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Erik ReeL - Arts and Culture Contributing Editor at Large

image003Born in Seattle, U.S.A. in 1952. Attended Whitman College, majoring in mathematics; the University of Washington in mathematics, art history and studio art; University of California, Berkeley. Studied art history with Rainer Crone, painting with Jacob Lawrence and Michael Spafford, sumi-e with George Tsutakawa, Chinese brush with Hsai Chen. Wrote on art for Vanguard, ArtExpress, High Performance, ArtWeek, Bellevue Journal-American, Seattle Voice. Seattle Arts Commission Special Task Force for media, and Special Task Force for educational Institutions in the late 70s. Taught art history, color theory, life painting, and design at Seattle Central Community College for 5 years before leaving Seattle in 1984. Current studio is in Ventura, California, north of Los Angeles.
Website URL: http://erikreel.com/
directing hamlet 2Review-
First, let us hear it for doing new theatre, new scripts, producing local playwrights’ new plays, or more courageously yet, workshopping new plays. Plays do not bloom, full-grown, out of the head of Zeus. As they say in Silicon Valley, if you are not doing something new, you have no future.
 
 
 
 
TAKING SIDES 2Review-
Rubicon Theatre in Ventura’s downtown cultural district is doing Sir Ronald Harwood’s Taking Sides through 12 November 2017. Harwood did The Pianist and has repeatedly shown interest in World War II-related moral dilemmas. Taking Sides fits right in. It’s basically a military tribunal “trial” by the American occupation command in Berlin of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the great German conductor who stayed in Nazi Germany throughout the Nazi era and World War II.
 
 
 
 
Patrick Vest as Major Arnold, Tara Donovan as Emmi Straube and Peter Van Norden as German composer Wilhelm Furtwängler in Taking Sides by Academy Award-Winner Sir Ronald Harwood and directed by Ovation Award-winner Stephanie Coltrin.
Photo Credit: Josh and Veronica Slavin
 
 
 
 
Chagall LACMA1
BEYOND THE 805
 
Art, Theatre, and Costume Design
Chagall at LACMA
 
The exhibition Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art [LACMA] on view until 7 January 2018 is a special kind of exhibition. It deals with Chagall’s involvement with specific dance performances during his mature years when he was at the height of his powers drawing from long-held connections to music, stage, and dance. Due to the difficulty of exhibiting this type of material, it is probably, unfortunately, a once-in-a-lifetime experience and may never be repeated.
 
 
 
Installation view, Marc Chagall designed costume for the Magic Flute opera, Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through 7 January 2018, copyright 2017 Artists Rights Society [ARS] New York / ADAGP Paris. photo: Copyright Fredrik Nilsen.
 
 
 
 
 
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Theatre
Preview
Flying H Does Blackbird
Ventura is getting a special treat: Two of the 805’s best acting talents, Jessi May Stevenson and Taylor Kasch, are teaming up to do David Harrower’s Blackbird, one of the most remarkable plays written in decades.
 
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Dance
Anaїs by Mixed eMotion Theatrix
9 September 2017 -- The greatest strengths of Anaїsa Dance Opera,  other than the conception and timing of doing this work at this time to begin with, is, first, the work of both the lead dancer, Kate Coleman, and the voice, Holly Sedillos, at its center.  Second, the choice of doing it with a minimal set backed by a projection scrim and using live and recorded sound, in short, a multi-media piece.
 
 
 
Incognito 3
Theatre
Review
 
Incognito
Rubicon theatre presents a fabulous West Coast premiere of Nick Payne’s Incognito.  Runnng 90 minutes without intermission, the play was originally commissioned and performed by Nabokov and Live Theatre, in Newcastle, UK in 2014 and opened in the US 3 May, 2016 at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
 
Beckys New Car WEB SIZE 3 of 10
Theatre
Review
 
 
Becky’s New Car
The Santa Paula Theatre Company is currently offering a delightful production of Steven Dietz’s Becky’s New Car, an easy-going farce written for a tight ensemble.
 
The play is set in summer “in a town very much like Seattle …” and is about a fairly normal middle-class woman, Becky, in a conventional ho-hum marriage. Becky works in an auto dealership while her husband, Joe, runs a roofing business.  One day a somewhat disconnected, eccentric billionaire, Walter Flood, enters her office and through a misunderstanding offers Becky the possibility of a somewhat parallel existence.
 
 
 
 
(l)Scott Blanchard, Cynthia Killion, and Ronald Rezac in Steven Dietz' hilarious comedy BECKY'S NEW CAR playing through October 1 at the Santa Paula Theater Center. 
KimPrendergast Truvy andsittingPeggy Steketee Clairee
Theatre
Review
 
Steel Magnolias at the Elite
The play, Steel Magnolias has been a favorite of both professional and community theatre audiences for almost three decades, enjoying somewhat of a rebirth across the country since its revival with a Broadway debut in 2005.
 
 
Kim Prendergast as Truvy and Peggy Steketee as ClaireeElite Theater Co Oxnard, CA
 
PR 08
 
Theatre
Review
 
Santa Paula Theatre Center is featuring Conor McPherson’s The Birds through July 30th. For those Flying H Theatre fans out there, this is going to look like an old reunion, as most of the principles were also involved with the sadly defunct Flying H Group, now getting together for another round with this fabulous production of McPherson’s play.
 
 
The attacks contine as Diane (Kathleen Bosworth ) and Tierney (Allan Noel) struggle to survive in Conor McPherson's apocalyptic thriller THE BIRDS live on stage from June 23 - July 30 at the Santa Paula Theater Center, Santa Paula, CA.
Photo Credit: Brian Stethem Photography
wwwy 0011
Theatre
Review
The play When We Were Young and Unafraid is sort of a local legend. Originally a smaller project workshopped in Ojai, it was eventually produced off-Broadway in 2014. Its author, Sarah Treem has gone on to do television, including writing for Game of Throne, I believe. The play itself is a well-structured, tightly written play set in 1972 about women's issues, featuring four strong women's parts and a token male role. Though set in the 70s it is more relevant today than ever.
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