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Glenn's October 2012 Report

November 1, 2012

Report for The Month of October 2012







Looking-Forward to the November-Elections: Forget about Free-Speech!


Only MONEY TALKS—Courtesy of the Supreme-Court, which is not to be confused with The-Supremes


Also on The-Agenda: No More Tax-Cuts for the Rich!


Do most American-Citizens have any idea about How They Spend the Millions They Save by not paying Their-Fair-Share of the American-Tax-Burden?


One Odious-Example only becomes Generally-Apparent when Very-Rich-People die & have the Remnants of their Interior-Decoration-Follies put-up for Auction at Christie’s


Who would want to buy these Badly-Faded-Floral-Patterned-Drapes?


Who would want to bid on this tiny Red-Balloon-Dog by Jeff Koons?


Why didn’t the Heirs to their Estates donate these Arty-Horrors to the Salvation-Army?


Or give them directly to the Homeless


How many Millions or Billions do the One-Per-Centers really Need in order to Get-By?


Whatever they may have heard at Temple Emanu-El or Grace-Church, all those Stuffed-Poodles & Calico-Duvets will not follow them into Heaven!


Count Leo Tolstoi has already dealt with the Vexing-Question of How Much Land Does a Man Need?


Only a Plot measuring 6”x6”x3”…


As the Metaphor-Merchant says, It is easier for a Louis-Vuitton-Trunk to go through the Eye-of-a-Needle than it is for a Rich-Man’s Tax-Accountant to enter into Heaven





At the Frick: Mantegna-to-Matisse: Master-Drawings from the Courtauld in London…


Hanging from Lamp-Posts on Fifth-Avenue are Banners showing a lovely young Dutch-Renaissance-Lady with a Huge-Black-Electrode on her head.


But she is not waiting to become the Bride-of-Frankenstein.


No, Indeed! She has just become the Bride of Peter Paul Rubens.


Helena Fourment Rubens has raised her Veil, so her Widower-Husband can paint her Portrait!


Spanish-Ladies were more Fortunate-in-Fashion, for they could use great Tortoise-Shell-Combs to hold their Mantillas aloft…


Making Frau Rubens the Poster-Girl for the new Frick-Exhibition certainly does get Attention, but the Poster on the outside of the Frick is far more Challenging: Michelangelo’s Il Sogno, or The Dream.


In the Center is a Male-Nude, leaning on a Sphere on an Open-Box that has a Jumbled-Collection of Antique-Masks inside.


Meanwhile, an Angel is blowing a Trumpet into this Attentive-Man’s-Ear!


Is he just blowing-out the Build-Up of Ear-Wax or is this Cherub announcing the Book-of-Mormon?


Each of the Nearly-Sixty Drawings, Sketches, & Watercolors from London’s Courtauld-Gallery is worth a visit to the Frick.


But Pieter Breugel’s Kermis at Hoboken is especially interesting for it shows, in painstaking-detail, how Ordinary-Flemish-Folks had a Rousing, Carousing Good-Time at the Town-Fair.


In fact, this Study for a larger Painting suggests that Modern-New-Jersey-ites—in the American-Version of Hoboken—don’t have any Idea of what Good-Times really are.



At the Met-Museum:




Compared with some Met-Museum-Installations, this Salute to Bashford Dean may seem rather small, considering all that he did to create one of the most important Arms & Armor-Collections in the World.


An Overview of Dean’s Life & Career is ingeniously deployed in a Chamber donated by NY-Timesman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger—who died only the day before the Press-Preview.


A Vintage-Photo of Dean’s own Armor-Collection at Wave-Hill suggests that he was born with a Silver-Poinard in his Doublet


Working as a Field-Zoologist in Japan, Dean was able to collect some important Japanese-Armors.


This led to his becoming Prof. of Vertebrate-Zoology at Columbia, followed by a Post as Curator of Fishes at the American-Museum of Natural-History.


This Exhibition is not only about Bashford Dean: it also includes some New-Cases & New-Acquisitions.


Even if you are adamant about Gun-Control, you may well admire some of the handsome Firearms on display.


Fortunately, no one now makes a fuss about Lance-&-Sword-Control



Also At the Met-Museum: Bernini in the Basement!


The Met-Museum’s Bernini: Sculpting in Clay may save you an Easter-Trip to Rome.


Or it may well make you want to see the Castel Sant’ Angelo & St. Peter’s live & close-up, instead of in the Met’s black-&-white photos that show Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Great-Works in-place.


Thanks to the Munificent-Patronage of the Barberini-Cardinal who became Pope Urban VIII, the Ingenious-Bernini had so many Papal-Commissions that he had to employ a large Workshop of Lesser-Talents.


Highlighted in this show are small Clay-Angels which Bernini himself modeled for the Angels-of-the-Passion-Statues, designed for the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, the Bridge that Emperor-Hadrian built over the River-Tiber—in 134 AD—leading to the Castello.


Few such works have survived, even though the damp Clay-Models were fired as Terracotta.


Bernini is perhaps best-remembered for all the Magnificent-Enhancements he designed for St. Peter’s Basilica, especially the Colonnade & the Baldacchino over the High-Altar.


The Four-Rivers-Fountain in the Piazza-Navona is only one of the Famous-Fountains Bernini designed for important Roman-Piazzi.


He was lucky in his on-going Papal-Patronage, as he outlived several Vicars-of-Christ, beginning with Pope Paul V Borghese, formerly Cardinal Scipione Borghese.


As the Renaissance-Papacy seemed to get passed-around among the Noble-Roman-Families, the Barberini-CardinalMaffeo, who muzzled Galileo—was next-in-line, as Pope Urban VIII, for whom Bernini also designed a Majestic-Tomb in St. Peter’s.


But Bernini had not yet run-out of Popes.


He also received later-commissions from Pope Alexander VII—the former Cardinal Fabio Chigi—as well as Pope Innocent X & Pope Clement IX.


