ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Jane Campion’s Bones

“I’m an old dog in the game,” Campion says, smiling. “I’m careful about the bones I care to chew on. I want something with a deep enough scope, something that will hold up.” - Los Angeles Times

Sondheim And The Art Of Mentoring

As a mentor, as a letter writer, as an audience member who showed up far beyond Broadway to witness new work, he quietly, faithfully nurtured generations of theater makers. - The New York Times

Antony Sher, One Of Britain’s Great Stage Actors, Dead At 72

Though an accomplished writer and screen actor, he was most admired for theatre classics from Shakespeare to Pinter. In 1985, for Richard III and Torch Song Trilogy, he became, he said, "the first actor to win an for playing both a king and a queen." - BBC

Alvin Lucier, Pathbreaking Avant-Garde Composer, Dead At 90

"During a career spanning six decades, Mr. Lucier moved from a respectable position as a traditional composer … to the near-personification of experimentalism in music, … writing pieces for brain waves, birdcalls, electronic devices, resonant bowls and, every so often, standard classical instruments." - MSN (The Washington Post)

Tony Kushner, Architect Of A New Great Historical Mistake

Among my favorite Kushner quotes: “Dare to participate in the great historical mistake of your time.” The particular mistake he has in mind is “West Side Story,” a new movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. - The New York Times

David Gulpilil, Pioneering Indigenous Australian Actor, Dead At 68

He became a star in his home country playing the lead in Nicholas Roeg's Walkabout and familiar internationally for his role in Crocodile Dundee. He won acclaim and awards for other film and TV performances and helped end the use of blackface in Australia. - The New York Times

France Inducts Josephine Baker Into Its Pantheon

On Tuesday, a coffin carrying soils from the U.S., France and Monaco — places where Baker made her mark — will be deposited inside the domed Pantheon monument overlooking the Left Bank of Paris. Her body will stay in Monaco, at the request of her family. - Baltimore Sun

Grappling With The Enormity Of Losing Sondheim

Sondheim deserves a spot on playwriting’s Mt. Rushmore, for his contribution to the theater is as significant from a literary as it is from a musical standpoint. - Los Angeles Times

Virgil Abloh, A Barrier-Breaking Designer Who Was Compared To Warhol And Koons, Has Died At 41

Abloh was a theorist with sometimes controversial opinions on fashion. "For him clothes were not garments but fungible totems of identity that sat at the nexus of art, music, politics and philosophy." - The New York Times

Recovering From A Rough Gig At SNL, Natasha Rothwell Hit It Big On Insecure

The showrunner for Insecure, where Rothwell, post-writing gig at Saturday Night Live, has written and played Kelli: "The idea that anybody would try to f— squash her talent or try to keep her brilliance under a lampshade — like, can you imagine?" - Los Angeles Times

Composer And Lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Master Of Musical Theatre, 91

Impossible to sum the central figure of American musical theatre up, but: "Sondheim not only bound music, lyrics and book inextricably together, but he explored in far greater depths the human condition in all its anxieties and moral complexities." - Washington Post

“Superstar” Actor Arrested In Connection With Jan. 6 Riot

James Beeks, who performs in Superstar under the stage name James T. Justis, is charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia with obstruction of Congress, a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds. - Deadline

Magnus Carlsen Has Been World Chess Champion Since His Teens. The World Of Chess Has Changed Since Then

Computer-assisted preparation makes it ‘harder and harder’ to demonstrate the superiority of his intuition and strategic thinking in classical games. Players with good memories, decent calculation and solid technique can use the latest AI discoveries to boost their chances against him. - London Review of Books

He Was A Child Laborer, Then A Homeless Migrant. Now He’s A Prizewinning Filmmaker Who Could Get An Oscar.

P.S. Vinothraj worked in a flower market at age nine and a sweatshop at 14. At 19 he ran to the big city (Chennai) and slept on the streets. Now his first feature is a festival hit and India's official submission to the Oscars. - The Guardian

The Musicians, Dancers Killed In The Wisconsin Holiday Parade

Three of those killed were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of women whose pompom routines have been a staple of local holiday parades since the 1980s. - The New York Times

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