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  • Article

    Combat Fatigue

    The beginning moments of local dramatist M. Scott Merrifield's play Desert Air are full of promise. As the Changing Scene's world-premiere production of this Gulf War-era drama begins, the strains of a popular rock song ("Video Killed the Radio Star"...

    by Jim Lillie on June 4, 1998
  • Article

    Mummies Dearest

    On a recent sunny afternoon, Denver Art Museum director Lewis Sharp was standing under the museum's still-controversial entrance canopy on Acoma Plaza. Not that the canopy provides any shade: Though workers began erecting it last fall, it's still not...

    by Michael Paglia on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    A Master's Voice

    Though contemporary theatergoers have long favored the narrowly focused view of dramatists such as Arthur Miller (who's still writing plays that reflect mostly American concerns), a growing number of contemporary directors are gravitating toward old ...

    by Jim Lillie on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Mrs. Wizard

    Like the mid-life crisis that its central character frequently describes but rarely experiences, local dramatist Coleen Hubbard's play A Ritual for Returning has all the makings of a cathartic event but never actually becomes one. But though it has y...

    by Jim Lillie on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Top Ten

    As lower downtown's sidewalks have become crowded with shoppers, tourists and sports fans, the trend among art galleries has been to move out or close up. That's not just the story in LoDo, but on Broadway and throughout the central business district...

    by Michael Paglia on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Hell to Pay

    Love is pain, pain produces suffering, and suffering is the state of being that leads one to God. But not before one has made the straight and narrow trip to hell, where, according to British playwright Ronald Duncan, no one really suffers anymore--i...

    by Jim Lillie on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Bats Out of Hell

    Long before professional baseball became an event played between teams of ill-mannered millionaires, America's pastime served as a metaphor for life's ups and downs. Of course, that's when the contests were regularly attended by white-shirted, fedora...

    by Jim Lillie on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Goodbye, Columbus

    The new exhibit at Denver's Museo de las Americas has an impenetrable title and an equally confusing outlook. 1598, 1848, 1898: Conquest and Consequences is billed as an exploration of the myriad relationships between the United States, Mexico a...

    by Michael Paglia on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Insight Unseen

    In 1963, Robert Redford made his Broadway debut in, of all plays, Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. On the heels of that triumph, the sandy-haired heartthrob launched a successful movie career and used a portion of his Tinseltown megabucks to jump-s...

    by Jim Lillie on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Springer Fever

    Television's mutant family of talk shows has effectively bastardized the theater's long-sacred belief that one person's emotional odyssey is appropriate subject matter for an audience's shared catharsis. But not even Jerry Springer's warped view of t...

    by Jim Lillie on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Abstract Concepts

    Robin Rule, director of the Rule Modern and Contemporary Gallery, is on cloud nine, thanks to the nine abstract paintings that make up the gorgeous Dale Chisman: New Paintings exhibit that just opened at Rule. Not only is this show an aesthetic trium...

    by Michael Paglia on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Remembers Only

    Contemporary dramatists don't typically direct their own plays, mostly because of the notion that at some point, all writers lose a sense of objectivity concerning their own ideas. Lately, though, more playwrights have chosen to direct their own tran...

    by Jim Lillie on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    The Farce Side

    There's no one more qualified to examine the pretensions of theater professionals and their critics than England's greatest living playwright, Tom Stoppard, who began his illustrious career as an itinerant drama reviewer. The surreal sense of humor S...

    by Jim Lillie on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Coming and Going

    There's good news and bad news these days at the Denver Art Museum. We'll start with the good: After years of being on the road or in storage, the DAM's own stash of modern and contemporary art is back on display with the opening of Welcome Back! Sel...

    by Michael Paglia on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Strauss Hunt

    The conducting style of Richard Strauss stood in marked contrast to the flamboyant antics of other twentieth-century maestros. In fact, violinist Yehudi Menuhin once noted, when Strauss took to the podium, there was very little evidence that the grea...

    by Jim Lillie on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    History Lessons

    Near the end of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play A Doll House, Nora is compelled to choose between living with her patronizing husband or leaving him (and her adoring children) in order to pursue an independent life of self-realization. After a gut-wrenching...

    by Jim Lillie on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Patterns That Connect

    Anyone even remotely interested in tracing the course of contemporary art in Colorado over the past few decades will want to take in a pair of marvelous shows that focus on major, established local artists. But move fast--they're closing soon. The Bo...

    by Michael Paglia on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Break a (Third) Leg

    Before you declare once and for all your utter disinterest in the private lives (not to mention the private parts) of public figures, take a gander at British playwright Alan Bennett's intellectual farce, Kafka's Dick. Far more than an underhanded ja...

    by Jim Lillie on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Ballast From the Past

    In the days when radio was king, Americans seemed as united in spirit as at any point in their history. True, much of what was broadcast was merely sweet-sounding, thinly veiled propaganda (FDR's Fireside Chats, for instance, weren't much more than f...

    by Jim Lillie on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    About Face

    There haven't been many negatives this past year for local lovers of photography. The hail of impressive shows began last spring with an exhibit at the Emmanuel Gallery that brought together some of Denver's best talents. Then came a display of photo...

    by Michael Paglia on April 16, 1998
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