Winter events abound around town

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 3:20 a.m.

For those still not convinced Gainesville is a cultural beacon of overwhelming mas, consider the few next days: Tonight, Tango Buenos Aires glides onto stage at the University Auditorium, tracing the tango's roots in a professional touring production and even providing dance lessons before the show. Also tonight, the Hippodrome Cinema will open "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," a nationally-adored, buzz-generating documentary that features the screen writing of UF visiting professor Ntozake Shange. This film won a National Society of Film Critics award.

On Sunday, New York Philharmonic clarinetist Mark Nuccio - a pretty big deal even beyond clarinet circles - will perform a recital (accompanied by UF's Mitchell Estrin, Kevin Sharpe and the UF Clarinet Ensemble) at the University Auditorium. He will follow that with a master-class. Then, famed researcher, spiritual leader and '60s icon Ram Dass will speak Sunday at the Reitz Union Ballroom after showings of the film "Ram Dass: Fierce Grace."

On Monday, the acclaimed Aquila Theatre Company will perform "Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Phillips Center. This, too, is a huge deal, as Aquila is considered one of the most respected touring international stages. And this production is not your average wither-thou-for-art Shakespeare offering.

Still need more options on a Monday? How about a date with Henry? The Civic Media Center and the Hippodrome Cinema will present the documentary "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" for two shows on Monday - 7 and 9 p.m. at the Hippodrome.

The BBC documentary delves into the policies and pangs of the former secretary of state and poses some tough questions about the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat's hand in Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile and East Timor. It paints a picture of power with little concern for human life.

This is the first of a series called First Monday of the Month Documentaries presented by the Hippodrome and the Civic Media Center.

That's all in addition to the continuing "Les Miserables" at the Phillips Center and gobs of local theater and art brewing around town. The unique comic play "Suckerfish" runs this weekend, as does the final weekend of "The Play About the Baby" at the Hippodrome. The thought-provoking "Fences" plays at Gainesville Community Playhouse.

And I shudder to think what I'm missing, but suffice it to say groovy winter events are seeping through this city like The Blob creeping up an arm.

I mean that in a good way, of course, but the volume of press releases stacking up on my desk is gaining an eerie mass.

Consider it an added jewel in the city's cultural crown.

Dave Schlenker can be reached at 374-5045 or

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