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Katia and Mariella Labeque

The Labeque sisters, Katia and Marielle, are the most sensational piano duo since Fitzdale and Gold. Not quite convinced? Neither was I, until I heard and saw them in action last year. For a brief spell, their pyrotechnics and panache made me believe in the merits and possibilities of the dubious genre, which enjoyed a […]

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Brave Combo

Imagine yourself transported to a parallel universe, a bizarro world, where the hip culture listens not to rock ‘n’ roll or R & B but to polka music, which is considered sexy and dangerous. That’s the kind of world Brave Combo would fit into perfectly, being the oddballs they are in this world. What’s especially […]

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Curse of the Starving Class

CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company at Amethyst The stupidest and saddest kind of starvation happens when the refrigerator’s full. Sam Shepard calls it a “poison,” an “explosive in the blood,” but mainly in Curse of the Starving Class it’s just that, a curse, ensuring that every move made by the members of […]

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Little Victories

LITTLE VICTORIES Trinity Square Ensemble at Live Theatre Little Victories must have been written by a feminist double agent, a saboteur pretending to champion feminism while actually subverting the cause from within. The play seems ideologically pure. It revolves around two icons of feminism –Susan B. Anthony and Joan of Arc — who are busy […]

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Hour of the Star

Brazilian filmmaker Suzana Amaral’s acclaimed debut feature, about a slovenly young secretary, 19 years old and still unhappily a virgin, searching for romance and fulfillment among the marginal employables of Sao Paulo. The story is almost too precious, with harsh urban reality grinding provincial innocence to dust, though to her credit, Amaral eventually moves beyond […]

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Miles Davis

Let’s take a moment to restate the obvious. Miles is unquestionably one of the supreme figures in jazz. Like Pablo Picasso, he has metamorphosed through an astonishing variety of periods and styles; from his 1940s apprenticeship with Charlie Parker to his current pop/funk preoccupations, his has been a career of constant searching, both outward and […]

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Peter Case

Peter Case used to be in the Plimsouls. However, not only is his recent debut LP a good deal more interesting and full-bodied than I remember his former band’s work to be, but it also made him one of the freshest and most warmly hailed “new” arrivals of last year. While Case has not forsaken […]

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William Ferris Chorale

It has been said that to qualify as the subject of a William Ferris Chorale tribute a composer must be: (1) British or American, (2) marking a major anniversary, (3) a possessor of impressive credentials and prestigious awards, (4) recognized for his vocal and liturgical music, and (5) the cultivator of an accessible, preferably tonal, […]

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Golden Palominos

I once saw a wild-eyed Anton Fier (in Richard Hell’s band at the time) jump out from behind his drum kit in midset to attack an audience member who was apparently flipping lit cigs at the bandstand. So I have no trouble believing persistent reports of what a moody, intense guy he supposedly is. Besides, […]

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Witchboard

Spirits of the dead communicate through Ouija board, slash a few tires, and scare the bejeezus out of everybody. Pardon the suggestion, but this may be the best little Z film in awhile. First-time director Kevin S. Tenney camouflages his nonexistent budget by pushing his camera straight in the actors’ faces and stripping his visuals […]

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Raising Arizona

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Road Runner comedy in overdrive, about a convenience-store bandit (Nicholas Cage) who swipes the infant son of an unfinished-furniture tycoon (he’s got quints so he won’t mind, Cage’s wife insists), then has a hard time holding onto the kid. The snickering humor that percolated through the Coens’ overly arch Blood Simple […]

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Cabaret

Joel Grey is the above-the-title star of this elaborate revival of the 1966 musical set in Nazi-era Berlin, but the show’s real strength lies in the performances of its two leading ladies. Alyson Reed, whose talents were buried in the dismal film version of A Chorus Line, is a revelation as Sally Bowles, the determinedly […]