That she was able to make us love Jenkins in spite of her pompous self made this performance all the more worthy of mention. Here's hoping Kaye returns to her old stomping grounds more often.
May also helmed Stray Cat's sterling production of Sarah Kane's difficult 4.48 Psychosis and, at ASU, he worked his magic on Love's Fire, a tricky collection of short plays based on Shakespeare's sonnets. And no one's forgetting May's subtle, colorful comic relief the season before as a lovable doofus in Nearly Naked Theatre's Take Me Out.
Theater fans are eager to witness May's contributions to the just-launched 2007 season, which can only be improved by whatever he brings to the stage.
He's Neil Cohen, a man who isn't afraid to play Solitaire in a giant, rick-racked party dress before hundreds of people. Lucky thing, too, because Cohen might well be the only actor in town who could have brought Rhoda Penmark to such big, bold life. He's certainly the only actor who could possibly upstage former New Times columnist Paul Braun, whose return to the stage after nearly 30 years also involved wearing a frock or two, not to mention a couple of droopy bad seed oops! We mean bird seed! breasts. Did someone say, "A memorable night at the theater?"
For two days, nothing's taboo and people do everything from donning nothing but neon green Speedos to participating in "spanking booths," where burly bear men whip them for the crowd. But it's not just a spectacle; it's a celebration and resource, too, with big-business sponsors and big-hearted nonprofits tempting the crowd.
Wait, there's more. She has a master's in marine biology from Scripps, once wrote comic books for Walt Disney Productions, and created a better scientific computation mousetrap between teaching classes at ASU's Center for Environmental Studies.
Then she decided, "Aw, what the hell! I think I'll sit down for a few hours and write a New York Times bestseller." (Okay, not really. She toiled as a freelancer for 15 years before tackling long form, but we still think she's a smarty-pants.)
Gabaldon's first book-length project was named Outlander, a moody tale about an 18th-century Scotsman and his time-traveling wife, Claire. That book blossomed into five more so far. The Outlander Series, as it's known, is the historical fiction/romance version of Harry Potter, and is idol-worshipped in much the same way by the author's loyal legions. Her latest in the series, Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, was published in 2006 by Bantam Dell. And her latest novel, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade the second entry in her "Lord John Grey" series was published in August by Delacorte Press.
The Flagstaff native lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Douglas. We're hoping he has a robust self-image.
"I tell people it's a love story," Nulick says. "It's about people who get obsessed with other people in ways that are unhealthy, plus there's kind of a riff on schizophrenia in there."
Brande and Meyer write books for young adults. There's another notable local writer who sets her sights a little lower, age-wise at least. Barbara Park created the character Junie B. Jones, a little girl who as in her fictional home and kindergarten/first-grade classrooms inspires both love and dread among her followers.
Thing is, Junie B. is a first-class brat. She's not rotten to the core, she's just a troublemaker and she's got bad grammar (well, the grammar of a kindergartener), which is the real sticking point for a lot of parents and teachers, who have raised such a ruckus about her they made the pages of the New York Times, not long ago.
We're sticklers for proper talk (in fact, we've been known to "fix" Junie's errors as we read them to our own 6-year-old), but we're also here to say that we loooooooove Junie B. Jones. The reason is simple. Our kid loves her. She'll pick Junie B. over TV, for crying out loud. How often does that happen in your house?
So keep up the good work, Barbara Park! (A little bird tells us you're just as mischievous as your character, so maybe you get a kick out of all the controversy.) We hope Junie B. makes it to second grade before our kid does, so we can continue to follow her antics 'til we're ready for Meyer and Brande with some early Judy Blume tossed in for good measure, in between.