Jeff Dowd, the real-life inspiration for Jeff Bridges' unlikely protagonist in "The Big Lebowski" talks to Wendy Butler about Dell'Arte's marijuana musical. Known as 'The Dude' to his friends (alternately 'Duder', 'His Dudeness', and/or 'El Duderino'), Dowd is in town to support MaryJane the Musical.
According to MaryJaneMusical.com:
The story spotlights Mary Jane, the title character and first-generation grower played by Dell’Arte’s Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle, who reflects on her relationship with the development of ‘the industry’ throughout the piece and her final words address the imminent possibility of federal legalization.
Dell’Arte has worked with Joshua Meisel, Associate Professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University and the Founding Director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR), Dale Maharidge, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and Pulitzer Prize awardee, who offered script consultation on generating an inclusive community narrative, and Kym Kemp, a local cannabis blogger.
Also on today's program, pianist Daniela Mineva performs a new program based on pictures. "I start with the Rennaissance and finish with Mussorgsky." She cites highly visual inspiration for this concert.
Hailed by critics as a "vibrant and expressive performer who could steal the show in every concert" (New York Times) an "energetic and lively pianist who displays power and delicacy in nuanced sensitivity along with virtuoso technique" (The Baltimroe Sun), Daniela Mineva's unique approach to standard repertory, combined with the performance and dedication of works by living composers has taken her career throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Daniela has been the winner and finalist in numerous international and national competitions including 2007 Jean Francaix piano competition in Paris, France, 1998 Steinway International Piano Competition, the International Competition, "Music and the Earth" in Sofia Bulgaria, among many others. During the Piano Meeting Festival 2007 in San Danielle, Italy, she was awarded with the prize "Highest Artistic Level of Performance" for her solo recital at the festival. In collaboration with the composer Vera Ivonova, the 8th International Competition for new music, Orléans, France awarded them with the "Prix André CHEVILLION-Yvonne BONNAUD sous l'égide de la FOUNDATION DE FRANCE" for the solo piano piece "Aftertouch", written for Daniela Mineva. Ms. Mineva maintains an active international career. She has appeared as orchestral soloist, chamber music collaborator and solo artist at some of the most prestigious venues in Bulgaria, USA, China, Italy, France, Greece, Russia. Germany, and Costa RIca.. A strong proponent of new music, Ms. Mineva has collaborated with many young and established composers as well as collaborating with new music ensembles like Speculum Musica, New York, NY; Earplay, San Francisco, CA; OSSIA, Eastman School of Music, and Twenty One, Rochester, NY. Since 2011, she had served as the president of the International Society for Pianists and Composers in the United States. Ms. Mineva has commissioned and premiered works by many young and well-established composers like Chen Yi, Bright Sheng, Frederic Rzewski, Julia Wolf, Krassimir Taskov, and Carlos Sanchez Gutierrez. Her first CD "Volume One" presents Daniela's passion for the music of our time and its connection to the past masters. In 2013, the Society of Composers on the Capstone Records also featured her recording. Some of the her performances have often been heard on WXXI 91.5, Bulgarian National Radio, TV-Chanal 1, TV-SAT, Bulgaria and Radio France Musique.