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July 24, 2009
“The Shadowman” Wow!
I just got back from the first performance of the new CYAC show, “The Shadowman.” This is a straight dramatic play, written and directed by Dan Kehde, and it’s one of the most striking pieces of live drama that I’ve seen. I honestly can’t remember ever being moved as much by a live theater performance. The story is compelling, but at times it’s like a punch to the gut.
“The Shadowman” tells the story of Jeremiah Fleetwood, an ex-con, just released after serving fifteen years for the rape of a 12-year-old girl. Jeremiah has found work in a porn shop/peep show in the town where he grew up, and committed his crime. In the course of the play, he encounters old friends and his victim. It becomes clear as the story unfolds that there is much more to the situation than it appears. The whole town is harboring secrets that come as a series of revelations during the play.
Kehde has crafted a remarkable story, with gritty, realistic dialogue, and twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. This is the story of humble nobility and redemption in a world that’s rotten to the core. I can’t commend Dan enough on the way he avoids taking the easy way out with this complex narrative. This is not a show for kids, but if you can handle adult themes, you shouldn’t miss this one.
The young cast is excellent. Evan Wilson nails the numb dignity of Jeremiah Fleetwood. He shows a real flair for drama and owns the stage. He’s on stage for nearly the entire play, and never wavers in his subtle intensity.
One More Dance with The Bride
The Bride & The Grooms, an indie romantic comedy movie written and directed by Charleston native and GWHS grad Butch Maier, will be shown one more time on the big screen, at 4 p.m. this Saturday, July 25, at the La Belle in South Charlestion.
The movie features scenes shot at the West Virginia Capitol, the University of Charleston and the old Sunrise Museum.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the movie’s website, or from Butch at the theater before the show.
Back in the May 1 PopCulteer, this is what I wrote about the movie: ““The Bride And The Grooms,” which debuted at Park Place Stadium Cinema last weekend, is a very well-crafted, sweet romantic comedy. Butch Maier did an amazing job with a tight budget. This film, produced with a budget under $100,000, looks better than most multi-million-dollar Hollywood movies. His clever script manages to make the farcical plot plausible, while a very talented young cast makes the characters likable and realistic. Jacilyn Ledford shows real star quality as the girl who accidentally winds up with four grooms on her wedding day. Much has been made about how this film was written with Jennifer Garner in mind for the lead. Ledford brings a lovable vulnerability to the role that, to be frank, I don’t think Garner could have pulled off. Let’s hope this movie is successful enough to spawn a healthy film industry in the region. Maier has hit one out of the park with his first at-bat.”
Time for a bit of shameless self-pluggery here. For the second month in a row, I got the chance to write the cover story in Non Sport Update, the trading card magazine. This story was a real treat to write. I cover the trading card set “Shock Stories/Urban Legends” by Monsterwax (last issue I wrote about the new Star Trek movie). “Shock Stories/Urban Legends” is a really cool 100-card set featuring a complete very short story on each card back, with gorgeous EC Comics-style artwork on the front. The artwork is by Terry Beatty, and in a moment I’ll point out some foolish mistakes I made concerning his artwork in this article, and direct you to his website.
Okay, I’m going to get a little political here, so be warned. I’ve been watching in amazement this week as the crazy conspiracy theory about Barack Obama not being a natural-born US citizen has gained new traction, and has become a major front-burner story. This is long after any and all questions about the President’s birth certificate have been thoroughly and repeatedly answered. Anyone who still thinks that there is any chance that Obama is not an American citizen is an idiot. Not just that, they are also probably a racist idiot.
So why is this story being given any credence? What purpose is served by digging into this major pile of irrelevance? My guess is that it has nothing to do with discrediting Barack Obama. It is not part of a plot to damage his reputation.
There is a purpose for this story being planted, teased and encouraged. You may have noticed that, while they’re debunking this moronic story, the major cable news outlet always talk to a highly-placed Republican figure, like Rudy Guiliani or Newt Gingrich. These pundits are quick to shoot down the birth certificate story as the work of loony “conspiracy theorists,” But then, almost every one of these right-wing pundits goes on to say some variation of, “These conspiracy stories are exactly as crazy as the stories about George W. Bush being involved with cocaine.”
I’ll pause while you go, “WTF?”
Once and future RFC guests, The Hellblinki Sextet, were in town, playing a killer set at The Empty Glass Wednesday night. In the first of a very self-indulgent series, here’s photos of me, posing with the band. Photos by Melanie Larch.
I was nearly blinded by the awesomeness of Brad’s incredible handlebar mustache
Valerie held that pose for five minutes while I tried to get Mel’s attention so she could take the picture
Andrew and I are going to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. You’d let us in if you opened your door to find us standing there like this, right?
Cool Canadian Comic Of The Week
I’m about three-and-a-half month’s into this experiment I call “The PopCulteer,” and I’d like a little feedback. How do my readers out there like this format? Would you rather that I break this column up into individual posts like any sane blogger would do? Or should I keep plugging away with a big novel-length Friday morning dose of Pop Culture commentary? The main reason I chose this format for the Friday column is that I have a decent block of time, away from the web, but able to write on the laptop, every Thursday. I could easily break the PopCulteer up and run each item as a post of its own.
So how about some interaction, people? Do you guys like the cool comic of the week? Would you like to see it broken out as a separate post? Is the political stuff annoying? Should I write about beer so that they might mention me on page two of the Gazette three times a week like they do with Rich Ireland’s blog? Would you rather see more photos from around town? More video? Let me know. I’m coming up on my fourth year of writing PopCult, and I’d like to do a little market research. Tell me what you like and what you don’t.
Next week in PopCult you can expect our Sunday Evening Videos and Monday Morning Art, plus another PopCulteer, and gosh only knows what else.