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March 01, 2012 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-03-01

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3426 E. West Maple Rd. at Haggerty Rd. (248) 926-9555

The Acting Company's Sid Solomon
stars in two Shakespearean plays at
the Berman.

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good theater, whether it's on Broadway
or elsewhere.
"New York theater is no better than
anywhere else:' he says. "In fact, theater
is an inherently local art form — what
happens in that one room in that one
moment."
Last year, Solomon earned the
opportunity to experience both worlds
in one job when he was asked to be
part of a New York-based touring
company partnering with the Guthrie,
where he had found work. The Acting
Company of New York, founded in
1972 by John Houseman and current
Producing Artistic Director Margot
Harley, was established to give young
actors a chance to get a taste of the
professional world. Solomon was ready
in a heartbeat.
He is following in the footsteps of
performers including Patti LuPone,
Rainn Wilson, Kevin Kline, Jesse L.
Martin, Frances Conroy and David
Ogden Stiers, all of them former mem-
bers of the troupe that has appeared in
48 states and 10 foreign countries.
"All of us who do theater have dif-
ferent reasons:' he says. Solomon loves
that it brings together "a group of peo-
ple who are telling a story and telling
it to a certain group of people." It's an

experience, he says, that's "magical"
He loves the Acting Company's
approach to theater.
Julius Caesar is set in the present
day and is "remarkably prescient and
relevant." There are no togas. Instead,
actors are "dressed as if in a political
setting of 2012."
The troupe's The Comedy of
Errors is a slapstick rendition of the
Shakespeare comedy, reminiscent of
Charlie Chaplin, with mistaken identi-
ties and sitcom-like plot twists.
For the performers, just getting to
the theaters around the country is a
job, though the bus — home-away-
from home for 13 cast members, staff
repertory director and company man-
ager — is a nice place where "we sleep,
congregate and work:' Solomon says.
"We'll make a six-hour drive, then
do one show, then drive another eight
hours. But it's really an exciting experi-
ence."
In addition to Solomon, performers
include Detroit native Ernest Bentley,
Kaliswa Brewster, Caleb Carlson, Ray
Chapman, Bjorn DuPaty, Zachary Fine,
Whitney Hudson, Joseph Midyett,
Kevin Orton, Noah Putterman, William
Sturdivant and Kathleen Wise.
In addition to acting, Solomon,

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Theatre on page 45

A show of works by African American
painter Kehinde Wiley will open at the
Jewish Museum in New York.

world — to China, Brazil, India and ...
Israel — many were giddy with antici-
pation, and perhaps relieved that he
wasn't going back to the same artistic
well again.
He titled this global series "World
Stage," and began showing works from
it in 2007. And when word spread
about the Israel portraits in particular,
the Jewish Museum in New York acted
quickly. It purchased one painting, titled
Alios Itzhak, of a Jewish Israeli, and
began to angle for a future, full-length
show.
Now, on March 9, the museum will
officially open "Kehinde Wiley / The
World Stage: Israel," which features 10
portraits Wiley has made, some of them
only recently completed, of a diverse
set of Israelis — Ashkenazi Jews, Arab
Israelis, Ethiopians.
Behind the subjects, he's painted
visual motifs befitting their ethnic ori-
gins; arabesque patterns adorn the por-
traits of Arab Israelis, for instance, and

patterns that mimic Jewish paper-cuts,
a form of folk art, are found in portraits
of Eastern European Jews.
In addition to the 10 Israeli portraits,
which are enormous — some of them
6-by-8 feet — four other portraits will
be on view.
Wiley also has been asked to take on
an unofficial curatorial role regarding
the objects to be displayed with his
paintings; he made selections among
the traditional Jewish paper-cuts and
ceremonial objects from the Jewish
Museum's exhaustive permanent col-
lection. Many of those objects and pat-
terns are echoed in Wiley's portraits,
tying the show together in what should
be one of the Jewish art world's season
highlights. El

"Kehinde Wiley / The World Stage:
Israel" opens March 9 at the
Jewish Museum in New York City.
www.thejewishmuseum.org .

Phot
Photos by etinan
qt

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March 1 . 2012

43

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