Posted in #Roundabout, adaptation, adoption, Andrew Orkin, based on a play, based on Chekhov, Chekhov, Chekhov interpretations, classic, Classic Stage Company, Conor McPherson, drama, dysfunction, Emerging Directors, Ibsen, Ibsen adaptation, Jeff Blumenkranz, love, love story, melancholy, Norwegian playwright, play, Shariffa Ali, Shariffa Chilemo Ali, storytelling, Strindberg, Strindberg adaptation, Victoria Clark, Yael Farber

Modernist Classics

Tony-winner Victoria Clark (for Light In The Piazza) was in the short-lived Broadway run of Gigi

Like our friends Chekhov and Ibsen, August Strindberg invites reinvention, interpretation and re-interpretation. Strindberg’s brooding psychological themes have not had as much stage time as those of his contemporary.**

Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg are modern playwrights, in the sense that Freud is modern. Our preception of the inner workings of the soul and its desires have all been clarified in their work.

We are introduced to characters, conflicts and situations which have us wondering what if? We search for their outcomes and new resolutions for them. Hence the tendency for contemporary writers to rephrase and update Ibsen, or Anton Chekhov or, now especially, August Strindberg.

In the upcoming Classic Stage Company double-bill in repertory, Conor McPerson and Yaël Farber rework two Strindberg pieces, Dance of Death and Miss Julie. This Strindberg celebration runs from January 15th through March 10th at the CSC’s theatre on East 13th Street.

Farber’s Mies Julie resets the play to the Karoo of South Africa, adding a new dimension to the social conflicts in the original. Mies Julie is directed by Shariffa Ali who brings enlightened and empassioned humanitarian activism into the play’s broader themes.

Victoria Clark is helming the production of McPherson’s interpretation of Dance of Death. You surely know her as a Broadway musical star, who won a Tony for her lead in The Light In the Piazza, and was a nominee for four of her other outings. Lately, Ms. Clark has been directing musicals and operas around the country. She brings her sense of the lyricism in words to Strindberg’s brutal vision of a marriage in decline.

** (Strindberg’s Miss Julie, for instance, was last seen at the Roundabout in 2007 with Jonny Miller and Sienna Miller, although an off-Broadway production of his lesser-known The Pelican was produced in 2016.)

Advertisements
Posted in 2001, academia, ambition, arts and events, award winning, ballet, balletic, boys, boys and girls, dance, dance making, dancing, Ellen Robbins, girls, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, lessons, music, narration, new work, performance works, teens, young cast, youth

Ah, youth

Photo © Lina Dahbou

Is it true that youth is wasted on the young? Perhaps not, at least this group of youngsters is making the most of their time and talents. And yes, I am a little jealous.

There is a good deal to be said for getting an early start. Youth is lithe and agile. It is a great season for dancing, Movement can be the lingua franca for the young; it is their body language as it were.

Ellen Robbins’ Dances By Very Young Choreographers at Live Arts, on January 26th and 27th, will be showcasing works by children as young as 8. The dance-makers, ranging in age from 8 to 18, study modern dance and choreography with Ms. Robbins.

The program ranges across the many styles of dance performance, from the humorous, narrative, to the lyrical. The music selections, chosen by the choreographers, include folk, jazz, classical, contemporary.

Ellen Robbins has been teaching dance sine 1966 and has received honors for her work with children. She has taught dance education at Sarah Lawrence and been on the faculties of Bennington College, the 92nd Street Y, and other distinguished institutions. In 2001, Dances By Very Young Choreographers was on the program at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

After the matinee on January 26th, there will be an evening concert by the Alumni of Dances by Very Young Choreographers, which presents work by dancers who studied with Robbins from 1982 to 2016.  

Posted in based on a novel, based on a play, cheating, cinema, comedy, comedy-drama, committment, couples, film

Isle (sic) Seats

T and B sit in aisle seats at our “in-house theater” where movies are the entertainment.

