Art of the State 

GWAR's new album, Stage 1's final bow and street artist Josh MacPhee.

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Culture Creator
Street artist Josh MacPhee says: “It is no longer enough today to lock ourselves in our studios and produce culture. We must engage in our world in as many ways as possible.” This means resorting to completely nontraditional tactics such as issuing news releases and having gallery shows. Thus, “Paper Politics,” a collection of socially conscious prints created by international artists, curated by MacPhee and shown in sadly neglected, art-deprived locales like Brooklyn and Portland, Ore. From Aug. 7-29, the show comes to Broad Street's Ghostprint Gallery. Have your awareness raised, too; you've been meaning to. 344-1557. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 1-7 p.m. — Cat Baab

Babes and Brutality
GWAR has a new album, “Lust in Space,” due out Aug. 18, and a newly leaked track from said album, “Let Us Slay.” Hear it on the band's MySpace page and see the album cover, too, with the GWAR guys in full regalia surrounded by writhing space babes in shiny bikinis, their skin the color of cheap, uncooked hot dogs. www.myspace.com/gwarofficial.

Also in Richmond-death-metal news: Lamb of God lead singer Randy Blythe makes a “brutal guest appearance” in Shadows Fall's new single, “King of Nothing.” Turned down low while your partner sleeps next to you, it sounds a lot like a jammed typewriter or fairly distant gunfire. Those Lambs can be tough to herd. Mark Morton, the band's guitarist, will leave the end of the band's European tour to return to Richmond to witness the metal-video-grade birth of his first child. www.myspace.com/shadowsfall.  — C.B.

Blackout at Stage 1
After one season, Stage 1 Theatre Company announced last week that it would close its doors because of money troubles. “We looked at as many options as possible, but current economic realities make it impossible to ensure financial sustainability for the coming year,” Artistic Director Chase Kniffen wrote in a news release. “Ending now, we can end responsibly, with our heads held high.”

The decision sent tremors through the theater community, says Jacquie O'Connor, business manager for the two-year-old Henley Street Theatre Company. “This is a difficult time for arts organizations nationwide,” she says. “We have enormous respect for Stage 1 and the work they have brought to the community. We also respect how difficult it is to make the decision they have made.”

Stage 1 was making its reputation as a serious professional company. In its first season, it positioned itself as a force for presenting new American musicals. Its maiden season included new Broadway hits “Tick, Tick … Boom,” “Children's Letters to God,” “Normal” and “Summer of '42.” Each show earned praise from local critics.

“I was not willing to gamble with subscribers' money, or lower the artistic standards we worked so hard to establish,” Kniffen explained. “This decision has been extremely difficult, but I believe it is the only mature decision we could make.” — Mary Burruss



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