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  • Thompson's Gift


    Thompson's Gift

    I was briefly offended at this exciting show by sounds of excellent jazz. They emanated from speakers in a room that contains dozens of small paintings and drawings, whose massed array did not rescue my mood. Bob Thompson's littlest pictures are some...

    by Peter Schjeldahl on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    Comb, Please

    Long black braids snake across the floor. Knotted webs of hair loop and bunch along the walls, tangling in lacy clumps to entrap an occasional woodchuck, bobcat, pheasant, coyote, wild turkey, or small songbird. On the floor, a tumble of straight bla...

    by Kim Levin on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    Best Western

    When San Francisco Ballet returns to City Center Tuesday, several of artistic director Helgi Tomasson's new recruits from abroad will be making local de buts. Yuan Yuan Tan and Lucia Lacarra have generated considerable buzz in San Francisco. They'll ...

    by Susan Reiter on October 20, 1998
  • Article


    Never-Never Land never seemed so strange and faraway as it does in Dario D'Ambrosi's The Dis-Adventures of Peter Pan vs. Captain Maldetto (La Mama). This latest Roman export from Teatro Patologico features a young Italian man on stilts as the defiant...

    by Charles McNulty on October 20, 1998
  • Of Mice and Men


    Of Mice and Men

    Deep inside the utopian womb that is the Times Square Disney store, amid a sea of smiling anthropomorphic creatures with happy little names, a lone voice comes barreling out of nowhere. "People! Do not shop in the Disney store! Save yourselves!" The ...

    by Stage Left on October 20, 1998
  • Vietnam Lore


    Vietnam Lore

    If there is one trait that characterizes the Vietnam-era reporting of American journalists--or the 80-odd mainstream journalists assembled here--it is the romance with ambiguity that runs like a purple thread among the lurid images of war. The soldi...

    by Carol Brightman on October 13, 1998
  • 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


    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
  • 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
  • Millennial Rites - A Greek Director Updates the Eleusinian Mysteries


    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
  • Scents and Sensibility


    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


    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
  • Past Shock


    Past Shock

    Written in 1978, John Guare's Marco Polo takes place in a 1999 that still seems fairly distant, though some of Guare's predictions are amazingly close to the mark in their off-kilter way. Like all good futurology, though, Guare's comedy is chiefly co...

    by Michael Feingold on October 6, 1998
  • Middle Passage - A Radical Artist Evolves


    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
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