Punishing Kiss – Ute Lemper

. Ute Lemper's is, sometimes, not an easy talent to love. Ever intense, she makes considerable demands on both herself and her audience and her performances often seem short on humour. Punishing Kiss takes the singer away from her accustomed recorded milieu of Weill and Berlin cabaret songs into new  ...

Leni Riefenstahl – Five Lives – A. Taschen, editor

Leni Riefenstahl has created some of the most controversial films and photographs in the history of those forms. Unfortunately, criticism of her work often roots itself in criticism of her patrons and her subject matter. This does the images themselves the gravest kind of disservice. For if one agrees  ...

Back to Before and The Slow Drag – Kim Criswell

Kim Criswell is an experienced Broadway performer who relocated to London some years ago. Her US appearances included Nine (taking over as Claudia), Baby and eighteen months as LA's first Grizabella. Her first West End appearance was as Annie Oakley - for which she received an Olivier nomination -  ...

Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

. This is, quite simply, a delight. After producing only three recordings during the nineties, Mitchell's decision to deliver an album of covers might suggest a dearth of new ideas. Far from being a make-weight, however, Both Sides Now is a masterpiece fit to stand alongside her best work.  ...

Joan Ryan

Review of San Francisco appearance with Lee Lessack . Joan Ryan starred in the original production of Marvin Laird and Joel Paley's Ruthless! and has appeared in a number of other shows including Little Shop of Horrors, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Elegies and Anyone Can Whistle.  ...

Layin’ In The Cut – James Carter

Tenor saxophonist James Carter has risen to relative prominence in the current "serious" jazz scene; he's not the name Joshua Redman is, but he's a far better and less hokey player, not as willing to blatantly pander to the crowd as Redman. Each of Carter's albums has been significantly,  ...

Into the Tangle of Friendship – Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart has chosen an elusive theme for Into the Tangle of Friendship. "The more we let others into our lives," she writes, "the safer we become and also the more endangered." Her prose style, like the subject of her memoir, is a risky alliance of counterpoised harmonies, a  ...

I Married a Communist – Philip Roth

Philip Roth's I Married A Communist is one a series of novels that use a narrator, Nathan Zuckerman, as a stand-in for the author. It's a hodgepodge of a novel that serves to vent his feelings about the witchhunt days of the 1950s and to fire a shot at  ...

House of Leaves

Ten years in the writing, Mark Danielewski’s 700-page hypertext ghost story, House of Leaves, is a remarkable display of innovative book design. Dueling storylines are told simultaneously in contrasting typefaces. Blocks of text are printed upside down, sideways, backwards, or on top of one another. Hundreds of dizzying encyclopedic  ...