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  • Vice Precedents

    Article

    Vice Precedents

    Director Ian Hill's staging of William W. Pratt's "temperance drama," Ten Nights in a Bar Room (Nada), couldn't be more user friendly. Not only are the stage directions read aloud throughout, but the cast of characters, synopsis of incidents, lists o...

    on March 23, 1999
  • Aimless in Gaza

    Article

    Aimless in Gaza

    The theater has always been a place where political matters can be debated. And the notion of a playwright as performer isn't new either. But with David Hare's Via Dolorosa, the two phenomena interfere with each other to such an extent that you almos...

    by Michael Feingold on March 23, 1999
  • Article

    War, Sex, and Dreams

    Theater may have evolved out of religious ritual, but at the late part of this century it's taken a few steps back toward its origins with a turn to the confessional. The latest trend involves playwrights spilling their histories from a well-lighted ...

    by David Finkle on March 23, 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
  • 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

    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
  • 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
  • Diversion 2.0

    Article

    Diversion 2.0

    No one ever went broke, they say, underestimating the intelligence of the American public. But even underestimating is more complicated now than it used to be: The simple public is very knowing and doesn't like to be told how simple it is; it likes t...

    by Michael Feingold on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Roots Music

    The musical Running Man, now showing at HERE, is a hymn to all the sons this country has stolen from her African American families. At 10, Tommy is a prodigy; at 20, he's a fugitive. A child who once sated his hunger for knowledge in books as his mo...

    by Pamela Renner on March 9, 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
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