November 2018


“Home,” by the Gibney Dance Company at The Theater, November 16, 2018

Both “Imprint Ghosts” and “Menagerie” were world premieres. “Menagerie,” the second piece, is described as a “strange or diverse collection of people or things in a household unit.” It was also said to be made for 6 dancers; 5 roses, 4 FREEDAS, 3 hundred unicorns, 2 co-creators and 1 home. I have no idea what a FREEDA is nor, beyond the dancers, did I see any of the other items. What I observed was a self-indulgent work with a group of dancers in black lace tops moved around with devices that vaguely resembled ironing boards and metal poles. I feared for their safety—might the man who thrust his head through the “machine” get stuck?
Decorative Arts

L’École Returns to Inspire New Yorkers

The knowledge fairy of L'École School of Jewelry Arts is dazzling New York City with a special, memorable experience through a two and half weeks selection of courses, conversations, and exhibitions at the Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street. The three exhibitions — “Daniel Brush: Cuffs and Necks,” “Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur,” and “The Fabulous Destiny of Tavernier’s Diamonds: From the Great Mogul to the Sun King” — are free to the public.

Inside the Wild Heart by Group.BR. Closing November 18, 2018.

I’d be very much inclined to discuss this fascinating, moving, strange—and important—two hours of immersive theater, spread across some twenty spaces from the first to the third floor (as well as a mezzanine) of a townhouse not far from Gramercy Park, but it is supposed to close on November 18, and I feel I owe it to its creators and our readers to get the word out. This magical spectacle has been over three years in development, and I’m sure the organizers, Group.BR, led by Artistic Director Andressa Furletti would like as many people as possible to see the fruit of their hard work and curious imaginations.

Works & Process Rotunda Project at the Guggenheim: Michelle Dorrance with Nicholas Van Young

A visit to the Guggenheim Museum usually involves walking up or down (I vote for top down) the winding ramp viewing art.  Last night spectators lined the ramps to watch Michelle Dorrance and a group of black-clad performers push wooden platforms across the floor and make sounds by hitting the top of the ramp with sticks—sticks that made sounds but nonetheless sticks.
Musical Theater

Hidden Gems from Broadway Close Up at the Kaufman Music Center

If you’re going to take a tour of Broadway musical theater numbers, you could find no better guide than Sean Hartley. Hartley, the host of the performance, is the director of the Theater@Kaufman, the musical theater division of Kaufman Music Center. He knows the history and entertaining ins and outs of the genre and presented them with insight and wit. On top of that, he can sing as he ably demonstrated in Anyone Can Whistle from the show of that name by Stephen Sondheim.
Coming Up and Of Note

TRANSFIGURATION RETURNS! On November 15 at 7:30 at Theatre Row as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival

Plays, which happen in real time amidst a live audience who have assembled at a specific time to experience the performance, are inextricably interwoven with events and ideas of the moment. Austin Pendleton, for example, devised his brilliant conflation of Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III (to return to the stage at the Theater for a New City, December 3, 4, 5) in the shadow of the botched U.S. election of 2016 and installation of criminal elements in the highest tiers of government. This kind of inspiration is anything but uncommon.
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