“Unlike some highbrow critics, I love musicals–and not just old ones, either. But the new shows that opened in the season just past illustrate my belief that the Broadway musical is suffering from four chronic problems that are growing increasingly pronounced…”
Archives for May 31, 2009
The Collage Aesthetic of Louis Armstrong: “In the Cause of Happiness” (Peter Jay Sharp Arcade, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th St., up through Sept. 26). Now that a book of Louis Armstrong’s collages has been published, a growing number of music lovers are becoming aware that the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century was also a gifted amateur artist who decorated the boxes that held his reel-to-reel tape collection and the walls of his New York home with colorful scissors-and-Scotch-tape assemblages of newspaper and magazine clippings whose freely associational quality recalls the “visionary art” of untrained painters. Jazz at Lincoln Center is currently mounting an exhibition of large-scale reproductions of Armstrong’s collages, and a selection of the fragile one-of-a-kind originals will also be on view at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens through July 12. Both shows offer a fascinating glimpse of a little-known aspect of Armstrong’s proliferating creativity (TT).