August 17, 2006
Any viewer would expect Director Oliver Stone to bring a cutting-edge perspective to the events of 9/11. But "World Trade Center" is a very conventional, even oldfashioned Hollywood movie of disaster and survival. Stone offers no political statements, no rants about the government, just a poignant tale of love and loss in the shadow of America's harrowing catastrophe. The first 30 minutes cover the shocking events that led to the fall of the twin towers in Manhattan five years ago. Great special effects highlight the terrifying reality that rained death and destruction on New York that day. But once the towers fall, two Port Authority cops played by Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena are buried up to their necks in tons of rubble.
April 16, 2005
Minority forced school board to make a major error Do you really think teenagers don't know about sex and drugs? Big deal about the flier for the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series. This only made me want to go even more, but unfortunately when I called today, they were sold out. "It's a conservative community," says former school board member Wendy Leece. Well, there are some of us out here who go the other way and want to be able to make our own choices, including high school students who will be going off to college without their parents running interference for them.
January 7, 2000
We need to do it. The time has come. Now that the millennium that isn't has arrived, and Y2K has turned out to be Y2Yawn, it is time to put aside childish things. We need to take stock of ourselves and our world as we cautiously draw back the curtain of time and step through the portal of the 21st century. What will Newport-Mesa and Orange County look like in 50 or 100 years? What will our children and their children and their children's children (all right, already)
April 6, 2007
If any performing group is well-versed in the art of presenting big musicals on small stages without losing any dimension other than size, it's Costa Mesa's Vanguard University, which has demonstrated how to succeed in the past with "Into the Woods," "Brigadoon" and "The Secret Garden," among others. Now the university is succeeding again with "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the 1960s-era musical satire on the world of big business directed, as were the aforementioned others, by Amick Byram.
September 6, 2007
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez are racing to get some sort of healthcare reform deal together before the legislature adjourns this month. They have separate plans, but both would raise business and hospital taxes to ensure every Californian has health insurance. Should the state try to make sure everyone has health insurance and, if so, how should state lawmakers accomplish that? ? The current drive for “healthcare reform” in California has, unfortunately, turned into a drive to have the government take over healthcare.
March 5, 2004
Tom Titus There aren't many musicals around like "Brigadoon" anymore. Like its Irish contemporary, "Finian's Rainbow," this romantic sojourn into the highlands of Scotland seems to have vanished into the mist, much like the village it celebrates. When this fanciful Lerner-Loewe musical does make an appearance locally, it is quite often an occasion to cherish. Extra care and handling usually are applied to facilitate full realization of the production.
September 12, 2001
Our nation, our world, our lives changed Tuesday. We will never be the same again. The attacks on America have destroyed innocent lives. They have also destroyed our security and our trust. And they could very well have affected my own family. My cousin Sunny in Philadelphia called me Tuesday crying hysterically. I was unable to console her. Finally, the words come together. "We can't reach Valerie, Steve or Joan. I've called all the numbers," she shares, sobbing.
May 14, 2004
Tom Titus It's only a few years into the 21st century, but South Coast Repertory will be devoting its upcoming schedule to plays written primarily in this millennium. For its 2004-05 season, SCR will mount nine productions on its two stages -- and six of them will have been written in a year beginning with a 2. Four of these six will be world premieres, something that's become a familiar occurrence at the Costa Mesa theater complex. "We're tremendously excited about the composition of our upcoming season," said David Emmes, SCR's producing artistic director who founded the company with Martin Benson in 1964 (moving it to Newport Beach in 1965 when it officially became South Coast Repertory)
May 3, 2007
After 42 years in business, Lawry's Five Crowns in Corona del Mar has traded in its "lusty wench" server costumes for more elegant and comfortable uniforms, which debuted at the restaurant Tuesday evening. The female servers at the restaurant, which is modeled after one of England's oldest inns, have worn somewhat low-cut, short-skirted dresses, akin to those of an early 20th century English chambermaid, since Five Crowns opened in 1965. "It was time to really upgrade the themed costumes and bring the professionalism of the restaurant and the service staff to the floor with these new uniforms," general manager Chris Szechenyi said.