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Nevada life on stage

Sam Bauman
Nevada Appeal

Lots going on in the old town. Coming up Nov. 7 is an original cabaret show at the Brewery Arts Center, written by local Bobby McGee. This will premiere at the Brewery and will include 15 scenes and songs spoofing life in Nevada. On Saturday, Nov. 8 the DeltaWires hit Brewery Performance Hall. This is a seven-man group of horns and harmonica playing the blues. The group has solid credentials, having played with Van Morrison and the late James Lee Hooker.

MOVIE MAGIC

At the Fandango Galaxy “Appaloosa” explores the traditional Western genre with modest success, but it’s a shame the director and co-screenplayer writer Ed Harris couldn’t use the basis for the film – Robert B. Parker’s novel “Resolution” – instead of reworking it into a mish-mash. The novel was terse, clear and deft, about the relationship between two gunmen, Hetch and Virgil. It cases the two olds friends in the gun fighting business of the West and how they defended the town against a ruthless bar owner who was taking over homesteader ranches. In “Appaloosa” it’s Virgil and Hetch against Bragg (Jeremy Irons), a rancher with a bunch of gunslingers. No real reason for the conflict except that Bragg apparently ran the town before townsfolk hired Virgil to be marshal.

Ed Harris plays Virgil and Viggo Mortenson is Hetch, he of the eight-gauge shotgun. Renee Zellweger is Allie, a lady no better than she should be.

The solid story Parker wrote is muddied up, made illogical and rambles around with Allie both a whore and Virgil’s true love. Too bad a perfectly good story had to be dismembered. The surprise is that it is still a reasonably good movie in these days of computer-generated car chases and explosions.

TALENT ABOUNDS

At Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, in the South Shore Room, it’s the Improv Saturday at 8 p.m., tickets $25. Call (800) 786-8208. Appearing are Wendy Liebman, Jeff Burghart and Howie Nave. Mimi Chu and Joyce Lee are there Oct. 25 with tickets $28 to $88.

Over in Sparks, Ricci Martin will appear Friday and Saturday in a tribute to his father, Dean. That’s at 8 p.m. in the Celebrity Showroom, tickets $35 at (800) 648-1177.

The Grand Sierra’s Pearl offers ’80s Flashback Friday at 10 p.m. Free admission, with the Spazmatics offering cool nerd music from the ’80s. Saturday night it’s Sexy Saturday at 10 p.m. with admission $20. EJ Luera and DJ Miller are the acts.

At MontBleu in Stateline the 30th annual Freakers Ball swirls Oct. 31 with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on Ball night. Call 588-3515.

THE ART OF NATURE

An exquisite series of photographs sketches and paintings by wildlife artist, naturalist and river guide Sharon K. Schafer is on display in the Upper Middle Gallery of the Nevada State Museum through August 2009. The exhibit also includes natural history specimens from the museum’s collection. For more information contact Dr. George Baumgardner, curator of Natural History at 687-4810, ext. 236.

BOOK WORLD

Steve Martin, author of the Paul Madriani series of thillers, has come up with a totally new idea in “Shadow of Power” (William Morrow, 390 pages, $26.95, in the Carson Library New Books collection). Popular author Paul Scarborough has a best seller out there dealing with the language of the United States Constitution, which he claims in his book to include the language of slavery, despite the 13th Amendment. Scarborough is murdered just as he is about to appear on the Jay Leno show, and a bellhop is charged. Madrini is on the case for the defense and rapidly becomes embroiled not only as defense attorney but also as a player.

The writing is crisp, the story well told and it takes a while to find out if Thomas Jefferson was the author of a letter that would blow the lid off the newly alive slavery question. Interesting concept and enough to send one to a copy of the Constitution to see if it is all there – and to ponder how to remove such biased language if it is, as no mechanism exists to expunge words from the Constitution.

• Contact Sam Bauman at editor@nevadaappeal.com.