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Interview: Ayana Mathis and her tribes

One of the most buzzed-about and acclaimed books of the new year since its publication last December, the Oprah Book Club selection The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Knopf) is Ayana Mathis's first novel.

By LISA WEIDENFELD  |  February 22, 2013
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Pronk! returns, with a new tune

If you're walking in Fox Point October 8 and you hear hundreds of horns blasting, don't be alarmed.
Horn Section
By PHILIP EIL  |  October 05, 2012
film: RedLights

Review: Red Lights

The third feature by the talented Spanish genre specialist Rodrigo Cortés (Buried) follows the brilliant Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her protégé Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) methodically debunking claims of paranormal evidence as the inventi
Rodrigo Cortés' third feature
By PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN  |  July 27, 2012
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PHOTOS: NATO demonstrations in Chicago

#NoNATO actions in the Windy City
Scenes from the NATO protests | May 18-20
By JEREMIAH ROBINSON  |  May 18, 2012
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Powering up with the Smith Westerns

Sometimes when we settle into the tattered sofa of lo-fi pop music, it's easy to imagine that the artists intended for it to be made this way.
Bye-bye lo-fi
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  January 27, 2012
OWS 2.0

Occupy the future

After barreling straight ahead for more than three months, Occupy is at its first fundamental turning point.
As it evolves, the movement is building on a network laid down in the encampments
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 30, 2011


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Labseven are re-Formulated

With the little hip-hop renaissance we're having locally, it's only fitting that Labseven, who've been at it longer than most in the city that encourages everyone to rise again, should get back in the action.
Empires of the Mind
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  November 11, 2011
Boardwalk Empire TV

Is Boardwalk Empire about to enter its golden age?

Dispel any remaining doubts. The new season (which begins this Sunday at 9 pm on HBO) unfolds with a new leisurely, cinematic grandeur.
Easy livin'
By JON GARELICK  |  September 23, 2011
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Trinity Rep’s rip-roaring His Girl Friday

There are theatrical adaptations and then there are magnificent transformations, like His Girl Friday . Multiple-Obie Award-winning playwright John Guare has expanded the furious screwball comedy into a historical/social commentary without our losing o
The write stuff
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 23, 2011
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Review: The Interrupters

Suburban conservatives notwithstanding, there will be tears shed over this deep look at Chicago's grisliest streets and the benevolent soldiers who fight to keep them safe.
Chicago's grisliest streets
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 16, 2011
Colombiana 5

Review: Colombiana

Women have saved action movies. Who'd go see one if not for Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft or Salt , or Milla Jovovich in anything, or even Helen Mirren in Red ?
Balancing absurdity with conviction  
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 02, 2011


Smell season to taste

An aspiring chef searches for her lost sense of smell

Six years ago, while jogging in Brookline, aspiring chef Molly Birnbaum was struck by an oncoming Ford. The impact broke her pelvis and shattered her skull. But worst of all, it mangled her olfactory nerves, destroying Birnbaum's sense of smell and her a
Scentless Apprentice
By BY EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  July 22, 2011
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Review: Going Crazy for Gershwin

Every summer, the Arundel Barn Playhouse continues the classic tradition of Maine summer stock theater, by bringing their leading performers from out of town — often New York City — to put on a series of shows and live in beautiful rural Arundel for the
A revised, revamped classical musical hits big
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 08, 2011

Letting our imaginations run wild

There was a priceless article in last week's Portland Press Herald about the "Platter Ensemble," a new "invention" — a slotted plate that fits over a deep-dish platter in order to catch the juices that sometimes squirt out of a freshly cracked lobste
Patent pending
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 20, 2011
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Bliss of Rapture

Okay, I'm not happy , exactly, that, as a Jew, I am excluded from Saturday's date with Heaven's eternal rewards, and will instead be left to suffer through great tribulations before perishing, with the rest of the Army of the Antichrist, as a dismemb
Farewell, Christians — don't let the gates of paradise hit you on the ass on your way out
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 20, 2011
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Review: Verbal Kent | Save Yourself

