Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 12, 1998 · Page 28
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 28

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 12, 1998
Page 28
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f -I" f i','-'.:.. la. -1 PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE Saturday, Septembers, 1998 Page B-12 Arts group leader back from residency abei Siyolwe, a Pittsburgh writer, director and producer, was awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, where she spent 10 days. Siyolwe's company, global posse productions, inc., was founded in Southern Africa in 1992. Its purpose is to use visual and performing arts drama, dance, music, literature and film as a vehicle for social change. Among Siyolwe's professional credits are roles as the jazz singer in Bernstein's "Mass" in London and as Thenjiwe Mt-intso in the motion picture, "Cry Freedom." She currently is developing a feature film, "Exiles." The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is near Sweet Briar College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia. About 20 fellows focused on their own creative projects at the working retreat for visual artists, writers and composers. A typical residency ranges from two weeks to two months. An artist is provided with a private bedroom and studio, plus three meals a day. Beyond the breakfast and dinner hours, there are no schedules or obligations. The distraction-free atmosphere is designed to help artists be productive. Siyolwe recently moved to Pittsburgh with her husband, Rodney, and son, Hannibal. (Rebecca Sodergren) Nancy Mosser Casting is casting day players and extras for "Inspector Gadget," which will be filming in Pittsburgh at the end of September and in October. Interested actors should send or drop off current headshots and resumes to Nancy Mosser Casting, 239 Fourth Ave., Suite 1217, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Extras should send or drop off recent snapshots or Polaroids to the same address. 412-434-1666. (R.S.) "A Bug's Life Mall Tour" is scheduled to stop Tuesday and Wednesday at Monroeville Mall. The multimedia traveling show includes two live stage shows, a behind-the-scenes look at computer animation, interactive games and a variety of film-related activities. The show is a preview of "A Bug's Life," an animated Dis-neyPixar feature film opening Nov. 20. Admission is free during regular mall hours. (R.S.) Anne Feeney & the Convenience Store Troubadours will perform with Chris Chandler, a folk artist, at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Club Alternative, McClure and Eighth Avenue, Homestead. Cost is $5. Information: 412-492-9411. (R.S.) A . - :-' t - . - .. ... - t-. - , a. --w" - . . - t v - ! . - . - - -f a l 1 f MA 'yjsLjCV . . 5 . r i . a-. . . .-cv-:-' v -" ,ir -c"'- ;- J; V x'it V, CVvjZfjjft- v 'fJ-' v ' ' -WXfrs v MilV f s P . 4 Wi--tj'? Jif$k ' lrJ'tfii - , ; - . -.... , .. . .. , ... jsks.cai t ii'tifcj UWtWvh a. With a movie in the works, and manual labor behind him, Randall Silvis is now working on five Prize-winning author Randall Silvis can now devote all his time to writing and family et up in the morning, step into your home office and write mavhe a novel, a screenplay or an article. A Take a coffee break and play with your kids. Randall Silvis admits it sounds like a pretty nice schedule and it is. "I am the luckiest father in the world to be able to spend 24 hours a day with my sons," he says. But he's also the most famous writer in Clarion County, turning out mysteries and screenplays that often take him to Los Angeles or New York. He heads to L.A. soon to discuss a screenplay he recently sold to Greenwater Pictures Inc., "Marguerite and the Moon Man." "It is a suspenseful, romantic comedy," Silvis said. Although it usually takes years to sell and produce a screenplay, Silvis just finished this one in the spring. "My agent sent it in June, and there is already a director attached to it. The company sent my script to Rachel Talalay in England to see if she would be interested in producing it. She liked it so much that she asked to be the director," Silvis said. Talalay has produced two "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies and directed "Tank Girl" and "Ghost in the Machine." Although Silvis doesn't mind heading to Tinseltown, he's always relieved to get back to St. Petersburg, Pa., to the house he shares with his wife, Rita, and two sons, Bret, 12, and Nathan, 8. Despite his idyllic life, Silvis, 47, says he's worked hard to get here. Over the years, the Rimersburg native has worked "more manual labor jobs than I can remember." After a short stint in college, he moved to San Francisco for a year, then came back and enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in CMU students meet the Muppets Sesame Street" came to Carnegie Mellon University Thursday night as the traveling "Unpaved" tour gave students a behind-the-scenes look at how the show they grew up watching is produced. Performer Sonia Manzano, a CMU grad who plays Maria