Art may be Eternal, but one Lucky-Artist got to Outlive a Succession-of-Holders of the Keys-of-St.-Peter’s


There are 39-Clay-Models & 30-Drawings in the current-exhibition, on loan from Major-Museums.


For some odd reason, this show will close on Twelfth-Night—6 January 2013.



At MoMA: ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW: Sculpture-Undone, 1955-1972


Anyone who wants to Stamp-Out Breast-Cancer may be intrigued by the apparently Abandoned-Severed-Breasts of Polish-Artist Alina Szapocznikow, who uses such Lactic-Organs freely in her Work.


Whoever invented Polyester-Resin also Owes-her-a-Debt, for it is one of her Mainstay-Materials.


There are also Detached-Body-Parts, some of Plaster


Nonetheless, the Artist is also capable of Almost-Academic Sketches & Busts, though she obviously favors Distortions & Deformities, as well as Bizarre-Visions.


How about a Chin-&-LipsKiss-Ready—sitting in a Bowl?





Birdhead, Zoe Crosher, Shirana Shahbazi & Michele Abeles…


Actually, Birdhead is not a Real-Person, but a Chinese-Team, working in Modern-Shanghai.


Their Song of Early Spring consists of Massed-B&W-Snapshot-Style-Photos of Shanghai & its Peoples. Plus two Wooden-Frames


They do not do Digital! They still use Film!


But there is a Problem about Massed-Photos: You Lose-Focus when looking at such a Clutter.


Michele Abeles, however, favors Inkjet-Prints of Collaged-Oddments or of Banal-Objects.


Consider such Titles as Pitcher, Paper, Arm, Scuba, Lycra or Red, Rock, Cigarettes, Newspaper, Body, Weed, Lycra, Bottle…


What you see is what you get?


Best of all are the Photos of Shirana Shahbaz, especially her Geometric-Constructions!



Amazement at the Whitney: WADE GUYTON OS…


That OS stands for Operating-System, for Wayne Guyton is a Slave to Computer-Generated Images-&-Designs.


Or perhaps he is a Servant of the Computer & the Ink-Jet-Printer?


The Whitney has bought a Long-Wall-Filling-Set of Eight-Panels of Non-Figurative-Horizontal-Bands.


These were run-through a  Large-Format Ink-Jet-Printer…


This Large-Scale-Work is appropriately titled Untitled [2008].


Another Untitled [2012] on Linen is 600”x108”. It has alternating Narrow-Bands of Orange-&-Green.


A similar Untitled [2012] on Linen—also still owned by the Artist—was run through an Epsom-UltraChrome-K3-Inkjet, with somewhat Messy-Results.


Most interesting—especially when massed on the Whitney’s floor—are Wade Guyton’s U-Sculptures of Mirrored-Stainless-Steel.


You can see Your-Face in them: but distorted like a Fun-House-Confrontation.


Guyton likes X’s a Lot: Big & Small; Colored & Not.



Craig Wright’s GRACE  [**]


Why Would Anyone Want to Create a Chain of Christian-Hotels in Florida?


When Paul Rudd shot his Wife Dead & Totaled a Badly-Disfigured-Guy, then shot himself in the Head—at the opening of Grace, at the Cort—there seemed no where to go but Backward.


Or Homeward


Already knowing the Outcome, would finding-out why he had a Concealed-Hand-Gun be a Cliff-Hanger?


Unfortunately, Not for This-Viewer, who did not find any the Four-Characters of Compelling-Interest or Fascinating-Humanity.


If Jesus came to Florida, would he stay at a Crossroads-Inn?


Paul Rudd plays a Jesus-Freak who believes He-Has-a-Call to create a Christian-Hotel-Franchise in Alligator-&-Israel-Bond-Rally-Country.


What he does not know is that Satan was really Whispering-in-his-Ear.


Ed Asner is now Very-Old but he relentlessly plays a Survivor of the Hamburg-Firestorm, who goes from Apartment to Apartment in a Tacky-Complex, spraying-around some Noxious-Toxic-Liquid that seems to make Paul Rudd constantly itch.


There was, understandably, No-Intermission—to prevent Some from fleeing into the Street, or possibly to Miami—but I had to Heed the Call-of-Nature & totter up the Aisle in the dark & then negotiate the Winding-Stairs down into the Men’s-Section of the Cort-Netherworld.


At the close, Rudd was once again shooting



Ed Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC  [*****]


Rambunctious & Robustious, in New Roundabout-Staging, Cyrano Leads by a Nose!


Kid-You-Not: This is the Plot-Summary for Cyrano in a Drama-Critics’-Guide for Up-Coming-Shows: Odd-looking-Poet helps a handsome but tongue-tied Soldier woo a Maiden…


Well, Yes, I guess… But Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is rather more complicated than that Reduction.


As staged by Jamie Lloyd—for Roundabout at the American-Airlines-Theatre—this handsome Soutra-Gilmour-Designed-Production has the Look, Smell, Sound, & Feel of the Not-for-Profit London-Theatre.


Including some Brit-Accents, although the Central-Swordsmen are supposedly Gascons.


Douglas Hodge is admirable—even Lovable—as Cyrano: His Nose, like His Verse, becomes him!


In fact, Rhyme-Smith Ranjit Bolt has a genius for the Couplet.


Richard Wilbur would be jealous of his New-Translation of Rostand.


[For the Record: Bolt is the Nephew of Playwright Robert Bolt who wrote Home & Vivat, Vivat, Regina!]


Patrick Page has taken-off his Green-Goblin-Costume from Spiderman to don the Elegant-Wigs, Doublets, Weskits, & Frock-Coats of a 17th-Century-Paris-Nobleman who is the Nephew of the All-Powerful Cardinal Richelieu.


His De Guiche makes a dangerous Foil for the Passions of the Unfortunate-Cyrano, who hopelessly loves the Virginal-Roxanne [Clémence Poésy], who has fallen for the Pretty-Face of the Novice-Guardsman Christian [Kyle Soller].


