Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Company of Fools Season to Include ‘The Niceties’
“This is for everyone who called me a fool and said I would never make it. Now look at me: I’m a Fool,” said Scott Palmer of presiding over his First Fools Day Celebration.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Keb’ Mo’ will play Sun Valley in October. And “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley” is poised to charm the Christmas stockings off everyone come December.

Company of Fools and Sun Valley Center for the Arts pulled back the curtains on their 2019-20 season Monday night during the annual Fools Day Party at the Liberty Theatre. About 200 people turned out to toast it with wine and cookies baked by volunteer ushers.

“This is just a lovely event,” said Sherry Thorson.

Julie Weston and Gerry Morrison nabbed front-row seats to the celebration.

Company of Fools Co-Founder Denise Simone recounted how she and Rusty Wilson had answered Bruce Willis’ call to start a theater company in The Liberty Theater, driving across the country in what felt like a covered wagon.

“I didn’t want to come and, ohmigoodness, for 23 years I’ve been playing out this love story with this beautiful community,” she said.

Scott Palmer, Company of Fools’ new artistic director shared some of the same sentiments, recounting  how welcomed he had felt by the community, a warmth that endured the first bus diversion to Twin Falls when he attempted to fly back home in a snowstorm and then subsequent additional diversions.

Then he pulled back the curtain on the Fools’ next season, which R.L. Rowsey described as opening a new journal in the life of the company.

The play lineup:

  • “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley--June 26-July 13. This play won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. A tragicomedy, it relates the story of three sisters who reunite at old Granddaddy’s home in Hazlehurst, Miss., after one has shot her abusive husband. In the aftermath, each is forced to face the consequences of the crimes of the heart she has committed. But, in the end, it’s a play of how they’ve escaped the past to seize the future.
  • “Cry it Out, by Molly Smith Metzler and directed by Denise Simone--Sept. 25-Oct. 12. The play explores the friendship between three newly minted moms as they struggle through a frigid winter in a working-class town.
  • “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon—Dec. 11-29. This feel-good romantic comedy and clever sequel to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” revolves around an unexpected encounter that brings about the possibility of love for Mary, who has grown tired of her role as the dutiful daughter.
  • “The Niceties” by Eleanor Burgess—Feb. 19-March 7. A back burner of a play, according to the Washington Post, this play takes a look at who gets to tell the story of America and how. It’s an explosive story about a black student and a white professor who meet to discuss a paper about slavery’s role in the American Revolution. A polite conversation becomes a powder keg of race, history and power, and neither woman will ever be the same again.

    There will be three BIG IDEA projects this coming year, said Kristin Poole, artistic director for The Center. The projects, which are “really unique,” begin with people sitting down and talking about what is big and relevant in our world, she added.

  • “Marketplace,” which begins Aug. 30, will look at such things as how Walmart has become the new town square for some. It will include “The Lifestyle of the Richard and Family.”
  • “Bottomless” is inspired by Thoreau’s Walden’s Pond. It will include a lecture featuring “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed and a look at transcendentalism and Thoreau by The Community Library’s Tim Price, who is hot on the subject, according to Poole.
  • “Free Play,” from March 20 through May 22, will include a look at Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist and landscape architect who created a large-scale sculpture symbolizing the freedom of the press and a myriad of outdoor sculpture gardens.

    The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will offer a special concert featuring Keb’ Mo on Oct. 10, said Kristine Bretall, director of performing arts. The concert will be held at the Argyros Performing Arts Center, which has only 360 seats, “so you need to be on your toes,” she said. Tickets go on sale April 9 to members only.

    The Winter Concert Series will feature:

  • Tomas Kubinek—“Certified lunatic and master of the impossible.” A story teller and acrobat born in Prague, he performs guerrilla-style absurdist theater sketches, such as “BED,” a solo act about the nightmarish adventures of an insomniac cabaret artist imprisoned in his hotel room.
  • Che Apalache—a Latin bluegrass band based in Buenos Aires.
  • International Guitar Night featuring top guitar players boasting different styles.
  • Vance Gilbert—an American folk singer-songwriter whose albums include “Bad Dog Buffet” and “Shaking off Gravity.”

    In past years, members of International Guitar Night have met with a few students to talk about what they do, she said. “This time we will kick the doors open and get as many students in to hear them as we can.”

    The Summer Concert Series at the River Run Lodge has already been announced and tickets are currently on sale for Center members. They go on sale to the general public Tuesday, April 16.

  • Michael Franti and Spearhead will perform on June 24, accompanied by Ziggy Marley.
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats with special guest Lucius will perform July 24.
  • Jackson Browne will perform Aug. 5.

Tickets are also on sale for the Second City comedy show, which will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6, and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Sun Valley Opera House.


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