Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Love machine

Peering under the hood of Charles Sheeler's magnificent mechanical obsession
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REVIEW To look at the formally austere self-portraits made by the American artist Charles Sheeler (1883–1965) at various points throughout his career, you might surmise, from the repeated images of his stiff, unsmiling visage, that he toiled in obscurity for dry, dusty decades as an administrative underling at a low-level law firm, forever obsessed with organizing his paper clips, pausing from his tedious task only long enough to clean his spectacles on a crisply starched pocket handkerchief and tie the laces of his uncomfortable shoes, polished d Read more »

We shall over come ourselves

Blue Door and After the War look deep beneath race in America
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Nearly all the imagery we're fed when it comes to understanding or imagining issues reutf8g to race in the United States comes from the civil rights era. No doubt that was a critical moment in American history, but it should go without saying that the road home can't be found on an outdated map. Read more »

Still evolving

Boxcar Theatre learns to adapt with Vonnegut
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The human race either sinks or swims. That's evolution as Charles Darwin first saw it. But flippers and a seal pelt, that's pure Kurt Vonnegut. The novelist plays God like no other, wresting the species from its self-destruction, then sending it on its wobbly way with a childlike capacity for invention and a wry if discontented grasp of human folly. That's Galápagos, anyway, his 1985 best-seller in which evolution saves humankind from its big and mischievous brains by sending it back to the sea. Read more »

No hidin' SECA

Searching for thematic threads at the biennial exhibition
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REVIEW Each SECA Art Award exhibition, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's biennial and only official nod to Bay Area artists, is cause to revisit the curious, contested idea of place in contemporary art. Read more »

Home run

"After the War" lucidly strikes home
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HOME RUN: AFTER THE WAR LUCIDLY STRIKES HOME

Philip Kan Gotanda's After the War, enjoying an exceptional world premiere at the American Conservatory Theater, is set during 1948 in a Fillmore boardinghouse run by a laid-back jazz musician and second-generation Japanese American named Chester "Chet" Monkawa (Vancouver's Hiro Kanagawa in an impressive US debut). Read more »

Taylor made

Veteran dancemaker Paul Taylor triumphs with works new and old
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It's been easy getting used to having the Paul Taylor Company around. For each of the past five years, the group has presented three different programs of new and repertory works, courtesy of San Francisco Performances. Even taking into account the occasional repeat, this amounts to close to 50 pieces of choreography, an extraordinary overview of the artistic output of one of modern dance's giants.

But San Francisco Performances can no longer afford to host the company on such a regular basis. Read more »

Hook, line, and Lypsinka

Somewhere between drag and life lies The Passion of the Crawford
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LIP SERVICE "Why are gay men fascinated with Joan Crawford?" John Epperson, a.k.a. Lypsinka, asks contemplatively over the phone from New York. "One reason I'm drawn to her is because of her face, which is so graphic — beautiful and scary and ridiculous at the same time. Read more »

Oh yes she did

America's Next Top Tranny?

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AMERICA'S NEXT TOP TRANNY Why would Felicia Fellatio, a 6'7" drag queen from Trashville, USA, get up at 5 a.m. on March 20 and wing it down to the Serramonte Center in Daly City to audition for America's Next Top Model? Well, why wouldn't she? In six-inch fuck-me pumps and a belt whose giant buckle spelled "ORAL" in diamonds, even. Glittery! Read more »

To Helltrack and back

If you know BMX, you know Rad -- and its Kix cereal-fueled hero, Cru Jones.
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FILM I had a lot of hope for Rad. Every month in BMX Action there'd be a new scrap of news about some top pro who was going to ride in the movie, including my personal favorite racer, "Hollywood" Mike Miranda. When photos of the Helltrack — site of the film's climactic race — came out, you could lean your ear to the ground and hear the hearts of BMX groms beat just a little faster.Read more »

"Good German," bad German

A new play is provocative; a classic's latest guise is not
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The title of David Wiltse's 2003 play, The Good German, points in two directions at once: there's the image of the individual who stands up to the injustice being perpetrated by his or her government, and there's the image of the individual who follows the flag, however reluctantly, wherever it may lead. Of the play's four characters, only one looks even remotely like a saint, and she's killed early on. Read more »