Only as a few Paper-Leaves fall from the Fly-Galleries overhead, does she finally learn that the Dying-Cyrano is the Man-She-Really-Loved. Even with that Nose


This is a Magnificent-Production, teeming with Talent & Great-Stage-Effects: The Pastry-Kitchen of Poet/Baker Ragueneau [Bill Buell] is a Wonder!



Gene Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS  [*****]


Don’t Be Left-Out! Join the Herd! Rhinos Are the Thing This Season!


The stunning Théâtre-de-la-Ville Parisian-production of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinocéros was only at

BAM for three-performances.


But Not-to-Worry: if you missed it at UCLA in Royce-Hall, or at UC/Berkeley in Zellerbach, you can catch it in Ann Arbor.


Or even later, in London, at the Barbican. Or in Moscow, at the International-Chekhov-Festival


What Anton Chekhov might have thought about a Pack-of-Frenchmen going berserk & turning into Rhinos boggles the Imagination.


Although Ionesco began Life as a Romanian, he migrated to Paris & wrote in French, where he became a Satirically-Acute-Observer of Human-Follies, especially of the Gallic-Variety.


When the feckless Bérenger’s Best-Friend & his Office-Colleagues begin to turn into Rhinos, stampeding in the streets, he is valiantly determined to Remain-Human.


Even his Beloved-Daisy joins the Herd, leaving him the Last-Man-Standing.


This odd Dramedy can be viewed as a Metaphor for the French who so eagerly Collaborated with the Nazi-Accomodating-Vichy-Government in World-War-II.


Your Roving Arts-Correspondent first saw Rhinocéros in London, at the Royal-Court-Theatre, with
Sir Laurence Olivier as Jean, Bérenger’s friend.


At the close, when Daisy & Bérenger are vowing to remain Human, she suddenly grabs the Flowers from a Vase on the Café-Table & begins to munch them…


My next Rhinocéros was on Broadway, with Zero Mostel turning into a Rhino before our very eyes. A Definitive-Staging


Now, Emmanuel Demarcy-Motta has given us a New-Vision: a more Mechanistic-Version, as Floors skid & rise; Stairs clatter in collapse.


The Streets are now full of Rhinos & their Stompings & Snortings are shaking the Office as though an Earthquake had hit.


This brings out the Worst in almost everyone, but even though these are Humans who are turning into Rhinos, they are not Universal, but Very-French!


Kudos to the Entire-Cast, as well as to Set & Lighting-Designer Yves Collet.


Bravo BAM, for bringing this French-Metaphor to Brooklyn, where there is No-Danger of its Artisanal-Citizens becoming either Rodents or Rhinos





Was That Polish-Pope Pushing the Roman-Catholic-Church To Commit Theological-Suicide?


It wasn’t the sort of News-Item that you expect to find in the New-York-Times: In Rome, Pope John-Paul-II told a Crowd of the Faithful that Heaven & Hell were Not-Real-Places!


This was way back in 1999, when many Christians still believed in an Afterlife


My Critical-Colleague & Longtime-Friend, the Playwright Mario Fratti, was not in New-York, so I cut-out the Report & sent it on to him.


Mario was as astonished as I. But that’s what happens when you have a Polish-Pope instead of a Reliable-Italian.


I was raised Methodist, so the Idea that Above-&-Below were only States-of-Mind—in Your-Relationship to The-God-of-Your-Choice—wasn’t really a Problem.


Who—aside from Mormons—wants to spend Eternity with All-Your-Relatives?


But I did feel sorry for my Catholic-Friends who had spent so much Money to get the Priests to Pray Uncle-John out of Purgatory.


There is No-Purgatory for Protestants, so we save a Lot-of-Money!


Nonetheless, the Great-Baroque-Edifice that is Bernini’s St. Peter’s—not to overlook the Hundreds of Landmarked-Cathedrals all over Western-Europe—could not have been paid-for without the Donations of the Catholic-Devout, hoping to buy their way into Heaven.


In Fratti’s Three Sisters & a Priest, an Unfortunate-Cleric—with No-Real-Answers—is confronted by Two-Wealthy-Roman-Catholic-Siblings, who want to know What-Now?


If there really is No-Afterlife


These Sisters are Not-in-Orders. Not Sisters-of-Mercy. They are Civilians


Devastated by the Pope’s-PronouncementHe is Infallible in matters of Faith-&-Morals, after all—the Third-Sister, Unseen-&-Offstage, commits Suicide!


As always, when Fratti-Plays are premiered at Theatre-for-the-New-City, both dramas are very handsomely-mounted & well-cast. Stephan Morrow staged.


But what are Roman-Catholic-Parents to think when they learn that an Altar-Boy-Son has been debauched by a Pedophiliac-Priest?


If there is NO-Hell, then he certainly cannot Rot-in-It…



Steven Cosson & Michael Friedman’s PARIS COMMUNE  [*****]


La-Belle-France, the Nation of Failed-Revolutions: The Civilians Revisit the Paris of 1871…


Bertolt Brecht once wrote a work of Epic-Theatre which he titled Die Tage der Commune.


But who now remembers Bert Brecht’s Proto-Communist-Dramas?


Not-to-Worry: The Civilians—who gave us This Beautiful City—have sunk themselves into the Historical-Record to recreate the Brief-&-Fervent-Days of the Necessarily-Doomed Paris-Commune.


It opens with a Concert in the Grand-Hall of the Palace-of-the-Tuilleries—destroyed by Fire, as were the Communards by Bullets-&-Bayonets.


The Can-Can is often invoked as a Colorful-Musical-&-Motion-Metaphor for Revolutionary-Movements, not only that of 1871.


The Civilians visually demonstrate that—beginning with the Fall-of-the-BastilleParisian-Revolutions have never really worked-out-well.


Les Mis’ celebrates another Failed-French-Revolution, followed by that of 1848.


Both are passingly-mentioned, as are later More-Successful Proletarian-Revolutions such as that of the Soviets in 1917 & those of Fidel Castro & Chairman Mao


The Eight-Person Civilians-Ensemble is remarkable, as is the Political-Entertainment Cosson & Friedman have crafted.


