Erik ReeL - Arts and Culture Contributing Editor at Large
Born 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/
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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