U. S. Rivers: A Choral Reading With Music And Images

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U. S. Rivers: A Choral Reading With Music And Images
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McMenamins History says
About U. S. Rivers: In this new work by renowned poet and lyricist Larry Beckett, the rivers are highways for a man in a Chevrolet Impala, looking for love, and witnessing where history, legend, and song mysteriously cross, and all times coexist. Beckett and a cast of fine local actors are accompanied in this evocative presentation by a fiddler and guitarist, all against a backdrop of dream images.
Beckett elaborates: "U. S. Rivers is made of what I call braid odes and breath songs, in alternation. The poem follows Highway 1 from Key West, Florida, state by state, to northern Maine, and Route 66 from Lake Shore, Chicago to the surf at Santa Monica. Each voice from the cast takes a strand in the braid ode, or solos in a breath song. For example, the first European to touch what is now the continental United States, Ponce de Leon, came ashore at Cape Canaveral. In the poem, he sees Apollo 11 lift off, as the old song "Children Go Where I Send Thee" counts down from 12 to 1. These are the three strands of this braid. It's followed by a characteristic song, Jack Kerouac, author of the road, at the end, listening to the wind talking in the Florida pines."

About Larry Beckett: Larry Beckett's poetry ranges from brief lyrics and songs to blank sonnets and hundred-page narrative works. Songs written with Tim Buckley have been recorded by Fairport Convention, Linda Ronstadt, Blood, Sweat & Tears, This Mortal Coil, Jeff Buckley, Chrissie Hynde, Robert Plant, Julie Felix, John Frusciante, Sinead O'Connor, Bryan Ferry, Alfie Boe, George Michael, Dead Can Dance, and Jann Klose. His sonnets and madrigals center on marriage day-to-day, with music and intensity: they were published in Songs and Sonnets by Rainy Day Women Press. Beat Poetry, a study of the poets and poetry of the fifties San Francisco renaissance, was published by Beatdom Books. His epic American Cycle includes Paul Bunyan, from Smokestack Books, Wyatt Earp, forthcoming from Alternating Current Press, and U. S. Rivers.

About the Supporting Cast:
-Lorraine Bahr is an award-winning actor in theater and film as well as director. She also teaches at PSU.
-Andrea White has a legacy of acting work in Portland and L.A. and teaches at Portland Actors Conservatory.
-Jane Ferguson is known and loved by hundreds of high school grads now working in the university and theater community. An original member of Storefront Theatre and a founder of da Vinci Arts Middle School, she currently performs locally on Portland stages.
-Devon Roberts is an advanced actor and director at PSU.

Performing Musicians:
- Eddie Parente
- Jim Davis
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By: McMenamins History

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