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photos by Tim Griffin
At Le Poisson Rouge[on March 11th], the Cabinet of Wonders show unfolded with an appealing airiness and a confident sort of self-deprecation. Mr. Whitehead read an essay in which the narrator encouraged T.S. Eliot's character J. Alfred Prufrock to lighten up. While reading from a novel in which he fictionalized the life of Rudolf Nureyev, Mr. McCann plugged in Mr. Harding's name for one of his characters. Ms. Wallen's performance of her suite for children, text by Mr. Harding, was a delight, and Ms. Cash's reading from her memoir contained a touching passage about her late father, Johnny Cash. She sang a few songs with her characteristic perceptive grace.John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders has been working through its three-show Le Poisson Rouge engagement plus tour. The first show took place on February 11th, and on March 11th, JWH and friends (Rosanne Cash, Colson Whitehead, Colum McCann, Errollyn Wallen, and tour-regular Eugene Mirman) returned to the venue (more pics below).
A spoof by the new duo of Harding and Mirman of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" gave the evening its touch of vaudeville. The song concluded with the comedian unleashing wild feedback-like squeals via a handheld oscillator that let him play the rock star for a few seconds. Mr. Mirman glowed with glee, as did Mr. Harding, who stepped back to enjoy the inspired silliness. The audience roared in delight.-[Wall Street Journal]
Tonight (3/20), the traveling revue hits SXSW, with a show at Maggie Mae's.
Then "Wes & Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders" tour heads across the US, before a final show at LPR on April 15th (feat. guests Graham Parker, Josh Ritter, Eugene Mirman, Daniel Wallace, Dan John Miller, Sam Lipsyte, Daniel Felsenfeld). Tickets are still on sale.
More pictures from the March 11th show, below...