Roger Downey

Born in Canada moved to Peru's altiplano at the age of six; came to the U.S. at 10 to discover that you don't use your feet to dribble the ball. Learned from the git-go that "America" is an idea, not a place.

Streaming Scene: PNB in the House of Imagination

Made with determination and imagination against the most inimical conditions imaginable, it may come to be seen as one of the harbingers of a new era performance, when all forms of delivery to an audience are seen as equally valid.

Good Counsel for Hard Times

You may think yourself rightminded when it comes to clumsy thought and slipshod reasoning, but reading him is to discover what’s slipshod and clumsy in your own thought. You don’t just learn about how “the enemy” thinks and acts, you discover how your own compromises and oversimplifications help him get away with it.

Have I got an Opera for you!

In this spare, intense revival from the Opera am Rhein in Düssedorf, it fits our current national mood like an Iron Maiden.

Want to end the Pandemic?

In a a rationally governed world it could be done, thereby opening up the enormous range of coordinated actions available to policy makers ready to look at hard facts before making hard but firm choices.

Nine . . . Ten. . . OUT!

In every American boxing movie between 1930 and 1960, there was a little guy in a white shirt and bow tie acting as referee. Chris Wallace was born to play that guy. But that guy knew a foul when he saw one. Chris, the famous conscience of Fox, saw dozens and barely raised his voice. This match was so unrefereed that an RKO crowd would have charged the ring. But there was no crowd. No count. No decision. Chris, say it ain’t so . . .

The Return of Byrne

It’s likely that many reading this piece were not among the audiences that made Stop Making Sense on of the most successful concert films of all time. I can only hope that they take advantage of the opportunity while it lasts.

Seattle Symphony: Reimagining, Reduced

The orchestra opens its season with a socially-distanced performance. "Imagination is not the word I would use in describing the show, which put competence on view but nothing more. No surprise, no delight, no flair, no depth of feeling."

The Brat is Back!

Bavarian Meats in the Pike Place Market has never been “just another deli”; it was a living time-capsule, a place where one could be certain of finding an astonishing array of basics from the Central European gastrosphere: hundreds of years worth of traditional Feinkostmetzgerei

“But what happens next?”

What happens next depends entirely on the civil authority. If it counter-attacks, the site becomes a disputed border area where virtually anything can happen—looting, arson, grievous bodily harm—anything but a return to normal.

2010 Entertainment; 2020 Allegory

How to Train Your Dragon doesn't exactly live up to my memory of it. It far surpasses recollection, shrugging itself out of the familiar skin of animated fantasy action-movie and emerging as a noble allegory.