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Crushing Midlife Crisis

Crushing Midlife Crisis

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | “Does something happen soon? It’s pretty dull, this.” That’s what grumpy Uncle David says about a long-winded story halfway through the first act of “A Day by the Sea,” the latest neglected play reanimated by the Mint Theater Company. Apparently, that’s also what American theatergoers griped when the drama premiered on Broadway […]

The Fog of Desire

The Fog of Desire

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Spa Night” is a complex, quietly powerful drama about ethnicity and gay identity, written and directed by Andrew Ahn. David (Joe Seo) is a shy, closeted young man who lives in LA’s Koreatown with his father Jin (Youn Ho Cho), and his mother Soyoung (Haerry Kim). When Jin loses the family […]

Madonna and Michael’s Main Man

Madonna and Michael’s Main Man

BY DAVID NOH | The director and choreographer Vince Paterson may not be known to you by name, but you definitely know his work. The dazzling dance moves you’ve seen in the most iconic music videos — from Michael Jackson and Madonna to films like “Dancer in the Dark,” “Evita,” and “The Birdcage,” among countless others […]

A Mother’s Voice Eclipsed

A Mother’s Voice Eclipsed

BY STEVE ERICKSON | For her first feature, actor/ writer/ director Natalie Portman took on a very ambitious project. Working in Israel, she adapted the childhood memoir of Amos Oz, an author often seen as the conscience of liberal Zionism. While Portman takes a large acting role in “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” playing Amos’ […]

Bow Ties and C-Sharps

Bow Ties and C-Sharps

BY DAVID NOH | I’ll come right out and say it, although he’d hate it: Aaron Weinstein is a genius. The first time I saw the musician enter a stage — the ultimate long, lean, bespectacled, bow-tied, and quite adorable nerdling — whip out his violin, and proceed to share his intense, elegant, and drily […]

The Fur is Flying

The Fur is Flying

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | As Gus the theater cat sings in the splendid revival of “Cats” now back on Broadway, “The theater is certainly not what it was.” Aging Gus’ glory days were a highpoint in art, quite lost in all the modernity of a world that, not incidentally, has passed him by. When he wrote […]

A Stale Immigrant Narrative

A Stale Immigrant Narrative

BY STEVE ERICKSON | In the “Musings” blog, critic Ryan Wu recently pondered why there have been so many films about the white immigrant experience and so few about Latino or Asian immigrants. He came to the conclusion that a film like “The Namesake” is expected to speak for all Asian immigrants, while “The Immigrant,” despite […]

Forgotten Treasures of Bel Canto

Forgotten Treasures of Bel Canto

BY ELI JACOBSON | One of the ironies of music — and art in general — is that today’s popular sensation may be tomorrow’s historical footnote in an academic journal. This summer several operatic dead letters reemerged from two centuries of oblivion, shook off the dust and strutted their stuff. Will Crutchfield led Gioachino Rossini’s opera […]

The Last Picture Show

The Last Picture Show

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The appeal of Kurt Vincent’s documentary “The  Lost Arcade,” a eulogy for Manhattan’s video arcade Chinatown Fair, might seem limited to gamers and people who grew up in the ‘80s. However, Vincent manages to speak to the ways New York has changed thanks to gentrification — and not for the better. […]

A Timely, Gutsy Fringe

A Timely, Gutsy Fringe

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | The New York International Fringe Festival, now two decades old, is notorious for being a fount of frivolity. A quick perusal of this year’s nearly 200 offerings confirms this: “A Naked Brazilian,” “Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway,” and “A Microwaved Burrito Filled with E. Coli.” But over the years, FringeNYC has developed […]

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