Thursday, October 31, 2002
Ron Campbell''s one-man show SHYLOCK at the Carmel Ballet Academy was stupendous. Campbell played an actor whose performance of Merchant of Venice was cancelled because he chose to play the Jewish moneylender as a villain---the way Shakespeare intended--rather than humanizing him, as most contemporary productions do. The play explored racism, censorship, and the role of art with humor and sensitivity. It was typical of the small-scale theatrical productions festival producing director Robin McKee has brought to local audiences every year. The plays she chooses are always little-known, they treat themes of political and social gravity, and they rarely draw large enough audiences.
I missed Peter Davison, Obo Addy and Second Hand this year--and wished I''d missed the Ballet Stars of Moscow--but it''s a wonderful conundrum to have too many shows to decide between, all in the same two weeks. Bravo.
HOMELESS KIDS...MY MUSEUM, Monterey''s interactive museum for children, has to move out of its Cannery Row digs for financial reasons, but the situation isn''t as dire as has been reported elsewhere. Executive Director LAUREN COHEN says that the city of Monterey is no longer able to host the museum rent-free at its present address, but she thanks City Hall for providing the space at no cost for the past five years. Now the museum is looking to buy its own, much larger building.
"It''s a bummer that the rent is going up, but it''s time for us to find our own home," she says. "I don''t want people to think we''re going out of business." Cohen says they haven''t even started a capital campaign yet, and still have to identify a likely location. They hope to be well on their way within a year. "We''d like to stay in Monterey, but we''d be open to anything," she notes. About 20,000 people a year, mostly local families with small children, visit MY Museum.