Friday, 14 June 2024

Arts & Life

UKIAH – The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will hold auditions on Monday, Aug. 27 for the upcoming fall 2007 production of Temptation, Vaclav Havel's adaptation of the classic legend of Faust.

Mendocino College theater professor Reid Edelman will direct the production, with choreography by dance instructor Sandy Metzler.

Havel, an acclaimed statesman and playwright, wrote Temptation in 1986 while imprisoned for protesting human rights abuses in Czechoslovakia under the Communist regime.

His plays, outlawed in his own country until 1989, have been celebrated internationally. According to director Reid Edelman, “the play is a haunting absurdist comedy, similar in style to the works of Tom Stoppard and Eugene Ionesco. In a time when our own civil liberties are being redefined, Havel's examination of bargains made in the names of security and progress are disturbingly relevant.”

In 1989, Havel led the “Velvet Revolution” which peacefully ousted the Communist Regime from power. He was elected president of Czechoslovakia in 1990 and of the Czech Republic in 1993.

Temptation is a modern retelling of the classic Faust legend in which a doctor yearns to master all knowledge but finds that, in order to do so, he must promise his immortal soul to Mephistopheles, the spirit of hell.

Strangely, while in prison, Havel was given various versions of Faust to read. He adapted the legend into a darkly funny play set in a modern scientific institute in an unspecified totalitarian country.

This haunting tale with a demonic sense of humor will run in the college's Center Theater Oct. 26 through Nov. 4.

Interested performers should arrive at the college's Center Theater at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27 and plan on staying until 10 p.m. The initial audition will include physical and vocal explorations, ensemble exercises and readings of scenes from the play. No preparation or experience is required; however, all performers should wear comfortable movement clothes (sweat pants and t-shirts are ideal).

Some performers will be invited to attend additional call-back auditions on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and / or Wednesday, Aug. 29.

The cast will include 15 performers, including dancers and actors. The roles include:

  • Foustka: male, 20s-40s, a scientist at the institute. His occult investigations get him into some serious trouble.

  • Vilma: female, 20s-40s, a scientist and Foustka's lover.

  • Fistula: male, 20s-40s, a seedy demon with smelly feet.

  • Director: male, 40s-60s, the director of the scientific institute.

  • Deputy: male, 20s-40s, assistant to the director.

  • Marketa: female, 17-23, a secretary at the institute. Young, naïve, foolishly falls in love with Foustka. A variation on Shakespeare's Ophelia.

  • Kotrly: male 20s-40s, a scientist.

  • Neuwirth: male, 20s-40s, another scientist.

  • Lorencova: female, 20s-40s, another scientist.

  • Petrushka: female, 20s-30s, silent shadow to the deputy.

  • Houbova: female, 40s-60s, Foustka's landlady.

  • Dancer: male, 20s-30s, a professional tango dancer.

  • Messenger: male, 20s-40s, mysterious.

  • Two lovers: male and female, 18-25, the embodiment of pure and true love.

Rehearsals will begin in September and continue until the show opens on Oct. 26. Performances will run through Nov. 4.

Several college courses are associated with the production, and all performers will receive college credit.

In addition to the performance opportunities, numerous backstage production positions are available. Crews are needed to build scenery, props and costumes, as well as to work as stage managers, light and sound operators and run-crew.

For those with a particular interest in learning to build costumes, there will be a costume construction course taught by Kathy Dingman Katz. This class will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

For those with an interest in learning to build and paint scenery, there will be a stagecraft course taught by David Wolf and Dan Stockwell. This class will meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Perusal scripts are on reserve now in the Mendocino College Library on the Ukiah Campus.

For additional information about auditions, or to join the backstage production team, contact Reid Edelman at (707) 468-3172.


LAKEPORT – Victoria, proprietress at the new and wonderful Cafe Victoria in Lakeport, smiled as she wrote Poetry Interlude on her calendar for Sunday, August 26, at 1 p.m.

