You may remember the news in early August of a strongly worded lawsuitfiled by WNED, the PBS affiliate in Buffalo, New York, that owns the Reading Rainbow brand, against Burton and his digital reading company RRKidz (recently renamed LeVar Burton Kids), for “theft and extortion” regarding a series of alleged trademark violations — including promoting his podcast as “a Reading Rainbow for adults” and his repeated use of a catchphrase he used on-air for over 20 years but didn’t technically own.
“In 1974, Elizabeth Bishop seemed to have all the things a poet could want: a teaching position at Harvard, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a first-look contract with The New Yorker, which almost always decided to publish her work. And yet she was inconsolably unhappy. ‘When you write my epitaph,’ Bishop said to the poet Robert Lowell, ‘you must say I was the loneliest person who ever lived.'”
Known for what Dance magazine called “her verve, charm and daring,” Cochran performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1984 to 1996 and led the well-regarded dance department at Barnard College from 2003 to 2013.
“The system of values that is manhood in the American south held up as its virtues firmness, reserve, self-containment, reticence, mastery of emotion. I longed to adhere to this system, but however hard I tried, I failed. I felt too much. I was prone to sudden rushes of emotion, to enthusiasms, affections, to tears… When I sang opera, the same things that had been sources of shame were sources of value. The gestures that embarrassed me in life made sense when I was on stage.”
“[Her] poise, languid glamour and fine singing voice catapulted her to stardom as a teenager in the early 1930s and kept her there for decades, whether in melodramas, frisky comedies or light musicals. … If her pre-war movies emphasized her sparkle and charm, the postwar years elicited some of her most riveting dramatic performances. Much of her critical legacy rests on three celebrated films she made with director Max Ophuls: La Ronde (1950), Le Plaisir (1952) and The Earrings of Madame de … (1953).
“In the 1960s he transformed Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, from a colonial backwater into one of the most beautiful and innovative of south-east Asian cities. Drawing inspiration from the ancient bas-reliefs and designs of the Angkor Wat temple complex, Vann’s style, which came to be known as New Khmer architecture, blended Khmer tradition with the modernist principles he had mastered during studies in Paris.”
Kirill Serebrennikov, chief of Moscow’s Gogol Center and best-known in the West as director of the Bolshoi’s off-again/on-again ballet Nureyev, “was placed under house arrest in August on charges of embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in government funds in a case widely seen as political. … The judge denied Serebrennikov’s request to be released for five days to complete the filming of a movie about rock legend Viktor Tsoi and to visit the Bolshoi Theater Dec. 9-10. The director will remain under house arrest until Jan. 19 next year.”
“The Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to an entrance of Bank of France in Paris this weekend. The artist also condemned bankers as the new monarchs in his latest act of political performance art in France, the country that granted him political asylum in May. Pavlensky came to worldwide attention for his previous performances in Moscow, such as nailing his scrotum to the ground in Red Square and setting alight an entrance of the Federal Security Service building.”
His six-decade career included plenty of television and film work (he played Mozart’s father in Amadeus) as well as an astounding number of stage appearances. He was an early member of Peter Hall’s Royal Shakespeare Company, won a Tony as the scheming father in A Moon for the Misbegotten, gave nearly 1,800 performances as 17th-century writer John Aubrey in the one-man show Brief Lives and hundreds more as the president in Mister Lincoln. He holds the world record for the number of different characters voiced in audiobooks – 224, in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Iceseries, the source for Game of Thrones.
“The oldest Gen Z’ers are turning 18 this year, and we millennials, long used to being the cool kids, can already feel your cultural power pushing us to the side. While big and deeply uncool companies once paid $20,000 an hour to learn how millennials think, they’ve now moved on to shelling out cash for Gen Z experts, frequently paying teens themselves to advise on what’s cool. Gen Z has already been declared “the next big retail disruptor,” and consumer goods companies are already getting anxious about whether you’ll buy their shampoo.”
Bach was her religion and her guide. When she “left the Nazi labour camp at Terezín in a truck bound for Auschwitz, she wrote down a passage from one of JS Bach’s English Suites ‘as a sort of talisman, because I didn’t know what was awaiting us.’ She came to think of his music as being ‘above human suffering.'”
The poet, who wrote “pretty” and orderly poems that didn’t always suit reviewers’ tastes, also wrote lyrics for musicals and for opera, including Bernstein’s Candide. “‘I feel that the universe is full of glorious energy,’ he said in an interview with The Paris Review, ‘that the energy tends to take pattern and shape, and that the ultimate character of things is comely and good.'”
Earlier this year, Notaro spoke out against fellow comedian Louis CK. Now, she says, “I feel like there is hope. I feel like it’s cracking the glass.”
The sculptor, who placed a massive bear outside the Colorado Convention Center in 2005, said in 2013, “Public art gives you a chance to embrace peace and inquisitiveness. … You become a part of it, and you’re changed.”
Yuval Sharon is pretty busy, but iIn 2020, when he is free of all future work commitments, he will take a six-month sabbatical in Japan, most likely in Kyoto. He’s never been there, but the country’s music, culture, theater and literature have long appealed to him. ‘Self-reflection is crucial to artistic work,’ he said. ‘It’s so easy to get caught up in the machine of producing. The second one project is done, you’re on to the next.'”
