“Shakespeare gave Queen Margaret more lines than any other female character, and more lines than King Lear. Now, she’s finally been given her own play” — one assembled from her scenes in the Henry VI plays and Richard III.
Studies released over the past decade indicate that reading regularly can increase the odds of longevity, bolster blood flow to the brain, maintain vocabulary and critical thinking skills, and even hold off dementia. What’s more, books provide more benefit than even long-form newspaper or magazine articles.
Geoffrey Owens, who had a recurring role on The Cosby Show in the ’80s and ’90s, was photographed last month bagging groceries, a between-gigs job he took to make ends meet; the pictures ended up on Fox News and The Daily Mail Online. Owens actually got an outpouring of support (Fox and the Mail got the shaming) — and then producers, reminded of his existence, started offering him jobs. He tells Sopan Deb what’s happened since and what else he’s been doing (like teaching Shakespearean acting).
One consequence of the Metropolitan Opera’s recently-announced changes to its season schedule — Sunday performances, going dark in February, adding weeks in May and June — is that the available time for American Ballet Theatre’s spring season there is being reduced from eight weeks to five. Marina Harss explains why the move might just make sense to the company, and she offers a suggestion for where they might go instead.
“The [City Canvas] program was designed to beautify New York City’s visual landscape by installing large-scale – and temporary – artwork on its endless construction fences and 270 miles of sidewalk sheds. … Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler said ‘If anyone can bring some love to the sidewalk sheds New Yorkers love to hate, it’s our city’s artists.'”
Reporter Michael Cooper and photographer Nina Westervelt follow the Phil’s new music director through his first week on the job — unpacking his office, meeting with CEO Deborah Borda, strategizing with his publicist, taking selfies with passersby who recognize him from the ads around town, and (of course), rehearsing for the opening night concert.
“No, [the publisher] did not fire me. But he made clear to me that university publishers … were threatening a boycott. They are afraid of the reactions on the campuses, where this is an inflammatory topic. Because of this, I feel forced to resign — in fact it is a capitulation to social media and university presses.” Even so, he says, “I still stand behind my decision to publish.”
The recently authenticated Leonardo da Vinci painting, now the world’s most expensive artwork ($450 million), spent nearly half a century in a family home in Baton Rouge before dealers purchased it in a 2005 estate sale for under $10,000.
“Over the course of a career that spanned more than 50 years, Venturi mounted a sustained counterattack on the high seriousness of modernism, praising the vernacular, the commercial, and even the avowedly ordinary in writings and buildings that he often produced in collaboration with his wife, Denise Scott Brown.” Famously, he responded to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s pronouncement “Less is more” with the quip, “Less is a bore.”
Yes, he disavowed the “postmodern’ label, but nevertheless, here are seven signature examples of his style, from the house he created for his mother (the design that started it all), through his fire station in the modern architecture mecca of Columbus, Indiana and his museum buildings in London, Seattle, Houston, and San Diego to his “Queen Anne” chair.
The venue’s CEO, Alex Beard, describes the $66 million project as “a bit like having open-heart surgery while going for a run.” The architect said that “We had meetings every day where we’d work out the little windows of time we could make noise.” Alex Marshall reports on the results, including a much larger foyer, a cafe, more ladies’ loos, and a complete upgrade of the ROH’s 406-seat Linbury Theatre.
In November, just two months after India’s highest court decriminalized same-sex relations, the Awadh Queer Committee (which has already organized a pride march and a film festival in the past year) in Lucknow will present the first dedicated LGBTQ literary event anywhere in South Asia.
“Brătescu’s work has for years been a powerful influence on artists in the Romanian contemporary art scene, but it wasn’t until the past few years that she achieved fame outside Eastern Europe … [Her] output took the form of films, collages, photographs, installations, travel journals, drawings, and more over the course of her seven-decade career. Her primary interests included the body and the relationship between art and life, and her work often tackled these themes with a dry sense of humor.”
“I was very apprehensive and came with a stereotypical image of the police,” says Tatiana Altberg. But, as she has done workshops with the staffers in her precinct, “I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes. As I listen to their side of the problems and issues facing them, I’ve realised that it is very hard to be a police officer in Rio de Janeiro.”
“Women have been on the cinematic front lines from the start. While men took most of the credit for building the movie industry, women — on camera and off, in the executives suites and far from Hollywood — were busily, thrillingly, building it, too. That’s the reason for our list of Movie Women You Should Know, which is not a canon or a pantheon but a celebration and an invitation to further discovery. Here are some of the art’s other pioneers — its independents and entrepreneurs, auteurs and artisans.”
Rachmaninoff’s impromptu solo-piano rendering of his Symphonic Dances documents roaring cataracts of sound, massive chording, and pounding accents powered by a demonic thrust the likes of which no studio environment has ever fostered. Rachmaninoff’s humbling presence, re-encountered, is gigantic, cyclopean.
