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DIVA NEWS ARCHIVE -- APRIL 2006


April 20, 2006

The characters of the Red RoadHOORAY FOR THE NATIVE AMERICAN PRESS!

"Indian Country Today" comes up with a rave review for "The Red Road" -- and the "Native American Times" touts a Kickapoo who's "done good."

We are happy to report that the good news just keeps on coming. Estar Holmes of "Indian Country Today" published a wow of a review last week.

Here's just a snippet of the review:

Starr masterfully builds the play's momentum as she morphs smoothly through a diversity of characters, ages and genders, from kind-hearted diner owner Verna Yahola, a Creek Indian trucker's widow struggling to make ends meet while caring for her teenaged niece, who is suffering from an identity crisis; to Pawnee organizer of Indian causes Richard Doolittle and his prima donna activist sister, Bonnie; to Emmitt, the diner's beloved Navajo fry cook; the handsome and stoic Merle Yahola Jr.; a bingo-loving, insightful Chippewa elder; a vivacious Choctaw country singer; an innocent 9-year-old Kiowa Beatles fan; a Creek disc jockey who broadcasts his live show from the cafe; and an English punk rocker who wants Verna to be his personal guide on a tour through Indian country."

You can read the full article on Indian Country Today's website. Also -- the good folks at Native American Times also published a short piece about the show with this headline -- "Kickapoo Artist Takes LA By Storm -- Starr Receiving Five-Star Reviews For Tour de Force." You'll have to subscribe to Native American Times to read the full story, but it's well worth it! You can find them online at http://www.nativetimes.com.

A Hard Day's Night coverAs we mentioned on the front page -- you can now see those "Red Road" characters the way Arigon Starr sees them. "One of the many challenges given to me by director Randy Reinholz was to come up with a mental image of what each of the characters in the show look like. I didn't write the show as a long monologue -- these characters actually interact with each other. I originally was going to draw them as cartoons -- which I might still do -- but Janet Miner and I got the camera out and staged a very silly photo shoot. It took two days to get all of those images nailed down," said Arigon. If you're wondering who's who -- Left to Right -- Top Row: Emmitt Tsinajinnie, Navajo frycook; Creek Cafe owner Verna Yahola; Pawnee activist Richard Doolittle. Second Row: Choctaw country singer Patty Jones; Creek Indian DJ Clyde Chupco; Pawnee activist (and Richard's sister) Bonnie Doolittle. Third Row: Desmond Tsinajinnie, Kiowa-Navajo Beatles fanatic; Ojibway elder Etta Walters; the best looking feller in Creek County, trucker Merle Yahola, Jr.. Bottom Row: British punk rocker Danny Dacron; 13-year-old science fiction geek Loretta; and of course, Mr. Spock. Mr. Spock is not actually in the show, but Loretta talks about him and Captain James T. Kirk a lot. "I made a nod to the design of the Beatles CD "A Hard Day's Night"(the British Version) because Desmond Tsinajinnie has a discussion about the Beatles being Indians. Plus, they have always inspired my music and my humor," laughed Arigon.


CHARLIE HILL BACK ON THE RED ROAD

Those of you Starrwatchers who were in the house for the world-premiere of "The Red Road" know that comedian Charlie Hill joined Arigon on stage for "Come On In." Well -- if you're planning on coming to the show next Sunday (4/23) Charlie and his harmonica will be BACK! "Charlie called me this week and we're gonna throw down," said Arigon. Get your tickets now through TicketWeb.com!


April 12, 2006

Arigon with comedian Charlie HillTHE "CHARLEY OR
CHARLIES" HAVE IT!

Audience members have spoken -- and it's all good about "The Red Road." Plus, check out the band live on KXLU-FM this Thursday.

Wow! As many of you who attended opening night of "The Red Road" at the Autry National Center know -- legendary comedian Charlie Hill joined Arigon onstage to add his fine harmonica to the show's closing tune "Come On In."

