Joe's Pub's Sun Ra Visitation Series Will Continue with SUNOLOGY, 1/9

This January 9 at 9:30 PM, Joe's Pub at The Public presents Sunology, the second installment in the "Sun Ra Visitation Series," written by playwright Sylvan Oswald and directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, with musical selections from the Sun Ra catalogue performed by Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber under the direction of Greg Tate. Tickets are on sale now:

Sunology frames excerpts of Oswald's award-winning play, SUN RA, within an evening of music, revelry and fabulation, in preparation for a full production at La Mama E.T.C. in 2015. This preview event will feature a nine-piece musical ensemble; costumes and cosmic properties by Machine Dazzle (The Lily's Revenge) and Abigail DeVille(shortlist, Future Generation Art Prize); lights by Alan Edwards; and performances by Julian Rozzell (HBO'sBoardwalk Empire), Austin Purnell (12 Years a Slave), and Elevator Repair Service company-member April Mathis.

Sun Ra's is the story of being a radical black artist in the 20th century-the story of how he nurtured an exquisite and expansive vision in the face of racism and everybody who wasn't ready to hear it yet. Sun Ra grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama: To survive, he channeled his formidable musical genius into a prolific career. His shows were feats of pageantry and performance art, featuring chanting, dance, projections, glittering stage clothes, swirling lights, and the detonation of hundreds of wind-up toys. The theory that inspired Sun Ra was just as dynamic. He invented a brand of mysticism that set African-Americans in a genealogy between Ancient Egypt and Outer Space, linked music to the cosmic order, and aspired to transform the everyday world as we know it.

A theatrical response to the artist's path-finding life and work, Oswald's dramatic text, SUN RA, imagines Sun Ra's last act of self-articulation before dying, spiraling from present reality through the transformations that have shaped who he has become. Premiering in full at La Mama E.T.C. in 2015, this play framed within a concert event will be visually spectacular and sonically overwhelming, celebrating our outsiders, our strangest ones, and the mighty struggle to follow one's vision at all costs.

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