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  • Broadways and Means

    Article

    Broadways and Means

    In another era, on a different Broadway, I might not be so enthused about this revival of On the Town; you'll find quibbles in plenty below. But why kid ourselves? If a musical's supposed to transport you to another world, I'd rather be in the world ...

    by Michael Feingold on December 8, 1998
  • Article

    Cagey

    Come view the monster on Death Row. He's safe step closer . . . closer. . . . In So, I Killed a Few People . . . (Piano Store), writers David Summers (who performs) and Gary Ruderman (who directs) play with the distance emotional, metaphorical, and...

    by Francine Russo on December 8, 1998
  • Article

    Heaven Knows

    Wolfgang Tillmans's third exhibition in New York is his best. He's moving beyond one of the more ubiquitous aesthetics of the 1990s, one he helped establish: the anything-young-is-good school of photography, an outgrowth of the apotheosis-of-the-snap...

    by Jerry Saltz on December 1, 1998
  • Days of the Dead

    Article

    Days of the Dead

    For better or worse, my being was permanently altered by my adolescent encounter with the Grateful Dead in the early 1980s. Murky days for the band for sure, but the shows my teenage drug buddies and I caught throughout California poured psychedelic ...

    by Erik Davis on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Rich and Strange - Three Women Ignite Asian Traditions

    Two men smooth their hands over each other's bodies. They slide into an embrace, interlocking as formally as the twin halves of a yin/yang symbol. What makes their actions startling on the stage of the BAM Majestica stamping ground, after all, of av...

    by Deborah Jowitt on December 1, 1998
  • Freeway Threeway

    Article

    Freeway Threeway

    The gay-guystraight-woman friendship device is an unfortunately resilient clich. But Snakebit (Naked Angels), in which Michael and Jennifer are the platonic friends wondering what it is with men, deserves to be cut some slack, since author David Ma...

    by Sightlines on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Diva-lution

    Sandra Bernhards one-woman show, I'm Still Here...Damn It!, reminds me of a comment a friend made about Nathan Lane after leaving Mizlansky/Zilinsky at intermission: "He's like a spice, not a meal." Bernhard also has the character actor's curse. T...

    by James Hannaham on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Needlework

    Trainspotting (Players Theatre), director Harry Gibson's bleak adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel, drips with all the gritty gross-outs and drug- addled philosophies of its source. It even has all the plummiest linessays one character of his deale...

    by Alexis Soloski on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Def Jam

    I don't define improvisation," says Sondra Loring, curator of the seventh annual Improvisation Festival/NY. "I leave that to the artists." More than 80 from around the world will appear in a two-week blitz of performances, jams, classes, workshops,...

    by Jody Sperling on December 1, 1998
  • Felt and Unfelt

    Article

    Felt and Unfelt

    When Waiting for Godot arrived in America in 1956, even amid the glossy materialism of boom-time suburbia its barren landscape seemed a natural reflection of the barren spiritual landscape of the era. What made Godot's influence spread with such amaz...

    by Michael Feingold on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Black Theater Honors

    With no Technicolor competition, there can be no multicolor progress," costume designer Marcel Christian reminded his fellow nominees, as he accepted a 1998 AUDELCO Award for his work on Julius Caesar in Africa. His lanky, double-breasted stride acro...

    by Charles McNulty on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    God of the Rodeo

    Louisiana's Angola penitentiary has become the Alcatraz of the '90s. Sister Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking and Life Sentences by inmate Wilbert Rideau number among several recent books that suggest Angola is the meanest, baddest patch of hell in ou...

    by Albert Mobilio on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Follow the Leader

    While a number of African American women in the race movement have accused their male counterparts of sexism in recent years, few have done so as authoritatively as Hazel Carby in this groundbreaking book. Critiquing the role of masculinity in the wo...

    by Maurice Berger on December 1, 1998
  • Nude Awakening

    Article

    Nude Awakening

    Fashion photographers have always flirted with nudity, partly for its uplifting echo of the classic ideal, partly for its transgressive kick in the midst of a magazine's usual expanse of overdressed flesh. But, at a moment when fashion photos seem to...

    by Vince Aletti on December 1, 1998
  • Flat Land - Richard Maxwell Sets Up House at P.S. 122

    Article

    Flat Land - Richard Maxwell Sets Up House at P.S. 122

    Richard Maxwell likes to call his plays musicals, "just to piss people off." "That's not a reason to do theater, Rich," actor Yehuda Duenyas tsks. "But why aren't they musicals?" counters Maxwell, whose curiously flat creations bear little resemblanc...

    by Margot Ebling on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Solid Gold

    Garth Fagan doesn't need to think about creating positive images of African Americans onstage; his dance style itself is empowering. The glorious dancers he has trained come across as both passionate and profoundly cool. No attitude detracts from wha...

    by Deborah Jowitt on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Soul Sisters

    It feels a little old-fashioned to talk about spirituality in dance, but as choreographer Dianne McIntyre points out, "it's kind of avant-garde. There hasn't been that much encouragement for the expression of spirituality in art. So to come right out...

    by Kristin Eliasberg on November 24, 1998
  • Virginia Territory

    Article

    Virginia Territory

    In his previous two novels, Michael Cunningham established himself as the preeminent chronicler of paralyzing self-consciousness. A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood focused on gay men and suburban mothers, characters whose particular ...

    by David Kurnick on November 24, 1998
  • Public Relations

    Article

    Public Relations

    Our nation's current fixation with sex scandal has made it a fitting year for Federico Garca Lorca's centennial. If anything characterizes the theatrical oeuvre of this Spanish master, it's his constant exposing of the painful absurdity of society's...

    by Ed Morales on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Natural Herstory

    I've seen the face of lesbian camp: she's the frumpy, obsessive museum guide who leads audiences through Sharon Hayes's meditation on American dyke cultures, The Lesbian (DTW). The mixed- media solo show is a delightful semi-autobiographical account...

    by Rachel Mattson on November 24, 1998
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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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