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The Butler
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In his Dadaist poem Anna Blume, Kurt Schwitters proclaims that the eponymous fraulein is the beloved of his 27 senses. Presumably he experiences her in ways we can only imagine. Sixth Sense, guest-curated by Djon Mundine for the National Art... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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Used to be, in pre-Wikipedia days, that comic books were an easy way to avoid having to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame or The Three Musketeers or other too-long novels for high school essay assignments. Plot lines, character development,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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By their very nature, Biennials present a lot of moving pieces. Usually, they’re of the logistical sort. This year’s Qalandiya International (QI), also known as the Palestinian Biennial, doesn’t just have a lot of moving pieces, it’s also fraught by... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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You might go to someone’s party and check out the host’s book or music collection. If you’re a little more curious, you might see what the hell’s up in their medicine cabinet. I’m talking pills - analgesics, soporifics, psychotropics. Don’t... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” directed by Phyllis B. Gitlin for the Long Beach Playhouse’s Mainstage Theatre, presents a compelling look at the choices an African-American family face at the dawn of the Civil Rights era. Set in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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For this exhibition, Katie Herzog, in conjunction with writer Andrew Choate, has created a series of encaustic diptychs that plays tug of war with words that refer to things and words that in themselves are things. They chose generic Angeleno... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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If you can picture inmates not just temporarily running an asylum but enacting a politically inflammatory play within its walls, directed by no less a personage than the Marquis de Sade, then you can picture – and immensely enjoy -... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
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Clocking in at a tick under 22 minutes, the humorously offbeat That’s Opportunity Knocking, written and directed by Charles Pelletier, asks, What could go wrong in a simple home robbery? The answer is, tons. Acknowledging that everyone, robbers, robbees, an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2016 at What the Butler Saw
The biggest discovery of my first Little League summer was Gatorade. It cost 39 cents at the time and came in that lemon-lime flavor that Jim said looked like owl piss. It tasted better than water and, for the most... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2015 at What the Butler Saw
If I didn’t see it myself I never would have believed that the old biddy had actually gone and done it. For six hours she stood in front of the Ambassador Bar. Six hours! She was dressed for church even... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
It began with a routine. Saturdays always began with a routine. First the breakfast. Huevos Rancheros, with eggs the Egg Lady brought us each Thursday morning from her farm in Chino. Tortillas we bought every other day from a neighbor... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
There is a taco truck called The Moveable Feast next to the 3 Clubs Bar in the heart of Hollywood’s theatre district. It has a green and white striped awning, three picnic tables, and a table of salsas, peppers, sliced... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
My Mom had pancreatic cancer and when that played itself out (there’s no one way or the other here – it was terminal and she had a couple of weeks, at most), I was going to ask her oncologist out... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
Every couple of months – there’s no precise pattern here – a work of art will talk to me. I don’t mean the dialogue you get when you stand in front of a painting for 45 minutes, interrogating it with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
It isn’t the lawyers that worry artist Whoodat Already the most. “They drone like mosquitoes,” he says, “but otherwise they’re harmless. I think of them as white noise generators – they help me get to sleep.” It’s not fellow artists,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
This time the invitation came by telegram. Yes, telegram. I too thought Western Union sent the last one in 2006. But there he was, some Freddie Bartholomew-looking guy with ridiculously correct posture, standing before me in his faux-military uniform: high... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
The invitation came by mail. I thought it was for a wedding. The envelope was 6x4 inches, its paper cream-colored, thick. Both had heft. There was no return address. My name and address were printed with black ink, written in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
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Clocking in at a smidge under 90 spellbinding minutes, Gotta Gittit Done, written by Glen "Frosty" Little, directed by Achille Zavatta for The Bixby Park Community Players, presents a threnody for the passing of the father of two nameless characters... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
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Larger than life. On the plus side, the phrase characterizes the personalities of the two protagonists in Jamrack Holobom's "The Apotheosis of Herman Rodman Guidry," directed by Jackson Timbers and adapted for the stage by Holobom for The Theatre at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2013 at What the Butler Saw
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If you want a nifty little recipe for escapist humor, look no further than The All American Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall’s “Churley’s Angels.” Start with a tantalizing concept (a satire on the iconic “Charlie’s Angels”). Fold it in to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2012 at What the Butler Saw
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“Once Upon a Murder,” written and directed by Paul Vander Roest for Act Out Mystery Theatre at the Reef Restaurant, skewers the residents of our bedtime stories – various princes, evil step-parents, witches, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, even Cinderella –... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2012 at What the Butler Saw
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Generating a rousing Y’all come back now, hear!, “Beverly Hillbilly’s 90210,” written by Valerie Speaks, directed and with additional jokes by Ken Parks for The All American Melodrama Theater and Music Hall, captures the humor to be found in this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2012 at What the Butler Saw
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Most young women dream of sugar plum fairies and knights in shining armor. Not Baby Doll (Lulu Brud) in Tennessee Williams’ eponymous play, directed by Joel Daavid for The Elephant Theatre Company on the occasion of the playwright’s 100th birthday.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2012 at What the Butler Saw
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If the Found Theatre does one thing very well on a regular basis, it presents meaningful stories that totter on the verge of utter and wildly entertaining collapse. It's purposeful, of course. What also collapses is the Fourth Wall between... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2011 at What the Butler Saw
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The Chance Theater’s presentation of “Anne of Green Gables,” a musical based on the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, directed by Casey Long, reminds us that any season, not just this Christmas one, is the season for a compelling story... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2011 at What the Butler Saw