‘Phantom’ plays to sold-out houses; free movie tonight | NevadaAppeal.com

‘Phantom’ plays to sold-out houses; free movie tonight

Sam Bauman
Entertainment Editor

“The Phantom of the Soap Opera” opened last weekend at the Brewery Arts Center Black Box Theater to sold-out crowds. The original “Phantom of the Opera” was never like this “Phantom,” which is a delightful jest. This murder mystery spoof of the famous “Phantom” story features the CHS Capitol Stars and is a musical Halloween treat for the Carson family. Catch it Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Get your tickets at KCHANDLER@carson.k12.nv.us.

“FAHRENHEIT 451” FREE

Book lovers and movie fans both can enjoy this Ray Bradbury book-based film at the Fandango Galaxy tonight at 7 p.m. Bradbury has said that the novel is not about censorship; he says “Fahrenheit 451” is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which ultimately leads to ignorance of total facts.

The title refers to the temperature at which paper and books burn. It’s especially important during this week of a national program to promote reading during a time when some adults never read a book after finishing school.

THEN THERE’S A REAL OPERA

Opera is probably pretty low on the “must see” scene these days, but the Nevada Opera’s staging of “Aida” last weekend drew packed houses. In Reno this is as much a social event as a musical night, and the dress-up attire showed it – fancy gowns and black ties on a Sunday afternoon. It’s almost a given that the cast was talented: Claudia Waite (in blackface? Ithought we were over that) as Aida, Drew Slatton as Radames, Gwendolyn Jones as Amneris all sent the rafters ringing. Most of the audience was in or near the senior category but some parents brought offspring as culture exploring.

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MUSIC CDS

So many CDs cross the desk that it’s hard to keep up, give each at least one listen. The group Lotus, recently playing in our area, has released a two-CD album “Escaping Sargosso Sea,” that holds up quite well. No screaming over a track of pure noise, this has some musicality to it and is fine listening, amorphous, constantly shifting style. Electro? Pop? Disco? World music? Lotus picks from all of the current musical world, but obviously has its own style. No hard rock, but fine music.

BOOK NOTE

The old pros continue to turn out fine novels, such as “The Testament,” by John Grisham (Dell Publishing, 534 pages, $7.99 paperback). Grisham’s novels usually explore the world of lawyers and courts, and this is no exception. But rarely has he gone so far in condemnation of the legal profession as here, where lawyers suborn witnesses and battle to control who gets to sue. The story is clever:a billionaire is dying and stages his final will and suicide cleverly to cut out his brood of offspring, all complete losers. Instead, after staging a sanity test on video by three shrinks, he signs one will for the tube, then whips out a handwritten one leaving his fortune to an illegitimate daughter, a missionary in the Brazilian wilderness.

A drunken lawyer in rehab is given the assignment of finding the woman and informing her of her $7 billion fortune. He takes on the job, flies to Brazil. He catches dengue fever and almost dies, but makes it to the heiress. Sad-happy ending. Well done.

WEB UPDATES

Since we get a lot of entertainment news after this column closes, we’ve started a Web report, “Sam’s Best Bets,” for upcoming shows or other events. This appears Fridays at nevadaappeal.com. And we’ll cover more than this weekend’s fun as some like to plan ahead. Hope you find it useful.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.