Art with a cherry on top

Cherry Ice Cream (oil on canvas) by Barry Levitt

I learned a day too late that the third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day thanks to a 1984 proclamation by President Ronald Reagan, though I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to celebrate after the fact with a small scoop or two. 

If live performance art was ice cream, live simulcasts would be the cherry on top. They allow folks to enjoy works of dance, music and theater that they wouldn’t otherwise experience.

National Theatre Live presents “the best of British theatre broadcast live to cinemas around the world” — and you can see their latest offering at the Phoenix Art Museum Sun, July 24 from 2-5pm.

It’s a new version of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” by Andrew Upton, starring Zoe Wanamaker — known to “Harry Potter” fans as Madame Hooch from the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It’s being performed at London’s Olivier Theatre.

This production of “The Cherry Orchard,” directed by Howard Davies, is being presented at the Phoenix Art Museum by Arizona Theatre Company. The Phoenix Art Museum is the only Phoenix-area venue to offer this presentation of “The Cherry Orchard.” Here’s their description of the work…

You can see a new production of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov July 24 at the Phoenix Art Museum

Set at the very start of the twentieth century, Anton Checkhov’s The Cherry Orchard captures a poignant moment in Russian history as the country rolls inexorably towards the October Revolution of 1917. Madame Ranyevskaya returns home, more or less bankrupt after ten years abroad. Luxuriating in her fading moneyed world and blissfully unaware of the growing hostile forces outside, she and her brother snub the lucrative scheme of Lopakhin, a peasant turned entrepreneur, to save the family estate. In so doing, they put up their lives to auction and seal the fate of the beloved orchard.

“The Cherry Orchard,” which was Chekhov’s last play, is being presented in high definition and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Tickets are just $15 for Phoenix Art Museum members, ATC subscribers and students with I.D. — and $18 for others. Space is limited and tickets can be purchased online.

Other providers of live simulcast and taped performances include Emerging Pictures, which offers Ballet in Cinema, Opera in Cinema and Shakespeare in Cinema series. Also Fathom Events — which recently presented a revival of the musical “Company” at several Valley movie theaters.

It’s all art with a cherry on top. Yum.

— Lynn

Note: The Phoenix Art Museum also offers films with an arts twist.  And the Film Bar in Phoenix presents two visual arts-related titles this month — “Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child” and “!Women Art Revolution.”

Coming up: What would Robin Hood do?

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