My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is being reissued. And OMGoodniz, they are doing it up properly. Bonus tracks, new cover art, a Bruce Conner video to Mea Culpa, and, on the website only, the ability to remix two tracks by downloading the full multitracks (page not up yet). The site also features behind the scenes photos (both Eno and Byrne have perfect hair) and alternative polaroid cover art. Releases April 11.
Over at Datajunkie (which doesn’t have anything to do with technology, but is a blog about pulp novels and old comic books), they’ve unearthed these unpublished pages from datajunkie: a Prisoner comic book adaptation drawn by Jack Kirby! He only got a few pages into it, but it’s good stuff, seeing one iconic program drawn in Kirby’s blocky style. Check out this panorama of the Village. If only Kirby could have gotten the go-ahead. Who knows what his own Prisoner scripts would have been like.
Back in 2000, Headless Household (under a pseudonym) scored my short film “Walk Cycle.” The music (minus sound effects) has finally come out as part of Headless Household’s new release Blur Joan. I just got the album in the mail and it’s their funkiest yet…or ever. And funky is not a word I’d usually use to describe HH. Jeff Kaiser and Jim Connolly appear on the album too, all people who have helped out on the Mills Movie Soundtrack front. Nice.
SUNSHINE IN YOUR CUP
March 15, 2006 12:00 AM
“The Spitfire Grill” was one of many ensemble films to appear in the ’90s that featured a strong cast and a cafè as a nexus of maternal warmth and life-affirmation. Think of “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Baghdad Cafè,” both of which came earlier than Lee David Zlotoff’s 1996 film.
But something in the Alison Elliot and Ellen Burstyn vehicle cried out to creators James Valcq and Fred Alley, and in 2001, “The Spitfire Grill — The Musical” premiered.
The show opened in a post-9/11 America hungry for an extra helping of small-town Americana. Five years later, in its Santa Barbara debut at the Garvin Theater, does Spitfire Grill still offer the same pleasures?
The twists and turns of ‘Deathtrap’
March 8, 2006 12:00 AM
Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap” — the 1978 play and the 1982 film — can be seen as the Yanks’ answer to Anthony Shaffer’s earlier “Sleuth” — the 1970 play then 1972 film.
Both cast Michael Caine in the lead; both attempt to outmaneuver a clever audience wise in the ways of the typical whodunnit. Both reduce their cast to the barest minimum, fill their sets with murderous props and work out their suspense with the precision of a classic watchmaker.
“Deathtrap” remains the longest-running Broadway show in history, and it’s the Virtual Theatre Company’s turn to hope we’ve forgotten the twists and turns by now, as it stages the play through Sunday in Victoria Hall.
The company is a splinter cell of regulars from Circle Bar B Dinner Theater making their foray into the downtown theater scene and taking advantage of larger performing spaces. Victoria Hall remains an odd location for a play, with the large gulf (dance floor? orchestral pit?) between the front row and the stage. It’s also a shallow but wide performing space, which can lead to odd blocking.
Repetitive modern tragedy a difficult farewell for UCSB director
March 7, 2006 12:00 AM
“By the Bog of Cats” will probably go down in UCSB Theater Department history more as the last production from director Judith Olauson than for any merit of the play itself.
With 30 years of directing under her belt, Ms. Olauson has given Santa Barbara audiences some classic productions.
Even in this reviewer’s comparatively short eight years viewing UCSB Theater’s output, Ms. Olauson’s rèsumè contains good memories: her brilliant “A Raisin in the Sun,” the blood-spattered “Elektra” and the most recent “Translations.”
Ms. Olauson caught the Irish playwright bug some years back — she has directed Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney,” Sean O’Casey’s “The Shadow of a Gunman” and J.M. Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World.”
However, playwright Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats” at UCSB’s Hatlen Theatre is by turns inexplicable, interminable and repetitive. During its 21/2-hour running time, there is much time to wonder why Ms. Olauson chose the play.