Southwest Report 

Story Time

For more than 40 years, writer/artist/teacher Faith Ringgold has held a mirror up to America, exploring the issues of race, family and culture through her various artistic endeavors.

Her art hangs in museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, making her one of the most well-known African-American artists working today.

But beyond the canvas, Ringgold has turned author and illustrator, penning 11 children's books and winning the Caldecott Honor Book award and the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. Of course, that's in addition to two National Endowment of the Arts awards, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting and 17—that's right, 17—honorary doctorates.

Her story quilts manage to combine all of her genres, using the panels of a painted quilt to tell a narrative story.

Ringgold has traveled the world with her art, and now Treasure Valley audiences will have the chance to meet the renowned artist during a presentation sponsored by the Boise Art Museum at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise.

Ringgold's presentation, which will include both spoken word and visual images, is in conjunction with the BAM exhibition, "Faith Ringgold: Mama Can Sing, Papa Can Blow," currently hanging at the museum.

March 6, 6 p.m. Tickets $15. The Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-0454, EgyptianTheatre.net.

Urban Inspiration

Here's a sure sign that Boise's getting bigger: A Cirque du Soleil touring show comes to town for five days of performances.

Saltimbanco, billed as a Cirque du Soleil "signature" show, will take over the Taco Bell Arena at Boise State May 21-25, with both afternoon and evening performances.

Saltimbanco features the high-flying acrobatics and visual gymnastics audiences have come to expect.

While this show doesn't involve a built-in pool or Beatles tunes, it does offer audiences a performance inspired by the eclectic nature of urban life.

Saltimbanco looks at all aspects of the urban experience, from the people to the architecture. Promoters bill the show as "baroque in its visual vocabulary," so it's sure to be fanciful and mesmerizing for all ages.

May 21-22, 7:30 p.m.; May 23-24, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; May 25, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets $42-$92 for general admission, $34-$74 for ages 12 and younger. Taco Bell Arena, 1910 University Dr., Boise, 208-426-1494, IdahoTickets.com.

Hot Flash

What's better than talking about menopause in front of a group of strangers? That's easy: singing about menopause in front of a group of strangers.

Such is the premise for Menopause The Musical, presented at the Nampa Civic Center.

The show follows four women at a lingerie sale. What do they have in common? Hot flashes, memory loss and a black lace bra. While the very concept might send weaker-willed husbands and boyfriends running for the hills, songs like "Puff, My God I'm Draggin'" and "Stayin' Awake, Stayin' Awake," promise to provide some quality laughs for those willing to take in the comedy.

Not surprisingly, this one is recommended for audiences age 18 and older.

March 12, 7:30 p.m.; March 13, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; March 14, 8 p.m.; March 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; March 16, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., March 18-19, 7:30 p.m.; March 20, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; March 21, 8 p.m.; March 22, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets $40. Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. S., Nampa, 208-442-3232 or 208-468-5555, NampaCivicCenter.com or IdahoTickets.com.

Celtic Juggernaut

Who knew five Irish women in flowing dresses performing Celtic music with a modern twist would be such a tour de force?

Since Celtic Woman debuted on American television, thanks to a Christmas special aired on Public Broadcasting stations across the country, the group has earned legions of fans who love the high-energy show with traditional rhythms. That Christmas special has now aired more than 3,000 times in the United States.

Now Chloe, Orla, Mairead, Lynn and Alex, are in the midst of an American tour that will bring them to Taco Bell Arena at Boise State for a one-night-only show.

The group is touring in support of its new album, A New Journey, but also will perform songs from their self-titled debut album.

April 22, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $32-$57. Taco Bell Arena, 1910 University Dr., Boise, 208-426-1494, IdahoTickets.com.

Ireland, Part Two

If you haven't gotten your fill of Irish folk music after the Celtic Woman performance, there's always Anthony Kearns.

Kearns came to international attention as one of the Irish Tenors in yet another Public Broadcasting special aired on U.S. television. He has performed around the world, and will add the Treasure Valley to his travel list on May 1 when he performs at the Nampa Civic Center.

Kearns will perform traditional Irish folk songs, classic arias and Broadway songs while being accompanied by master pianist, humorist and fellow Irishman Patrick Healy.

May 1, 8 p.m. Tickets, $29. Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. S., Nampa. 208-442-3232 or 208-468-5555, NampaCivicCenter.com or IdahoTickets.com.

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