Things to Do, Sept. 9-16

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

'Beats, Rhymes and Life'

Cornell Cinema is premiering a new documentary by actor-turned-director Michael Rapaport, "Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest," one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop, Sept. 10-12. The film is being shown in conjunction with Cornell Library's Hip-hop Collection.

Other documentary premieres this month include "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop," directed by Rodman Flender, Sept. 9, 14 and 16; and "Magic Trip," Sept. 23-24, 26 and 29, co-directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood. "Magic Trip" chronicles a landmark event of the psychedelic 1960s and is built around original footage of author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters on their 1964 cross-country journey from California to the New York World's Fair in a painted school bus named "Furthur." Information:

Remembering 9/11

President David Skorton will speak at an event Sept. 11, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in front of the Ithaca Central Fire Station on Green Street, in remembrance of firefighters and police officers who lost their lives Sept. 11, 2001, and in appreciation of those who protect and serve today.

The commemoration, on the 10th anniversary of attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is organized by the Ithaca Fire Department in collaboration with Cornell, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3). Presidents Carl Haynes of TC3 and Tom Rochon of Ithaca College and a student from each of the three schools also have been invited to speak. Local fire and police personnel, elected officials, and friends and family members of 9/11 victims also will make brief remarks. In case of rain, the event will be held inside the fire station.

Skorton also will attend a campus Candlelight Vigil, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. on Ho Plaza, with music by the Glee Club and Chorus and Cornell Chimesmasters. Co-sponsors include Cornell United Religious Work, the undergraduate Student Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

Kim and Reggie Harris

Singing and storytelling duo Kim and Reggie Harris return to WVBR's "Bound for Glory" Sunday, Sept. 11, 8-11 p.m. in Anabel Taylor Hall Café. Admission is free to the show, broadcast live on WVBR 93.5 FM.

Airing since 1967, Bound For Glory is North America's longest-running live folk music broadcast. Upcoming shows will feature area bluegrass band The Diamondback Rattlers, Sept. 18; Christine Lavin and Don White, Sept. 25; and Aoife Clancy, Oct. 2. Information: 607-844-4535, or

Outdoor Chekhov

The Department of Theatre, Film and Dance will stage Anton Chekhov's final play, "The Cherry Orchard," at several outdoor locations on campus Sept. 15-25.

Audience members are invited to bring blankets to performances, which will take place Sept. 15-16 at 5:30 p.m. outside of Balch Hall; Sept. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. in the Urn Garden next the Big Red Barn; Sept. 18 and 25 at 3 p.m. on the A.D. White House back lawn; and Sept. 22-23 at 5:30 p.m. on the Arts Quad by Olin Library. Admission is free.

The play, with elements of comedy and tragedy, is about an aristocratic Russian woman and her family returning to their estate before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. It is directed by associate professor of acting and directing Beth Milles, with student and professional actors and a translation by Paul Schmidt. The production will include performances by the Cornell Klezmer Ensemble. Special seating is available for those who need it. Information: Schwartz Center Box Office, 254-2787 or

Jon Stewart shows on sale

Comedian and host of "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart will return to campus to perform two shows during First-Year Parents' Weekend, Oct. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. in Barton Hall.

Student tickets for both shows ($25 for reserved seating and $23 for general admission) go on sale to students Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 9 a.m. at First-year students and new transfers can buy up to six tickets; and all other students can buy up to four tickets -- only two tickets can be purchased at the student rate.

Tickets for non-students go on sale Sept. 14 at 9 a.m., priced at $38 reserved and $36 general admission, with a limit of four tickets per person.

How public gardens grow

Donald Rakow, director of Cornell Plantations and of the graduate program in public garden leadership, will talk about his latest book, "Public Garden Management," and the movement to establish new public gardens, Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. in 160 Mann Library. Rakow's talk, "Public Garden Management: Why We Need Public Gardens More than Ever," will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Rakow will describe the essential qualities of public gardens, the diversity of public gardens in North America and the ways that they contribute to the quality of our lives and to sustainability, conservation and biodiversity.

His book is a complete reference guide for establishing, managing and running sustainable, profitable public gardens. His co-author, Sharon Lee, is former deputy director of the American Public Gardens Association and editor of the journal Public Garden. Information:

Homecoming kickoff

Big Red football fans are invited to a special reception the night before Cornell's 2011 Homecoming Game, with Ed Marinaro '72 and head football coach Kent Austin, Friday, Sept. 16, 7:30-9 p.m. on Tanner Terrace, Friends Hall.

Marinaro will speak about his Cornell football career, and Austin will share his thoughts on Saturday's game against Bucknell University and his outlook for the upcoming season. The reception costs $10 per person. Advance registration is required. Information: 607-254-7147,

The Homecoming Game is Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. on Schoellkopf Field; admission is free. Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 16-18, has a host of events, from student and alumni tailgates to free activities at the Homecoming Fan Festival, Sept. 17, 2-6 p.m., in the Lynah Rink parking lot. Events schedule:

Free jazz

Canadian jazz pianist and composer John Stetch will present an evening of free improvisation, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. in Barnes Hall, in two 30-minute sets. The first set, "Seeds of Improvisation," will be short pieces based on brief pre-written suggestions (such as "D Major," "pointillist," "minor and dark," "East European," etc.). After a short intermission, he'll present "Spontaneous Improvisation." The concert is free and open to the public.

Stetch teaches at Cornell and Ithaca College. He has performed and recorded with jazz greats including Rufus Reid, Charlie Haden and Branford Marsalis; has 11 albums under his own name, five Canadian Juno Award nominations and has won the Montreal International Jazz Festival Prix du Jazz. One reviewer hailed Stetch as "one of the most brilliant and underrated jazz pianists working today. In a perfect world he would be more famous than Wynton Marsalis." His new album of 12 original trio compositions, "Fabled States," was released in August.

Learn guitar

A fall series of group folk guitar lessons begins Sept. 12 in the Willard Straight Hall International Lounge with instructor Phil Shapiro. With eight one-hour lessons Monday evenings, anyone can learn to play or gain tips and new techniques to improve their playing. Lessons are open to the public.

A class for beginners meets at 7 p.m. and the intermediate class is at 8 p.m., for those with some experience. The course is sponsored by the Student Union Board and costs $60, payable at the first lesson. Information: Phil Shapiro, 607-844-4535, or

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