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Justice Kennedy

Supreme Court justice Anthony M. Kennedy had stayed up until 4:45 AM the night before he spoke at John Marshall Law School, grappling with a capital-punishment case. He explained to his audience of students, faculty, and judges that the American people like the idea of having capital punishment, but they don’t like the actual killing. […]

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Walt Whitman’s War

THE WOUND-DRESSER Terrapin Theatre at Sheffield’s School Street Cafe We ought to rejoice greatly in him. He occasionally suggests something a little more than human. You can’t confound him with the other inhabitants of Brooklyn or New York. . . . He is a great fellow. –Henry Thoreau writing about Walt Whitman When Thoreau’s “great […]

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Raise the Red Lantern

Completing a loose trilogy that began with Red Sorghum and Ju Dou, Zhang Yimou’s grim adaptation of a novel by Su Tong once again stars Gong Li as a young woman who marries a much older man, and once again tells a story that explicitly critiques Chinese feudalism and indirectly critiques contemporary China. This time, […]

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Directors Festival 1992

The 60-some one-acts (three per night) in Bailiwick Repertory’s Directors Festival 1992, produced by Cecilie Keenan, range from plays and musicals to performance art and monologues; some are well-established classic and contemporary selections, while others are brand-new pieces. They’re mounted by a slew of directors, most of them little known, who are looking for an […]

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Katia and Marielle Labeque

These same-sex siblings, known for their recordings of both classical music and jazz, are France’s answer to the Marsalis brothers. Piano prodigies Katia and Marielle Labeque bring a lifetime of collaboration to their work, which must be responsible for their sensibility to each other’s playing; it allows them to inhabit, and often illuminate, the subterranean […]

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Bye Bye Birdie

Despite its success, the first Broadway musical to use rock and roll songs was dismissed as a trivial fluke at the time of its premiere in 1960–the same year draftee Elvis Presley starred in G.I. Blues. But over the years it has proven a durable and delightful caricature of its era. One reason is Michael […]

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Sue the Bastards

To the editors: As every con man knows, the best way to hook the mark is by convincing the mark of what he himself, the mark, that is, stands to get out of the con. That way the mark will be more likely to let his guard drop. And the second he does–bingo! The con […]

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The Straight Dope

I recently read in Life magazine about people who have had near-death experiences. These people report walking toward a being of light, feeling totally loved, etc. Do near-death experiences prove there is some type of existence after death? –Jeff Collier, Falls Church, Virginia If you doubt there’s some type of existence after death, Jeff, you’ve […]

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British Reserve, American Bounty

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE at the Civic Opera House March 20-22 Frederick Ashton’s Symphonic Variations, considered by many to be the defining work of this English master, was first performed in 1946 by what is now the Royal Ballet and had never been danced by another company–until last weekend, when American Ballet Theatre unveiled its production […]

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The City File

“Of all the obstacles facing Chicago’s poor, probably the most dire and insurmountable is the lack of available basic health care,” according to In Transition (Winter), published by Travelers & Immigrants Aid of Chicago. What does “available” mean? “At the Englewood [public-health] Clinic the waiting time for an appointment (except in cases of pregnancy) is […]

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Child Care

To the editors: Harold Henderson (City File, February 20) approvingly quotes the Progressive’s critique of workfare in the absence of dependable child care and then proceeds to wonder “when [people] will make the politically incorrect discovery that it is better for children at all income levels to have a nurturant parent at home?” Mr. Henderson […]