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/
14311201 10157585815625106 4669417627403798844 oReview-
The Santa Paula Theatre Center is currently showing an outstanding production of The Night Alive, a wonderfully written, recent [2013] play by Conor McPherson, undoubtedly one of the best playwrights of our time.  This is an excellent production of a great play, by one of our greatest playwrights. Don’t miss it.
 
 
 
 (l) Cecil Sutton and (r)Ron Feltner in Conor McPherson’s The Night Aliveat the Santa Paula Theater Center, downtown Santa Paula, through 2 October, 2016. 
 
Hear No Evil Anna Strickland Derek Petropolis Shelby Maloney James JamesReview-
Flying H Theatre company brings us Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s The Totalitarians,  a dark and a bit daffy comedy about a political campaign gone awry, just in time for the current political season. 
 
The sad thing is that it may be the last play produced by the Flying H Theatre, which announced that it would be closing its doors after The Totalitarians runs.  This is a serious loss for theatre in the 805 as there is no other theatre here like it.

Nancy Solomons Kelley Rohrborn Angela DeCicco Jolyn Johnson Sindy McKay in OPEN MEETING CLOSED Last weekend to see this
Review-
The Elite Theatre Company’s Tom Eubanks has wisely brought fellow playwright, Michael Perlmutter’s new play Open Meeting Closed to their South Stage for what is turning out to be a banner year for the Elite’s South Stage.  Perlmutter also directs.
 
Perlmutter has been quite active acting in the local theatre scene this year as well with appearances at the Santa Paula Theater, Flying H, and Ojai, but this play makes clear that Perlmutter is, after all, a fine writer and playwright.
 

 

Museum of Ventura County

Tiger Huang, a long-time artist of considerable standing in the Ventura arts community presented a very special and significant installation piece at the Museum of Ventura County in conjunction with its “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” this last weekend [18-19 June].   It was a beautiful installation, including a well-done, mesmerizing sound-scape.

Trouble is, and this is just the beginning of the trouble, Tiger’s name and the piece itself are not  mentioned anywhere in the Museum’s website or write-up of the exhibition. This is not to mention that though it was a major piece, and certainly time-consuming to produce and install, it was only up for 48 hours.  The piece is one of the most significant installation pieces any artist has ever done in Ventura, yet,  by the time Thursday rolls around, as far as the Museum goes, it might as well not have existed at all.


Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin at LACMA
 
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is hosting a not-to-miss exhibition through 11 September 2016 surveying the painting of one of the late 20th century’s best artists, Agnes Martin [1912-2004]. Martin is one of those painters you have to see live; no reproduction can mimic the experience of seeing the work in person.
 

Julie Granata and Paige Lindsey WhiteReview-
Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels delivers at The Ensemble Theatre
 
A hilariously witty script, superb cast, first-rate production and direction, who could ask for more? A reviewer of its 1925 premier complained that the only thing wrong with Fallen Angels is the final curtain. Ditto for the Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara’s current production of the Noël Coward classic.

 

 


Luisa Katy Jarvis and Matt Parker Harrisare truly fantastick in their rolesReview-
The Fantasticks at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse
 
Because of its allegorical nature and the relative abstraction of its set The Fantasticks, the longest running musical in history, permits a huge range of production possibilities, so it is fun to see what the next production will come up with. Michael McGraw has now brought his version of the classic to the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse, running through 10 July 2016.
 
 
Katy Jarvis and Parker Harris
taylor kasch
Editorial
People have asked about our policy or criteria for reviewing theatre at Society805.com. I’d like to take a moment to talk about what I am trying to do here at the Society805.com arts and theatre department.

Pillowman 80Review-
Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman is considered by some to be one of the most provocative plays written in the last quarter century.  Credited as being the supreme example of what almost is its own genre, Horror Comedy, the play is multi-dimensional, thought-provoking, intense, and open to a wide range of interpretation. By all counts it is quite dark; but very funny, even in a non-dark sort of way. 
 

 

 Kathleen Bosworth, Michael Beck, Cynthia Killion

Cast Buddy Wilds Noah Terry Anna Kotula Photo by Tom MooreReview-
David Hare’s Skylight is an excellent play, one of the best plays written in the last 50 years. Sharply written, multi-layered, beautifully constructed, engaging, and timely, it is a good-humored, entertaining, highly-charged emotional rollercoaster ride of a play. 
 
Director Steve Grumette does us a great favor bringing it to the 805 and giving us a well-crafted professional production with scintillating acting from Anna Kotula as Kyra Hollis and Noah Terry as Edward Sargeant, with an admirable debut from Buddy Wilds as the son, Tom Sargeant.
 
The other good news is that the Ojai Art Center Theatre has lowered its ticket prices for this season.
 

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