on "Sesame Street," said the children's program is written with parents in mind. "We want to prevent 'Barney' syndrome where parents can't stand to watch it," Manzano said. In questions for the panel, students recalled the death of Mr. Hooper. Scenes from that installment were included in 15 minutes of clips. One revelation: an episode dealing with the divorce of Snuffle-upagus's parents was filmed but never aired because test audiences of 4- and 5-year-olds found it too upsetting. Moderator Rosemarie T. ifuglio tried to steer the students' questions to the 30-year-old "Sesame Street," but let's face it, the Muppets are the best part of the show. It's not surprising the CMU crowd wanted to know about Kermit and company. One student asked puppeteer Steve Whitmire (the voice and puppeteer for Kermit and Ernie) about Internet rumors that Bert and Ernie are supposed to be a gay couple. "They're puppets," he said. "They don't exist below the waist!" Later, Whitmire appeared on stage with his Ernie puppet "All that stuff about me and Bert?" Ernie said. "It's not true. We're both very happy, but we're not gay." Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor t f ill iWefe English, then began writing short stories while substitute teaching and working part-time jobs. "I would work to save a little nest egg, then go find a cottage and write until the money ran out," he said. Success came fairly early. In 1984 at age 33, he became the first winner from Pennsylvania of the nationally known Drue Heinz Literature Prize for "The Luckiest Man In the World," a collection of short stories. His novel "Excelsior" followed in 1988, and a mvstery, "An Occasional Hell," in 1993. Then, when the book was turned into an HBO movie, Silvis entered the world of screenplay writing. The movie, which starred Tom Berenger as a college professorprivate eye, was released in 1996. During filming, Silvis and his family got to be extras in the movie. "If you don't blink, you can see me," he joked. m 1993, "Under the Rainbow" was published, and in 1996, the mystery "Dead Man Falling." In addition to his books, Silvis has written more than a dozen plays that have been produced throughout the country. He also writes short stories, essays and articles for the Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest and other publications. He taught courses at Ohio State University and Clarion State University before retiring in 1993. Silvis is now at work on his first children's book and talking to publishers about two more books. On any given day, he may work on any one of five or six projects. "If I get into my office and one project doesn't seem to be working, I just move to the . i'H yii mil. if ( ;' Iff J Songwriter Peter Blegvad brings his trio to the Millvale Industrial Theater Monday night. next, he said. "Writing is challenging on a day-to-day basis. It can be both exhilarating and exhausting like taking your SATs every day." Kathleen Ganster is a free-lance writer. THE KIDS WILL GO ON Twenty-four children are getting the opportunity of their young lives today. About half of the North Star Kids performance troupe will sing with Celine Dion during her first song, "Let's Talk About Love," at her sold-out concert tonight at the Civic Arena. When R.J. Reynolds "retired" the favorite of the younger generation, Joe Camel became a consultant and columnist. Here is another of his "Ask Joe Camel": Dear Joe: How about all those ads on TV the ones claiming Big Government only wants to hit the tobacco companies hard so it can have more money to waste on stuff like education? J J., Tobacco City, Tenn. Dear J J: You got that right, bro. If Big Brother would let the tobacco companies police themselves, you wouldn't need all these scare tactics. Hey, the CEOs did look like they were all liars when they testified smoking doesn't cause cancer, but no one really knows, do they? Joe: How about this whole Clinton-Monica Lewinsky deal? R.U. Forrit, Tulsa, Okla. R.U.: Clinton's one cool dude. He's the a to six writing projects Are they excited? "Oh gosh," Kathleen Connelly, the troupe's agent and manager, said. "We have kids who know by heart every single song she's put out They're off-the-wall excited." "Talk about 15 minutes of fame!" director Annie Snyder added. "I'm flying as high as the kids, and I'm not even going to be on the stage." The troupe's 45 children, ages 7 to 13, perform around the Tri-State area. But occasionally they're asked to do something special. Only half of the group is performing tonight because the children had to fit age and height restrictions. If the chance to sing isn't exciting enough, the children will also have the opportunity to meet Dion in a photograph and autograph-signing session. Rebecca Sodergren, Post-Gazette staff writer MUSIC IN MILLVALE Since co-founding Slapp Happy back in the early '70s, Peter Blegvad has toured or recorded or both with Faust, the Art Bears, Henry Cow, Syd Straw, Chris Stamey, the Golden Palominos, Andy Partridge, John Zorn, Jack Bruce and Arto Lindsay, to name a few. His songs have been covered by