Muse on the move

A few of the nifty buttons in the collections that grows each time I hit a museum gift shop

A few nifty buttons from the collection that grows each time I hit a museum gift shop

After years of daily blogging in “Stage Mom” mode, I’ve decided it’s time to pack up and move to a new writing home — a bigger house, if you will, filled with all things theater but also something more.

Think musings on film, dance, music, visual arts and assorted creative adventures in museum and library lands. Plus more guest posts, photos and news of other projects.

Just a few days ago, I made the move to ArtMusings.com.

Like physically packing up possessions and carting them off to a new home, moving from one bit of cyberspace to another rarely goes as planned.

My tech team consists of hubby James, who was game last year when I suggested that a website would make a lovely birthday gift, and a cat who naps through most of her duties.

Armed with only “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress,” James went to work. It’s a learn by doing enterprise, and so far he’s not only built my new cyberhome, but also flipped the switch on a new blog.

Like the last boxes to get unpacked after a move, new social media components have yet to be put in their proper place. But consider this your invitation to a housewarming party in progess.

You’ll find blogs and/or photos posted each day at www.artmusings.com.

Maybe once the cat gets more involved, we’ll master the finer points of adding buttons for liking Art Musings on Facebook and following Art Musings on Twitter. Seems I’m better at buying buttons than installing them.

Thanks for visiting my new home. I’ll save a seat on the cybercouch for you.

– Lynn

From Chet to Clint

Clint Black recently performed to a packed house in Scottdale

Clint Black recently performed to a packed house in Scottdale

My first taste of country music came during a Colorado childhood filled with Chet Atkins albums favored by my father, whose electric guitar got handed down many years ago to my own daughter Jennifer.

Jennifer discovered country music several years ago, and was thrilled to learn a while back that Clint Black was headed to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, where we saw him perform in almost acoustic mode earlier this week.

We arrived to find a full house of fans and a dozen or so instruments, mostly guitars, clustered near center stage. A simple backdrop of three wide strips of light fabric against dark curtains lent an elegant feel to Black’s casual stroll through songwriting days and ways.

Black performs Saturday at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where I met and wed my husband James

Black performs Saturday at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where I met and wed my husband James

Donning his trademark black cowboy hat, Black opened with “Live and Learn” — sharing that he’d written the song only for himself but recorded it after learning from his lawyer that record company executives have serious sway over such things.

Black’s set list included several songs with shared writing credits. Think Steve Wariner, Rivers Rutherford and Hayden Nicholas, a longtime collaborator whose guitar stylings and vocal harmonies shined during Black’s Scottsdale gig.

Jake Willemain rocked the bass and Dick Gay the drums. Jennifer especially enjoyed Gay’s generous use of a wood block to drive home the rhythm. We both loved Black’s playful harmonica riffs, but sometimes longed for a few fiddle licks.

Black and his trio of bandmates delivered a clear, strong performance featuring songs from various stages in his career. Killin’ Time. Nothing’s News. Something That We Do. When My Ship Comes In. No Time to Kill. Like the Rain. And many more.

Black joked often of writing more than recording, but assured the enthusiastic crowd that another record is in the works. Black’s comedic side – which touches on drinking, gambling, song requests and early motivators — feels genuine and warm.

Black fans can look forward to a new album and perhaps a work of musical theater

Black fans can look forward to a new album and perhaps a work of musical theater

With one exception, Black introduced songs with anecdotes, plain spoken humor, and musings on the crafts of songwriting and living he’s sought to balance through the years — conveying a sense that he’s nearly at peace but still looking forward.

While sharing stories of Roy Rogers and introducing his take on Eric Idle’s “Galaxy Song,” Black foreshadowed the future reveal of a piece of musical theater he’s worked on for years.

Idle is best known to Broadway fans for writing book, music (with John DuPrez) and lyrics for “Spamalot.” Perhaps Black dreams of inhabiting a similar universe one day.

At one point, Black channeled country music legend Willie Nelson. No braided pigtails, of course – but a shared impish grin. During one of several swing numbers, Jennifer spotted a couple dancing in a loge located near the stage.

Most of us were content to simply sing along when prompted and offer up just enough whooping and hollering to give the feel of sawdust under our feet though surrounded by elegant architectural elements by John Douglas.

Thanks in part to top-notch sound engineering by Black’s team and venue acoustics by McKay Conant Hoover, Thursday’s concert was a true delight in sound, storytelling and song.

