6 Nashville art and theater picks this week

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The Tennessean - Here's a look at some of the highlights of the Nashville visual arts community this week:

'Western Travel Series' at Coop
Ceramic statues and a military gun, positioned side by side and spray-painted gold; hanging towels with disabusing statements scribbled on them like memos; a long scroll of stills from an Indian family’s home movies printed onto a sari: These are among the conceptual mixed media pieces in Coop Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Western Travel Series.”  Curated and created by Clark House Initiative, a curatorial collaborative and union of artists based in Bombay, the exhibition is a resonant and humbling interrogation of the cultural homogenization generated by globalization. The mixed media pieces challenge symbols and platitudes of freedom, nationality, migration, history, and more specifically, the recent rise of fascism in India fueled by overblown rumors of economic prosperity. Clark House Initiative was founded by Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Cola and is dedicated to providing a space for progressive art discourse and mentorship in the heart of Bombay. The show is up through April 29. The gallery is at 507 Hagan St.  Gallery hours are 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and by appointment.  Admission is free.

— Melinda Baker 

'Richard II' at Nashville Shakespeare Festival/Lipscomb University
The Nashville Shakespeare Festival continues its season with an exciting co-production with Lipscomb University — William Shakespeare’s rarely-produced history play “Richard II.”

Directed by Sean Martin, the all-female cast features seven local pros — Caroline Amos, Carrie Brewer, Denice Hicks, Beki Baker, Evelyn O’Neal Brush, Wesley Paine and Terry Ochiogrosso — with nine Lipscomb students.

April 13-23 at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin Theatre, One University Park Dr., Nashville. Performances at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays; 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturdays; with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 23. Tickets $20 ($15 for students with ID; $5-$12 for  Lipscomb students/faculty), available at door or http://www.lipscomb.edu/theater. PG-13.

— Amy Stumpfl 

'Between the Shadow and Light' at Belmont’s Leu Gallery
On view at Belmont University’s Leu Art Gallery is, “Between the Shadow and Light.”  Presented by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin College and Belmont University, this traveling group exhibition features work by 21 Christian artists from the U.S., Canada, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.  The artists spent time living and learning together in South Africa, and the work in the show demonstrates their diverse range of experiences, but more specifically, how their faith influenced those experiences. The show runs through May 5. The gallery is located at 1900 Belmont Blvd in the Lila D. Bunch Library.  Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.  Admission is free.

— Melinda Baker 

'MAS X' at The Belcourt
Those marvelous ladies of MAS (Mutual Admiration Society) are back at the historic Belcourt Theatre, with their 10th full-length concert/comedy/cabaret adventure — appropriately dubbed “MAS X.”

Join Nashville favorites Cori Anne Laemmel, Erin Parker, Laura Matula, Megan Murphy Chambers and Melodie Madden Adams, as they celebrate their unique blend of “music, comedy, cleavage and class.” Audiences can expect an evening of rich harmonies, irreverent humor and a few surprise guests.  April 17 at The Belcourt Theatre, 2102 Belcourt Ave., Nashville. Performance at 7:30 p.m., Monday. Tickets $22-$50, available at masnashville.com. Rated “R” for language/adult humor.

— Amy Stumpfl 

'Hand-Cut Works on Paper' at Rymer
Don’t miss Utah-based artist, Elise Wehle’s lovely “Hand-Cut Works on Paper,” on view at Rymer Gallery through May 2.  Inspired by the ornate geometric carvings at the Moorish, Alhambra Palace in Grenada, Spain, Wehle uses found photographs, prints, or original drawings, and then hand-cuts intricate, geometric patterns either directly into them or into other paper which she then uses as an overlay. The result is beautifully textured, distressed mixed media collages that explore history, femininity, the divine, and other themes. The selection on display at Rymer Gallery features photographs overlaid with paper cutouts from the Book of Kells, a medieval illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin that features magnificent Celtic ornamental designs.  Like a veil, the exquisite cut-outs add mystery and reverence to the images, and at the same time, there’s a sense that Wehle is exposing the perfect, rhythmic geometric patterns as integral to the fabric of our makeup. The gallery is at 233 Fifth Avenue. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free.

— Melinda Baker 

World Premiere of 'Crazy All These Years' at the Darkhorse
Writer/producer/director Jeff Swafford will debut his new play “Crazy All These Years” at the Darkhorse Theater this weekend. Originally shot as a film, this compelling drama follows Ben — a gay man who returns to his small Tennessee hometown to care for his dying mother, and is subsequently forced to examine his own choices, past relationships and the broken hearts left in his wake.

Swafford — a Tennessee native and MTSU alum — directs an impressive cast, including Cinda McCain (also featured in the original film version), Michael Adcock, Jennifer Richmond and Daniel Hackman.

April 13-April 22 at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave., Nashville. Performances at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets $15, available at door or  www.ticketsnashville.com. (A portion of each ticket sold benefits the Tennessee Equality Project.)

— Amy Stumpfl