Dee Dee Sharp

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Bridgewater returns to Broadway in Billie Holliday triumph At first Dee Dee Bridgewater’s impersonation of Billie Holliday in Lady Day at the Little Shubert Theater seems an odd misuse of talent in this Broadway production imported from its London run (where Bridgewater got an Olivier Award nomination). Bridgewater’s strong, tall stage presence and ringing voice [&hellip
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Cinema d’Opie, Part II

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Ron Howard eats his own dust in Rush After his first career several generations ago as Hollywood’s most adorable child star, Ron Howard’s second career might be even more distinctive, though less loveable: He’s Hollywood’s reigning chameleon director–no appreciable point of view, just morphing through various impersonal styles to fit any given commercial project: from [&hellip
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Armory’s Forces

Written by Valerie Gladstone on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Season’s greetings at the Park Avenue Armory  No more thrilling space has opened up for unconventional performances and installations in recent years than the Park Avenue Armory in 2007. Built in 1861 to resemble Grand Central Station and other majestic 19th century railroad stations and designed as a military facility and social club, it became [&hellip
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Standards, Met and Unmet

Written by Jay Nordlinger on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit, Comics

A Tchaikovsky masterpiece at the Met and a classic movie In a fall preview last month, I made a point about Valery Gergiev, the Russian conductor: He is mercurial. Sometimes he’s up, sometimes he’s down. Sometimes he’s electric, sometimes he’s blah. On a recent Thursday night at the Metropolitan Opera, he was alternately electric and blah. He [&hellip
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Out of the Past, Out of the Vestpocket

Written by Our Town on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Revivals of Crothers and Kelly in Going back and forth Rachel Crothers and George Kelly were two of the 20th century’s most important American playwrights; today, however, their work exists in a state of semi-obscurity, semi-rediscovery.  This month the Metropolitan Playhouse brings back Crothers’s 1910 A Man’s World, while the Mint Theater gives us Kelly’s 1931 [&hellip
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Bitch-Slapstick

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Nichole Holofcener’s latest humane insight in Enough Said Most independent filmmakers demonstrate a desire for attention and recognition more than to express sincere or original feelings. Because so many of them come from the same class of hustlers and achievers and go through conventional production procedures (conveniently known as Sundance), their films look alike, reflecting [&hellip
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Take the Grand Tour

Written by Our Town on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Thrilling to the Met’s merge of painting and music By pairing Pachelbel’s Canon in D with images of men and women struggling up a foggy mountainside in The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog created an unforgettable portrait of the eternity of human suffering.  Its effectiveness drew from the interplay between music and image: the [&hellip
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Mission to Nowhere

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Cuaron’s juvenile sci-fi lacks gravitas The opalescent object Planet Earth that opens Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity belongs to Kubrick’s 2001. It’s a shorthand image–evoking intellectual contemplation and wonder that Cuaron doesn’t earn. Cuaron borrows it without (pardon the expression) gravitas. The phenomenon of creation dresses up a tale of survival written by Cuaron with his brother, [&hellip
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The Spoiled Brats of Ganja and Hess

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Rebooting the Black stoner comedy in Newlyweeds Harvey Weinstein may call 2013 “a great moment” for “great black filmmakers” just because he happens to be releasing three high-profile films with Black subjects, but the first real sign of new life and energy in movies about Black Americans is the low-budget Newlyweeds, written and directed by [&hellip
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