Lascivious 'Lilith' at the PAC | On a Roll | Paul Bendix | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

On a Roll

By Paul Bendix

E-mail Paul Bendix

About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

View all posts from Paul Bendix

Lascivious 'Lilith' at the PAC

Uploaded: May 6, 2014
For those who made it to the M-A Performing Arts Center for Sunday's matinee of 'Lilith the Night Demon,' congratulations. The San Francisco Choral Artists event was what our beautiful civic theater should be all about -- originality, beauty and controversy. As for the latter, Sunday's hour-long 'Lilith,' described as occurring 'in one lewd act,' was designed to startle.

Listening to the audience buzz, clearly some were offended. But no one was asleep, trust me. For this 'Lilith,' mostly startled with its joyous score, narrative wit and vocal beauty.

This concert opera manages to rope in a barbershop quartet, a trio of angels and a nine-year-old singing Yiddish. There's also a narrator, giving 'Lilith' something of the feel of Stravinsky's 'L'Histoire du Soldat,' another diabolical chamber work.

San Francisco Choral Artists only performs in this area a few times a year. I almost missed Sunday's event. Unfortunately many others did also, for the Performing Arts Center was barely half full. I wish the PAC had more of a consistent presence in the community. In particular, it needs to have a 'season.' I don't know of a website, display or flyer that describes 'This Month at the PAC,' for example.

Music at Menlo occupies the facility for three exciting weeks each summer. But they are also based here, and in over 10 years the festival has built up an infrastructure, including donors and volunteers. As for the rest of the year, visiting artists and troupes need something similar.

Maybe the performing arts are not the easiest sell in Menlo Park. We are an educated community, but our daily discourse runs to business and technology. Meanwhile, we have a beautiful civic theater, acoustically engineered for live performance. I hope someday it fulfills its promise.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post
Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Babka bakery to open Thursday in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 6,534 views

Which Cocktail Has the Least Calories?
By Laura Stec | 15 comments | 2,025 views

UCSB's CCS program
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,130 views

Ten Tips for Teens and Young Adults to Survive a Dysfunctional Family
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,031 views