We also want to remind folks that Arigon and the band will be on the radio LIVE this Thursday night. Jana Pendragon, who hosts the country-americana tinged show "Happy Trails" has invited the group to perform as her in-studio guests on Thursday/Friday am. The interview performance begins at 12 midnight and runs until 1:00 am on college station KXLU 88.9 FM in Los Angeles, CA. You can be part of the audience from anywhere in the world! KXLU-FM has a live stream on their website. Click on the link and you'll be part of the in-crowd. AAY! We're sure it's going to be a fun evening for everyone.

But back to the Charlies! "Charlie Hill has been a real mentor to me. I met him years back at the First Americans in the Arts Awards -- and he's been nudging me along since then," said Arigon. Charlie Hill is probably the only Native comic who's appeared on both the Johnny Carson and Jay Leno versions of the "Tonight Show." Charlie was also a staff writer on the "Roseanne" show -- and appears at clubs, concert halls and casinos around the country. More recently, he's been involved with a radio show called "Club Red" that was produced an broadcast by the Native Media Resource Center and Native American Public Telecommunications. There is also a humorous, eye-opening documentary ("On and Off The Res With Charlie Hill") on his career available at Native Telecom. It's well worth seeing!

Well, that is but one "Charley/Charlie" who's been a satisfied audience member at "The Red Road." Here are a couple of comments from two very different audience members about the show.

Arigon and fellow Creeks:

The show was wonderful,  I have never heard Chilocco mentioned so often outside of Oklahoma.  I grew up on a farm outside of the school and my parents both worked, attended as students and retired from Chilocco. It really made me feel good, hearing all the reference to the Creeks and to the towns and real "Indian" things that belong to our peoples and not some other tribe.  It really brings back many memories and rekindles the "pride" of the Muskovee Nation.

The talent you show is a true gift from our Creator.  I have spoke to many of our people telling them to try and see your show. I just wish their were some way for more of our kids to see you and hear your amazing gift of song.

Keep up the great performances. I leave you with this...........

As a youth...............I walked the woods and watched the buffalo grass sway in the wind, like waves on an ocean, an ocean that I was yet to see,  the winds blew on the Chilocco creek............made sounds that brought peace.................just as the heartbeat of our drums bring comfort today & breathe life into all those that hear.............to me, these were the beginning of life.........the creek the stones, the rabbits, grasshoppers bullfrogs, fireflies and hawks all were life............life seemed as solid as the rock quarry.............limestone that was the foundation of my youth........ the quarry that built the school.........back when it was just a beacon in the prairie.......................not many have seen that quarry and now it is grown over with tree and bushes.................Now as I walk the plains of Chilocco and the creek.................I dream of a simpler time, ............the time of my youth.......... your songs brought all that back to me and for that you have all my best thoughts and prayers to the Creator for your continued success.

Thanks
Charley Narcomey
Muskogee Creek Tribal Member and Member of the
California Muscogee Creek Association

Enjoyed the show very much. Ruby liked it too! My Mom wants to come see it. Arigon is great! She really came through as herself, it was like having Arigon tell me an animated story -- not actressy at all (not that I was expecting that). Congrats on all of the good press!!

Candi Tobaben-Hersch
Community Activist and Mom

As you know -- there are only a few performances of the show left in Los Angeles. We encourage you to come on in, bring a few friends and enjoy the antics of those crazy characters at the All Nations Cafe!


April 7, 2006

The Red Road CD CoverTHE RED ROAD - ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING NOW AT CDBABY.COM

 

Arigon's latest and greatest now onsale at both CDBaby.com and Amazon.com. Be the first on your block to hear her new tunes!

We're pleased to let everyone know that you can now order "The Red Road - Original Cast Recording" at CDBaby.com and at Amazon.com. As you know, there are EIGHTEEN tracks on the new CD. All twelve songs from "The Red Road" play plus additional bonus tracks. We're also pleased to let you know that folks are going crazy for the new CD. Folks who've seen the play are happily purchasing the CD after Arigon's performances at the Autry National Center.

