Flashbacks: Seeing the unseen at Harvard, sexual harassment at the Gloucester Stage Company, and a group of NY tourists tour 3 AM


5 Years Ago

August 15, 2003 | Chris Millis took note of a photography exhibit at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts called "Harvard Works Because We Do."

"Halpern has set out to capture both the dignity and the oppression of Harvard’s underclass; he’s partly succeeded. His best work shows these people at work: the barely contained scowl of a young black woman in her wait-staff garments; the hand and arm of a custodian wiping a urinal; a powerful triptych of the two tables of union and university contract negotiators separated by a reproduction of the university’s tax form for that year (it took in just under a billion dollars). Less convincing are the portraits of the sous-chefs and the various custodial staff — the sympathies seem stretched, the compositions comparatively flat-footed. Guys on cigarette breaks are not loaded guns. Still, Halpern deserves credit for daring to photograph those we’re all trained not to see." Read Full Article


15 Years Ago

August 13, 1993 | Bill Marx reported on the allegations of sexual harassment that were being brought against playwright Israel Horovitz, artistic director of the Gloucester Stage Company.

"The actress who came forward this week said that when she worked for Gloucester Stage, in the fall of 1987, she found Horovitz ‘particularly friendly.’ He would often try to kiss her on the mouth and she frequently felt him rubbing her shoulder. As a naïve young actress, she said, she chalked it up to the affectionate nature of theater people, though she did her best to stay away from Horovitz. On the closing night of the season, he asked to walk her to her dressing room, where she had to pick up her things. 

" ‘It seemed a little odd,’ she said, ‘but his two-year-old son was in tow, so I just walked along. And as soon as we went backstage, and it was a dark, closet-like area, he pulled me to him and kissed me full on the mouth and pushed his tongue into my mouth. I screamed and stumbled into his two-year-old." The theater never hired her again."


25 Years Ago

August 16, 1983 | In her review of Wanda and Her Dog at the Alley Theater, Carolyn Clay praised the performance of the poor thespian playing Wanda’s abused pet.

"Lucky for Wanda that Clone, her canine alter ego, is played in this production by a female homo-sapiens; otherwise we’d have to report the dog’s mad mistress to the SPCA. Not that she doesn’t love the mongrel — it’s just that Wanda is the quintessential nihilist, a thwarted artist who’s been sucked dry by the modern world and who vents her frustration on the pup waiting at home...This classic S&M exchange between woman and beast takes the game of kick-the-dog to its outer limits: watching Wanda vacillate between caresses and blows, we’re squirmingly conscious of the power-tripping that goes on in trans-species relationships--not to mention human ones.


"The dialogue in Wanda and Her Dog is sometimes splendid and crisp, sometimes overambitious...One soon tires of the world-through-quantum-mechanics theorizing, and of profoundly pretentious lines like ‘Fate and fortune get fulfilled or I’m fucked forever!’ (wailed by Wanda in a mawkish, morbid moment). Clone has few such insipid speeches and so must convey his feelings solely through wags, whimpers, and body language. And though there’s not much of a market for human pups these days, even Off Off Broadway, Karin Grace Trachtenberg may have found her calling. This woman is one good dog-- and that’s meant to be a compliment. God knows, rolling around on the floor, begging for tummy scratches, and eating out of a plastic bowl is bound to be a humbling thespian experience, even without the physical abuse."


30 Years Ago

August 15, 1978 | Michael Matza followed a group of New Yorkers who had come to town to sightsee in the wee hours of the morning.

"...a perplexed cabbie sat by, engine idling, as a seemingly endless string of jabbering sightseers passed his windshield. Did he have any idea what was going on? we had to ask him. I think they’re Christian Scientists, he said without hesitation. It’s kind of early in the morning but they’re probably on their way to a prayer meeting or something. When we told him who they really were, his tone changed dramatically.Are you shitting me? this regular on the graveyard shift responded. Sightseeing in the dark? From New York? What the hell are they gonna see? Hookers?

"In truth, the desolate streets were made for touring. Passing the new building of the Public Library, on Boylston Street, a fat woman from Flatbush fell out of line to admire the ornate wrought-iron entrance to the inbound Copley subway. She stood awestruck at the care that had gone into the construction of this piece of the workaday world, a monument that commuting Bostonians no doubt take for granted. She fingered the thick black metal gingerly, a look of religious submission on her face. To her, this square black entrance building was tantamount to the monolith in 2001."

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