Posted inArts & Culture

Of Thee I Sing

Recalling the Marx Brothers, this 1931 Pulitzer-winning musical spoofs a presidential campaign in which candidate John P. Wintergreen holds a beauty contest to choose a bride. Winning on a platform of love for all, he then inconveniently tumbles for his campaign secretary and marries her instead. Seventy-three years ago George and Ira Gershwin, George S. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Sandman

As I was leaving Incurable Theater’s adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s grotesque 1816 fairy tale–about impressionable student Nathaniel, driven mad by recurring visitations from the eyeball-stealing Sandman–a staff member approached me and lamented, “You came on the worst night ever!” I couldn’t disagree. Plagued by logistical logjams and technical mishaps, this 90-minute production featuring a puppet […]

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David Thomas & Two Pale Boys

David Thomas has carried on a highly ambivalent engagement with rock ‘n’ roll for nearly three decades. As a member of Rocket From the Tombs and Pere Ubu he helped write punk history with songs like “Sonic Reducer” and “Non-Alignment Pact,” but during the Ubu hiatus of the mid-80s his solo work swapped guitars for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Doomed by Republicans

As Anthony Wilson learned [“The Victims of Victims,” October 1] those who cannot control their anger will find control imposed on them by the law. Those who have problems controlling their inclinations toward alcohol or gambling or drugs can go any day to meetings for free, of AA or GA or NA, but those making […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Don Byron’s Ivey-Divey Trio

One of clarinetist Don Byron’s strengths is his ability to work successfully in a dazzling array of styles: since his 1992 debut, he’s proven himself equally comfortable in klezmer, classical, and hip-hop. On the surface his latest effort, Ivey-Divey (Blue Note), seems like a straightforward tribute to tenor legend Lester Young, but Byron’s ambitions are […]

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Delgados

On their last two albums, Glasgow’s Delgados used producer Dave Fridmann as their guide through dense thickets of strings, brass, and choirlike backing vocals. For the new Universal Audio (Chemikal Underground) they stripped down to a core of guitar, bass, and drums. As a result, the new songs snap with a refreshing directness, emphasizing the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

That Was So Not Psycho

Dear Mr. Williams: Thank you for coming to see Defiant’s latest (and last) show, A Clockwork Orange [“Young Rebels,” September 17]. I feel that I must point out an error in your review: at no time did I ever use Bernard Herrmann in any form. I’m the sound designer, so I’m quite sure about that. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cat Feet

The title refers to the Carl Sandburg poem in which “fog comes in on little cat feet”–which is apt since on every level Monte Merrick’s new play is indistinct. Hedging his generational bets, he never decides if the focus of his seriocomic script is mom, a once wild poet now coping with creeping Alzheimer’s, or […]

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Kapoot

Dan Griffiths and Stephen Chipps–the creators of Lid Productions’ clown-theater show–are no longer performing in it, so two new ensemble members are now anchoring its blend of dark satire and silly scenes. Matt Massaro as bossy, greedy Krong and Adam Yencho as good-natured underdog Blorg are not yet entirely settled into their relationship–Krong and Blorg’s […]

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Anthony Hamilton

The only contemporary musician who can rock a trucker hat without looking like a jackass kicked around the R & B game for a decade until 2003, when Comin’ From Where I’m From (So So Def/Arista) earned the North Carolina-born soul man an audience beyond those who scrutinize liner notes. Before that Hamilton recorded two […]

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Cool Confusion

To see James Turrell’s installation Rayna, I headed from the outdoors down a dark corridor. Inside the room, at first I could see nothing but the faint glow of incandescent bulbs and the silhouettes of two other visitors. Unable to determine the contours of the space, I was uncertain where the “art” was. And as […]