“When Kevin Broccoli wrote his two-man play James Franco and Me, he had vague hopes that the real James Franco might tweet about it or maybe, just maybe, come see a performance. Instead, Mr. Franco’s lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter to a New York theater that was going to stage the satire in August.”
What happened to reading Rebecca West? Her 1941 nonfiction “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon” was often listen as a top nonfiction book of the 20th century … and then somehow the book, “an attack on empire, a defense of small nations, and an embrace of concrete delights over abstract causes,” passed its 75th anniversary with nary a notice, even from the International Rebecca West Society.
Artist Star Montana: “I want people to understand the narrative of Boyle Heights. A lot of these people, they are trying to navigate how to exist in these neighborhoods. These people represent communities and neighborhoods. They exist. And they are individuals. And their stories — each one of them — their narrative is important, too. It’s important for me to sit down with them, even if it’s just for a minute.”
Akhil Sharma: “I read ‘If You Sing Like That for Me’ now and I find myself jumping out of my skin. After each paragraph, I have to get up from my desk and pace around. Talking about the story, my tone becomes contemptuous. It is strange to think that, to readers, this story means nothing like what it means to me.”
“The 13 stolen masterpieces valued at around half-a-billion dollars included a Rembrandt and a Vermeer … ‘I’m 100 percent sure that they are in Ireland. Hundred percent sure. No doubt in my mind,’ art investigator Arthur Brand said. He’s described as the Indiana Jones of the art world. It’s an audacious claim to make after nearly three decades. But Brand alleges his leads point to the Irish Republican Army.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber: “Theatre is highly labour-intensive. On the whole, the prices of West End theatre are incredibly reasonable considering the cost of putting something on.” Told that tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are over £100, ALW said, “We don’t charge anything like that for School of Rock.” (Orchestra/stalls seats for School of Rock in the West End are currently £129.50.)
I bring up the extent to which “Dumb” is the Great American Default, because we are in the midst of an era in which the notion that the elite and elitism are the source of every problem has become fashionable. And, let’s be honest, when Americans say “elite,” they don’t mean rich people. They mean smart people.
More and more, from Ted Lehmann’s experience, roots musicians are coming to the scene with more classical training. It would be common, 25 years ago, for roots musicians to be unable to read music, Lehmann said. When he got his start blogging about and photographing musicians in 2003 — Lehmann considers himself a “newbie” — things were changing, but slowly. “You’d ask them that question [about being able to read music] and they’d say, ‘Well, a little bit, but not enough to hurt me,’” he said. “In other words, ‘I’m not going to lose my improvisational awareness.’”
The company’s blog post refers to Pachet’s previous work “assisting artists in music composition” and strongly suggests a foray into new territory for Spotify’s growing creator services department: the development of creative tools for songwriters and artists. Until now, that team has focused on things like arming artists with listener analytics data, helping musicians target fans with concert tickets, and simply teaching artists and managers how to make the most of Spotify as a platform for connecting with fans. The idea of Spotify developing its own semi-robotic GarageBand software is a fairly radical—and to some, perhaps terrifying—departure from what it’s been working on thus far.
Presuming to speak for that civilization, Trump said, “We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes . . .” The Internet cried with one voice: “We write what?” Like many of Trump’s utterances, the line was at once ludicrous and sinister. His veneration for orchestral music came as a surprise to almost everyone, and the implication that some cultures are incapable of creating symphonies stirred bad memories.
Green: “Not that we and the rest of the world didn’t adore Ms. Midler in the part. But Ms. Murphy so immediately makes it her own, and has such a different take on it, that you are not left wanting what you cannot have.” (They also talk about Brendon Urie in Kinky Boots and Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello – who “would be a great Dolly if Ms. Murphy herself wants an alternate” – in the pie-shop Sweeney Todd.)
“His lifelong infatuation with the czarist past, the art and architecture of the Orthodox Church and the mystical conception of Holy Russia found an eager audience among audiences disillusioned with Communism and distraught by Russia’s loss of standing in the world. Liberals, on the other hand, regarded Mr. Glazunov as an obscurantist, xenophobe and anti-Semite, in thrall to the darkest forces in Russian history. He preferred to think of himself as a patriot.”
Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday Lives on in London
In her photographs, the multiple Tony-winner Audra McDonald looks nothing like Billie Holiday. But when she appears at Wyndham’s Theatre in Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill … read more
AJBlog: Plain English Published 2017-07-12