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  • Article

    Running on Empty

    Donald barthelme once wrote, "Art is not difficult because it wishes to be difficult, but because it wishes to be art." In Six Degrees of Separation, John Guare says something similar about our lives: they're not chaotic and occasionally empty becau...

    by BROOK STOWE on December 16, 1999
  • Article

    Dingle Belle

    Christmas is a time for excess: big presents, big trees, overblown commercialism. So what better Yuletide play than a really over-the-top farce about Santa getting a giant SmackDown from a world-class villainess? It's not necessarily fare for tots...

    by Stacy Davies on December 16, 1999
  • Article

    Downright Hiddy! - The "new" HBAC aint likely to piss off the bluehairs, but the rest of us? Sheesh!

    Photo by Jack GouldIf it weren't for my cherished biases, I'd be a lonely woman indeed. Lucky for me there is Huntington Beach Cultural Services overlord Mike Mudd. Ever since Mudd orchestrated last year's bloodless coup, toppling the Huntington Bea...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on December 16, 1999
  • Article

    Everybody Must Get Stoned - Especially if you watch theater during December

    T.S. Eliot may have had a soft spot for April, but in terms of theater, there is no crueler month than December. Shows about Christmas, shows set during Christmas, and shows that salute--and occasionally even desecrate--the season dominate theater p...

    by BROOK STOWE on December 9, 1999
  • Article

    Byrning Down the House of Cards - David Byrnes look at advertising looking at us

    A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the average American kid between 8 and 18 spends six hours and 43 minutes per day "consuming media." I'm not going to touch the word "consuming" here, but I do want to break down what the good K...

    by CORNEL BONCA on December 9, 1999
  • Article

    Nothing Shocking - French Connection is all about the pretty

    Photo by Jack GouldThere are big, ambitious shows with all the neon and hoopla of the Luxor or the MGM Grand. And then there are homey shows, sweet shows, student shows. They're not without their own ambitions, but they're properly modest. You don't...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on December 9, 1999
  • Article

    A Thing of Beauty - Random Women says something attractive about ugliness

    It's not often that Jennifer Love Hewitt, JonBenet Ramsey and the Virgin Mary occupy the same spot in a relatively sane person's mind. But that trinity was on this person's mind after watching the immensely enjoyable second act of Carolyn Carpenter'...

    by Joel Beers on December 2, 1999
  • Article

    Only the End of the World, Again - Philosophizing cockroaches explain it all for you

    Illustration by Bob AulOne gray morning in October, the front page of the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Senate had snubbed the Nuclear Weapons Test Ban Treaty while lamenting a military coup in Pakistan that put that country's nuclear ars...

    by VICTOR D. INFANTE on December 2, 1999
  • Article

    The Sacred and the Dead - Plus: Zapata, Zapata, Zapata!

    Photo by Jack Gould"Visual Voices of Mexico," sprawling leisurely through 10,000 square feet of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), is as tender and terrifying to your average gringo (let alone the average loony right-winger, who would flee as...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on December 2, 1999
  • Article

    Sell or Die

    Naotake Fukushima is a young man with a problem. Dumped upon the alien shores of 1958 Long Beach with a boatload of minitrucks and a stern edict from his Tokyo superiors to sell or die trying, Naotake (Greg Watanabe) does what any enterprising young...

    by BROOK STOWE on November 25, 1999
  • Article

    Its Doom Alone That Counts

    If phenomenal acceleration: A Vaudeville for the End of the Century were a college course, it might read this way in the course catalog: "The effect of impending catastrophe on the individual." And it would almost certainly come under the heading Ab...

    by Joel Beers on November 25, 1999
  • Article

    A Sweet Little Life of Jesus

    Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi opened Friday at the Empire Theatre with two Santa Ana cops and a TV news crew outside, a metal detector inside the theater's diminutive lobby, and a perfect absence of angry fundamentalist protesters. The play itse...

    by WILL SWAIM on November 25, 1999
  • Article

    Nice Rack - Buxom maids abound at the Society of Illustrators

    photo by Jack GouldThe New York-based Society of Illustrators is an exclusive club, the kind to which even Groucho Marx would have wanted to belong. Their luncheons are divine, and the surroundings are hushed. And, like any good club, there's a st...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on November 25, 1999
  • Article

    The Devils Are Here

    Thanks to Cal State Fullerton's bracing Southern California premiere of Deviant Craft, you at last have the chance to be greeted at a theater by a mute, hermaphroditic biochemist with a shaved head who's offering you a piece of a molecular structure...

    by BROOK STOWE on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Our Really Stupid Century

    Well, of course Steve Martin wrote a funny play. What'd you expect? The guy was a brilliant comedian and is a damn fine writer. So it's no surprise that Picasso at the Lapin Agile, his 1993 play receiving its Orange County premiere at the Laguna Pla...

    by Joel Beers on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    The Hysterical Jesus - Gay activists are ready for a fight over a Santa Ana production of Terrence McNallys worst play ever

    All he wanted was to direct a play. A play that brought tears to his eyes. A play that struck at his soul and stuck in his heart. A play never produced in California. A play called Corpus Christi that was written by Terrence McNally, one of the high...

    by Joel Beers on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Punk Junkies - How to be part of the Zeitgeist without being onto it

    Reading Jumping the Green, LA resident Leslie Schwartz's debut novel, I kept flashing on those strange days in April 1994 after Kurt Cobain killed himself. Thousands of young people gathered in Seattle and other cities to memorialize him, and the ca...

    by CORNEL BONCA on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Nice Wheels! - Tibetan mandalas are as nice as Fullerton itself

    Photo by Jack GouldI just can't seem to lay off the long-gone Huntington Beach Art Center (HBAC). I'm sorry, but with its demise (Huntington Beach cultural services director Mike Mudd toppled the leadership of the nationally recognized center, its s...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Theater Critics Are Hacks

    If you've ever seen any of the Tom Stoppard word orgies he calls plays, you know he's positively in love with language. The smartest, most erudite playwright working in the medium today, he's the theatrical equivalent of the school geek who's always...

    by Dave Barton on November 11, 1999
  • Article

    Three in the Back, Too Clever by Half

    In Three in the Back, Two in the Head, Canadian playwright Jason Sherman visualizes world peace, and it ain't John Lennon's kind. Sherman's bleak vision is of the old USA/USSR "mutual assured destruction" variety, but with a twist: it's not just abo...

    by BROOK STOWE on November 11, 1999
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