Joshua Kohl’s Dad-tastic Performance at The Frye Tonight

About a year ago on a cold dark night, I descended into the usually forbidden storage facility underneath Seattle Center’s football field.

A strange looking light portal ushered me into a long hallway, where ominous sub-bass rumblings boomed around me. When I came out from the hallway, a creepy, ritualistic sing-song ceremony occurred with a bunch of people dressed in all white, and then a white witch lady did a choreographed dance in a pool of water. There was also a cartoon.

Underbelly, was one of the coolest things I experienced last year. Concocted by local art group Degenerate Art Ensemble, the piece was easily the strangest part (and the best part) of the programming in the Seattle Center’s celebration of the World’s Fair 50th anniversary. The performance came from the minds of co-directors Haruko Nishimura (the aforementioned white witch lady) and Joshua Kohl, who also happens to be a composer.

Joshua Kohl is taking to the Frye to debut a new solo performance. This time, he won’t be riffing on the seedy backstory of the Seattle World’s Fair, but rather, his dad. Since the 60s, Herbert Kohl has been a warrior for better, more socially just public schooling, writing books on educating deaf children and youngsters from low-income and minority communities.

Tonight Kohl will perform a chamber work accompanied by poetry and writings from his father, recorded from a recent visit the two had. The piece will remain as a sound installation until late October, but don’t miss out on the real thing tonight at 7 p.m.

 
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