Olson and Gary Louris
of you are jumping up and down now that you’ve read the
names Mark Olson and Gary Louris—especially as they’re in
such close proximity to each other without being separated
by a “vs.” You’re the folks who know the backstory and will
need only this: The guitarists-vocalists whose harmonies
defined the early work of the wonderfully Gram Parsons-beholden
Jayhawks have buried the hatchet and are again performing
together, and on Saturday they’ll stop in at the Egg. You
knowledgeable folks feel free to now skip right to the end
here to get the details. The rest of you, for whom even
the clue “the Jayhawks” didn’t ring a bell, might want to
stick around a moment.
After releasing their self-titled debut in 1986, the Jayhawks
made a slow but steady climb over a decade into the higher
ranks of the alt-country/No Depression genre, winning critical
acclaim and an increasing audience. By 1995 it seemed the
band were ready to break into the mainstream with their
album Tomorrow the Green Grass, even managing to
land a video in MTV’s regular rotation. Unfortunately, the
presssure of the music biz had dampened Olson’s enthusiasm
and, despite possibility of a breakthrough, he decided to
walk away from the band. Olson’s departure was popularly
regarded as the end of the band; and the remaining members,
at first, worked with the same assumption. But after consideration,
Louris and co. decided to soldier on under the Jayhawks
moniker, redefining their sound and carving out a new and
well-respected place for themselves—and really pissing off
But, as they say, time heals all wounds: Eventually, the
pleasure of working together as a musical duo pushed Olson
and Louris toward a reconciliation. It’s early yet to say
whether this tour heralds a full-scale reunion (’Hawks Marc
Perlman and Tim O’Reagan are sitting this one out), but
the chance to hear Olson and Louris sing together again
should forestall any gift-horse inspection.
Marc Olson and Gary Louris will play the Egg (Empire State
Plaza, Albany) on Saturday (Feb. 26). Tickets for the 8
PM show are $24. For more information, call 473-1845.
Streetcar Named Desire
the curtain dropped on the 1947 debut production of Tennessee
Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, the room—legend
has it—was absolutely silent. After a long moment, the stunned
audience regained their senses and burst into an ovation
that continued for a solid half-hour.
Granted, the lead in that performance was Marlon Brando,
who some would contend was at that point the most powerful
actor likely ever to exist; but the play, which established
its author as the leading American playwright of the century
and racked up a New York Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer,
was—and remains—a masterpiece in its own right. Albany Civic
Theatre’s production of Streetcar, which opens tomorrow
(Friday), features Robert Gottschall as Stanley and Susan
Preiss as Blanche.
In previous decades, plays that featured blue-collar workers
in significant roles often tended toward the didactic, incorporating
activist, and not infrequently straight-up socialist, themes.
Williams skipped the poli-sci and depicted rough-and-tumble
proles as three-dimensional people, with passions, appetites
and complex psychologies. Doing so won him not only enormous
celebrity but the enmity of some of America’s self-appointed
moral protectors—such as the Catholic Legion of Decency,
who found Williams’ characters a little too appetitive.
In the right hands, the play’s raw ending (no spoilers here,
we promise) still retains the power to take the wind right
out of an audience.
Begining tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 25) and running through
March 13, Albany Civic Theatre (235 Second Ave., Albany)
will present Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
Tickets for the performances are $12. For more information,
love Patricia Highsmith’s character Tom Ripley. In the last
few years, the glamorous sociopath has been portrayed by
Matt Damon, Barry Pepper and John Malkovich; go back to
1977, and even Dennis Hopper had a crack at the character
(in Wim Wenders’ The American Friend). Go back even
further, and you’ll discover what many believe to be the
definitive film depiction of Ripley.
before Anthony Minghella got his fussy fingers on Highsmith’s
novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, French director René
Clément made the stylish 1960 adaptation Purple Noon.
This taut thriller made Alain Delon an international star,
and earned Clément comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock. Long
unavailable, Purple Noon was restored and rereleased
in the late 1990s under the auspices of Martin Scorsese.
It’s one of these restored prints that’s being shown at
Page Hall Friday night.
The New York State Writers Institute will host a screening
of Purple Noon tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 25) at 7:30
PM at UAlbany’s Page Hall (135 Western Ave., Albany). Admission
is free. For more information, call 442-5620.