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Review: I’m Not Rappaport

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By John Baggett

The year has just begun, and Tyler Civic Theatre is continuing their hot streak with a production of the Tony Award winning classic, “I’m Not Rappaport.”

Set in the fall of 1982, the story centers around two elderly gentlemen who spend their time sitting on the bench in the lower income section of Central Park. There is Nat (Allison Cambre), an aging Communist with a penchant for tall tales and a disdain of capitalism and being “a nobody.” His frequent, unwilling audience is Midge (William Igbokwe), a superintendent whose eyesight is almost as absent as his patience for Nat. The taller the tale Nat tells, the more Midge falls for it, only to come to his senses as the story becomes grander.

Both men are hiding in plain sight – Nat from his daughter, Clara (DeAnna Hargrove) and Midge from Danforth (Michael McLeod), the head of the tenants’ association who intends to rid the building of Midge’s services and residency, as the building is being turned into a co-op. Clara wants Nat to come stay with her or move into a retirement home, as the neighborhood has become too dangerous. This is something Midge can attest to, as he pays one of the local muggers, Gilley (Asa Johnson), to walk him home, as well as protection from other thieves.

Observing them all is a quiet young art student, Laurie (Tara Hoover), whose connection to a mysterious man only known as Cowboy (Jake Gillard) will inevitably draw Midge and Nat into her problems, causing them to get into even more trouble than they were already in, thanks to Nat’s mouth.

The play was written by the great Herb Gardner, who is also known for “A Thousand Clowns” and “The Good People.” Along with “Rappaport,” he also adapted these works into feature films. This production was directed by Tilly McLeod, who previous directed productions of “A Christmas Story” and “Harvey.” McLeod took on this award winning classic and delivered the production is deserves, assembling a cast of wonderful talent, several of whom learned their parts in just a handful of rehearsals due to illness and weather. Even with all of the obstacles they faced, they pulled off a fantastic show.

Cambre is great as Nat, adding an air of sweetness to the role, and getting big laughs the more his character boasts with each wild yarn he spins. Igbokwe, in his first play ever, takes on a role beyond his years and holds his own against stage veterans. He often steals the show, is incredibly talented, and hopefully returns to the Civic Theatre stage very soon.

Hargrove is fantastic as Clara, mixing New York sassiness with heartfelt emotion as a daughter trying to protect her father. Hoover is great in her handful of scenes. Her character may not say much, but her physical performance is wonderfully natural and you can tell her joy of watching Nat and Midge is genuine. As Danforth, Mr. McLeod is hysterical, and you almost feel bad for him when he becomes the target of Nat’s shenanigans. Finally, our two villains, Cowboy (Gillard) and Gilley (Johnson), in a show filled with laughs, do an excellent job of reminding us of the looming threats around the rest of the cast. They both deliver performances that are as menacing as everyone else is charming.

“I’m Not Rappaport” is a delightful, frequently funny show that despite being set in the early 80s feels pretty timeless. Honestly, if they didn’t tell you it was set in the 80s, save for one costume, this story could be from 30 years or 3 days ago. It’s another great show at Tyler Civic Theatre and one that I truly believe you will enjoy.

“I’m Not Rappaport” opens on Friday, February 2nd and runs through Sunday, February 11th.  Tyler Civic Theatre is located at 400 Rose Park Drive.  For more information and to purchase tickets go to http://tylercivictheatre.com/production/2017-2018/im-not-rappaport

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“Apertures of the Mind: Works by Abhidnya Ghuge” at TMA

Tyler TX Apertures of the Mind Works Abhidnya Ghuge Tyler Museum

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler TX

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus.

Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays.

For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

“Apertures of the Mind: Works by Abhidnya Ghuge”

The Tyler Museum of Art is proud to present the first large-scale museum exhibition of an emerging East Texas talent with “Apertures of the Mind: Works by Abhidnya Ghuge” from September 7th-December 2nd. Admission is free.

