The Living Sea of Memory
Forest Theater, UNC Campus—Paperhand Puppet Intervention's The Living Sea of Memory not only commemorates the 10th anniversary of the magical theater company, but also is a trans-generational collection of memories and stories.
For the past decade, UNC's Forest Theater has been the rustic backdrop for shape-shifting productions that suspend reality, as larger-than-life puppets, stilt walkers, oversize masks, shadow play stories and mystical music fill the small amphitheater.
According to Donovan Zimmerman, co-creator of Paperhand, the show consists of four interconnecting parts, investigating the richness and complexity of our inner life and, more important, our dream world. "This is all about the stories that affect our lives," says Zimmerman. "We'll be diving into that sea of memory which interconnects humanity."
Expect to meet a questing knight, otherworldly creatures (a specialty of Paperhand's), wise old grand-folks and the intricate serpentine creation called Tiamat, the Babylonian mythical goddess of the sea.
Transformation is a recurring theme in Paperhand Puppet's performances, and this year's show will include a bit of the company's history as a small puppet theater company before emerging as a Triangle institution. Bringing out new puppets and masks, as well as a few of the older pieces, Zimmerman and his co-creator, Jan Burger, plan to pull out all the stops and transform the small Forest Theater space with their biggest cast, including 20 puppeteers and a six-member Paperhand Band.
The Living Sea of Memory opens tonight at 7 p.m. and runs through Sept. 7 before moving to the N.C. Museum of Art Sept. 11-12. Visit www.paperhand.org for more information, including a roster of musicians who will perform before the shows. Admission is by donation: $10-$15 suggested for teens and adults, $7 for children 3-12.
Bring your picnic, a blanket for the rock stadium seating, an environmentally friendly bug spray and a willing and open mind. The transformations aren't just occurring on stage. —Rebekah L. Cowell
Various venues—Dog days, shmog days. First Friday returns with a vengeance, debuting new exhibitions and fun events. Artspace unveils new exhibits with the wine and socializing tonight. In Dress Up, Kerri Henrickson-Eckes looks at that all-important signal of identity: clothing. In her paintings, she examines using garments as a desire to fit in or to rebel, as well as recognizing cultural rituals and ethnic heritage. Eckes' goal is for the viewer to engage in a conversation with the garment and consider its message to the world when worn. Artspace's other opening is Plain Geometry and Natural Wonders, from mixed-media artists Keith Allen and Warren Hicks. Both artists deal with internal rhythm (no surprise, given that both spent time in the music industry), with influences ranging from architectural drafting to nature. At the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, you can get your monthly fix of campy old sci-fi. This one's a 1964 title called The Atomic Brain, which concerns a wealthy old woman who allows a scientist to transplant her brain into the body of a young, hot housekeeper. Also on tap is The Love Bug: The Great Bug Draw-Off, sponsored by Toxic Free NC, at 101 Lounge and Café (see below). Flanders 311 opens Guises ..., featuring work by Ellen Gamble and Catherine Shuman Miller, while Rebus Works has a show of ceramics by Tim Ayers, Lynn Duryea, Joe Pintz and Mitch Kimball. Lump Gallery, always a must-visit, is dark tonight, being closed for the summer while Team Lump is in London. For more information, visit www.downtownraleigh.com. —Sarah Ewald
Dark Meat, Whatever Brains
Local 506—Both the horn-roaring, percussion-toting, chorus-howling Athens, Ga., big band Dark Meat and the guitar-blasting Raleigh quartet Whatever Brains revel in imperfection. For Dark Meat, that means filling the stage with performers until the band and the crowd meld into one another, swapping sweat to tunes that cast the blues to the moon. Never polished and always primal, Dark Meat comes to convert you. Whatever Brains misshapes its tunes, too, by bashing its garage numbers too hard or screaming its kiss-offs too loud. They come to sneer at you, and—given the bounding melodies they supply—it's hard not to feel a bit masochistic, as you sing along. Pay $8 at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
Love Bug: The Great Bug Draw Off
101 Lounge—Those who don't like toxins might be interested in Toxic Free NC's two-part drawing event, Love Bug: The Great Bug Draw Off, a special fund-raiser for the organization. The event features a large number of Triangle-based artists, headlined by Casey Porn and Onion Head Monster's Paul Friedrich. You'll see artists draw themselves as bugs, timed draw-offs and more. Winners from each round will compete in a final showdown where their masterpiece will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. Along with the one-night-only bug drawing competition, there will be a month-long exhibition at 101 Lounge + Cafe. Donations of art supplies are welcomed for the event. Funds raised will help Toxic Free NC's efforts at battling toxic pesticides through educational and watchdog efforts. For more information, visit www.toxicfreenc.org/programs/lovebug.html. —Zack Smith
This text has been modified from the print version.