P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
November 18, 2003
Oscar/Grammy-Nominee Performs One-Woman Show at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Karen Black's list of awards is impressive (three Golden Globes, two New York Film Critics Circle Awards, one each Oscar and Grammy nominations, along with a host of Indy film festival awards) and they cover her equally impressive range of talents. Most are for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress, others address scriptwriting, songwriting, and singing. She'll tap into all of these gifts for her one-woman show, A View of the Heart, at MASS MoCA on Friday, December 12, at 8 P.M. "Both a hoot and a revelation, a comic tour de force and a deadly serious look at the human condition," according to the San Francisco Gate, which went on to say, "Black made it impossible to look away."
Described as "a shockingly believable collection of glimpses into the lives of American women," by the Gate, A View of the Heart involves Black going through a series of fully fleshed-out characters with the speed of a Tasmanian Devil. A pregnant teenager in the 1910s evolves into an impoverished African-American from Mississippi who gives way to a wealthy white divorcee, etc. All the while Black works in songs, some original compositions, each sung from deep in character and displaying a wide range of voices – pure and folksy, raspy, improvisational blues. Black moves effortlessly from song to speech with seamless segues into intense monologues, sometimes autobiographical like that on her mother's death voicing regrets like "I didn't have time to let her down" and the pain of losing her son not to death but "worse, to an ex-husband."
When Karen Black moved to New York to begin a career in acting she immediately began doing Shakespeare in the Park and then played Olivia in Twelfth Night at Joseph Papp's off-Broadway Heckshire House. She studied acting under Lee Strasberg before making her film debut in Herschel Gordon Lewis' The Prime Time. When she landed a lead on Broadway in The Playroom, her first major award nomination (a New York Critic's Circle Best Actress Award) soon followed. She went on to star in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now. Her convincing portrayal of a spaced-out LSD-addicted prostitute in Easy Rider brought Black her first taste of notoriety. The next year she won another New York Film Critics Award, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination (all for Best Supporting Actress) for her role as a goodhearted but dim-witted waitress in Five Easy Pieces. She went on to garner two more Golden Globes for The Great Gatsby and The Day of the Locusts. Black recently received two Best Actress accolades from different Independent film festivals for two different films; Red Dirt and Fallen Arches.
Black's writing and singing accomplishments are beginning to parallel her list of acting accolades. She shared a Grammy nomination for singing and songwriting for Nashville. She received wonderful reviews for her part in Men for which she wrote the original adaptation from the book. Going Home, her short, won best long short at the Chicago International Film Festival. She co-wrote Charades in competition at the Austin Film Festival and her adaptation of Adolpho Bioy Casares' novel The Invention of Morel is being co-produced by Wim Wenders. Black's screenplay Deep Purple was accepted at the Sundance screenwriters lab, and Zits, her directorial debut, was a critically acclaimed tragic-comedy about adolescent motherhood.
Lickety Split will be open to serve dinner and snacks starting at 7 P.M. when the doors open. There will also be a full bar.
Tickets for Karen Black: A View of the Heart are $12 in advance or $15 the day of show. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line any time at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release