Archived entries for Arts
I made it to Park City this past weekend for my first-ever Sundance Film Festival! I have never seen so many people smushed into such a tiny town. The sliver of real estate known as Main Street is truly overrun…
Here is my friend Rhett and I with director Morgan Spurlock at the after-party for his new film “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” quite possibly the worst photo ever taken of me:
What a whirlwind of a week! Wednesday night I had the good fortune to see Jude Law in Hamlet on Broadway — a seriously hot ticket. While I tend to avoid anything associated with big name celebs, on the grounds that they must be over-commercialized, I was hugely impressed by Jude Law’s performance. (Ben Brantley at The Times wasn’t so effusive in his praise.) So many famous – and fabulous – lines in popular usage originated from Hamlet: “Brevity is the soul of wit,” being my simple favorite (and of course Hamlet’s cry to Ophelia to “Get thee to a nunnery!”). While Jude’s performance was spectacular over the 3 1/2-hour performance, it was the realer-than-life lighting design that stole the show and the contemporary touch in the costuming that tied it all together. No wonder this show’s taking in a $1 million haul each week.
From high brow Shakespeare I went a little downscale to see Rihanna at Hammerstein Ballroom. The babe of Barbados performed a quick 45-minute free promotional show that was sponsored by JetBlue and Barbados Tourism. She was actually quite a good performer, though her quick appearance seemed to miff quite a few of us (OK, so it was free…!). The best part of this show was certainly Rihanna’s clothing, which the Daily News called a “revealing outfit that didn’t quite qualify as a dress.” One less centimeter of fabric and the world’s her gynecologist.
From Mr Blue Eyes and Miss Barbados the cultural tour of New York this week proceeded uptown to the famed Apollo Theater, where my friend Andy somehow managed to get us 7th row center seats to the last weekend of Dreamgirls. It was quite simply the best show I’ve ever seen (thanks, Andy!). Not only were the singing and acting talents pretty spectacular, but the stage and lighting (if maybe a little over-the-top) combined with the most indescribable costumes and an electric crowd to produce one spectacular evening on the town. The star of the show was surely the costumes — some 580 of them, created by William Ivey Long. If he doesn’t get a Tony for their not-so-subtle contribution to an incredible show, I’d be shocked.
Went to a very cool event in NYC last night — the AIGA Design Legends Gala — what a blast. It wasn’t called Design Legends without good reason: Pablo Ferro was there to receive the night’s top honor — he is like a god in that crowd. I can’t imagine another audience so rapt (though Jim Jones springs to mind!).
And with Jenny and Fiona…trying to look happy:
The controversial public sculpture “Device to Root Out Evil,” has picked up and left its home in cosmopolitan Vancouver for the Glenbow Museum in ho-hum Calgary (“And people keep trying to call Vancouver a world-class city,” a snarky blogger says). It’s hard to say whether the massive piece of art was more controversial with the religious right or the yuppies of Coal Harbour, many of whom decried the sculpture for blocking their views (incredibly difficult to believe). Either way, it’s sad to see it go.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the annual Poetry & The Creative Mind gala at Lincoln Center. It’s always one of the best cultural events of the year, with celebs like Jonathan Demme, Meryl Streep, and Katie Couric reading their favorite poems in support of the Academy of American Poets. This year’s best reader was certainly jazz singer Dianna Reeves, while the best poem was also the simplest one, E.E. Cummings’ “Maggie and Milly and Molly and May,” read by Katie Couric (whose 51-year-old skin looked great!):
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
In one of my fav quotes, the famed Halberstam once said, “Memory is often less about the truth than about what we want it to be.”
Last night I attended Poetry and the Creative Mind at Lincoln Center, the excellent annual benefit for the Academy of American Poets. Last year’s event was great, but this year was even better thanks to a truly stellar reading by Lauren Bacall — who didn’t look a day under 120 — of Dorothy Parker’s “Just A Little One,” a hilarious satire on romance. Though she broke the rules of the American poet-only event by reading what is more like a short story, her delivery was truly amazing. I left in awe of her.
Well, I don’t know Fred – what are you going to have?
Then I guess I’ll have a highball, too; please, just a little one.
Is it really real Scotch?
Well that will be a new experience for me.
You ought to see the Scotch I’ve got home in my cupboard.
At least it was in the cupboard this
morning – it’s probably eaten its way out by now.
Glen Close and Ethan Hawke were among the other celebrity readers, but Patrick Wilson (right) definitely was the most jaw-dropping eye candy of the night.
I picked the right weekend to come to Rochester: the weather has been spectacular, and I’ve been able to go out and reshoot many of the architecture photos I took four years ago. The shot to the right is from this afternoon on the west facade of the George Eastman House, aka the International Museum of Photography and Film. The museum has a fabulous exhibit going on right now of David Seymour photos.
While in Rochester I’ve been able to spend plenty of time checking out my favorite old haunts: Spin Caffe, Spot Coffee, Cibon, Esan Thai, Tilt, a very sad Muther’s, and a new joint I’m in love with: Solera, a wine bar in the emerging South Wedge part of town.
