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Weekly Rochester Events #600 Starting Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Seeing a Performance of Rossum's Universal Robots at the MuCCC
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (1 comment)

I went to see Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R.) at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) with a group from The Rochester Speculative Literature Association (R-SPEC). When I was in high school, I read the play in English class. It seemed okay back then and I did remember it, but it was amused for my feelings for it all those years ago to bubble back up.

The play starts off with Helena, the daughter of the president, visits the robot factory with the intention to liberate the robots as if they were human. In this, we are dumped into the misogynistic world of 1920 Czechoslovakia de Karel Capek (despite it being set in some undefined future). It was intolerable. The Helena character is borderline mentally disabled, a staple of female characters written by men who never listened to a woman. (I even recall hating Helena in my high school reading as well.) The robot factory is on an island, and (naturally) exclusively operated by men. Even the robots were almost exclusively men [which you may have noticed didn't change in storytelling until writers realized that robots were not superior to humans, at which they started being female] except for one: a replica of Helena who was "useless as a worker" because of her whimsical ways.

But okay, I grit my teeth and did my best to not be overwhelmed by that central theme.

The story trundles along, revealing the robots to be organic things akin to super-smart, human-looking, genetically modified animals. It's clear that Capek is making a statement about the ideal worker in either a communist or capitalist world: one that works tirelessly, has no internal drive, and that requires virtually nothing in the form of pay. The robots (naturally) revolt and (despite their intelligence and realization of a finite lifespan) kill off all the humans. Except for those in the factory, at least for a while. They enslave the factory operators in an attempt to extract the formula to make more robots. But all is not lost for humanity and its attempt to be a god, for Helena R. (the robot) apparently has a function after all — at least in not-so-subtle implication.

Aside from introducing the word "robot" into the lexicon, I have to say this play offers really nothing else. It combines man's desire to be a god, the oppressed rising up against their oppressors, and an overwhelming dose of "women are only good for housekeeping and making babies." I want to say that an adaptation would be improved by eliminating the misogynistic overtones, but it so central to the plot that it seems an insurmountable task. At least the actors did their best with it and did a fine job with the script-in-hand reading.

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    The Nat Turner Drum Circle will perform today at 12:30 p.m. at Granite Mills Park (Platt St. and Browns Race) as part of the Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series. [source: RocWiki calendar] [all ages]

    The Party in the Park (Exchange Blvd. and Court St.) tonight starts at 5 p.m. and features Umphrey's McGeeMySpace link. The cost of entry is the confiscation of chairs, food, and drink (other than one purchased bottle of water or purchased food at the event) and "patrons are asked to leave their bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates and pets at home," so only car drivers are welcome. [source: City Hall press release]

    The Bertrand Russell Society meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) starting at 8 p.m. Here's how the Eastman House calendar puts it: "One of the most beloved and cherished of all musicals is this colorful, romantic, and bittersweet study of love and chance. Guy (Nino Castelnuovo) and Genevieve (the radiant Catherine Deneuve) are the lovesick couple who are torn apart when Guy must leave the seaside town of Cherbourg for military service in Algeria. Every line of dialogue is sung to the memorably haunting score by Michel Legrand." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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    Today through Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m. at Highland Bowl (South Ave. at Robinson Dr.) is The Big Rib Bar-B-Que and Blues Fest. Tonight's bands kick off at 5 p.m. with Greg Townson; tomorrow starts at noon with Fred Vine, Sunday starts at 11:30 a.m. with The New Gospel TimesMySpace link, and concludes with bluesy country from The Commander Cody Band on Sunday at 7 p.m. [source: Freetime]

    JayceLand Pick The Jo Henley BandMySpace link will perform at The Record Archive (33 1/3 Rockwood St.) at 5 p.m. and again at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) around 9 p.m. [source: Record Archive e-mail]

    Tonight at 6 p.m. at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is Pandora Boxx and Friends Go Public, Full Tilt!. TiLT Nightclub and Ultralounge (444 Central Ave.) "will feature performers from RuPaul's Drag Race as seen on VH1" including Pandora BoxxMySpace link with music by DJ Jon Hebert. [source: Up All Night website]

    JayceLand Pick Today from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. at Hedonist Artisan Chocolates (674 South Ave.) is the premier of BITTERSOURSALTYSWEET by Ken Droz. [source: Hedonist Chocolates website]

    JayceLand Pick The Shakespeare Players of Rochester will perform Much Ado About Nothing tonight through Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Highland Bowl (South Ave. at Robinson Dr.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Singularidades de uma rapariga loura (Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl) starting at 8 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar: "this droll comedy of sex and manners from Portuguese cinema's pre-eminent filmmaker tells of the thwarted love between a young accountant and the coquettish Luisa." Preceded by Douro, Faina Fluvial (Labor on the Douro River), director Manoel de Oliveira's first film which was made nearly 80 years ago. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Boston's really good classic-rock band TownshipMySpace link, awesome, wild, blue-collar rock from Handsome JackGarageBand linkMySpace link, and Shilpa Ray and Her Happy HookersMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at 9 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is the Lo(w) Falls Film Festival featuring short films projected on the wall outside the community space. [source: Rochester Anarchists Google Group] [18+]

    JayceLand Pick The Hill Cumorah Pageant (Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, N.Y.) starts today with shows tonight, tomorrow, and Monday through Saturday next week starting at 9:15 p.m. [source: Freetime]


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    Today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Genesee Valley Kennel Club (GVKC) is hosting an All-Breed Dog Show, Obedience Trial and Rally Trial at The Hamlin Fireman's Field (1503 Lake Rd., Hamlin). [source: RocWiki calendar]

