• Makoto Fujimura, with whom I sit on the National Council on the Arts, is a Japanese-American abstract expressionist who uses traditional Japanese painting techniques to strikingly modern effect. His canvases (one of which hangs in the Teachout Museum, much to my delight) are at once tranquil and deeply involving. “Charis,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Fuijmura, goes up today at the Dillon Gallery in Chelsea. The show is on view through August 2. I’ll be there–you come, too.
For more information, go here.
• Charlie Victor Romeo is playing at the Undergroundzero Festival. I reviewed it in The Wall Street Journal four years ago, at a time when I was undergoing therapy for fear of flying–proof, if anyone needed it, that I take my job very seriously. Here’s part of what I wrote about the show in 2004:
Forget reality TV. If you want to watch raw slices of real life–and death–transformed into the highest possible drama, go see “Charlie Victor Romeo,” a performance piece based on transcripts of the black-box recordings of six airplane crashes. (The title is military alphabetic code for “Cockpit Voice Recorder.”) “Charlie Victor Romeo” holds you in a hammerlock for 90 unforgettable minutes. It’s the most frightening show I’ve ever seen….
You stroll into a grubby black-box theater (talk about ironic!) in which a nondescript mock cockpit is placed at center stage. The house goes dark and a slide flashes on a screen overhead, telling you the flight number and date and how many people were on board, followed by a stark description of what went wrong: ICING. EXPLODING ENGINE. MULTIPLE BIRD STRIKES. Then the lights come up and all hell breaks loose.
Not always at once, though. Instead, you might find a pilot and co-pilot chatting away agreeably, flirting with a flight attendant, griping about this or that minor nuisance. But sooner or later–always without warning–something terrible happens, and in an instant the theater becomes a sweatbox. You watch in horror as the crew scrambles to save the ship while alarms beep and buzz, the radio crackles urgently and passengers scream on the far side of the cockpit door….
Four shows only, on July 8-11. To order tickets–if you dare–go here.