by Jon Santiago
Dearest Spoleto Festival USA,
We want you to know that we're having an awesome time.
Loved Hay Fever, LEO, Dorantes, the Animals. Jack Hitt! Jeez, what a mind-blower. Feng Yi Ting? Who knew I'd like Chinese opera? I guess my sister owes me 20 bucks! Hahahaha! And Cécile — she knocked my socks off!
ANYWAY... I know it's just days into this year's festival, but I can't help myself: do you guys take requests? I'm starting to think about who and what I'd love to see Spoleto USA bring to town next. At some point.
(I know your General Director, Nigel Redden, already has a tentative schedule for next year's Spoleto in hand, so 2013 is probably off the table. And I'm cool with that. Really.)
Sadly, my first pass at this wish list included a great many artists who, as chance would have it, are dead. I mourn their loss. As you too must mourn them had you but known they would not be available for booking (even though I'm guessing that their agents wouldn't mind collecting their cut of a tentative booking.) I mean, Marilyn Monroe appeared (in an ashtray) for at least one Monty Python sketch, didn't she? But I digress.
So as not to presume too much on your time and resources, I have condensed this Wish List. (But I've got tons of ideas! Let's sit down and discuss. I work a staggered schedule at the coffeeshop. I can fit you in!)
The first artist I want to nominate is Ana Moura. I'm not exactly certain how she came to my attention, but I'm indebted to whatever sweet, smoky breeze wafted this remarkable Fado voice toward my ears. Ms. Moura is no stranger to arts festivals. She killed in Glasgow. She's been in the States before, too. At San Francisco Jazz Festival, among others. Check this and this. I think you'll see what I mean.
Secondly, more Kneehigh Theatre, please. We swooned over Don John. We adored The Red Shoes. May we have more? Kneehigh brings some indefinable oonch to whatever they do. We need oonching.
Jack Hitt's Making Up The Truth has been such a — ahem — hit that we'd like these brainy/funny one-person shows to keep rolling in. Pity Spalding Gray is no longer among us. David Sedaris? He comes into town often enough that there would be no special cachet to him making a Spoleto appearance. How about Sandra Bernhard — too much? I bet Sarah Vowell would be cool. Oh, wait. Mike Tyson!
Another thing. I love seeing lots of different cultures represented on the Spoleto artist roster. Keep that going. If nothing else, it's great to suddenly hear all these different languages in the streets. I'm thinking of taking Mandarin! No, that's wrong. I'm actually thinking of Mandarin take-out.
Lastly: I would love to see Albert Schweitzer:The Opera. But I'm probably in the minority there.
I look forward to your response.
What are your nominations? Leave your comment.