– Lynn

Note: Performers coming to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in coming weeks and months include Mandy Patinkin, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Reduced Shakespeare Company, Tommy Tune, Barbara Cook, Chris Botti and more. Click here to explore their 2012/13 season calendar.

Coming up: Fun with foreign films, Art meets MLK day

Photos from www.clintblack.com

Lynn in library land

Entrance to the Scottsdale Public Library Civic Center branch

Entrance to the Scottsdale Public Library Civic Center branch

I’m vowing to hit my local library more regularly after spending a few hours there with my son yesterday afternoon. We’d gone to share a table for some study and computer time, which is a whole lot lovelier when enjoyed next to giant windows overlooking spacious desert landscapes.

Library gift shop filled with books, magazines, gift items and much more

Library gift shop filled with books, magazines, gift items and much more

“Just let me grab some books I have on hold,” I told him. “Then,” I said, “I’ll settle in to work.” I figured it’d take five minutes tops to find copies of Oliver Sacks’ “Hallucinations” and Andrew Solomen’s “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.” But Christopher knew better.

Small sampling of DVDs spotted during my last trip to the library

Small sampling of DVDs spotted during my last trip to the library

Turning me loose in a library is like giving kids a free pass in lollipop land. I’m still wowed by everything from collections of new titles to displays of diverse CDs and movies. After finding my books, and snagging a copy of the film “Nora’s Will,” I headed back to our table with every intention of sitting tight. For a while, I succeeded.

Exhibit of Scott Baxter photography that runs through Sunday at Scottsdale Civic Center Library

Exhibit of Scott Baxter photography that runs through Sunday at Scottsdale Civic Center Library

But then, I felt the call of an art exhibit located right behind us. I vowed to just pop in briefly, still believing after all these years of being mesmerized by walls filled with paintings and other works, that I could ever spend only a minute or two surrounded by such things. Christopher was onto me, but felt pulled in another direction.

Nowadays libraries are filled with books, art and a whole lot more

Nowadays libraries are filled with books, art and a whole lot more

Once I returned, he took off towards the nifty library cafe where five bucks buys not one drink but two. I got reacquainted with my laptop, inserting photos into posts pending publication. But I had one more space to explore — a gift shop run by friends of the library, where I marveled at finding everything from sheet music to library logo gear.

Kids can find items for as little as 25 cents at this library gift shop

Kids can find items for as little as 25 cents at this library gift shop

Before we left, I snagged all sorts of flyers sharing news of upcoming library fare — including a series of four foreign films being screened at a different Scottsdale Public Library location. Seems I’ve got the perfect excuse for branching out – enjoying even more adventures in library land.

– Lynn

Note: Click here for details about the “Ultimate Play Date” coming to Civic Center Mall (site of my local library) in April

Coming up: Once upon a passport, Beyond baking powder

Arizona honors arts & culture volunteerism

Step Raptis and fellow dancers integrate vintage luggage into movement art. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Step Raptis (front/center) and fellow dancers playfully integrated vintage luggage into movement art for last year’s festivities. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards in Arizona. The list will grow again come March, as this year’s winners are recognized by peers, patrons and arts professionals attending the 2013 awards ceremony.

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who’ve made “substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges and will be announced on Wednesday, March 6 at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.

Balcony view of folks enjoying last year's pre-ceremony auction. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Balcony view of folks enjoying last year’s pre-ceremony auction. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Nominees are noted below by category and hometown…

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education - Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff; James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale; Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Artists and art lovers gathered during last year's awards ceremony. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Artists and art lovers gathered during last year’s awards ceremony. Photo: Lynn Trimble

In addition, the eighth annual Shelley Award will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona. The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Last year’s shindig was a glorious affair — featuring pre-show performance amidst John Waddell sculptures gracing the Herberger Theater Center outdoor pavilion, and a lovely assortment of on-stage performances during the official ceremony. I’m eager to enjoy another creative take on volunteer recognition and celebrating the arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for non-members. Sponsorships are available. Click here for event and reservation details.

– Lynn

Note: Americans for the Arts is accepting applications through Feb. 15 for its “BCA 10″ awards honoring businesses what support the arts. Click here for details.

Coming up: Unplugged, Foreign fim four-pack

Childhood meets nanotechnology?

A pair of Project Humanities events taking place today and tomorrow reflect the range of ASU Project Humanities collaborations across disciplines and with the surrounding communities.

