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  • Article

    Turn out the Lights - This is the end, my friend

    I'm still waiting for proof that the rebellious spirit of rock can be translated into commercial musical theater. Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, Tommy, et al. either watered down the source material or offered tepid rock-tinged scores. On the other...

    by Joel Beers on June 15, 2000
  • Article

    Love Stinks, or Am I Just Smelling This Play?

    Sometimes I encounter a show in which my reaction is so opposite to that of the loud guy sitting next to me--the guy saying, "This is the greatest" and humming every time scene-change music is played --that I think, "Maybe I'm not really watching a ...

    by MICHAEL M. MILLER on June 8, 2000
  • Article


    Photo by Johan VogelLet's say Gary Christensen and Pat Terry couldn't abide a Faustian bargain. For 13 years, the couple ran Artistic Repertory Theatre (ART), one of the best theaters in Orange County, producing plays from Albee to O'Neill. Last y...

    by Joel Beers on June 8, 2000
  • Article

    Jesus and Cruella DeVil

    Maybe it was Jesus who first popularized the ridiculous notion that the poor and oppressed are better than everybody else. From that nauseating sentiment stem contemporary fables in which poverty breeds an innate sense of nobility, fostering individ...

    by Joel Beers on June 8, 2000
  • Article

    The Shock of the Bourgeois - Paintings about women who shop!

    Photo by Jack GouldI've softened on the work of Sally Storch. Her retro '50s urban landscapes in Diane Nelson Fine Art's "Second Annual Women's Exhibition" are so bourgeois they should come framed in boxes from St. John Knits. Perhaps it's the rep...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on June 8, 2000
  • Article

    Emotional Hurdles - Gay track coach goes the distance in Trailblazing

    Any out gay man or lesbian surely knows that coming out into any context or community is never an easy experience. But some spaces are definitely harder to come out in than others. Orange County, notorious for its conservatism, would have to fall in...

    by ALISTAIR MCCARTNEY on June 8, 2000
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    Your Stuff is art! - Fullerton Museum Center gets inside your drawers

    I don't often descend from the mountain and hand down stone tablets. But this week I'm making an exception. It's for your own good. You will go to the Fullerton Museum Center and see "Material World." And you will blab about it all week to anyone wh...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on June 1, 2000
  • Article

    Midgets Still Curse Him - On the many lessons in Randy Newmans education

    The ads for The Education of Randy Newman give me the willies. "Everyman's life in song!" "A musical biography that bears an amazing resemblance to the life of one of America's most exciting composers." "See the USA through the music of Randy ...

    by JIM WASHBURN on June 1, 2000
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    Midsummer Nights - And how come nobody ever calls us impishly cute?

    Lots of weird, existentialist, spoofy, disastrous, funny, deep, meaningful, stupid, overblown, overrated, excellent, outrageous, exciting, can't-wait-to-see-it, what-the-fuck-were-they-thinking-producing-this stuff on tap for what is shaping up as a...

    by Joel Beers on June 1, 2000
  • Article

    Happy Talk - William Wegman, his dogs and his talking belly

    There's a reason most "happy art" is pissed on by critics. Not only does it tend toward the insipid, but also it can be positively reactionary, a nostalgia wank-off for a pristine time that never was. Don't believe me? Go to any mall in America and ...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on May 25, 2000
  • Article

    The Anti-Road-Trip Play

    Our daily lives consist of moving from here to there and back again day after day after day. Our greatest literary works are about great journeys (Beowulf, The Odyssey, Cannonball Run). In contrast, the two central characters in Samuel Beckett's 195...

    by Joel Beers on May 25, 2000
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    Triumphant Triumph

    I buy Thelonius Monk's philosophy--that "only cats worth anything are cats who take chances"--in theater and life. So bravo, Cal State Fullerton, for tackling this rather difficult project: a musical version of Triumph of Love, Marivaux's classic Fr...

    by JOSEPH SIROTA on May 25, 2000
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    Defying Logic

    Any play in which a Lifesaver candy symbolizes a "life saver" (get it!?) and Impressionist Claude Monet explains how he paints earthscapes in zero gravity from inside a space shuttle has more problems than any cast could fix. But in Defying Gravity,...

    by RICH BUTCHKO on May 25, 2000
  • Article

    Necessary Animals? - The Kentucky Cycle kicks much theatrical butt

    Somewhere in the Cumberland Gap region of eastern Kentucky lies a piece of land. On that land, sons kill fathers and betray mothers; fathers banish sons; grown men snap young boys' necks; brothers sell brothers into slavery; women plot against abusi...

    by Joel Beers on May 18, 2000
  • Article

    Somewhere On the Central Coast of Baja

    I will not start this story at the beginning, with the water packing, endless map checking and irritations festering among all participants about the details of a journey deeper into Baja California than most want even to consider. I won't start wit...

    by TODD MATHEWS on May 11, 2000
  • Article

    Searching for Swallows

    There's an airport in Goya, but my girlfriend, Sylvia, and I are on a backpacker's budget, so we leave shimmering Buenos Aires by night bus; the moon, constellations and our bus lights light the arid Pampas flatscape. White road posts rise up like g...

    by CHRISTOPHER COTTRELL on May 11, 2000
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    Somewhere Off Highway 60 in Arizona

    Three months and nearly 7,000 miles bring me to the end of a cross-country trip from Fullerton to Maine to New Orleans and back again. It's late November, and most people are where they're supposed to be: with families or friends like gators, trypto...

    by Joel Beers on May 11, 2000
  • Article

    Death in Bali

    I wiped rivers of sweat from my face and smoothed back my damp hair. Squinting through the eye-watering smoke and commotion, I couldn't figure out which was hotter: the searing Indonesian sun or the towering flames erupting from a ceremonial fire in...

    by CHRISTINE GAMBLE on May 11, 2000
  • Article

    Nothin But Churches

    If you take Harrison out past the edge of town--north, I think; I'm pretty sure it's north--past the factories on the right, you will find Harold's Club. Harold's is scary. Harold's is mean. Harold's is the kind of place where if you don't want to g...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on May 11, 2000
  • Article

    The Blues Ghosts of Mississippi

    Robert Johnson's slow, crackly version of "Crossroads" is blaring at my friend Ken and me through the medium of a cheap, tinny-sounding Walkman as our rental car hurtles up Highway 61, past the same dusty Mississippi Delta farm country the renowned ...

    by Rich Kane on May 11, 2000
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