The New Year

is is an excerpt. For the full story, look in the Member's Area or in the January 4 issue of Back Stage West. Another corner rounded, another year ended. Purists say it was the one that really ended a millennium and began another. Such divisions of time are imposed and artificial, though doubtless necessary to maintain order and keep everything from happening at once, which would be very confusing. The election cliffhanger was confusion enough for now.Holiday cheer at Geo Hartley's tree-trimming party was a sure thing. It also celebrated a housewarming. Geo, popular impresario/director/attorney/man of many talents and much personality, had moved into a gorgeous new house in the hills on Doheny Drive a week earlier. Already it glowed like Christmas and looked lived in. Hartley's recently vacated home in Los Feliz found a buyer within days-and so it goes for Geo, as it should.After contemplating a move to Washington, D.C., Geo has decided to stay here and teach a couple of courses at USC: a graduate seminar in theatre producing and a class in "Techniques of Theatre Management." He hasn't ruled out looking for a new theatre space, either, and a lot of party tree-trimmers were rejoicing about that.Among them was Richard Hochberg, happy about great reviews in Back Stage West and the L.A. Times for his direction of On the Open Road at Stella Adler Theatre. Hochberg told me he will direct the West Coast premiere of Nilo Cruz's A Bicycle Country at Stages Theatre Center and that he's writing, with Kevin Hayes," a rock 'n' roll satire of "slasher flicks" titled Shreek!! A Killer Musical, which he'll also direct. "I'm very excited about it and hope it runs forever," he said.New, too, in 2001 will be Theatre of Will, headed by playwright Willard Simms and Rania Pallad, as a resident theatre in association with the American Renegade Theatre. A new play by Simms, Exiles From Paradise, opens there in Januar