Daily Rehearsal: Charles Strouse on Jay-Z's use of 'Annie'

June 24, 2011

1. I love history, and you should too. A Doll's House director Chris Maher has taken Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play and moved it to suburban America of 1962. How does it work? The struggles of the protagonist Nora as "a woman lost" are moved to the cusp of the feminist movement, and give Ibsen's original conceit a whole new meaning. It's at Theater at the Lake this Saturday night, which means let's hope it doesn't rain.

2. Field of Souls is still running at the eta Creative Arts Foundation; it follows Buddy Dixon, a former Korean War soldier who comes home and finds that racism still exists as he left it. 

3. Closing this weekend at The Side Project is Ruckus' 15 Minutes, which was brought through Side Project's visiting artists series, and started at the beginning of June.  You can also catch Little Black Book's PHONE WHORE ("a one-act play with frequent interruptions"). Both productions focus on modern struggles, like meeting people over the internet, and being a phone sex operation, naturally. 

4. Jonathan Abarbanel has already reminded us to see Applause! Applause! A Celebration of Charles Strouse this weekend, but if you need a more in-depth reminder, read this interview with Strouse, who gives a shout-out to a surprising person: Jay-Z. “Jay-Z saw the song in terms of the terrors of girls in the ghetto who really had to work,” said Strouse, speaking about the rappers song "Hard Knock Life", which samples Annie. “I was grateful that he did that.”

5. David Henry Hwang will be on Worldview today talking about his new play Chinglish opening at the Goodman next week. He'll discuss why he's exploring US-Chinese relations after he already broached the subject in his Tony-winning play M Butterfly. 

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.