Going home for the holidays is always memory time, and this year was no exception. I wandered the town of West Milton, Ohio, and remembered the fine Thanksgivings there, hunting quail in the morning, drinking beer at noon, and feasting at supper time.
Sadly, some of the old traditions are going. Seniors live in "assisted-living" places rather than with their kids, and nobody gathers around the home upright piano to sing - before my time anyhow. Driving around Ohio, one is struck by how the farms have expanded to thousands of corn acres just as the old farmhouses are disappearing.
THE REV IS SIGNING HIS BOOK
The Rev. Dr. Ken Haskins (aka The Rockin' Rev) is signing his new book, "Reminiscing with the Music Legends," 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Borders in Reno, 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Topsy Lane Borders and Dec. 16 at 2 to 4 p.m. again at the Reno Borders.
Good things happening in the next couple of days. Disney's "High School Musical" plays all weekend and carries over to next weekend at the Children's Museum.
Then there's "Ebenezer Scrooge - Jazz'd Up like the Dickens" at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City Saturday night. Last year ,this was a delight. Wednesday, the Virginia City High School Theater Muckers present Shakespeare's last play, "The Tempest." This is not a tragedy nor a comedy; fantasy may be the best category. Many critics feel it is his most mature work, all about a bunch of royalty stranded on an island by a storm. One excerpt, "O brave new world that never were" lives in the Aldous Huxley book title "Brave New World." Some of the poetry is magical, just like the plot. And the Silver Strings, a classical string quartet, plays tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Comma Coffee. On the horizon is The Brewery Arts Center's "Patsy Cline, Christmas and More" 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Joni Morris will give her intimate impersonation of the country legend. She is joined by the Carson High School Choir.
Plan ahead: Paul Rogers comes to the Eldorado Dec. 30-31, 786-5700. Tonight and tomorrow night the Reno Philharmonic is joined by Toni Tennille for "Spirit of the Season" at the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno. Tickets are $14-$63. The Pinkerton Ballet encores "The Nutcracker" ballet at the Grand Sierra Dec. 7-8 (800) 648-3568. Colin Raye shows at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks Saturday and Sunday, 356-3300. At the Silver Legacy in Reno, Lifehouse with guest Honey Honey entertains Saturday, 325-7401. Over in California, Eric Sardina is due at the Crystal Bay Casino Friday night, 831-0512.
FROM THE VAULTS
Philip Kaufman's "Quills" came out in 2000 to acclaim from the critics and winning Academy Award nominations. Despite the looseness with which Kaufman treated the Marquis de Sade's actual life, the film has some good ideas and fine performances from Geoffrey Rush as the marquis, Joaquin Phoenix as the insane asylum's abbey and Kate Winslet as Madelaine, a chambermaid who smuggles Sade's writings out of the asylum. When the publication of Sade's latest ribald accounts comes to the attention of Emperor Napoleon, Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) is ordered to put Charenton Asylum in order, particularly with respect to its most infamous inmate, Sade, with the latter finding new and innovative means to continue his writing in spite of the former's attempts to confiscate his writing materials.
Caught in the middle are Abbe Coulmier, who does not approve of the good doctor's savage methods, and Madelaine, who finds inspiration in Sade's writing.
The doctor, despite his moralistic bravado, is a hypocrite, since he traffics in the very sort of thing he attacks. He brings home his far-too-young wife, Simone (Amelia Warner of "Mansfield Park"), whom he has relegated to the status of indentured servitude by locking her in his mansion and having his way with her as he sees fit.
It's rated R but isn't all that salacious, and the acting lifts it out of the ordinary.
Not for the squeamish but for any viewer stewing over problems of censorship. One question: Madelaine is murdered, but at the close she is visited by the abbey and engages in some pretty basic sex. Is this a dream? Don't know.
• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.