Were Big in Aimes, Iowa!

Copenhagen comes to Laguna before going national, Ayn Rand comes to Long Beach, and Captain Nemos a freakin terrorist

In Chambers' mind, the play is about one man whose paranoia illustrates our universal susceptibility to "delusions and obsessions and our ability to create them on the flimsiest of circumstances when our vanities and our needs collide with one another."

It's a treat for local theatergoers to get a director of Chambers' talent and reputation, and it's particularly cool since Chambers is currently immersed in an enormous artistic undertaking: an opera about Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. That will be performed in St. Petersburg in 2003 as part of that city's 300th anniversary.

Finally, speaking of St. Petersburg (and, really, who ever misses the chance to speak of lovely Leningrad?): a play by another of that burg's most famous products, Ayn Rand, opens Saturday at the Long Beach Playhouse, The Night of January 16th. The courtroom drama was a modest hit on Broadway in 1935, primarily because of its gimmick: audience members are selected as the jury, and it's up to them to decide guilt at play's end. Much more compelling than some stale courtroom drama, filled no doubt with stale Objectivist philosophy, is the surprising Orange County connection to Rand we uncovered whilst researching the play. According to the Irvine World News, Woodbridge High School in Irvine produced the same play last month. Turns out the student who played the judge, Kira Peikoff, is the daughter of Leonard Peikoff, a retired philosophy professor who knew Rand for 30 years and who was the subject of Ned Madden's 1997 OC Weekly cover story "Selling Selfishness: Leonard Peikoff keeps Ayn Rand alive."

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