Let’s face it, we all know Eudora Welty’s words. They seep into our souls from the very first turn of a page. I can remember passages from her stories, One Writer’s Beginning, On Writing. We see the sky and feel the power of nature in “As his foot touched shore, the sun sank into the river the color of blood, and at once a wind sprang up and covered the sky with black, yellow, and green clouds the size of whales, which moved across the face of the moon.” Beautiful!
And, May 14 beginning at 7:30pm, in the Art Garden of the Mississippi Museum of Art, under the blanket of a sultry sky, June Recital, a collection of Ms. Welty’s stories, will be set to Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto played live onstage, performed by Brenda Currin (story-teller) and Phillip Fortenberry (pianist) in the Art Garden of the Mississippi Museum of Art. The combination is startling, moving, and funny.
In 1979 Brenda Currin and David Kaplan began adapting Eudora Welty’s work for the stage. Performing at midnight on the set of Vanities, the adaptation, then titled Sister and Miss Lexie, opened in June 1980. Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote:
The actress has tapped right into the writer’s stream of consciousness … The words pour out of her like music.
Five years later the performance was revived at The Second Stage in New York. John Simon wrote in New York Magazine
Miss Currin looks, move and sounds sovereignly right … David Kaplan has staged with an unblinking eye for visual detail and a sharp ear for sonorous effect.
June Recital, and the first part of the evening also performed by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, are free and open to the public so bring a blanket, a lawn chair, or pull up a piece of deep, green earth…feel the wind…and enjoy!