Monthly Archives: May 2010

Theatre Review: Everyday Rapture

by Carlos Stafford The Model Critic

 A young girl waves goodbye to her home in Topeka, Kansas leaving her restrictive Mennonite upbringing.  Armed with her spiritual mentors, Jesus, Judy Garland, and Mr. Rodgers, she skips on down the road to find her own rapture in New York City.

Before coming to Broadway, Cheri Rene Scott had a successful run of “Everyday Rapture” at Second Stage in New York. She brings impressive credentials–“The Little Mermaid,” “Aida,” and “Dirty Rotten

Scoundrels.” Now, at the Roundabout on 42nd St., in this smallish musical she gets to play herself in a fun-filled journey with great songs, blue-eyed personality, evanescent magic.

This naive, archetypal, Candide-like figure has the gift of song from childhood.  Where others in her religious community only allow singing in humble, reverent chorus’, Cheri wants to go solo and sing inside the song. So, she has to face the fact that she’s narcissistic, but nice at the same time.

The musical has a big heart and lots of laughs in recounting her exuberance and joy of arriving in New York. Backed-up by the “Mennonettes,” Lindsey Mendez, and Betsy Wolfe she leads us through great songs by U 2, The Supreme’s, Judy Garland, and most importantly Mr. Rodgers, as she underscores her changing perspective and self-mocking mishaps.  Mr. Rodgers’ song “Be My Neighbor,” was at once touching and funny.

But the best moments come when Cherie finally becomes a “semi-star” in “semi-hits.”  She has the misfortune of meeting an obnoxious, geeky, young adoring fan on U-Tube, who stalks her on-line, lip syncs all her songs, and eventually betrays her by stealing her personality–her “it-ness.” Deflated, unable to go on, she reaches deep for revelations and finds strength from her past, and hope for the future.

The tone of the musical is intimate, revealing, comically exaggerated, funny, and sexy.  Ms. Scott is easy to watch, draws you openly into her vulnerable world, and best of all she can really sing.  Also, the direction is crisp, the musicians are strong, and the show elevates the spirit.


Go to the theater.



Artist Kaucyila Brooke — CENSORED!

Kaucyila Brooke Exhibition Censored at the 2010 Bucharest International Biennale for Contemporary Art

Renowned artist Kaucyila Brooke, an invited exhibitor and speaker at Bucharest Biennale 4, which begins on May 21, 2010, has, without warning, had her work removed from the show.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 19, 2010 — Renowned artist Kaucyila Brooke, an invited exhibitor and speaker at Bucharest Biennale 4, which begins on May 21, 2010, has, without warning, had her work removed from the show.

Ms. Brooke had been formally invited to participate in BB4 by curator Felix Vogel who has been following her work since viewing one of her exhibits in Munich in 2007. Kaucyila Brooke is a highly respected Los Angeles-based artist whose work has been shown extensively in museums and art galleries throughout Europe and in the United States. She is a member of the faculty at Cal Arts in Los Angeles.

BB4 is produced by Artphoto Asc., the umbrella organization around Pavilion Magazine, as well as the new Centre for Contemporary Art and Culture in Bucharest Pavilion UniCredit. Approximately 45 artists and artists’ groups are expected to present their works/projects in various locations throughout Bucharest, including museums, a former observatory, art galleries and public spaces. Ms. Brooke’s work was assigned to the Geology Institute.

However, once the director of the Geology Institute had viewed the partially installed exhibit, he demanded that it be removed from the museum. No formal explanation has yet to be offered, although officials at BB4 have indicated they still expect Ms. Brooke to speak—but without having her work exhibited.

This de-installation will make Kaucyila Brooke’s work, Tit for Twat, the only project to be censored during the 2010 Biennale.

“Now the work won’t be shown,” says Ms. Brooke, “because there’s no other institution that’s large enough to accommodate it. I’ve offered to be flexible, to install only part of the project, or show it in several spaces. But there’s neither the space, nor the resources to rent one, and they (BB4) refuse to consider making room within the exhibition that’s already installed.”

Kaucyila Brooke‘s ongoing project, Tit for Twat, is a three part photo montage, photo novella, gender art narrative designed for both exhibition and publication. Its chapters, Madam and Eve in the Garden, Can We Talk?, and It’s Not About Shame. Accessorize!, address the biblical presumption of heterosexuality and its relationship to other theories of origin, notions of innovation and origin in history, creationism, science and material culture.