The Interlude will feature its usual poetry and music open mike format where all forms of expressive art are encouraged. Yes, there is a piano on site. There is a tiny stage with microphones and jacks available.

All acts will be expected to set up and break down quickly. Please limit performances to six minutes. We can always do a second round if there is time.

Other events this month at Cafe Victoria will include an open mike on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 18, emceed by Phil Mathewson and an appearance by Little Deer on Saturday, Aug. 25. Both of events run from 4 to 6 p.m.

At Cafe Victoria, friendly staff custom make sandwiches, wraps, coffee drinks, shakes and fruity drinks. (My personal favorite is the Vegetarian sandwich and a mango Juice Squeeze.) They also serve fountain drinks, pizza, baked goods, ice cream, yogurts, etc. While you are there, be sure to check out the cafe's quirky decor.

Cafe Victoria is located on Main Street at the courthouse corner next door to Watershed Books.


CLEARLAKE – Second Sunday Cinema will screen “The Ground Truth” for its free film on Aug. 12.

This documentary, short-listed for the 2007 Academy Awards, focuses on young soldiers sent to Iraq to serve their country, only to return home to indifference.

One young soldier who lost his hand was asked by a young man at home how it happened. "Iraq," he replied. "Whoa," was the response. “Is that still going on?"

The 12 service people seen in the film, male and female, black and white, are thoughtful and articulate as they tell us what they experienced both in Iraq and after their return home. For some, the war is still going on as they try to keep their families together and deal with ongoing physical and psychological problems.

Of course the issue of "Support Our Troops" comes up. Magnetic stickers on the back of SUVs aren’t bad, these soldiers say – but what good do they really do? They say, "If you really want to support us, come and see this film and hear what we have to say."

If you are considering enlisting, or if you love someone who wants to enlist, please get more information by coming to see this free film. It’s 60 minutes long, and will be preceded by a 15-minute film called, "Before You Enlist."

"The Ground Truth" is neither cynical, depressing nor partisan. We need to hear what these young people experienced, and what they’re feeling.

Second Sunday Cinema screens free films on the second Sunday of every month for the people of Lake County.

The films are shown at the Clearlake United Methodist Church at 14521 Pearl St. near Mullen in Clearlake.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for snacks, socializing and seating: the film starts at 6 p.m. There is an optional discussion following the movie.

Come on in – the vibes are friendly, the seats comfortable, the air is cool and, as always, the film is free.

For more information, call Shannon Tolson at 279-2957, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


RUSH HOUR 3 (Rated PG-13)

The trilogy of “Rush Hour” films is so obviously interchangeable that you could watch them out of order and not miss a beat. The only telltale sign of the advancing age of the franchise is that Jackie Chan, master of the martial arts, is looking like he just signed on with the AARP and will soon be doing commercials for enlarged prostate remedies. On the other hand, his unshakable buddy, Chris Tucker, still runs his mouth with little sign of a slowdown any time soon.

Thus, with Chan gamely throwing his fists and feet in a diminished state of fury, “Rush Hour 3” moves predictably, if not gracefully, with its typical formula of fast-paced action laced with the comic potential of the mismatched crime fighters constantly bickering.

Sticking close to the cinematic blueprint that keeps the strange cop duo fun to watch, director Brett Ratner rolls out in “Rush Hour 3” what seems like an almost improvised comedy and action hybrid. It’s as if Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and Los Angeles Police Department police officer Carter (Chris Tucker), polar opposites in law enforcement methodology and matters of culture and taste, were asked to do an impromptu riff on their essential differences. In itself, that could be the appeal of this oddly matched pair coming to grips with their undeniable gravitation to incessant bantering and quarreling over the smallest matters.

In the first film, the action took place in Carter’s Los Angeles, and for the sequel, it moved to Lee’s turf in Hong Kong. For the third film, it’s back to Los Angeles, albeit briefly for the set-up that has Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) once again threatened, this time by an assassin who wants to prevent his testimony on the nefarious plans of the Triads before the World Criminal Court.

