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“A SWINGING BIRDLAND CHRISTMAS” Timing isn’t everything in the world of entertainment — but it’s definitely on a short list that includes skill, sincerity and a keen sense of showmanship. So it’s appropriate that our review copy of “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” arrived just a few hours before cable channel AMC ran back-to-back screenings of […]

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BY SAM SPOKONY  |  It’s tough to write and direct a play that explores modern technology, nuclear disasters and the prospect of some future world war — and it’s even tougher when you have a couple of screaming kids running around. “It’s basically impossible for me to get any work done at home,” said Aya […]

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BY BOB KRASNER  |   Despite the help of mainstream press (Wall Street Journal), radio (“All Things Considered”) and local outlets (such as this paper), the live benefit auction held by St. Mark’s Bookshop last Thursday was not an auspicious start to its campaign to fund the shop’s upcoming move. Eleven signed, first-edition books were […]

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BY SCOTT STIFFLER  |  Family Furniture” is playwright A.R. Gurney’s eighth world premiere at The Flea. Thomas Kail, a 2008 Tony nominee for “In The Heights,” directs a cast whose familiar ranks include Peter Scolari (“Girls” and “Newhart” on TV, and recently seen on Broadway in “Lucky Guy”). The play is described by the Flea […]

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BY TRAV S.D.  (travsd.wordpress.com)  |  Christmas is usually associated with brightness:  the North Star over Bethlehem, the lights on a Christmas tree, the whiteness of snow, the silver of tinsel. Fairy tales, on the other hand, are notoriously dark, with their stories about lost children and the wolves, witches, ogres, giants and trolls out to […]

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    BY SAM SPOKONY  | One of Downtown’s leading Off Off Broadway theaters is moving to a space that’s nearly double the size of its old one. Directors and supporters of Tribeca’s Flea Theater celebrated the groundbreaking of their new 20 Thomas St. home Thursday, and jubilantly announced that, thanks to city, state and […]

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BY TRAV S.D.  |  Over the course of her long career, Mink Stole has been associated with many shocking projects. But the big shock about her new CD, “Do Re Mink,” is how tasteful it is. After all, her frequent collaborator John Waters wrote the book on bad taste — literally (it’s called “Shock Value: […]

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BY SCOTT STIFFLER  | Second only to Shakespeare when it comes to inspiring liberal (often horrendous) adaptations, there really is no excuse for messing up Charles Dickens’ beautifully structured tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s overnight conversion from stingy misanthrope to kind and generous soul. Mr. Magoo and Alastair Sim did very well by the source material, while […]

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BY SCOTT STIFFLER  |  West coast comic Betsy Salkind cut her choppers in 80s-era Boston — when stand-up was still an insular (mostly white) boy’s club. During a rare turn at the mic, she staged her own infamous tea party. “The Emperor’s Getting F***ed,” a confrontational screed about toxic misogyny and racism in local comedy […]

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Caruso’s musical ‘Nice’ list sure can swing BY JIM CARUSO  (jim-caruso.com)  |  I  love spending the holidays in New York City — but between the over-blown seasonal spectaculars, the inclement weather and throngs of gaping tourists, a Manhattan Christmas can sometimes be overwhelming. In concocting this list of December must-sees, I’ve noticed that my choices are […]

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