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'The House of the Scorpion'
House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer, Atheneum Books for Young
Readers, 2002, 380 pages, ages 12 and up
Review by Louella Moreland
Nancy Farmer has crafted another
thought-provoking, issue-questioning novel for young adults. This
time the two-time Newbery Honor author has taken us to the future in
a science fiction story of drug families and cloning. There is even
a family tree in the front of the book to help us keep the Alacran
The story begins with the special
clones of El Patron, leader of the Alacran family. A technician is
concerned as the host mothers' wombs reject all but one clone. The
tone of the story begins here. As readers we feel the desperation of
the technician as he struggles against nature to keep the last clone
alive. After all, if he fails, it means the end of his own family.
The last remaining clone does survive,
is born and is sent to be raised by a servant who lives in the
middle of the opium fields. By the age of 6, Matt (as the clone is
known) grows discontent with never being allowed to play outside or
see anyone except his beloved Celia. All he knows of the outside
world he learns through watching television… until an accident
occurs where he is thrust into the attention of the Alacran family.
Matt begins to undergo drastic changes
in his life. First he is faced with brutal treatment by the humans
who regard him as a freak. Then he comes under the protection of his
human counterpart, El Patron. Although he is educated and allowed to
live in luxury, constant reminders of his birth keep him from ever
leading a normal life.
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The land of Opium has become the
dictatorship of El Patron. Separating the United States and Mexico,
Opium guards capture citizens from both countries who attempt to
cross the borders. These emigrants are implanted with a microchip in
the brain, which turns them into "eejits," the perfect slaves to
work the opium fields.
Matt realizes that El Patron is evil,
but he also knows that El Patron and he are the same "person"
physically. He struggles with the good and evil sides he knows exist
within him. While he is revolted by El Patron's disregard of life,
he is also attracted to that very power.
"The House of the Scorpion" is a "can't
put down" page-turner! Even though this is a science fiction novel,
many of the issues here are ones young adults face today. Some of
the subject matter is dark, but as readers we never fall so far into
the pit that we lose hope that Matt will somehow overcome the evil
of this land. Wonderfully developed characters aid him in
understanding that life is never "fair" and that a person's choices
define that person and not the background from which he came.
"The House of the Scorpion" is truly a
book of hope… a hope that somehow we humans will be able to stumble
through the dark times and evolve into something better.
To check out
this book and others by Nancy Farmer, visit the library at 725 Pekin
St. or call 732-8878.
[Louella Moreland, Youth
Public Library District]
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At the corner of Woodlawn and
515 Woodlawn Road
Wonderful Wizard of Oz' May 2 and 3
Lincoln Junior High School
will present "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" May 2 and 3 in the junior
high auditorium at 208 Broadway. The performance begins at 7 each
night. Tickets are $3 and are available from cast members or will be
sold at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is an
adaptation of the book by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy and Toto are caught
in a cyclone from Kansas and land atop a wicked witch in
Munchkinland. As Dorothy tries to find her way home, she meets a
scarecrow, tin woman, cowardly lion and two more witches. She
travels through the land of the China Princess and confronts winged
monkeys as she attempts to take the broom from the Wicked Witch of
is appropriate for all ages. It has exciting, scary and poignant
[LJHS news release]
new name and new season
Almost everything is new
about the Lincoln Land Concert Association this year -- its name,
its booking source, a reciprocal arrangement with two nearby cities
and, of course, the artists who will perform during the 2003-04
Formerly affiliated with Trawick of New
York, which has a copyright on the name "Community Concerts," the
association is now booking through Allied Concert Services of
Minnetonka, Minn., and has therefore dropped the word "community"
from its name. The vote to change booking services came in October.
Association president Harley Petri of Elkhart said the board of
directors met with Allied president David Folin beginning last
summer, liked what they heard and decided to give his company a try.
Folin was present Tuesday night to
preview the season's lineup. This year all performances are on
weekends, with three shows on Friday night and one on Saturday.
