Stace of Wonders

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 10, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Englert Theatre and Mission Creek will present Cabinet of Wonders — a vaudeville-type variety show presented by musician and novelist Wesley Stace.

The show, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, will feature comedian Todd Barry, musicians Robbie Fulks, Jon Langford, John Roderick, Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, and poet Dora Malech. Admission ranges from $22 to $50. The event is also part of the Iowa City Book Festival.

Since its creation in 2009, Cabinet of Wonders has been performed in New York and around the country, providing a stage for emerging voices in music, literature, and comedy. All of the participants are hand-picked by Stace.

The Cabinet of Wonders radio show can also be heard on NPR at the beginning of this summer.

Stace, formerly known by his stage name, John Wesley Harding, is on tour in support of his new self-titled album.

He chose not to use his stage name for his newest record because he said the songs are a lot more intimate and autobiographical than his previous, and he believed it would be wrong to sing them under anything but his own name.

Stace cowrote two of the tracks on the album, "Stare at the Sun" and "When I Knew" with the Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger.

His version of "Stare at the Sun" is currently streaming at the New York Times, and "When I Knew" is streaming at the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to Stace's music career, he is also the author of three novels, including the international bestseller Misfortune, and he teaches a course at Princeton.

Needless to say, Stace has had a successful career; since his début in 1988, he has recorded 19 records for both major and independent labels.

— by Samantha Gentry

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