Posted inArts & Culture

The Winter’s Tale

Playing Shakespeare’s fairy tale in modern dress does its make-believe no favors. But the sincere storytelling in this Bohemian Theatre Ensemble staging, directed by Peter Robel, carries the day. Kyle Lemieux is powerfully persuasive as Leontes, the Sicilian king whose gratuitous jealousy sets off a chain reaction that only the Bard–and the play’s passage of […]

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It’s a Fabulous Life!

A playwright gets fed up with his mother’s homophobia and drama queens sniping at each other backstage. In despair, he wishes he’d never been born gay–and suddenly, a la It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel appears to grant his wish and show him the good he’s done as a gay man. David Sexton’s musical (Albert […]

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A Nutcracker Christmas

G. Riley Mills and Ralph Covert’s updated, somewhat dark version of The Nutcracker owes more to E.T.A. Hoffmann than to Tchaikovsky. In fact they use almost none of Tchaikovsky’s music and jumble the story around, focusing not on the young girl, Clara, but on her brother Fritz. He’s an out-of-control video-game addict who accidentally unleashes […]

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From the Pole to the Equator

A remarkable feature (1987) by Italian avant-gardists Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, made up exclusively of footage shot by Luca Comerio, an official documentarian to the Italian royal family, around 1910–tinted, step-printed into slow motion, and accompanied by an effective, wordless sound track. The images, as suggested by the title, come from all over–African […]

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Do You Fear What I Fear?

The best moment in GayCo Productions’ first holiday revue is tender, not funny: Andy Eninger plays a lonely gay man and Judy Fabjance the female prostitute he brings home just because he wants to be nice to someone. Other sketches blend zinging humor with amusing snapshots of complicated gay lives. Still, there’s less political material […]

Posted inMusic

Muhal Richard Abrams

Of all the dynamic figures who emerged from the AACM, none has had a stronger influence on how it fulfilled its mission than pianist-composer Muhal Richard Abrams. A cofounder of the organization in 1965–and its president for most of the years between then and 1977, when he moved to New York–Abrams boldly conceived a new […]

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The Other Cinderella

In the Kingdom of Other we meet a poor girl from the projects who’s been abused by her foster family, a gentle prince with a street-savvy servant (who looks uncannily like Riley from The Boondocks), two would-be lovers wary of each other’s complexions, and a white girl from Kansas seeking citizenship. Add a Jamaican-accented “fairy […]

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Old Clown Wanted

Romanian-born Matei Visniec is one of the world’s most popular absurdist playwrights, yet his work wasn’t produced in the States until last year, nearly 30 years after he wrote his first play. In July 2004 Gregory A. Fortner staged Old Clown Wanted, Visniec’s breakthrough 1992 script, for the New Jersey Repertory Company. Now Fortner’s staging […]

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A Christmas Carol

Goodman Theatre’s cash cow still gives good milk. Now in its 28th incarnation, the show seems to get a bit darker every year, Scrooge’s reclamation a tad more conditional. But the diminished laughter is far from failure; indeed, distracted by fewer sight gags, the audience is freed to listen harder and feel more. As always, […]

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Jack and the Wild Goose Chase

Ken Raabe has stuffed his updated version of a traditional English panto about the Beanstalk Boy with puns, visual jokes, and music-hall antics, including the classic panto dame (think Mrs. Doubtfire with a puss full of pastry). At its best this Piccolo Theatre production, directed by Loraine Masterton, is breathtaking, but a few scenes tread […]

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Oxford Collapse

I’m not entirely sure why the Oxford Collapse’s sound strikes me as so right and good, which I’ll take as proof that there are still bands out there whose ethos can’t be described with the usual rock-crit algebra of style, reference, and image. The New York trio does avail itself of the ever popular Don […]