The more things change in Rochester…the more they stay the same. One thing I always find weird about visiting western New York is that the faces don’t seem to change much. The same people I saw in bars seven years ago are still the same ones I saw last night!
Last night my friend Chris and I went to the Golden Trailer Awards, a show that claims to be the Oscars of movie previews. We went for the open bar, and a possible glimpse at celebs. We got the former but certainly not the latter. The crowd was pure, stereotypical LA: within a few minutes we’d been approached by a man asking us who we were and what our connection to the film industry was. We told the truth (no one; no connection, we came for the booze) and the man quickly moved along to mingle with others.
A few minutes later a film producer came by and pushed herself into our conversation. By then we’d gotten a little smarter and decided to say that we had a real movie connection: Chris acted in a little-known Singaporean film (or was it a documentary about gay Orthodox Jews?). It sounded safe, she bought it, and we kept her attention for a while. The conversation finally progressed beyond ‘who are you and why are you here?’ Needless to say it was a pretty shallow crowd so we promptly bolted to Fatty Crab for pork bellies and fatty duck (I did not do the ordering, thank you very much).
Last night I checked out the off-Broadway hit musical, Altar Boyz. The show about a Christian boy band making their NYC debut was absolutely hilarious, and I don’t recall laughing so hard in recent memory. The boyz (Matthew, Mark, Luke and Juan, plus the Jewish Abraham) were attractive truly talented singers, belting out fun songs like “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone,” and “Girl, You Make Me Want to Wait.”
For serious fans of the show, like Joan Rivers and Cynthia Nixon, there’s even a web site, Altarholics.
I am not usually one to pass up free tickets to anything, let alone all-access VIP tickets, so over the weekend my friend Chris and I checked out the Gen Art Film Festival here in New York. The festival had some questionable films, but the real entertainment was at their nightly open-bar afterparties, held at various clubs around Manhattan.
We checked out the party at Happy Valley (27th and Fifth), where, above the bar, is a pair of women’s legs – spread just so as to make a touch of irony out of the club’s name. The legs run the length of the room and when Chris and I, sober, looked up and noticed them, we knew we were in the wrong place. But no matter, it was an open bar, so we persisted.
The film festival clearly takes the term “open bar” loosely- vodka and Stella Artois, that’s it. And they had the gall to run out by the time we sidled up to the bar for our third drink! Another bit of false advertising: they claimed the parties would be “celeb-studded” but we were the only stars we saw there.
Last night at Poetry & the Creative Mind, the annual benefit of the Academy of American Poets, I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with Gloria Vanderbilt – a.k.a. mother of my future ex-husband, Anderson Cooper. She truly is timeless; she doesn’t look a day over 120. Her face was so tight and so lifted it was like she was blinking with her lips. Clearly she’s ‘gone to Arizona,’ as they say, once or twice, or maybe three or four times.
The event featured ten well-known figures–including Wynton Marsalis, Mike Wallace, and Alan Alda–reading their most beloved poems. Meryl Streep was a show-stopper, not because of her rapturous selections, but because she fell on stage as she was being introduced. She caught the lip of her chair just as she went to be seated, and it was all downhill from there.
I’m a stickler for grammar, so this New York Times headline made me laugh.
I’m not sure what to make of San Francisco’s new de Young Museum, which opened last weekend. But I know I’m not in love. The building’s exterior is rather bland, an uninspired large metal box with a hunk of a tower placed at one end (tower pictured below). That tower, with its unobstructed vistas of the city and the bay, is certainly the most appealing part of the new museum. But unfortunately, on the day I visited, San Francisco was socked in by fog (surprise). The inside of the museum is awkwardly chopped up, though it does boast fine details including some pretty amazing wood flooring, a hint of which is pictured in the photo below.
Edmonton is pinning its downtown renaissance on a new art museum — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — created in the style of Frank Gehry, by one the controversial architect’s proteges. The Edmonton Art Gallery, which is changing its name to the Art Gallery of Alberta, yesterday unveiled its expensive heap of twisted metal and wavy glass that looks strikingly similar to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, — again, stop me if you’ve heard this story before — the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Opponents of the project are already lining up for a fight. Letters to a local newspaper have called the new gallery everything from a “half-peeled potato” to a “poor man’s Gehry.” L.A.-based architect Randall Stout said of his building, “I think you can certainly look at this and think about the notion of the river running through Edmonton. And you can look at this and think of the northern lights.” Or something like that.
A member of the selection panel balked at criticisms and told the press, “We have produced an iconic piece of architecture, which will help put Edmonton on the map, culturally, architecturally, and as a place to visit.” (Let’s hope so — they call it “Dedmonton” for a reason.)
Here are a few snaps in and around Millennium Park in Chicago. The expansive space features some of the most impressive public art America has ever seen including the Crown Fountain and its two 50-foot high glass block towers onto which are projected the faces of Chicagoans, and the highly-polished, cityscape-reflecting stainless steel “Cloud Gate.”
Last night I walked down a quieting Boylston Street and thought I was in San Francisco. We’ve been having the most bizarre weather for days in Boston: it’s been West-Coast foggy and drizzly all week. And today I came across this very dark painting at South End Open Studios, which so reminded me of the dank, colorlessness of this week.