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The Art Of Burlesque, Rubens Quartet…And Marijuanamerica

An exploration of several thriving American subcultures and an in-studio performance by an international quartet.

Rubens Quartet

Photo: file photo

The Rubens Quartet headline the 2013 IU Summer Music series.

This week’s Artworks is an offbeat observance of our national holiday, with a tribute to several thriving American subcultures. First we venture into the world of burlesque with Annie Corrigan, whose conversation with self-admitted “diva” Tessa von Twinkle–who performs regularly in Chicago and St. Louis, and was invited to compete in last year’s Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition–demonstrates that burlesque is about more than what happens on stage.

We continue along the less-beaten path with Columbus, Indiana, native Ryan Nerz, a freelance journalist who spent a year emceeing professional competitive-eating contests around the world, then published Eat This Book: A Year of Gorging and Glory on the Competitive Eating Circuit, a digest of his observations and exploits. And in his latest book, Marijuanamerica: One Man’s Quest to Understand America’s Dysfunctional Love Affair with Weed, he delves surprisingly deep into a subculture that has consistently informed the ways Americans have thought and behaved since the ‘60s. Ryan Nerz joins WFIU’s John Bailey to talk about both books, what their topics have to tell us about the American character, and the perils of immersion journalism.

Plus, we settle in for an in-studio performance by the Rubens Quartet, who are performing on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus for the first time in three years, as part of the Summer Music series of IU’s Summer Festival of the Arts.

Stories On This Episode

Tessa Von Twinkle: It’s All About The Rhinestones

rhinestones on high heels

Tessa von Twinkle didn't have an outlet for her artistic energy. Then she saw a video of a burlesque performance and she knew that was her niche.

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