Way Down South
It appears several of your native daughters and sons have been lured to Los Angeles: Ellen Sebastian is currently in rehearsal for a show she's directing at Los Angeles Theatre Center, The Correct Posture of a True Revolutionary, by Theresa Chavez. These days all we hear about is Bosnia, but remember when Nicaragua was hot news? Or Rwanda? Correct Posture examines this flavor-of-the-month phenomenon through the story of Gloria, a writer (and former Sandinista), who comes to the States at the behest of a rich cable-TV mogul whose pet cause during the 1980s was Nicaragua. Coincidentally, she meets up with a former comrade who tells her he had to leave the movement because he's gay. Somehow, Angela Davis fits into all of this: Playwright Chavez got the usually cautious political icon to agree to be fictionalized for Correct Posture. The actor who plays Davis, Irene Wiley, apparently looks so much like her that when she got up to perform a monologue at a press conference, some Davis sympathizers shed tears. Sebastian is also working on a long-term, large-scale project with MOCA, L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, involving Karen Finley, choreographer Ann Carlson and Texas artist Rick Lowe. It's a festival-type series that will run from November 1996 through March 1997.
Local director Jayne Wenger is also down yonder, directing Claire Chafee's record-breaking show, Why We Have a Body; Amy Resnick, who originated the role of Lili at the Magic but had to pass the baton after breaking her leg, will reprise her performance in L.A. Wenger also directed Deke Weaver, a young solo performer who opened last week here in the city at Bindlestiff Studio, by cramming rehearsals into the month of February and hiring longtime cohort Jim Clave to do his lights and set him up. Wenger simultaneously rehearsed Bob Davis for his performance of Banjo, opening at the Climate this month. Why We Have a Body opens at the Tiffany Theatre at the end of March, and the crew hopes this production will tour, though there are no firm plans yet. Wenger, who directed the Magic production, as well, says time has only improved her relationship with Chafee: "The relationship between Claire and me is a shining example to playwrights and directors everywhere." Their biggest challenge, she divulges, is "finding a restaurant where we can just eat and not get offended by the staff." Oh, that L.A. attitude.Finally, Paul Codiga, who jumped ship at Intersection for the Arts, now has a gig working on the production side of a flick called The Net, starring Sandra Bullock.
Just for Laughs
The ninth annual Bay Area Black Comedy Competition will hold the last round on March 17 at Oakland's Paramount Theatre. Finalists include Daniel Dugar of Oakland, Don "D.C." Curry of Atlanta, David Edwards of Chicago, Small Frie of Atlanta and Sheryl Underwood of Chicago. Hosting the festivities will be BET's Comic View co-host and Oakland native Laura Hayes. This is the competition that put Mark Curry, who now stars in his own sitcom, on the map.