Don't forget -- you can hear Arigon and her band perform this Saturday (April 8th) at the Autry's Food Over Fire Barbecue Championship. They go on at 12:00 noon -- and Arigon will be hanging out afterwards to sign CDs and say howdy to everyone. "The Red Road" continues this weekend and through April 30th. Get your tickets NOW -- and order a copy of the CD online. We look forward to seeing y'all at the performances -- and hope you'll sing along with Patty Jones, Emmitt Tsinajinnie, Richard and Bonnie Doolittle and Danny Dacron at the shows.


LA Times ReviewPEOPLE ARE TALKING

We gave you a tease of those reviews from the LOS ANGELES TIMES and DAILY VARIETY! Now, we have clips from the publications online as Adobe PDF files. If you want to take a look -- you can check out these links.

LOS ANGELES TIMES Review by Lynne Heffley

DAILY VARIETY Review by Julio Martinez.

Did you listen to Arigon yesterday on KPFK-FM? Arigon sat with reviewer Julio Martinez for his program "Arts in Review." She performed live singing "The Red Road" -- and Julio played two cuts from "The Red Road - Original Cast Recording." Great show!

Also -- she was photographed by Chris Felver, who's putting together a group of portraits of celebrated writers, performers and artists. His last book project "The Importance Of Being" featured stunning portraits of Toni Morrison, B.B. King, Ansel Adams, Anjelica Houston and Lou Reed among many others. Chris was down from San Francisco -- where he had just photographed Charlie Hill and Floyd Westerman. We'll let you know when the book will be released. In the meantime, you can check out Chris Felver online. He's an amazing photographer and a swell guy!

We saw some of you Starrwatchers at the Sweethearts of the Rodeo show on Wednesday night. It was an awesome show -- and host Bryson Jones was on comedic fire! His zingers kept the evening from being a somber event -- into something fun & rowdy that Buck Owens would have enjoyed! Bryson -- you need to get onstage at the Comedy Store, dude! We're picturing an duo act with Bryson and Easy Pickens trading one-liners like a latter-day Martin & Lewis. Also -- show tickets and CDs were given away -- so we can only hope more of you will check out Arigon's performances for free giveaways. We "heart" Shilah, Lisa, Dusty, Chris, Easy and all the Sin City All-Stars. What a great bunch of coolness they all are!


April 5, 2006

Sweethearts of the Rodeo Buck Owens TributeARIGON STARR SALUTES BUCK OWENS!

 

Arigon will join the coolest bunch of country folks in town at tonight's edition of Sweethearts of the Rodeo in Los Angeles!

The lovely Shilah Morrow is the hostess of the famed collective of cool country music cats "Sweethearts of the Rodeo" which happens every first Wednesday at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles. Shilah (along with Gram Parsons' daughter Polly Parsons) produced the awesome tribute to Gram Parsons a few years back (it's on DVD and you should get a copy!!) -- and she is continuing her awesome music showcases with Sweethearts of the Rodeo and shows at The Mint.

Arigon has been invited to perform with the house band during tonight's tribute to Buck Owens.

Believe us -- this is a house band made in heaven! Super-talented folks like Arigon's pal Dusty Wakeman (of Mad Dog Studios) is on bass -- and then there's Bryson Jones, Jonny Kaplan, Easy Pickins, Chris Lawrence, Skip Edwards....and all kinds of talented guest stars. As many of you know, country music superstar Buck Owens passed away recently and tonight's Sweethearts of the Rodeo show is dedicated to him, featuring many of his hit songs. The best thing about these shows is the ticket price -- just $5.00 to see the best country music in town.

Arigon will be giving away some tickets to see "The Red Road" at the Autry tonight, plus some copies of her new CD. Come join the Buck Owens tribute and have a great time listening to some heartfelt, fun country music. We'll have photos of the show for you soon!


Arigon and Gay NobleMORE APPEARANCES THIS WEEK

We are going to have to finally get one of the Star Trek transporters to keep up with the Diva this week. Here's a short list of all the doings -- we sure hope you can tune in, turn on and enjoy all the Arigon Starr stuff that is happening NOW! [That's Arigon yukking it up with her sister Gay Noble in San Diego this weekend.]

