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Purrfectly Amusing

Purrfectly Amusing

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE  |  If you want to be successfully silly, you have to be really smart. And David Hanbury qualifies on both counts. His new show, “Mrs. Smith’s Broadway Cat-Tacular,” is the perfect diversion for a hot summer night. Hanbury, as Mrs. Smith, is grieving for the loss of her cat/co-star Carlyle. Theirs is […]

Bounce Baby  

Bounce Baby  

BY MICHAEL SHIREY | You may know Big Freedia as the twerking queen from the South — the New Orleans native does hold the Guinness World Record for the most people twerking in a group — and as the star of her own reality series, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.” But you probably don’t know the […]

Public Intellectuals Rolling Around in the Dirt  

Public Intellectuals Rolling Around in the Dirt  

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The entertaining and engaging documentary “Best of Enemies” presents the 10 famous televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr., during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions. Directors Morgan Neville (“20 Feet from Stardom”) and Robert Gordon show how these compulsively watchable arguments “changed television forever.” They provide astute portraits […]

Male Exposure: Capturing Broadway’s Sexy Side

Male Exposure: Capturing Broadway’s Sexy Side

BY MICHAEL SHIREY | There are no shortage of attractive male models in New York City, and surely more than enough photographers who are very willing to shoot them. Roberto Araujo is one such photographer — but you would be mistaken not to view him a step ahead of much of his competition. Looking at his […]

The Inimitable Soph

The Inimitable Soph

BY DAVID NOH | From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55, she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash.” There were show biz originals, and then there was Sophie Tucker (1887-1966). Porcine-faced and decidedly stout, Tucker was, […]

An Old “Favorite” Given New Life  

An Old “Favorite” Given New Life  

BY ELI JACOBSON | From Lully on, Italian opera composers refined, deepened, and expanded their art, composing French operas for Paris. Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” inaugurated the grand opera form, and with Verdi’s “Don Carlos” it reached its pinnacle. Will Crutchfield has programmed both those operas in the original French as part of his “Bel Canto at […]

Where Brawn Meets Brightness

Where Brawn Meets Brightness

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Last winter, “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” James Lecesne’s gripping solo show recounting the tragic disappearance of a flamboyant gay teen in a small Jersey Shore town, got raves during its sold-out stint at the cozy performance space at Dixon Place. Now the production, under the expert direction of Tony Speciale, […]

It’s More Than Just Power Corrupting 

It’s More Than Just Power Corrupting 

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is gay filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s take on a 1971 study conducted at the northern California university designed to observe the effects of incarceration on the behavior of both inmates and their keepers. Dr. Philip Zimbardo divided 24 male students into prisoner and guard roles in […]

What Brutality Does Not Crush  

What Brutality Does Not Crush  

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The world of Joshua Oppenheimer’s previous film, “The Act of Killing,” was a moral black hole — and not a safely fictional construct. Oppenheimer invited the murderers of Indonesian “communists” — a blanket term for anyone the government, installed by a 1965 military coup, disliked — to make films dramatizing their experiences, […]

A Peak at India through its Courtrooms  

A Peak at India through its Courtrooms  

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Sometimes, less is more. Earlier this year, the Israeli film “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” offered a minimalist look inside that country’s divorce courts, which are governed by conservative Orthodox Jews. It didn’t try to “open up” its story. Indian director Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Court” offers a riveting glimpse inside his country’s […]

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