‘Color of Stars’ Childsplay’s salute to smalltown America

To celebrate its 35th birthday, Childsplay, the resident theater company for young people at Tempe Center for the Arts, is once again doing a show that isn’t entirely, well, child’s play. “The Color of Stars” is a mystery/drama set in small-town America during WWII, involving both the suspicion and paranoia of such communities and such […]

Monti’s: A tasty walk thru hallways of Tempe’s history

Monti’s: A tasty walk thru hallways of Tempe’s history

The name means “The Old House,” and not for nothing. Monti’s La Casa Vieja’s website lays claim to its renown as the Valley’s oldest continuously occupied building. When you walk into the place, you’re quite literally walking into history. That history begins in the early 1870s, when Charles Trumbull Hayden started work on a rambling, […]

Taking aim at a moving target in ‘Hunger Games’

Taking aim at a moving target in ‘Hunger Games’

Wild turkeys have been a recurring theme in my life recently. I missed the screening of The Hunger Games, still mopping up at the box office two weeks after its opening, because I was back East. Among other places, I visited a honey farm in West Virginia, where I saw a small flock of the […]

Visual authenticity doesn’t save ‘Carter’

Visual authenticity doesn’t save ‘Carter’

Maybe the highest compliment that can be paid to John Carter, the long-awaited version of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is that it looks just like it ought to look. Again and again, watching it, I was struck by how seamlessly the filmmakers had captured the visual flavor of the cover paintings […]

Garlic & Shots offers a double whammy for KC diners

Care to take a guess as to why the new restaurant on the southeast corner of Rural and Elliot is called Garlic & Shots?  If you said, gee, maybe because all the food has garlic in it, and because the place serves lots of shots, well done. Go have a shot. You’ll have plenty of […]

Dr. Seuss spinoff ‘The Lorax’ doesn’t conceal its bias

Dr. Seuss spinoff ‘The Lorax’ doesn’t conceal its bias

For those unfamiliar with The Lorax, the 1971 children’s book on which the new film Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is based: It’s an environmentalist parable told by a mysterious character called The Once-ler. Once an industrialist, The Once-ler is now a recluse living in a wasteland of his own making. He and his family chopped […]

Arietty’ already Top 10-bound

Arietty’ already Top 10-bound

Even if, like me, you’re not an especially big fan of the Japanese anime style, don’t miss The Secret World of Arietty. We’re only in February, but I would have to have an outstanding year at the movies indeed for this 2-D animated feature from Japan’s Studio Ghibli not to be somewhere on my 2012 […]