[Friedman created Music-&-Lyrics for Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, recently on Broadway!]


This entrancing, High-Energy Musicalized-History-Seminar needs a Longer-Run in New-York, as well as Engagements around the Nation.


It’s of Interest that the Communards seemed always to be fighting The-Bourgiosie, rather than the Plutocrats, or the Aristocrats


That Mother-of-Revolutions, the American-Revolution, doesn’t really Get-a-Mention.


But then, Martha Washington & Abigail Adams weren’t born & bred for the Can-Can



From Salvation-Army Soup-Kitchen to Performing-Arts-Powerhouse: Thank-you, Hugh Hardy!


The new BAM/Fisher facility not only preserves a Brooklyn-Landmark-Building, but it also substantially increases & enlarges BAM-Spaces to be used for Performance, Rehearsal, Education, & Community-Activity.


When Harvey Lichtenstein undertook to save the BAM Opera-house—adding to it, over time, such additional facilities as the LePerc-Space, the Helen-Carey-Theatre, the Dodgers, & the Majestic, made-over into the Harvey-Theatre—his Dream was always to create a Cultural-Center in Downtown-Brooklyn that would spark a Community-Renaissance.


The Fisher will surely advance that Mission, interestingly enough, because it has been constructed inside & behind an abandoned Salvation-Army-Mission!


Including the Roof-Terrace, it now offers Seven-Floors of Activity-Space, thanks to the Genius of Architect Hugh Hardy & Partners—who call themselves H3.


Your Roving Arts-Reporter is a Great-Fan of Hardy, not least because—as a Brendan-Gill-Prize-Nominator for the Muni-Arts-Society—he nominated Hardy for his brilliant & prize-winning Preservation of what is now the New-Victory-Theatre on 42nd-Street.


Built in 1900 as the Belasco, it later became the Grind-House Republic & later the Victory


Hugh Hardy & Associates also restored Radio-City-Music-Hall, as well as the New-Amsterdam-Theatre. The Joyce-Theatre for Dance is another achievement.


The new Claire-Tow-Theatre on top of Lincoln-Center’s Vivian-Beaumont-Theatre is also a Hardy-Project.


Not to overlook the Renovation of Bryant-Park



Dark-Doings in the Dark-Room: FAKING IT: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop…


Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland had his Political-Career derailed when his Opponents circulated a Doctored-Photograph showing him shaking-hands with Earl Browder, Head of the Communist-Party-of-the-United-States.


That Dishonest-Photo is not in the fascinating new Exploration of Photo-Faking at the Met-Museum.


But there are Ample-Evidences of Intent-to-Deceive, as well as to Astonish, Amuse, Entertain, & even to Baffle.


Appropriately, this extensive show is sponsored by Adobe-Photoshop™, which can save you all the Fussing, Dodging, & Retouching that were formerly required to Manipulate-Photographic-Images.


Soviet-Leaders were famous for having Out-of-Favor or Disappeared-Colleagues removed from "Historical-Photos.”


Chairman Mao—even as he Aged—had his Official-Portrait frequently Retouched, so that his Millions of Faithful-Followers would know there would be on-going Stability in the State.


How about Spirit-Photos?


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a willing Dupe of Photos that seemed to show Spirits hovering over the Living at Séances


In some cases, Nature-Photos were altered to make the Majesty of Great-Mountains appear more powerful than a Sun-Struck-Lens could capture.


Methods of Faking-Photos are also explored in this show.


Man Ray’s famed Print of the Back of a Naked-Woman—featuring those Baroque-Scrollings that are usually reserved for Violins & Cellos—is here decoded.


Thanks to Digital-Manipulation, it is now almost impossible to introduce a Photo as Evidence in a Court-of-Law: How can the Prosecution prove that the Photo has not been Digitally-Faked?


Senator Tydings had never met Earl Browder, but the Photo argued Otherwise for Undecided-Voters.


This was the Dire-Time of the Red-Menace & the House-Un-American-Activities-Committee


Another interesting instance of Historical-Record-Faking—also not in this show—involves that Sepia-Photo of President Abraham Lincoln on his Deathbed, across the street from Ford’s-Theatre, where he had just been shot by John Wilkes Booth.


Soon after the Original was published—showing only a few men at the head of the bed—successive Published-Versions of that Photo kept adding Distinguished-Men who wished to be included for Posterity, until the tiny Hotel-Room seemed big enough to hold a Convention



New Exhibitions at the Morgan Library & Museum:


ROBERT WILSON/PHILIP GLASS: Einstein on the Beach…


If you missed the recent revival of Einstein on the Beach at BAM, you can at least look at the Original-Pages of Philip Glass’ deliberately Monotonous-Score, as well as 13 pages of Robert Wilson’s Storyboard-Designs for the Initial-Production at BAM many, many years ago.


There is also a Wide-Screen-TV in the intimate Thaw-Gallery, so you can actually see Footage from the New-York-Rehearsals & the 1976-Production in Paris & Brussels.


Wilson’s 13-pages detail some 113-Scenes from the Einstein staging.


Downstairs, in the Morgan’s Basement—in the Gilder-Lehrman-Hall—you can also see repeated Screenings of the 1984-BAM-Revival, titled: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera.


Nonetheless, the Popularity & Reputations of both Verdi & Wagner have not been much damaged by Wilson’s Innovations



DÜRER TO DE KOONING: 100 Master-Drawings from Munich…


Considering the fascination of Bavaria’s longtime-ruling Wittelsbach-Royal-Family with the Arts & Art-Collecting, it is scarcely surprising that Munich’s Graphische-Sammlung contains so many Master-Drawings from the Renaissance onward.


What is perhaps more surprising is that, even after the Royals were deposed after The-Great-War, the Master-Drawings of important Modern-Artists continued to be acquired.


So it is at first, at the Morgan, a bit astonishing to see a Cartoonish-Drawing by Sigmar Polke in the same Galleries as a Dürer-Portrait of 1517.


How about a Bruce Nauman or a Larry Rivers breathing the same Metaphoric-Air as a Michelangelo or an Inventive-Sketch by Leonardo da Vinci?


