Saturday, 04 December 2021

Arts & Life

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Come one, come all to audition for the Shakespeare at the Lake 2021 online production of “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

Zoom auditions are scheduled on May 27 starting at 6 p.m. and May 29 starting at 2 p.m.

Audition sides are available at

To sign up for an audition time slot or to get more information, email director John Tomlinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rehearsals and performances (scheduled for July 23 to 25) will all take place online.

Actors must enroll in Theater 220 through Mendocino College in order to participate; scholarships are available.

No experience is required, and we welcome actors from out of the county to participate.

As a California Community College production, out-of-state tuition applies to nonresidents.

Actors must be entering high school or older to participate.

Shakespeare at the Lake is a joint effort between the Lake County Theatre Co. and Mendocino College, with generous support from the Friends of Mendocino College.


Action fans should be cognizant of the history of groundbreaking filmmaker Guy Ritchie and action superstar Jason Statham, going back to their fast-paced, anarchic 1990s hits “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.”

Both of them return to their roots with “Wrath of Man,” an explosive revenge thriller based on the 2004 French film “Le Convoyeur,” which few on this side of the Atlantic have ever seen or even heard about.

While there is no ambiguity about the type of character Jason Statham inhabits with ruthless abandon, his character of Patrick Hill harbors a secret agenda with a set of deadly skills not readily apparent when he takes a job with a Los Angeles armored vehicle company.

Coming onboard as a security guard at Fortico Security and riding shotgun, Hill learns the ropes from partner Bullet (Colt McCallany). Becoming known as simply “H,” the newbie proves his worth during an attempted robbery of the truck.

Appearing to be a quiet, keep-to-yourself person just trying to do a job, foiling the robbery reveals H’s formidable skills as an expert marksman who’s also adept at hand-to-hand combat.

While hailed as a hero at the armored car depot, H raises suspicion with office manager Terry (Eddie Marsan). After all, H scored only a passing grade in the fitness and shooting skill test required to be hired.

Obviously, H has a backstory which only deepens the mystery of his connections to other enigmatic players. Why is he keen on taking a dangerous job for entry-level pay? Revenge is the motivating factor for H, and the reason for that is best left for the viewer to discover.

In his single-minded quest for justice, H has interesting links to the underworld and to FBI agent King (Andy Garcia) that stir curiosity about whether these connections are red herrings or just reasons for flashbacks that muddle the plot.

In the end, the storyline takes a back seat to the heavy action scenes that come into sharp focus when a group of Afghanistan war ex-soldiers led by former sergeant Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan) overcome civilian ennui by robbing armored trucks.

Jackson’s band of brothers, including the hotheaded psycho Jan (Scott Eastwood), scheme for a criminal career-ending payday of a brazen robbery of Fortico’s depot on Black Friday, the day of their largest collection of cash.

The climactic day of the big heist is not without intrigue (is it an inside job?) as well as a showdown with more firepower unleashed than all the action scenes combined ahead of this culmination.

“Wrath of Man” is the kind of diverting action film one would expect when reuniting Guy Ritchie and his stellar protégé Jason Statham for a formula that has worked before. Yes, it’s a notable crime thriller, but it may not remain as memorable as the earlier collaborations.

Nevertheless, Ritchie and Statham are already at work on their next project, a spy thriller that will include some of the actors from “Wrath of Man.” Sign me up to be one of the first in the audience.


Inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, ABC’s new series “Rebel” stars Katey Sagal as Annie Flynn Ray Bello, otherwise called “Rebel” if only because the last names of multiple marriages may prove confusing.

As a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree, Rebel is relentless and undeterred in a fight for justice, and as such was described at the winter press tour as one, like Erin, who “inspires everyone she meets to become their own heroes.”

That Rebel is unafraid to challenge adversaries in a manner that might prove embarrassing for others is made clear in the first episode when she crashes a corporate party to confront the CEO (Adam Arkin) of a medical company producing defective heart valves.

Even an unflattering picture of Rebel’s stunt is not enough to cause discomfort for the activist. Current husband Grady Bello (John Corbett) at one point complains that Rebel “cares more about getting on the news than getting home to cook me dinner.”

Audible groans may come from female viewers, especially considering that Rebel seems to be the breadwinner and Grady’s job is somewhat nebulous. Apparently, he spends time restoring vintage cars.

Meanwhile, aside from helping an abused woman or a male professor harassed by a university for a possible bogus assault charge, Rebel is motivated by Helen (Mary McDonnell) to pursue a class action suit against Stonemore Medical, makers of the heart valve.

With dogged determination, Rebel pushes hotshot lawyer Julian Cruz (Andy Garcia), still grieving over the loss of his wife, to take the case of penurious plaintiffs to fight the deep-pockets corporation in a protracted court battle.

Add to the mix that one of Rebel ex-husbands, Benji Ray (James Lesure), lures away their daughter Cassidy (Lex Scott Davis) to represent Stonemore in the lawsuit.

On the strength of Sagal’s tenacious advocate, “Rebel” merits a look to see if it delivers on a cause worth the effort.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

The gallery at Middletown Art Center in Middletown, California. Courtesy photo.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — Join artists exhibiting in the current show at Middletown Art Center for “Apart and Connected, Conversations with Artists” on Saturday, May 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Zoom.

Hear from the artists about their work in the stunning Apart and Connected exhibit. It’s on view until June 20. There will be time for public participation and questions and answers.

Conversations will be facilitated by Curatorial Team members Nicola Chipps, a former Art and Design Consultant at ​Ærena​ Galleries in the Napa Valley, and Lisa Kaplan, Artist, Art Educator and current Executive Director at MAC.