THURSDAY -- APRIL 6 -- KPFK 90.7 FM'S "ARTS IN REVIEW" WITH JULIO MARTINEZ -- Julio Martinez gave "The Red Road" a rave review in Variety (see the review below) and will have Arigon as a musical guest on his live radio show on Thursday at 11:30am Pacific time. The show is webcast, so if you have time to listen online, check out KPFK's website and listen in. Arigon will perform live!

THURSDAY, APRIL 6 -- THE RED ROAD at 8:00PM -- We can't stress this hard enough -- GET YOUR TICKETS NOW. The word is getting out about how amazing this show is and we want you Starrwatchers to be able to see the show. Go to TicketWeb now and get those tickets.

SATURDAY - APRIL 8 - AUTRY'S FOOD OVER FIRE BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIP -- Arigon will be performing at this outdoor event with the full band -- so come on down, have some good eats -- and listen to Arigon play songs from "The Red Road" with a rockin' backbeat. Plus, this event is FREE and suitable for all ages.

SUNDAY - APRIL 9 -- THE RED ROAD at 2:00pm -- If she ain't the hardest working Diva, we don't know who is. We know that Arigon appreciates your support, laughter and hugs! Show your support of Native Voices at the Autry, too -- because if weren't for them, we wouldn't have this opportunity to laugh at Arigon's antics. AAAY!


Ruth Wahpecome reads the latest!RAVE REVIEWS A-GO GO

Just like in those big screen biopics of when famous people finally get famous, there were two slam-dunk, home run in the bottom of the ninth press reviews printed this week in Los Angeles. It doesn't get much better than these two reviews from the Los Angeles Times and Daily Variety. Critics ARE raving about "The Red Road" -- and we know you are as proud of Arigon Starr as we here at Starrwatcher Online are.

Additionally, the Pasadena Weekly also ran an awesome piece on the show -- and so did News From Indian Country. We've put up links to all of the publications and snippets from the reviews. If you'd like to read the full text, we'll be adding those to the site in the near future. Check these out. [That's Arigon's mom Ruth Wahpecome checking out the review from the Los Angeles Times right after she was installed as the Queen of the Mecca Temple Daughters of the Nile organization on April 1.]

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- "(She rollicks) through a near-tour-de-force performance of her rowdy, witty, big-hearted, one-woman comedy, "The Red Road," a world premiere Native Voices production at the Autry National Center. Throughout, Starr plays a mean guitar, with showstopping hot licks that match her rafter-raising vocal stylings." -- Lynne Heffley

DAILY VARIETY -- "Native American singer-songwriter Arigon Starr channels all the denizens of the All Nations Cafe in Sapulpa, Okla., in this witty, insightful dissection of Native American activism, racial stereotyping, tribal infighting and small-town politics. Helmer Randy Reinholz's active staging occasionally rushes the action, but Starr displays a facile ability to flow from character to character, assisted by Christina Wright's minimal costume accents. Also enhancing her perf are Craig Dettman's colorful cafe setting and the mood-enhancing lights of Leigh Allen." -- Julio Martinez

PASADENA WEEKLY -- "The Red Road,” a musical comedy that showcases Starr’s rib-poking humor and charismatic presence." -- Bliss. Read the full story online at the Pasadena Weekly.

NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY -- "From stage to screen to your local music store, multi-talent Arigon Starr is combining all her talents into her biggest “road” show yet." -- Sandra Hale Schulman. Read the full story online at News From Indian Country.


Arigon onstage at the Isleta CasinoKCET'S "LIFE & TIMES"

KCET's news program featured a piece on Native Voices at the Autry on Tuesday, April 4th. Arigon was also interviewed for the segment. If you missed it -- there is a Real Audio archive and a transcript on the Life & Times website. We're so happy folks are talking about Arigon, The Red Road and the awesome Native Voices at the Autry. Hooray!


