Last chance to enjoy two fun musicals this weekend | NevadaAppeal.com

Last chance to enjoy two fun musicals this weekend

Sam Bauman
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Closing this weekend after a three-week run are musicals “Brigadoon” and “Blood Brothers.” Catching them both on one weekend is a diverting way of comparing a lush Broadway musical, “Brigadoon,” with a spare but darker, more modern affair, “Blood Brothers.” In both cases the casts are outstanding, some very new talent and some veteran performers. “Brigadoon” is at the Community Center and “Brothers” at the Brewery theater.

CRAY IN TOWN

Multi-talented Robert Cray is considered to be one of the most expressive vocalists and impressive guitarists on the contemporary rhythm and blues scene. His and plays Friday and Saturday in the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks. Tickets are $49 at (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300 or by visiting janugget.com. His third CD release, “Strong Persuader,” won a Grammy Award, while the crossover single “Smokin’ Gun” gave him wider appeal and name recognition.His touring band consists of bass, drums, keyboard, saxophone and trumpet. Cray also had the opportunity to play alongside John Lee Hooker, on his album “Boom Boom.” Cray plays the guitar solo in the song “Same Old Blues Again.” Hope to catch this show.

FROM THE VAULTS

Surprising that some movies ever get made. “In the Bedroom” (mystifying title since little happens in the bedroom) was released in 2001 and it stars Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson. It’s a grim story about love and jealousy and the tragedy to they spawn. Not much upbeat here, but a lot of fine acting. Spacek is unforgiving as the grieving mother and Wilkinson stolid at the father. Marisa Tomei has an unforgiving role but carries it off. Doubt if there is a single teenager who watched this film n 2001. Why it’s rated R is a mystery as there is little to shock even a 10 year old.

A lot of good books come out and are lost in time. One is Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire, a Season in the Wilderness.” (Ballantine Books, 1968, 338 pages, $6.99). Abbey authored 21 books, including “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” “The Brave Cowboy” and “The Fool’s Progress.”

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His comic novel” The Monkey Wrench Gang” helped inspire a whole generation of environmental activism.

He hated automobiles for the way in which they separated people from the wilderness he loved. He wrote, “You can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the … cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe.” He died early, but they sell his books at National Parks bookstores despite the fact that he was a vehement critic of the Park Service.

On the lighter side there is Muriel Spark’s “Loitering with Intent,” (trade paperback, New Directions Press, 1981, $13.95, 218 pages) a light-hearted romp among a bunch of London fakers and frauds. She died in April this year at 88, after becoming Catholic in younger years. Her best-known work in America (she was Scottish by birth) is “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” which was made into a film. With “Loitering” Spark writes of a young wannabe writer (herself, obviously) trying to get a book done while working for an odd family history society group. No details needed, it’s a funny, mischievous book worth an afternoon’s reading. Then there’s the contemporary mystery novel by the team of Perri O’Shanughnessy (sisters Pamella and Mary) “Case of Lies,” (Dell, 2005, pocket book, 396 pages, $7.99)

This is a unique mystery, in that it pays serious attention to advanced mathematics, exploring the concept of prime numbers in very serious terms. It also has a interesting main character, Nina, a single-mom lawyer who lives in South Lake Tahoe with her 14-year-old son. Lots of local touches, all of which to this reader strike true.. Entertaining and clever.

• Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.