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Criticals

Criticals, Current Affairs, Film, Politics, Short Cuts, Theater

Shortcuts: Coriolanus

  Fiennes, with Vanessa Redgrave Was it accidental, or did Ralph Fiennes anticipate the cries of the rabble?  At the beginning of Coriolanus, Fiennes’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s parabolic tale of a war hero who, prodded by minions and his politic/duty-bound matriarch (Vanessa Redgrave, better than ever, if that’s possible) loses the courage of his convictions…

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Criticals, Dance, Gay, Music, Short Cuts, Theater

Of Reliquaries and Retrospects

The mournful qualities of fall—all those dying leaves whose color mimics that of dried blood—complement the inaugural season at New York LiveArts, the still-young merger between Dance Theater Workshop and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Dance Company.  With evergreen works by Jones and John Kelly being remounted, how intriguing that so far the theater unfolding in the…

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Film, My back pages, Short Cuts

Funny Boy

Cancer bulletin: nothing relives the doldrums of my birth month like a good laugh.  Good luck finding anything resembling that at the movies; sure, it’s air-conditioned but “rom com” beware.  The term alone guarantees the absence of wit, or for that matter, anything resembling human behavior. Which means us humor-mongers must reach back to the…

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Current Affairs, Politics, Short Cuts, Theater

Undoing the Folded Lie

In the powerful revival of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, villains abound: there’s institutional homophobia fed by a conformist über-het society; New York’s red-tape bound local government led by a bachelor mayor rumored to be gay (Ed Koch, though never mentioned by name—oh, those pesky libel laws); the gay community adrift in a sexual roundelay…

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Criticals, Short Cuts

Short Cuts: Burlesque

Burlesque (Steven Antin, director and writer).  Disparities (an aspiring showgirl plot whose high suspense turns on air rights!) and derivatives abound in a movie geared to capitalize on the blockbuster glow of a trend spurred by Chicago, and killed by its cousin, Nine.  Burlesque gleefully rips these films off while scavenging every other small-town-girl-searches-for-big-city-fame trope…

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Criticals, Theater

Spiderman: Turn on the Lights

The theater is schizophrenic, I mused after a recent matinee of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.  Only a month before I’d seen Daniel Sullivan’s exemplary revival of The Merchant of Venice—it goes without saying that the shows were as different as night and day, but sometimes such dichotic experience makes us realize the range of…

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