Here on our little island home, we let Showtime® or Movies!® or TMC® (among others) regale us with cinema past present and future.

Serendipitous

A little tremor passed through me when I picked up the December 3rd issue of The New Yorker to find a reprint of a Nora Ephron piece from 2006. The shudder was the thrill of serendipity.

I had just seen Heartburn and here she was chatting about cooking and food. In the article, Serial Monogamy, she acknowledges that the roman à clef upon which the film is based is a thinly disguised version of her second marriage. The ups and downs and downs of this union are played out by Meryl Streep as Rachel Samstat and Jack Nicholson as her not so faithful husband, Mark Forman.

I never take serendipity lightly or for granted but frequently have no idea what to do with it. This is such a case, a reinforcement as it were of its very randomness.

Cooking

Ephron’s story stirred another chord of memory for me. My mother had been working on a Meditterean cookbook for some time. Her manuscript sits in my closet and I wonder if I should try some of her recipes.

I wonder, but mostly I feel guilty because I know I won’t make any attempt to replicate her best-loved dishes. Then, perhaps, I should just acknowledge that I am too random a cook to follow anyone’s directions. And that I am better off not messing with her signature.

Leaving a bad taste

There are few scenes of cooking in a Woody Allen feature, notably the hilarious lobster bruhaha in Annie Hall and the feasts whipped up by the title character (portrayed by Mia Farrow)  in Hannah and Her Sisters. Allen is a frequent guest in our home–not in person, of course, although I did run into him in the neighborhood once. We generally  find his movies interesting, thought-provoking, and brilliant. We have admired his genius. 

Unfortunately, Allen has had a substantial  helping of problems of late, landing in the fire for alleged sexual misconduct of a heinous variety. His films are suggestive of a guilty verdict.

For instance, I found Play It Again, Sam funny, brilliant and moving upon a recent re-viewing. Then we came to a truly objectionable  scene in which Allen and Diane Keaton appear to exalt the virtues of rape. Is there a point, beyond being outrageous to this? How does Keaton react to the impropriety of the script, I wonder?

In Manhattan, Allen’s man-child character is dating an underage, if extremely mature Mariel Hemingway. This has always made me cringe and turned me off this film, despite its many lovely images of the city, and some very smart dialogue.

Hot Water Indeed

Then there’s Hannah and Her Sisters, a wonderful study of love and relationships in their many permutations, marred  by the introduction of pedophilia. It’s brought in as a small bit in which Allen’s Mickey, a comedy writer and show runner, is battling his network–and his assistant,  played by Julie Kavner–over including a segment in which this taboo is prominent.

Really?  The presence of this in this iconic movie has fuelled and given credence to  the allegations against Woody Allen.

 We are left with a few pictures we can whole-heartedly endorse in the backlist of Allen’s output. Broadway Danny Rose may be his most romantic venture of the earlier works.

It is a critical no-no for a critic to confuse the art with the artist, of course, but the crisis challenging Allen fans looms large.  His early oevre seems to feed into the #MeToo-related issues that plague him. Thankfully, the more recent films are here for us to reaffirm his intense dedication to the art of the cinema and his astonishing talent.

Posted in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Grand Guignol, long running Broadway musical, Long running musical, Phantom, The Long Running Broadway Musical

Masked

The Phantom of the Opera logo from http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/
The Phantom of the Opera logo mask designed by Maia Björnson from http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/

Reprising our recent post regarding #PhantomFashion30, we want you to know it is not too late to catch up with the newly minted masks:

Behind the mask is a long-running– at 30+ years, in fact, the longest running– Broadway musical.

In celebration of that milestone, which occurred for The Phantom of the Opera on this past January 26th, and for the benefit of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, 30 well-loved designers are reinterpreting the iconic mask, originally designed for the production by Maria Björnson and realized by milliner Rodney Gordon.

Chloe_Gosselin[1]
by Chloe Gosselin
#PhantomFashion30 is a collaboration between the The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Bank of America and Phantom producer. Cameron Mackintosh.

