Naming Names

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

Russian monikers take the stage in local productions By Leslie (Hoban) Blake While Christopher Durang’s celebrated Broadway hit Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike boasts a slew of Chekov-inspired Russian monikers, there’s nary a Slav to be found in its rollicking send-up of that esteemed playwright. But two Off-Broadway productions, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet [&hellip
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The Lady in the Glass Booth

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

Hannah Arendt’s biography as an intellectual romance Filmed under the working title “The Controversy,” Margarethe von Trotta’s bio-pic Hannah Arendt (now at Film Forum), about the renown German Jewish critic and philosopher, combines fun, gossipy insight into the New York literary society of the 1960s with a more serious story of political morality. Those seemingly [&hellip
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Magnetic Musicianship

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

Terrence Blanchard brings jazz to opera By Valerie Gladstone Terrence Blanchard takes big risks. Ever since his early years with drummer Art Blakeley’s legendary Jazz Messengers, the 51-year -old trumpeter has stepped out to try new things, winning five Grammy’s along the way, most recently for the heartrending song cycle A Tale of God’s Will [&hellip
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Fast vs. Facile

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

How Fast & Furious 6 crushes Iron Man 3 The cynicism that makes Iron Man 3 so lousy is defied by the good-time camaraderie of Fast & Furious 6. Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) are more likable than Robert Downey’s snarky Tony Stark and their friendship makes for greater drama [&hellip
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Thin Man and Woman

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

Why won’t Linklater, Hawkes and Delpy shut up? Following Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), Before Midnight’s ongoing chronicle of an aging, talkative, narcissistic couple Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (he’s author of two books This Time and That Time; she’s artistic) threatens to become the The Thin Man series for indie movie hipsters. [&hellip
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Punks Jump Up

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

Culture warp at the Met’s “Chaos to Culture” show What punk? An extravaganza prefaced by a non-smelly replication of the club CBGB’s toilet, “Punk: Chaos to Couture” is the Metropolitan Museums of Art’s most recent nod to what used to be termed popular culture. Here, go directly to couture despite some mood-inducing references, in piped-in [&hellip
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Kitaj Under Cover

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

New exhibit judges an artist by his books When I visit someone’s home I am drawn inevitably towards their bookshelf. You can always learn something about a person by the books they read. The idea of creating a portrait through books, or to be precise, through the covers of books that someone has read is [&hellip
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Mumblehattan

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

Decoding Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha Frances Ha runs a very long 84 minutes. It offers an obnoxiously self-satisfied portrait of a young white New Yorker — played by Greta Gerwig — running out her parent’s stipend, roommating with other New York hipsters, sometimes skipping the pond to Paris, all the time pursuing her goal to [&hellip
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Knee Deep in 20/20 Experiences

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

Timberlake defines himself and today’s pop By Ben Kessler Justin Timberlake’s enduring commercial, critical, and street-level success can perhaps best be explained with an insight from Sigmund Freud: There is no “negative” in the unconscious. Ironically, though, in our messed-up culture JT’s shameless lack of negativity must be defined negatively. In other words, JT demands [&hellip
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From Zoom to Whoosh

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

Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby is not Great The ad campaign for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is pretty snazzy, the movie itself not so much. The poster’s anachronistic Art Deco silver letters on a black grid evoke the chrome of shiny old Dusenberg’s plus the velvet casing of jewelry boxes. It’s about luxury and that’s what [&hellip
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