The Desert Sun from Palm Springs, California on September 1, 1999 · Page 26
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The Desert Sun from Palm Springs, California · Page 26

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Palm Springs, California
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Wednesday, September 1, 1999
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Page 26
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' D4 Wednesday, September 1, 1999 The Desert Sun EntertainmentLiterature l)r. Ahhuy Vaidya M.I) 2.1 ycui'M experience t kW i: vfo Actress Sarah Jessica Parker defies stereotypical dumb roles By G.T. Mtii.HLS v Call it a case of art imitating life: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is just as quirky, humorous and bubbly as any of her on-screen performances. That's evident from the beginning of a phone interview, when she's told that she'll be getting some rapid-fire questions. "All right, boss!" she quips. Audiences remember Parker because she defies the dumb, blonde actress stereotype. Just take a look at some of her roles. She starred as an inept director's girlfriend in 1994's darkly funny "lid Wood." She plays a sex columnist vho dishes and disses in HBO'sSex and the City." And now, she shares the big screen with Brendan Fraser as damsel-in-distress Nell Fenwick in "Dudley Do-Right," This lady has a sense of humor, and it's reflected in her work. - "I like -h a lot," Partoavsaf-her- comedy work. "I like doing it and it's something that appeals to me as an , audience. I'm not sure why." Others seem to like it, too. Though most of her roles have been small or low-key, they've, always been memorable. Like Steve Martin's energetic love interest Sandee in 1991's "L. A.Story." Or the neurotic psychotherapist Lucy Ackerman in 1995's "If Lucy Fell." "I've never had a plan, clearly. I've always just sort of done work that I . wanted to do," Parker says. "And I've been roally happy because that means I get to.do lots of different things, and that's what I like to do best." Of course, the choicest roles didn't come first. Her big break came with the role as Chris Perm's girlfriend, Darcy, in 1984's "Footloose." Mention that you haven't seen that movie for a while, and Parker responds, "Lucky Gapt. Meares: An explorer for underachievers Book documents his misadventures during voyages By- Doi'o lissi.u I HI- AS-SO IAI I-.l) 1'RUSS . b -'.. Among tine early European explorers of northwest North America, die ; big names are Capt. James Cook and . Capt. George Vancouver. In the second rank is Capt. John Meares, who did not, it must be admitted, make a very good name for himself. Yes, he was brave, courageous and bold, and he helped establish England's claim to the -region over Spain's. ' But he doesn't gamer the glory, as author J. Richard Nukes makes clear in "Almost a Hero: The Voyages of John Meares, R.N., to China, Hawaii and the Northwest Coast" (Washington State University Press, 1 1 9.95 paperback). Cook was the first to stop on what is now Vancouver Island in 1778 and trade trinkets with the Indians for sea . otter skins. In 1792, Vancouver was the first to chart the coast, including a sound named after his lieutenant, Peter Puget. Unlike them, Meares was not out primarily for adventure or discovery. He was after money. He was one of the first Pacific Rirri businessmen. Operating from Calcutta, India, and Macao, China, and backed by London merchants, he traded metal tools and weapons to the Northwest Indians for sea otter skins. The thick, rich furs were traded in China for spices, tea, silk and porcelain that could be sold at a big profit in Lon- . ' don... Nokes describes the misadventures , of Meares' two voyages to the region, . from 1786 through 1789. SUNSET DINNERS KtitoAxzHte Mamma Gina Monday thru Saturday V. 5-6pm Sensational 3 Course Dinners ffrcn$1090to$1490 Also featuring ear lib Live Maine Lobster wito Pssia For Just 16 & Sand Dabs "Piccata" Fcr test $1290 Open for Dinner Monday thru Saturday Palm Desert 73-705 El Paseo Dr. 568-9898 Newport Beach 251 E. Coast Hwy. (7IJI673-WKI If . . - -Li ' "" '"""J in Xr Y.XA Stardom: Sarah Jessica Parker is star you." "The song 'Let's Hear It For the Boy' was my character's song, man," Parker says, laughing. I'hr Voviics of iolut Shuv. R.N., So China, 1 h-wah ami the of fl off ' 5 2 ATA m'" - - JL JL Hardly a hero: J. Richard Nokes' book, "Almost a Hero," describes the misadventures of 18th-century British explorer Capt, John Meares, With a historian's temperament " and scholarly objectivity, Nokes won't call Meares a loser. His shortcomings are merely suggested, as in the title. "Almost a Hero" refers to" the acclaim Meares could have won if he had recognized the mouth of the Columbia as the opening to the great ; river of the West. Fimire, Italy l.Vr Borgo San Jacopo v w v: & , 4 V t,.