Rafi Zabor’s Updoc. Fri 11/29 & Tues 12/3

Updoc—Friday at 8PM, noon next Tuesday—usually shows up late for anniversaries, and this year’s no exception. Last week’s show fell on November 22 and could have celebrated Benjamin Britten’s centenary or remembered JFK’s fifty-year-old death, the day my country began to crash and burn, with for instance Booker Ervin’s great lament A Day to Mourn. Instead there was Bach on mandolin, new releases, and the always apt Thelonious Monk. A day after that, the 50th anniversary edition of a well-loved British telly show was overwrought, over-effectsy, overblown, and in typical Time Lord fashion, unexpectedly moving by the end. So this week Updoc indulges in its own bit of time travel, all the way back a week, to visit Great Britten, including shades of requiem and illumination and, for a finish, a last dash of the melodic monumental opera in which Peter Grimes sinks his boat and self while the seaside people sing about themselves and choose to see nothing, as the world’s two most quietly devastating drum thumps nail the ending down. Britten makes some people anxious and equivocal: was he one of the great 20th century composers or not? Updoc has stopped asking, and has also found its two hours’ airtime insufficient for due tribute. Britten’s music is Tardic: bigger on the inside than the outside. Jammy dodgers, jelly babies or fish fingers and custard: bring what you have and come on in.Tardis

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