NEW MEXICO FUN

Apparently, you had to be really in-the-know to know that Arigon Starr performed at the Isleta Casino last Monday, April 3rd during the National Indian Gaming Association's "Jam On The Rez." Still, a good time was had by all and Arigon enjoyed visiting with her friends in the area, including Albert Cata from Santa Fe's KSFR-FM, Rose, Yolanda, Dave and FM from KUNM's "Singing Wire," plus Camille Lacapa, Burt Poley and Tara Gatewood from Koahnic Broadcasting's show "Native America Calling." Arigon caught up with her friends at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center the next day and many were disappointed that Arigon's appearance wasn't widely promoted. On the upside -- if you want to buy a copy of "The Red Road - Original Cast Recording" in Albuquerque -- they are now ON SALE at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's gift shop -- and you wil begin to hear cuts from the CD on KUNM-FM. "I promise next time I come to Albuquerque I won't keep it a secret," joked Arigon. Always look for the silver lining in the black clouds, ennit?


MORE COOL STUFF

One place Arigon didn't have any trouble at this weekend was at the Cox Arena in San Diego. Her friend Brian May warmly greeted Arigon and her friends Janet Miner and Ellen Perry warmly before his gig with Queen + Paul Rodgers. "Man, Brian May still rocks!," gushed Arigon. Two of the original members of British supergroup Queen (Brian and drummer Roger Taylor) joined forces with blues vocalist Paul Rodgers (of Bad Company and Free) -- and they put on a rockin' set that was enjoyed by a sold-out crowd. "I always get a tear in my eye when I hear 'Love Of My Life,' " said Arigon. The song is from Queen's album "A Night At The Opera," which is celebrating it's thirtieth anniversary. As many of you know, that album contains the mega-hit "Bohemian Rhapsody," written by Arigon's favorite singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury. "Brian told me he really wants to come check out 'The Red Road.' I sure hope he makes it! The other thing that made my day was when he asked me -- 'Hey, when are we making OUR album?' Whoa!," Arigon exclaimed. We can let you Starrwatchers know that plans are afoot for Arigon to record with Brian May. We'll keep you up-to-date on how the project is coming along!


March 29, 2006

THE RED ROAD COMES ALIVE AT THE AUTRY!

 

Arigon's one-person comedy opens on Thursday, March 30th and it's a humdinger!

Randy Reinholz directing Arigon StarrIt's finally happening! The long-awaited opening of the comedy with music, "The Red Road" is right around the corner. If that wasn't enough excitement for you -- Arigon is also releasing an 18-song CD to accompany the play. Starrwatchers are hep to the jive, but for those of you just tuning in (AAAY!), the CD will be released TOMORROW -- and the only place you can purchase it will be following performances of "The Red Road" at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. If you just can't wait to hear music from the new CD, you can take a listen to "A Trucker's Bride," which Arigon just added to her MySpace.com site (http://www.myspace.com/arigonstarr). If you must have the CD now (and we know that is how you really feel), you can pre-order the disc from Amazon.com. CDbaby.com will have the CD shortly. As soon as the link is up and activated -- we'll put it here for you!

If you're a lucky Starrwatcher near the Hopi Reservation in Arizona (KUYI-FM) or up in Santa Fe, New Mexico (KSFR-FM) or in Portland, Oregon (KBOO-FM)-- you've been lucky enough to hear cuts from the new CD. Also -- Gregg McVicar of "Earthsongs" also featured cuts from the new CD on his syndicated program a few weeks back.

"I'm so excited! I could just burst!," said Arigon. She has been in rehearsals for the show for weeks with director Randy Reinholz (pictured left), executive producer Jean Bruce Scott and all the wonderful crew who are making "The Red Road" a reality. The one-woman play is a roller coaster ride of laughs and big bear hugs from characters straight out of Indian Country. We hope you'll join us at the Autry beginning March 30th. The show runs for only TEN performances (Thursday nights at 8:00 PM; Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM), so get your tickets from TicketWeb NOW! We're keepin tabs on which of you Starrwatchers show up. Don't be like those people who brag they were at Woodstock or Wounded Knee, when they just saw "The Red Road" on HBO. AAAAAY! This show is sure to be an event -- so join us!



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