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Arts & Entertainment
Review: Arigon Starr's one woman tour-de-force

"It's gettin' a mite crowded at the All Nations Caf� in Sapulpa, Okla.

Country music star Patty Jones has arrived at this casual Native American gathering spot to do a live TV special, local radio host Clyde is on hand to broadcast the goings-on, and a self-reverential Indian activist and his militant sister have made an unwelcome entrance.

Verna, the financially strapped owner, must cope with the chaos as well as with her angst-ridden 13-year-old niece; the fry cook, Emmitt, and his 9-year-old, Beatles-crazy son; and assorted other visitors. The latter include a punk rock star from England, the only non-Native American in the nutty bunch.

Add them all up and you get Arigon Starr, rollicking through a near-tour-de-force performance of her rowdy, witty, big-hearted, one-woman comedy, "The Red Road," a world premiere Native Voices production at the Autry National Center.

Set against a backdrop of the emerging Native American activism and resurging tribal populations of the 1970s, Starr's fast-moving show, directed by Randy Reinholz, weaves a wispy story of loss and love around original country songs and wicked jabs at white and intertribal stereotyping and cultural quirks.

Comic barbs fly as Starr moves her various alter egos around Craig Dettman's cafe set 酗 a red booth, checkerboard floor, TV show mikes and lights, and a radio sound-effects table.

Grist for her comic mill are prejudices regarding the superiority of geographic location � "real Indians" live in Minnesota, claims militant Bonnie � and how members of different tribes view one another's idiosyncrasies (with snickers and a jaundiced eye)."

Get the Story:
Caught in 'Road's' comic whirlwind (The Los Angeles Times 4/1)

Relevant Links:
Arigon Starr -
Autry National Center -

Related Stories:
Arigon Starr set for debut of one-woman show (3/30)