Sari Feldman, chief of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Cleveland: “Where is reference headed, and how is it being practiced in 2018? I asked some of my colleagues, and I heard a fairly consistent message: with so much information available online today, the value librarians add comes through their connection to the community,” helping patrons with, for example, applying for government social programs, obtaining health information, or navigating immigration and naturalization issues.
Madison Mills: “What does it take to make it as a dancer in New York? I have no idea. I’ve never done ballet, I prefer jazz hands to leaps, and I’m more uncoordinated than most. Regardless, I decided to find out. So I auditioned for Alvin Ailey, one of the most prestigious dance companies in New York. It wasn’t pretty.” (video)
“In which one writer, ARTnews Executive Editor Andrew Russeth, attempts to narrate life in the New York art world over the course of one full season, from September 2017 to September 2018, with brief forays to Miami, New Orleans, Basel, Buffalo, San Francisco, and a few other places. Along the way, countless exhibitions are visited, performances are witnessed, museum protests are reported on, art fairs are tolerated, and celebrations of various kinds are attended. Meanwhile, all sorts of surprises come in over the transom.”
To figure it out, Rebecca Onion read a bunch of them: “Romance novels, as a genre, do a lot of thinking about the way power (wealth, intelligence, competence) drives attraction — for the women swooning over the male heroes, but also for the men themselves, who (in romance novels written recently, at least) often fall in love with heroines who can match their qualities of personal strength. Given that thematic interest, romance between civilians and stars is a natural fit. These rock stars are ‘alphas’ in the ‘best at their jobs’ sense; they need the women they meet to help them develop their private selves.”
“Small- to medium-sized companies based in cities outside dance meccas … are often written off as ‘regional,’ or somehow lesser than their big city counterparts. But in recent decades, a few have defied such categorization as they’ve gained traction on the national and international scene. So how does a company build an international profile without losing connection to its hometown? We asked the directors of Tulsa Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Sarasota Ballet to share their strategies.”
“[Salt Lake County’s] Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program will fund more groups than ever this year with $2.2 million split among 183 organizations … [Program director Kristen] Darrington said the growing applicant pool for Tier II, up from 156 in 2016 and 171 last year, is a ‘really good problem to have.’ It reflects the increased sophistication of small arts programs and demand for cultural programming across the county.”
Liz Durand Streisand’s online platform — which is, in fact, called Broadway Roulette — is basically the Hotwire of theatre: producers, like airlines, may be willing to release discount tickets in order to sell seats, but they don’t want the whole world to know that they’re resorting to cutting prices. So the customer will specify a date and order tickets, but the actual show will be a surprise.
“The Frick Collection in New York will have its first-ever intervention by a contemporary artist in its permanent collection galleries next May, when the UK artist and writer Edmund de Waal will install site-specific porcelain works.”
The La Jolla Music Society, which presents touring classical and dance artists in metro San Diego, announced in late July that Florida Grand Opera executive director Susan T. Danis would become the Society’s CEO and lead its move into a new venue. Seven weeks later, following a “defamatory letter” about Danis that was sent to the La Jolla board, and later retracted, by a former FGO staffer, the vindicated Danis decided nevertheless to give up the job in La Jolla and remain at FGO. George Varga explains (as far as possible).
“DiChiera was small of stature and surprisingly soft-spoken for a man who came to have such an enormous impact on Detroit’s cultural landscape. Indeed, the word people used most often to describe him was ‘kind,’ followed quickly by more grandiose words like ‘visionary,’ ‘groundbreaker’ and ‘risk-taker.’ He was all that and more.”
On Monday, the orchestra was at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris, waiting to depart for that evening’s concert in Amsterdam, the final performance of the tour — only to find out that their chartered aircraft had mechanical problems and could not fly. No trains or buses were available for all 110 musicians (not counting staff and patrons) to get to Amsterdam in time: the only option was a 76-seat propeller plane. 76 musicians are not enough to perform Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, the main work on the program. Zoë Madonna reports on what happened next.
“This is the latest major commission for the Ghanian-British architect who has completed a bunch of high profile projects for civic and cultural institutions over the years; most notably, the acclaimed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He is currently overseeing a number of museum designs including the new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art in Riga.”
“It is difficult to overstate the many ways in which Michelson contributed to both the film and the art worlds. She was among the first to teach at New York University’s Cinema Studies department, which was among the first of its kind in the United States. And, with Rosalind Krauss, in 1976, she cofounded the journal October, which spurred on a widespread interest in critical theory — in particular the writings of French post-structuralists like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida — within the New York art world of the 1970s and ’80s.”
“The Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet Association will merge the two organizations to create the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts or TAPA … The new partnership will create an umbrella organization under which the two will serve as equal partners in a three-prong relationship that will also include an education component for the community.”