“In the 15th and 16th centuries in Western Europe, the oldest published recipe collections emanated from the palaces of monarchs, princes, and grandes señores. … Gradually, technology broadened cookbooks’ intended audiences … [and,] in time, as new ideas formed about equality, democracy, and social stratification, presenting certain books as best suited for rich or for poor was no longer considered effective marketing, but culinary literature nonetheless has borne class markers for as long as it has existed.”
As literary scholar Grant Shreve argues, themes, characters, and memes from the Bible are everywhere in American culture, even in 2017. (Besides, he says, knowing your Bible might have helped you figure out what the hell was going on in mother!.)
In Part II of an extended profile of the new-music powerhouse (see Part I here), Allan Kozinn gives an overview of the now-renowned composers and ensembles that Bang on a Can spawned and/or nurtured – not to mention a record label, a summer festival (popularly referred to as “Banglewood”), an educational program, and an avant-garde marching band – and considers the changes that the Bangers wrought in the entire U.S. musical ecosystem.
Antonia Fraser: “I did something I’ve never done before. I scribbled some notes on a page from one of Harold’s yellow legal pads because I was waiting for a taxi to go to Mass, and too lazy to go upstairs. … When I had written the note, I stripped off the yellow page. Then I nearly fainted. Beneath lay Harold’s unforgettable handwriting – although rather frail – and a title: ‘The Pres and the Officer’. Six pages followed, his handwriting getting noticeably stronger.” (includes complete script)
These companies tap into our emotional longing for simpler times; even Socrates yearned for the days before this new-fangled technology called “reading” ruined everything (paywall). Never content with the cards we’ve been dealt, we keep on turning old ones over, wanting to escape into their familiar embrace.
“Closed captioning is widely but not unfailingly available in theaters; that should improve by next summer, when all theaters showing digital movies must comply with a new federal rule under the Americans With Disabilities Act. As for performers, ask people to name deaf movie actors — or films about deaf people starring deaf people — and you’ll probably get exactly one name and title: Marlee Matlin, who won an Oscar for her turn in “Children of a Lesser God” 30 years ago. Then, crickets.”
“These new takes on this classic of classics raise the question of whether “La Bohème” should be messed with at all. We seem to have an almost instinctive desire for this piece to remain the same, to be the opera we encountered as children. Is that something we should resist or accept?”
Jennifer Zeyl: “Theatre at its best—I’m beginning to see a pattern as an independent producer, a devised theatre-maker and a director—I think that autobiographical narrative is incredibly powerful. Talking about intersectionality and all the nuanced combination of identifiers that make one person. And how complex that is, and how unique it is, and how beautiful it is. And at a time, a political climate like we’re experiencing right now, to be able to stand in that and celebrate it and be heard and seen, I think is an act of revolution. That’s what we need right now. We really need to show up. People need to stand in their identities. That’s what actually makes America great.”
What in the WORLD, every magazine that ever bought into this: “Richardson’s aesthetic has been described as ‘sleaze fashion.’ His photos feature nudity, sexual innuendo and not-so-inventive uses of popsicles. The photographer, a wiry 52-year-old who’s often seen in thickly rimmed hipster glasses and flannel shirts, leans into his ‘pervy’ reputation, projecting a certain male fantasy of a nerd-turned-horndog.”
“It seems it is only a matter of time before there is an award for the best award – as if no Canadian author or publishing house should be left out in the cold.”
Tyler Bates, who has scored both Guardians of the Galaxy movies and a whole lot more, says, “The thing I love about film is — as nerve-racking as it is because it’s not like they give me a locked picture to score — it’s frenetic and a triathlon, but when you work with geniuses and studios that have massive investments in a property, you know what it’s like to be alive. You are running alongside failure, everyday, all the time.”
In the context of Kelly Clarkson, the inaugural winner of the show, and her new album – which is both lightly political and aimed at a casual pop listener – we can see the end of whatever unity the country was thought to possess, musically and otherwise, in 2002.
John Tiffany “argued that it is a ‘social crime’ to deny children the arts, as this prevents them from reaching their full potential.”
Ironically, the first show of The Bridge Theatre, a venture from former National Theatre head Nicholas Hytner and his former executive director, Nick Starr, is about Marx.
The decision is supposedly about fraud involving another theatre and film director, who’s also been placed under house arrest: “Investigators claimed in a statement that Apfelbaum helped Serebrennikov’s dramatic collective, Seventh Studio, obtain 214 million rubles ($3.7 million) in state funding by providing falsified documents.”
Chiang was an educator, an activist, and a poet. “Chiang’s poetry — sometimes serene, sometimes angry and sometimes written in all lowercase letters — reflected her anxieties as a first-generation Chinese-American, her desire to etch Asian culture into American society, her involvement with organizations in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side, and her multiple reckonings with breast cancer over nearly a quarter-century.”
One of the actors from the show, which is about workplace sexual harassment (and more): “I know we’re talking about TV, but it was sort of a microcosm of what was going on. … We thought we had it in the bag. There’s no way [Trump’s] going to win. There’s no way we’re getting canceled. That happened, and that happened, and it was like … we’re really operating against some crazy forces right now.”
That’s right, a dance of oral history: “‘Sit, Eat, Chew’ also staged performances in a private apartment, a restaurant, a public park, and a museum. The stories — told in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and through movement — were culled from interviews with senior citizens and local youth. The project, born out of a desire to share oral histories from Manhattan’s Chinatown residents with the public in an engaging way, was funded through a Kickstarter campaign as well as several nonprofit and city and state grants.”
“Bouvier, who is Swiss, made his reputation as a businessman involved with freeports, the largely tax-free storage depots where wealthy collectors now store so many of their treasures.” But he’s battling in courtrooms across the world, including against a Russian billionaire who claims Bouvier committed fraud.
The campaign puts Black Londoners into famous movie posters, including Harry Potter. The recast posters will be going up in London’s Brixton neighborhood. “Black kids can be wizards too,” says the young woman playing Hermione in the posters.
Or Deaf audiences, for that matter – though next year, all theatres using digital projection must comply with closed captioning rules. Things were better before movies became “talkies”: “Deaf and hearing audiences could delight equally in silent films. What’s more, deaf actors appeared frequently.”
Hmmm. “Although we have no intention of functioning as an investigative body or moral court, we do have a right and duty as a voluntary association to maintain clear standards of workplace behavior for those we accept as members.” (So are Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby the next to go?)
Make that “The Arts District,” since the artists are getting booted.
But he never got it. And by the way, he is a super normal dude who teaches biology and has four kids.
This may as well be a mantra in the dance world. We have become entrenched in the Darwinian notion that the emotionally weak will be weeded out. There is no room for them anyway.