Posted inNews & Politics

Investing in art: What’s the link between community development and cultural affairs?

Abena Joan Brown used pluck and perseverance to create the ETA Creative Arts Foundation; but to build a theater, she needed money. That’s where Nick Rabkin came in. “It will cost more than $1 million to put this all together,” says Brown, ETA’s president/producer. This year the group completed its sprawling 202-seat theater in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hair

HAIR at the Vic Theater One look at the cast of this production and you realize that Hair is a ridiculous anachronism. I mean, they’re all dressed up in fringed vests and bell-bottoms and headbands, trying hard to look like hippies, but they really don’t have a clue. They’re too young. They don’t know about […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Troupe With No Head

THE POPE IS NOT A EUNUCH Theater Oobleck at Cabaret Voltaire Theater Oobleck is smart. Theater Oobleck is funny. Theater Oobleck has style, daring, big ideas, energy, and a healthy sense of the bizarre. Theater Oobleck is unusual and good. Naturally, I’m worried. I mean, it’s your basic recipe for disaster, isn’t it? Here be […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Maids

THE MAIDS Chameleon Productions at Center Theater Studio Early in the performance, long before the metal folding chair I was sitting on made the one lasting impression of the evening, one performer asked of the other, “Are you offering me the dreary exile of your imagination?” The question hung there in the limbo of dramatic […]

Posted inMusic

The well-trained pianist

From the early days in the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, blues and jazz have always provided both entertainment and an opportunity for personal expression. A kind of ecstatic longing that informs both the most joyful and the most mournful blues–as it did the spirituals that were the blues’ immediate precursor–brings the two poles together. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

About Men

MEN DANCING Gregg Lizenbery at the Dance Center of Columbia College November 3-5 “Men Dancing” is almost an oxymoron. Imagine John Wayne, or even Robert De Niro, dancing. Add the fact that it’s men dancing solo, and the equation seems even more unlikely: if a man is alone onstage, what does he fight with? The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

David Puszch Dance Company

DAVID PUSZH DANCE COMPANY at Weinstein Center for the Performing Arts October 14, 15, 21, and 22 The pieces in a recent concert by the David Puszh Dance Company revealed choreographers who had failed to give the structure of their dances sufficient thought. David Puszczewicz and Michael K. Quaintance, the two choreographers featured, seemed to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Courtney Pine

He’s young, he’s gifted, he’s British–which cannot be ignored. In fact, if only for the attention he has drawn to a long-moribund, suddenly burgeoning jazz scene, saxist Courtney Pine may well be the most important British jazzman of the last 25 years. Fortunately, there’s some steak behind the sizzle. Although he’s still in his early […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rituals

RITUALS Fanfire Productions at Preston Bradley Community Center Rituals, an original theater piece directed by Pamela Meyer, attempts to dramatize the directionless, melancholy, and fundamentally empty existence of the contemporary urban dweller, a plight it intends to remedy by reappropriating ancient rituals. Unfortunately, this production accomplishes the opposite, showing how rituals become meaningless when yanked […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hoxsey: How Healing Becomes a Crime

A fascinating documentary by Ken Ausubel that starts off as provocative muckraking and winds up as an informative and thoughtful essay. The muckraking concerns former coal miner Harry Hoxsey and his virtually lifelong battle with the American Medical Association about his apparently effective folk remedies for cancer. The AMA and the U.S. government essentially outlawed […]