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  • Harlem Days

    Article

    Harlem Days

    Misfits and losers: before a word is written, they're a drama unto themselves. She chafes against her surroundings and is rebuffed. Scorned, he picks up a pistol or jabs a needle in his arm. In Dael Orlandersmith's solo The Gimmick, a poor fat black ...

    by Francine Russo on May 11, 1999
  • Article

    Inside Job

    Museums are strange. They're dead, they're alive. They're graveyards, shrines, and storage rooms. Nothing much happens there on the face of it. Usually you go alone; mostly you're silent, almost invisiblealthough you never completely disappear. You ...

    by Jerry Saltz on May 11, 1999
  • Article

    School Daze

    For smug New Yorkers, the name New Jersey conjures up visions of urban blight, industrial wastelands, and placid suburbs. Who knew that, 40 years ago, New Brunswick was a hotbed of radical artistic activity? A show now at the Newark Museum resurrect...

    by Leslie Camhi on May 11, 1999
  • Novel Approach

    Article

    Novel Approach

    Wilbur Larch, a compassionate doctor, head of a combination orphanage and obstetrics clinic near a remote town in Maine in the early 20th century, aids the unmarried pregnant women who throng there by performing not only deliveries but abortions, fo...

    by Michael Feingold on May 11, 1999
  • Article

    'The 7-Minute Series'

    The simple premise has worked for the last six years: get a slew of downtown theater-makers to create eight pieces, then present all of them on the same night. No, it's not a typical day at Nada, it's the Ontological's "7-Minute Series." Most of ...

    by James Hannaham on May 11, 1999
  • Funky Nights - Itís About the Floor

    Article

    Funky Nights - Its About the Floor

    The camera closes in on Sandman Sims's rueful face; nowadays, he says, young black men aren't interested in tapping. The year was 1978, in the film No Maps on My Taps. Things have picked up. Six guys join the phenomenal Savion Glover and funk princes...

    by Deborah Jowitt on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Breathing Space

    Think of dance in Ireland, and you're likely to imagine step dancers in green tunics. The modern niche there is practically nonexistent, but John Scott's eight-year-old, Dublin-based ensemble, comprising performers from various countries, brings to N...

    by Jill Black on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Race Matters

    For 20 years black choreographer Bebe Miller has worked in the mostly white world of postmodern dance. The division between that world and the realm of black companies and choreographers is even geographicdowntown versus up town: Downtown dancers te...

    by Kristin Eliasberg on May 4, 1999
  • The Washington Psst

    Article

    The Washington Psst

    Constance Congdon's new play, Lips, she claims, was inspired by a debate she had with her cousin. What would happen if a woman in a position of political power became involved in a sex scandal of Clinton-Lewinsky magnitude? What if her partner in se...

    by James Hannaham on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Euripidames

    What diva doesn't dream of playing the Greek leading ladiesthose lusty, bloody heroines and villainesses? A lucky girl may get to act a few of them in her career, but Cusi Cram does five a night in Euripidames, part of New Georges' "Watch This Spa...

    by Alexis Soloski on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Trading Places

    I have a very clear recollection of the first day and night of the Clinton presidency, some of which I spent in the home of Christopher Hitchens. At the last minute, Vanity Fair had assembled a post-inaugural celebration there that quickly became the...

    by James Ledbetter on May 4, 1999
  • Our Century, Ourselves

    Article

    Our Century, Ourselves

    Millennial madness is loose in the land. The 20th century is about to become as remote as the 19th. The passing century is one that Henry Luce claimed as American in 1941. Regardless of your view of this presumption, no one country will own the next....

    by Jerry Saltz on May 4, 1999
  • Club Men

    Article

    Club Men

    "I'd like to bang her!" whoops Chickie at every alluring body he sees. This dapper womanizer is one of the five regulars at Bruce Graham's Belmont Avenue Social Club (INTAR), a surely crafted drama about a Bronx political clique. Nailing its denizen...

    on May 4, 1999
  • French Twists

    Article

    French Twists

    I didn't realize how trapped Broadway had been making me feel all year until the curtain went up on Jean Anouilh's Ring Round the Moon and I found myself in a place that wasn't London, Ireland, the deconstructed past, or the gray placeless present. I...

    by Michael Feingold on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Hi, I'm Brittany, and I'm Rotting!

    Rachel Arieff, dressed in jeans and a hairnet, steps onto the stage and into character. "They should make a sitcom about my life!" she squeals. There was that hilarious time she spilled coffee all over her boss, and then that time she sat in cat pee,...

    by Alexis Soloski on May 4, 1999
  • Pennies From Hell

    Article

    Pennies From Hell

    Heading through Harlem in a LaGuardia-bound cab early one 1989 morning, Harvard urban anthropologist Katherine Newman did something remarkable. She observed the infamous neighborhood, symbolic of decline and hopelessness in the popular psyche, and le...

    by Debra Dickerson on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    He Bored

    Art history, like all histories, starts with gossip more nasty stories about powerful, important people. Matthew Collings, in It Hurts, clearly loves such stories. Unfortunately, repeating a mess of them is all he does. His book fails miserably beca...

    by Bill Arning on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Voice Authors

    Voice Authors The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation By Karen Houppert Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 254 pp., $24 That time of the month. Your little friend. Ever notice how many euphemisms we have for menstruation? Karen Hou...

    by James Ledbetter on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Last Call

    In Scott Organ's City (the Flea), five friends alternately nurse and exploit "the guy"a Buddha-bellied man one of them has accidentally hit with a truck. Though visibly uninjured, he lacks speech, affect, wallet, and name. Present in almost every sc...

    on April 27, 1999
  • Article

    War of the Wired

    In 1992, eight years after William Gibson published the first great cyberpunk novel, Neal Stephenson published the last one. Not much of an interval, really, as literary history goes, but as fin de millennium technological history goes, those eight y...

    by Julian Dibbell on April 27, 1999
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Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1 Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1

James Lee Byars was an artist possessed of certain elegance. He dressed impeccably in silk or linen suits, velvet or gold lamé, often custom-made by a tailor who called himself… More >>

And I and Silence Strikes a Too-Familiar Chord

In a month when American race relations appear to have reached a historic low, the subject matter of Naomi Wallace's And I and Silence — an interracial love story with… More >>

War Animals: Nancy Rubins Goes Once More Into the Playground

You can hardly pass a toy store these days without thinking of Jeff Koons. Mr. Porcelain Smile has so deeply incorporated children's playthings into his massive Whitney survey — those… More >>

Poor Behavior is a Moral Lecture Delivered by Terrible People

"Peter is one of my oldest friends," says Maureen (Heidi Armbruster). Her hand clasps her collar to underline her moral certainty, but we're not at all convinced. Just a moment… More >>

<I>Useless</i> Is Hardley Naive About Human Trafficking Useless Is Hardley Naive About Human Trafficking

Pigs shriek. We hear the squealing herds of swine as they face the knife — part of a massive culling to control the spread of a virus. These earsplitting, nerve-jangling… More >>

Art for Film's Sake: Celluloid Characters, Real Paintings

In 1992, I owed a favor to a production designer in the film industry, and he asked me to create a series of paintings for the character of a penniless… More >>

The Maids Brings Downtown Theater to the Lincoln Center Festival

It seems fitting that any production of The Maids — the play that launched what came to be known as Theater of the Absurd — should be somewhat absurd itself.… More >>

Phoenix Is a Brittle Romantic Comedy Revived by the Rattlestick

When is a one-night stand not a one-night stand? When it leads to the abortion clinic. That is, according to Scott Organ's Phoenix, a brittle romantic comedy revived by the… More >>

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