Whether you adore Kanye West or want to scalp him with a rusty spoon, there's no denying that, for those of us out on the coasts, he overshadows the rest of Chi-Town's rap scene.
Rapmechanics (2011)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 28, 2011


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The Smith Westerns | Dye It Blonde

If the Smith Westerns' homonymous 2009 debut perfectly captured the awkward, waning days before high-school graduation, then their sophomore effort is the Chicago indie quartet's college existential-crisis record, more sprawling and a tad wiser while st
Fat Possum (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  January 14, 2011
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The 1900s | Return of the Century

Parasol (2010)
Parasol (2010)
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  November 12, 2010
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Dinaw Mengestu's subtle take on immigrant blues

Seriousness sets Dinaw Mengestu's work apart from most novels about the immigrant experience.
White lies
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 22, 2010
How do you mess up a hot dog?

How do you mess up a hot dog?


Everyone at the Phoenix offices has been rhapsodizing about Tasty Burger. It has been the subject of many office conversations. Its Facebook plaudits abound. Finally,...
By Eugenia Williamson  |  September 23, 2010

'Sorry' was the wrong word

I’ve waited a long damn time for this state to become less white. Now, I can see at least a few people of color every day without breaking a sweat, when nearly nine years ago I could go days upon days without seeing a single non-white face.
Diverse-city
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  September 17, 2010


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Isn't it swell?

The musical satire Chicago first hit the boards in 1975, the same year as A Chorus Line , and you could say that the two shows highlight two sides of the era's ethos: The latter follows dancers through feel-good, encounter-group-style personal affirma
MSMT's Chicago is a wry spectacle
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 06, 2010
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Unsafe Passage: The dangers of getting to and from the job

One evening in February, Sara left her State Street office building shortly after six o'clock to walk to her car. As she put the key in the lock of the car door, a man grabbed her from behind and hissed in her ear, "Get in the car."
Equal Writes
By SUSAN STOBAUGH  |  July 09, 2010
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Stuff and nonsense

Despite millions in production design, Peter Strietman's splendid photography, and some witty if trance-inducing music by Jonathan Bepler, the six and a half hours of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle is sheer movie tedium, inert and unmoving, broken u
Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle returns
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 25, 2010
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Same Old Faces

If you're wondering who the geniuses are behind the political campaigns in Massachusetts this year — the strategists, media firms, ad teams, and fundraisers — well, it's a lot of the same folks who have been behind Massachusetts campaigns for a long time
It's an outsider's year for candidates, but the consultants are old Beacon Hill mainstays. Plus, who spent what at the conventions, and Baker goes on TV first.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 25, 2010
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Riot squads

On the morning that the Celtics and the Lakers readied for Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, framing one of the most storied and intense rivalries in pro sports, the police departments of Boston and Los Angeles geared up for the worst.
While Boston chilled, LA burned. What makes fans in some cities go wild — win or lose?
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 25, 2010


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Mr. Patrick Goes to Franklin Park

As Deval Patrick engaged constituents at the third annual 10,000 Strong Boston barbecue in Franklin Park on Father's Day, it was clear that his support from black voters doesn't derive solely from the luster of his climb from Chicago's hardscrabble stree
'Deval in the 'Hood' Dept.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 25, 2010

From away, here to stay: Out-of-towners settle down in Maine

I'm becoming a hick. Or so I'm being told more and more lately.
Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  June 25, 2010
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Light Pollution | Apparitions

Light Pollution unabashedly endorse marijuana use: “How many glass pipes can you find in this picture?” the band ask under a press photo posted on their MySpace.
Carpark (2010)
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  June 25, 2010
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Cinema paradisos

Here's the dilemma: you love movies, but you also love the idea of taking a vacation to one of the many inviting resorts that New England has to offer — the beaches of Cape Cod or the Islands, picturesque towns in Maine or Rhode Island, or even the cultu
As Hollywood's summer fare goes cold, local film festivals heat up
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 18, 2010