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ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 1997
In an episode of "Star Trek," Captain Kirk had to defeat an entity that drew its strength from hate and conflict. In "Denial" at the Actors Alley, Bernard Cooper (Terry J. Evans, alternating with Joe J. Garcia) is such an evil being--a small, unassuming, almost pleasant professor of timber-stress analysis, whose twisted thirst for notoriety feeds his ego and expands his power. Evans slowly reveals this rotten side and his desire to destroy in the Peter Sagal drama.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 1997
In an episode of "Star Trek," Captain Kirk had to defeat an entity that drew its strength from hate and conflict. In "Denial" at the Actors Alley, Bernard Cooper (Terry J. Evans, alternating with Joe J. Garcia) is such an evil being--a small, unassuming, almost pleasant professor of timber-stress analysis, whose twisted thirst for notoriety feeds his ego and expands his power. Evans slowly reveals this rotten side and his desire to destroy in the Peter Sagal drama.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 1997
Think your family is peculiar? Writer-performer Rob Nash takes an affectionate look at a troubled "double-white trailer trash" Houston family and gently redefines the meaning of family values in "12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional Family," the latest installment of a multi-part saga, at Highways. Grandmother Mildred left her alcoholic husband, wrote a book about it and is making the talk-show circuit. Her gay son Fred is HIV-positive, but his credit accounts are all in the negative.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 1997
Think your family is peculiar? Writer-performer Rob Nash takes an affectionate look at a troubled "double-white trailer trash" Houston family and gently redefines the meaning of family values in "12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional Family," the latest installment of a multi-part saga, at Highways. Grandmother Mildred left her alcoholic husband, wrote a book about it and is making the talk-show circuit. Her gay son Fred is HIV-positive, but his credit accounts are all in the negative.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1996
Austin Pendleton's "Uncle Bob" at the Asylum Theater humanizes the stereotype of the creepy relative who has incestuous yearnings, and director Adriana Barlow gives us two provocative versions of this depiction of a ruinous relationship between an angry young man, Josh (Jason Field), and his terminally ill uncle (George Morfogen, alternating with Pendleton).
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 1999
Nowhere in Jana J. Monji's review of "Noman's Return" does she mention that the show is a production of Open Gate Theatre (Theater Beat, Jan. 8). While Open Gate Theatre is a welcome guest, we would like to make clear that it is simply renting our performance space and that "Noman's Return" is not a production of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company. GILLIAN BAGWELL Artistic Director Pasadena Shakespeare Company
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2001
Jana J. Monji's article on "QED," the new play about the last days of the late, much-lamented Richard Feynman, contained a masterpiece of understatement: "Feynman later served on the Rogers Commission, investigating the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger" ("It's a Complex Equation," April 17). Served??!! He broke the case! Who can forget the TV hearings, with Feynman sitting among the bunch of ignorants and stuffed shirts, some of whom were reportedly anxious to cover up the tragedy.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 1997
Jana J. Monji attended our premiere of "Saint Joan" at the Deaf West Theatre Company and I feel that I must register a grievance regarding her characterizations of our usage of "supertitles" (open captioning) (" 'Saint Joan' Tries to Adapt to Shaw's Wit," Feb. 7). To the best of our knowledge, Deaf West Theatre is the first and only professional theater in Los Angeles making an attempt to serve this special constituency of hearing-impaired audiences. Monji need not rely on captioned dialogue to experience the show.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 1998
I strongly disagree with Jana J. Monji's assessment of the songs of Bacharach & David in her review of the new revue of their music at the Cinegrill (Theater Beat, Sept. 11). This dynamic duo did not write "melodies and lyrics, fluffy as marshmallows, insulated from the historical turbulence of their times." Any singer or songwriter knows that their amazing output is among the most challenging and sophisticated of the '60s. Burt Bacharach's melodies are full of changing time signatures, leaping intervals and the love of the offbeat phrase.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2001
Critics have a right to express their opinions, but creative people also have the right to respond against careless reporting, lack of expertise, mistaken facts and vague generalizations. I'm the composer-author of the show "Musical Chairs" playing at El Portal Center for the Arts, and I'd like to protest against people reviewing musicals who don't know a thing about the subject--specifically, Jana J. Monji (Theater Beat, Aug. 31). Her bizarre statement is "the play's problem is that the relationships are outlined by songs and not developed by intimation."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1996
Austin Pendleton's "Uncle Bob" at the Asylum Theater humanizes the stereotype of the creepy relative who has incestuous yearnings, and director Adriana Barlow gives us two provocative versions of this depiction of a ruinous relationship between an angry young man, Josh (Jason Field), and his terminally ill uncle (George Morfogen, alternating with Pendleton).
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2001
It is always discouraging to read a "bad" review of good work, but it is doubly frustrating when the reviewer misses entirely the premise of a play, and therefore criticizes not the play itself but some other play that resides only in her imagination. I saw "The Time of Your Life," reviewed in Calendar Nov. 2 ("They're Having Too Good a Time in This Staging of Saroyan Classic," by Jana J. Monji), and found the play to reflect with great poetry, humor and imagination, the intent and spirit of the work as written by William Saroyan--a rejection of those aspects of contemporary life he considered to be life-deadening: soul-searing competitiveness, conformity (because there is nothing worth conforming to)
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