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  • Hare Shirt - Via Dolorosa's Well-Worn Politics

    Article

    Hare Shirt - Via Dolorosa's Well-Worn Politics

    A little more than halfway through Via Dolorosa at about the point that Palestinian voices enter David Hare's account of his trip to Israel and the Occupied Territories he describes a meeting with the theater director George Ibrahim and the poet Hu...

    by Alisa Solomon on March 23, 1999
  • Article

    Raw to Cooked - A Critic Roams the Island

    I remember there was music. But the sounds that ring in my head after a performance of Alfred in the Courtyard: The Hanging Man are not, say, Jiri Stivin's passages for flute, but the amplified clankings and squeakings of wires winding over pulleys. ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    Tales Told

    Apart from the maturity of the artists, the components of "Together Again," a concert by James Cunningham, Jane Comfort, and Tina Croll (Dance Theater Workshop, March 18, 19, 27, and 28), have in common speech and folding chairs. When a performer s...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    The Posthuman Touch

    With something like 10 percent of the population already dependent on doodads like digital pacemakers, cochlear implants, and artificial skin, the era of the cyborg has clearly arrived. Ever since Donna Haraway's celebrated 1985 "A Manifesto for Cyb...

    by Erik Davis on March 16, 1999
  • Girl, Interrupted

    Article

    Girl, Interrupted

    Monica Lewinsky is the Max Weber for our times. Weber was the sociologist who first delved into the phenomenon of charismatic authority and the role it plays in social institutions and political life; like Monica, he understood that being in the pre...

    by Laura Kipnis on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    The Fires

    When Ella, the 22-year-old narrator of Ren Steinke's impressive debut novel, sets fire to a dress she has balled up and thrown in the bathtub, she watches the flames devour the garment, wondering, "What was fire, anyway? What was it made of?" Her...

    by Laura Jamison on March 16, 1999
  • Trial by Era

    Article

    Trial by Era

    Clarence Darrow defended the big ones Eugene Debs, Leopold and Loeb, and biology teacher John T. Scopes in the "monkey" trial. In Clarence Darrow Tonight, you can hear his eloquent perorations from these historical cases. But a lesser-known 1952 tri...

    by Francine Russo on March 16, 1999
  • A Pettibon Primer

    Article

    A Pettibon Primer

    A is for a lot of things in the art of Raymond Pettibon. It is for the aggressive, atonal look of his starkly black-and-white drawings. It is for accumulation and accretion. This survey of his art, organized by Ann Tempkin of the Philadelphia Museum ...

    by Jerry Saltz on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    Met Life

    Soon after I jokingly told a gallerist that artists should make their own invitations, I received a hand-cut curved card in the mail. This conscientious endeavor piqued my curiosity. To my delight, Ruth Root's seemingly haphazard installation of id...

    by Sue Spaid on March 16, 1999
  • Heady Amusements

    Article

    Heady Amusements

    Playwrights worry about pleasing audiences, but probably no playwright has ever worried about it as openly as Christopher Durang does in Betty's Summer Vacation. He worries so much that he's actually put the audience into his cast of characters. Whil...

    by Michael Feingold on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    Andr Ernotte - 19441999

    I had the great honor and joy of working with Andr Ernotte on six musicals over the past 12 years. Andr was a gentle and brilliant man. As a director he was at once fanciful and practical. He combined flawless artistic taste and daring with a fl...

    by Polly Pen on March 16, 1999
  • Revise and Consent

    Article

    Revise and Consent

    Brecht has never had an easy time of it in America, and his Lehrstcke or teaching plays have had the hardest time of all. Rarely produced or even studied, they are the preferred weapons of the most ardent Brecht-bashers, wielded as exemplars of hi...

    by Alisa Solomon on March 16, 1999
  • Article

    Taylorama

    Shuffles and twists and wriggles and jumps are no longer to be used in connection with dancing," wrote Vernon Castle in his 1914 manual, Modern Dancing. "The hoydenish romping of the Two Step, the swift rush of the Polka and contortions of the Turkey...

    by Deborah Jowitt on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Giddy Up

    Converting a horse stable on East 91st Street into a theater for dance was cake compared to getting patrons uptown. Joan Finkelstein, director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project, says Playhouse 91 provides "an intimate performance venue, ...

    by Kate Mattingly on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Lap Dances

    On its face, Keely Garfield's choreography looks like a lot of tumbling around, with little direct relationship to the music accompanying it. On her face, Garfield often wears a deadpan expression, with eyes downcast. But the more you watch her due...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on March 9, 1999
  • Heartbreak House

    Article

    Heartbreak House

    "I can't say I'm not enjoying writing it," Chekhov wrote to his publisher in 1895 about The Seagull, "though I'm flagrantly disregarding the basic tenets of the stage. The comedy has three female roles, six male roles, four acts, a landscape (a view ...

    by Charles McNulty on March 9, 1999
  • The Uneasy Dance - A Purge of the Beijing Opera in Chay Yew's Red

    Article

    The Uneasy Dance - A Purge of the Beijing Opera in Chay Yew's Red

    Chay Yew delights in tweaking our ideas about Asian culture and Asian Americans. Take his new play, Red. One of the characters, Sonja Wong Pickford, is a bestselling author who makes no bones about spicing up her "Oriental" love stories because she k...

    by Gerard Raymond on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    The Gay '50s

    Melodrama has become a bad word, though it remains the dominant genre of our dreams well, at least mine are filled with unjust accusations, fugitive escapes, and pathetic pleas for last-minute rescue. Director Ed Chemaly's adaptation of Eugene Wa...

    by Charles McNulty on March 9, 1999
  • Mr. Wizard

    Article

    Mr. Wizard

    It's in the blood. It's in the bone. After years of strange, failed contraptions, my father, who was an inventor, hit pay dirt when he came up with what came to be known as the Dexter Hand Sewing Machine. Maybe you've seen one; probably you haven't. ...

    by Jerry Saltz on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Pot Stash

    More Picasso? The announcement of yet another exhibition devoted to art's most sacred monster is liable to provoke a sense of fatigue and (dare we say it?) resentment. Happily, these feelings melt away entirely before the sheer sensual delight of th...

    by Leslie Camhi on March 9, 1999
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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 >>

Down by the Liver: Between Riverside and Crazy Bares Its Wounds

Riverside Drive makes a nice address, but it lacks one amenity: moral clarity. For longtime cop Walter "Pops" Washington (Stephen McKinley Henderson), that means nursing his wounds eight years after… More >>

Too E-Z Is the Head That Wears the Crown

One of the many obstacles to a truly great American classical theater tradition is the way we reflexively default to contemporary naturalism. Actors, often trained to assimilate a role into… More >>

Shots to the Head: Christopher Williams Decks You with Sly Photographic Contrivances Shots to the Head: Christopher Williams Decks You with Sly Photographic Contrivances

Thank you, MoMA, for all the dizzying vinyl graphics buzzing around the entrance to the Christopher Williams show. The truncated excerpts from the exhibition catalog, printed in hypersaturated red, yellow,… More >>

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