Weekly Wire

Arts & Leisure

June 13 - June 19, 1997

I live in a relatively small town, and it's a well-known fact that most people here aren't interested in theatre. I couldn't get my friends to attend a Chekov play if the lives of their children depended on it. "Let them die," they'd probably say, grateful for a means of escape. With the exception of a cultured few, the general public's love of theatre has been obliterated by movies, rental videos, and cable television - which offer big-budget sets, the ability to fast-forward, and multiple channels, respectively. How, then, can contemporary theatre companies pull in the audiences they need in order to stay financially afloat without diluting their own work?

The answer, of course, is innovation, and two theatre companies featured this week have stretched the boundaries of theatrical art in order to increase their appeal. Daida, an Albuquerque comedy troupe, combine elements of burlesque and minimalism to draw the viewer into their unique improvisational world. Read how Daida use techniques reminiscent of Chicago's Second City, Saturday Night Live, or even the Surrealist movement in order to captivate audiences.

The traditions of the Bard are the focus of the new Mercury Productions company in Tucson, an ambitious project headed by local amateurs and pros alike. Its first shows, renditions of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure, have a their own quirky hooks: One of them will take place in '50s suburbia and come complete with Elvis karaoke and a full-scale Martian invasion. Now that's theatre.

News In The Art World

A Tucsonan In Venice
Robert Colescott is the first American painter since Jasper Johns to have a solo show at the Venice Biennale. [2]
Margaret Regan

One Thing Leads to Another
Daida Mundo begins their summer season at the Riverside Theater in Albuquerque. [3]
Michael Maiello

Bard Games
Gary Dooley's Mercury Productions presents a Shakespeare Festival like you've never seen before, at least not in the current version of reality. [4]
Margaret Regan

Real Illusions
Bruce Matthews, a local artist whose stylistic hybrid toys with the conventions of abstraction. [5]
David Ribar

No Plaid For Dad
What dads really want on their big day. [6]
Tom Danehy

Now What?
A Web link page chock full of resources, recommendations, and staff picks pertaining to the subject of this section. [7]

Talk Back
Tell us your favorite medium, and we don't mean that in the Shirley MacLaine sense of the word.

From The Vaults

A Real Trouper
Southern Arizona Dance Theater calls on the talents of a master. [06-06-97]
Margaret Regan

Worlds Apart
Two new photographic exhibits reveal the malleability of the medium. [06-06-97]
Margaret Regan

Machine Dreams
Artists Explore Our Love-Hate For All Things Mechanical. [06-06-97]
Jeffrey Lee

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