Jan. 30, 2012
Off-Broadway Rap Guide to Evolution highlights Iowa City Darwin Day
The Rap Guide to Evolution, a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway theatre production, will make Iowa City its first stop as it goes on the road with a free public performance Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. in Iowa City's Englert Theatre.
The performance will serve as the culmination of the sixth annual Iowa City Darwin Day celebrations, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 10-12. The events celebrate the life and achievements of Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution. This year's Darwin Day takes the theme "Bird Origins & Evolution" and will feature lectures by prominent evolutionary scientists Ellen Ketterson of Indiana University, Philip Currie of the University of Alberta and Scott Edwards of Harvard University.
All of the Darwin Day events are free and open to the public. Doors to the Englert will open at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12, for "The Rap Guide," with seating at 6:30 p.m.
The Rap Guide to Evolution is the brainchild of Canadian rap artist and polymath Baba Brinkman, who gained notoriety for his award-winning hip-hop adaptation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. His newest performance piece is a two-man show in which Brinkman is joined by DJ Jamie Simmonds of the United Kingdom. Together they use Darwinian theory and DNA to examine the origins of hip-hop and human behavior, as well as exploring gender relations and inner-city violence through the lens of evolution.
Provocative, entertaining, and informative, the show earned both critical and scientific praise and enjoyed a five-month run at New York City's SoHo Playhouse before beginning a nationwide tour.
Here's a rundown of other Darwin Day events, all free and open to the public:
First editions of several of Charles Darwin's books on evolution will be displayed in Macbride Hall at the UI Museum of Natural History (MNH) -- with writings by Erasmus Darwin, Charles' grandfather, and former MNH curator and Darwin scholar C. C. Nutting, in the MNH's Iowa Hall from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 9-12.
Friday, Feb. 10
* Reception in Biology Building East, 2:30 p.m.
* Scientific talks by Ketterson, Currie, and Edwards, 3 p.m., Kollros Auditorium (Biology Building East 101)
Saturday, Feb. 11
* "Laura the Kid Dinosaur," a fossil dinosaur, will be on display, courtesy of the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project, at MNH.
* Reception in Iowa Hall of the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History in Macbride Hall, 10 a.m.
* Lectures by Ketterson, Currie and Edwards, and a teaser performance of "The Rap Guide", 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Macbride Auditorium.
* Darwin birthday party, Hageboeck Hall of Birds, Macbride Hall, 1 p.m.
* "Amphibian evolution as a window to terrestrial ecosystems during the Permian-Triassic mass extinction," 2 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12
* The Darwin biopic film "Creation," starring Paul Bettany, will be screened in Macbride Auditorium at 2 p.m.
* The Rap Guide to Evolution, starring Baba Brinkman, at 7 p.m., Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City.
Darwin Day is supported by the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums (the Old Capitol Museum and the UI Museum of Natural History), University of Iowa Libraries, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University College and the Department of Biology.
For more information on Iowa City Darwin Day visit the website.
PHOTO: Baba Brinkman: at http://www.flickr.com/photos/uinews/.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACTS: John Logsdon, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-1474, firstname.lastname@example.org; Steve Parrott, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0037, email@example.com