Bongwater, Fairport Convention and Leo Sayer. How's that for a wide-ranging impact? These days, Blegvad's on the road with a trio (drummer Chris Cutler and bassist John Greaves, both of whom he's worked with off and on since Henry Cow). To see why the Trouser Press Rock Guide has hailed his writing as "some of the most oblique and poetic wordplay to ever make its way to song," you'd do well to check out the trio live at Millvale Industrial Theater Monday at 8 p.m. For information, call 412422-8864. Ed Masley, Post-Gazette pop musk critic MIND OVER MATTER Every scene has its provocateurs. The French Symbolists had Verlaine and Rimbaud. The turn-of-the-century anarchists had Sacco and Vanzetti. Pittsburgh's experimental theater scene has Mike Vargo and Avi Wenger. prez, the big guy, the go-to guy to take out that Bin Laden creep and he knows how to get babes. My guys don't like him bad-mouthing a perfectly legal agricultural product, but thev couldn't be prouder I read Monica did some suggestive things with one of Bill's cigars, while he watched. Bill, you the man! Joe: It's football season! What are your predictions, especially the Tobacco Institute? Lila Mudge, Somewhere Upstate. Lila: Bring it on, girl! I say Ohio State's overrated, Notre Dame's overhyped, and TI will have a super season. I made it down to Ashtray, N.C. (in the Smoky Mountains), for their home opener, where they clobbered Gingrich Tech, 44-3. Look for the Humidors to go 10-1. And check this out: They've got a kool retro mascot, one of those old-time dancing cigarette packs! Hiya, Joe: How about Mark McGwire! I'm 46 and I'm proud to wear his jersey everywhere! Dallas in BigD! Hiya back, Big D-D! Big Mac's the real deal. We sent him a year's supply of Red Man. I don't Si jfalUi John BealePost-Gazette Eschewing the usual dialogue-plot-set of traditional theater for a paradigm that embraces a freewheeling structure and minimalist set Vargo and Wenger are, as usual, engaged in a principled assault on the conventional. This evening at Borders at the Northway Mall in Ross, Vargo and Wenger are debuting their latest collaboration "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell." Vargo calls their latest piece a work in progress about business, art and alternate universes. It's structured to adjust to audience comments and input "If you're a William Blake fan, or even if you're not you'll enjoy it," Vargo said of the piece that lifted its title from the famous Blake poem. Vargo plans to read the poem, but that is only a very small part of the 50-minute program. "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" will be performed tonight at 7:30. Admission is free. Discussion and open mindedness is encouraged. Tony Norman, Post-Gazette staff writer LOVE PA. STYLE Early rock star Fabian, 55, took out a marriage license Tuesday in Uniontown, to wed former Miss Pennsylvania Andrea Lvnn Patrick, 37. They listed their address as Toluca Lake, Calif. The intended bride's mom, Gladys Patrick of Connellsville, said the wedding would be later this month. Seven months into marriage with San Francisco newspaperman Phil Bronstein is good for Meadville, Pa., native Sharon Stone. "I love to bake," she says in InStyle magazine. "I'm always sending Phil to work with brownies." But she has her limits. "I don't like to do dishes," the actress notes, "vacuum or make the bed." HE'S OUT! Rocker Tommy Lee, convicted of spousal abuse for kicking wife Pamela Anderson Lee, was sprung from the slammer early for good behavior after serving less than four months of a six-month sentence. The Motley Crue drummer will be on probation for three years and must 1) donate $5,000 to a shelter for battered women, 2) avoid drugs and alcohol, 3) stay at least 100 yards away from his wife, 4) attend anger-management classes, 5) undergo random drug tests and 6) perform 200 hours of community service. Pamela, who has two boys with Lee, filed for divorce after the attack. From wire reports know if he chews, but it's there for him a little show of solidarity. Kudos on wearing Number 25 1 hope you also have a goatee and wear your St. Looey cap backwards. Too Kool! We're never too old to paaarrrr-ty! Dear Joe: Howard Stern for President! Me and my friends at Fort Bumble Middle School think he's totally awesome. FS.: We go with your brand. D.L., Fort Bumble, Fla. Dear D.L.: Those do-gooders that carp about kids smoking are on Howard for being "tasteless" and "cruel." Joe Camel thinks miking bodily functions and making fun of the handicapped are not dumbing anything down, but just reflect changing societal mores. We may have been founded by Bible-toting prudes, but this is the millennium. Uncle Joe: Wow! What a mess! Will Russia go Red? VI. Lennon, Moscow, Idaho. Vee Baby: Bo Yeltsin's outta here, but his new spy guy'U keep 'em right. The commies always have smoked a lot, still we'll work with it. We're opening a string of discount cig joints. Class for the classes! Max The Fax Dog Sez: No Go, Joe. Joe Camel Sez: Everybody, just lighten and light up!

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