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  • Stage Presents - It's a Good Time To Stay Off-BroadwayŚ Even on CD

    Article

    Stage Presents - It's a Good Time To Stay Off-Broadway Even on CD

    Yeah, I know, I should have filed this column before Christmas. Tell it to the producers who spent November and December opening plays I could mostly have lived without. Still, if you found some cash in your stocking last week you may want a list of ...

    by Michael Feingold on January 5, 1999
  • Article

    An Honest Buck

    You probably never wanted to know all that much about Pearl S. Buck, whose billion-seller The Good Earth, followed by a dozen other novels set in China, propelled her to a Nobel Prize as well as a permanent niche in the heart of the Book-of-the-Mon...

    by Michael Feingold on January 5, 1999
  • Stell-a-a-a!

    Article

    Stell-a-a-a!

    This is a minority opinion, but Andr Previn was not run over by Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire. I was convinced of that at San Francisco Opera's world premiere of Previn's Streetcar last September, and the conviction seemed reinforced...

    by Leighton Kerner on January 5, 1999
  • Article

    Just Folks

    Legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie traveled across America like a guitar-strumming 20th-century Walt Whitman. He roamed from his birthplace in the Oklahoma hills to the dust bowls of Texas and on to the promised land of California, eventually journe...

    by Charles McNulty on January 5, 1999
  • Wife Sentences

    Article

    Wife Sentences

    Who does John Bayley that's Mr. Iris Murdoch to you think he is? Leo-nard Woolf, one would guess, the talented-if-not-quite-brilliant husband of a brilliant-if-not-quite-self-sufficient writer; perhaps he even thinks of himself as a Browning, an eq...

    by Dale Peck on January 5, 1999
  • Article

    Bring Us the Old People

    Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu dertseylin: "Troubles overcome are good to tell." Marisa Kantor Stark's first novel admirably follows this Yiddish proverb by chronicling a difficult survival and its costliness. Narrated by Maime, a 92-year-old in ...

    by Ellen Miller on January 5, 1999
  • Open House

    Article

    Open House

    It is about time the world got to see Reverend Al Sharpton's houseplants, and, thanks to the color photographs in Dominique Nabokov's New York Living Rooms, there is his philodendron. We also get a look at Nan Goldin's wood floors, Philip Glass's cha...

    by Toni Schlesinger on January 5, 1999
  • Article

    Troupe Dreams

    Meet Stephen Melendez, age 12, a precious kid teetering on the brink of adolescence. When he's not rooting for the Jets, solving math problems, or shepherding his younger sister to and from school, he's often practicing pirouettes. Lately it's paying...

    by Christopher Reardon on December 29, 1998
  • Yiddish Dreams

    Article

    Yiddish Dreams

    How tempting it is to claim, as one gets swept into the fervor of the small community of non-Hasidic Yiddish speakers in America, that the once-belittled and murdered language is making a comeback. Not that it's really possible to imagine that a few ...

    by Alisa Solomon on December 29, 1998
  • Out of the Past - Among the Exiles With Fazal Sheikh

    Article

    Out of the Past - Among the Exiles With Fazal Sheikh

    In his extraordinary new book, The Victor Weeps: Afghanistan, photographer Fazal Sheikh writes about his first night at the refugee settlement of Bizen Khel in northern Pakistan. His companions are the village's Afghan Muslim elders, all former Mujah...

    by Vince Aletti on December 29, 1998
  • Rites of Man

    Article

    Rites of Man

    The desire of American musical comedy to shed its laughter and become "music theater" has always puzzled me. There was never anything to prevent the genre from taking on whatever topic, tone, or technique it chose. Parade, the latest musical offering...

    by Michael Feingold on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    Paper Dolls

    The most astonishing moment in Mercy (Vineyard Theatre) occurs midway in Act 2, when a new arrival during the play's Upper West Side dinner party alludes to Sarah's career as a documentary filmmaker and Isobel's work as a writer. Yet for nearly an...

    by Francine Russo on December 29, 1998
  • Bio Hazard

    Article

    Bio Hazard

    Smarter, funnier, and more "meta" than the overhyped David Foster Wallace novel, Infinite Jest, Bruce Sterling's Distraction doesn't suffer the genre-inferiority complex Wallace labored under when he and his publishers used the marketing term metafic...

    by Carol Cooper on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    In the Pond

    In the Pond, Ha Jin's first novel, is slender almost to the point of fable. Shao Bin is a talented calligraphist and painter working at a maintenance job in the northern Chinese commune of Dismount Fort, ready to speak out against injustice after ...

