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  • Article

    MAD About the Seventies by "The Usual Gang of Idiots"

    Little, Brown LOOKING BACK ON my formative years in small-town NoDak, I'm amused and alarmed by the role MAD magazine had on my development (or lack thereof). With its prime location conveniently out of the cashier's view on the bottom shelf of N...

    by Ryan Peck on February 17, 1997
  • Article

    Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution of People and Plagues by Christopher Wills

    Helix Books PLAGUES HAVE GONE Hollywood, taking the place of nuclear conflagration as the most likely vehicle of human extinction. Christopher Wills, however, in his calm and complex overview of the history and possible future of plagues, argues ...

    by Harry Williams on February 17, 1997
  • Article

    Out West by Fred Leebron

    Doubleday OUT WEST FOLLOWS the lives of two '90s-style outlaws: Amber engineered a gas explosion to blow up her boyfriend and the "other woman," while Benjamin West was caught with a bag of dope (two ounces--that's quite a "bag"!) and a 17-year-...

    by Paul D. Dickinson on February 17, 1997
  • Article

    Metal Machine Music

    A RUSTED-OUT, EARLY '70s Ford F-150 pick-up with a missing door tools down Pierce Butler Route in St. Paul, its back end crammed full of water heaters, lawn furniture, and old tires. To the annoyed commuters who honk and zig-zag around it, the contr...

    by Paul D. Dickinson on February 12, 1997
  • Article

    Despicable Truths

    The Crackwalker Hidden Theatre IT'S HARD NOT to be envious when one hears stories of the days when theater audiences erupted at avant-garde plays, throwing chairs and storming out. No one leaves the theater in shock and anger anymore; only boredom. ...

    by Kate Sullivan on February 12, 1997
  • Article

    Grrr-ella Filmmaking - Ex-Minnesotan Sarah Jacobson loses it confidently with Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore.

    Park City, Utah-- Halfway through last month's Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker Sarah Jacobson is sounding off about her distaff coming-of-age comedy Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore. She's also sounding off about the virtues of sounding off....

    by Rob Nelson on February 12, 1997
  • Article

    The Jig Is Up - Riverdance sells out while the dance world goes hungry.

    Consider this puzzler: On the one hand, critics and aficionados continue to lament a perceived dearth of activity on the national dance scene. This, coupled with a downturn in federal funding and fickle audiences, has placed dance in a very real sta...

    by Joan Freese on February 5, 1997
  • Article

    On The Porch

    A GREAT DEAL of prominent glad-handing recently went down at the Guthrie Theater as artistic director Joe Dowling announced--along with his organization's new season--its May collaboration with Penumbra Theatre Company on August Wilson's Fences. In ...

    by Dwight Hobbes on February 5, 1997
  • Y'Betcha

    Article

    Y'Betcha

    How to Talk Minnesotan Plymouth Playhouse Minnesota! It's Not Just for Lutherans Anymore Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop AT A PARTY last winter, two Minnesota transplants--a New Yorker and a Los Angeleno--were talking. The New Yorker said...

    by Kate Sullivan on February 5, 1997
  • Article

    A Galaxy of Their Own

    IT'S 1977. DAN Veesenmeyer, age 10, waits with some buddies in a dark theater for a movie called Wizards to begin. A preview comes on for a new feature called Star Wars. The preview is so riveting the guys walk out on Wizards after 10 minutes. Twent...

    by Roger Swardson on February 5, 1997
  • Article

    Diva X

    La Traviata Minnesota Opera The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me Arena Theatre and School OPERA IS AN intoxicating universe. I learned this as a 10-year-old who landed a part as a non-singing extra in a big-budget reworking of Verdi's Falstaff in Los An...

    by Kate Sullivan on January 29, 1997
  • Article

    Skyway to Hell

    THE BRIDGES LEADING to the skyway level of the old Chamber of Commerce Building on Fifth and Hennepin are colder than most, as if preparing you for what's ahead. Still, the space itself comes as a surprise: loose wires hang from the low ceiling like...

    by Dennis Cass on January 29, 1997
  • Article

    Sapphism for Fun and Profit - Pop lit discovers lesbian chic

    My girlfriend is a babe. She has long blond hair, a sports car, looks great in leather. When we're out together on the street or seated in a bar--a beautiful blond beside a lanky, short-haired woman--a part of me winces when the thought crosses my m...

    by Ellen Levy on January 29, 1997
  • Article

    Dreams Endured

    A Raisin in the Sun Penumbra Theatre Company WHEN A RAISIN in the Sun opened in 1959, author Lorraine Hansberry wrote her mother a letter trying to explain the intentions behind her landmark play. At the same time, some African-Americans no doubt fe...

    by Kate Sullivan on January 22, 1997
  • Article

    Romance and Reflections - Jane Campion plays with mirrors in her adaptation of Henry James's Portrait of a Lady.

    Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady may be seen as a corrective to her [1993] film The Piano--or at least to the prevailing interpretation of it as an uncomplicated paean to erotic awakening. An iconoclastic adaptation of Henry James's novel, The ...

    by Terri Sutton on January 22, 1997
  • Article

    So Much More Than a Game - Nike's dissection of "The Jordan Moment"

    Setting: The Great Western Forum. Lakers vs. Bulls. The bleachers are dark, almost lurid, the floor, shadowy and electric. Less fluorescent than radioactive. Players glide in slow motion across the key. Echoes of crowd roar, sneaker squeaks like car...

    by Michael Tortorello on January 15, 1997
  • Article

    Divine Intervention - Lars von Trier's acclaimed Breaking the Waves may be more classic Hollywood drama than art film.

    The strength of my films is that they are easy to mock. --Lars von Trier When a film gets as much advance praise as Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves, it has a hard time meeting expectations. And since the simple but surprising plot of this...

    by Rob Nelson on January 8, 1997
  • Article

    Street of Dreams

    Sunset Blvd. Orpheum Theater SITTING IN THE dark at Sunset Blvd., I noticed a fetid, sweet smell akin to a dying lily, as if the woman next to me hadn't bathed in a while and had put on old perfume to hide it. Just when it became too much, the...

    by Kate Sullivan on January 8, 1997
  • Article

    The Year in Film - The view from here to Scotland, Hong Kong, and Fargo

    Born-and-bred Scandinavian-Minnesotan that I am, I've kept my feelings about Fargo bottled up until the last possible moment. And now that moment is upon me. Uff-da. The story of a Scandinavian-Minnesotan who's so violently repressed that he'd rathe...

    by Rob Nelson on January 1, 1997
  • Article

    Kitchen Culture

    Karen Joy Fowler The Sweetheart Season Henry Holt Substantively and spiritually, Minneapolis shaped the way America cooks. Local gals Betty Crocker and "Ann" Pillsbury may have been fictive, but they--more than James Beard, more than Alice Waters, m...

    by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl on December 18, 1996
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