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The Children’s Hour/The Ritual Room

THE CHILDREN’S HOUR Shattered Globe Theatre THE RITUAL ROOM Shattered Globe Theatre Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour is one of those 30s-style socially conscious melodramas in which essentially likable people smash up against an intolerant society and are destroyed. In this case the likable people are Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, the headmistresses of the […]

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Katzelmacher

KATZELMACHER Center Theater Speed marked the brief but stunningly prolific career of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He made four or five feature films a year during the 1970s. In fact, between November 1969 and November 1970–his first year of filmmaking–he wrote and directed nine films, and starred in some of them as well. To get actors […]

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Number 17

A peculiar and neglected early Hitchcock stage adaptation (1932), notable because it was intended partly as an absurdist send-up and none of the contemporary reviewers got the point. (The opening sequence suggests a kind of delirium of continuity that the picture periodically returns to.) Most of the film is set in an abandoned house, where […]

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Robin Lakes Rough Dance

Robin Lakes can’t stand pretty dances, where the movement flows by smoothly but doesn’t leave a trace. She likes dances that stay in memory. Her “rough dances”–a term derived from Peter Brook’s book The Empty Space–deal with stark realities like prisons, concentration camps, urban alienation, and wakes. Like Brecht, Lakes tries to awaken her audience; […]

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Troublemaker

To the editors: I have long suspected Reader music writer Bill Wyman to be an insufferable hack, but his National Enquirer style expose on the insider squabble between rock band Urge Overkill and their former label Touch and Go really takes the cake [Hitsville, May 7]. Granted, most Lincoln Park yuppies have an insatiable need […]

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The Opera Factory

Zarzuela is the Spanish variant of operatic entertainment that originated in the royal palace in the 17th century and reached the peak of its popularity as middle-brow musical theater in late 19th-century Madrid. Numerous zarzuelas, ranging from frothy concoctions to large-scale dramas, were produced in the heyday of Spanish nationalism, and most of Iberia’s finest […]

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Nonreproducing Blacks

To the editors: I would like to comment on the use of the word “mulatto” in Mr. Andersen’s review [“The Misogyny Game,” March 5]. Unfortunately, the English language has certain references to African Americans (Blacks, Afro-Americans) as animals. I would therefore like to refute Mr. Andersen’s contention that the word has experienced a “recent return […]

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Losing Our Religion

A SHAVIAN EVENING Avenue Theatre The Serpent: Love. Love. Love. Adam: That is too short a word for so long a thing. –George Bernard Shaw, In the Beginning George Bernard Shaw wasn’t an irreligious man, though there are surely plenty of self-styled Christians who would find him so. His best-known and most-performed plays are social […]

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Men of the World

The work of Men of the World is difficult to preview, since generally no one, including the artists, knows what it’s going to be until the last minute. Mathew Wilson, half of the duo, explains that he and partner Mark Alice Durant often stay up late the night before planning the action for the next […]

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Distant Fires

DISTANT FIRES Pegasus Players The best and worst thing about Kevin Heelan’s Distant Fires is that it’s predictable. From the moment we see three white and three black construction workers laying cement we can anticipate the racial tension. We assume there will be crass, sexist jokes and maybe even a fistfight. When we learn that […]

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Marxist-Humanism

To the editors: Regarding David Futrelle’s article: “Reading: Splitting Hairs With the Sparts” (April 16). I am not the least bit interested in the dogmas of the Workers Vanguard or the various Maoist newspapers that he refers to in detail. But I was deeply offended by his characterization of the Marxist-Humanist newspaper News and Letters […]