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Arts - Entertainment & It

From Brussels to Buenos Aires (by way of Moscow)

Bastien Gilson and Jonas Dept performed pieces from Haydn, Rachmaninov, Ganrados, Ginastera and more at their show at the AUA theater on May 28, 2013.

By Shana Kongmun
Local favorite Jonas Dept has invited yet another of his talented pianist friends to visit our fair city and enthrall us all with fabulous music in the latest show “From Brussels to Belgium (by way of Moscow)”. The show, held at the AUA Auditorium on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 was a huge hit with the audience as the virtuoso display was only paralleled by the beauty of the music chosen. From dramatic to romantic, lively and fun, the performances by Bastien Gilson and Jonas Dept ensured that each audience member had their own personal favorite piece.
I confess, I loved the romantic performance of Jean Absil’s “Marine” while another friend loved the drama and fire of Claude Debussy. The intricate pieces of Rachmaninov were another friend’s favorite while what has become one of Jonas’ signature pieces, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” closed out the show to a great round of applause.
Chiang Mai is no stranger to talented musicians and the pleasure these two young men take in their music and the beauty of their performances makes us all the richer for having heard them play.

Jonas Dept performs George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.


Life at 33 1/3: The Miracle

Elvis Presley: From Elvis In Memphis (RCA)

By Carl Meyer

Released: June 1969.
Side 1:
1. “Wearin’ That Loved On Look”
2. “Only the Strong Survive”
3. “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)”
4. “Long Black Limousine”
5. “It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’”
6. “I’m Movin’ On”
Side 2:
1. “Power of My Love”
2.”Gentle on My Mind”
3. “After Loving You”
4. “True Love Travels on a Gravel Road”
5. “Any Day Now”
6. “In the Ghetto”
(Produced by: Chips Moman & Felton Jarvis)

Elvis Presley – vocals, guitar, piano.
Glen Spreen - string and horn arrangements.
Ed Kollis – harmonica.
John Hughey – pedal steel guitar on “In the Ghetto”.
Reggie Young, Dan Penn – electric guitar.
Bobby Wood – piano.
Bobby Emmons – organ.
Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech – bass.
Gene Chrisman – drums.

This album, Elvis’ comeback in the ‘Champions League’, was a miracle, nothing less. It was preceded by a television special in 1968, some sort of a come-back in itself. Elvis looked extraordinary in the unplugged live-bits, a rock’n’roll Lazarus of Memphis dressed in black leather, hair dyed jet black, pure sexuality with a cheeky smile to go. There was a charismatic arrogance at play here that more than made up for the show’s rather corny storyline.
And yet one was not prepared for the outstanding album that followed six months later. After nearly eight humiliating years in the Hollywood B-movie wilderness, he woke up, revolted and took matters in his own hands. The 60’s had more or less passed him by. He had been a living joke. But no more. The hunger was back. And so he turned his back on the Hollywood soundtrack-machine and set off to Memphis. Back home where it all had started 16 years earlier.
“From Elvis In Memphis” was Elvis’ “Bringing It All Back Home”. Things mattered again. He cut himself loose from all the idiotic advisors, got a real producer who hand-picked the stellar musicians and tore into songs that he could have written himself, if he had been able to write. It was chemistry. This was the music and the words that spoke directly to Elvis’ soul. The voice was back, mighty as mountains, soft as heartbreaks, turning the lyrics into flesh, blood and human spirit. The songs were strong, the playing magnificent.
“From Elvis In Memphis” is up there with “Elvis Is Back” and all his classic recordings from the ’50s. The album was as contemporary valid (and timeless!) as anything The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan did at the time. As rock swerved in all directions, “From Elvis In Memphis” became an anchor. This is what it’s all about: Take the listener to the heavens and back through the magic of a three minute song. If he believed in it, nobody could turn a song into a living being like Elvis.
Everyone knows “In The Ghetto”. But the album delivers some equally good if not better performances. Try “Wearin’ That Loved On Look”, the album opener that storms through the loudspeakers, juicy, funky, sexy, triumphantly pounding its chest. Goose pimples galore. Try “True Love Travels On A Gravel Road” an amazing journey through the bumpy realities of a relationship. Try the blindingly painful and beautiful “Long Black Limousine”. And try “Power Of My Love” with its haunting female voices. It’s dark, it’s scary, it’s witchcraft.
Actually there are no weak tracks. Unfortunately he never managed to match this album again. He tried a few times, but the inspiration was gone. He turned lazy as his private life collapsed. Then he set out on the dark downhill journey of pills, cheeseburgers, self-pity, resignation and … death.

Gate Theater travels to Chiang Rai

The cast and crew gather together
at the post show party in Chiang Rai.

After four successful shows to full houses, The Dodo Bird, took to the road to as did the show, Driving Miss Daisy. Both were directed by The Gate Theater Group’s (TGTG) director and actor, Stephan Turner. The Legend River Resort provided the venue to present this play to Chiang Rai’s community on Saturday, May 11.
American Playwright Emanuel Fried, (March 1, 1913 -February 25, 2011) “Manny” had been a teacher of creative writing at State University College at Buffalo, New York. The Dodo Bird first appeared in the winter of 1972-73 in the issue of Drama and Theater, a magazine published by State University College, Fredonia, New York.
Stephan formed The Gate Theater Group (TGTG) in 2007 with the intent of creating a non-profit English Language theater group within the old city of Chiang Mai where residents can become involved in live theater to entertain, inform, and educate. In 2010, TGTG became the first English speaking theater group ever to present a full season of live theater in Northern Thailand. Our audience enjoyed productions of The Gin Game, Strange Snow, The Eight Reindeer Monologues and a Community Outreach Program, Real Illusions, which was performed by Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) students.
The Gate Theater is always looking for people who would like to be part of a live theatrical experience, either on stage or behind the scenes. [email protected] or and FB.

Jim Matchett plays Mick, the bartender, in the Gate Theater’s production of the Dodo Bird.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

From Brussels to Buenos Aires (by way of Moscow)

Life at 33 1/3: The Miracle

Gate Theater travels to Chiang Rai