Born in India, Ghuge is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Tyler. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Tyler. Inspired by a blend of Indian henna designs and imagery from her previous medical profession, Ghuge’s work explores themes of community, time, and value.

“Apertures of the Mind” features hand-carved woodblocks, ink and gouache drawings, and mixed media wall pieces. The exhibition also will include a site-responsive installation constructed out of woodblock-printed paper plates. Ghuge’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. Her work can be found in public and private collections in India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Support for “Apertures of the Mind” is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsor Sheryl Rogers Palmer.

Members and special guests are invited for a first look at the exhibition during the Preview Reception from 5:30-7pm Thursday, September 6th at the Museum.

“This & That: Recent Acquisitions”

The Tyler Museum of Art was the recent beneficiary of an extraordinary opportunity to bring back more than 30 works dispersed from the Permanent Collection of The Contemporary Austin. This will be on exhibit September 30th-January 6th, 2019.

Family Days: September 8th, October 13th, November 10th

Free admission, interactive art projects, light snacks and a festive atmosphere for all ages are on the menu from 2-4pm the second Saturday of each month with the Tyler Museum of Art’s Family Day.

First Friday: September 7th, October 5th, November 2nd

The first Friday of each month, the TMA offers a full day of free admission plus guided tours of its spotlight exhibitions at 11am. From contemporary Texas art to Hudson River School to Andy Warhol, each tour is unique.


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6th Annual Art of Peace: Day of Kids, Concerts & More

Tyler TX Art of Peace 2018

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The 6th Annual “Art Of Peace – Tyler” is September 14th-23rd. Come out and celebrate Peace and Community spirit.

The 8th Annual Art of Peace festival has grown from an afternoon of programs to a week long series of peace-activities and programs throughout Tyler. This is a community-wide event to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace (officially on September 21st) and to encourage community spirit. The aim of the Art of Peace – Tyler is to promote a spirit of cooperation and community through fellowship, dialogue, music, poetry, and art.

By date, here are the events planned for this year’s festival events. All events are free unless noted.

Friday, September 14th

Honk for Peace, 12 noon-1pm

Downtown Square in Tyler

Every Friday on the Downtown Square in Tyler, a group of people dedicated to peace hold signs encouraging us to wage peace and not war. The Art of Peace is proud of their weekly vigil and this year, we are going to join them. Make a sign of your own and join the group to promote peace in Tyler.

Saturday, September 15th

Day for Kids, 10am-2pm

Boys & Girls Club of East Texas at Southside Park – off the Rose Rudman Trail, Shiloh and Donnybrook- Tyler, TX

Visit the Art of Peace – Tyler booth at the annual Boys & Girls Club of East Texas Day for Kids. Bring your family for interactive art projects and write peace messages on boards for the next Habitat for Humanity of Smith County home.

Monday, September 17th

Peace Meal, 6:00pm

Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center, 3013 Earl Campbell Pkwy., Tyler, TX

Celebrate Peace by joining community members, peace advocates, and new friends for an open table meal and uplifting program to celebrate peace! Dinner will cost $12 per adult and $8 for college students and younger. Space is limited.  You may register and pay for your seat on tylerpeace.com. If financial assistance is needed for this event, please send a private message through the contact page on the website. Spread the word around and help grow this wonderful event!

Tuesday, September 18th

Meditation: Bridging the Heart-Mind Divide, 5:00-6:45pm

Tyler Public Library – Taylor Auditorium, 201 S. College, Tyler, TX

Take time to explore inner peace at this inspiring Art of Peace presentation, followed by a session of Heartfulness Meditation led by UT Tyler instructor and meditation trainer Gayathri Kambhampati. This event is co-sponsored by the Tyler Public Library.

Tyler Talking Together, 7-9pm

The Foundry Coffee House – 2nd Floor, 202 S. Broadway, Tyler, TX

Promote peace through relationships.  Come have meaningful conversations about race.  Participate in facilitated activities with people from different backgrounds and races.  By getting to know fellow Tyler residents, we help to dispel stereotypes and fears to build strong, supportive communities for all residents.   Come prepared to share your stories and experiences through conversation. This event is co-sponsored by Tyler Together Race Relations Form.

