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December 2, 2012 | By Margaret Eby
Season three of "The Walking Dead" has had a decidedly John Wayne bent to it. The bad guys are evil, the good guys are complicated, and the elements are constantly threatening. What is a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape but another frontier, after all? This week's mid-season finale followed familiar Western logic: Rick and his team of prison misfits would finally face a showdown with the Governor over Glenn and Maggie. Though "The Walking Dead" is a show that's ostensibly about zombies, it's at its best when it balances the constant heart-in-your-throat horror with the brutality of the survivors, what part of humanity the characters are forced to sacrifice in order to stay alive.
January 21, 2014 | By John Horn
- Maya Forbes knew the story all too well, but she waited a long time to write a script based on her childhood. It's understandable why the writer-director wasn't rushing. Her father was manic-depressive, and when her mother left their Cambridge, Mass., home to attend graduate school in New York, a 10-year-old Forbes and her sister were largely left in their father's care, which was far from normal - let alone safe - parenting. Forbes, 45, who has writing credits on "The Larry Sanders Show" and the animated movie "Monsters vs. Aliens," said as a parent she has encouraged her children not to be timid.
February 7, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
The split-level house of American dreams and boomer memories probably has never been used so evocatively or been as central to a movie as it is in "The Playroom. " In the 1975-set coming-of-age drama - a kids'-eye view of adult malaise - that house is essentially a character, showcasing the generational disconnect through a cataclysmic night for one family. Directed by Julia Dyer from a script by her late sister, Gretchen Dyer, the film uses the upper-middle-class setting effectively, even as it resorts to heavy-handed symbolism and melodrama in its dour, mostly unforgiving portrait of parental dysfunction.
February 9, 1992 | T. H. McCULLOH, T.H. McCulloh writes regularly about theater for Valley/Westside Calendar.
Here comes the "R" word again. Relationship! Time was when people just had one. Now they talk about relationships more than they succeed in them, and the divorce rate shows it. As young people in the '50s thought that they invented pop music, as young people in the '60s thought that they invented marijuana, young people today think that they invented the relationship. They dissect it, they examine it, they talk about it.
September 5, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
CASPER, Wyo. - One man describes finding salvation by adopting a small bird during his years in a World War II internment camp. A former highway patrolman explains his friendship with the felon who shot and nearly killed him 30 years ago. And a veteran ranch couple discuss their early years on the American prairie. The disparate stories share a single thread: They all take place in Wyoming. An effort to collect the oral histories of ordinary residents - from longtime natives to unlikely foreign transplants - is being launched in this wide-open Western state, showing that although the landscape may be flat, the depth of life and experience here is decidedly multidimensional.
Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical "Jake's Women," presented by Actors Alley at the refurbished El Portal Center for the Performing Arts' Studio Theatre, is an audacious but problematic play in a checkered production. Jake (John Hugo), a renowned writer, is so accustomed to thinking in dialogue that he's having trouble distinguishing between reality and the fantasy voices in his head.
April 4, 2012 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Playwright Anne Commire wrote about subjects certain to make her audience squirm, repeatedly confronting what she called "the breaking points of women. " "The idea of someone who's continuously being pushed to the edge is what fascinates me," she once said. When she invariably intertwined comedy and pathos, critics noted that Commire's sense of humor was a strength. Her play "Shay," presented in 1983 at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles, featured an acutely shy woman who purposely slashes her mouth after an agonizing social occasion.
November 7, 1988 | CAROLYN SEE
Ghost Waves by James McManus Grove Press: $18.95, 320 pages) ". . . What particle physicist and artists both do is track the transformations between physical reality and our inner experience. OK?" OK. Why not? The material thesis of this book exists as a course of undergraduate lectures (Aesthetics and Physics) given at The School of the Art Institute.
November 14, 1985 | HERB HAIN
Mrs. R. M. Enevoldsen of Woodland Hills has a problem with her baby--a baby squirrel that is rapidly outgrowing a borrowed hamster cage. She would like to find a cylindrical cage two feet in diameter and about seven or eight feet high, perhaps even higher; some specialty store, she is sure, must have one squirreled away. Can you help before Enevoldsen goes completely nuts, or will she--and her baby pet--have to keep running around in circles?
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