Critics’ Forum articles

Soaring Satire: The Best of Theater In 2009

This year’s trend in Armenian theater had to be satire, given that it seemed to thread virtually every significant production of the past 12 months. It appeared in both Armenian- and English-language scripts, in original scripts and revivals of classic scripts, and it served as the sign of a maturing theater community that not only entertains its surrounding society, but enlightens it by exposing its follies. Here, I take a look back at the best of these theatrical offerings – the ones that stood out for piercing wit and potency.

Reflections in the Aftermath of an Exhibition

Earlier this year, I was asked by the sub-committee of the City of Glendale’s officials and community artists to be the Guest Curator for the city’s Annual Commemorative Events exhibition. Three intensive months later, the exhibition, ultimately titled “Man’s Inhumanity to Man: Journey Out of Darkness . . .” opened at the Brand Library Art Galleries on April 4, 2009 and was on view until May 8, 2009.

Myth and Memoir in Black Dog of Fate

The winter of 2009 saw the publication of the 10th anniversary edition of Peter Balakian’s award-winning 1997 Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir (Basic Books, NY: 2009). The book bears, on its cover, the additional subtitle, An American Son Uncovers His Armenian Past.

A Gem in the Rough: The Appreciation of Armenian Art

For the last decade or so, the number of art galleries in Southern California has been steadily growing. A notable addition to the group is Stephanie’s Fine Art Gallery, a bold and innovative gallery specializing in Armenian art. Beyond its unique emphasis on Armenian art, Stephanie’s is particularly distinctive because of the vision of its founder and owner, Linda Stepanyan.

Critics’ Forum: ‘Truth’ Dazzles as Art and Drama

The title of Vasken Brudian’s latest exhibit, “Of Art and Architecture: A Contemporary Discourse,” which opened on June 19, speaks to the artist’s dual talents. Brudian’s sophisticated art combines hand painting and architectural design, sprinkled with lines from literature. The mixed-media creations that result are coated with sublime colors – for me, the deep reds, haunting blues, and shades of orange take on symbolic significance – and reveal truths among layers that dazzle gradually.

Critics’ Forum

Literature The Path Not Taken: My Brother’s Road By Hovig Tchalian The recently published biography by Markar Melkonian–My Brother’s Road: An American’s Fateful Journey to Armenia–begins with an interesting premise–what kind of a man was the subject of the book and the author’s brother–Monte “Avo” Melkonian? As its subtitle suggests–the book attempts to answer the

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