Posted inArts & Culture

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW, Circle Theatre. John Patrick Shanley’s giddy comedy of unsure lovers and their equally clueless parents lends itself to such a wide variety of interpretations that every production seems to spring from a different script–a quality that probably accounts for its popularity among young theater artists. Circle Theatre’s production opens with […]

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Rituals of Polite Seduction

It’s such a pleasure to come across feminist artists with a sense of humor–and a gift for iconoclastic thinking. Holly Quinn and Julia Rhoads, both dancers with Xsight! Performance Group, have been collaborating since 1995 on quirky pieces like the 1998 Royal Flush, in which they dress up like the heroines in the Disney cartoon […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

KINA 8/18, AUDITORIUM THEATRE Detroit-born Kina, an R & B singer turned woman-rock belter, occasionally pulls off a move of minor genius like bringing a whomping gospel choir in on an intelligent chorus like “Don’t just say it’s all right / My life fell into ten pieces / Don’t just say it’s fine / Just […]

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Bustin’ Out

Bustin’ Out, Baum House, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Like a girl stuffing her bra, playwright Karen Begin has shoved the gamut of breast issues into her script. Although nothing is left out, not much is said that’s original. Teased about her underdeveloped chest, 14-year-old Jesse (played with a great mix of romantic dreaminess and adolescent […]

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Jackie: An American Life

JACKIE: AN AMERICAN LIFE, Cenacle Theatre Company, at the Pilsen Theatre. At one time Jackie Kennedy was the center of the tabloid universe–the tabs couldn’t get enough of her, every week publishing some new privacy-invading story about her latest travails or photographs of our widowed former first lady lounging topless on some yacht. Cenacle Theatre’s […]

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Grass Act

The Scarlet Pimpernel Shubert Theatre By Albert Williams “I have seen the worst play in London,” wrote a New York Times theater critic in 1907 of a drama that had been running for two years. “What makes it odd is the fact that the worst play in this case happens to be the most successful.” […]

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True Books

Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers, by Gloria Gilbert Mayer and Thomas Mayer (American Management Association, $21.95). Synopsis:The characters from classic fairy tales–Cinderella, Snow White, and the rest–are dragooned into conveying business platitudes. Representative quote: “‘Sir,’ Goldilocks says brightly, ‘we’re known throughout the industry for competitive prices and superior services. Let […]

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TAFELMUSIK In keeping with the traditions of the Baroque and pre-Baroque eras, period-instrument orchestras consist almost entirely of strings, often augmented by harpsichord, double reeds, recorder, or timpani. They tend to number two dozen pieces or less, and the instruments–whether originals or replicas–don’t adhere to the tempered scale modern audiences are familiar with; to the […]

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Deanna Witkowski

DEANNA WITKOWSKI In 1997, when pianist Deanna Witkowski recorded her debut album, Having to Ask (reissued recently by Jazzline), she had just turned a corner in her music, locating a coherent instrumental voice and accenting it with the Afro-Cuban rhythms she’d begun to explore a few years earlier. Then, before the disc’s release, she left […]

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The Original Kings of Comedy

This record of one stop (February 26-27) on “The Kings of Comedy” tour focuses on the audience at the Charlotte Coliseum as emphatically as it focuses on the performers–comedians Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. Footage shot from over their shoulders reveals a sea of faces out of which individuals quickly […]

Posted inFilm

The Elements of Style

The Vagabond Rating *** A must see Directed by Raj Kapoor With Kapoor, Nargis, and Prithviraj Kapoor. Mr. 420 Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Raj Kapoor With Kapoor, Nargis, Nadira, and Nemo. By Sunil Malapati When Fire, the first film directed by Raj Kapoor, premiered in 1948, Indian popular cinema was on the verge of […]