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  • The Art of the Schlemiel

    Article

    The Art of the Schlemiel

    In his comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, former Voice cartoonist Ben Katchor wrung poetic poignancy out of the simple charms of anachronism and obsolescence. With a keen eye for urban phenomena beyond the reach of renewal, Katchor c...

    by Mike Rubin on January 26, 1999
  • Play and Anti-Play - Brit playwright makes mischief

    Article

    Play and Anti-Play - Brit playwright makes mischief

    Caryl Churchill has always had an ability to surprise, not just the critics and the audience, but herself and her collaborators as well," says director Max Stafford-Clark. "She gives challenges to a director that are sometimes alarming." Over the p...

    by Gerard Raymond on January 26, 1999
  • Home Games

    Article

    Home Games

    Wilde said of society, "To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy." The two video clerks of Jessica Goldberg's interestingly fractured play Stuck might agree. The main difference between this hackneyed pair of misfits and ...

    by Sightlines on January 26, 1999
  • Show Me the Money

    Article

    Show Me the Money

    It's like a death in the family. I mean, MJ is gone. For a decade and a half he's lived in a section of the collective consciousness marked Ubiquitous, alongside Sinatra and Picasso and Brando. Unleashing Baryshnikovian dunks, slicing through Nike co...

    by Touré on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    Slackjaw

    New York Press staff writer Jim Knipfel has been losing his sight by degrees all his life, and he's been writing about himself for newspapers for the last decade or so. Billed as the story of his blindness, his book is really a disjointed memoir pie...

    by Douglas Wolk on January 26, 1999
  • Iffy Situations

    Article

    Iffy Situations

    If I could write these columns in differing shapes, this one would look like a medal for bravery, to be awarded to JoAnne Akalaitis. Not that Akalaitis has done everything right in her staging of Euripides' two Iphigenia plays; much of it is an awkwa...

    by Michael Feingold on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    Ex Arcadia

    Pastorale (HERE), Deborah Eisenberg's dawdling audit of '70s world-weariness, actually falls into the tradition of the antipastoral. Eisenberg's characters are not modern glosses on bucolic shepherds and shepherdesses, but a city-bred clan immune ...

    by Alexis Soloski on January 26, 1999
  • Article

    The Colors in Gray - Dancing in a Winter Wonderland

    Hail January! The New York City Ballet packs away its Nutcracker and gets on with the business of celebrating its 50th anniversary. The enticingly packaged season groups ballets according to composers or national flavors (the January 28 French progra...

    by Deborah Jowitt on January 19, 1999
  • Article

    Face Time

    APAP is the auto show of the arts," snorts Downtown dancer Aaron Landsman, describing the marathon event sponsored by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Thousands of presenters from colleges and civic auditoriums around the country conver...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on January 19, 1999
  • Article

    Sex Marks the Spot

    "No two people understand each other," wrote Joseph Conrad. "They can but hear each other's voices." Writing for a prudish Victorian public as he did, Conrad didn't add that sex, the most communicative of two-person activities, can also be the most s...

    by Michael Feingold on January 19, 1999
  • Article

    Greenhouse Effect

    Susan Glaspell's 1921 psychodrama The Verge (Looking Glass Theatre) belongs to a tired artistic tradition that goes something like this: if talent doesn't spin your wheels, maybe madness will do the trick. Claire Archer is a woman born of good st...

    by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie on January 19, 1999
  • Controlled Freak

    Article

    Controlled Freak

    Conspiracy lit is hardly known for concision. Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 is the brilliant exception in a subgenre more usually exemplified by such triumphs of cabalistic overkill as Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, Edward Whittem...

    by Richard Gehr on January 19, 1999
  • Article

    The Truth in Rented Rooms

    Remember how the Beats traded the order of '50s America for the liberatory order of Eastern religions? Koon Woon inverts and rethinks that trade: born in a small village in 1949 China, he listens to the edge of America, pours Cantonese nouns into a S...

    by Edie Meidav on January 19, 1999
  • Article

    The Poet in New York

    Though T.S. Eliot's writing always seems to aspire to the conditions of drama, his plays rarely wind up in the hands of someone who can endow them with vivid theatrical life. Ironically, Eliot's biggest stage success may have been Fiona Shaw and Deb ...

    by Sightlines on January 19, 1999
  • Classic Act - Barry Edelstein Takes Over CSC

    Article

    Classic Act - Barry Edelstein Takes Over CSC

    When Classic Stage Company announced last month that Uma Thurman would be joining the cast of The Misanthropefollowing CSC's sold-out run of Godot with John Turturro, Tony Shaloub, and Christopher Lloydit seemed as if the theater's new artistic dir...

    by Francine Russo on January 19, 1999
  • Murder Ink

    Article

    Murder Ink

    One never can get at the thing itself. That is the fascination of murder as a subject, and why it lends itself to all kinds of renderings," Wendy Lesser speculates in Pictures at an Execution, her 1993 study of our literary and tabloid fascination wi...

    by Eric Weisbard on January 19, 1999
  • An American Family - 'Duane Hanson: A Survey of His Work From the '30s to the '90s'

    Article

    An American Family - 'Duane Hanson: A Survey of His Work From the '30s to the '90s'

    They're all wearing underpants. This either means that Duane Hanson thought his superrealistic sculptures of ordinary people were real enough that they deserved their dignity, or that he felt the degree of illusion he wanted required the inclusion of...

    by Jerry Saltz on January 12, 1999
  • Article

    Apron Strings

    Although he no longer lives at home, photographer Peter Monroe includes himself in the deadpan documentary series he calls "Mama's Boy!," now at OK Harris (383 West Broadway, through February 6). All the other photos are of grown men who live with th...

    by Vince Aletti on January 12, 1999
  • Article

    Pleasure Principles - Those Feet Were Meant for Dancing

    When I walk into a theater to see an event billed as dance, I'm prepared to find performers talking a blue streak or singing or potting daisies or performing slow, painful tasks. But when I see something good that also reminds me what dancing can be ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on January 12, 1999
  • Article

    Bare Fictions

    Yanira Castro, Maura Nguyen Donohue, and Mei-Yin Ng all arrived on these shores in 1993 or 1994. Their concert "Bare" (La MaMa, closed) suggests that's the only thing they have in common. Castro's work is intellectual (Vulgar is inspired by Kierke...

    by Chris Dohse on January 12, 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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