If there's a recurring theme to our Fall Arts Preview, it's that there is no theme. And we're OK with that.
To our mind, there's far too much variety, too many disparate voices and approaches, too much diversity contained in our indigenous creative community to try to encapsulate all of the region's cultural assets (and its many left-brain provocateurs) into one misshapen and lopsided box with the label, “Arts.”
As George Harrison once wisely sang, “It's all too much!”
And come to think of it, the idea of the Richmond arts scene having seasons akin to a pro football team's or a flower's life cycle is becoming somewhat antiquated as well. The foundations for such a conceit were pretty much blown away by this summer filled with provocative theater, visceral gallery displays and how'd-they-get-that? concert scheduling. Of course Richmonders also got a taste of overly restrictive noise ordinances and a dancing ban like in “Footloose”— but that kind of goes with the political territory around here, doesn't it?
Oh sure, there are those distinguished artistic companies and corporate tele-industries that still adhere to the traditional idea of a season — of a formal introduction to everything that says, “Let Art Begin!” but for the most part, Richmond's artists and creators have been doing what they want, when they want, for some time. Who says now's the opportune time to start seeing something in a different way?
So if there's no theme to be found here, and the idea of a fall “season” is getting to be a hoary and outdated notion, let this Style Weekly Fall Arts Preview be the definitive guide to the undefined, never-halting, year-round, glorious mess that the greater Richmond arts scene has become. You'll find the skinny on the notable performances to come, which calendar dates to circle, and the many reasons why making sense of it — or just being a part of it — is worth your undivided attention.
Yes, it's time to revel that we're capable of pushing our crayons both inside and outside the lines, and willing to do it most anytime. Welcome to the new world and watch your step. — Don Harrison