Critic's guide to going out: 20/08/2010
Michel Legrand, National Concert Hall, D2
Michel Legrand, National Concert Hall, D2
Every once in the proverbial blue moon a film soundtrack will linger in the memory longer than the film it originally accompanied, and such is certainly the case with much of the work of French film composer and five-time Grammy winner Michel Legrand. Oh, did we mention he also has a hat trick of Oscar statuettes on his mantelpiece? Legrand created such nostalgia classics as The Windmills of Your Mind (from The Thomas Crown Affair) and music for films such as Yentl and Summer of '42. He's in town tonight for a special concert with the RTE Concert Orchestra. Not only will the man himself be sitting behind the piano and adding his voice to proceedings, but his wife, acclaimed harpist Catherine Michel, will also be rejoining the orchestra she was originally a member of in the 60s. www.nch.ie
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
Ferran Garcia Sevilla, Irish Museum of Modern Art, D8
Everything from Middle Eastern culture and religious symbology to comic books and urban graffiti has been thrown into the creative mix by Spanish painter Ferran Garcia Sevilla. And he's not afraid to put his opinions on view too, as his colourful canvases are often peppered with caustic hand-scrawled commentaries on life and politics. A most impressive retrospective of the various eclectic stages of the past 30 years of this Majorcan's career is currently on show at IMMA in Kilmainham until the beginning of September.
Highly recommended afternoon outing.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 22
Salt, On General Release
The latest heavyweight to enter the 2010 summer blockbuster ring is yet another disappointment, but at least Salt has enough energy and momentum to make it modestly entertaining. Angelina Jolie is Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent whose world falls apart when a Russian defector walks into CIA HQ claiming that Salt is a pre-programmed sleeper from the Soviet era who will shortly assassinate the visiting Russian premier. Salt goes on the run, and initially it looks like the Russian defector was right, but as the film proceeds at breakneck speed things get ever more complicated. Jolie does well enough as a Bourne-style action hero, but the film fails to give its action scenes that vital touch of credibility. With Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
MONDAY, AUGUST 23
Megafaun, Crawdaddy, D2
Why not start the week with a musical voyage of discovery and take a chance on this rather interesting North Carolinia band? Megafaun are a bunch of bearded brutes who take the folk genre and give it their own unique twist. Comprising brothers Brad and Phil Cook along with fellow Eau Claire, Wisconsin native Joe Westerlund, they are former bandmates of Bon Iver. And this trio are similarly experimental in their musical approach, creating compositions that are complex, to put it mildly. On a night with a decidedly Americana twist, they will be joined in Crawdaddy by Nashville's Caitlin Rose and our very own Katie Kim.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 24
Beirut, Tripod, Dublin
If you want to see the world but have issues with jet-lag, keeping up to date with Beirut's Zach Condon might be the next best thing. Raised in New Mexico, based in Brooklyn, a superstar in Brazil and with influences that veer from Balkan folk to Mexican marching band music, Condon is, in the healthiest sense, all over the map. Crucially, he doesn't fall into that old trap of paying lip service to the ethnic sounds on which he draws. Beirut's debut Gulag Orkestar was inspired by a lost summer in Europe; for 2008's March of the Zapotec he went to rural Mexico and lived among local musicians. Ironically, his best album may be his most conventional: 2007's The Flying Club Cup sounds like a looser-limbed Rufus Wainwright or a less stridently grumpy Magnetic Fields.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25
Mouth to Mouth, Project Arts Centre, D2
Kevin Elyot's first play, My Night with Reg, was one of the first to look at the impact of Aids on a group of friends. In his fourth play, Mouth to Mouth, Elyot takes as his central character a writer who is seriously ill and who spends the whole play trying to get someone to listen to him, but who instead only ends up listening to everyone else. Elyot's gift is for dialogue which is deliciously funny, reproduced with the exact detail gathered by an attentive observer with a wry sense of the ridiculous. However, the humour is only the surface. Produced here by Crooked House, directed by Peter Hussey, this is something of a modern ghost story that revels in the comedy of the tragic.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
Raccoon, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork
If you've ever wondered how you were supposed to combine an evening at the theatre with a decent meal (pre-theatre is just too early, and post-theatre risks having a stomach audibly grumbling during the show), then 'dinner theatre' was designed for you. Cork's Meridian Theatre has been duly providing the ideal date evening every Thursday in August at the Blackrock Castle Observatory, where their hit play, Raccoon, itself set in a café, is being performed in the Castle's restaurant. Starring Julie Sharkey and written by Tom Hall, this Thursday hosts the last show and the €30 ticket includes a 5pm tour of the Castle's towers, with their view of Cork from the city's original watchtower, followed by theatre and dinner with a drink.