Headlining the series is Red, Hot...&
Blue!, a musical revue featuring eight performers acclaimed as the
"hardest working cast in Branson." They sing and dance their way
from ragtime to rock 'n' roll. In Branson, Mo., the show has been
consistently awarded Best A.M. Show, Best Costumes and Best Vocal &
Red, Hot...& Blue opened on July 4,
1996. Since then the show has been featured on Holland-America
Cruise Lines and Princess Cruise Lines and has made several national
tours. The high-energy revue comes to Lincoln March 12, 2004.
Fans of Garrison Keillor's "Prairie
Home Companion" may remember Butch Thompson, a jazz pianist who
performed on the radio show in the '80s and '90s. On April 23, 2004,
he will team up with Duke Heitger on trumpet and Jimmy Mazzy on
banjo and vocals to form Butch Thompson's Big Three. The trio of
seasoned musicians traces the history of jazz from its origins in
New Orleans to the ragtime of Scott Joplin, the blues of Chicago's
south side and the jazz of the Roaring '20s.
Thompson, who plays both piano and
clarinet, also sits in as a music critic. In Minneapolis-St. Paul he
writes a newspaper column and has a radio show on jazz.
Leading off the Lincoln Land Concert
season on Sept. 20 is a young male a cappella quartet called Marcoux
Corners. Specializing in close harmony, the group covers five
decades of music, beginning with the doo-wop style of the '50s. The
vocalists mix humor with their harmonizing and feature fresh
arrangements and programs tailored to the audience. Marcoux Corners
has been hailed as "one of the best up and coming groups in the
country" by an ambassador to the Contemporary A Cappella Society of
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Rounding out the season is Cowboy Envy,
a trio of women musicians who perform in the style of the Sons of
the Pioneers. Their show is "not country western; it's cowboy,"
Folin confirmed. Cited for Best Harmony by the Western Music
Association in 2000 and 2001, band members bolster their sound with
guitar and punctuate it with humorous tales of the Old West. An
accordianist accompanies far in the background. The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution reported, "Cowboy Envy galloped onto the scene
with yips and yodels and harmonies to die for."
A new feature of concert series
membership this year is a reciprocal arrangement with associations
in Pekin and Pontiac. Included in a Lincoln Land season membership
is the option to attend any of the four concerts presented in Pekin
and the three in Pontiac. For convenience, all three schedules will
be printed on the Lincoln Land ticket. Petri said, "I'm really
excited about the reciprocal agreement," which has been accomplished
without a rise in price. Membership cost is steady at $35 for the
basic adult season ticket.
There is, however, a new upper-level
sponsorship category this year. For $300 an Angel membership
provides two tickets per performance plus four compact discs by
season artists. Angels will be issued four coupons which they can
cash in for CDs of their choice. In the case of Red, Hot...& Blue, a
video may be substituted for the CD.
Campaign secretary Judy Awe said two
Angels have already signed on. Other levels of support are
Benefactor ($150, includes two memberships), Sponsor ($80), Patron
($45), Adult ($35), Student ($15) and Family ($75). All memberships
are season tickets. No individual tickets are sold.
The membership drive for the 2003-04
season began Tuesday night. Anyone interested in purchasing a
membership can call Awe at 732-4758 or membership chairman Mary
Thomas George at 735-3241 (evening).
Allied Concert Association has been in
business for over 50 years. Since 1966 the Folin family has owned
and operated the company. "If a woman answers the phone, it's my
sister-in-law," David Folin said. "If it's a man, it's either my
father, my brother or me."
Land Association has been bringing performing artists to local
audiences since 1958. "You are important," Folin told membership
workers on Tuesday night. "Think how many years your organization
has brought culture to your community."
Lincoln Community Theatre is
looking for local talent to sing, dance and act in its summer 2003
productions. Singing and non-singing roles are available.
Individuals auditioning for a role in
one of this summer's musical productions should have a song
prepared. An accompanist will be available. Individuals trying out
should also be prepared to learn a few basic dance steps at the
audition. Those auditioning for non-singing roles will be required
to do cold readings from the script.
