Posted inArts & Culture

Big Jack Johnson

Blues guitarist Big Jack Johnson, a Mississippi native, cut his teeth in the 50s on the Delta juke-joint and house-party circuit, where in 1962 he met multi-instrumentalist Frank Frost and drummer Sam Carr and formed the band that would determine the course of much of his career: as Frank Frost & the Nighthawks they recorded […]

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Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh, Bailiwick Repertory. The pitch for this all-live, all-nude, all-Scripture revue seemed too good to be true, suggesting a superdeadpan play within a play: Michael Maher, “a Catholic lay minister and researcher in the area of homosexuality and religious education, presents this, his first script,” which “draws its text from the Bible and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Why the government should be in the housing market. Government-financed housing units do increase the total number of housing units in a given place, write economists Todd Sinai and Joel Waldfogel of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (National Bureau of Economic Research working paper “Do Low-Income Housing Subsidies Increase Housing Consumption?” January), “although on […]

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Holy Body Tattoo

If ever there was a bleak valentine, Holy Body Tattoo’s Circa is it: romance here is dark, bloody, and campy, more Edgar Allan Poe than Hallmark. Choreographed and performed by Vancouver-based Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, who’ve been dancing together since 1987, this hour-long piece is set in a shadowy room lined with red curtains […]

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Flung

Flung, American Theater Company. The Great American Obsession with Dad gets a workout in Lisa Dillman’s skillfully crafted new play, now receiving its world premiere under the crisp direction of Susan Nussbaum. Little is revelatory in this piece about estranged siblings who gather to spread the ashes of their, er, challenging father, but Dillman’s sharp […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I mostly understand how cell phones work. What I don’t get is how my cell phone (or more precisely, my cell phone provider) knows where I am when I’m far from home–“roaming,” in cell-phone parlance. Is someone or something continually tracking my whereabouts, no matter where I am on the face of the earth? This […]

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The Mask of Fu Manchu

Though light-years away from anything resembling political correctness, this 1932 horror thriller is often magnificent, imaginative stuff–bombastic pulp at its purple best. Boris Karloff stars as the archvillain of the Sax Rohmer novels, a Chinese madman menacing an expedition to the tomb of Genghis Khan. Charles Brabin directed; with Lewis Stone, Karen Morley, Jean Hersholt, […]

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Calendar

Friday 2/15 – Thursday 2/21 15 FRIDAY Lisa Alvarado–poet, performer, and founder of La Onda Negra Press, a small publishing house devoted to work by women of color–paid for her art habit in the late 90s by working as a maid for a wealthy Chicago family. She wrote a cycle of poems about her experience […]

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Word and Utopia

With Michelangelo Antonioni, Alain Resnais, and Ousman Sembene still active, one can’t call Portuguese writer-director Manoel de Oliveira the only old master we have left in cinema. But how remarkable to see someone in his mid-90s enjoying one of the richest and most productive periods of his career–five extraordinary and very different features since Inquietude […]

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Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days, TimeLine Theatre Company. For the better part of two hours, playwright Steven Dietz drives home the point that the Reagan administration used hyperbolic spin and outright lies to justify its brutal, nonsensical invasion of Grenada in 1983. And as in most of his other work, Dietz seems to see his characters–a self-serving senator, […]

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You Were There

Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs at 72 E. Randolph, through March 30 American flags are everywhere in “Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs,” a grassroots exhibit that amply documents the events of September 11 and their aftermath. Photograph 927, for example, shows a tattoo artist’s needle and his customer’s arm, […]