Photo by Rupert Affren

Alt Weekly Roundup: Letting Loose, From the Midwest to the West Coast

This Alt Weekly Roundup starts in Michigan, swings west to Colorado and continues on to California. The spotlighted stories feature a “Beer Edition,” a controversial nightclub and a stunning-yet-remarkably-underrated career. Without further ado, let’s hasten to the Wolverine State.

Recently in this space, we expressed mixed emotions about fall special issues (e.g., arts guides and “Best of”). But a beer edition? That’s something we can fully support—and “cheers!” to Lansing City Pulse for being creative with its special issues. One of the highlights of this suds-soaked edition is “Pick Your Poison: Beer Recommendations from City Pulse and City Hall,” which, as promised, polls the paper’s staff and contributors and local politicians about their favorite beers. Kudos to Lansing Mayor Andy Schor for enthusiastically contributing to the feature. “Trying to narrow down my favorite beer is like trying to pick a favorite child,” he admits to City Pulse. “It’s just not something you should do.” But a drunken and hearty “boooooo!” to members of the city council, who were invited to share their favorite beers and declined the invitation.

“Trying to narrow down my favorite beer is like trying to pick a favorite child, it’s just not something you should do.”

Mayor Andy Schor

Looking for a tasty beer in Denver? According to Westword’s Cops Working Undercover and Off-Duty Blew the Whistle on Beta, you may not want to order it at Beta Event Center. In this in-depth feature, staff writer Conor McCormick-Cavanagh reports the legendary club could be closed because it’s a public nuisance. Off-duty cops working security at the club reported several violent and criminal acts on and around the premises to the Denver Police Department. The “sketchy activities” included fights, drug-dealing and alleged gang activity. McCormick-Cavanagh broadens the scope of the piece by detailing the history of the club, once ranked the best dance club in America by Rolling Stone, and by outlining the police department’s off-duty employment policies. The story gives Beta owner Valentes Corleons the last word. “They want to fight me? I’ll fight ’em,” Corleons says of the city. “I’ll bring the war. I have enough money to fight the entire city. And I’ll sue them for $100 million for reputation.”

In Northern California, the East Bay Express presents “The Many Lives of Rita Moreno: Veteran Performer Reflects in Latest Documentary.” Contributor Dave Gil de Rubio opens his sprawling story, “During her entertainment career that spanned 70-plus years, Rita Moreno saw and achieved plenty. Not only is the Berkeley resident in the rarified EGOT class of having won all four major entertainment awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—she is actually a KEGOT, having received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2015.” Gil de Rubio then outlines Moreno’s incredible career, as detailed in Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, the latest installment of PBSAmerican Masters series. Moreno grew up poor in Puerto Rico and ended up in Hollywood and found eternal fame, along with all of its pitfalls. Sexual objectification and harassment were constant. Casting choices were disturbing and offensive. Her dysfunctional relationship with Marlon Brando included an abortion and a suicide attempt. Judging from Gil de Rubio’s story, the documentary, which is available on PBS’ website, sounds as dramatic as a telenovela.

It’s a mad, mad world. Stay safe out there, people!

Matthew O’Brien is a writer, editor and teacher who lived in Las Vegas for 20 years and is currently based in San Salvador, El Salvador. His latest book, Dark Days, Bright Nights: Surviving the Las Vegas Storm Drains, documents those who lived in Vegas’ underground flood channels. His full bio is here.

Matthew O’Brien is a writer, editor and teacher who lived in Las Vegas for 20 years and is currently based in San Salvador, El Salvador. His latest book, Dark Days, Bright Nights: Surviving the Las Vegas Storm Drains, documents those who lived in Vegas’ underground flood channels. His full bio is here.

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