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Remembering Theatre Critic Michael Feingold

Feingold’s greatness rested in the agility of his focus. He had the ability to take an aerial view of the work under consideration. But then, with breathtaking swiftness, he would zoom in for a closeup, discussing the production with meticulous visual detail and sensitivity to the choices.

“WALL-E” Director Andrew Stanton On Pioneering The Movie’s Style Of Visual Storytelling

"I always say that it was like trying to invent a new color. The hardest part is trying to get everybody to see this new color that you see. ... Then we follow it and we're discovering it as we go." - Vulture

Carey Perloff Digs Into Stoppard

The more I’ve dug into Stoppard’s biography, the clearer it has become that, in spite of appearing to be a quintessential Englishman, he’s always been an outsider. - Los Angeles Times

Is The Founding Novel Of Lesbian Literature Really A Lesbian Novel?  Is It Even A Good Book?

Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness was a powerful, even life-changing story for several generations of gay women.  But there's a serious argument to be made that it's actually a trans novel.  As for its literary merit, ... well, it has plenty of flaws. - BBC

You Knew It Would Happen: Popular AI Image Generator Starts Censoring

One user on Stable Diffusion’s sub-reddit said the removal of NSFW content was “censorship,” and “against the spirit philosophy of Open Source community.” Said the user: “To choose to do NSFW content or not, should be in the hands of the end user, no in a limited/censored model.” - The Verge

Welsh National Opera’s Boss Tries To Understand The Funding Cuts, But They Make No Sense

Aidan Lang: "There's been no explanation given other than a pleading that it's not an opera thing, it's about levelling up or spreading culture and creativity to the regions. But that's exactly what we do: within England, we perform in seven different cities. We just don't get it." - Bachtrack

The Architect Who Made Modernism Colombian

"If (Rogelio Salmona is) relatively unknown outside Colombia, that's perhaps because his work is difficult to categorize, distant from both the pure rationality of high Modernism and the historicism of his postmodern contemporaries.  Above all, Salmona was recognized for his career-long experiments with ... brick." - T — The New York Times Style Magazine

Is There A Full-Blown Crisis At CNN?

"The original cable news network ... has been shedding viewers. ... The cost-cutting new corporate management under the umbrella of Warner Bros. Discovery has also indicated it wants to reel in a perceived left-leaning political bias in CNN's coverage. Welcome to the painful cable news reset of late 2022." - The Guardian

Expensive New Floodgates Save Venice Again (But For How Long Will They Be Effective?)

When unusually high tides hit last week, the $6 billion MOSE system of barriers in the lagoon was raised and a repeat of the catastrophic 2019 floods was avoided. Yet, as sea levels continue to rise, so do fears that, within a few decades, MOSE won't be enough. - MSN (The Washington Post)

Russia’s Ambassador To UNESCO Finally Gets Out Of The Way

The Russian Federation and its envoy had been chairing UNESCO's World Heritage Committee this year, throwing a wrench in the organization's attempts to save Ukraine's heritage sites and leading 46 countries, including large donor nations, to threaten a boycott. The Russian ambassador's resignation has ended that impasse. - Artnet

The Climate-Protesting Art Vandals Come After Classical Music

Last week at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Julia Fischer and the Staatskapelle Dresden were about to start Beethoven's Violin Concerto when two activists from the German group Last Generation glued themselves to the rail on the conductor's podium.  (Turns out the rail was removable. Oops.) - Deutsche Welle

“Bronze Blond Bombshell” Joyce Bryant, Jazz-Pop Star Turned Missionary Turned Opera Singer, Dead At 95

Dubbed "the Black Marilyn Monroe," she was a huge sensation in the 1950s — until overwork and Seventh-Day Adventist guilt (over her sexy persona) drove her to leave the stage for mission work, only to re-train and re-emerge as a classical soprano and, ultimately, return to nightclub performing. - MSN (The Washington Post)

Newly-Promoted Star Paris Opera Ballet Dancer Quits Company As TV Career Flourishes

One of the best-known male dancers at the Paris Opera, who has won a big following outside ballet for working as a judge on the French equivalent of "Strictly Come Dancing", on Wednesday quit the company after months of tension. - France24

Bob Dylan Apologizes For Autopen-Signed Books

Dylan says was given “the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the art and literary worlds.” Now that it has come to light and stirred controversy, the singer-songwriter says, “I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.” - Variety

The Vatican’s $2 Billion Bathtub

One of the most valuable items in Rome is a bathtub that has been estimated to be worth $2 billion. And you thought your bathroom renovation was expensive. The bathtub—more technically known as a “porphyry basin”—is today housed in the round hall in the Pio Clementino Museum. - The Daily Beast

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