April 25, 2010

10 Picks for the Week

Marriage of Figaro, Lisbon, April 24 – May 8
Mozart’s great comedy opens at El Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon. The magnificent 18th century theater is in the historic Chiado district. If you are longing for romance, go see this Figaro with the Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra, directed by Julia Jones. The opera is based on the controversial Beaumarchais play,  originally banned in Vienna. The salacious story is a classic one can hardly see too many times. With all the eavesdropping, intrigue, and deception you won”€™t be too far from reality TV world, but you won’t be a total philistine either.

Come Fly Away
This new Broadway musical is a thrilling romance set to the music of Frank Sinatra. Choreographed by Emmy- and Tony-award winner Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away is a knock-your-socks-off big band extravaganza hailed as “€œthe sexiest show on Broadway.”€ The New York Times calls it “€œspectacular and dazzling”€. Don”€™t miss this Broadway baby on at the Marquis Theater through September.


Sexuality and transcendence, PinkchukArtCentre, Kiev, April 24 –
September 10

How weird can you get? Eckhard Schneider, former director of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, curates a group show of international contemporary artists in the Ukrainian capital exploring human sexuality. Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Jan Fabre, Cindy Sherman, Paul McCarthy, Boris Mikhailov, and the collective AES+F come together in this unique exhibition that spills out into the market place opposite, in which AES+F have created an installation among the stalls of fish, fruit, and flowers.

Tribeca Film Festival, April 21 – May 2
The Robert De Niro-founded festival in Lower Manhattan, now in its eighth year, opened with 3D bonanza Shrek Forever After last Wednesday , and will close with the much-hyped film retelling of best-seller (and New York Times  column) Freakonomics, but don”€™t wait until the last minute to get your tickets”€”there is much to be seen in between. Catch the pitch-perfect Parks and Recreation vet Rashida Jones exercise her dramatic chops in the creepy and voyeuristic Monogamy and the freshly critically-acclaimed Sons of Perdition, about a group of teenage boys who left their polygamous community behind. Other treats: transgender revenge-fantasy (and obviously picket-line inducing) Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives and the poignant Down Syndrome-sweethearts of Monica & David. Can”€™t make it? Never fret. The Twitterati will keep you posted with up-to-the minute film reactions and celebrity sightings. 

Lee Bontecou: All Freedom in Every Sense, MoMA, New York, April 16 – August 30
Bontecou’s five year hiatus from the art world comes to an end with her new retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Setting sculpture into motion, Bontecou’s whirling galaxy of forms, orbs, and sections of wire mesh conjure an array of associations”€”a planet, a satellite, an eye, and a blowfish or other primordial-looking sea creature.

The Losers
Sure, this action film about a double-crossed elite special forces unit hasn”€™t been critically acclaimed or even swung big at the box office (DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon is hard to beat”€”after all, kids rule in Hollywood), but The Losers“€™ cast alone should be enough to get you to the theater. Namely, The Wire‘s Idris Elba, who brings his edgy, dark demeanor to the team’s hothead and, in doing so, further cements his reputation as a thespian of all genres. Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Death at a Funeral‘s Zoe Saldana round out the bad-ass eye-candy; and future Captain America Chris Evans tops as the funnyman, smack-talking Jensen. Not too shabby for a pre-summer popcorn flick.

Michael Jackson, Meet Cirque du Soleil
The King of Pop may have been close to broke when he died, but if so, the executors of his estate are certainly making up for it now. The latest in extending MJ’s legacy (and moolah)? A series of projects produced in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, a reality TV show tied to a concert-style touring production and a permanent Cirque-show in Las Vegas akin built around the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Budding dancers, listen close: the reality show will serve as a platform for discovering a choreographer to help develop the touring and permanent shows: think Kate Gosselin meets Simon Cowell, only better”€”we hope. One person who won”€™t be watching? Jackson’s father, Joe. “€œThat’s something else,”€ he told PopEater. “€œI won”€™t see it.”€

American Idiot on Broadway
Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley… and now Green Day. In what could have been a messier, cheesier album-to-musical adaptation then Mamma Mia (we don”€™t care how much that grosses), American Idiot galvanizes and intensifies its own version of the post-adolescent crisis story, fiercely so. The New York Times proclaimed American Idiot “€œthrillingly raucous and gorgeously wrought.”€ Takimag fave Neil Patrick Harris tweeted in agreement: “Thrashing and twitching, sweating and spit. Powerful stuff. Go!” ‘Nuff said.

Dead or Alive, Museum of Art and Design, New York, April 27 – October 24
This exhibition showcases the work of over 30 artists from around the globe who use organic material to create sculptures and installations. Made of fathers, bones, insects, plant materials, silkworm cocoons, and hair, artists including Nick Cave, Tessa Famer, Damian Hirst, Shen Shaomin, and Jennifer Angus have created site-specific installations for the show. The exhibit is part of an ongoing exploration by the museum to remix the ordinary. Strange, beautiful, and very eco-friendly.

Taylor 2
Last week, the 1.2.3 Festival at the Joyce Theater in New York highlighted three junior troupes”€”the outstanding gem of which is Taylor 2, led by Paul Taylor and rehearsal director Ruth Andrien, whose dancers perform with purpose and gumption. Where weak choreography and lack of experience were the pitfalls of Ailey II and ABT II, respectively, the fearless talent Taylor 2’s budding young dancers brought to the stage was”€”and is”€”unmatched. (Perhaps short of legendary alum Twyla Tharp.) Catch future performances of this anything-but-junior group in New York, Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.


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