Red Earth Theatre's production of Pink Nectar Café at Old Town Center for the Arts has been delayed until March 27, 7:30 p.m., and March 28, 3 p.m.
‘Pink Nectar Café’ is adapted from James Bishop’s collection of short stories of the same name. Combination memoir, Northern Arizona mystery guide, and serenade to the mysteries and beauty that surround us here in Northern Arizona, the stories come to life on stage.
The stories include an encounter with the Navajo Chindi, the dying Verde River, the lady who blew the whistle on trustees selling artifacts at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the peregrine falcon that saved a wild piece of land and, of course, the mysterious Pink Nectar Cafe itself.
Everett Ruess, who vanished as a young man into the wilderness in Northern Arizona, threads his way through each of the stories.
Directed by Kate Hawkes and Amy Waddell, an ensemble of 12 actors play multiple roles throughout the evening with live music, provided by Leah Bee, underscoring the performance.
Performers include long time Red Earth favorites Terra Shelman, Joan Westmoreland, Dave Belkiewitz, Mary Gladieux and Phil Oberholzer with Tiffany Grimm, Michael Cosentino, Zeke Collins and new to Red Earth’s performance ensemble is Maxwell Peters, Michael Gallagher, Abby Heydorn and, in his first appearance with Red Earth, Buffalo Child as Grey Clouds.
The production is described by director’s Kate Hawkes and Amy Waddell as “A theatrical journey through the mysteries of the wilderness, people and dreams.”
Pink Nectar Café, takes us into the soul of James Bishop as he digs into his connection to Sedona and the surrounding ‘Red Rock Country. From his encounters with real life ‘Wild West’ characters, enchanting landscapes and folk tale lore, he brings us stories steeped in myths and mysteries that do not always reveal an explanation or resolution. We discover that sometimes we cannot know the answers and perhaps need to simply allow the stories to speak to us. Or as James inserted at the end of each short story, “let the mystery be.”
The 2015 original show was created by Red Earth Theatre with Jim Bishop by writers Kate Hawkes and Dev Ross. This 2020 production has been reimagined with writer/director Amy Waddell, recently returned to the Verde Valley, her childhood home, after 10 years living in France.
Jim Bishop, who passed in April 2019, was a huge influence in the Verde Valley, and became one of Sedona’s extraordinary individuals. Before retiring to Sedona, James Bishop Jr. was a contributing writer for President Carter’s administration, and a published author of several books.
An author and Sedona resident for 33 years, Jim was a journalist, environmental activist and champion of the arts. Besides serving on the Board of Sedona Recycles and Red Earth Theatre, James served three periods as a Keep Sedona Beautiful Trustee. Typically attired in denim and leather with a bit of turquoise jewelry, Jim was an accomplished guitarist. Always witty and perceptive, Jim entertained many with his writings and poetry. Jim often said he came to Sedona to reinvent himself, and that spread to the rest of the community.
The production opens with a live 20-minute music set by William Eaton, Claudia Tulip and Wendy Harford. Their original music includes a song written by James Bishop Jr. and William Eaton entitled ‘Pink Nectar Café, an Edward Abbey poem set to music by Wendy Harford, and haunting flute melodies by Claudia Tulip that provide reflection to help set the mood for the ‘myths and mysteries.’
Each of the musicians were close friends with Jim Bishop and will be on hand to celebrate his work as expressed by the directors and actors of Red Earth Theater.
About the musicians:
William Eaton designs and builds innovative guitars and stringed instruments and is a founder and Director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, in Phoenix, AZ. A recording artist for Canyon Records, Eaton has received four GRAMMY nominations.
Classically trained, jazz influenced and world music inspired, Claudia Tulip performs on silver and ethnic flutes, and panpipes. One reviewer commented, “Claudia’s sound is a beautiful blend of imagination, deft technique and soulful expression.”
Wendy Harford began expressing music through writing, singing and songwriting as a pre-teen in Southern California during the barefoot, beat and hip generation of the late 60’s. She used her talents to put herself through college and in programs of therapeutic recreation for age 2 to 102 years of age.
Old Town Center for the Arts is located at 633 N. 5th Street (5th Street & Main) in Old Town Cottonwood. Tickets for Pink Nectar Café are $15 advance, and $18 at the door.
Tickets are available online at showtix4u.com, and also available in Cottonwood at Mount Hope Foods and Desert Dancer, and in Sedona at The Literate Lizard Bookstore. For more information about upcoming events, visit www.oldtowncenter.org.
For further information, contact Elena Bullard at 928-634-0940.