Archive for March, 2012

Theater review: AN ILIAD

March 30, 2012

My review of Denis O’Hare (above) in his adaptation AN ILIAD, directed by Lisa Peterson, has just been posted on Check it out here and let me know what you think.  The show has been extended through Sunday April 1 at New York Theater Workshop.

Photo diary: a stroll through MOMA

March 30, 2012

Seeing decades of Cindy Sherman self-portraits in such profusion surprisingly increases my admiration for her. The transformations, especially involving crazy makeup and wigs and costumes, make them impressively theatrical. My favorites are the clowns, a logical and witty extension of her more grotesque experiments.

The “Exquisite Corpse” show has very little to do with the Surrealist-spawned parlor game among artists and a lot to do with artistic rendering of body distortions. I encountered some intriguing artists new to me (Andre Racz, above is his “The Flesh Fly”) and surprising pieces by old favorites (a fascinating multimedia collage by Jean Cocteau, below).

These smartphone pix of Paul Wunderlich’s delicate drawing  “Chair Man” (above) and Kenyan artist Wangenchi Mutu’s multimedia piece “One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack” (below), which hangs right outside the “Exquisite Corpse” show, don’t do them justice — worth checking out in person.

Quote of the day: COMPASSION

March 30, 2012


True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.

— Pema Chodron

In this week’s New Yorker

March 28, 2012

Hilton Als lets us know that he loves Jesus, the same way Patti Smith does, but boy, does he not love Des McAnuff’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway.

Rebecca Mead provides a coolly factual portrait of Christine Quinn, who may well be the next mayor of New York City.

David Sedaris writes a Personal History essay about his favorable experience with socialized medicine (specifically his dentist) in France, in contrast to current American preconceptions: “One thing that puzzled me during the American health-care debate was all the talk about socialized medicine and how ineffective it’s supposed to be. The Canadian plan was likened to genocide, but even worse were the ones in Europe, where patients languished on filthy cots, waiting for aspirin to be invented.”

But the highlight of the issue by far is “The Transition,” an excerpt from the great Lyndon B. Johnson biographer Robert A. Caro’s next volume microscopically detailing the events of the morning of November 22, 1963. Even though the outline of that infamous day in American history is known to one and all, not so well-known aspects to the story are:  the brewing financial scandal LBJ was facing (quickly squashed when he became president), exactly how miserably he hated being Vice President, what happened inside the cars in the presidential motorcade in Dallas, how delicately thoughtful and solicitous LBJ was of Jackie Kennedy, and all the logistical details that led up to his being sworn in after the assassination. A must-read.

Then there’s the cover by George Booth, titled “Rite of Spring.” As Andy noted, what the hell are we supposed to think is going on here?

Playlist: iPod shuffle, 3/28/12

March 28, 2012

“The Bad in Each Other,” Feist
“Cold War,” Janelle Monae
“I Feel It All,” Feist
“Best Friends, Right?” Amy Winehouse
“Took You Two Years to Win My Heart,” Final Fantasy
“Dreamworld: Marco De Canaveses,” David Byrne & Caetano Veloso
“A Thousand Kisses Deep,” Leonard Cohen
“Il Pleure Dan Mon Coeur,” Dawn Upshaw
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” Euan Morton (Taboo OCR)
“Soft,” Lemon Jelly
“Bewitched,” Daniel Barnett and Richard Sisson (The History Boys OST)
“Electric Chapel,” Lady GaGa
“Rigoletto: Scena Ed Aria, Gualtier Malde & Caro Nome,” Joan Sutherland
“Gotta Have Someone,” Teddy Thompson
“Warm,” the Four Freshmen

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