a kate west reflection
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One of the only television series to provoke a flurry of online speculation on such weighty matters as literature, physics, love and the afterlife, "Lost" will definitely take its place in pop culture history. Granted, it's probably nothing university professors would consider in-depth, but to even allude to the philosophical in a mere t.v. show is something new these days. And fans will still be discussing the controversial finale long after its prime time demise.

Anyway, this post is really a shout-out to the die-hard fans out there, not a description of what the show is about (who can say that, even now?) or even a review. It's just, I haven't pondered a t.v. show this much since, well, ever. Following Jack, Kate, Locke, Sun/Jin, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Charlie/Claire, Michael/Walt and (sigh) Sayid all these years really sunk them into my consciousness somehow, in a way that no other show did. Yes, I wanted to unravel mysteries (more satisfactorily than "X-Files", I have to say) and cliff-hangers kept me tuning in, but really it was about the characters. Those damned likable characters supposedly randomly marooned on a woefully underrated mysterious island. The location was spectacular, the sets first-rate and the musical score devastating. All those factors made this unreality so very real, and always touching at the heart of the matter - being human. And of course the actors themselves portrayed weakness and nobility so easily they made us all feel vulnerable.

So now, weeks later, I am still thinking about death. And life. And it's not as scary as it used to be. If we all end up in a church of our own making, with friends we went through hell with, we are going to be alright. If only. A series finale is in itself about an ending, obviously. And I thought I was good with those. I could move on to the next phase in my life, kind of ... unphased. But lately it's been harder and I get more sentimental as the years go by. Or maybe it's just that the changes are bigger and the moves cover more ground. And fantasy relationships are easier.

I like the idea of being led by my faithful canine companion to another plane of non-existence (though I don't want to have to stumble onto it with a gut wound and while we're at, I'm not planning on running over anyone in a wheelchair, no matter what dimension I find myself). Fox did that scene so well, that culmination of everything he was supposed to be, and had learned. We were used to the flashbacks all along, so these final bursts of insight into the past should not have surprised us, but the heart wrenching emotion that came with them this time around was almost hard to bear. Each epiphany and awakening we saw coming, but still they blinded us (yes, yes, we know, except Shannon and Sayid, boo!) The peace and happiness that came after - well the whole series seemed worth that. No more questions. It doesn't matter anymore. Not all of life's mysteries are meant to be revealed.

Suffice to say, everything on the island was real, we know that now (remember the creators promised us from season one that we were not in purgatory). Hurley and Ben maintained it for years after and when everyone finished with his/her life, they all showed up together, as if pre-arranged. Kate had been waiting years apparently. Jack finally found faith. And the light was never extinguished.

Miss you guys already.

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Behind the Scenes Drama

a kate west review
by Nancy De Los Santos-Reza, with Tomas Benitez
CAP Plaza de la Raza Youth Theater Program
directed by BJ Dodge; choreographed by Marvin Tunney
at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater
3540 Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031
contact (323) 223-2475 or www.plazadelaraza.org

MAY 7 - 7:30 PM at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater

MAY 8 - 2:00 PM at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater

MAY 8 - 7:30 PM at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater

MAY 14 - 7:30 PM at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater

MAY 15 - 7:30 PM at Plaza de la Raza, Margo Albert Theater

MAY 28 & 29 - 7:30 PM at


Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater

631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 237-2800


The historical Plaza de la Raza is one of those hidden Angelino treasures that you don't know about it until someone brings you to it. Housed in one of Los Angeles' traditionally neglected playgrounds in Lincoln Park, Plaza has undergone a few revitalizations. And now, by combining its 40 year saga with CalArts Community Arts Partnership of 20 years, you get a sprawling tale of a neighborhood's labor of love. Margo Albert, famed Mexican-born movie actress (married to Eddie Albert), sold her jewelry to keep the performing arts school going back in the 1960's and it has been inspiring young people ever since.

Nancy De Los Santos-Reza, with Tomas Benitez, struggle to put all the components into a cohesive whole and under the direction of BJ Dodge, cast community youth from the program to depict their own origins in, fittingly, "Behind the Scenes Drama". Most of these kids are middle schoolers and from varied backgrounds, so you will see some unevenness. It's also tough to work in all the politics and red tape and still make a dramatically interesting story, so the piece lags at times. And it is naturally rife with inside jokes and inner cultural references, however you do learn an awful lot about the site and definitely gain an appreciation for what Plaza has been doing all these years.

Interweaving, musicians, actors, teachers, parents and of course, the heart of the program, the students, the play demonstrates an intense communal love of the arts and barrio pride and indeed is comprised of alum, current staff and CalArts representatives. The players themselves practically glow with excitement, especially during small moments taken from real life memories and inspirations. It may be a little hard to sit through it all, but while the story could use some editing, the production staff is to be commended for so obviously putting heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into so personal a recital. Can't wait to see what the future holds for them.
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