Tonight’s “Vital Voices” gathering on “Exploring Childhood” examines how childhood and childhood experiences make us who and what we are. “It’s also an opportunity,” says Project Humanities director Neal A. Lester, Ph.D., “to look at the ways in which children are always in the midst of adult politics.”

What’s particularly interesting about this “Vital Voices” series, adds Lester, is the fact that attendees are being asked to bring something to share. Every voice, says Lester, is vital in talking, listening and connecting.

Vital-Voices-Project-HumaniSo take along a favorite quote, photo, poem or music “that changed or inspired you as a child to become who you are today” — then join the bilingual evening of discussion, performance and sharing featuring the Maryvale High School Classical Guitar Quintet and the Tradiciones Dance Company.

Tonight’s “Vital Voices” dialogue is being facilitated by Xanthia Walker, who co-founded Rising Youth Theatre in Phoenix with fellow artistic director Sarah Sullivan.

Friday’s event is a science/humanities partnership at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix — home to “Science Café” gatherings that pair a humanist or artist with a scientist to “discuss the implications and imaginations of the future city.”

Lester notes that tomorrow’s discussion, sponsored by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU, addresses “Learning in the Nano City.” Featured speakers are Adriene Janik and Dee Dee Falls.

Presenters note that learning platforms such as gaming, interactive global classrooms and other technology-enabled systems are allowing people to learn and share information in new ways — while most formal classrooms continue to relay information using one-way delivery systems.

Friday’s discussion will explore this discrepancy and its implications. Attending both Project Humanities events will leave you feeling a bit like something we lovingly refer to around our house as a “smarticle particle.”

– Lynn

Note: If I was hitting tonight’s event, my “show and tell” might be a favorite saying — It’s better to travel than to arrive. I’m scheduled to review a concert instead, but perhaps I’ll come home with new inspirations.

Coming up: I’m a little bit country

“The Buzzz”

Arizona artist and musician Fred Tieken

Arizona artist and musician Fred Tieken

I’m doing my happy dance for Arizona artist Fred Tieken, whose acrylic work titled “The Artist” was recently selected as the official face of “Art Detour 25,” an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the launch of “Phoenix First Fridays” art walk.

Tieken and his wife Gail have a long history of supporting “Art Detour,” which is presented by a Phoenix non-profit called Artlink that put out the call last fall for submissions of work capturing the spirit of the city’s dynamic art walk experience.

"The Artist" by Fred Tieken

“The Artist” by Fred Tieken

“Gail and I have always been fans of the vibrant art scene in downtown Phoenix and have attended many First Fridays and Art Detours over the years.” He’s lived in the Valley since 1986, and recently created a painting capturing the spirit of folks who rock the art walk vibe.

It’s called “The Buzzz,” and you’ll find the magnificent mural version gracing an exterior wall of Vermillion Photo on McDowell Rd. just east of Third Ave. in Phoenix. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find when you head out to explore it…

Detail of "The Buzzz" by Arizona artist and musician Fred Tieken

Detail of “The Buzzz” by Arizona artist, designer and musician Fred Tieken

Detail of "The Buzzz" by Fred Tieken, a mural located at Vermillion Studio in Phoenix

Detail of “The Buzzz” by Fred Tieken, a mural located at Vermillion Photo in Phoenix

Detail of "The Buzzz" mural by animal lover and artist Fred Tieken

Detail of “The Buzzz” mural by animal lover and artist Fred Tieken

Detail of Fred Tieken's "The Buzzz" at McDowell Rd. and 3rd Ave. in Phoenix

Detail of Fred Tieken’s “The Buzzz” at McDowell Rd. east of 3rd Ave. in Phoenix

Detail of Fred Tieken's "The Buzzz" mural capturing the spirit of Phoenix art walks

Detail of Fred Tieken’s “The Buzzz” mural capturing the spirit of Phoenix art walks

Detail of "The Buzzz" created for Dan Vermillion's studio by Phoenix artist Fred Tieken

Detail of “The Buzzz” created for Dan Vermillion’s studio by Phoenix artist Fred Tieken

Look for Fred Tieken's "The Buzzz" east of Jack and the Box at McDowell Rd. and 3rd Ave. in Phoenix

Look for Fred Tieken’s “The Buzzz” at McDowell Rd. east of 3rd Ave. in Phoenix

Take the kids along so they too can experience Tieken’s whimsy. Encourage them to hunt for intriguing details, and to try their own hand at drawing fun scenes of everyday life.

Plenty of nearby parks, museums and galleries have spaces perfect for a bit of down time with sketch pad and pastels, colored pencils and such.