Scripts may be viewed at the Lincoln
Public Library two weeks prior to each audition. Library scripts may
not be removed from the building.
All auditions will be conducted at St.
John United Church of Christ, 204 Seventh St. in Lincoln.
-- a musical comedy from the "Nunsense" series of plays
Magnolias" -- an all-female lighthearted drama
- Directed by Paul Cary from
- Performance dates: July 11-19
- Audition: Friday, May 16, at 6
p.m. or Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m.; possible callbacks on
Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m.
- Roles are available for six women
(ages 18-70), with several parts for "mature" actresses as well as
one woman in her 20s.
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-- a history-based musical
Questions regarding auditions may be
directed to Marlene Perry, audition chairman, at (217) 732-2640.
tickets are still available for this season. Send check or money
order ($20 adults, $12 children through eighth grade) to LCT, Box
374, Lincoln, IL 62656. Additional information regarding LCT's
upcoming season is available at
[Lincoln Community Theatre
Lincoln Community Theatre
entertaining for 32nd summer
Preparing for the 32nd year of
live summer theater for the Logan County area, Lincoln Community
Theatre's 2003 membership campaign kicked off this month. Season tickets
for the summer are $20 for adults and $12 for students through
Productions for this season begin in
June with the hysterical musical "Nuncrackers," a continuation of
the well-loved "Nunsense" series offered by LCT in previous seasons.
This selection centers around the sisters' holiday program and
includes dueling Sugar Plum Fairies, dear Sister Amnesia and
audience participation. The July production, "Steel Magnolias," is a
familiar, bittersweet story that mixes laughter and tears as the
audience becomes acquainted with the eccentric and lovable
characters of a small Southern community. Closing the 2003 season on
a patriotic note, LCT will offer the musical "1776." Humor abounds
with the fast-paced wit of our founding fathers as they deal with
revolutionary problems and joys.
Performances Tuesday through Saturday
will be at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees will be offered at 2 p.m. All
productions will be presented at the Johnston Center for the
Performing Arts, 300 Keokuk St.
Season ticket holders may make their
reservations as soon as the box office opens on June 2 and are
assured a seat for each performance on the night of their choice up
to the date tickets become available to the general public. After
that point, season ticket holders may still make reservations, but
tickets are then reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Season ticket holders may also purchase additional general admission
tickets when making reservations during season ticket week and do
not have to wait for general admission sales to open.
[to top of second column in this
General admission tickets to each
production are available to the public one week before each show's
opening, at the cost of $9 per adult and $6 per student through
eighth grade. Individuals or businesses wishing to further support
live theater in Lincoln may purchase memberships at increasing
levels and be recognized in each program during the summer season.
Those memberships are as follows: Friends of LCT at $30 (includes
one membership), Sponsors at $50 (with two memberships), Angels at
$100 (four memberships), Grand Patrons at $250 (eight memberships)
and Sustaining Members at $500 (12 memberships).
To renew or
purchase a season membership, send check or money order to LCT, Box
374, Lincoln, IL 62656. For further information, contact LCT's
membership committee at (217) 732-7542. Additional information
regarding LCT's upcoming season is also available at
[Judy Rader, Lincoln Community
return to Lincoln Cinemas
The Logan County Arts
Association, in conjunction with GKC Cinemas Corporation, has
brought the classic film night series back to the Lincoln Cinemas.
The next set of films is scheduled for every second Thursday through
October, with shows at 7 p.m.
Classic films lined up for the 2003
Tickets are $5.50 for adults and $4.50
for senior citizens and children 12 and under. The tickets are
available at GKC Lincoln Cinemas.
wanting more information may call the Logan County Arts Association
at (217) 735-4422.
[Press release from the
Logan County Arts Association]
Lincoln Community Theatre
Community Theatre's box office, phone
735-2614, is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through
Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby
of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of
"Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I"
will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8
p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln,
IL 62656; e-mail: email@example.com.
LDC website at www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre/index.html.
Pictures from past productions are included.
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