March 19, 2010

Cultural Caviar

10 Picks for the Week

Sondheim on Sondheim
This musical revue dedicated to legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim”€”starring Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, and Tom Wopat”€”blends fifty years of archival footage with live performances and tantalizing excerpts from Sondheim interviews. Better yet: it’s all on fifty-two plasma screens. “€œI wanted to give people a sense of what it’s like to spend an evening with him,”€ director and longtime Sondheim collaborator James Lapine told Vanity Fair.  

The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour
Proof that Twitter can revive your career? Or that NBC should never have gone with Leno? Funnyman Conan O”€™Brien announced his 30-city tour last week via Twitter”€”where else? Tickets sold out instantly; but if his tour is anything like his last couple weeks on NBC (and/or his Twitter feed), they”€™ll be worth the 300 bucks it takes to get them on eBay. 

The Whitney Biennial
The seventy-fifth edition of the Whitney’s signature exhibition”€”simply titled 2010“€”curated by Italian-born, Francesco Bonami, who helped put together the Rudolph Stingel retrospective at the Whitney in 2007, is a snapshot of the state of art. 2010 balances a mix of established, and emerging artists; ranging in media from painting, and sculpture to photography, and installation. In order to underscore the theme of time, and the impact of the past, an accompanying collection of artists from previous Biennials has also been installed. 

HBO debuts The Pacific
Call it The Hurt Locker effect, but this second World War II mini-series from Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks is absolutely mesmerizing. The ten-part series centers on three real-life members of the First Marine Division, two of whom wrote memoirs on which the script is based, and follows the Marines on then-unknown, now famous battlegrounds in Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Cape Gloucester, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Trust us, it’s epic. 

Intelligence Squared: The Future of News
Has the blogosphere taken over from serious journalists? What is the future of news? Tune-in to the live online podcast on March 24th or get tickets and go in person at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London to hear a panel discussion between: AA Gill, Andrew Neil, David Elstein, Claire Enders, Turi Munthe, Matthew Parris, and Jacob Weisberg. 

Air at the Disney Concert Hall
The concert anyone who’s interested in electronic music should get tickets for is the French band Air. They are playing in New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, San Diego, and Oakland, but we recommend seeing them on their last night in America, March 28, at the Frank Gehry designed Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. 

Museum of Everything Turin, Italy
The unexpected darling of last Fall’s Frieze Art Fair in London was the Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill. Dedicated to outsider art, the museum’s exhibition, including the works of Henry Darger and other well-known outsider artists, is taking its show on the road. It opens at the Pinacoteca Giovanni and Marella Agnelli in Turin on March 31, to a gaggle of art world and society swells.

Letters by J.D. Salinger
In honor (or perhaps in spite) of the reclusive author, who died earlier this year, The Morgan Library & Museum is holding a pair of exhibitions featuring letters Salinger wrote to Michael Mitchell, the man he commissioned to create the dust jacket for Catcher In The Rye. The letters”€”on exhibition for the first time ever”€”are as funny and self-deprecating as his novels, and reveal many sides of the man behind Holden Caulfield’s personality: his thoughts on marriage, travel, work, and of course, his self-imposed social isolation. 

Hot Tub Time Machine
Starring John Cusack and Daily Show alum Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine is this year’s idiotic male-bonding flick. In the vein of last year’s popular hit The Hangover, this film is probably as bad as it is good, and will likely amuse all of us who loved the 80s.  

Winter Music Conference
Probably the most important stateside event on the dance music calendar takes place in Miami every year, and this spring marks the 25th anniversary of the conference. Between March 23rd and 27th, cruise around all the major hotels listening to bands and DJs while hobnobbing with industry insiders. Our picks: The WMC Kick-off with Disco Villains and Tommie Sunshine; Oui! Bang @ Cameo with Busy P, DJ Mehdi, Annie Mac, Surkin, Brodinski, Feadz, Joakim, Krazy Baldhead; DJ Mag @ The Shelborne (poolside) with Luciano, Loco Dice, Martin Buttrich (live) & Reboot; and Pete Tong’s Pool Party @ Surfcomber Hotel with Pete Tong, Steve Lawler, Kaskade, James Zabiela, Mark Knight, Tiefschwarz, Chuckie, Afrojack, Joris Voorn, Aeroplane vs Disco 3000, Heidi, Nervo.

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