Posted inArts & Culture

Lettice and Lovage

Peter Shaffer’s charming tribute to British eccentricity and the power of the imagination is fueled by opposites who attract–both each other and us. Irrepressibly theatrical rebel Lettice Douffet (Patricia Hodges), a flamboyant fantasist, forms an unlikely alliance with repressed civil servant Lotte (Linda Reiter). Director Lucy Smith Conroy clearly loves every minute of the supple […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Joe Preston isn’t just a genius–the influential heavy-music groups he’s passed through include Earth, the Melvins, Sunn 0))), and most recently High on Fire–he’s a prophet. Both doom and electro have entered the universal hipster lexicon in the past few years, and when the inevitable fusion of the two genres hits the pages of Vice, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Unknown

Before Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, before John Wayne and John Ford, Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning forged an ongoing collaboration–nine films from 1920 to ’29–whose macabre stories and carny/underworld settings mocked the bright lights of the Jazz Age. Their most delirious project was The Unknown (1927), a perverse melodrama about an armless […]

Posted inFilm

Army of Shadows

Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 thriller about the French resistance, finally receiving its first U.S. release, is a great film but also one of the most upsetting films I know. Melville based his story on a novel by Joseph Kessel (Belle de Jour) that was published during the occupation and is reportedly far more optimistic; in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Witch Switch

A 12 Steps Program performs Jason Williams’s play, ostensibly an episode of canceled sitcom Arrested Development. Here the Bluth family’s booze-soaked matriarch, Lucille, changes places with a cheery suburbanite. Some of the character likenesses are striking, such as Anne Harvey as Lindsay and Adi E. Paliti as her maybe gay husband, Tobias. With others, however–like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bobby Bare

At 71, country singer Bobby Bare has gone through numerous phases, but his smooth, instantly recognizable voice and good taste in songwriting have remained constant. In 1962 Nashville Sound architect Chet Atkins signed him to RCA, where he recorded much of his most important work; the storytelling in early songs like “500 Miles Away From […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Retreat From Moscow

You can keep your bleak Beckettian tramps. For real existential terror I’ll take a bourgeois domestic drama like this one by British playwright William Nicholson. Alice is a demanding, insistent know-it-all who recites poetry, attends mass, and sees every conversation as a matter of her side vs. “rot.” Edward is a quiet, accommodating teacher with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wookey Works

Choreographer Sara Wookey has had a foot in two worlds for a while. An American, she moved to Amsterdam in the mid-90s and moved back to the United States a decade later–Los Angeles, in fact, so the U.S. in spades. Long interested in the effect physical spaces have on an individual’s kinesthetic sense, she started […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anthony Bourdain

Books about food, I’ve started to believe, are really self-help books in disguise–primers on personal growth for those who wouldn’t be caught dead with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Each maps a path to happiness: master every challenge, cherish your friends, trust your instincts, respect the natural world. Reading Anthony Bourdain, one message […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

My aunt recently died. When I asked about the funeral details, I was told that there would be no graveside service because my aunt had donated her body to science. Nobody seemed to know much more, so I turn to you. How do you donate your body to science? Who wants it and what do […]