November 5, 2007 |
They are troubadours of doom, singing about the futility of . . . everything. "Oh, yes!" they avow, to a folksy tune, "it's another lost song of hopeless despair. " Don't buy it. You won't be able to. All you'll want to do is laugh. Pig Iron Theatre Company's latest - a 45-minute leg that the cast will be pulling in Philadelphia for only one more performance, tonight - is a delicious deceit, a musical treatise of disappointments, a self-described cabaret of "rites and wrongs.
March 3, 2000 |
Whatever else it will be remembered for, the desperately unfunny What Planet Are You From? has earned its footnote in the annals of pop culture as the first sex comedy of the Viagra Age. The story of an alien from the "far reaches of the universe" sent to Earth to procreate with a woman, thereby assuring the future of his race (highly evolved eunuchs who wear nicely tailored suits), this vacuum-sealed Mike Nichols-directed dud can be read as some kind of fuzzy-headed allegory about that Dole-endorsed wonder drug from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
March 22, 1987 |
In the diminishing ranks of the women's clubs, there are still members who go far beyond the call of duty to continue a tradition that is older than this century. Dorothy Krape, 68, of the Woman's Club of Springfield is one such volunteer. In her 30 years as a club member, she has held every office of her club and is now the public relations director for the Delaware County Federation of Women's Clubs. In Springfield, she has been a leading promoter of her club, helping to present fashion shows and revues and organizing membership drives and fund- raisers.
January 3, 1988 |
A longtime associate of Alwin Nikolais once described the choreographer's flamboyant temperament thusly: "Nik puts the diamond on the pearl that's on the ruby. " Nikolais, for his part, has said that he fights his tendency toward flamboyance. Luckily for his audience, he has so far lost the fight. Nikolais' dances are a lush habitat of vibrant color, pulsating music, labyrinthine settings, and moving bodies whose shapes and colors can change, chameleon-fashion, from moment to moment.
April 23, 2003 |
The first hint that this is not your usual opera comes long before the diaper-clad fat guy sings, before the line of Ku Klux Klan members does a snappy dance in white robes and masks, before the chorus exclaims, "My mom used to be my dad!" The production's very name suggests that something extraordinary is about to unfold on one of London's premier stages: Jerry Springer - the Opera. If your reaction is "What!?" you aren't alone. Springer's television show, as most of the world knows, is about people so desperate to get on TV that they'll bare the sleaziest secrets of their lives - say, the fact that a married father of three is a cross-dresser who's having an affair with the dominatrix granny next door.
April 2, 1992 |
Darcel Gary's recurring nightmare over getting her home fixed is common for tenants like her who live in scattered-site PHA housing. The problems with the scattered site program are so bad that PHA Executive Director John Paone forced the head of the operation to retire on Tuesday, sources say. Shirley Gray, division director for PHA scattered site units and a 31-year PHA employee, was told by Paone to either retire or be fired, sources said....
January 27, 1989 |
The raging argument over the National Collegiate Athletic Association's new Proposition 42 offers a splendid opportunity to deflate that overrated bugaboo, "cultural bias" in academic testing. The new rule requires minimum admissions-test scores and high-school grades as a condition for athletic grants-in-aid. According to coach John Thompson of Georgetown University and other critics, the rule will deny a place in the sun to culturally deprived black youth, and maybe some whites as well.
March 2, 1988 |
It figured that Grace Dawson would back down. Her idea was just too radical and harsh. Dawson is the principal of a Chicago elementary school who shocked the city and received national news coverage by demoting students who couldn't or wouldn't learn to read. When she did this to 250 children, almost a third of the students at the Beethoven Elementary School, their parents were outraged. They picketed. They kept their kids home from school. They demanded that the principal be replaced.
October 20, 2011 |
At age 5, my daughter Sally could make lovely pancakes all by herself. Perched on a stool at the kitchen counter, she measured ingredients, cracked eggs, mixed the batter, ladled it onto the griddle, flipped the cakes proficiently, and proudly served them to the family. So, why, after showing such promise, is she saying at age 25 that she doesn't know how to cook? Somehow, in the years in between, too many other things took precedence. The all-consuming mad dash of studies-sports-friends-etcetera that started in high school continued right through college and then into her working life.
November 7, 1994 |
It is a lunch break for Fran Drescher of CBS' "The Nanny," and a fellow cast member is fidgeting in her lap. It's her dog, Chester Drescher. "I believe in getting jobs for everyone I know and love," says Fran, whose husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, like her, is one of the series' creators and producers. Drescher punctuates the comment with her characteristically nasal, staccato laugh. It's the same piercing laugh that accompanies her all the way to her ATM these days, replacing the snickers one used to hear from people whenever then-CBS Entertainment President Jeff Sagansky would predict "The Nanny" was going to be a hit. Turns out he was right, so Drescher gets the last "heh, heh, hehhhhh.