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  • Article

    INEPTITUDE TEST

    Unfairly, the word "amateur" is usually a pejorative term. The literal definition is "one who practices any art, study or sport for pleasure and not for money." Unfortunately, "amateur" also can imply a lack of skill or finish, and suc...

    by Marshall W. Mason on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    THE FEY CABALLERO

    Marlon Brando's star turn in 1990's The Freshman was possibly the greatest piece of self-parody in the history of film acting. Sending up his Godfather persona, the actor transcended it--he gave soul, warmth, humor and true innocence to the bleak old...

    by M.V. Moorhead on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    ART DETOUR SNEAKS INTO TOWN

    Art Detour, the yearly open house of downtown Phoenix art studios and galleries, came and went this year without much fanfare. No trolleys to shuttle folks along the circuit of art spaces, no "mystery" galleries (empty downtown storefronts turned int...

    by Bettie Rinehart on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    BLOODY GOOD SHOW

    During the mid-'80s, I heard director Richard Donner interviewed on television. He was plugging his film Lethal Weapon and noting, with a touch of Reagan-era pride, that on this project, he had gone back to the old, discreet conventions of action mov...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 30, 1995
  • Article

    BROMIDE SELTZE

    Cynics beware! Phoenix Theatre has booked a show as irrepressible as an untrained puppy. And like a puppy, this entertainment promises to knock you over and bathe your face with wet kisses, these of homespun wisdom. It will make you giggle with delig...

    by Marshall W. Mason on March 30, 1995
  • Article

    IS THIS STRIP NECESSARY?

    Style matches content in Exotica. The film is set in a strip club, and writer-director Atom Egoyan, a Canadian of Armenian descent, doles out his story as slowly and strategically as a stripper doles out skin. Sadly, having slipped your ...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 30, 1995
  • Article

    POLISHED MONOGAMY

    If it were possible to run Four Weddings and a Funeral, Strictly Ballroom and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert through a blender together, the result would look a lot like the new Australian film Muriel's Wedding. From the first, ther...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 30, 1995
  • Article

    LADY SINGS THE BLAHS

    I was in my early 20s when Billie Holiday became my personal idol. Her heartfelt phrasing of the simplistic truths of Tin Pan Alley captured the ache, the wonder, the joy of my young soul as no one else could. She had died three years be...

    by Marshall W. Mason on March 23, 1995
  • Article

    PRODIGALLY TALENTED SON

    Robert Anderson had just finished his first year of art school at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. "I had won just about everything I entered in the Midwest," he recalls. "My teachers were entering the same art contests, and I was w...

    by Bettie Rinehart on March 23, 1995
  • Article

    YUK, YUK, YUCK

    In 1981, I attended the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where a new writer made a stunning debut with a series of monologues grouped together under the title Talking With. The festival was abuzz. Who wa...

    by Marshall W. Mason on March 23, 1995
  • Article

    BLACK AND BLUE CHIP

    Despite insistence from some commentators that it was worthy of an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, Hoop Dreams failed even to cinch a nod in the Best Documentary category. Veteran Oscar buffs won't be too surprised at this. Again and again, those ...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 23, 1995
  • Article

    CHOCOLATE MUSE

    Set in 1979, Strawberry and Chocolate is a small, idyllic comedy about the political re-education of a young, conservative, staunchly Communist student by a gay, liberal, intellectual artist. It would seem an unlikely film to come out of Cuba, yet it...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 23, 1995
  • Article

    POMP CULTURE

    The considerable charm of the new historical epic Queen Margot is that, when all is said and done, it's really about how a nice, sexy, slightly wild Catholic girl manages to break free of her dysfunctional family. The historical Margot of the ...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 16, 1995
  • Article

    GOING FOR BROGUE

    Brian Friel writes buckets of language that we are invited to smear over our faces as we greedily savor the taste of words, like blueberries plucked from the bush of memory. If this is an obscure image, you will appreciate it more after seeing Dancin...

    by Marshall W. Mason on March 16, 1995
  • Article

    ONE FLU OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST

    Most political thrillers, even the well-made and exciting ones, are cop-outs in the end. Of dozens of titles one could name, from The Manchurian Candidate to The China Syndrome to Capricorn One to The Pelican Brief to Clear and Present Dan...

    by M.V. Moorhead on March 16, 1995
  • Article

    DON'T GO NEAR THE WAITER

    Some theatre historians have attributed the decline of theatre to the diminishing stature of the dramatic hero. Greek tragedies centered on kings and gods, Shakespeare's plays on dukes and princes. By the time O'Neill wrote about actors,...

    by Marshall W. Mason on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    BOMBAST FROM THE PAST

    Grand Canyon University's production of Georg Kaiser's 1918 play Gas I has scored a bull's eye on a virtual blind spot in my experience. Never having seen productions of Capek's R.U.R., Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, or any of the 73 plays...

    by Marshall W. Mason on February 23, 1995
  • Article

    TOO MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

    Samuel Beckett was arguably the most important writer for the theatre of our century. Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969, Beckett wrote three masterpieces for the stage: Waiting for Godot (1952), Endgame (1957) and Krapp's Last ...

    by Marshall W. Mason on February 23, 1995
  • Article

    STAGING A RETRIAL

    What's an O.J. junkie to do? That rascally Judge Ito recessed the Simpson trial for four days, and it looked like a long weekend, indeed, until I found myself at Phoenix Theatre's immensely satisfying production of To Kill a Mockingbird. ...

    by Marshall W. Mason on February 16, 1995
  • Article

    UNIVERSAL TOUR

    Hosanna! Hallelujah! Hooray! The Herberger has a hit! We have been told that by acquiring a major league baseball franchise, Phoenix will become one of America's premier cities. Until now, sunny Phoenix has languished in the shadows of ...

    by Marshall W. Mason on February 9, 1995
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