Danse Russe, my latest operatic collaboration with Paul Moravec, opens in Philadelphia on April 28. It’s a backstage comedy about the making of The Rite of Spring (we call it a “vaudeville”) whose four characters are Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Pierre Monteux. If you’ve ever wondered how the greatest composer of the twentieth century might have done the old soft shoe, this is your chance to find out.
Commissioned by Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater, Danse Russe is part of a triple bill called “Rites, Rhythm…Riot!” that also includes the local premieres of Renard, a one-act opera by Stravinsky, and Ragtime, a newly choreographed version of Stravinsky’s 1918 homage to American popular music that will be performed by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers.
You’ll only get three chances to see Danse Russe, twice in Philly and once in Camden, New Jersey, so you’d better make plans now if you don’t want to be left out in the cold. To buy tickets or find out more about the production, go here.
Archives for March 24, 2011
Here’s my list of recommended Broadway, off-Broadway, and out-of-town shows, updated weekly. In all cases, I gave these shows favorable reviews (if sometimes qualifiedly so) in The Wall Street Journal when they opened. For more information, click on the title.
• La Cage aux Folles (musical, PG-13, adult subject matter, reviewed here)
• The Importance of Being Earnest (high comedy, G, just possible for very smart children, closes July 3, reviewed here)
• Lombardi (drama, G/PG-13, a modest amount of adult subject matter, reviewed here)
• Million Dollar Quartet (jukebox musical, G, reviewed here)
• Angels in America (drama, PG-13/R, adult subject matter, closes Apr. 24, reviewed here)
• Avenue Q (musical, R, adult subject matter and one show-stopping scene of puppet-on-puppet sex, reviewed here)
• The Fantasticks (musical, G, suitable for children capable of enjoying a love story, reviewed here)
• Play Dead (theatrical spook show, PG-13, utterly unsuitable for easily frightened children or adults, reviewed here)
I recently made a new friend, an occurrence that is unfailingly gratifying for the middle-aged, since the constant friction of life has an unfortunate way of robbing us of the old ones. People are forever dying or moving away or getting married, having children, and withdrawing into the increasingly private sphere of family life, and if you don’t continually replenish your reserve of friends, you’re likely to look up one day and find that you haven’t any.
In addition, it’s useful for all sorts of reciprocal reasons when those no longer young befriend those who still are. My quick-witted young friend (whom I first met, amazingly enough, on Twitter) happens to be exactly half my age, thus providing me with a window into the ever-mysterious world of Things as They Are Right Now, while I in turn give her case-hardened counsel on the ins and outs of the writer’s life.
We sealed our friendship yesterday over lunch at a downtown restaurant to which I hadn’t gone for years and years. “This is very nostalgic for me,” I told her. “I had my first editorial lunch in Manhattan at this place, back when I worked at Harper’s. It would have been in…oh, 1985. That was when you were in kindergarten.”
“That was when I was in diapers,” she retorted instantly, which turned out to be all the more embarrassing because it was true.
Speaking of embarrassment, my friend and I decided that one of the most effective ways to cement a friendship is by swapping embarrassing confidences, which we proceeded to do while waiting for the check to arrive. (I think we came out roughly even.) After I returned home, we exchanged the following messages via Twitter:
SHE The most positive relationships in my life are built on foundations of voluntarily disclosed humiliation.
ME It’s like exchanging hostages.
SHE Aaaaaaaaaaaand I just laughed out loud at my desk like a little nimrod. Terry, for the win.
I felt positively sprightly, as though I’d done a figure-eight in my wheelchair.
“What nature does generally, is sure to be more or less beautiful; what she does rarely, will either be very beautiful, or absolutely ugly.”
John Ruskin, Lectures on Architecture and Painting