Thursday, September 20th

Songs of Peace, 6:30-9:30pm

Stanley’s Famous BBQ, 525 S Beckham Ave., Tyler, TX

Enjoy an evening of great BBQ and live music, while you get to know local peace advocates at one of Tyler’s favorite gathering spots. Dinner will be on your own. Music will be provided by: Eric Mosley, Connie Mims Pinkerton, Eric George

Friday, September 21st

Peace Pole Dedication, 12 noon

Rose Rudman Park, 450 Shiloh Rd., Tyler, TX

Commemorate the U.N. International Day of Peace by helping dedicate the 2018 Art of Peace annual Peace Pole being installed at Rose Rudman Park. The program includes interfaith prayers, songs, readings and messages of peace spoken in a variety of languages. The peace pole is co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Tyler and artist Kerian Massey.

  • 2017 – Tyler Peace Pole may be seen at Bergfeld Park.
  • 2016 – Tyler Peace Pole may be seen at the Woldert Park next to the Glass Recreation Center.
  • 2015 – Tyler Peace Pole may be seen at the Duane Andrews Peace Garden at the St. Paul Children’s Foundation.
  • 2014 – Tyler Peace Pole may be seen at the Tyler Rose Garden. It is currently being replanted.

All of the current Peace Poles have been lovingly donated by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Tyler. If your church or business or school would like to place a Peace Pole, please let us know and we would love to add it to our list of poles in the Tyler area.

Peace Concert: Trout Fishing in America, 7pm

Liberty Hall, 103 E. Erwin, Tyler, TX

Celebrate Peace Day with uplifting entertainment by the award-winning musical duo, Trout Fishing in America. Their delightful performances speak to young and old alike, with a blend of music and storytelling, sprinkled with trademark humor. This is music for people who take their fun seriously. Four-time Grammy award nominees, Trout Fishing in America has been performing music for 3 decades that get kids and adults alike singing and bouncing along. In addition, they also delight children with their arresting physical appearance: Ezra Idlet stands at a whopping 6’8″ tall, and Keith Grimwood remains roughly 14 inches shorter than his bandmate. With songs like My Hair Had a Party Last Night and When I Was a Dinosaur, Grimwood and Idlet are “the Lennon and McCartney of kids music” – Kathy O’Connell, NPR.
After the concert, we will form and photograph our annual Art of Peace LIVING PEACE SIGN on the DOWNTOWN SQUARE. The concert is co-hosted by Liberty Hall. Tickets are available for purchase online at tylerpeace.com.

Sunday, September 16th-23rd

“Peace” Art Exhibit

Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 South Mahon Avenue – Tyler (on campus of TJC)

“Our 2018 Art of Peace visual art exhibit is presented in cooperation with the Tyler Museum of Art, where selected art will be on display from September 16th–23rd. The exhibit is free and open to the public during museum hours; Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 1-5pm.

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Around East Texas

September 21st: BBQ Battle & Ribeye Roundup

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Shoot To Salute with BBQ Battle & Ribeye Roundup

Put your shooting or cooking skills to the test or simply just come and enjoy some great food for an even greater cause!

Friday, September 21st, there will be a Steak Cook Off. Saturday, September 22nd, there will be a friendly sporting clay shoot, sanctioned International BBQ Cookers Association “IBCA” cook-off, games, raffles, and live DJ.

This will benefit Lone Star Warriors Outdoors, A Texas Non-Profit Organization

Lone Star Warriors Outdoors was founded by Retired Army and Combat Veteran Chris Gill. In 2011, a program was created focusing on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. Helping combat injured warriors fight PTSD, and working with suicide prevention. The goal of LSWO is to get those warriors back out doing what they love, or teaching them a new sport and allowing them the time with other combat vets to talk and feel apart of a team again.

This will be held at 6S Ranch, 8159 CR 313W in Lindale. For more info go to: lonestarwarriorsoutdoors.com.

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