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The Real Secret Of The L.A. Comedy Scene’s Success? Gigs In People’s Backyards

"No matter how cobbled together the entire operation might be, some of the very best comedy shows in L.A., for more than two decades, have happened in a comedian's (or a group of comedians') backyard, living room, garage, grotto, warehouse, etc." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

“You Can’t East Prestige”: Culture Workers Have Started Organizing and Striking For A Living Wage

"Professors of art, workers at museums, and assistants at a publishing house have all gone on strike or staged public protests during contract negotiations. Call this a black-turtleneck-worker uprising rather than a white-collar one." - The New Republic

The Academy Agrees To Put All Oscar Categories Back In The TV Broadcast This Year

"The news comes after eight different Oscar categories — original score, makeup and hairstyling, documentary short, film editing, production design, animated short, live action short and sound — were cut from the main telecast at the 2022 Academy Awards, leading to much outrage across the film industry." - Variety

The Rijksmuseum Declares Three More Vermeers Authentic.  But Is That A Self-Interested Decision?

Amsterdam's flagship museum is, after all, about to present the largest Vermeer exhibition in history, so increasing the artist's slim corpus could very much benefit the institution.  And there's definitely scholarly disagreement over these paintings, especially Girl With a Flute. - ARTnews

Athens Now Faces The Dangers Of Amsterdam-Barcelona-Venice-Style Overtourism

Leisure travel has roared back since the pandemic, with the Greek capital a destination rather than a transit point to the islands; the Acropolis is now getting 16,000 visitors a day.  The mayor of Athens is arguing for a tourist tax to cover the ballooning cost of services. - The Guardian

BBC Philharmonic Gives Its Chief Guest Conductor The Big Job

John Storgårds, a Finnish violinist-turned conductor who is also artistic director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, was named the BBC Phil's Principal Guest Conductor in 2012 and Chief Guest Conductor in 2017. He now succeeds Omer Meir Wellber as the orchestra's Chief Conductor. - Gramophone

This Year’s Venice Biennale Sets Attendance Record

It must, however, be noted that the 2022 exhibition ran longer than usual, stretching over 197 days instead of 173 days in 2019. According to the Biennale, 41% of this year’s visitors were from Italy while 59% came from other countries. - Hyperallergic

2,500 Strip On Australian Beach For Spencer Tunick Piece On Skin Cancer

The installation is American photographer Spencer Tunick's latest project, aimed at encouraging Australians to get regular skin checks. Legislation was changed to allow public nudity on the beach for the first time. Australia is the country in the world worst affected by skin cancer. - BBC

UK Museum Returns Trove Of Bronzes To Benin

The Horniman Museum in south-east London is returning 72 items, including so-called Benin Bronzes, to Nigerian ownership - making it the first in the UK to officially take such action on this scale. - BBC

After Our COVID Digital Binge, We Need Analog

“Most of the interesting things in the human experience need friction,” Honoré explained, and they benefit from a slower approach: cooking, creativity, thoughtful work, meaningful conversations, relationships. “Digital optimization just leads to a superficial way of being.” - The Walrus

Why “Gaslighting” Is The Merriam-Webster Word Of The Year

“In this age of misinformation — of ‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes — gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time,” the dictionary company said Monday, unveiling its pick. - Washington Post

How Our Toys Got Corrupted

During the past two centuries, educators, psychologists, toy companies and parents like us have acted, implicitly or otherwise, as if the purpose of play is to optimise children for adulthood. - The Guardian

San Francisco Dance Company ODC Acquires A Third Building

Well, at least somebody can afford San Francisco real estate. This fortuitously located building — right next door to the company's theater in the Mission District and around the corner from ODC Dance Commons — will offer space to other groups as well as expansion room for ODC. - San Francisco Chronicle

New Technology That Replaces Most Musicians In The Theatre Pit

The innovative aspect of KeyComp, he said, is that a single musician can play one or two of the most important musical lines, and the technology adds subsidiary lines in a way that matches the player’s tempo, articulation and dynamics. 

“Phantom Of The Opera” Isn’t Leaving Broadway After All (Well, Not Yet)

In September, after months of shrinking attendance, producers announced that the longest-running show in Broadway history would finally close this coming February.  Ticket sales immediately picked up, and last week's gross box-office set a record. So the run has been extended for eight more weeks. - The New York Times

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