When the snow turns to slush by 11 a.m. and there's still too much of it for mountain hiking, what's one to do? Last Sunday the answer was the Nevada Museum of Art at 169 W. Liberty St. in Reno for the monthly Sunday Brunch and Jazz, 11 to 1 p.m. With the Andy Warhol show there through May 27, it was a fine way to spend a lovely day.
The David Ache Trio supplied the jazz and the museum kitchen the brunch for the packed, main-floor dining area. The trio (piano, trumpet/flugelhorn and sax) offered very subdued Sunday jazz, with a fine unraveling piano solo by Ache and a rollicking trio version of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz," while brunchers munched happily. A very pleasurable morning with plenty of beverages and free refills on coffee and tea. The Warhol show is big, many of his most noted and popular prints such as Mao, Marilyn and Mick (Jagger, of course). Plenty of space to wander about, and even a kids playroom area with many pseudo Cambell's tomato soup cans as toys.
The multiple versions of the prints show what variations in colors can do to a subject (Mao becomes threatening and Marilyn riper). Best piece was the Warhol print of Jackie Kennedy in mourning after the death of JFK. This is a double view of her, compounding the emptiness in her face.
There's also a Monet and a Degas plus a big show of 2006 Scholastic Nevada winners and a de Kooning, which left this viewer at sea.
Why write about all this taking place in Reno when there's plenty to do in Carson? Well, maybe this will inspire someone in town to take up the challenge and do a jazz and brunch here. Maybe the Nevada Museum or the Brewery or the Railroad Museum. The V&T is a long way away, but tourists would certainly welcome such an event here. Any takers?
Pat Josten, producer of the delightfully fantastic play "Charlotte's Web" at the Children's Museum, reports that the play is drawing capacity crowds, and this is its last weekend. "There's room for two children's theater groups in town," she said, referring to the BAC Stage Kids at the Brewery and her new group the Wild Horse Children's Theater. Shows are 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
FROM THE VAULTS
BOOK: James Ellroy is a popular grim-thriller writer as we learned from his "L.A. Confidential." Now his "Black Dahlia" (Warner Books, $7.50) is with us, in both book and film form. Haven't seen the film, but the book is a powerful work of mostly fiction. What is real is that a young woman was found dismembered in a vacant lot in Los Angeles in 1946. In real life her murder was never solved, but Ellroy comes up with a bizarre tale fingering her killer.
There's all kinds of mayhem in the 372 pages (which include a weird afterword by Ellroy) as Bucky Beichert and Lee Blanchard battle both in the ring and as cops hunting the killer, meanwhile having formed a chaste menages de trois of sorts with their soul-damaged intellectual Kay.
This is authentic cops and killers, with excursions into a corrupt Mexico, glances at sordid sex scenes, trips among the lowlifes of LA, the highlifes of Hollywood. The characters are often brutal, the language ringing with authenticity. Ellroy knows how to set a scene and put it in action. His "Black Dahlia" (so-called because of her penchant for dressing all in black) is a sad, lost figure trapped by dreams of filmdom, caught in a porno scene.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It's gruesome, violent, politically most incorrect. It's as fascinating as a bullfight - and just a gory.
FILM: I'm not sure I got "Syriana," starring a bunch of people, including George Clooney, who won a best supporting actor Oscar, but I couldn't stop watching it. I never figured out who were the bad guys, who were the good guys and who were the innocent bystanders. Ambiguity reigns.
It's all about oil, that commodity that seems to rule the world. Have it and you rule. Lack it and you're highway kill. Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Christopher Plummer and Amanda Peet are among the survivors in this movie, although Damon and Peet (sadly underused) lose a son in a sheik's swimming pool.
Clooney is a CIA man who has made some mistakes but winds up back in the Mideast where he is brutally beaten after being abducted in Beirut. He also orders an assassination in a beautiful scene at the Beirut harbor (brought back memories of trips to Beirut when things were safer). His Oscar was well deserved.
Don't watch this movie with the idea you're going to go from point A to point B and be able to say to yourself, "Oh, I get it." I didn't and I doubt if you will. But like they say it's not the destination, it's the trip. For a 2005 film, this is right on today's button, rated R. Absorbing as you try to follow the twisted tale of oil flowing wrong ways. The ending is a sort of redemption scene just after the the bad guys (American CIA-oil men) target and blow up the good Arab along with Clooney. Lasts 128 minutes.
• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-11236 or SBauman@nevadaappeal.com.