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Really Rosie

If you have ever had any reason to sit through entertainments intended for the younger crowd, you may still shiver at the prospect of attending a too-cute run through a regurgitated fairy-tale plot or, worse, a “hip” diversion likely to feature actual regurgitation and/or other bodily functions. Fortunately, there are works that’ll appeal to the grade-school set without stunning you into torpor with their saccaharine simple-mindedness nor leaving you feeling in dire need of a Wet-Nap. On Friday, the New York State Theatre Institute welcomes just such a parental godsend.

Really Rosie has more than a few things going for it: First and foremost, the book and lyrics were written by Maurice Sendak, author of the wonderfully odd kids’ favorite Where the Wild Things Are, as well as several other books of dark imagination for the wee ones. Secondly, the music was written by Carole King—yes, that Carole King, of Brill Building and Tapestry fame. It’s a musical that everybody can love. In fact, the album version of the musical’s songs has been praised as “the finest children’s album ever made.”

The story goes something like this: Rosie, a diva in the making, assembles a crew of her contemporaries on the stoop of her Brooklyn brownstone to begin shooting a film about—what else?—all the many glories of Rosie. She presses the gang (Kathy, Pierre, Johnny, Aligator and Rosie’s brother, Chicken Soup) into service, and the show begins—a show rife with all the flights of fancy, crankiness and anarchic joy of childhood.

Really Rosie will be performed at the Schacht Fine Arts Center (Russell Sage College, Troy) beginning tomorrow (Friday, April 23), and running through April 30. Tickets are $20-$10. For more information, call 274-3256.

Whirling Dervishes of Konya

Whirling dervishes are part of the Mawlawi Sufi tradition, an Islamic mystical brotherhood founded by 13th-century poet Mawlana Jalaladdeen Rumi. This group, formed in 1995 by some businessmen, hails from Konya, Turkey, where Rumi spent the latter part of his life.

In the ritual (known as the sema), dervishes dressed in long skirts and tall hats swirl around the floor while spinning on their own axes, accompanied by traditional Sufi music. The rite is an expression of divine love and is a means to connecting with God through a kind of mystical ecstasy. Dervishes internally repeat “Allah” in time with their spins, as the ritual moves through three phases: knowing God, seeing God, uniting with God.

The Rumi Dervishes of Konya will perform Wednesday (April 28) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $18; $12 for kids, students and seniors. For reservations and information, call 473-1845.

Golden Land/Golden Dreams

The above is just an abridgement. The full title of this exhibit, which opens tomorrow (Friday) at the National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame, is Golden Land/Golden Dreams: Images of Sacred Temple Dances and Dancers from the Kingdom of Cambodia. Mark Sadan’s photographs show us a glimpse of an ancient tradition in dance, rekindled in a land recovering from war, poverty and genocide. Sadan says the dancers embody “the culture, the spirit, the hope of the future; they are Cambodia’s living connection to the past.”

Sadan is a Syracuse native, but his artistic journey has taken him all over the world. In the early ’70s, he studied film at NYU and went on to make shorts for TV. As a photographer, Sadan has given workshops and exhibited all over Europe, from Scandinavia to England to the lands that used to be behind the Iron Curtain. His statement of purpose: “My photographs are dedicated to whomever I might share these images of life and art which has inspired me. They are my gift, my message to you.”

Golden Land/Golden Dreams opens tomorrow (Friday, April 23) at the National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame (99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs). For more information, call 584-2225.

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