play has more bizarre superstitions attached to it than
Macbeth, Shakespeare’s bloody tale of witchcraft
and murderous ambition. Whether this is because of the supernatural
aspects of the plot itself, or tragedies that supposedly
have befallen those who present—or even read—the play, is
unclear. (According to folklore, Lincoln reread Macbeth
the night before his assasination.) Theater folk dare not
even speak the dread name, calling it “the Scottish play”
instead. Kenneth Branagh—director and star of Henry V,
Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Love’s
Labour’s Lost—has referred to Macbeth as “the Scottish
gentleman.” Quoting lines from Macbeth—outside the
context of rehearsals—is considered verboten. So playwright
W.A. Frankonis is utilizing a rich Shakespearian tradition
of fear and paranoia with The Killings Tale, set
in 1606 during the rehearsals for the very first production
of Macbeth. While the actors are trying to learn
their parts, a ghost—or so it seems—commits a series of
murders modeled on the plot of Hamlet. Shakespeare
himself is both suspect and detective in this mix of history,
Shakespearian lore and fiction, trying to solve the mystery
before more of his colleagues are killed.
Killings Tale, directed by Ed. Lange, is a world premiere
being presented by the New York State Theatre Institute.
NYSTI presented a workshop version of the play in 1999,
while Frankonis—who also penned NYSTI’s acclaimed A Tale
of Cinderella—first conceived the play in 1988. (Long
before the opening of the film Shakespeare in Love,
as the theater likes to point out.)
NYSTI will present The Killings Tale at the Schacht
Fine Arts Center on the campus of Russell Sage College in
Troy beginning Sunday (Oct. 13) and running until Oct. 26.
Tickets are $19 adults, $10 children 12 and under, with
discounts for seniors and students. Special group rates
are available. Call 274-3256 for showtimes and information,
or visit www.nysti.org.
Lindley and Wally Ingram
label David Lindley an unusually accomplished session guitarist
is accurate—but, to a certain extent, it’s also damning
with faint praise: It’s true that Lindley has a résumé packed
with sideman stints for bigshots like Warren Zevon, James
Taylor, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan (just to name a few); and
it’s true that from 1971 to 1981 he was Jackson Browne’s
right-hand man, both on stage and in studio. But Lindley,
who with percussionist Wally Ingram will play the Van Dyck
on Saturday and the Iron Horse Music Hall on Wednesday,
has got himself a notable career all of his own, and anyone
who thinks a guitar-for-hire is by definition lacking in
inspiration or adventurousness will have to think again.
Lindley has always had his own projects (even when busy
providing support for more celebrated players), and they’ve
been nothing if not idiosyncratic. Though Lindley gained
early notoriety as one of Southern California’s best traditional-music
instrumentalists (winning the Topanga Canyon banjo and fiddle
competitions five times as a teenager), his interests were
more far-ranging than that. He formed his own group, Kaleidoscope,
as a means of incorporating rock & roll with roots music,
and while working with Browne on the singer-songwriter beat,
he joined forces with Cooder, the famously eclectic guitar
guru, to turn out the albums Bop Till You Drop and
the soundtrack to the film The Long Riders.
Like his on-again, off-again collaborator Cooder, Lindley
scavenges world music passionately for inspiration. In addition
to the old six-string, he’s been known to wield the kona,
the weissenborn, the Hawaiian lap steel, the chumbas, the
oud and the bouzouki, and his most famous project, El Rayo-X,
gained a cult following for their blend of American folk
and blues with a healthy spicing of reggae and other world-musical
Lindley’s present bandmate, Wally Ingram, has spent his
time supporting marquee talent, too: Browne, Sheryl Crow,
Tracy Chapman, Art Garfunkel and Col. Bruce Hampton all
have enlisted Ingram to pound the skins behind him. Seemingly,
the duo haven’t absorbed any startripping tendencies from
their employers, though: According to Lindley’s Web site,
their current configuration should be billed as “Mr. Dave
Meets the Wally Llama,” “Twango Bango Deluxe” or the “The
Beavis Butthead of World Music.”
David Lindley and Wally Ingram will play two shows at the
Van Dyck (237 Union St., Schenectady) on Saturday (Oct.
12) at 7 and 9:30 PM. Tickets are $25. For more information,
call 381-1111. The duo will also play the Iron Horse Music
Hall (20 Center St., Northampton, Mass.) on Wednesday (Oct.
16). Tickets for the 7 PM show are $19. For more information,
call (800) THE-TICK.
Masters of Zimbabwe
probably never heard someone play the mbira (mm-bee-ra).
You probably don’t even know what one is. Well, if you’d
like to educate yourself, and there’s no better time and
place to do it than this weekend at Time & Space Limited
in Hudson. That’s because the internationally recognized
Mbira Masters of Zimbabwe are back for two days by popular
demand, and they ain’t your garden-variety mbira players.
Together, Cosmas Magaya and Beauler Dyoko (pictured) make
up the Mbira Masters of Zimbabwe. They are, as you may have
guessed, from Zimbabwe, and represent today’s respected
elder generation of mbira players. Magaya has been playing
the mbira, a traditional African instrument made from hand-forged
metal keys bound to a wooden sound board, since he was 8
years old. He has toured the United States and Europe with
the renowned Mhuri yekwa Rwizi mbira group, with whom he
has been affiliated for the past 25 years. Dyoko, the “Queen
of Mbira Music” and Zimbabwe’s first female mbira recording
artist, will join Magaya on stage.
You can expect singing, stories, and dance to accompany
the performance by the two mbira virtuosos. For centuries,
mbira music has been an integral part of the culture of
the Shona, who make up the majority of Zimbabwe’s population.
Its most important function in Shona society is the direct
link it provides the Shona with their deceased ancestors
and tribal guardians. But it’s also a fixture at weddings,
ceremonies, and recently, government events. Dyoko has regularly
been invited to play at the opening of the Zimbabwean Parliament.
The Mbira Masters of Zimbabwe will perform Saturday (Oct.
12) at 8 PM and Sunday (Oct. 13) at 7 PM at Time & Space
Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $10, $7.50
for members. For more information, call 822-8448.