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“The Dance Of Death” At The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Trapped in an atmosphere rife with the air of past punishment and with no concrete tasks to take up their time, Alice [Lizzy Kimball] and The Captain [Darrell Larson] play cards, say they will allow themselves one drink then pour three or more over the course of an evening, and argue with an off-stage cook about a dinner that never arrives.  They wonder whether they should take on another lover and recall how the last threesome went.  If this doesn’t sound like Strindberg to you, you’ve been missing out for not only is the play as sexually explicit as one could get in its time, it is also brutally funny and Ms. Kimball and Mr. Larson know exactly how to use both elements to their most effective ends as they engage in a slowly building battle for supremacy over the other. 

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Vietnam Is A Lullaby Of Dissolution In “My Lai” at BAM

Composer Jonathan Berger has created an opera that is incredibly soothing, when played by Kronos Quartet and Vietnamese Musician Vân-Áhn Võ.  It’s a blissful and dreamy soundscape.  Kronos Quartet is David Harrington on violin, John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Sunny Yang on cello.  In My Lai, they are precise, as they gesture toward Vân-Áhn Võ.  She plays several instruments, dan bau (single-string box zither), dan tranh (16-string board zither), and t’rung (a visually striking helix-shaped xylophone with bamboo rods).  The Vietnamese instruments look like chimes; a stringed instruments is played like a digital sampler. 

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