October 9, 1996 |
In Allan Miller's Oscar-nominated "Small Wonders," we get to watch and hear an interracial army of children learning violin, playing foreign music (Bach), doing it in school as well as in defiance of relentless budget cutting and full-frontal assaults on the National Endowment for the Arts. Is this a personal attack on Jesse Helms? Nothing so electrifying, unfortunately.
September 18, 1995 |
The Soviet Union is just a memory; likewise Richard Nixon and most of the other Cold Warriors. Recently released documents have even zapped the mystique of the Rosenberg espionage case. Given the times, Eric Bentley's "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been . . . ," the 1975 retelling of the House anti-Communist hearings that led to Hollywood blacklisting, may not seem quite as harrowing as it once did.
May 15, 2003 |
They could rename this year's Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory the Pulitzer Playwrights Festival. And the Pulitzer cachet appears to be enhanced by some notable Hollywood names participating in the readings at the Costa Mesa theater. This year's Pulitzer winner for drama, "Anna in the Tropics" by Nilo Cruz, will receive a staged reading, with Jimmy Smits and Tony Plana. South Coast will produce the West Coast premiere in October.
August 25, 1987 |
"The Early Girl," in Caroline Kava's play at the Back Alley Theatre, is the girl who takes care of the pre-5 p.m. trade at Lana's Cathouse somewhere in the desert. Lana (Morgan Lofting), a dainty woman who favors designer blouses, runs a tight ship. As she tells her girls, there is no room for "surprises" in the sex business. "He decides what he wants and pays for it, in the parlor, before you take him to your room."
August 29, 1989 |
Except that the title has already been taken, Matthew Witten's "The Deal" at the Back Alley Theatre could have been called "The Sting." It traces a small-town FBI set-up that goes awry, and it doesn't end with 19 rounds of gunfire. This is theater, not TV. Good theater, too. Witten writes tight and sticks to the evidence, rather like his hero, an FBI agent named Peter, not Pete (John M. Jackson). Peter is trying to get the goods on Jimmy, a two-bit ward boss (Michael Cavanaugh).
August 12, 1994 |
If evil could take human form today, it would probably look a lot like Calvin Rhodes, the ex-priest turned pornographer who taunts two disabled Vietnam vets with their own grandiose aspirations in the West Coast premiere of Mark Medoff's intense psychological drama "Stumps."
August 8, 1997 |
When a downtrodden, alcoholic New Age counselor encounters a rich but virtually tone-deaf client obsessed with learning to sing like a famous tenor, it's hard to say who needs the most help. But then, intriguing uncertainty fuels the quirky charm of acclaimed Irish playwright Tom Murphy's "The Gigli Concert."
October 18, 1985 |
"Aaron Copland: A Self-Portrait" (KCET Channel 28, tonight at 9) is more than an important document of the man and his contributions to American music--it is, thank goodness, also immensely enjoyable to watch. From the opening, as Copland jokes with a young ensemble reading through one of his early quartets, we are drawn in by the irrepressible charm of the man, who turns 85 next month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1992 |
Thousand Oaks council members have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with a biotechnology firm that wants to buy 18 acres of municipal property, including a building that houses City Hall. "The naysayers have always said we couldn't sell this building," Councilman Frank Schillo said before the unanimous vote Tuesday night to negotiate with Amgen. "I think we're about to do that." If the deal is successful, Thousand Oaks would have to move out of the City Hall building at 2150 W.