Beautiful Radiant Things

April 18, 2012

Doors 7pm, Show 8pm

Beautiful Radiant Things: a New musical about Emma Goldman to be performed at PAC3 Carbondale.

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One hundred years ago, the anarchist Emma Goldman was touring the United States speaking in favor of birth control, union rights, free love and free speech. An accomplished and inspirational orator, Goldman drew crowds of up to 25,000 people who were entertained and challenged by her quick wit and audacious defense of personal liberty.

On her fiftieth birthday, June 27, 1919, Goldman was in the Missouri State Penitentiary for Women in Jefferson City. Her crime? “Conspiracy to induce persons not to register” – that is, speaking out against the draft during World War I. In the cell next to her was the socialist Kate Richards O’Hare, incarcerated for “seditious utterances.” The two became friends, and together tended the less advantaged prisoners, sharing food, clothing and encouragement.

Goldman’s birthday in prison is the focus of a new musical play by Paonia playwright Marty Durlin, who served as manager of Boulder-Denver’s noncommercial radio station KGNU from 1987-2007. After leaving the Front Range, Durlin worked as an editor at High Country News for several years, then turned her attention fulltime to writing and producing musical playsShe has produced two of her original musicals in Paonia since 2009, Babbitt and Pollyanna, both based on popular novels published in the early 20th century.

Durlin’s new play is based on historical documents and writings, including Goldman’s letters from prison.

Titled Beautiful Radiant Things (from a quote of Emma Goldman’s), the musical will open April 13 at the Paradise Theatre in Paonia, running on weekends through April 22.Beautiful Radiant Things will also be performed at PAC3 in Carbondale on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm, the UnityChurch in Boulder on Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 pm and at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre in Denver on Sunday, April 29, at 3pm.

The cast includes Sally Kane as Emma Goldman, Ellen Hutto as Kate Richards O’Hare, with Amber McDaniel, Christy Eller, Janell Wehn, Marian Pierce and Alyssa Pinkerton as the inmates. Musical direction by Sticky Mulligan, with vocal harmonies by Pam Petersen and choreography by Lenore Cambria. Directed by Marty Durlin. For ticket information in Boulder-Denver, call KGNU at 303 449 4885.

For more information, call Marty Durlin at 970 527 3037.

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