Best Of Tucson®

Q&A with Howard Allen

Howard Allen is a Tucson playwright, actor, founder of and entertainment columnist.

What's the best movie of all time?

Cinema Paradiso, because it's about the love of movies. And all the Fellini movies, because they are amazing, if I'm allowed to say two things.

What movie makes you think most of Tucson?

Revenge of the Nerds, because it was filmed here. And then you say, why is it we can't get better films than that filmed in Tucson? Bonus Secret: Because I was a nerd myself, I wanted to live in that wooorld!

Who's your favorite movie personality?

John Huston. He had an amazing life, and if you'd had his early life, you would have drunk as much bourbon as he did later. He was so dedicated to being a filmmaker that he almost starved to death in London trying to get into making movies.

What's your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn with real butter. Then you get roughage and cholesterol.

What's your favorite place in Tucson to catch a flick?

The Loft Cinema and anywhere that shows independent films.

Any embarrassing cinematic experiences in your life?

Because I have a very large laugh from having a theater-trained voice, I will laugh sometimes at movies-and I'm the only one laughing. Or I'm the only one laughing loud enough that everyone can hear. The best one was Natural Born Killers. It takes some really vicious and wonderful shots at TV media, who deserve to have some shots taken at them. And I was the only one in the cinema laughing outloud. At such times, my daughters grab my shoulders and try to get me to stifle.

Best casual dining?

Rincon Market. It feels like family in there.

Best political circus?

KUAT's "Reporters' Roundtable" (on Arizona Illustrated), where they're all so kissy-faced. I think Bill Buckmaster gets the runs if there's too much conflict or controversy.

Best local news issue?

The expensive, inefficient overlapping of city and county government.

Best local theater?

The musical Assassins at the UA. It was amazing, with incredible performances and Carol Calkins' direction. I doubt that the show in New York off-Broadway was much better.

Best director?

Sybille Bruun at Live Theatre Workshop. And she directed Macbeth in the park. They did something that Tucson has never had a chance to experience--the scenes moving from one part of the park to another. It was wonderful.

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