Posted inArts & Culture

An Artist’s Fears

THE FOURTH WALL at the Briar Street Theatre In Raymond J. Barry’s searing Once in Doubt, seen last fall at Remains Theatre, a tortured artist in blue jeans creates an abstract-expressionist painting with his own freely flowing blood and trades raw obscenities with his lover in their nearly empty loft apartment. A.R. Gurney’s new comedy, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Charts

SLICES: BIANNUAL REPORT ON STATUS OF RELATIONSHIP WITH SIGNIFICANT OTHER D. Travers Scott at N.A.M.E., April 2 and 3 Some have said that relationships are like trains. If you accept that you’re on a train whose destination is set, you can relax and enjoy the ride. But fighting the destination–trying to make the train that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Street Life

STREET LIFE Joel Hall Dancers at the Merle Reskin Theatre, March 18-21 A couple of summers ago, while studying in Paris, I would occasionally go to dance parties with my European friends. These parties were always a drag: lots of cigarette smoke and hip-hop house music droning on too loud and too long. But the […]

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Tad Shull

How much you like Tad Shull will certainly depend on how much you miss Ben Webster, Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, and the other big-toned, harmonically daring tenormen descended from the saxophone fountainhead, Coleman Hawkins. The 38-year-old Shull has built his music on models that predate his own birth: an unabashedly tonal, relentlessly swinging style that […]

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Like Water for Chocolate

Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquivel, who adapted her own work for the screen, this delightful piece of magical realism from Mexican director Alfonso Arau (1991) contemplates the unrequited love of a single woman for her brother-in-law, a passion that can only be expressed and sublimated through the sensual meals she prepares for […]

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Above & Beyond

ABOVE & BEYOND Milestone Theatre Company at Cafe Voltaire “Above & Beyond,” a program of four one-act plays presented by Milestone Theatre Company, feels an awful lot like a collection of daydreams. Daydreams are great–for the person dreaming them. As long as they stay in our imagination they’re better than any play, movie, or book. […]

Posted inFilm

Actress

A masterpiece by Stanley Kwan, the greatest Hong Kong film I’ve seen (also known as Ruan Ling Yu and Center Stage). The story of silent film actress Ruan Ling Yu (1910-1935), known as the Garbo of Chinese cinema, it combines documentary with period re-creation, biopic glamour with profound curiosity, and ravishing historical clips with color […]

Posted inFilm

A Cinema of Uncertainty

FILMS BY MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI Jean-Luc Godard: The drama is no longer psychological, but plastic . . . Michelangelo Antonioni: It’s the same thing. –from a 1964 interview Just for my own edification, I’ve put together a list of the 12 greatest living narrative filmmakers–not so much personal favorites as individuals who, in my estimation, have […]