Saturday, October 25, 2008

Image Collage: A Night in the Theatre Building with the 'Hair' Cast, Unrestrained and Giddy

Love rock. Sex talk. War rants. And, stellar hair!

Oh, yes, the muck of the 1960s was colorful, and James Rado and Gerome Ragni never left that out of their epic generation piece, "Hair." In fact, that is what makes this Broadway musical so unequivocally entertaining—that, and the honesty and likeability of its cast, which the University Players of Cal State Long Beach captured in an impeccable fashion with its own production of "Hair," which opened Oct. 10 and closes tonight (already sold out).

Through an electric, dynamic performance, the University Players danced and singed, pranced and swinged to the Age of Aquarius at the Studio Theatre at CSULB. And even though this "Hair" cast has that anarchic pulse on stage, I was around during rehearsals to capture the attractive cast, or "The Tribe," and crew in its very free-spirited and giddy moments leading up to one of the two last performances.

Behind the Scenes with the Cast of "Hair"

"Hair" closes tonight at the Studio Theatre.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This Week at the Student Art Galleries...

...Rammed and Romantic
Intensely developed work is being showcased at the Student Art Galleries this week, and I'm feeling the romance this time. TOP PHOTO Highly textured clay is glazed and oozing in the Dutzi Gallery for ceramics student Maile Iwanaga's show "Bittersweet." BOTTOM PHOTOS Through a maze of long, swaying curtains in the Marylin Werby Gallery, metals student Chloe Ching shows the best of her sculpted jewelery pieces and other rare, dreamy objects. Most mesmerizing to me was a foot-high sculpture of stacked jade gems, held in place by cooper-toned pins and topped off by a bronze Buddha baby swimming in what resembles a soapy bath of pearls.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

This Week at the Galleries: Pasty and Pretty

TOP Trina Turturici and Travis Ott-Conn recreate "Broadway and Junipero" in this reused carboard, mixed media mural. It hangs in Gatov Gallery West for this week's drawing and painting exhibition, "Ties United." MIDDLE Summer Merritt's work is in the Merlino Gallery where you will find delicate paper things (left: "Portrait of Mantel"; paper, wood and acrylic) and heavy-duty pieces like a chimney face ("Show Piece") that is half wood, half 500 pounds of periphen wax. BELOW In the Dutzi Gallery, Linda Clare Larson's ceramic pieces are inspired by abstract symbolisms and challenge the illusions of structure and permanence.


Monday, October 6, 2008

The Road Back to Burma for One CSULB Student

Making Friends in Burma

The Journey to Cyclone-Destroyed Burma, or Myanmar, Wasn't Easy for Cal State Long Beach Design Student Sundie Zin. But she was there and now she's back, and she wants you to know.
Photo courtesy of Sundie Zin.

Determined and focused, creative and humanitarian. Sundie Zin, an interior architecture student at Cal State Long Beach, features her inspirational story about traveling half way around the world to deliver special relief to Myanmar victims.

Her show, "Return to Burma," opens tonight at 5 p.m. inside the Design Gallery at the design building. Zin will present a special slideshow and share Burmese sweets. Details on gallery dates and hours are on the left, listed under the Arts Calendar.

"Return to Burma" closes Fri., Oct. 10.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

University by the Sound

Bowling balls, balloons, bottles. Wooden, rubber, paper or plastic. No matter the object, no matter the material, noise was banging and bopping and clanking and rattling throughout the Sunday afternoon at Found Sound, a class for the curious at this year's University by the Sea.

Aside from its unique, secluded venue: the basement of the historic Lafayette Building on Linden Avenue—oh, yes, we were that noisy—this class was the only one offered by Cal State Long Beach students. Joe Kaplan is to thank for bringing some of
our university to 'the Sea'!

A music student and leader of the Composer's Guild, Kaplan knew exactly how to lead the class into various exercises on improvisations, where seemingly any bit of error, imperfection or imbalance of sound made perfect sense.

Abstract, chaotic sounds grew into fleshy harmonic waves. The loud and panicked echoed into low and sparse. Or, in a collective manner, one person would start with a beat, then the next would mimick that beat, and the next and next. Kaplan went on demanding more variations of the improvs, all of which he often identified by fancy words.

By the time I hit the light again, absorbed in the East Village Arts District's buzz of bands performing for something special called Schooled in Song, I imagined myself up on stage with the rest of them. It came so naturally in Found Sound, anyway. Eventually I settled down and let the pro's, or, in other words, my favorite Long Beach band the Crystal Antlers, take authority over the situation. The 'Sea' sparkled.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lovely Lookers at the Student Art Galleries

A captivated crowd. In a recent poll, I asked "When was the last time you visited an art show on campus?" 78% of pollsters responded, "It was just last week." Some visual evidence? Gallery-goers and freshmen friends Charlee Vickers (in pink), a liberal studies student, and Katie Oserall (in biege), a music major, muse over Laura Duphily's hand-dyed and felted wool creation, "We See You, Steve Zissou." Duphily's BFA fibers show in the Dutzi Gallery closed Thursday evening.