Asura, a big-screen historical fantasy that cost $113 million, did such lousy box office that it was pulled from theaters after three days; meanwhile, Dying to Survive, a dark comedy about smuggling low-priced medicines into the country because they’re so expensive inside the People’s Republic, “is on track to become one of China’s highest-grossing productions of all time.”
“As a Dance Mom, you might get an undeserved bad rap but you definitely have much needed knowledge and capacities. You know that your child is entitled to a dance education. You fight for that. You drive for that, in more ways than behind the wheel — which I know from experience that you do at high volume. I hope you can harness that drive and sense of entitlement for good, living up to your stated intentions to make the NEA more accessible.” Mary Anne Carter replied here.
“It’s Tick, Tick … Boom!: a show that ran Off Broadway in 2001 and was written by Jonathan Larson, the playwright and composer behind Rent. The musical, loosely based on Larson’s life, opened five years after he died in 1996. Mr. Miranda took part in a 2014 production Off Broadway at New York City Center.”
Turns out Alexa, Siri, Google’s Assistant and other AI voice responsive systems really understand West Coast English. Everything else? Wellllllll … let’s say that even if you’re a native English speaker, but you’re from the South or Midwest? They’ll understand you less often. Worse: “People with nonnative accents, however, faced the biggest setbacks. In one study that compared what Alexa thought it heard versus what the test group actually said, the system showed that speech from that group showed about 30 percent more inaccuracies.”
It started centuries ago, and also six months ago, when an author listed his favorite books for The New York Times, and he seemed not to know that women have been writing books for – yes – centuries. Then came the #ReadMoreWomen hashtag. At Electric Lit, “in light of that simple mission statement — read more women — we’re launching a new series, which we’re thinking of as a stripped-down, feminist version of ‘By the Book.’ Twice a month, we’ll have some of our favorite writers — of any gender — discuss their favorite or most influential books that aren’t by men.”
The problem starts with access to audiences and continues with the way women who produce, conduct, and play music get described in the media – which ends up leaving women, including an integrated all-women’s swing group that was a direct precursor to the Freedom Riders in Mississippi, out of the histories of their eras.
“Now, you might think good riddance – critics sometimes don’t do themselves any favours. But theatre should worry about criticism’s survival.” Why? Because criticism does a lot more than sell tickets (if it does that at all). It’s important for the history and future of the theatre itself.
Whoa: “The podcast includes a raft of interviews, including one with the night watchman who let in the thieves and the first public interview with a second museum guard who was on duty that night.”
Writing consists of basically two things: idea and execution. You come up with an idea, and you figure out how to execute it in terms of style, setting, and genre. Writers are understandably protective of our ideas, but for better or worse the law only really protects execution. Unless someone is directly stealing your exact words, it is nearly impossible to prove that they took the idea. And it probably wouldn’t be a good thing if it did.
Howard Sherman: “While I don’t look forward to watching plays while holding up my mobile phone (ringer off, of course) for two hours, technology is beginning to offer ways for companies to create more immersive worlds without the construction of physical scenery. As work increasingly bursts out beyond prosceniums, augmented reality may offer possibilities to performances anywhere people can congregate, but without the need for lugging scenery into parks and playgrounds.”
Producer Richard Jordan, citing Bartlett Sher’s current Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady: “While critics enthused over Sher’s new ending, referencing it back to the issues of today, watching it play before a regular audience you felt a sense that the musical no longer gave them a pay-off. Instead, it felt as though they had been waiting more than three hours for the ‘I love you’ moment only to then be denied it – it’s not how Lerner intended this scene to play and it was surprising his estate allowed it. We should be concerned about a growing attitude that classics can be ‘fixed’ to match today’s agenda – one risks changing the very essence of the work itself.”
“In May the Morgan Art Foundation (MAF), Indiana’s representative since the 1990s and the owner of the artist’s famous Love trademark, filed a lawsuit in New York against the artist’s long-time assistant, Jamie Thomas, and an art publisher, Michael McKenzie. MAF says the pair exploited Indiana towards the end of his life, producing dubious works in his name and isolating him from friends. … Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Indiana’s estate — estimated to be worth $50m — is seeking documents to determine the extent of the artist’s assets, based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that some ‘may have been conveyed away or otherwise misappropriated or sold without due compensation’.”
The MacArthur-winning director, whose staging of Lohengrin is about to open the Bayreuth Festival, seriously proposes doing Puccini’s opera in reverse order, Acts 4 through 1. “It will work really well, from devastation to the beginning. Some people might even think it’s the way it’s supposed to happen. …You can put it on the moon or anywhere else and it’s still the same old Bohème. But how do you get to the core of this piece if not by radically transforming our ability to listen to this piece and thereby open a door to a way that we’ve never thought about it before? So if we end in Act 1, with them singing offstage with these high C’s, what a wonderful way to end an opera.”
“The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis … has created an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee, which will be charged with commissioning a Native artist to do a public artwork for the museum’s sculpture garden. … The museum’s release said the committee was formed in response to the controversy surrounding Sam Durant’s Scaffold (2012),” which was installed there last summer and them removed following protests by Dakota people.
“Five years after being tapped to lead the newly relaunched Paramount Television banner, Amy Powell is out.” Multiple individuals had complained about things Powell reportedly said about black women on a conference call about the company’s TV adaptation of The First Wives’ Club, which features a largely African-American cast.
“The poll of 600 drama, music and dance students found that more than half (51%) had experienced inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment or bullying. Nearly two thirds (73%) of those who experienced some sort of incident identified as female. … When asked if they had reported their concerns, 57% who had experienced inappropriate behaviour did not report it. Just 13% did.”
“The National Choreographers Initiative in Irvine seek[s] to emphasize the creative process and take the pressure off producing a finished, polished product. The three-week summertime workshop — now celebrating its 15th year — will culminate with a public performance July 28 … Unlike formal, completed dance productions, the show will start with four choreographers introducing their pieces, 16 dancers presenting what they’ve learned, and a question and answer session with the audience concluding the program.”
The superstar soprano and her tenor husband were to star in this weekend’s performances of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur in Baden-Baden until health authorities required them to stay away. Singers Tatiana Serjan and Migran Agadzhanyan are coming to the last-minute rescue.
“The poem ‘If’, which was written around 1895, had been painted on the wall of the university’s newly refurbished students’ union. But students [who argue that Kipling ‘dehumanised people of colour’] painted over the verses, replacing them with the 1978 poem ‘Still I Rise’ by the US poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.”
Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement. Negotiators in Germany and Sweden want all their papers published in Elsevier journals to be open access as part of any new contracts. They have said that they will not pay more than they did previously for subscriptions. But, until now, the Dutch publisher has offered other countries read-and-publish deals that cover only a small proportion of a country’s publishing output.
Comcast investors reacted favorably to the withdrawal, boosting the company’s stock 3% in morning trading, to $35.12. Disney shares also jumped, gaining 2% to $113.24. Fox, which has gained nearly 30% since early June on the bidding war, slumped nearly 2% to $45.86.