Pano: Drama in Multiple Dimensions
‘Numbered Days’ Evolves Audio Drama Format in Podcast Age
This edition of Pano was originally emailed to subscribers on March 2, 2022. To receive Charles Donelan’s arts newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.
This four-part podcast from playwright Corey Madden stars Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Tony Amendola. When Madden’s husband, the composer Bruno Louchouarn, develops esophageal cancer, Madden turns her iPhone from a convenient distraction into a tool for mindfulness by invoking the power of poetry. She pledges to write a free-verse poem on her phone every day that Bruno still lives. These are the “numbered days” of the show’s title. What began as a coping mechanism quickly transformed into something else — a reminder to live in the moment and to commit to being present for every last beautiful, excruciating instant of what remains of their life together.
By turns funny, tender, and romantic, Numbered Days shows how far the audio drama has evolved in the age of the podcast, and how much potential it retains for the future. In addition to the excellent performances of the two leads, there’s loads of Louchouarn’s gorgeous music and great character roles for Jeanne Sakata and Jack Stehlin. Due to the fact that these are Equity actors and the piece was written for the theater, the audio is only available for a limited time, through March 14. To learn more about Numbered Days and to purchase the four episodes, go to fountaintheatre.com/events/numbered-days.
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WHY EVERYTHING RISES
Take a step deeper into UCSB Arts & Lectures’ excellent series “Justice For All” tomorrow night by tuning in to a meet-the-artist virtual talk with violinist Jennifer Koh and bass-baritone Davóne Tines. The pair will perform a new commissioned piece on April 12 called “Everything Rises,” and in preparation for that premiere, they will be discussing the work, its premise, and its evolution with other members of the creative team, including Kee-Yoon Nahm, the work’s consultant on Narrative Structure and Dramaturgy, and composer Ken Ueno. The panel, which takes place Wednesday, March 2, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom, will be moderated by UCSB professor Lisa Sun-Hee Park. To register for this program, which is part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures Thematic Learning Initiative, go to wfly.co/f1XPl.
THEATER AND DANCE REVIEWS AND PREVIEWS
Live performances are everywhere this week and next. To get an idea of what to expect when you go, check out the following reviews and previews from the Independent.
The Miser, or The School for Lies. At Westmont’s Porter Theatre through March 5. Read Maggie Yates’s review here.
The Magic Flute. At UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Hall. Closed. Review is of the Feb. 25 performance.
Lillian. At Ensemble Theatre Company’s New Vic. Opens on Saturday, March 5. Read my preview here.
Sleeping Beauty. State Street Ballet at The Granada Theatre. Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6. Read my preview here.
Murder on the Orient Express. At SBCC’s Garvin Theatre. Opens Wednesday, March 2. Read my preview here.
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