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1998 Stories by Robrt L. Pela

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  • Insane Clown Pass

    published December 31, 1998

    On the day after Christmas, I found myself at Circus Flora, a spectacle I opted for over yet another Neil Simon comedy at the Herberger. ... More >>

  • Reverb of the Native

    published December 17, 1998

    If there were any real justice in the world, Larry Shue would be considered the greatest comedy writer of the American theater, and Neil Simon... More >>

  • The Return of Nativity

    published December 17, 1998

    The best news about the Christmas pageants playing professional stages this holiday season is that not one of them features a fat guy in a red... More >>

  • One Plays, the Other Doesn't

    published December 10, 1998

    There's no synopsizing Gus Edwards' new play. Four Walls' brief, unformed trio of scenes whizzes by like the trailer for a bad movie--one with no... More >>

  • Frying Chaucer

    published December 3, 1998

    Someone asked me the other day what I want for Christmas, and I didn't have to think very long before replying that I want no one in Arizona--no... More >>

  • Tyrone Power

    published November 19, 1998

    If they'd been written today, the Tyrone clan of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night would be just another dysfunctional family whose... More >>

  • Acting Up

    published November 12, 1998

    These days, the best way to get a laugh in the theater is to hum the theme song from Laverne and Shirley. But references to my favorite sitcoms... More >>

  • Street Smarts

    published October 29, 1998

    A pair of plays that hovers tantalizingly between success and failure caught my attention this past weekend. Both of them are commentaries on... More >>

  • The Tango Lesson

    published October 29, 1998

    Thanks to the success of shows like Riverdance and Stomp, dance programs with vaguely cultural themes have formed a kick line across the country.... More >>

  • The Muzak Man

    published October 22, 1998

    I figured I wouldn't like Barry Williams. I expected that if I didn't find him personally repellent, I'd at least hate his performance in The... More >>

  • Private Parts

    published October 22, 1998

    Although psychologist Mel Roman took down his shingle more than 10 years ago to concentrate on his visual art career, he's still manipulating... More >>

  • History Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard

    published October 15, 1998

    There are worse things to do than sit through a boring history lesson--like attending a dismal comedy trying to pass itself off as a history... More >>

  • West Side Glory

    published September 24, 1998

    The first weekend of the theater season looked like show business as usual. Phoenix Theatre was kicking off its 78th year with another... More >>

  • Trophy Life

    published September 10, 1998

    I once interviewed a film actress who was attempting a comeback with her own television show. "I always tell people that I do this for the art,... More >>

  • Beetlemania

    published September 10, 1998

    John O'Neal knows that the road from political activism to the stage of the Kennedy Center is a long one. O'Neal is artistic director of Junebug... More >>

  • Tales of Tiara

    published July 30, 1998

    Pageant is not a drag show. Although its leads are all women played by men in wigs and dresses, this kitschy comedy isn't aimed at gay audiences... More >>

  • Good Shakespeare Hunting

    published July 23, 1998

    I was one of those guys holding his head and groaning when, in the early Eighties, Ted Turner and his pals began colorizing classic films. I hated... More >>

  • No Flash in the Pan

    published July 23, 1998

    The ads proclaim that Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan, but of course that's not entirely true. Peter Pan was a lot of things, but he was never an Olympic... More >>

  • Playwrights of the Western World

    published July 16, 1998

    Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame formula does not apply to undiscovered playwrights. They get only seven minutes, if they're lucky, rarely get... More >>

  • Stomp and Circumstance

    published July 2, 1998

    An indefinable tribute to all things rhythmic, Stomp has officially made the transition from hip happening to pop-culture reference. Though it... More >>

  • Tempting Fete

    published June 25, 1998

    Say what you will about the state of theater in Phoenix; at least our mask and wig clubs know their limitations. I've seen smallish Los Angeles... More >>

  • She Is Woman, Hear Me Snore

    published June 18, 1998

    In Hollywood, sequels are compulsory. Live theater, unlike Tinseltown, tends to be more selective about revisiting its characters and stories.... More >>

  • Shtick Shift

    published June 11, 1998

    If it isn't surprising that this theater season began and ended with Neil Simon plays, it's at least comforting that both of them--if not the... More >>

  • Dazzled and Confused

    published June 4, 1998

    Would that every local theater company could afford nine-month rehearsal periods for each of its shows. Then maybe every production would be as... More >>

  • Good Head

    published May 28, 1998

    There's a curse on Christopher Wynn's new play. Four of the show's seven cast members suffered physical injuries during rehearsal; one of the... More >>

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