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  • 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
  • Article

    Our Story

    Along with walking around as one of America's most celebrated contemporary playwrights, August Wilson is also one of its most controversial. A winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he is an outspoken critic of multiculturalism in the theater--including col...

    by Joel Beers on November 11, 1999
  • Article

    The Iceworker Cometh - Andres Montoyas poems for the rest of us

    If one were to offer a criticism of academic poetry--poetry written by poetry professors in universities and colleges--it would have to be this: they're usually exquisitely crafted poems about nothing. And the academic poets like it that way. Take U...

    by VICTOR D. INFANTE on November 11, 1999
  • Article

    Pretty Girls - Ellen Rose and Nora Novak rock. Plus, the long-awaited final word on the whole stupid uproar at the Brooklyn Museum

    Photo by Jack GouldEllen Rose and Nora Novak, showing in two different venues at Irvine Valley College, have very different ideas of glamour and beauty. Both are as loopy and riotously fun as an El Vez show, though without the references to the Zapa...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on November 11, 1999
  • Article

    Cold Okie Sex!

    Cal State Fullerton is hawking this production of Oklahoma! as a deconstructed mounting of the trusty old Rodgers and Hammerstein standard. It's a tantalizing concept, for beneath all the crinkly gingham and knotted kerchiefs smolders the sort of se...

    by BROOK STOWE on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    More Grisly Gusto, Please

    This wrong-headed adaptation of Frankensteinby Brian Newell and Martin E. Williams pitches Mary Shelley's philosophical and religious musings into the toilet, trading them for melodramatic shock tactics like rape, hanging, baby killing, severed limb...

    by DAVE BARTON on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    Hurts So Good

    While Schadenfreude, a collection of five short plays written by Todd Kulczyk and Kristina Leach, is uneven, the cumulative effect is impressive. These two young writers focus on relatively simple stories of real-life situations in ways that don't c...

    by Joel Beers on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    When There Were People - In the City recalls a time before Things became God

    Photo by Jack GouldDid you know they used to paint about politics? Yes, they did! They painted people with picket signs being dispersed by cops on horseback, people trudging through snow and the Great Depression, people living their rococo lives in ...

    by REBECCA SCHOENKOPF on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    Y2Carlin - Were all fucked!

    Try to pin down comedy legend George Carlin on his personal politics, and he offers this philosophical nugget: "Everybody's fucked." "I don't have any personal politics; I have beliefs," Carlin said before hitting the road for a tour that stops by...

    by Matt Coker on October 21, 1999
  • Article

    Wandering in Wonderland

    For its first 60 minutes, Wonderland is a play worthy of its title. A compelling story of an architect whose family disintegrates as his work falls apart, the design of Chay Yew's play incorporates powerful issues--minority assimilation, sexuality a...

    by Joel Beers on October 21, 1999
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