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All for Alla

All for Alla

BY DAVID NOH | After seeing Russian-born actress Alla Nazimova in Ibsen’s “Ghosts,” both Tennessee Williams and Pauline Kael declared that she gave the greatest performance they had ever seen. For that reason alone, Nazimova (1879-1945) — known today for the most part only as the eccentric, outrageously flamboyant silent screen star of an outre […]

Jeff Miller’s Love of Hanging

Jeff Miller’s Love of Hanging

BY DAVID NOH | There is a terrific and quite gay as a goose art exhibit at the Atlantic Gallery on now, “Connection II: An Invitational Exhibition of  Artists Selecting Artists.” I attended the opening on July 13, and it was the most convivial gathering of like-minded art lovers, both familiar and otherwise, reassuringly proving that […]

Bel Canto at Caramoor Bids “Addio”

Bel Canto at Caramoor Bids “Addio”

BY ELI JACOBSON | Will Crutchfield’s “Bel Canto at Caramoor” series celebrated its 20th and final season this summer. During those 20 years, Crutchfield has ventured through Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini with side trips into Gluck, Poulenc, Beethoven, and Verdi. Often, these operas were heard in critical editions curated by University of Chicago Professor Philip Gossett […]

A Very Early Desert Bloom

A Very Early Desert Bloom

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Donna Deitch’s “Desert Hearts” became an instant classic of lesbian cinema when it was released in 1985. The film, set in 1959 Reno, respectfully depicted the love that develops between Vivian (Helen Shaver), an English professor waiting out a divorce, and Cay (Patricia Charbonneau, in a remarkable debut) who works […]

Walking Through the Injury

Walking Through the Injury

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson are two ex-soldiers who have been suffering from “moral injury,” a form of PTSD where soldiers suffer a “wound to the soul” because they have done things in battle at odds with their moral beliefs. These men, who served in Iraq, are grappling with actions that […]

Sexually Frank, On Her Own Terms

Sexually Frank, On Her Own Terms

BY STEVE ERICKSON |  A few weeks ago, Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” became the subject of a huge controversy over racism, not for any stereotypical treatment of African Americans within the film itself but because it omits the subject of slavery despite its Civil War setting. A lot of lively debate followed, unfortunately accompanied by the kind […]

Voices of Angels, Sinful Songs of the Flesh

Voices of Angels, Sinful Songs of the Flesh

BY ELI JACOBSON | Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” diptych, as I noted in a preview last month , was operatic in scale and theatrical voice to begin with. For their 2004 operatic adaptation, composer Péter Eötvös and his librettist Mari Mezei cut the massive play down from epic size to a digestible two and […]

A Strong Slate of Strained Relations

A Strong Slate of Strained Relations

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Bullets fly and swords are wielded in plenty of the crowd-pleasing, kinetic selections at 2017’s New York Asian Film Festival — but its deepest cuts come from the sharp tongues of those who know us best. Uneasy questions and murky answers about what makes, breaks, and heals a family are front […]

More Hot Pies

More Hot Pies

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE | There are some shows I can never get tired of because they reveal more with each successive viewing — and they’re simply that good. That’s certainly the case for Shakespeare and, very often, for Sondheim. By last count, I’ve now seen “Sweeney Todd” 18 times in various different productions from Broadway to […]

A Privileged Character

A Privileged Character

BY STEVE ERICKSON | It’s hard to draw a dividing line where the media starts to exploit people, especially in an age where people are willing to objectify themselves for a shot at fame. I was startled to see a recent documentary about the Syrian civil war include ISIS snuff videos in their entirety, a […]