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  • New Channels

    Article

    New Channels

    TV is great even when it's loathsome, bathing us in images of electric light and fantasy. Or, is it that TV is loathsome even when it's great, inducing passivity and schizoid decay? Whatever, researchers report that the average American household wat...

    by Jerry Saltz on January 5, 1999
  • Article

    Consumer Guide

    Though an American edition is due out in early April, fashion insiders and magazine mavens can't wait for Alexey Brodovitch, Editions Assouline's luxe portfolio of the influential art director's work. The book's French version, lugged back by design ...

    by Vince Aletti on January 5, 1999
  • 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
  • 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

    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
  • 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
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Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1 Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1

James Lee Byars was an artist possessed of certain elegance. He dressed impeccably in silk or linen suits, velvet or gold lamé, often custom-made by a tailor who called himself… More >>

And I and Silence Strikes a Too-Familiar Chord

In a month when American race relations appear to have reached a historic low, the subject matter of Naomi Wallace's And I and Silence — an interracial love story with… More >>

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 >>

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