The Austin Chronicle

Austin Art in NYC

The 'Times' times three

By Robert Faires, February 3, 2006, Arts

It isn't every day that the tastemakers in the Big Apple – especially those in The New York Times – pay tribute to artists from our town, though you might not have known it by last week's editions. Four out of seven issues included favorable coverage of work by Austin artists. Kirk Lynn's latest play, Major Bang, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb, which riffs on Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove to contemplate contemporary paranoia over weapons of mass destruction, netted a nice feature in the Times ("Same Strange Love for a Different Bomb," Jan. 22), then won a ringing endorsement from chief theatre critic Ben Brantley a few days later: "Laughing … can be an excellent means of defusing anxiety. Which is the point being demonstrated with remarkable good cheer and insight by Major Bang, … a disarming exercise in political cabaret. … This Foundry Theater production – conceived by Steve Cuiffo, Kirk Lynn, and Melanie Joseph – is surely the happiest show to have been inspired by the horrors of 9/11."

On Friday, painter Julie Speed had her exhibition "Bible Stories" at the Gerald Peters Gallery reviewed by Grace Glueck. "Lovable this imagery isn't," the writer noted, "but it grows on you, largely because Ms. Speed's grasp of it is firm and her technical mastery impressive."

Following a Sunday profile of choreographer Deborah Hay ("A Mad Scientist of Dance Plays in the Lab," Jan. 22), John Rockwell assessed her latest dance, O,O, in Saturday's edition. "It made for a fascinating hour," he wrote. "There is a continual tension here, a flow from stasis to liquid intertwining to comedy, and from pervasive silence to the eerie choral sound of the dancers' vocalizations. What it has to do with circles and cells, I know not. But it has a beauty born of this special tension between spontaneity and intention."

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