Laura Collins-Hughes: May 2010 Archives

This week's links to NAJP members' work:

Charles Aaron reviews M.I.A.'s "Maya" (Spin)
Misha Berson interviews Cassandra Wilson (The Seattle Times)
Laura Bleiberg on a Bugsy Siegel ballet (Los Angeles Times)
Robert Christgau reviews Titus Andronicus' "The Monitor" (NPR)
Laura Collins-Hughes interviews Karen Finley (The Boston Globe)
Thomas Conner reviews the "Glee" stars in concert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Thomas Conner explains his music criticism philosophy (Chicago Sun-Times)
Christine Dolen on the fate of the Coconut Grove Playhouse (The Miami Herald)
Steve Dollar on a film about Staten Island's boogeyman (The Wall Street Journal)
Steve Dollar reviews The Tallest Man on Earth's "The Wild Hunt" (Time Out Chicago)
Michael Feingold on the death of Michael Kuchwara (The Village Voice)
Michael Feingold reviews "The Metal Children" and "Restoration" (The Village Voice)
Gayle Feldman on publishing fears at BookExpo America (The Bookseller)
Matthew Gurewitsch reviews Seattle Opera's new "Amelia" ( 
Christopher Hawthorne on design finalists for Eli Broad's museum (Los Angeles Times)
John Horn on remaking "The Karate Kid" (Los Angeles Times)
Ann Hornaday on the career of Dennis Hopper (The Washington Post)
Ann Hornaday reviews "Sex and the City 2" (The Washington Post)
Joe Horowitz on the NEA's music critics institute (The Unanswered Question)
Dennis Lim on the Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Uncle Boonmee" (Artforum)  
Dennis Lim's interviews from Cannes (The New York Times)  
Manuel Mendoza interviews Ben Kingsley (The Dallas Morning News)
Laura Sydell on CalArts' robot orchestra (NPR)
Jerome Weeks on Renzo Piano's new Kimbell Art Museum annex (KERA, Dallas)

May 31, 2010 12:00 AM | | Comments (0)

This week's links to NAJP members' work:

Alicia Anstead on transformative storytelling in ritual (WGBH, Boston)
Laura Bleiberg reviews Los Angeles Ballet's "New Wave LA" (Los Angeles Times)
Steve Dollar reviews Harmony Korine's "Trash Humpers" (Paste)
Steve Dollar on Noboru Iguchi's "RoboGeisha" (The Wall Street Journal)
Michael Feingold on New York theater's overlooked resources (The Village Voice)
Michael Feingold reviews "Graceland" and "Gabriel" (The Village Voice)
Sasha Frere-Jones on the Chrome Cranks (The New Yorker)
Matthew Gurewitsch previews N.Y. Phil's "Le Grand Macabre" (The New York Times)
Christopher Hawthorne on Renzo Piano's LACMA pavilion (Los Angeles Times)
Christopher Hawthorne on Frank Gehry's Las Vegas brain center (Los Angeles Times)
John Horn on the remix of Bollywood's "Kites" (Los Angeles Times)
Ann Hornaday on strange moments at Cannes (The Washington Post)
Ann Hornaday reviews "Mother and Child" (The Washington Post)
Hillel Italie on the death of theater critic Michael Kuchwara (The Associated Press)
Hillel Italie on hope for independent bookstores (The Associated Press)
Allan M. Jalon interviews poet C.K. Williams (Los Angeles Times)
Michael Kimmelman on a Führermuseum photo album (The New York Times)
Julia M. Klein interviews Randy Frost about "Stuff" (
Julie Lasky on the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (The New York Times)
Renee Montagne interviews Keith Richards (NPR)
Renee Montagne interviews Mick Jagger (NPR)
Tom Moon talks to Melissa Block about reissues by the Rolling Stones et al (NPR)
Laurie Muchnick reviews "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (Bloomberg News)
Marcia B. Siegel reviews Boston Ballet's all-Balanchine program (The Boston Phoenix)
Laura Sydell on the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" controversy (NPR)
Jerome Weeks interviews composer Jorge Martin about his new opera (KERA, Dallas)
Jerome Weeks on an exhibition about artists and economics (KERA, Dallas)
Lawrence Weschler (and Walter Murch) on "bubble" as metaphor (Los Angeles Times)

May 24, 2010 7:06 AM | | Comments (0)

There is a moment in "Annie Hall" when Diane Keaton, playing a native of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, utters the name of her home state. "Wis-con-sin," she says crisply, instantly betraying the fact that she is neither from there nor under the guidance of a dialect coach. As any upper Midwesterner knows, the locals -- and those of us, like me, who grew up there but long ago moved away -- pronounce the proper name of America's Dairyland with a casual verbal slouch in the middle: Wi-scon-sin. When Diane Keaton gets it wrong, the movie falls apart for me, every time. A sweet Southerner I used to know felt the same way about the accents in the film version of "To Kill a Mockingbird." He couldn't bear to listen.


What prompts this is not, in fact, Doug's post questioning New York's cultural dominance but a gracious letter of reprimand in the current issue of The New Yorker. Marsha Rabe (quick! guess which famous playwright is her brother) takes the magazine to task for failing to ascertain the proper name for denizens of her hometown, Dubuque, Iowa. In Jill Lepore's recent piece on Harold Ross and Henry Luce, the term used is "Dubuquian" -- not "Dubuquer," as it should be, Rabe points out. "Getting it wrong is a small matter," she writes, "but it seems in a subtle way to bear out the provincialism-of-the-big-city syndrome."