    JayceLand Pick Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is The Corn Hill Arts Festival (Frederick Douglass St. and Edinburgh St., in the Corn Hill Neighborhood). A variety of local musical acts will perform on various stages throughout the festival. [source: RocWiki]

    Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) will be having another open house this and every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

    JayceLand Pick Today at The Brighton (1881 East Ave.) is an Art Exhibit and Mocha Benefit featuring works by Lisa Zarnstorff starting at 2:30 p.m. [source: Equal=Grounds Facebook page]

    Today at 4 p.m. at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) is Africa to America ... the Fashion Influence. [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick The Broken Couch will perform comedy improv tonight at 140 Alex Bar and Grill (140 Alexander St., formerly Nasty D's) at 8 p.m. as part of Rochester Pride Weekend. [source: Equal=Grounds Facebook page] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing A Midsummer's Night Dream starting at 8 p.m. A big-budget Warner Bros. production of the Shakespeare play. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Hollis BrownGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene e-mail]

    Tonight at 10 p.m. at The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge) is the weekly Laser Show. [source: City Hall press release]

    The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The BrüdMySpace link, The SpacelordsMySpace link, and Stolen Bikes starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Saint Jack starting at 7 p.m. Ben Gazzara plays Jack Flowers, a pimp with a code of honor in Singapore during the Vietnam War. {jim healy} has been raving about this every time I see him, so I guess I'll check it out. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is a screening of Ghost Water Train with music by good acoustic soloist with echoes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan Electric OrganicMySpace link and great motley folk from Baby Shiver's BoutiqueMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    The Parasitic Experation will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

    JayceLand Pick Tonight's MVP Health Care Tuesday Nature Nights is the University of Rochester Arboretum Walk starting at 6 p.m. from the westside steps of The Rush Rhees Library at The University of Rochester (Library Rd. at Intercampus Dr.) with Dan Schied. [source: City Hall press release]

    JayceLand Pick Today at 140 Alex Bar and Grill (140 Alexander St., formerly Nasty D's) is Speed Dating for Pride — part of Rochester Pride Week with Ladies Speed Round at 6 p.m. and Gentlemen Speed Round at 7 p.m. [source: Equal=Grounds Facebook page] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tusedays at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is A.K.A. Paul Burke Presents featuring Paul BurkeMySpace link and other people, perhaps performing. [source: band e-mail]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Something Wild starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman House calendar makes this out to be a wild road-trip movie with strong elements all around. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Small BlackMySpace link, Beach FossilsMySpace link, Yellow Fever, and fantastic ska-influenced, synth-laden pop/rock from SPORTSMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    Top Pick Today at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) at 6 p.m. is A Benefit for Oscar, the son of my friends Sally Bonn and David Merulla (a.k.a. the driving force behind luscious, poetic acoustic rock band Autumn In HalifaxMySpace link) who, at 14 months-old, was diagnosed with "Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II, a genetic muscle-weakness disorder that affects one in 6,000 children. Because of his SMA, Oscar will never walk and he will never have any more strength than he [had then]." [source: Carbon Records calendar] [all ages]

    As part of Rochester Pride Week, The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley (875 E. Main St.) is planning a trip to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see Fagbug screening around 6:30 p.m. [source: Gay Alliance website]

    JayceLand Pick Today at 6:30 p.m. at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is the first week of a 7-week course in comedy improv by Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link. It's probably one of the most fun things to learn as an adult, so go do it! [source: RocWiki calendar]

    The 2010 Wegmans Concerts by the Shore Series tonight starts at 7 p.m. at Ontario Beach Park (Beach Ave. at Lake Ave.) with The Invictas. [source: City Hall press release]

    Today at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) is a Brew Ha Ha starting at 7 p.m. featuring beers by {The Southern Tier Brewery} [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]

    JayceLand Pick Starting at 7 p.m. tonight at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is the Monthly Story Slam hosted by Carol Roberts. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Holiday starting at 8 p.m. A screwball comedy with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the Eastman House calendar claims it "contains great chemistry, top-notch performances, and razor-sharp dialogue. It's among the wittiest screwball comedies Hollywood ever produced." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) is Survey Says, really great, tight, current punk-rock from 5 Watt BulbMySpace link, and The Cannonball Kid starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

    Tonight at 6 p.m. at The Clarissa Room (293 Clarissa St., a.k.a. Clarissa's, formerly Shep's Paradise) is The Heat is R.A.P.I.E.R. Open Mic. [source: Equal=Grounds Facebook page] [all ages]

    Tonight at 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

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    On this day ... July 8



    The Beast Pageant
    I helped work on this film by Albert Birney and Jon Moses which is due to be screened at the Dryden in September. However, the filmmakers need more money to finish post-production, and have set up a Kickstarter Page for The Beast Pageant for supporters to commit money to the project. If they don't receive full funding by July 22, the project gets canceled.



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    This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, July 8, 2010 (Thu, Jul 8, 2010, 7/8/2010, or 7/8/10) Friday, July 9, 2010 (Fri, Jul 9, 2010, 7/9/2010, or 7/9/10) Saturday, July 10, 2010 (Sat, Jul 10, 2010, 7/10/2010, or 7/10/10) Sunday, July 11, 2010 (Sun, Jul 11, 2010, 7/11/2010, or 7/11/10) Monday, July 12, 2010 (Mon, Jul 12, 2010, 7/12/2010, or 7/12/10) Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (Tue, Jul 13, 2010, 7/13/2010, or 7/13/10) and Wednesday, July 14, 2010 (Wed, Jul 14, 2010, 7/14/2010, or 7/14/10).


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