A David Hockney makes an odd contrast to a moody scene by Caspar David Friedrich


It is also good to see Major-Drawings by such German-Moderns as Emil Nolde—whose work as an Artist was proscribed by the Nazis—as well as George Grosz, Franz Marc, & Käthe Kollwitz.


[Did you know that Larry Rivers’ maiden-name was Yitzhak Grossberg?]





When Josef & Anni Albers left Germany for residency in the United-States, their departure prevented the Nazis from preventing him from developing his growing-fascination with The-Square & its many possible Color-Permutations.


At the Morgan, his colorful Preliminary-Studies for Various-Square-Potentials are on-view for the First-Time, as well as his studies for the Adobe-Series, inspired by Mexican-Architecture.


These are indeed Colorful, but they obviously cannot have any Figurative or Ideational-Content.


Propaganda-Minister Joseph Goebels would surely have denounced Albers’ Squares as "Entartete-Art,” or Degenerate-Art.



Stephen Belber’s DON’T GO GENTLE  [****]


Choleric Retired-Judge Misjudges Much: Abandoned by Family & Friends…


Michael Cristofer’s Retired-Judge is a Study in Control-Freakism, but he cannot get anything Right because he doesn’t Listen to others.


Stephen Belber’s title is borrowed from Dylan Thomas’ famed poem about the Death of his Father, but there is No-Danger that Lawrence will go Gently into anything. He is much-given to Instant-Rages.


As a Bush-Appointed-Judge, he has sent many Minor-Pot-Offenders off to Prison, which he now begins to regret.


In trying to help a Young-Black-Single-Mother, he ends by alienating his Long-Suffering-Daughter & his Addled-Loser-Son.


He plans to leave his House & their Childhood-Home to the Attractive-Mother & her Intelligent-Son, who have been living with him…


Lucie Tiberghien tautly staged her excellent Cast, in a handsome Scenic-Environment by Robin Vest.



At the Asia-Society: CHINA  CLOSE-UP All Year Long!


BOUND UNBOUND: Lin Tianmiao—The Obsessive-Thread-Binder…


The Thought of Chairman Mao must have made a Deep-Impression on the Major-Chinese-Woman-Artist Lin Tianmiao, but her stay in New-York-City from the late 1980s until 1995—when she returned to Mother-China—surely taught her something about the Virtue of Creating-Unique-Visions.


In Manhattan, she was part of the Chinese-Artist-Diaspora that included the Internationally-Known Art-Provocateur Ai Wei Wei &  the Innovative-Composer Tan Dun.


Lin Tianmiao has a Way with Thread!


How about a Singer-Sewing-Machine completely wrapped in White-Thread?


Or a Gallery filled with Thread-Wrapped Bones-Ending-in-Tools?


The Bones are Synthetic, but—underneath all that tightly-wound Gray-Thread—the Ordinary House & Garden-Tools are Real.


Lin Tianmiao uses Threads of Various-Colors for Special-Effects.


She has even made a Movie-Screen of Vertical-Threads, on which to project films of her Live-Action-Projects.


One Chamber is completely White, with everything wrapped in White-Thread. You will have to put on White-Shoe-Protectors to enter…


Some Standing-Fiberglass-Figures are not Thread-Wrapped, but are, instead, tightly-encased in Colored-Silk-Skins.


There are two whole floors of these Haunting-Images. Until 27 January 2013…


What would Chairman Mao have thought?



Simon Stephens’ HARPER REGAN  [***]


Harper Needs Time-Off for Death & Other Unexpected-Interactions…


To begin at The-Beginning, the radiant Mary McCann is enthralling—but also maddening—as the Tempest-Tossed-Harper, whose Father is dying in the English-Midlands.


This Finding-Yourself-Drama seems endless, but it does give employment to a Large-Cast-of-Excellent-Actors, including Mary Beth Piel.


Actually, at times this Production seemed more about Unveiling-Surprising-New-Set-Elements than explaining Harper’s Problems-with-Relationships.


London’s prestigious Observer has observed of Playwright Simon Stephens: "…Harper Regan sends his work into orbit.” [Good that it’s Orbit, instead of Obit…]


In the Atlantic-Theatre’s Season-Program-Book, they have this to say: "Stephens has emerged as one of the most renowned & prolific playwrights in his generation in the UK, & has won the Olivier-Award for Best New Play…”


Last season, the Atlantic produced Stephens’ Bluebird, with the admirable Simon Russell Beale.


Gaye Taylor Upchurch staged both dramas for the Atlantic.



Circolombia’s URBAN  [***]


Not Yet Quite Cirque-du-Soleil, Performers from the Barrios & Calles of Cali in Colombia…


Well, Your Roving Arts-Reporter has been to both Bogota & Cali, but that was way back in 1967—to report on the work of our USAID-Education-Programs—so obviously things have changed somewhat in the streets.


Although Urban wants to present itself as a kind of Narrative, built-up around a series of Circus-Acts, were it not for a Program-Insert that explains what each section is supposed to show the audience, one would have No-Idea of why almost all the Performers are Jiving, Chanting, Singing, Break-Dancing, & doing Flip-Flops in the middle of a Trapeze-Act.


The Acrobatics, Tumbling, Rope-Jumping, Rope-Walking, & Balancing are all skillfully-accomplished, but most of the time there is just Too-Much-Else going-on for Spectators to focus.


There’s a Reason Canada’s Cirque-du-Soleil has been such a success Worldwide: Each show has a distinctive Theme—if not an actual Story-Line—into which all aspects of the production can be woven.


All the Cali-Athletes trained at the Escuela-Nacional Circo-Para-Todos in Cali—where it is said the Best-Spanish in El-Neuvo-Mundo is spoken!


Felicity Simpson—who is this Ensemble’s Artistic-Director & Creative-Producer—believes that Urban is "at the forefront of a revolutionary new style of circus.”


If that were really so, why were some of the Kids in the New-Victory-Audience busily Texting & Game-Playing on their Hand-Held-Devices, instead of Watching-the-Show?



