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Calendar, Night&Day Step Away from the DeLillo

Step Away from the DeLillo

In the New York Times, Jim Lewis calls Denis Johnson's new novel Tree of Smoke "something like a masterpiece" and "the product of an extraordinary writer in full stride." He also he calls that writer a "master" and a "revelator…
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Culture, Stage Paying for It

Paying for It

The final scene in Denis Johnson's play Soul of a Whore featured a man in a clown suit hanging from a cross. In Haze, a new stage production woven together by Campo Santo from the letters, short stories, and novel…
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Culture, Stage The Organization Man

The Organization Man

Denis Johnson's new play, Purvis, receiving its world premiere under the auspices of longtime Johnson collaborators Campo Santo, recounts episodes from the life -- and afterlife -- of one of the most fabled figures in the history of U.S. law…
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Culture, Books

The Loss of Leon Meed

By Josh Emmons Scribner (2005), $24 According to Northern California native Josh Emmons, Eureka was founded when ambitious miners set out to find gold, found none, and stayed, drifting numbly into self-imposed exile. That same attachment to place fuels the…
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Culture, Stage Don't Dream It's Over

Don't Dream It's Over

Denis Johnson's fourth play, Psychos Never Dream, opens with a promising scene beside a grave. A man named Critter shovels dirt and hauls the wrapped body of his neighbor, Ken Hubbard, into a hole. His other neighbor, Floyd, surprises him…
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Best of San Francisco, Arts & Entertainment

Best Local Actor Not About to Leave Town

MacDougall was already losing her voice on opening night of Denis Johnson's Soul of a Whore. She played a stripper-turned-church-lady occasionally possessed by a demon -- which, counting carefully, amounts to three roles. Whore is a hugely demanding, three-hour play…
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Culture, Stage Life in Hell

Life in Hell

Remember Marlowe's Doctor Faustus? Mephistophilis says, "Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it." He means the world itself, and that line could belong to any character in Soul of a Whore. Denis Johnson's new play visits three…
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News, Feature Poet of the Fallen World

Poet of the Fallen World

"I'm kinda like Ozzy Osbourne," says Denis Johnson in a distracted moment, explaining that he might not remember to call me back. "My wife was just telling me that." He means he's disorganized. Fourteen years of substance abuse may have…
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Culture, Stage Attention, Shoppers

Attention, Shoppers

Shoppers Carried by Escalators Into the Flames might sound like something by Don DeLillo in a self-recycling mood, but in fact it's the name of Denis Johnson's new play, lifted from a line in his last one, Hellhound on My…
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Calendar, Night&Day All in the Family

All in the Family

It's no wonder that cult novelist turned dramaturge Denis Johnson wrote his first two plays with Intersection's resident theater company, Campo Santo, in mind: Its name means both "sacred ground" and "graveyard" in Spanish. Johnson's characters, strung-out lowlifes on the…
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Culture, Stage Blues Fallin' Down Like Hail

Blues Fallin' Down Like Hail

Denis Johnson has outdone himself. He's not premiering one new play at Intersection for the Arts, as you might suspect from reading other papers; he's premiering three. Ever since last year, when Intersection hosted a stage version of his story…
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Culture, Stage

SFW Stage

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow Giselle. Performed by Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Directed by Alicia Alonso. At Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley campus, Feb. 12-14. Cuban verve met European romanticism over Valentine's Day weekend in a production that injected vibrant new…
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