    by Ed Park on December 29, 1998
  • Christmas Candy - Treats Wholesome and Otherwise

    Article

    Christmas Candy - Treats Wholesome and Otherwise

    We know this world pierced by beams of smoky light and besieged by crashes of electronic music. Its denizens are beautiful, fierce, and obsessed with sex. Women wield legs like pincers. Usually we never find out why they're so het up; they just are. ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    Taking It Apart - Radical Expats Drop by New York

    Seeing the ballets William Forsythe has contributed to various American companies is no substitute for watching the dancers in his own Ballett Frankfurt define his thornily intellectual structures. In the dazzling full-evening Eidos: Telos, shown at ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Digging Deep

    Susan Marshall likens the process of choreographing The Most Dangerous Room in the House a 75-minute dance-theater piece playing at BAM's Majestic Theater December 16 through 20 to excavating. In the studio, she sees her role as uncovering what's a...

    by Jody Sperling on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Sister Act

    Wendy Osserman, a thoughtful, intelligent Smith College alumna, makes dances with gentle physicality and acerbic wit. In her Re:Sisters, which reopens at Dance Theater Workshop December 17, six distinctive women speak and move through an hour-long, m...

    on December 22, 1998
  • Going Dutch

    Article

    Going Dutch

    While the Booker prize given to Amsterdam last month honors the year's "best novel" by a writer from the old British Empire, Ian McEwan's natural milieu is not Britannia but Europe: he writes books that are ready for export, embodying the progressive...

    by Paul Elie on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    The Hellbox

    To hell with poetry:/life's more important," declares Greg Delanty in The Hellbox, his fourth collection of poems. This half-truth is less a dismissal than a riff on the dispute between living fully and thinking deeply, and between physical and intel...

    by Diane Mehta on December 22, 1998
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Audra McDonald Brings Billie Holiday to Life in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

Any theatergoer expecting in this revival of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill an excuse for an Audra McDonald concert won't find the singer's full-bodied, mellifluous voice here. Instead,… More >>

The Heir Apparent Brims With Linguistic Panache and Stellar Performances

"I'm a one-man Comédie-Française," boasts the scheming servant Crispin, comparing his acting skills to France's national theater. Crispin (Carson Elrod) isn't totally exaggerating: In the course of The Heir Apparent,… More >>

Photographic Fiction and Fact in the LES Photographic Fiction and Fact in the LES

Within a block of each other on the Lower East Side, two photographers who dig into genres we thought we already knew — Heather Bennett uses self-portraiture to don various… More >>

Shameless and Uncharismatic, Bullets Over Broadway Loses The Sophistication of Its Source Material

Bullets Over Broadway is an old-fashioned musical, if for you the term "old-fashioned" connotes a version of 1920s New York in which Italian-American stereotypes are the only ethnic other, most… More >>

Infidelity and Architecture Underpin the Meditative Isolde

Richard Maxwell’s new play is about myth, memory, and a house that never gets built. Lighter and more sardonic than the playwright-director’s recent work (especially 2013’s densely poetic Neutral Hero),… More >>

Scott Z. Burns and Steven Soderbergh Team Up For Post-Colombine Psychological Mystery The Library

Audiences today need little urging to accept age- and color-blind casting on the stage, but Steven Soderbergh and Scott Z. Burns's life-in-the-aftermath drama The Library perhaps pushes viewers to accept… More >>

A Hilarious Ride Through the Inner Workings of a Small Town Arts Council in The Most Deserving

Sotheby's and Christie's may have cornered the real-world market for bitchiness and backstabbing in the name of art, but in The Most Deserving, Catherine Trieschmann's newest play, produced by Women's… More >>

Will Eno and Lorraine Hansberry Write Home in Two New Productions

Is New York theater suffering a housing crisis? How else to explain the glut of this season's plays (Fun Home, The Open House, A Doll's House, The Tribute Artist, The… More >>

Beautiful and Violent Art from the Civil Rights Movement at New Brooklyn Museum Show Witness

Something is terribly wrong with the sedan in this black-and-white photo: The doors gape open, glass is shattered, dark drips trail down the seat back. In 1965, civil rights activist… More >>

Rich Visual Schemes Undermine Dramatic Subtlety in The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera, now at Atlantic Theater, is no conventional, rough-hewn beggars' tale. For this staging, director Martha Clarke applies her sophisticated visual sensibilities to Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's… More >>

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