October 18, 1991 |
Abraham Lincoln said that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" helped create the Civil War. "I Ain't Yo' Uncle," Robert Alexander's provocative deconstruction of Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, is based on the belief that the war goes on. No longer a War Between the States, the battles are now being fought over affirmative action, Clarence Thomas, and gangs in the streets. But they're tied to the same phenomena that Stowe analyzed, and to the same stereotypes that Stowe's book helped create.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 1991 |
Ventura is "The City That Never Wakes" in a political satire that opened Wednesday downtown. In "Live From the Livery," a group of amateur actors--including a fashion designer, a realtor and a day-care director--put on a 50-minute assortment of skits parodying local politicians and celebrities.
March 18, 1991 |
Most Los Angeles comedy groups steer clear of political material. Los Angeles Theatre Center is trying to fill the gap with its latest project--a late-night political cabaret, "The Platform." The first edition of this "living newspaper" revue made its debut Friday and Saturday as part of LATC's annual "Big Weekend" festival, in the smallest of LATC's spaces, Theatre 4.
November 1, 1990 |
"Hrum-hrum" As I sat clutching my phone in Santa Barbara, listening to the ring coming from Bradcany Castle, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, images from news stories ran through my mind. New Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel has replaced bad socialist paintings throughout the castle with avant-garde nudes. He greets stiff-collared diplomats in his uniform of jeans and sweater.
October 26, 1989 |
"I made a decision a few years back to never again do anything professionally that I didn't want to do," announced Orson Bean. "And I've stuck to that. I turned down a TV show ("MacGyver") for a lot of dough 'cause I wanted to do this play." "This play" is Dario Fo's political satire, "Accidental Death of an Anarchist," currently at the Odyssey Theatre under the direction of Ron Sossi.
July 24, 1989
Did anyone else notice? On the front page of Metro--two headlines, "Gunshots Bark, and Death Claims a Teen-Ager" and "Bistro Owner's Killing Sparks Patrols, Reward." So Councilman Yaroslavsky wants to give a $25,000 reward for the killer of Michel Richard bistro owner Andre Coffyn. Perhaps if "teen-ager" Walter Dale Stewart Jr. had been Caucasian and lived on the Westside there would be a reward for finding his murderer. Nothing like a little L.A. racism to brighten up your morning. STEVEN J.
May 9, 1989 |
Notes from all over. . . . Will it be Judd Hirsch or Steve Landesberg (of TV's "Barney Miller") on stage at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove when Murray Schisgal's latest play, "The Songs of War," has its world premiere there in July? Or either one? "Hirsch and Landesberg are supposed to be reading the script right now," says Tom Bradac, artistic director of the Grove Theatre Company. "But who knows if they're willing?" Playwright Schisgal, who had arrived in Los Angeles from New York last week to work on a movie project for longtime friend Dustin Hoffman, turned up to watch the first cast auditions at the Gem over the weekend.
January 30, 1989 |
A few months ago, Ruth Lerner of Pacific Palisades asked me to recommend 10 works of American fiction for her son, who is sojourning in China. Because he was allowed only 44 pounds of luggage, he took only Chinese-English dictionaries, reference works and guidebooks. He asked his mother to send him one paperback American novel a month--books that he could leave behind. He said he wanted the best in American fiction. There was one caveat: The books must not be highly sexual or political.