Kaucyila Brooke’s comprehensive work “Tit for Twat”, having been developed since the early 1990’s, is one of the seminal works in gender oriented conceptual art of the last two decades. “Its prohibition at the Geology Museum in the frame of the Bucharest Biennale 2010 would not only mean a severe case of censorship but also a very sad denial for the Romanian public to see this outstanding, concise, political but at the same time warm and humorous work,” adds Stella Rollig, Director, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz.

Ms. Brooke’s solo exhibitions include Silberkuppe, Berlin (2009); Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation/ Forum fur Fotographie, Cologne (2008); Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (2008. 2006). Recent group exhibitions include Centre D’Art Passerelle, Brest, France; Galician Center for Contemporary Art, Santiago do Compstela, Spain; Kunsthalle Baden Baden, Germany (2009). Ms. Brooke is scheduled to be a guest speaker at the Goethe Institute in Los Angeles, CA, USA on June 24th, 2010, for the lecture series, Big City Forum, organized by Leonardo Bravo. Ms. Brooke is represented by Andersen’s Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna and the Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles. She is the former Director of the Program in Photography and Media at CalArts in Los Angeles where she has been a regular member of the faculty since 1992. Her work can be viewed at:

For further information or to for interviews with the artist, contact Tracey Paleo at GiaMedia3, Los Angeles, CA (323)325-8879 or email: gia(at)giamedia3(dot)com.


At The Theatre: 7 Miles From Prison with David L. Ray

by Tracey Paleo~

As I sat at the local Coffee Bean with David in Culver City, I couldn’t help but think, “damn I wish I had brought my camera,” and I said it out loud to boot. David laughed. “that’s very sweet.” I couldn’t help myself. Dressed neatly in a casual, yellow, barely plaid short sleeved button down shirt, sitting comfortably against a counter top legs, slightly crossed, and with the piercing blue eyes of a young sage, he had the air of a Southern gentleman from days gone by. A Tennessee Williams modern play-write.

I arrived late. Lost from my directions. Excused myself to get a cup of coffee and a blueberry scone. I didn’t want David to stay alone too much longer so as I hurried through my order, scurried back and forth for coffee, cream and plated treat, I started the conversation from across the room at the order station.

David, of course was patient, reserved and relaxed. So when I finally plopped myself down into a chair, I found myself not feeling as guilty as I should. I simply listened and effervesced (inside) as he spoke.

 ‘It’s been a long time. But like anything else in life you wrestle with yourself until things just come together.’ (David) 

‘This is your time now David. It’s all pulling together quickly now.’ (Me) 

I sincerely meant that statement. I have known David L. Ray for over two years and indeed could say things, his writing, acting and recognition for his artistic voice, are happening suddenly at almost lightening speed. At first it was just an announcement for the show but as we spoke he also began to reveal the festival appearance, the other plays, the other productions, the teaching and the press. I was astounded. I was joyous. So much to celebrate. He really is on his way.

‘So what is 7 Miles From Prison all about? What does it mean for you?’ (Me)

‘It’s partly about healing. It started out as a story about my life. But of course it’s fictional and not my life entirely. It’s about a boy whose father is a prison warden, who is a member of a Baptist Church and how he struggles through life as he becomes openly gay. Life becomes very difficult with his father who is anti-gay and with his church who is un-accepting.’

‘So it is an internal and external prison.’ (Me) 

‘Yes.’ ‘The prison is in the town. The town is the prison. The church is the prison.’

‘It’s not everything I am. It’s a beginning. Writing this piece was partly about healing. But now I want to distance myself from it and give it as an offering. I would like to soften the world’s point of view.”

David has a way of being gentle, honest and direct at the same time. He is a largely intense voice held in a captivating, nuanced, soft-spoken man. I have no doubt that 7 Miles From Prison will soften his audiences and move the world.

See the one man show that LA Weekly called,     “A sharp one- act, quite moving.”

Don’t miss the one day Los Angeles preview before 7 Miles from Prison makes its way to New York City for the All Arts Festival.

May Preview Los Angeles, CA:

May 16th, 2010 – 6:00pm
Culver-Palms UMC
4464 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230

                      Fresh Fruit Festival New York, NY

July 18, 2010, 7:00 PM
July 19, 2010, 10:00 PM

Cherry Lane Theater
38 Commerce Street
New York, NY 10014-3755

submitted by Tracey Paleo