Shop til you Drop

Happy Black Friday everyone!  Actually, considering it starts earlier each year, I’m probably already late to the party…

Anyway, Lithuanian composer Lina Lapelyte‘s opera, Have a Good Day!, sung by a line-up of frustrated store clerks, seems appropriate for this most American of holidays…


It premiered in 2012 in Lithuania by Operamanija, and is coming to New York in January 2014, in the second annual Prototype Opera Festival, with several other exciting premieres…  Check out the rest of their offerings, and get your tickets now for this exciting new indie opera tradition…

Too Hot to Handel

It was a good week for Händel fans in New York, with the 1720 Radamisto at Juilliard and the Mark Morris Dance Group‘s setting of his 1740 oratorio L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at the White Light Festival.

Radamisto at Juilliard

Radamisto at Juilliard, photo by Ruby Washington

I was lucky enough to see both, starting with Radamisto on Wednesday.  The New York Times review doesn’t do it justice in my opinion, I guess I have a high tolerance for nonstop da capo arias…  And the performers were all great, very impressive.  Since then I’ve been reliving it with this full performance from Salzburg in 2002.


L’Allegro’s premiere at La Monnaie in 1988

As for L’Allegro, etc., I learned last night that it was created when Mark Morris was choreographer in residence at La Monnaie, the opera house in Brussels.  And since they have such a great digital archive, I was able to find photographs and costume designs from the premiere performance; even as still images, they bring back the joy of the performance, so lovely.

Here’s a featurette on  L’Allegro, etc. (is there some acronym for this?  LAIPEIM?) from MMDG themselves.


Heres Comes Love Again

To raise money for Typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines, the cast of Here Lies Love, the concept album cum disco musical by David Byrne of Talking Heads and Fatboy Slim, will reconvene for one night this coming Monday, Nov. 25th, at Terminal 5 in New York.  Tickets are $58 (including handling fees) and all proceeds go to Doctors without Borders.

Here Lies Love poster

Here Lies Love poster

The show is about Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos and her rise to power and fall from grace, and this reunion benefit concert was apparently suggested by the mostly Philippine cast.  If you missed it the first time, here’s your charitable second chance.

Consider donating to Doctors without Borders or other relief efforts too.

OK! on PBS

1953 Oklahoma Poster

1953 mail order form for Oklahoma! revival (from the NYPL Digital Archives)

The last musical theater installment in PBS‘ Arts Fall Festival is Rodger & Hammerstein‘s 1943 musical, Oklahoma!, in a performance from the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, originally from 1998, featuring singin’, dancin’ Wolverine (aka, Hugh Jackman).  9pm this Friday.

Al Hirschfeld Oklahoma! illustration

Al Hirschfeld caricature of 1969 Oklahoma! revival cast (from the NYPL Digital Archives)

Found this great Al Hirschfeld caricature of the 1969 revival cast on the NYPL Digital Archives, which reminds me that the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has an exhibit on Hirschfeld’s theater illustrations up through January 4th.  Definitely worth checking out, he’s a fun one.

I’ll leave you with the one song I know how to play on the piano which happens to be from Oklahoma!  From the 1955 technicolor movie, with Gordon MacRae:


Brooklyn Invasion

Pardon my absence, school is kicking into high gear, but when I learned about this I figured I needed to post about it!  Tonight at 6, at Columbia University’s Butler Library, is the last event in the year’s graphic novels series of programs, with three preeminent indie cartoonists from Brooklyn:

Comics Event at Columbia University, Nov. 13, 2013Maybe see you there?  Maybe if I get enough work done today  😛


Three’s Company

Sondheim's Company 1970 Playbill

Premiere 1970 Company Playbill

The PBS Arts Fall Festival‘s next musical theater offering is tomorrow at 9 pm, and its Stephen Sondheim‘s 1970 musical on bachelorhood Company as performed by the New York Philharmonic in 2011.


The latest news about Company is that Sondheim’s working on a revised version (possibly for the Roundabout Theater Company) that would make the central bachelor, Bobby, a gay man juggling three boyfriends instead of three girlfriends.  Much as I like the man-on-man action, it strikes me as a case of too-much-playing-to-your-audience, and besides, they’d be taking 4 great roles away from women to men…  But I guess it’ll be an interesting experiment if nothing else…

The NY Phil will be presenting another Sondheim musical this season, Sweeney Todd in March 2014, with the curious opera/movie star pairing of Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson.  Get your tickets here.

Kirby PopUp Museum

A Kickstarter-funded temporary pop-up location for the Hoboken-based Jack Kirby Museum is up and running this week at 176 Delancey Street in Manhattan, with exhibits, events, and even a scanner for you to digitize any Kirby art you may happen to own!  It’s up through next Monday, the 11th.

It’s a home-coming for the museum, since Kirby grew up on the Lower East Side himself, later creating an autobiographical comic of his childhood there called Street Code.  The museum has a great post about the history of Street Code, an unique part of his oeuvre as Kirby’s only self-produced autobio story.

Jack Kirby, Street Code spread

Kirby’s Street Code

I remember seeing Street Code at MoCCA’s 2010 Neo-Integrity exhibit, and it’s an amazing alternative account of that moment in the city’s history; a bit jarring because of the superhero-ish qualities of Kirby’s art, but incredibly dynamic and full of details.

The original Kickstarter‘s purpose was to remodel a storefront in the Lower East Side to create a local hub for rotating pop-up events, and the Jack Kirby Museum is their tenant for this week.