Deanna Jent’s FALLING  [*****]


What Do You Do If You Have a Son Who Is Both Overweight & Not-All-There?


This is yet-another Typically-American-Drama about a Dysfunctional-Family.


But this is not quit like the Others we’ve seen in the Last-Two-Weeks: No-one set the House on Fire.


No-one threw the Set-Props in the Grand-Canal


But several times, Josh—the Overweight & Under-Brained Son of Lisa & Bill—nearly broke her Neck in an excess of Sudden-Rage.


The Loving but baffled Parents do not want to put Josh away: they love him too much, but he is not only a Problem but also a Danger.


When Grandma comes to visit, she thinks Bible-Verses will, perhaps, produce a Miracle.


Josh requires more than mere Miracles.


Even Lisa’s Hallucination that Josh has died & at last the Family can live free is Only-a-Dream


The Entire-Cast is excellent, with Jacey Powers’ long-suffering Lisa outstanding.


Daniel Everidge is at times frightening as Josh.


Lori Adams tautly staged: nothing faked



WW II & NYC: How New-York-City Helped Defeat the Japs & the Nazis!


If you are Too-Young to remember VE-Day in Manhattan, you can recapture the Rapture, with that Iconic-Sailor kissing the White-Clad-Nurse in Times’-Square—at the New-York-Historical-Society.


You can also see this Famed-Alfred-Eisenstaedt-Image live on Broadway when you take THE-RIDE


At the NYHS, however, there are so many more Memories on-view: Posters, Photos, Maps, Models, Artifacts, Rationing-Books, Film-Footage, & even Period-Radio-Broadcasts!


This Exhibition—deftly-displayed in the Ground-Floor-Gallery—honors the 900,000 New-Yorkers who were involved in Winning-the-War-Against-Fascism.


Not only was the New-York-Area a center of Ship-Building, but its Harbor saw countless Troop-Ships & Supply-Ships depart for the Atlantic-Crossing.


Thousands & thousands of American-Servicemen & Service-Women poured through this Port.


Many-Thousands did not return


The Stage-Door-Canteen is recalled. Varied aspects of the NYC-War-Effort are celebrated.


Although Metropolitan-New-York had been an Industrial-Center before World-War-II, that all changed as Defense-Contracts increasingly were spread across the Nation, especially in California & the Far-West, where the Pacific-War-Against-Japan was mounted.


Workers at Long-Island’s Grumman-Factory are shown assembling Fighters, but this was a small-effort, compared with the Vast-Factories rapidly constructed across the Hudson & across the Country.


No longer a Major-Manufacturing-Center, New-York-City had to re-invent itself as a Service-Center after the War.


Post-War, however, Returning-Veterans rapidly peopled such Affordable-Developments as Levitt-town.


The GI-Bill swelled enrollments at Brooklyn-College & NYU, not to overlook Columbia & Hofstra


How about the NYHS’s Classic-Film-Series: World War II & Its Legacy in Film?


Not only will you get to see Mrs. Miniver, Casablanca, I Was a Male-War-Bride, From Here to Eternity, The Third Man, & Twelve O’Clock High, but each film will be introduced by Distinguished-Commentators such as George Lucas, Roscoe Brown, Michael Korda, Lee Grant, David Denby, Stanley Donen, & Adam Gopnik.


There are also several Lecture-Series which touch on The Second-World-War, but the range of Topics in various series at NYHS is amazing.


There’s even a President-Bill-Clinton Lecture-Series!


How about hearing Robert Morgenthau discuss WWII, moderated by Tom Brokaw?


Go on-line to find out more about these Lectures-by-Experts:



The Hudson-River-School returns to Central-Park-West!


If you have been missing all those Huge-Paintings of the Hudson-River-School that were once upstairs at the New-York-Historical-Society, They are finally Back, after a Nation-Wide-Tour!


Your Roving Arts-Reporter saw them most recently down in Bentonville—at Alice Walton’s Crystal-Bridges-Museum—where the Lines to see them were Long



A Brief-Brush with Daniel Brush at MAD: Gold/Silver/Diamonds—Blue Steel/Gold Light


Daniel Brush was on-hand at MAD to talk about his Inspirations & Processes for creating some amazing Objects-d’Art & Jewelry from Silver, Gold, Steel, Precious-Stones, Thread, & Ink-on-Paper.


The Complimentary-Brochure for this astonishing Exhibition extols Brush thusly: ARTIST… WRITER… PROFESSOR… Daniel Brush is a Renaissance-Man—


What more can one say?


Well, for one thing, Brush actually makes all these fascinating Objects.


Some may seem merely Decorative, but many are, in themselves, Works-of-Art.


He doesn’t hire Real-Craftsmen to make them for him, as do so many "Conceptual-Artists” favored by MoMA & the Whitney.


As he says: I carve steel like wood with hammers & chisels of my own making.


Although Brush is obviously a Deep-Thinker, he also has a Lighter-Side.


For Xmas in 1987, he made a Tinker-Bell’s-Wand, filled it with Gold-Dust from his Workshop-Floor, & then dusted Tourists in Rockefeller-Plaza!


Oddly enough, one case at MAD is filled with Extremely-Cute Costume-Jewelry that seems almost Kitschy…


This may be the Tinker-Bell-Effect drowning in Cuteness?


Words cannot describe—really not—so here are some Images of Brush’s Objects, on-view at Columbus-Circle until 17 February 2013.


[Insert Images…]



Sitting in Chris Columbus’ Sitting-Room on Columbus-Circle!


If you want to sit for a bit in Chris Columbus’ Sitting-Room at Columbus-Circle, you need to get a Timed-Ticket.


Don’t just stroll over, thinking there won’t be anyone around who wants to climb all those StairsSix-Flights, 70-feet above Street-Level—to get to the top of the Monument.


The Actual-Statue—installed in 1892, to commemorate that 1492-Voyage-of-Discovery to the New-World, the same year that Their-Most-Catholic-Monarchs, Ferdinand & Isabella, expelled all the Jews from Spain—stands 13-feet-tall in the Sitting-Room that Tatzu Nishi has devised for him.


