Joplin to Jobim

Carlos Barbosa-Lima plays it all

Sep 28, 2005 at 4:00 am
SAT 10/1

Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima is as comfortable playing classical guitar pieces (he studied with Andres Segovia) as he is interpreting the music of his countryman Antonio Carlos Jobim. Listen to his duets with Sharon Isbin (available on the album Brazil, with Love), and Barbosa-Lima's rich phrasing and lush tones transport you to a sunset-drenched beach, drink in hand and the wind ruffling your hair. But his fingers also dance briskly through the works of Scott Joplin, finding bell-like harmonics even in the staggering rhythm of the "Maple Leaf Rag." Barbosa-Lima's ability to translate the very different moods of Jobim and Joplin into the language of guitar -- while still finding the spaces where his own personality can breathe new color into the music -- is all the more remarkable because he does it so quietly, so effortlessly. He seduces the listener through sleight of hand, revealing the beauty in the music while masking how difficult it is to play this well. Carlos Barbosa-Lima performs a solo show at 8 p.m. at the Ethical Society (9001 Clayton Road, Ladue; 314-567-5566) as the guest of the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. Tickets are $16 to $18. -- Paul Friswold

Theater Character

No one ever said parenting was going to be easy, but thanks to the folks behind the Piwacket Theatre for Children, sneaking across a few messages on respect, cooperation and tolerance has never been so simple. On Thursday, September 29, Piwacket begins its fourteenth season with 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances of Lewis & Clark Go West at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue). Piwacket uses theater to highlight character education, and in this season's debut production, kids learn about responsibility from Lewis and Clark, native Americans and wooly wilderness puppets. On Saturday, October 1, Piwacket performs The Three Little Pigs at 11 a.m. at the Webster Groves Recreation Complex (33 East Glendale Avenue, Webster Groves), teaching cooperation through pig/wolf relations. Tickets for both performances are $8, and children younger than two are admitted free. For more information call 314-963-8800 or visit -- Mark Fischer

Ives Wide Open
A Question of Timing

David Ives is not afraid to tackle the big questions: In his one-act play "Words, Words, Words," he explores what three monkeys who're typing until they stumble into writing Hamlet would discuss as they hammer away at their task. In "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread," Ives imagines the minimalist composer caught in an existential dilemma mid-purchase at the local bakery. The Saint Louis University Theatre presents All in the Timing, a sextet of Ives' dazzling plays, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday (September 30 through October 8) in Saint Louis University's Xavier Hall (3733 West Pine Mall; 314-977-3327). Tickets are $6 to $10. -- Paul Friswold