Howard Fishman

  • music November 25, 2019

    Feeling Good

    I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THERE IS ANY HOPE FOR OUR FUTURE, but if there is, it might be in experiences like the apartment concerts that composer/performer Jerome Ellis recently hosted in his 240-square-foot abode, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill. 

    I became aware of Ellis through his work with the writer and musician James Harrison Monaco. The two collaborate as “James and Jerome” in lecture-performances that effortlessly combine esoteric history, ecstatic storytelling, virtuosic music, art, theory, theater, and improvisation. (Their new show, The Conversationalists, begins a run at the

  • performance November 15, 2019

    What’s Cooking?

    GOING TO THE THEATER can be a lot like going to a party. When good, similar pleasures are on offer: diversion, excitement, even uplift. For some fixed amount of time, we forget about the drab minutia of our daily lives. We can feel that we are part of a community, though we know it’s only a temporary one: we’re unlikely to ever see the strangers in the room again. When bad, both a performance and a party can make us desperate to leave, to escape the painful phoniness, the noise, the shouting, the bad behavior, and the palpable feeling of being trapped.

    Sometimes (actually, never) something gets