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  • Article

    The Shipping News - Jose Avila's furniture designs are out of the box

    You don't need to mow down a Wal-Mart employee or kidnap a teenager and force her into prostitution to make headlines in Phoenix. Just ask Jose Avila, a Valley wiseacre who's made news (not to mention the rounds of network talk shows) thanks to his s...

    by Robrt L. Pela on September 8, 2005
  • Article

    Room for Improvement - Not too funny, not too sad

    I was baffled when Nearly Naked Theatre announced earlier this year that it planned to open its season with Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room. McPherson's dramedy tells a story that, despite some gallows humor and a better-than-competent script, isn't ...

    by Robrt L. Pela on September 8, 2005
  • Article

    Production Numbers - Counting on the new season

    One can only guess at what the new theater season holds. And because speculating about theater, at least in Phoenix, is often more entertaining than actually looking at it, here's a list of facts and likely figures about where we're at and what's to ...

    by Robrt L. Pela on September 8, 2005
  • Article

    Breast of Intentions - Mrs. Milliron has a pair of complaints

    There are two things Amy Milliron wants you to know: First of all, she did not expose herself while breast-feeding her baby in public recently. And secondly, the media have completely invented the part about public outcry against public nursing. Acco...

    by Robrt L. Pela on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    Paper Pusher - The message is the medium

    Cindy Iverson, 43, makes mixed-media collages and artist books, exquisitely crafted ruminations about anxiety, historical injustices and the secrets people keep. But first, Iverson makes her own paper. She collects everything from dead saguaros to ol...

    by Leanne Potts on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    Prints of Pop - Feelin' groovy

    Walking through "Emilio Pucci," the fashion exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum, is like going back in time. The bikinis, gowns and mini-dresses covered in the Italian designer's singular geometric patterns and acid-bright colors are relics of an ag...

    by Leanne Potts on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    Art Scene - Current exhibits, installations, and shows

    "Hector Ruiz: La Realidad (Reality)" at the Heard Museum: Phoenix artist Hector Ruiz fires a shot between the eyes of American values with wood carvings, block prints, and mixed-media assemblages that address racism, border issues and capitalism. A K...

    by Leanne Potts on September 1, 2005
  • Article

    Give Her Liberty - Eleanor Eisenberg dances off into the sunset

    Freethinkers and activists across the Valley have been wringing their hands ever since the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona announced earlier this month that its executive director, Eleanor Eisenberg, will retire. Eisenberg, who is 65 and ha...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 25, 2005
  • Article

    Is It Over Yet? - When trauma does not equal drama

    It will take the average reader about three minutes to read this newspaper column in which I, a person who is paid to share my opinion, will reveal the ways in which Black, White and Read All Over is a play totally lacking in substance and utterly de...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 25, 2005
  • Article

    The Girl Who Wouldn't Grow Up - Judy Rollings spills a bean or two

    Fans are forever hassling Judy Rollings, director of the Herberger Theater Center's Performance Outreach department as well as its Lunch Time Theater program, about when in the world she plans to return to the stage. She's finally caved, with a one-w...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 25, 2005
  • Article

    Out on a Limb - Branching out with the Tree Lady

    Attention, shoppers: You can forget about parking in the shade, at least when you're headed for Metrocenter. Despite Karen Bauernschmidt's best efforts, the west-side mall recently axed more than 300 trees (most of them eucalyptus) growing in its exp...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 18, 2005
  • Article

    Candid Cameras - Mostly meat, with a little cheese

    Art photography doesn't get its due. Because everyone has a camera, most people figure taking art photos is as easy as pointing the lens at something, uh, arty, and pushing the shutter button. We're a bit skeptical of art photographers because we ...

    by Leanne Potts on August 18, 2005
  • Article

    Photo Flop - More Goth than Gothic

    Carlos Batts is a big-deal Los Angeles-based photographer who, since the mid-1990s, has shot models for fashion spreads, rock and rap bands for CD covers, and hot gals for sex magazines. Hustler, NBC and Skechers have all used his work to inject a da...

    by Leanne Potts on August 18, 2005
  • Article

    Art Scene - Current shows, exhibitions and installations

    "Hector Ruiz: La Realidad (Reality)" at the Heard Museum: Phoenix artist Hector Ruiz fires a shot between the eyes of American values with wood carvings, block prints, and mixed-media assemblages that address racism, border issues and capitalism. A K...

    by Leanne Potts on August 18, 2005
  • Article

    Struck Dumb - Strom-y weather

    It's silly, and a little bit sad, the way that Phoenicians crowd around to watch a summer rainstorm. Packed onto front porches, posted at windows, pulled to the side of the road, we ogle rainy weather as if it were an eighth wonder, a heretofore unse...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 11, 2005
  • Article

    No Wonder - White bread, and not in the good way

    Before I tell you why and how very much I hated Theater League's The Wonder Bread Years, allow me to explain that this is a show I was born to love. I am the audience for this nostalgic gander at life as a boomer-era kid, one of those poor saps who's...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 11, 2005
  • Article

    Good Grief - You heard it here

    Plenty of things piss me off. Bad grammar. Ugly architecture. Friends who let their dog hump my leg. Weather. People. But the item at the very top of the list of Things That Make Me Want to Kill Myself With an Ax is a simple phrase, one that ever...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 11, 2005
  • Article

    Pardon Me - It's no fun being an illegal alien

    Late last month, U.S. Immigration Judge John W. Richardson was expected to announce deportation dates for the Wilson Four, the former Wilson Charter High School clique detained in upstate New York while on a 2002 field trip with other classmates. Sma...

    by Robrt L. Pela on August 4, 2005
  • Article

    In 'Toon - Here, the shorts are the feature

    Once upon a time, creating an animated film meant drawing and painting each frame individually. Animation was a painstaking, time-consuming process. A few seconds of Bugs Bunny waggling a carrot required hundreds of drawings; a single feature-length ...

    by Leanne Potts on August 4, 2005
  • Article

    All Mail Revue - Having a wonderful time with mail art

    There's no art show more egalitarian than a mail art show. Just make a drawing or painting or collage or mixed-media piece that can be mailed, and you're in the exhibition. There's no curator, no jury process, no commercial concerns, no snobbery. ...

    by Leanne Potts on August 4, 2005
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