“It won’t quite be a play or a straight recitation … Excerpts and fragments will be read either solo or in groups by a cast that includes the actress Angela Bassett and the rappers Common and Black Thought. Projections visualizing Mr. Coates’s vivid imagery will tower behind them, and the jazz musician Jason Moran will perform a live score with a trio.” Kamilah Forbes, executive producer for the Apollo Theater, tells a reporter how she’s gone about adapting the award-winning book by Coates, a close friend from college.
“In the 1960s, [Saul] Chandler was one of the most promising classical violin prodigies in New York. … But when Mr. Chandler turned 16, the pressures of producing excellence consumed him, and he had a nervous breakdown that derailed his career. He estranged himself from classical music and in an act of reinvention legally changed his name. He would lead a circuitous life that has since involved running a seedy hotel in Times Square, a successful career in mathematics and dramatic voyages at sea. Thirty years ago he started building boats on City Island, where he found peace on its waters.”
The free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale has become a cultural sensation with a wide-ranging playerbase. How do we know? Because professional sports players won’t stop mimicking the game’s weird dances in real life. Maybe one day they’ll be doing one of your dances — because Epic Games just launched a contest for players to submit video of their smooth moves, with the best one making it into Fortnite.
Across London, theaters have come to understand better than anywhere else that voracious consumers of the performing arts want something else to chew on, to be able to pair their love of drama with a pint or a glass of wine and, say, a burger and chips, or a cheese board. And so, at the Young Vic or the National Theatre near the Waterloo railway station, or the Royal Court in Sloan Square, or the brand-new Bridge Theatre, under the Tower Bridge, large, inviting and comfy spaces have been dedicated in the theaters to soaking up some alcohol and accommodating some serious schmoozing, to go with the cultural enrichment.
By rewording the ads to appeal to the respondents’ underlying psychological disposition, the researchers were able to influence and change their opinions. According to Sumner, “Using psychographic targeting, we reached Facebook audiences with significantly different views on surveillance and demonstrated how targeting . . . affected return on marketing investment.” Psychological messaging, they said, worked.
While known for mocking the powerful as they strive to become objects of mass appeal, many of Banksy’s illicit street artworks ultimately belong to private landlords, not the public. After a late-night visit from the anonymous artist, property owners often wake up to find they’ve won the Banksy lottery: He has “vandalized” one of their buildings by gifting it a work by a world-famous artist. And then it is up to them to decide the work’s fate.
This is a fun interview with a true New York actor:
“What’s been the biggest surprise?
“Becoming a successful actress. Never in my wildest dreams. I waitressed for a gazillion years and then I’d get some little job, and either they would let me go or they would let me get my shifts back when I came back. My whole life was like that for the first 15 years in New York.”
In Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact, she writes about a young woman’s love for her mother, and the young woman’s falling in love, through texts, with a guy. “It’s a difficult balancing act — steering through the assimilation experience without contributing to clichéd narratives. … Choi’s novel blows up Asian female stereotypes and prods readers to question their own cultural biases about women of color.”
They’re fed up and don’t want to take it anymore, after the last two years of the prize have resulted in wins from U.S. authors. “The crescendo of frustration may have reached a peak. A group that counts the literary heavyweights Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Zadie Smith among its members has fired a shot across the bow, demanding that the Man Booker Foundation reverse a 2014 decision making any novel written in English and published in Britain eligible for the prize.”
Seriously: “Fewer and fewer people look to old stories for real enlightenment these days, and for many, questions of right and wrong can seem old-fashioned. But that’s not to say there isn’t a hunger for a discourse that can teach us what behavior is praiseworthy. Now, we look to Twitter.”
Though Coates said he was “really tired and kind of suspicious” as the book became a bestseller and cultural touchstone in 2015 – and he resisted his friend Kamilah Forbes’ ideas about turning it into a staged performance – he eventually gave her the stage rights and stepped away from the project, which runs at the Apollo and the Kennedy Center this week. “It won’t quite be a play or a straight recitation of the celebrated book, which won the National Book Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Excerpts and fragments will be read either solo or in groups by a cast that includes the actress Angela Bassett and the rappers Common and Black Thought. Projections visualizing Mr. Coates’s vivid imagery will tower behind them, and the jazz musician Jason Moran will perform a live score with a trio.”
University student (and English major) Banita Sandhu grew up in Caerleon, Wales, but she had to go to India to find commercial actiing success. “While Bollywood is traditionally perceived as less progressive than western cinema, Sandhu expresses frustration with the lack of three-dimensional roles for Asian women in the UK. ‘I struggled to fit into their version of what a British Asian girl is,’ she says. ‘As a third-generation British Indian, I’m not affected by problems like arranged marriages. That stereotype is from 30 years ago and that’s not where we are at now as a society.'”
Aimee Meredith Cox, an associate professor at Yale, might say so. “While working in Brooklyn, Detroit, and Newark, Cox noticed communities, particularly communities of women, gathering together to create a common place for making art, utilizing such forms of expression, in some ways, as a form of protest.”
As “Angels” gets major revivals on both coasts (and “Caroline, or Change” transfers to the West End in London), Kushner says he’s tried to get his most famous work out of his head – but he just keeps taking notes on productions, and then revising, or maybe creating a new project … about Angels. “I’m thinking of putting together a book, a user’s guide to the play, by taking all the notes and offering brief descriptions of the characters and then walking actors and directors through the entire thing.”
Shreve enjoyed putting her protagonists, usually women, in stressful situations. She “drew critical acclaim and a large following with books like ‘The Weight of Water’ (1997), an intricate story involving a long-ago crime and present-day dramas. Susan Kenney, reviewing that book in The New York Times, described it as ‘a cryptic long-lost narrative inside an impending family tragedy wrapped in a true-crime murder mystery framed by the aftermath of all of the above.'”
“Everything was against Marie-Agnes Gillot becoming a ballerina – never mind a great one. She was too tall, broad-shouldered and most of all, she had a double scoliosis, which sometimes gives her a hump when her back is swollen. … The last great French ballerina of her generation, she hid her problem from her teachers after leaving home at nine to go to ballet’s elite school in the French capital.”