SEE BILL EPSTEIN'S SHOW HEADING FOR BROADWAY
Bill Epstein in uniform for the game called life.  

How many of us get to fulfill a life-long dream? Now you can count retired University of Arizona professor of English Bill Epstein among them. This scholar, actor and playwright is giving at least two Broadway performances of his full-length autobiographical play, “My Life in Sports.”

Now you can be a part of Epstein's adventure, as well. To prepare for his debut on Broadway, the writer/actor is giving three preview performances of “My Life in Sports” on Aug. 26-28 as a fund raiser for the fledgling APCOT Theatre, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road.

“All of the box office income, except expenses, which are very minimal, will go to APCOT. I'm happy to have this opportunity,” said Epstein. “For me, it's like an out-of-town warm-up.”

The play is a single-hander, staged theatrically so it is more than a monologue, that was warmly received last August in two weekends of local performances at Live Theatre Workshop. Sabian Trout was the director.

It is a tale both bitter and sweet – of a boy growing up playing sports, and after intermission, of a grown man leaving one woman to find his heart's love with another. In recounting these experiences, Epstein finds great depth in the sports metaphors that play poetic roles in making sense of his life.

“My first show in New York, on Sept. 24, is already sold out,” said Epstein, adding that he has lots of friends and relatives back East. “So they gave me a second show. As long as I keep selling out, they will give me another show.”

His performances are a part of the seventh annual United Solo Festival, billed as “the world's largest solo theater festival,” running through Nov. 20 at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., in the heart of Manhattan's theater district and Times Square.

“The festival gets thousands of applicants every year,” Epstein said. “Applying is a very elaborate process. I was among the 120 that were accepted.

“For me, this success is sufficient. All I ever wanted was to be on Broadway, and now I am, the real Broadway.”

Catch Epstein's three-performance out-of-town warm-up and fund raiser at APCOT Theatre, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road (at the Bear Canyon Road intersection). Running time is approximately two hours.

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Aug. 26-27), 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28). All tickets are $25. For information and reservations, call Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006.




 









"EQUITY" IS ALL ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY
Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is the tough bitch executive who rubs men the wrong way.

Imagine a classic Western movie, only this time Indians are playing all the cowboy parts and saving the town, while cowboys play all the Indians who get massacred at the end.

That's pretty much how it goes in “Equity,” not  a Western but a modern and well-made, if simplistic and sometimes accidentally laughable, movie about gaming Wall Street. Women fill all the major roles of big money players, while men are the manipulated bimbos.

I'm just guessing here, but probably the intent of writer Amy Fox and director Meera Menon was to show that women could be just as evil as men when it comes to being bankers, Wall Street insiders and high finance string pullers.

But alas, everyone involved with this film seem so intent on acting like men that all the set-up conversations of implied intimidation, confrontation and snappy come-backs over premium-priced martinis in exclusive nightclubs (as testosterone demands) just aren't very convincing.

Sex does play a major role in these business deals as women turn the tables on men, creating desire like a drug that is immediately sucked up by these helpless guys who will do most anything to get a little.

The plot is easy enough to follow, in terms of telling the good persons from the bad persons, though the mechanics of IPOs and Wall Street game players do get blurry as it affects the driven Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn), her career already tarnished by one deal gone bad before the movie has even started.

As “Equity” opens, she is determined to prove that deal is over, an anomaly that doesn't reflect the real Naomi Bishop. This time around, Naomi is determined to deliver the goods, handling the IPO for a start-up that will deliver the ultimate in security protection for anyone using the internet.

Lots of complications ensue. Some potential stereotypes emerge (should anyone want to make another of these feminist films). One eye-catcher is the brilliant young ambition-driven woman who becomes pregnant just as her career is taking off.

With her mommy-bomb ticking, she must neutralize the competition and close the deal before the bulge in her tummy becomes undeniable.

One strategy to protect this in utero infant from the alcohol lifestyle everyone pursues is to take her martini into the ladies room, save the olives and pour the drink down the drain, filling the glass with water and returning the olives to her new “drink.”

My favorite stereotype-in-waiting is based on the belief that when all women in the corporate culture are trying their best to act like hard-knuckled men, lipstick lesbians will have the edge over all those straight girls.

So, sure, let the ladies have their fun pretending to be men. This film does provide a more positive image than “Sex and the City,” after all.

Just remember, activist females, keep this movie on the down low. Absorb the lessons, visualize yourselves in that corporate setting, just don't take your boyfriends along to see the picture.