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  • Article

    HAIL FELLOW

    At the university, Polonius boasts in Hamlet, he once was accounted a good actor. Hamlet cannot resist asking: "What did you enact?" Polonius brags: "I did enact Julius Caesar. I was killed in the Capitol; Brutus killed me." Hamlet teases him...

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

    SWINGIN' IN THE REIGN

    When art depicts the pornographic, does it cease to be art? If pornography achieves artistic expression, does it cease to be pornography? What about W.H. Auden's rapturous paeans to buggery, or D.H. Lawrence's celebration of coitus, or that bawd...

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

    REVEL WITHOUT A GAUZE

    A Midsummer Night's Dream is arguably Shakespeare's most exquisitely wrought piece of dramatic construction. Three tales intermingle to weave a magical web of three comic styles. Sophisticated romantic comedy featuring witty ripostes is the m...

    by Marshall W. Mason on January 19, 1995
  • Article

    PRINCE CHARMIN

    The Immortals can rest easy. Richard Burbage, David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Sir Henry Irving, the divine Sarah Bernhardt, John Barrymore, Sir John Gielgud, Lord Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Sir Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, Nicol Wil...

    by Marshall W. Mason on January 19, 1995
  • Article

    CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE ABSURD KIND

    It seemed absurd a few months ago to read the obituaries of Eugene Ionesco. Hadn't he been dead for years? Was this a variation on the old joke about Franco? Overshadowed by the genius of Samuel Beckett, Ionesco's plays have seemed like li...

    by Marshall W. Mason on January 12, 1995
  • Article

    CROWD WHEEZER

    A friend of mine once made the mistake of performing a scene from a Neil Simon play in an acting class. "Stop!" the teacher cried, clutching his head. His objection was not to the acting (although hindsight says it was probably bad). Rather, the t...

    by Bryony Renner on January 12, 1995
  • Article

    THE SORROW AND THE PRETTY

    Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre is an alternative theatre that features experimental work. Experimental work implies that the outcome of the procedure is unknown. Any true experiment poses the possibility of failure. It is therefor...

    by Marshall W. Mason on January 12, 1995
  • Article

    DRECK THE HALLS

    Since I played Scrooge in the eighth grade, I have avoided all Christmas plays as a matter of principle. But this year, as a result of my new obligations, I was forced to spend a week surveying the local offerings of the holiday season. I hav...

    by Marshall W. Mason on December 15, 1994
  • Article

    THE WILDER, WILDER WORST

    "There is so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst, that it doesn't seem right to criticize." Thornton Wilder thus quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson in his one-act play Pullman Car Hiawatha, the most substantial in an evening of ...

    by Marshall W. Mason on December 8, 1994
  • Article

    DADA'S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG

    The term "neo-Dada" was used in a very negative sense by art critics, and only for a short time at that. Hence, it's somewhat surprising that Susan Hapgood has pressed it into service as the title of the exhibition she has curated at Scottsdale Ce...

    by Kathleen Vanesian on November 24, 1994
  • Article

    THE LION KING

    "Family values" have been ballyhooed by politicians so mindlessly that it may come as a shock to take a good, hard look at a nuclear family from the Dark Ages. Phoenix Theatre affords us this chance with its production of James Goldman's The ...

    by Marshall W. Mason on November 24, 1994
  • Article

    MONKEE SEE, MONKEE REDUXNO LONGER THE YOUNG GENERATION, ROCK'S PREFAB FOUR'S STILL GOT SOMETHING TO SAY

    Let's think back to the summer of 1986, when it was only 20 years ago to the day that the Monkees first said, "Hey, hey!" Concertgoers at the Jones Beach Theater in New York were doing their customary hanging out in the parking lot before the...

    by Serene Dominic on November 24, 1994
  • Article

    ROOFLESS PEOPLE

    Putting features on the faceless hordes of homeless that roam the streets and back alleys of urban America is the goal of Galeria Mesa's juried exhibition "Going Home-less." The show successfully dredges up some real humanity, with some very ...

    by Kathleen Vanesian on October 27, 1994
  • Article

    POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE

    The theatre as an art form seems to be receding from relevance to our lives. With the exception of Tony Kushner's epic Angels in America, plays about contemporary problems have yielded to film as the art form of preference in our contemporary...

    by Marshall W. Mason on October 27, 1994
  • Article

    BLACK LIKE SHE

    The October 10 cover of Time magazine boldly proclaims the advent of a black renaissance here in America. The cover declares that "African-American artists are truly free at last"--at least in an aesthetic sense. But photographer Ren?e Cox,...

    by Kathleen Vanesian on October 20, 1994
  • Article

    TWIN, PACE AND SHOW

    Presumed by many to be Shakespeare's first play, The Comedy of Errors is a terrible comedy. Based on an ancient Roman farce written by Plautus 1,800 years or so before Shakespeare, the plot is so mechanical and the exposition so cumbersome, i...

    by Marshall W. Mason on October 20, 1994
  • Article

    SIS AND VINEGAR

    An injudicious case of grand larceny is taking place at Dial Corporate Center's Playhouse on the Park in downtown Phoenix. It might be termed "Crimes of the Art." The occasion is Phoenix Theatre's production of Beth Henley's 1981 Pulit...

    by Marshall W. Mason on October 20, 1994
  • Article

    FREEZE FRAME

    When audiences went to Peter Greenaway's 1989 film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, expecting to see a sexy comedy in a restaurant, they were perhaps among the most unprepared audiences in film history. Rather than a knockabout farce, Gr...

    by Robert Koeler on October 13, 1994
  • Article

    STACKING THE DECADENT

    Stacking the Decadent The Academy Award-winning movie Cabaret is available at your local video store (even supermarket), with career-defining performances by Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli and Michael York. So why not snuggle up with some microwave popco...

    by Marshall W. Mason on September 29, 1994
  • Article

    PRAYER BOOK

    If overheated histrionics is your bag, Dingo Troupe's production of A Prayer for My Daughter delivers a fix to satisfy the most insatiable melodrama junkie. The first play by Thomas Babe, a protege of the late Public Theater impresario...

    by Marshall W. Mason on September 29, 1994
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