New City Friends,
Summer is great for vacations, a time to rest and refresh, usually in an environment or setting different from our work-a-day world. At their best, these times carry elements of sabbatical and reflection.
The Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team markets their games as “a nine inning vacation,” a chance to kick back and enjoy the best game on the planet played with exceptional skill by professionals—some of whom will be Major League stars in a few years. Yes, I’m a baseball guy and unashamedly biased.
In a similar vein, a lot of the entertainment we bring to the Square Room at Cafe4 is purposed to provide a mini-vacation of sorts, a respite in which to enjoy both emerging and accomplished artists and also push pause and get re-calibrated at the intersection of art and life.
Sometimes the recharge happens as we get lost in the metaphors and melodies of a master singer-songwriter like David Wilcox, an experienced pro who wove narrative and music through the course of an evening like no other on May 22.
Sometimes re-orientation occurs in the Square Room through a provocative work like Princess Cut, a locally written theatrical production that premiered May 30, and telling the disturbing yet hopeful story of a girl once enslaved in a sex traffic ring here in Knoxville.
Or perhaps that moment of clarity will come in the context of an up-close and personal performance of a favorite song from a homegrown talent like Dave Barnes on July 24 or the soulful execution of a Grammy-winning artist like Knoxville’s own Ashley Cleveland on August 28.
Or maybe, that new found sense of perspective will accrue to you over a meal in the Square Room’s ‘dinner theatre’ production of Neil Simon’s classic “Barefoot in the Park,” on August 7-8.
Whatever it is and wherever it might be, my hope is that one way or another you’d find a way—and the arts are a great way—to slow yourself down this summer and be reminded of what is most important. For a full calendar of events in the Square Room at Cafe4, please visit thesquareroom.com. And don’t forget to hit the refresh button!
- Kenny Woodhull