-M i I l UN NT H U .! of HBO's "Sex and the City.' -The following y?ar, she appeared in the forgettable "Girls Just Want to Have Fun.' "OK, well, we all have our crosses N.in Invest Gust i r -VT "' 1 III-. A.SMIUA 1 1D i'Uf.Sh Even though he. was searching for a Northwest Passage,: Meares sailed right past the channel on July 6, 1 788, naming it Cape Disappointment . just north of the river mouth for his failure to find a safe harbor. Four years later, on May 11, 1792, American Robert Gray sailed into the Columbia, staking the U.S. claim to a Htm) Sunday September 19 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pal.m Springs Pavilion Admission is FREE, but tickets are required LIMIT: 4household Tickets Available beginning September 1 at Palm Springs City Ha.ll and Palm Springs Leisure, Center FOR INFORMATION, CALL 323-8272 Supported in part to bear," Parker deadpans. "What's your 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'?". After her role as the heroine in 1986's "Flight of the Navigator," Parker shifted gears to the small screen until 1991, when director Mick Jackson cast her in "L.A Story." She's delivered a string of memorable performances since, from Nicolas Cage's fiancee in "Honeymoon in Vegas" to a self-obsessed newscaster who loses her head in "Mars Attacks." She took the role of Dudley Do-' Right's love interest', she say?, because the cartoon struck her as very intelligent and, yes, funny. Not that she would remember. She'd never really seen the cartoon, until she considered the role. ''I wasn't allowed to watch -television growing up, period," Parker says. "Cartoflns in particular. My mother thought they were silly ... Nobody could knock into a building with their whole body, fall flat on the ground and then get up and. walk away. "She thought that was unrealistic," she says and pauses. "I don't know what she was talking about." So instead Parker spent her youth in Cincinnati and then New York with everything but television. , "We read books all the time," she says. "Went to the theater, the ballet and- the symphony. We drew. We played with blocks. Etch-a-Sketch. Slinky. Kick the can. Rollerskate. "Oh, and school. That's right." Next month she begins work on writer-director David Mamet's new comedy "State and Maine" and plans to do a play in January. She expects those roles to be equally fun. "I will always do work that appeals to me, as long as I'm offered in- teresting things." die Northwest. Nokes puts Meares in the context of the time, including early visits to Hawaii. But it becomes apparent in "Almost a Hero" that Meares was more than. unlucky. He sailed close to the ethical wind. . His first voyage was financed by taking opium to Malacca, Malaysia. He contrived to sail under the Portuguese flag to avoid paying license fees to die South Sea company and East Indian company that owned the rights to Pacific trade. ' When he wintered in Alaska in 1786-87, half his crew died of scurvy. A sister ship with a crew of 35 was lost at sea. His attempt to trade lumber to China - failed when he had to throw the cargo overboard in a storm. His fur-trading venture ended when ships under his control .were seized by the Spanish, nearly leading to war between Great Britain and Spain. . He was distrusted by Gray. Nootka Sound Indian chief Maquinna used the words "aita aita" "liar" for Meares. When he returned to England and wrote about his exploits, his claims were disputed by two authorities: Capt. George Dixon, another trader of the time who named the Queen Charlotte Islands; and the widow of explorer Charles Barkley, the first white woman to visit the Northwest ' coast. , . ; ' Nokes realizes Meares looks bad, ' but says he's no dud."Meares' faiilts were no more, nor less, than many another mariners 6f this period," he writes. But it's hard to redeem Meares. In fact, his flops make him more appealing in a way the explorer for underachievers. A landmark on the coast of Oregon bears his name, Cape Meares. He had named it Cape Lookout. That might be what the people of the time said "Look out for Captain Meares!" V , -V The City of Palm Springs presents "USO BIG BAND DANCE" featuring t The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Jazz Orchestra Snacks provided by Desert Medical Group, Inc. J by The Desert Sun Simple training to reduce stress, increase metabolism and boost energy. 323-9171 71248 Sahara Rd., Rancho Mirage Wltete. U&iutt u lut! - rj If Your Hair Isn't Becoming To You. You Should be coming to JONNY Offering a Complimentary Haircut with hllites or color service only Tuesday-Saturday Now thru March 31,1999 (First Time Clients Only, must bring Ad.) L-T- SALON & DAY SPA SALON G DAY SPA n 73-76Q 6we Got , r, MAID Waning Service licensed bonded Insured - we are the best call now 773-0079 Gaffe GENUINE LUNCH & - . ' rj "W.-- (1 l:30-2:30pm) Mon-Sat (5-6:30pm) Daily SAND DABS 89.95 - CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD $ 9.95 LASAGNA 9.95 1 lb. LIVE MAINE LOBSTER or LOBSTER SALAD $ 1 5.95 Valentino's dinners are always complete (include soup or salad & pasta) 73-375 El Paseo, Palm Desert 776-7535 Lunch Mon-Sat ll:30am-2:30pm Dinner 7 i?ays 5pm-9pm Resei'vations Reconjniended Ok vx j y TTlFm Stem Tilftrfh I; IV. -I TO'HHrfFl! Canyon Closet; & design centre I km - -fr!: . i i r,jv "Senior, fm'.,..- ...f :'c'''ft "'lr Discount -s A. yww oca 321 "8555 ra-BPeroRMMZJ Cathedral Cfty New Diet Pill XENICAL Is Here! Plus Many Others If " m ft V iiliri Canyon Dr., Palm Springs Now Accepting 2 & 3 y earmolds' applications for Sept. PreschoolKindergarten Palm Sprinas Cathedral City 327-5005 321-0090. I El Paseo, Palm Desert Valentino ITALIAN CUISINE IARLY DINNER SPECIALS (9)ct (he Woo to ew &HHuu'zed CTT SEASON? - (SEEDED CtlLTDQiniKS Co, I

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