The Mass-of-Scaffolding that surrounds the Monument must have cost a lot to construct, but, supposedly, some kind of Preservation-Work will also be accomplished.


Although this Odd-Installation-Celebration has been sponsored by The Public-Art-Fund—which "Needs Your Support!”—they have once again, as with so many American-Undertakings, managed to Outsource what might have been an All-American Art-Project, to a Japanese-Artist.


At least, this is not quite like having Chinese create & install the Martin-Luther-King-Monument


Nishi has tried to make Chris comfortable in his Little-White-House atop his Pillar: There’s even a Flat-Screen-TV, against Wallpaper that Nishi designed, inspired by watching Hollywood-Movies!


The Chamber embodies Nishi’s "interpretation” of "Contemporary-New-York-Style.”


Nishi’s Announced-Purpose in such "Transformations” of Monuments & Statues is to give "the Public Intimate-Access to aspects of our Urban-Environment & at, the same time, Radically-Alter our Perceptions.” [Emphases added…]


What might Nishi have done at Pearl-Harbor


To get your Timed-Tickets—hurry, for 18 November 2012 is the Closing-Date!—you need to contact


You might well be able to discover where the Money comes from for these often Immense-Projects—something Big is coming to the Plaza, behind the Golden-Rump of Sheridan’s-Horse—as well as Who decides What to show in New-York-City’s Public-Places.


If You want to Help: Text PAF to 20222 to make a $5 Donation!


Oh oh! The New-Installation at the Plaza is what looks like a Collapsed-Steel-Spiral-Staircase, with even its Balustrade drooping-down.


The Artist—a Polish-Lady, whose Studio is in Warsaw—says the Structure or Sculpture is supposed to suggest a Fir-Tree. She is "into” relating Art to the Environment.


But, hey! She’s not an American-Artist!


Why all this Art-Out-Sourcing by the Public-Art-Fund?



Pigpen-Theatre’s THE OLD MAN & THE OLD MOON  [****]


Irish-Accents for Carnegie-Mellon-Talents: A Picaresque-Quest Across Oceans & Time…


This is an altogether remarkable Theatre-Event, concocted out of an Invented-Myth & Odds & Ends…


In some ways, it resembles Peter & the Star-Catchers, with its amazingly-versatile Ensemble of Seven-Actor/Musicians creating Multiple-Roles & playing Various-Musical-Instruments.


The essential differences are that it is not a Musical, but a Play-with-Music, & that it is not grounded on a Familiar-Fable, such as Peter-Pan.


In performance, it is rather like Paul Sills’ Story-Theatre: it seems to invent itself as it goes along.


The Old-Man has to keep filling-up the Moon—which leaks—so that the Stars won’t fall from the Heavens.


But his Wife wants to Sail-Away into Uncharted-Waters


The Old-Man misses her so much that he abandons the Moon, in pursuit of her Shadow-Puppet-Image in a tiny Boat.


This leads to a series of Picaresque-Adventures on the High-Seas & beneath them, when the Old-Man is swallowed—Jonah-like—by a Sea-Monster.


Pigpen’s uses of the Traditions of Shadow-Puppets are a Total-Delight, as well as are their varied 3-D-Constructions of Imaginary-Cities & other Devices.


Lydia Fine & Bart Cortright are credited with the Overall-Design, with Fine & the Ensemble responsible for the Varied-Forms-of-Puppetry: Rod, Hand, Shadow, & Whatever.


What this charming, inventive Entertainment now needs, however, is a Director!


It is Too-Long & in some Scenes, rather Self-Indulgent.


Deftly-Edited, this Show could be a Hit on Tour. It could be ideal for the All-Ages-Audiences at the New-Victory-Theatre on 42nd-Street.


Now, however, it is still Too-Complicated, Too-Extended



Brian Friel’s LOVERS  [*****]


It’s 1968 in Ireland, Before the South Went Bankrupt: In the North—Winners & Losers


Why is almost any Play by Brian Friel better than most of the New-Dramas by Young-Playwrights that we are now being Force-Fed?


Could it be that Friel’s Irish are basically More-Interesting than almost any Invented-Dysfunctional-American-Family?


Even if Friel’s Ballybeg & nearby Irish-Towns are fictional, somehow their Residents seem like People we know. You do not have to be Irish to recognize Religious-Craziness when you see it…


Italian-American-Playwright Mario Fratti has just written a comedy about the Havoc the Polish-Pope caused when he announced that Heaven & Hell are Not-Real-Places.


Whoever the Pope happens to be—Italian, Polish, Ex-WehrmachtHe is, almost By-Definition, Infallible in Matters-of-Faith-&-Morals.


So, imagine the Horror of Devout-Irish-Catholics—way back in 1968—to have the Then-Pope announce that there was never any Saint-Philomena!


My Irish-Friend, Philomena Dooley, took this in Good-Stride, but the Tyrannous-Bed-Ridden Mrs. Wilson [Nora Chester] in Friel’s Losers, is devastated.


Unfortunately, her Miserable-Love-Starved-Daughter [the admirable Kati Brazda] doesn’t profit from this Ecclesiastical-Revelation because her Frustrated-Lover, Andy [the hilarious James Riordan], gets Smashed & makes a Hash of confronting the Old-Gorgon


The Pope also Trashed some other Long-Venerated-Saints, including Saint-George, England’s Patron-Saint.


But, if there never was a Real-Saint-George, what about The-Dragon?


That Pope didn’t say…


Oddly enough, Friel titled his play—in this TACT-Double-Bill—about Two-Teen-Age-Suicides, Winners.


As George—the LadUnderstudy Gregory Perri was Outstanding!


Justine Salata was often Hyper as Mag, his Pregnant-Girlfriend.


Drew Barr staged in an Elemental-Set-Environment.


Wigs were by Robert Charles Vallance



Colman Domingo’s WILD WITH HAPPY  [****]


Who Wouldn’t Be Happy To Scatter-Ashes in the Cinderella-Suite at Disney-World?


