Want proof of the butterfly effect? Okay, a volcano in Iceland erupts and half-way around the world, Houston arts organizations have to scramble.
Two highly anticipated concerts were forced to change their line-ups and one theatrical piece was rescheduled - twice - as performers got caught in Europe and were unable to travel due to the volcanic ash floating around.
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First, in a highly ironic twist, Earth Day Jazz in the Park lost its headliner, saxophonist Bill Evans. The concert, presented by University of Houston's Moores School of Music and Da Camera, went on as planned with Evans being replaced by Warren Sneed, Woody Witt and David Caceres (CQ).
All of those guys are talented and popular, but (sigh) none of them are Bill Evans. Evans for example, played with Miles Davis's comeback band in 1980 (Evans was all of 22-years-old at the time). He has multiple Grammy Award nominations and released several groundbreaking recordings in the mid-1990s.
Second, the Houston Symphony had to find a stand-in when guest conductor Clause Peter Flor was forced to cancel his appearance this weekend. The program includes Hector Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique with pianist Simon Trpceski appearing to perform Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2. Luckily, Kirill Karabits, who just conducted the same piece for the Minnesota Orchestra a few days ago and has previously worked with Trpceski, was able to step in. Karabits is becoming an HS darling: he made his North American debut in 2009 with the orchestra and is already on the schedule for next season.
And third, Action Hero: A Western, a performance art/improvised theater/let's-have-fun-in-a-bar ode to the shoot 'em up westerns was originally scheduled to be at Rudyard's Pub last Saturday and Sunday. Visa issues for the performance troupe coming out of England caused the first postponement, to Sunday and Monday. Then the volcano spit up all that ash and the performers weren't able to fly out of the UK. The show finally went on Monday and Tuesday, (not traditionally big nights for theater, and especially not traditionally big nights for theater pieces set in bars that require a lot of ketchup blood).