Her excellent letter brought to mind a similarly jarring error in Curtis Sittenfeld's 2008 novel, "American Wife." Set largely in Wisconsin, it feels extraordinarily true to the place -- which is why it was such a shock, when I was reading the book to review it, to come across the word "Wisconsonians" where "Wisconsinites" ought to have been. My marginalia grew emphatic in response: "ARE YOU KIDDING?" Though I was reading the galley, the mistake made it all the way into the hardcover.

This is a big country, I know. But is it really too much trouble to learn the names of the people in the middle?

May 19, 2010 12:00 AM | | Comments (3)
May 17, 2010 2:17 AM | | Comments (0)

A friend sends along the following:

Washington Post Fine Arts Editor

We are seeking applicants for the post of fine-arts editor of the Style section, the Washington Post's 41-year-old showcase of voiced criticism and narrative. This is a challenging and rewarding position, charged with guiding coverage of theater, visual arts and architecture in the nation's capital. This job demands a passion for and knowlege of the arts, ideally local institutions as grand as the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center and the National Gallery, as well as important regional venues of national significance, such as Arena Stage, the Phillips Collection and the Textile Museum. The role requires a strong and sensitive manager who can inspire creative intellects, a wordsmith who can hone criticism, profiles, trend pieces, scenes, as well as innovate new ways of covering the arts world. The fine arts editor must be a collegial staffer who can help Sunday Arts and Style editor Rich Leiby imagine new story formats and themes that continue the momentum he has built in our weekly culture showcase. He or she will also help conceive, launch and curate a new blog, Arts Post, which will be a vigorous forum for debate, diversions and news about creative minds found here in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

If this is a position that excites you, please send a resume, a one-paragraph personal statement, and up to six examples of writing or impactful editing that you'd like us to consider by Wednesday, May 26.

Ned Martel           Lynn Medford

May 13, 2010 11:13 AM | | Comments (0)

Is the 92nd Street Y some sort of notorious pick-up joint, and everyone forgot to mention it to me and I neglected to notice?

I went there last night to hear Alan Brinkley talk to Frank Rich about his Henry Luce book. Not exactly a meat-market milieu, or so one might think.

But, before the festivities began, the man sitting in front of me (handsome, white-haired, in his 60s, lives in the neighborhood and has a house in Connecticut) started chatting up the woman one empty seat away from him (striking, long-haired, in her 50s, native New Yorker not from the neighborhood but takes art classes at the Y). He seemed sweet, charming, curious, and determined to enjoy the world, while she was whiny, cynical, and excessively flakey in a way that a disproportionate number of artsy New York women have perfected. He made dry little jokes; she had no apparent sense of humor. I wanted to fling my body between them to stop them from getting involved with each other. (The comic strip "Sylvia" has a superhero character called Relationship Cop who nips incipient disastrous liaisons in the bud. It was that kind of impulse.) But of course as soon as the talk was over, he asked her out for coffee.

And then the weird thing happened. I was waiting at the end of my row to merge into the aisle when a completely unfamiliar guy in his 30s or 40s, heading toward the exit, stopped to address me.

THE GUY: (pleasantly) Hi! Want to see my apartment?
ME: (startled) What?
THE GUY: Want to see my apartment?
ME: No.
THE GUY: (surprised, slightly incredulous) No?
(ME shakes her head. THE GUY rejoins the stream and continues up the aisle.)

May 12, 2010 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)

This week's links to NAJP members' work:

Hilton Als on Christopher Roth and Georg Diez (The New Yorker)
Larry Blumenfeld on Afro-Cuban music in Harlem (The Village Voice)
Tony Brown on e-scalping (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)
Robert Campbell on a sustainable dorm at a yoga retreat (The Boston Globe)
Robert Christgau's May Consumer Guide (
Steve Dollar on repertory film programming in NYC (The Wall Street Journal)
Michael Feingold reviews "Enron" et al (The Village Voice)
Sasha Frere-Jones on Tracey Thorn (The New Yorker)
Matthew Gurewitsch revisits Tino Sehgal's Guggenheim show (Pundicity)
Christopher Hawthorne on architecture in Medellín, Colombia (Los Angeles Times)
John Horn on "Robin Hood" (Los Angeles Times)
Ann Hornaday reviews "Iron Man 2" and "Casino Jack" (The Washington Post)
Ann Hornaday interviews Nicole Holofcener (The Washington Post)
Cynthia Joyce on New Orleans after the oil spill (
Cynthia Joyce on a New Orleans chef's oyster contingency plan (
Michael Kimmelman on the complexities of patrimony claims (The New York Times)
Mary Carole McCauley & Tim Smith on Center Stage dropping its AD (Baltimore Sun)
Renee Montagne on Gustavo Dudamel (NPR)
Laurie Muchnick reviews Scott Turow's "Innocent" (Bloomberg News)
Donald Munro on the Fresno Art Museum naming a director (The Fresno Bee)
Claude Peck interviews novelist Monica Ali (Star Tribune, Minneapolis)
Elda Silva on layoffs at the Museo Alameda (San Antonio Express-News)

And in print (not online):

Peter Plagens reviews the Whitney Biennial in his monthly column (Art in America)

May 10, 2010 6:04 AM | | Comments (0)
May 3, 2010 5:53 AM | | Comments (0)



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