;Court Ordered Therapy: Ladies of Eola Heights — Part 3
;;Without having seen the forerunners, is it possible to jump into Part 3 of Michael Wanzie's soap opera without feeling like you've tuned in to a fuzzy channel? Of course it is. Even to the uninitiated, the ongoing saga of sisters Ruby, Pearl and Opal Locksdale (played by Tommy Wooten, Wanzie and Doug, respectively) is funny and endearing, and the political commentary abrasive.
;; Still, the comedic brawl manages to bring the main message home — love conquers all. It's like what my mom used to tell me when I was little: In the end, your sister is the only one that you know will be there for you. In this installment, we witness a series of mandatory therapy sessions with an effeminate therapist for the three bickering sisters. The conversation is broken up by lip-sync numbers which are professionally good. Sam "Miss Sammy" Singhaus transitions us from scene to scene with beautifully costumed musical bits that save the show from being monotonous and elevate it to being whimsically relevant. Ultimately, Part 3 retains the honesty of comedy in intimate theaters, with improvised mishaps and Doug breaking character to tell a chatty couple to "shut the fuck up or leave." The discourse between audience and actors makes you feel involved, but was sparing enough to suspend your disbelief.
;; I didn't see the political stuff regarding the Iraq war coming in the big finale. Though a bit heavy-handed, the shift gives the play a tangible sense of these characters and their underlying issues related to alcoholism, incest and patriotism, and one can't dismiss Part 3 as another drag show. Still, you're kind of left wondering, "Didn't I come to see a comedy?" (8 p.m. Saturday, through Oct. 14, and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Footlight Theater, the Parliament House; $16; 407-425-7571)
;;— Aya Kawamoto;
;;Obscene Interiors: Hardcore Amateur Décor
;;By Justin Jorgensen (Baby Tattoo Books)
;;At first thumbing, Justin Jorgensen's photo book, Obscene Interiors, is a discomforting endeavor into elephant-in-the-ugly-room design commentary. Throughout, grayed-out shadows of naked male subjects foreground a low-rent mélange of poorly planned living quarters. The photo captions intentionally ignore the pornographic pitch-poses of the shadowed men, remarking instead on the Formica or leather forests of their home décor. For instance, one entry with a body draped on a wicker couch reads: "Something wicker this way comes!" The unspoken joke is that the photos are culled from creepy male dating sites, the kind where trick hopefuls tripod digicams to capture themselves at their most naughty (legs in the air, taint to the lens) or suggestive (masturbating in the kitchen!). And most of the interior-designing ribs are in fact double entendres. "Sometimes you need something really big to fill up your space. I'd like to put a large ficus tree in that empty area," captions a photo of a giant Oriental rug bordered by tan leather couches, with a gray blob bending over one of them. Ha! Hipster social commentary has never felt this voyeuristic, or this insightful.
;;— Billy Manes;
;The parking lot was full and the cheese platters were under attack at last Friday's reception at Crealdé School of Art for a group exhibition of works by 17 local artists. The talents on show were the lucky winners of modest Professional Development Grants from United Arts of Central Florida during the years 2003 to 2005. Margot Knight, CEO and president of United Arts, welcomed the elbow-to-elbow crowd and highlighted the variety and scope of the beautifully curated show — sculpture, paintings, film, photography. There were well-knowns on the local scene (Donne Bitner, Karen Carasik, David Cumbie, Rick Lang, Martha Lent and Peter Schreyer) as well as lesser-knowns (Anthony Torres, Aurora Rincon, Kyle, Joel B. McEachern). Particularly interesting in the collection was a spellbinding, free-flowing short film by Torres, composed of song and images manipulated by editing tricks. Also difficult to forget was a climbing sculpture by Rincon that was built using interlocking female figures — a chain, so to speak, representing how the lives of women are connected. (Through Nov. 4 at Crealdé School of Art, Winter Park; free; 407-671-1886);;
;— Lindy T. Shepherd;;
;In our Fall Guide issue (Sept. 28), we neglected to wave attention toward the monthly art happenings at Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria. What could be better than the pairing of an unshown local artist and one of our favorite sandwich shops? Proprietor Pom Moongauklang has a reputation for intriguing taste in visual art as well as in the kitchen. The second Wednesday of the month, a selected artist turns over his or her prizes to have them hung on the walls of Pom's eatery on Bumby Avenue, and she throws a party. Best of all, the art is affordably priced. That's why we're excited about painter Bryan Lanier's upcoming exhibition of colorful creations that juxtapose different periods of time, space and spirituality. While Lanier spends his days painting murals and crafting furniture, his true talent is evident in the vibrant colors and attention to detail used in his works. A military brat who traveled around the world, Lanier juxtaposes the modern age with nature, the infinite with the minute and spirituality with mankind's consumerism. ;(8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Oct. 31, at Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria; free; 407-894-0865);
;;— Amber Foster; firstname.lastname@example.org