Click here to learn more about Fred Tieken’s work, here for information on Dan Vermillion’s photography and here for details about “Art Detour 25.”

– Lynn

Coming up: A new home (with humble beginnings) for more art musings

Calendar meets creativity

Terrazzo floor featured in the 2013 Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture calendar (Photo: City of Phoenix)

A terrazzo floor at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that’s featured in the 2013 Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture calendar (Photo: City of Phoenix)

I’m feeling vindicated at last thanks to the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. For years I’ve passed lovely bits of flooring at my local airport, tempted to take photos for my burgeoning art snapshot collection.

For those who’ve never tried it, I offer this caution. Taking pictures of floors in public spaces is typically frowned on. Stangers glare at those who dare. Better to savor such things in calendars that sport them without apology.

Turns out one of the floors I favor at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a cover model of sorts. Its image graces the front of this year’s public art calendar from the City of Phoenix.

"In a Big Country" at the 27th Ave. & Baseline Rd. Park and Ride (Photo: City of Phoenix)

“In a Big Country” at the 27th Ave. & Baseline Rd. Park and Ride (Photo: City of Phoenix)

The calendar, described by its creators as a celebration of more than 25 years of excellence in public art, features 12 “exemplary” pieces from the city’s collection of site-specific projects.

Think Waterworks at Arcadia Falls, Ponderosa Stables, Ed Pastor Pedestrian Bridge and public art at Little Canyon Trail. Also Social Invertebrates, an especially kid-friendly piece at the Phoenix Convention Center — plus terrazzo floors at Black Mountain Police Station and Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3.

"Social Invertebrates" at the Phoenix Convention Center (5th & Washington Sts.). Photo: City of Phoenix

“Social Invertebrates” at the Phoenix Convention Center/5th & Washington Sts. (Photo: City of Phoenix)

Proceeds from calendar sales benefit the public art maintenance fund. You can get your hands on these babies by contacting Scott Steventon at 602-534-8334 or scott.steventon@phoenix.gov. They’re $10 each (with checks made payable to City of Phoenix).

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture was established by the Phoenix City Council in 1985 to “advance the growth and development of the city’s arts and cultural community.” It manages the city’s public art program, administers a grant program, supports arts education and oversees the cultural facilities bond program.

The Gallery @ City Hall in Phoenix showcases works from the city’s public art collection. The current exhibit – “Phoenix Icons: The Art of Our Historic Landmarks” — features photographs, by Patrick Madigan and Michael Lundgren, of more than 30 historic Phoenix landmarks.

Look for this fountain, which makes a nifty landmark for Phoenix City Hall (Photo: Lynn Trimble)

You’ll find this lovely fountain just outside Phoenix City Hall (Photo: Lynn Trimble)

Share the calendar with your kids and take them along to explore the city’s art gallery (located near the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix) — then enjoy more time together seeing how many of the icons you can spot on city streets during everyday outings or special adventures.

– Lynn

Note: While you’re in the area, check out the Phoenix Police Museum, open weekdays (except holidays) from 9am-3pm

Coming up: Music inspires return to history

Nominate an arts volunteer

Governor Brewer (center) will recipients of the 11th annual service and volunteerism awards (Photo: Office of the Arizona Governor)

Governor Brewer (left of center) with recipients of the 11th annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards (Photo: Office of the Arizona Governor)

Nominations are being accepted through Tuesday, Jan. 15 for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which are designed to promote an ethic of service and volunteerism — plus recognize volunteer efforts that strengthen communities and improve quality of life for Arizonans.

Nominating your favorite arts and culture volunteer and/or organization is a nifty way to remind folks of the tremendous contributions arts and culture make to vibrant communities and thriving economies, and to show volunteers their work is genuinely valued and appreciated.

Nominations are invited in eight categories — four individual (adult, lifetime achievement, national service and youth) and four group (large, nonprofit, small organization and youth group).

A statewide panel of judges will recommend the award recipients, and nominators can give the panel permission to share their nomination with the Hon Kachina council, which also honors Arizona volunteers.

The Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism will host a reception to honor the 12th Annual Award recipients in April.

Click here for all the lovely fine print — and please consider making time in your busy day to nominate a worthy individual and/or group.

A bit of time spent on paperwork is a small sacrifice compared to countless hours contributed by Arizona’s amazing community of arts and culture volunteers.