While artists are rather more circumspect about each other’s work when speaking on the record in today’s ultra-professional market, the gloves often come off as soon as the Dictaphone stops recording. I’ve lost count of the confidential insults I’ve heard contemporary artists sling at their peers
Matt Taibbi: “[Daniel] Richards is pitch-perfect. He enters wrestling halls in small towns in states like Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky to boos and jeers, dressed in a horrific shirt emblazoned all over with Hillary Clinton’s face. The 6-foot-5, 37-year-old then harangues crowds with choice barbs culled from the fairly tepid liberalism that courses through his veins as an ordinary sane person. In Trump country, particularly in coal regions, even kindly telling people you hope they get jobs in clean energy comes across like hardcore aggression.”
During the 1960s and ’70s, he was one of the busiest jazz drummers in America, playing with a range of stars from Quincy Jones to Stan Getz to Ella Fitzgerald to Peggy Lee to Roberta Flack to Doc Severinsen on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show to Simon and Garfunkel’s 1981 concert in Central Park to Angelo Badalamenti’s band for the original Twin Peaks. As a singer, he scored his first hit with “Windmills of My Mind”, but his voice is in the heads of an entire generation because of his work on Schoolhouse Rock.
“I am retiring. Now. Right now. I am just tired,” said the 84-year-old billionaire, who has done more than any other single person to shape L.A.’s current cultural scene. Even so, report Adam Nagourney and Adam Popescu, “the practical ramifications of Mr. Broad’s decision may be limited; the announcement in many ways marks the end of what has been a slow-motion fade.”
“[He] exuberantly weathered thunderstorms, flimsy sets, crackling audio, frayed costumes and sometimes inexpert performers so that his spare but enormously popular company, the New York Grand Opera, might live up to its lofty name.”
“So what does Marina Abramović taste like? The sweets are a variation on Prussian Blue, a warrior color that is tied to memories of her parents and of the ocean, and they leave a guilty blue stain on your tongue. … One of the treats [which are three to a box] is wrapped in gold leaf. The flavors involved are strong and, much like the artist herself, aren’t for everybody.”
“Three cities in Colorado — a state whose fortunes have been tied to the boom and bust of oil, gas and other commodities — are among the top 10 leading destinations for the nation’s best and brightest as old cow and mining towns morph into technology hubs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Another Colorado city is plotting a 21st century revival.”
“It was so surreal. They read back to me why I was selected — and I don’t even have the words to describe what it felt like to hear,” he said. “I thought, ‘Wow, I guess that’s what I’m doing,’ but you get in the thicket of doing it, and with no warning, you get this bird’s-eye view of the past 15 years.”
Mr. Friedman’s death from complications of H.I.V./AIDS has rattled the theater world, both because he was seen as among the brightest lights of his generation and because it shocked those who had come to see H.I.V. infection as a chronic but manageable condition, at least for those with health care.
Alongside playwright Baker (The Flick, Circle Mirror Transformation), theater artist Mac (A 24-Decade History of Popular Music), opera director Sharon (of the L.A. experimental company The Industry), critic and novelist Nguyen (The Sympathizer), and photographer Bey, winners in the arts include painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby, author Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones), composer Tyshawn Sorey, singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, landscape architect Kate Orff, and geographer-artist Trevor Paglen. (For a complete list of 2017 MacArthur Fellows, click here.)
“Early on Wednesday, a number of Russian media outlets” – led by Komsomolskaya Pravda, the modern-day descendant of the Soviet youth paper – “disseminated reports of the singer’s alleged death, without sourcing this information to anyone.” Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015.
“Our deepest sense of this most famous artist remains subject to change. The systematic publication of the notebooks, beginning in the late nineteenth century, tipped our understanding of his goals from art toward science, and opened questions about how to square the legendary peacefulness of his nature with his designs for ingeniously murderous war machines.”
Ironic? The company had called on Wall Street companies to put more women in leadership roles when it erected the sculpture. After complaints about underpaying women, the company will pay $5 million to more than 300 women, following a U.S. Department of Labor audit that uncovered the alleged discrepancies, according to a settlement agreement.
“With light skin, blue eyes and blond hair, which later turned bright white, Mr. Alter was an incongruous figure in Bollywood. But he spoke Hindi and Urdu fluently” – the child and grandchild of Presbyterian missionaries from Ohio, he was born and raised in India – “making him a natural fit for roles like slick diplomats, British colonials, priests and police officers.” He appeared in more than 300 films in Hindi, Urdu, and other languages, and had a notable career as a stage and television actor as well.
“Ms. Wiazemsky, a granddaughter of the Nobel literature laureate François Mauriac, was a leading lady in Godard films as well as [Jean-Luc] Godard’s wife, a sometime muse and later a chronicler of his pioneering role in the New Wave, which swept France in the 1960s … She became an instant star in 1966 when she was barely 18 … [in Robert Bresson’s film] Au Hasard Balthazar.”