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  • Article

    Pared Down

    Do that again and I'll scream,'' says the mother. Hooked on repetition, the child is startled. Faced with extreme repetitiveness in music or dance, audiences tend to swing between these two extremes, either drawn in or driven nuts. The reiterated pat...

    by Deborah Jowitt on October 13, 1998
  • Victoria's Public

    Article

    Victoria's Public

    We make too much, nowadays, of Victorian repression. Like us, the Victorians loved crime and sexual scandal; to study the newspaper reports of famous cases is to be startled, quite often, by the explicitness of the details this ''repressed'' society ...

    by Michael Feingold on October 13, 1998
  • Article

    Mad Science - Three Chaos Junkies at the Kitchen

    A.P. chem was never like this. When physicists Anna Lenehan and Lorenz Boleslaw--adjusting oscilloscopes, pounding data into Powerbooks, and denying geometry, all in the name of scientific research--break through to the Chaos Zone, we're not just tal...

    by Margot Ebling on October 13, 1998
  • Article

    Pure Drivel

    The mystery of Steve Martin is that he can express intimate knowledge of the ways of the kitten while retaining machismo cred; eclipse that grumpy Mike Davis to write the published portrait of Los Angeles this year; dissect linguistics with the weigh...

    by Sarah Vowell on October 13, 1998
  • Article

    On Point

    Not even John Simon, in the midst of a spinal tap, could say anything mean about ''Live From the Edge Theatre'' (P.S. 122, closed). This attitudinal two-part variety show hails from the Bronx and germinated at the Point, a cultural center that has re...

    by James Hannaham on October 13, 1998
  • Millennial Rites - A Greek Director Updates the Eleusinian Mysteries

    Article

    Millennial Rites - A Greek Director Updates the Eleusinian Mysteries

    The Italian restaurant clatters with the din of New York at lunch. Director Vasilios Calitsis has stamped out a cigarette at the door and is now scarfing down pasta bolognese. In a few days, he'll be isolated with his actors in the mountains of his n...

    by Deborah Jowitt on October 13, 1998
  • Article

    Show World

    A woozy intensity surrounds Susan Meiselas's gyrating images of carnival strippers from the early 1970s. Rawness prevails in this series of grainy black-and-white photographs of women who strip for a living at small-town American fairs. These pictur...

    by Alexandra Rowley on October 13, 1998
  • Scents and Sensibility

    Article

    Scents and Sensibility

    Scents war and mingle in Shani Mootoo's evocative first novel Cereus Blooms at Night. Troubling the sultry air of a Caribbean village, with its reassuring smells of coal, decaying guavas, chicken coops, and periwinkle snails, are other scents that t...

    by Celia Wren on October 13, 1998
  • Article

    Word of Mouth - Amy Smith, Andrew Simonet, and David Brick run Philadelphia's Headlong Dance Theater, opening Thursday at DTW.

    Simonet: We didn't want to be in New York; we wanted our own studio and the time and space to concentrate. Brick: Experiment. Try stuff out. Smith: We're from the Richard BullCynthia NovackSusan Foster tradition of postmodern choreographic impr...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on October 13, 1998
  • Shining Through

    Article

    Shining Through

    Two rooms of the dozen or so in this Mark Rothko retrospective will rock you. Maybe others will, too, depending on your susceptibility and appetite. Rothko was always onto something, usually an insinuating quality of light, even in his gawky early fi...

    by Peter Schjeldahl on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Hide and Speak

    What the literary world really wants from novelist Marianne Wiggins is a memoir about her marriage to Salman Rushdie. It was Wiggins, after all, who lived in hiding with Rushdie after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued him a fatwah upon the publication of...

    by Meghan Daum on October 6, 1998
  • Middle Passage - A Radical Artist Evolves

    Article

    Middle Passage - A Radical Artist Evolves

    Bill T. Jones has moved through life making people mad. He fully understands the artist's role as provocateur. So it's ironic that We Set Out Early...Visibility Was Poor, opening at BAM on Tuesday, may anger people simply because it isn't provocative...

    by H.B. Kronen on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    No Cigar?

    Bill Clinton isn't the only one with a "lower half problem," as Japanese newspapers call it. Sarah Lucas makes art that indulges in adolescent gratifications, self-destructive impulses, and salacious innuendo. But the naughty London artist--whose las...

    by Kim Levin on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Stagestruck

    In novels such as People in Trouble and Rat Bohemia, Sarah Schulman argued that homophobia leads to an institutionalized callousness toward people with AIDS. Her new, nonfiction Stagestruck takes the opposite perspective, examining how the most perva...

    by Michael Paller on October 6, 1998
  • Talk Is Cheap

    Article

    Talk Is Cheap

    Teenage girls got me to watch Jerry Springer, but Joshua Gamson taught me how to watch him. At the high school where I teach, South Park's Cartman is a folk hero for boys, whereas the young women offer encyclopedic recall of Springer's R-rated Too Ho...

    by Jesse Berrett on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Bearing Up

    I know all about life and death. I am, after all, a scholar of Donne's Holy Sonnets,'' Kathleen Chalfant, as Dr. Vivian Bearing, announces magisterially near the start of Wit (MCC Theater). In fact, she knows neither. Margaret Edson's dazzling first...

    by Francine Russo on October 6, 1998
  • Meta for Measure

    Article

    Meta for Measure

    As a study in dissembling, with characters disguising themselves to reveal the hypocrisy of others, Measure for Measure must have been irresistible to David Herskovits: many of his previous productions with Target Margin Theater exposed the dupliciti...

    by Marc Robinson on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Equinox

    James Kudelka isn't the most scintillating conversationalist, but his dances are never dull. Cruel World, a flurry of duets made for American Ballet Theatre in 1994, divided viewers, who saw either the paragon of partnering or the musings of a misant...

    by Christopher Reardon on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Deathwish

    In The Weatherbox, a peculiarly likable though rough-around-the-edges meditation on the American family from Rattlestick, playwright Travis Baker hits so many uncomfortably true-to-life notes that his play frequently makes you feel like you forgot to...

    by James Oseland on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Showing Soul

    When the members of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company hit the stage in excerpts from Talley Beatty's 1960 Come and Get the Beauty of It Hot and Donald Byrd's 1991 Dark Joy, they're 60 percent eye-grabbing technique and 40 percent attitude. Beatty pio...

    by Deborah Jowitt on October 6, 1998
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