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Real Aural Talent

Though there’s a dead body onstage for most of Corn Productions’ new show, no one eats, has sex with, or otherwise violates it. What’s going on? If it weren’t for the vaudeville farting routine and whopper of a premise, I’d think this usually transgressive troupe was undergoing some form of behavior modification. Still, there’s no […]

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Rattawut Lapcharoensap

Though he’s only 25 years old, Rattawut Lapcharoensap writes like an old pro. Born in Chicago but raised mostly in Bangkok with periodic sojourns back here, he brings a mature, bicultural sensibility to the seven stories in his debut collection, Sightseeing (Grove Press). In the touching opener, “Farangs,” a Thai boy falls for a flirtatious […]

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Rebecca Wolfram

Except for a cat who stays in the basement and shies from men, Rebecca Wolfram lives alone in her century-old house in Little Village, painting in her attic studio and playing the violin. In the front room, which doubles as a private gallery, are five small paintings of women in the branks, or scold’s bridle, […]

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Late Autumn

I’m not the world’s biggest Ozu fan, but this late work (1960) is one of his finest. Three middle-aged men who once wooed the widowed Akiko (played with a wonderfully subtle mix of emotions by Setsuko Hara) conspire to marry off both her and her daughter, who declares herself happy as she is. The gentle […]

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Lhasa

A novelist having trouble imagining an artistic vagabond could crib a few ideas from the life of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lhasa de Sela. Born to hippie parents, she grew up in the Catskills in the 70s but often traveled back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border with her family in a converted school bus. After moving […]

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Blindfolded

Do you remember the hostage crisis in Iran? Could you explain it to somebody who didn’t? The teenagers of the Free Street ensemble found that their teachers couldn’t when they began searching for the reasons behind the hostility that led to the World Trade Center bombing. So they started looking at Iranian-American relations from 1953 […]

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Moonie and Broon: Foolish Mortals!

Clowning can be charming, as veteran Bristol Renaissance Faire entertainers Philip Earl Johnson (doofus Moonie) and Brian Howard (acerbic Broon) prove here. Working separately and together, they offer a potpourri of circus specialties and vintage vaudeville and busker routines–the obvious result of having too much free time and even more imagination. The stunts include juggling, […]

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Born Into Brothels

Photographer Zana Briski traveled to Calcutta in 1997 to shoot the red-light district and befriended several children of prostitutes; on her next trip she gave them point-and-shoot cameras and instructed them in basic photography. As documented in this 2004 film by Briski and Ross Kauffman, the children brought back no shattering shots of sexual servitude, […]

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Enrique Morente & Tomatito

Singer Enrique Morente and guitarist Tomatito (aka Jose Fernandez Torres) are two of the most influential iconoclasts in flamenco music. Like most significant innovators they were well versed in the rules before they broke them. Morente was born in 1942 in Granada, Spain, moved to Madrid at 18, and quickly established himself as a formidable […]

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Hidden Cameras

Most bands would feel pigeonholed by a tag like “gay folk church music,” but singer and guitarist Joel Gibb, the leader of this Toronto collective, came up with that description himself. Raised a Baptist, he brings the buoyant tent-revival spirit of church sing-alongs to the band’s lush arrangements, which sound a little like upbeat Belle […]