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  • Article

    Monomania

    Don't look now, but the writing seems to be on the wall for the one-person show. Even Downtown is not sure it has enough time or interest to absorb every last detail about the protagonists of New York's groovy literary scene. Two recent one-mans a...

    by Ed Morales on February 9, 1999
  • How Many Stories? - The Temperature Changes From Uptown to Down

    Article

    How Many Stories? - The Temperature Changes From Uptown to Down

    Peter Martins's new Walton Cello Concerto, for the New York City Ballet, transpires in a big chill space. With the mottled gray backdrop, the translucent gray wings, and Mark Stanley's cool lighting, the New York State Theater's stage appears even va...

    by Deborah Jowitt on February 9, 1999
  • Article

    Story Time

    George Balanchine once said, "Put a man and woman together on a stage and already you've got a story." The business of gender notwithstanding, duets have indeed become the backbone of contemporary ballet. Only most of them don't tell stories. John...

    by Nancy Goldner on February 9, 1999
  • Sexual Healing

    Article

    Sexual Healing

    Ashton Robinson, the protagonist of Trey Ellis's third and most recent novel, embodies the qualities found in what might be called the Ellis Hero: he's intense, slightly nerdy, and luuuvs the ladies. Like earlier Ellis creations Austin McMillan (Home...

    by Jabari Asim on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    The Wrecking Ball - Graham Company Embraces Change

    The little red-brick building at 316 East 63rd Street isn't much to look at, but, like the diminutive diva who put it on the map, it has a seductive charm. Built near the turn of the century, it has served as a settlement house, a Montessori nursery,...

    by Christopher Reardon on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    bell's Lettres

    There can't be a women's studies syllabus anywhere in reconstructed America without at least one book by bell hooks. Her first, the 1981 Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism is among America's most influential works. Prolific, outspoken, and fea...

    by Debra Dickerson on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

    For want of an antipsychotic, the world in 1919 lost its best male dancer, its first contemporary choreographer. After a breakdown at 30, during which he produced this fabled diary (first published in a heavily edited and expurgated version in 1936 b...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on February 2, 1999
  • Heat Seekers

    Article

    Heat Seekers

    It's happening again. Every few years, like clockwork, some newspaper or magazine trumpets a return to painting. Only the names change. Last fall, Artforum featured a cover story on the new California "formalism." Three months before that, Flash Art ...

    by Jerry Saltz on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    Boy's Life

    Barbara Pollack was born two years after perhaps the most famous, popular, and enduringly controversial photo show of all time, the Museum of Modern Art's 1955 protoblockbuster, "The Family of Man," organized by Edward Steichen. But, because her fath...

    by Vince Aletti on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    Powerglut

    Wally Cardona opens Dance Theater Workshop's Carnival Series (through May 23) performing an excerpt from Jos Limn's The Unsung, a 1971 suite of solos that's as much Limn's hymn to marvelous male dancers as an homage to legendary Indian chiefs. Id...

    by Deborah Jowitt on February 2, 1999
  • Director's Cut

    Article

    Director's Cut

    "Flays." Maybe that's what we should call them. Flays are plays that share a lot of conventions with film, sometimes so many you wonder whether or not they were originally written for the screen. If you suspect you're watching one, simply wait for th...

    by James Hannaham on February 2, 1999
  • Current Affairs

    Article

    Current Affairs

    "A landscape," wrote Gertrude Stein, "is such a natural setting for a battlefield or a play that one must write plays." If she had known the Wooster Group's work, she would have added, "And those plays will be battlefields." The Wooster Group doesn't...

    by Michael Feingold on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    The Road Worrier

    The eccentric, mustachioed man in black presses his face to the mirrored wall where it meets the rear of the stage. As he rotates and flutters his hands, suggestive shadows form and reform in the corner. The interplay of movement, light, and reflec...

    by Francine Russo on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    Language Is a Virus

    Caryl Churchill's stagecraft has always been as progressive as her politics. Though heralded by the academy for her delirious deconstructions of gender and power, she has never wavered in her commitment to formalist innovation. Like her closest Ameri...

    by Charles McNulty on February 2, 1999
  • Article

    South Parked

    In his Rebel Women (Ohio Theatre), Thomas Babe advances a novel theory about the Civil War: it was a battle of the sexes. At the time he was writing 1976 male feminists were declaring themselves. So the melodrama may have made some contextual sen...

    by David Finkle on February 2, 1999
  • Oh Brothers! - Suspended Animation

    Article

    Oh Brothers! - Suspended Animation

    You probably haven't read The Brothers Karamazov recently. Never mind. Odds are it wouldn't help you fathom Boris Eifman's ballet The Karamazovs. Without a souvenir program, could you know that when Alexei (Igor Markov) leads what's hitherto been a r...

    by Deborah Jowitt on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    Sterling Silvers - Downtown Diva Triumphs at the Joyce

    Watching Sally Silvers & Dancers, you're never quite sure what year it is, or where you are. The three dances they show at "Altogether Different" run on too long, but you wind up cherishing every gesture, even when you're totally lost. In her new Cap...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    Time Steps

    Laraine Goodman's "Vaudeville 2000" (La MaMa Annex, Thursday through Sunday) is a triumph of product placement. Goodman founded Pedicabs of New York, and ferries artists around the stage in her pink pedal-powered vehicle. Her East Village tap extrava...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on January 26, 1999
  • Boom and Bust

    Article

    Boom and Bust

    Until now there seemed to be two kinds of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: mediocre and English. Its collection is the mediocre part; a notoriously out-of-it mix of minor-major and minor-minor artists. At the same time, its exhibit...

    by Jerry Saltz on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    Borough Hall

    The home is past," Theodor Adorno wrote in an essay on the melancholy of late 20th-century transience. It seems he'd never been to Brooklyn, however. Though domesticity may be a luxury in cramped Manhattan, in that more generous borough it's widely a...

    by Leslie Camhi on January 26, 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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