We celebrate Memorial Day with music by Charles Ives, “Decoration Day” from his Holiday Symphony. May 25 was the death anniversary of British composer Gustav Holst; while May 31 is Walt Whitman’s birthday. We pull it all together with Holst’s setting of “A Dirge for Two Veterans.” We also hear Holst’s symphonic poem, “Indra.” “New World a-Comin’
” by Duke Ellington will be played. Sprinkled throughout are a few marches from John Philip Sousa.
Happy Few presented by Ratatat Theater Group at Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Bldg. on Friday, November 8, 2013.
Many Americans confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and only register at some level that these two holidays have something to do with men and women in uniform. The more thoughtful might read a book, or watch a TV special. Actor and playwright Casey Caldwell has raised the thoughtfulness bar much higher. The Artistic Director of Ratatat Theater Group interviewed nearly two dozen local veterans, and then carefully meshed their words with a skeletal edit of Shakespeare’s Henry V. The result is Happy Few, a full body immersion into the passions and vagaries of war as experienced through the hearts and shattered nerves of those who know it best, a dramatic march in the combat boots of another. Continue reading →