Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept 20-24 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Thursday’s show on Mexican Independence Day. I think we succeeded in getting underneath the steady drum beat of headlines about drug cartel murders and government corruption to a feel for what the real Mexico has to shout about.

Monday: The Syringa Tree: The Syringa Tree is a gripping play about a young girl growing up in an Africaner family in apartheid South Africa. On the boards at APT this season, Colleen Madden turns in an astonishing virtuoso performance, playing all 24 characters. We’ll talk with Colleen and director Michael Wright.

Tuesday: Marrakech Gets a Facelift: In the October issue of Conde Nast Traveler, Raphael Kadushin reports how a dynamic group of local Moroccans and European expats came together to revive Marrakech's medina--one of the world's greatest, intact, walled medieval city centers, effectively salvaging not just the historic quarter but much of its rich culture as well.

Wednesday: Ramsey Clark Speaks Out on American Torture: For his new book, The Torturer in the Mirror, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark teamed up with Iraqi dissident Haifa Zangana and sociology professor Thomas Reifer to reveal the scope of American culpability in the torture carried out during the war on terrorism. Ramsey Clark takes a historical view of torture and Professor Reifer discusses the ways the Obama administration has so far failed to clean up the policies of his predecessor.

Thursday: Madison World Music Festival: For a sneak preview of one of this year’s most exciting performances from this year’s UW-Madison World Music Festival, join us for a special live performance from DJA-Rara, the Brooklyn-based Haitian rara band. There are many explanations of the origins of rara, but whatever its beginnings, this raucous, peripatetic, and subversive music has endured and been embraced by the Haitian American community in New York City as an expression of Haitian pride, culture and identity.

Friday: Eating Animals: Vegetarianism is nothing new, but for some reason Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2009 book, Eating Animals, sparked a nationwide conversation about how we eat. The paperback edition of this bestseller comes out this week and Jonathan Safran Foer joins us to continue the conversation he started, this Food Friday.

Wedding Report: And yes, I did survive three days of wedding festivities in Minneapolis last weekend when my son, UMN Ottoman historian Giancarlo Casale married UMN Ottoman art historian Sinem Arcak. The celebration began with an all-female henna party on Friday night that ended in a ritual mock kidnapping, followed on Saturday by a lamb and camel-rib roast held in Giancarlo’s backyard where an extraordinary Italian feast was prepared and furnished for the rehearsal supper entirely by the father of the groom, followed on Sunday by a mid-afternoon ceremony in Loring Park that featured vows and readings spoken in three languages – English, Turkish, and Aramaic, (I read the from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass). The whole bash concluded with a Turkish feast prepared and orchestrated by the mother of the bride. Much dancing and drinking of wine. Altogether an extraordinary and exhausting affair. I came home nursing blisters on both feet.

Still recuperating!


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