The #PhantomFashion30 designers include well-loved brands and names, such as Badgley Mischka, Chloe Gosselin, and Kenneth Cole. Also tackling the design challenge are Christian Roth, Dennis Basso, Edie Parker, Eugenia Kim, Gigi Burris, Ilesteva, Isabel and Ruben Toledo,  Judith Leiber, Kendra Scott,  Lizzie Fortunato, Marchesa, Naeem Khan, Nick Graham, Nicole Miller, Pamella Roland, Paul Marlow, Rebecca Minkoff, Sachin & Babi, Sally LaPointe, Stephen Dweck, Swarovski, Tadashi Shoji, Tanya Taylor, Title of Work, Vivienne Tam, Wolk Morais, and Zang Toi.

Isabel_Toledo_color_2[1]
by Isabel Toledo
The #PhantomFashion30 designs were revealed during an exclusive invite-only event sponsored by Bank of America on Tuesday, October 30.  Beginning Wednesday, October 31, the thirty masks will then go on display at the Museum of the City of New York for 30 days.

These one of a kind creations will be up for bids during a special on-line auction from the 30th of October through November 30th, with proceeds going to Broadway Cares.

To learn more aboutThe Phantom of the Opera  please visit
http://www.phantombroadway.com/.

Posted in #benefit, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Phantom, The Long Running Broadway Musical

#PhantomFashion30

Chloe_Gosselin[1]The mask from The Phantom of the Opera is one of the more theatrical flourishes in a very theatrical musical play.

Fashion provides a kind of theatricality, too. It is fashion designers who will help The Phantom of the Opera celebrate its unprecedented 30-year milestone (hit this past January 26th) with proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

#PhantomFashion30 will have 30 well-loved designers reinterpreting the iconic mask, originally designed by the late Maria Björnson and realized by milliner Rodney Gordon, through their individual aesthetic.

Dennis_Basso[1]The #PhantomFashion30 designs will be revealed during an exclusive invite-only event sponsored by Bank of America on Tuesday, October 30. Beginning Wednesday, October 31, the 30 masks will then go on display at the Museum of the City of New York for 30 days. These one of a kind creations will be up for bids during a special on-line auction from the 30th of October through November 30th in benefit to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Isabel_Toledo_color_2[1]The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Bank of America join The Phantom producer. Cameron Mackintosh, in this celebratory and philanthropic event.

View the masks for #PhantomFashion30 at the Museum of the City of New York, from the 30th of this month through November 30th.

IMG_7775_PH29_LeadingTrio_JermeyDaniel
The principals who ushered in the 29th anniversary: Peter Jöback (The Phantom), Ali Ewoldt (Christine) and Rodney Ingram (Raoul) — and the original mask. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

It may be a good time for you to revisit The Phantom of the Opera in its long Broadway run. For more on the musical and information on tickets,  please go to
http://www.phantombroadway.com/.

Additional reporting at http://www.vevlynspen.com/2018/10/inside-their-minds-re-imagining-phantom.html

Part of this walking tour is in the theater district.

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!4v1537297895154!6m8!1m7!1sgTVm75wDT_Ds6w1ZxaprfQ!2m2!1d40.7811866728013!2d-73.94773902671807!3f275.8681!4f0!5f0.7820865974627469

It’s no secret that if you walk anywhere in New York, some interesting and unusual sight, sound and site will greet you. Midtown, no matter how familiar, always offers up a new view or two. For instance, did you know there was a lobster cart pop-up in front of Oceana, a nice dining establishment in […]

via Gadding about — SidewalkSuperBlog

Gadding about — SidewalkSuperBlog

via The magic that is a Paul Taylor Dance

It is a great loss and a sadness to hear that Paul Taylor has died at the age of 88 on August 28, 2018. His works leave us a delightful legacy.1TrusanvoecGoodePrintemps

The magic that is a Paul Taylor Dance