Michael Feingold: “One problem that New York has always had with greatness is that our mainstream theater is a commercial theater, and what’s great does not always make money: Sometimes, especially when it comes in a new form, the disruption it causes actively drives the pleasure-seeking, affluent crowds away.”
“More than a year into the lawsuit it filed over Maurice Sendak’s will, the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia has asked a Connecticut judge to remove the executors of the author-illustrator’s estate. Motivated by ‘financial self-interest,’ Sendak’s executors have refused to carry out his wish to leave millions of dollars’ worth of books to the Rosenbach,” the motion claims.
“‘A Japanese A.I. Wrote a Novel, Almost Wins Literary Award,’ one typical headline read. [Another] worried that ‘no occupation is safe’ if an algorithm could compete in such a contest. Look a little closer, however, and this story isn’t about the rise of the machines – it’s a lesson on the limitations of contemporary A.I. technology.”
“Classics and antiquity have lost cultural cache in the age of disruption, and there is no longer an aristocratic imperative to support noble projects of lofty ambition. Today we’ve neither dutiful Kings, Vaticans, or robber barons to seduce the hoi polloi into complicity with visions of the transplendent. Nor do the experiments in democracy we deem “states” seem to be doing much better, having withdrawn much of the already measly funding available for highbrow cultural endeavors.”
Despite Hamilton and Fun Home, “the season to come – with its promised jukebox musicals, revivals, and adaptations of television shows and films – suggests that most producers are still playing it safe. … Why has [the genre] been so slow to change? And what can writers, directors and producers do to productively shake up the form?” Alexis Soloski sees some hope.
Molly McArdle explains how medieval images of the Devil, and of the time between the Cruicifixion and the Resurrection, helped her finally make sense of the Catholic faith in which she’d grown up.
“Although the NSF invests a lot of other money into cataloguing and studying life on Earth, the CSBR is unique in funding the infrastructure behind natural history museums. It pays for unglamorous but essential things like basic specimen care and storage. Typical grants are worth around $3 to 5 million, and collectively, they amount to just 0.06 percent of the full NSF budget. And yet, they’re crucial.”
“Based in a tiny studio in the jewelry quarter in Birmingham, Short has also inscribed a quote from Abraham Lincoln on the tip of a Civil War bullet, one from Rosa Parks on the rim of a commemorative medal, and one from Steve Jobs on a gold microchip the size of a fingertip.”
But the real interesting thing is that it didn’t do this in its first week, making the argument that maybe, just maybe, everyone should start looking at TV show popularity data way farther out from release dates.
“‘It is a peculiarity of capitalists and the bourgeoisie to think that we workers have no culture,’ says the novelist, whose many tattoos include one of Karl Marx on his left arm.”
“Lubetkin wanted buildings to empower people. ‘Architecture can be a potent weapon,’ he wrote, ‘a committed driving force on the side of enlightenment, aiming however indirectly at the transformation of our present make-believe society, where images outstrip reality and rewards outpace achievement.'”
“Since 2006, the Collective has given emerging Minneapolis-based playwrights the opportunity to have complete creative control over their productions.”
“Books she edited won a staggering 23 Governor-General’s Literary Awards, four Man Booker Prizes, and six Scotiabank Giller Prizes, more than any other editor in Canadian history. She guided the careers of countless young writers, as well, and brought the work of many heralded international writers to Canada.”
“The museum returns with a new plan — with some old goals still intact. The Frick family rooms previously off-limits to visitors will be opened to the public for the first time. There will be a renovation of underground space and a revised layout for visitor circulation, to create seamless movement from the museum to its reference library.”
“Australia broadcasts this laid-back easiness but it is really a very conservative country. … Art takes off in those periods when you’re being stifled and oppressed. There is a sort of darkness that lurks [here] somewhere.”
“Simply getting hold of so many stage-ready sheep was an exceptionally difficult bit of opera casting, even in an era in which great Verdi singers are rare and true Wagnerian heldentenors are almost nonexistent. You cannot simply call the usual power-agents in New York or London.”
It won’t be good: “Disney, Netflix, The Weinstein Company have all threatened to boycott Georgia if the bill is signed and Viacom, Time Warner, Fox, Sony, MGM, CBS, Comcast/NBC Universal and many other studios have spoken out against the bill.”
“Scarlatti felt overshadowed by his composer father Alessandro and so left Italy to accept a position in what at that time must have seemed the far-flung and distant country of Portugal.”
“There are no metal detectors or security wands on Broadway. Instead, the most visible signs of safety come in the security guards who check all theatergoers’ bags manually. In recent months, bomb-sniffing dogs have occasionally joined them. But compared to the kind of measures in place at stadium music events (think Madison Square Garden) or even some Manhattan multiplexes on a crowded Saturday night, these measures can come off as relaxed.”
“When she pitched under the name Galbraith without revealing her true identity, she faced many more snubs. Since then, Galbraith has published three successful novels but the first was rejected by several publishers, and Rowling was even advised to take a writing course.”
“The results revealed an identical performance of the music evoked stronger impact when presented in the acoustics of shoebox type concert halls, such as Vienna Musikverein or Berlin Konzerthaus.”
“Six months after artist Ryan Mendoza’s team finished stripping the facade off a two-story house near Eight Mile and Livernois — and assured neighbors the rest of it would be demolished immediately — the naked shell of the home still stands in the middle of a healthy block. It’s a nightmare of urban decay, rubble, debris, exposed beams, falling plaster and broken promises.”