"We are thrilled to offer the public an additional in depth view of the Apart and Connected exhibit through intimate conversations with exhibiting artists” said Chipps. “We’ll speak to longtime MAC artists as well as several artists new to MAC. The talk will include a virtual tour of the gallery and views of work as stills. We’ll speak with each artist for about 5 minutes, and have time for conversation between the artists and the public.”

Lake County Poet Laureate 2020-2022 Georgina Marie will be reading from prose written in response to the exhibit from her April Writers Workshop Ekphrasis. ​"The Apart and Connected exhibit is a moving, visceral collection of vibrant art from all sorts of mediums including paint, raw earth, epoxy, and botanical inks. The works express the isolation, distance, pain, and perseverance of the human spirit both during the time of the pandemic and through other experiences. They demonstrate the excellence that can come from a time of intensity and quietude.”

To join the virtual reception visit where you will find a link to register for the Zoom event which is free to the public.

The MAC Gallery is open Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment by calling 707-809-8118. Social distancing and masking are always observed.

MAC programming is ramping up as we return to normalcy. Find out more about events, programs, opportunities, and ways to support and celebrate the MAC’s efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County ​at ​ .​

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Tracy K. Smith, former poet Laureate, has a wonderful way with strange and haunting images, that still manage to tell a resonant story.

I think of the old story she tells here – how future generations must contend with the grand absence that comes with the passing of time.

Yet, there is hope, there is hope in art, in song, and one imagines, in this poem. “An Old Story” is a beautiful anthem to the singing.

An Old Story
By Tracy K. Smith

We were made to understand it would be
Terrible. Every small want, every niggling urge,
Every hate swollen to a kind of epic wind,

Livid, the land, and ravaged, like a rageful
Dream. The worst in us having taken over
And broken the rest utterly down.

A long age
Passed. When at last we knew how little
Would survive us—how little we had mended

Or built that was not now lost—something
Large and old awoke. And then our singing
Brought on a different manner of weather.

Then animals long believed gone crept down
From trees. We took new stock of one another.
We wept to be reminded of such color.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2018 by Tracy K. Smith, "An Old Story" from Wade in the Water, (Graywolf Press, 2018). Poem reprinted by permission of Permissions Company, LLC and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, or MCWC, has posted the program for MCWC 2021, its 32nd Conference, which like last year’s event will be held online via Zoom from Aug. 5 to 7.

This year’s conference faculty will include keynote speaker Wendy C. Ortiz, workshop leaders Lillian Li, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Saretta Morgan, Chris Dennis, Alex Sanchez, Suzanne Rivecca, Krys Malcolm Belc and Sam Krowchenko, and literary agents Elise Capron and Tricia Skinner, along with other special guests, writers, and publishing experts.

View the complete schedule by visiting .

Registration for MCWC 2021 is now open for submissions. Writers of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to register by visiting The deadline to register is June 30. Registration is open to all and requires no application or writing sample.

Tuition is $475 for the three-day conference, which includes morning writing workshops limited to 10 students, afternoon seminars on the craft of writing and the writers’ life, open mics, pitch panels, and blind critique panels, opportunities for one-on-one consultations with literary agents and authors, and evening readings by faculty.

“MCWC is pleased to offer a world-class literary event at its thirty-second Conference, featuring a faculty of today’s best and brightest writers,” Executive Director Lisa Locascio said. “Seasoned writers and those new to the craft alike are encouraged to join us at our annual gathering, where they can meet fellow writers and gain valuable feedback on their writing.”

The conference encourages local writers to register for MCWC 2021, and to join upcoming seminars offered on Zoom: “Speculative Poetry Workshop” with poet Rachelle Cruz on May 22, “Caretaking and Creative Practice: Writing Into Real Life” with memoirist Sarah McColl on June 5, and “In Praise of Terrible Ideas: Revision Strategies for Prose” with novelist Rachel Yoder on June 19.

All seminars are held on Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m. Tuition is $20 per seminar or $50 for all three. Recordings of previously offered seminars can also be purchased at the MCWC website.

“We hope local writers will join us for these exciting seminars, which offer us new ways to connect with our community, and that the experience of the seminars will inspire them to join us at our Conference this August,” said Locascio.

To register for the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference registration, visit Questions can be directed to Executive Director Lisa Locascio at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

I have a memory of Lucille Clifton responding to a young poet who asked her how she managed to be a productive publishing poet despite having to raise six children, by saying, “I wrote shorter poems.”

Of Clifton’s many brilliant truths, this stays with me. And this pithy elegy, “5/23/67 R.I.P.”, selected by Aracelis Girmay in a remarkable new gathering of Clifton’s poetry, would have been written when her children were young, and when America was burning with uprisings, and when Langston Hughes died.

She accepted the heavy mandate passed on to her by Langston Hughes, to “remember now like/ it was,” and we are the better for it.


By Lucille Clifton

The house that is on fire
pieces all across the sky
make the moon look like
a yellow man in a veil

watching the troubled people
running and crying
Oh who gone remember now like
it was,
Langston gone.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Lucille Clifton, "5/23/67 R.I.P." from How to Carry Water; Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton, (BOA, 2020). Poem reprinted by permission of Permissions Company, LLC and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Upcoming Calendar

12.04.2021 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Festival of Trees
12.06.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake County 29'ers Cribbage Club Meeting
12.07.2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
12.09.2021 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
12.11.2021 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Rodman Preserve Saturday self-guided walks
12.11.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Steele
12.13.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake County 29'ers Cribbage Club Meeting
12.14.2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
12.16.2021 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown

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