Having being demoted to a traffic cop, Carter shows his greatest interest in arresting young women for minor infractions, but then he gets unwittingly caught up in Lee’s foot chase of the gunman who tried to kill the ambassador.

To add an emotional wallop to the proceedings, the assassin turns out to be Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), and he escapes unscathed because Lee could not shoot him at the critical moment. The reason for this is that Lee considers Kenji a “brother” because they grew up together in the same orphanage.

The potential of sibling rivalry is never fully developed, but that is no matter when Lee and Carter discover, after a ridiculous encounter with an oversized kung fu warrior, that they will have to seek a mysterious envelope that is somehow connected to a triad conspiracy sheltered somewhere in Paris.

Their first exposure to Paris is through a deranged cabbie named George (Yvan Attal), who promptly denounces America and its fascination with violence before his cab even leaves the curb at the airport.

Ten minutes later, after some gunplay and wild chase scenes through the Parisian streets, George is singing a different tune, going so far as to don a baseball cap and to spout macho talk that would make John Wayne blush. While George acts as their tour guide, the dynamic duo encounters unwanted attention from a deadly Dragon Lady and Triad henchmen who chase them into the putrid sewers.

The key figure they stumble on is the mysterious, exotic showgirl Genevieve (Noemie Lenoir), the lead dancer at a snazzy nightclub, where it is apparently not uncommon to see Chinese patrons toting machine guns.

In any case, there are other shenanigans going on that involve a sadistic French police official (Roman Polanski), who has a fixation on the rubber glove treatment for his law enforcement counterparts from America. World Criminal Court official Reynard (Max von Sydow) should arouse suspicion, if only because he wraps himself in phony sophistication.

For his part, Carter has no qualms about being the fool, particularly when he pretends to be the whimsical Bubbles, a fashioner designer who insists on personally redesigning the costumes of naked showgirls backstage at the cabaret.

Actually, to make “Rush Hour 3” work, it appears that both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have no reservations about playing the fools, going so far as to do an Abbott and Costello imitation. The ardent fans of the franchise will be pleased with the outcome, because this third installment delivers the laughs and the action that are expected. The film reaches a climax with some nifty thrills high up in the Eiffel Tower, which proves to be a nice way to top off the action stunts.

Tim Riley writes film reviews for Lake County News.




Bill Noteman and the Rockets will be the headliner at Friday's concert in Library Park. The group, pictured above, is shown at Kelseyville's Kickin' in the Country street dance in July. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – This year's successful series of concerts in Lakeport's Library Park continues tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Week nine features local legends Bill Noteman and the Rockets.

As usual, there will be great goofy giveaways at halftime and plenty of groovy music that will get folks out of their chairs and onto the dance lawn.

Forcasters are calling for showtime temperatures around 82 degrees with a nice 12 mile-per-hour breeze from the west.


LAKEPORT – “Cafe Victoria Presents” will have a two-hour music interlude Saturday August 18 and 25 from 4 to 6 p.m.


Phil Mathewson and Friends will be on stage on Saturday, Aug. 18 and Little Deer will perform Saturday, Aug. 25.


Admission is free and food and beverages are available for sale.


Cafe Victoria is on the corner of Main St. and Third, Lakeport. Call 263-1212 for information or to sign up to perform.


Scheduling may change so please check with Cafe Victoria when making your plans.



Upcoming Calendar

Flag Day
06.14.2024 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Kelseyville High School commencement ceremony
06.15.2024 8:00 am - 06.16.2024 1:00 am
Middletown Days
06.15.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.15.2024 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown Art Center exhibit opening
Father's Day
06.16.2024 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Middletown Days
06.16.2024 9:00 am - 11:30 am
Moose Lodge Father’s Day breakfast
06.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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