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/
4000MILES PRESS 5Review-
Santa Paula Theatre Center continues an interesting season of strong dramas with Amy Herzog's Pulitzer-Prize-nominated comedy, 4000 Miles.  Set in the East Village New York City apartment of a 91-year-old partisan widow, Vera, the play opens as her 21-year-old grandson, Leo, appears at three in the morning at the end of a tragic 4000 mile cross-country bike ride.
 
Marilyn Lazik and Parker Harris star in the Pulitzer Prize nominated comic /drama 4000 Miles, at the Santa Paula Theater Center.
 
UC2Review-
Once again the Elite Theatre Company has used its South Stage to produce a timely and well-worth watching play.  Uncanny Valley features a relatively unusual casting configuration: pitting a  young male part for the robot against an older female part for his creator.
 
LIBERTY VALANCE 5Review-
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, directed by Jenny Sullivan. It’s 1890; a lawless time in the Wild West. Two men must stand up for what they believe in. Only one will survive. Rubicon Theatre presents the American premiere of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, written by Jethro Compton and based on the short story that inspired the classic John Ford film. The show received rave reviews in London and plays for a limited time only through the 20th.
Rubicon Theatre Company announces EXTENSION through SATURDAY, MARCH 26 
The Other Place 6Review-
Santa Paula Theatre kicks off its new season with a wonderful production of Sharr White’s beautifully written psychological drama, The Other Place.
 
Producer Leslie Nichols has brought in the dynamic duo behind Flying H Theatre, Taylor Kasch and Cynthia Killion, to do their magic, and magic it is, with the tight ensemble work, extremely effective set, production details, cast and crew excellence, collaboration and execution of high order we’ve come to expect from all things Kasch and Killion.
 
 
 
Killion and Perlmutter re-arranging the tectonic plates of the mind in Sharr White's The Other Place at  the Santa Paula Theater Center  Photo Credit:  Brian Stetham. 

 

SEE ROCK CITY 1Review-
A play worth seeing more than once, See Rock City is the “don’t miss” sequel to Last Train to Nibroc, the second part of Arlene Hutton’s Nibroc Trilogy American set piece featuring Nibroc’s young couple, May and Raleigh.
 
 
 
Quietly struggling with timeless inner truths, Lily Nicksay and Erik Odom in Arlene Hutton’s See Rock City at the Rubicon Theatre, downtown Ventura, through 14 February, 2016. Photo courtesy Zachary Andrews
 
Fubar 7
Review-
Flying H Group Theatre’s presentation of Karl Gajdusek’s FUBAR delivers another fun night of whacky, dark comedy.
 
(l) Brian Robert Harris in Karl Gajdusek's FUBAR at the Flying H Group Theatre, Ventura, January 2016
Photo Credit: Maria Rojas
INTRO MFL
-Review-
The Musical, My Fair Lady is based on George Bernard Shaw’s highly successful play, Pygmalion. T. S. Elliot is rumored to have remarked upon seeing My Fair Lady that “Bernard Shaw is quite helped by the addition of music, isn’t he?” Rubicon’s current production proves the point.
SER Poster title only
 
-Review-
Some scripts call for tremendously committed acting. These are the kind of scripts that great actors hunger for; but often aren't produced as they scare the daylights out of everyone else. John Pollono's Small Engine Repair, and Jim Brochu's Zero Hour are scripts that might be considered in that category. Both scripts are smartly written, with sweeping structures yet tightly focused, giving both the kind of range and focus that great actors like to exploit. Both plays take a certain level of significant courage and commitment from their actors. A level that lessor talents dare to attempt.
 
croppedCOPENHAGEN 2
Review
 
Michael Frayn’s play, Copenhagen, is a rare treat for anyone who is remotely interested in finding intellectual stimulation in Ventura. There is great art and then there is important great art. Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen is the latter.
 
 
(L-R) Peter Van Norden, Linda Purl & Brett Rickaby photo credit: Christopher Brown
 
MG 2
Review

Mad Gravity, the latest zany comedy presented by Flying H Theatre is set "in a strip mall home" [read modest mid-to lower-middle class suburban California home, aka Flying H's strip mall theatre] that has been altered in a certain manner not to be disclosed here. On opening night it played to a fully engaged, enthusiastic audience typical of the young, hip, and savvy audiences Flying H attracts.

Taylor Kasch, Brenda Evans Photo Credit: Jesse Perez

 

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