– Lynn

Coming up: Fun with fabric art

What I learned from the Golden Globes

Golden-Globes-header

These blunt objects are actually weapons against self-doubt, according to Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway’s Fantine is the best (Anne Hathaway, quoting her mom) • Studs and cutouts are appropriate at any age (Dame Helen Mirren) • Art generates conversations (Jessica Chastain)

Sally Field didn’t need a corset to rock that tiny waist for “Lincoln” • Black is still the best color for evening gowns • Ricky Gervais is no longer in show business (Tina Fey)

HFPA can lead to cervical cancer (Amy Poehler) • Iran is friendlier to outsiders than Boston (Tina Fey) • Hugh Jackman wrinkles his nose like a bunny when he thinks something’s funny

Young Daniel Day Lewis was E.T. (Tina Fey) • Leonardo DiCaprio is the new Susan Lucci • Pepsi makes me peevish • No one bothers to ask men what designer they’re wearing

Righty tighty, lefty loosey (Target) • Jewish rock angels really exist (Jay Roach) • The best journeys are always shared (Damien Lewis) • L’Oreal offers haircolor that matches my red velvet cupcake batter

I still don’t get Kevin Costner • Jennifer Lawrence beat Meryl (J. La) • Meryl Streep has the flu, and she’s amazing in it (Amy Poehler) • Necklines have merged with waistlines

Sally Field is a vanguard against typecasting (Anne Hathaway) • Jeremy Irons snuck into Lincoln’s closet • Merida’s hair in “Brave” inspired this year’s lipstick trends • Walking in heels is harder than getting tattoos

Being brave is about being true to yourself and allowing your loved ones that same freedom (Mark Andrews) • Amy Poehler uses Princess Leia’s hairdresser • Taylor Swift needs some “me time” to learn about herself (Tina Fey)

Jodie Foster channels Molly Shannon • It’s a “Girls” world • Target sells projectile groceries • Stage mothers never really die (Damien Lewis)

– Lynn

Note: Click here to explore this year’s Golden Globe nominees and winners

Coming up: Art meets MLK day

Remembering Roosevelt

Ed Asner starring in "FDR" comes to Higley Center for the Performing Arts later this month

Ed Asner starring in “FDR” is headed to Higley Center for the Performing Arts

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the nation’s 32nd president, served from 1933-1945 — and continues to fascinate all sorts of folks today. He’s the subject of Focus Films’ “Hyde Park on Hudson” and got a mention in this year’s New York “State of the State” address.

Arizona audiences can experience a bit of Roosevelt’s life and times this month at Higley Center for the Performing Arts – where Ed Asner, still spunky at 83, performs as FDR in a one-man show based on “Sunrise at Campobello,” a Tony-Award winning play by Dory Schary.

Asner, who’s received seven Emmy and five Golden Globe awards, served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild and was honored in 2002 with the SAG lifetime achievement award.

He’s got extensive theater credits too, including “Born Yesterday” on Broadway in 1989, but is best known to his youngest fans as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 Disney Pixar film “Up.”

Ed Asner starring in "FDR"

Ed Asner starring in “FDR”

Asner returned to Broadway last year in a dark comedy called “Grace,” which ended its run just last weekend. He’s working now to shift from one script back to the other, readying for his Arizona performance on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:30pm.

“I read five biographies,” recalls Asner of preparing for the FDR role he’s been performing for several years now. “I didn’t find anything surprising there.” The show is based on Roosevelt’s own written and spoken words, plus assorted materials gathered by Schary. “I let the words take me in,” reflects Asner.

Asner speaks of Roosevelt’s legacy with a healthy, well-informed respect rather than idolizing the man whose strengths and weaknesses are well known. “Roosevelt was able to take advice,” says Asner, “and put people to work.”

Roosevelt’s greatest strength, says Asner, was his ability to communicate. “He’s one of the greatest speakers in Western times.” Asner considers Roosevelt’s extramarital affairs his greatest weakness.

Ed Asner starring in "FDR"

Ed Asner starring in “FDR”

After touring Roosevelt memorials in Washington, D.C. and NYC, I’m eager to see “FDR,” which chronicles Roosevelt’s White House years (which include the Depression and WWII) — plus personal life with Eleanor and affair with Lucy Mercer.

Promoters note that audience members experience FDR’s fireside chats, controversial packing of the Supreme Court, courage to break the Neutrality Act, manipulation of Congress to institute the draft and the Pearl Harbor controversy.

Click here for show and ticket information.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to explore the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (located in Hyde Park, NY), and here to read the official Franklin D. Roosevelt bio.

Coming up: Spinning a yarn