Increasingly, artistic directors are expected to be super-successful fundraisers, an unstable hybrid of peddler and visionary that throttles artistic independence. By Bill Marx The failure to renew the contract of Robert Woodruff as artistic director of one of America’s major regional theaters, the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University, is symptomatic of a new […]
Visual Arts Commentary: Magritte’s Impact on Book Cover Design
This is an intelligent exhibit, not just conceptually but in that it requires the viewer to actively make connections while absorbing the art.
Film Review: The Marsden Hartley You Never Knew
Those looking to expand their horizons on art and narrative should make the time for Cleophas and His Own: A North Atlantic Tragedy, a very (nearly three hours) long but equally rewarding debut from director Michael Maglaras, who also stars in the film. By Adrienne LaFrance Cleophas and His Own is the recitation of a […]
Book Review: Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched
Journalist Amy Sutherland delves into everyday life at the world’s premier school for exotic animal trainers. “Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” by Amy Sutherland. (Viking) By Abby Frucht I once saw a circus act in which an elephant sat in what looked like a […]
Opera Review: Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ainadamar” — Killer Arias
By James Marcus At its best, an opera about the death of Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca is a tour-de-force. Ainadamar, an opera by Osvaldo Golijov. (Deutsche Grammophon) For most composers, geography is destiny. Even Schoenberg — whose innovations were supposed to release music not only from its tonal prison but from the local idiom […]
Music Review: Faux Folk of Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, widely billed as his homage to folk music, is a tribute to Pete Seeger “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” Bruce Springsteen. By James Marcus It’s hard to pin down exactly when my Bruce Springsteen problem began. As a teenager I worshipped the guy, and still recall a blistering 1977 show […]
Dance Review: Swan King
By Debra Cash From the hype, you’d think that ten years ago British choreographer/director Matthew Bourne was the first person to develop a post-Freudian “Swan Lake” or cross-dress a ballet production, and you’d be wrong. You’d be right, however, to call Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” a phenomenon. In 1996-97 the work became the longest running […]
Book Review: “The Last of Her Kind” — Boomer Stories are Booming
Well-crafted fiction about the politics and psychosis of the sixties is becoming a growing industry. The Last of Her Kind, by Sigrid Nunez (Farrar Straus and Giroux); “Eat the Document: A Novel” by Dana Spiotta (Scribner) By Harvey Blume The legacy of the sixties keeps coming at us. By now, even President Bush might have […]
Film Review: Confederate America: What If the South had Won?
By Adrienne LaFrance Picture an alternate 2006 in which the internet slave trade in America is an integral part of the economy, only white men have the right to vote, and culture is devoid of jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and countless other things. Head to Fenway and you’ll hear the national anthem, “Dixie,” played before […]
Opera Review: Viva Verdi!
The Italian composer’s famous masterpiece “La Traviata” receives a production that is worthy of the opera’s enduring artistry. By Mark Kroll The Boston Lyric Opera has just begun a nice long run of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” and this is a good thing for Boston’s opera lovers. “La Traviata” finds Verdi at the height of […]