap van Zweden, features young composer Conrad Tao’s The World is Very Different Now. Tao’s piece commissioned by the DSO in memory of President Kennedy. Tao is 19, and it’s his largest-scale work to date. The evening also features Darius Milhaud’s Murder of a Great Chief of State, another tribute to Kennedy written in 1964, only one year after his death. Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica make up the rest of the concert. As an aside, DSO musicians, a handful of whom were living in Dallas on November 22, 1963, put together a moving compilation of memories. Paul Capehart, who plays the French horn, forged a note from his mom in order to get out of class to watch the motorcade.
Meanwhile, the Granada hosts the perennially popular indie rock band Built to Spill. My fondest thoughts of this band is really tangential, because I never really loved them the way my high school friend friend Nick did. I just remember him skipping a Built to Spill concert to pick me up from the airport my first semester of college when I got homesick two months in. It was the biggest sacrifice. Anyway, constant touring and frequent festival appearances has kept band in the limelight even though they actually haven’t released a new album since 2009. Indie rockers Genders and Slam Dunk support, and you can still get get tickets online.
For more to do tonight, go here.