One hopes that this Hilarious-&-Bizarre-Tale of a Loving-Son’s Disposal of his Beloved-Mother’s-Ashes is not entirely Autobiographical


If so, then the Dynamic-Author-Performer Colman Domingo has an Odd-Taste in choosing his Best-Buddy… A Screaming-Queen?


Gil loves his Mother, but he loses her to Immortality.


After a Black-Funeral-Parlor-Salesman tries to shame him into purchasing the Most-Expensive-Casket, to be buried in a Hilltop-Plot with an Excellent-View—is she going to come-up to have a Look?—the Hilarity exponentially-increases, as all the Coffins are turned into Something-Else-Entirely.


Sharon Washington’s stunning performances as Gil’s Mother & as her Tart-Tongued-Sister, Aunt Glo, are Prize-Winners, especially when she is emptying her Dead-Sister’s-Wardrobe.


The Production-Values are Fabulous: The Cinderella-Suite alone is Worth-the-Price-of-Admission, but the Enchanted-Projections of Aaron Rhyne & the Ingenious-Settings of Clint Ramos are also Award-Worthy!


Kudos also to Director Robert O’Hara…



Joe Papp Would Have Been Proud!


After weeks & weeks & months & months of Reconstruction, the Lobby-Space of the Public-Theatre has been Transformed.


As you enter, Do-Not-Proceed-Directly to that Lavish-Counter that confronts you. No. It is only selling Refreshments.


What you really want, the Ticket-Windows, are now hidden-behind the Food-&-Drink-Goodies


But All-Is-Not-Lost: above the Food-Counter is a remarkable Art-Installation, which may at first look like an Overhead-Fan.


But its Blades keep changing with Brief-Phrases from the Plays of Christopher Marlowe, the "onlie-begetter” of the Dramas commonly attributed to Will Shagspere


Ben Rubin has been The-Begetter of this "large-scale, multimedia-sculpture,” the Shakespeare-Machine, composed of 37-LED-Screens for displaying Unforgettable-Quotes from the 37-Scripts supposedly crafted by You-Know-Who



Ernie Lubitsch’sTHE LOVES OF PHARAOH  [****]


Restoring That Which Was Lost: Mega-Egyptian-Epic of Passion & Power in Berlin’s Babelsberg!


If you thought DW Griffith’s Intolerance was the Epic-to-End-all-Epics, you could be excused because you never—until Now!—had the opportunity to savor Ernst Lubitsch’s Das Weib der Pharaoh.


The Scale of the Pharaonic-Settings—both Interiors & Exteriors—is amazing, especially for German-Film-Studios in the wake of a Lost-World-War.


But Pharaoh profits from German-Archeological-Interest in the Ancient-World, beginning with Heinrich Schliemann.


In fact, Pharaoh opened just months before the Discovery of  King-Tut’s-Tomb, by Howard Carter & Lord Carnarvon


Potential-Students of the NY-Film-Academy could save their Tuition-Money by watching this Restored-Epic: Just by Looking into the Eyes & Watching the Jumping-Eyebrows of Lubitsch’s Players, you Just Know what they are Thinking & Feeling!


The Story of how Pharaoh was Restored is an Epic-in-Itself…


Not only did Lubitsch have Acres-of-Settings for his Epic, he also had Hordes-of-Extras, recruited from German-Unemployment-Agencies. Just in case you still do not understand the Rise-of-Adolf-Hitler


But why was it necessary to Depict the Peace-Seeking-Ethiopians as Fright-Wigged-Golliwogs?


Unfortunately, Major-Opera-Houses still do this when herding Hordes-of-Conquered-Nubians on-stage in the Triumphal-Scene of Aida


In Hollywood, Lubitsch became somewhat More-Subtle, although SoCal, even then, was not noted for Subtlety.


Pharaoh was projected on the new Steinberg-Screen, in BAM’s Harvey-Theatre.


Possibly, BAM might want to use this Screen to project Leni Riefenstahl’s Tiefland, another almost-lost German-Film-Classic. Leni’s Peasants were played by Gypsies, who, post-filming, disappeared into Auschwitz.


Live-Music for this Silent-Film was composed by Joseph C. Phillips, jr, who also conducted his Own-Orchestra, Numinous. Some Cello-Passages were deeply-moving…


Nonetheless, Musicians-Union-Pickets were posted outside the Harvey.


During the Summer, the Harvey opened its Downstairs-Entrances—so you do not now have to climb all those Vertiginous-Stairs to reach the Auditorium.


Now, going down the Internal-Stairs to reach your Seats, you no longer are in danger of Pitching-Forward, for there are Firm-Steel-Stanchions beside each Rank-of-Seats to guide you to your Designated-Places.



Daisy Foote’s HIM  [***]


Horton! We’re Not in Texas Anymore! Daisy Foote Relocates Us to New-Hampshire…


This may become the Season of the Mentally-Challenged & Morbidly-Obese.


In Falling, we had an Over-weight but Under-brained Lad who came close to strangling his Mother.


In Him, we have a Chubby & Simple-Brother who needs Watching


When he gets an equally Simple-Girl from the Neighborhood a little bit Pregnant, well, just think of the DNA-Combination!


Hallie Foote is excellent as Sister-Pauline of the Simpleton & of their Sexually-Challenged-Brother, Harry.


Both Harry & Pauline resent their Recently-Deceased-Father, the Him of the title, who is represented by an Empty-Armchair.


Whatever His Failings as a Husband-&-Father, he has left Harry & Pauline Acreages ideal for Housing-Developments, which will solve their Money-Problems, if not their Essential-Loneliness


The Acting was admirable, but, after repeated Character-Defeats—in various Dramas by her Dad, Horton Foote—one longs to see Hallie Foote in a Fun-Play like Uncle Vanya.



Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again! $40-Million-Restoration of Memorial & North-American-Mammals!


Unfortunately, it was not possible to book Robin Williams to portray Teddy Roosevelt on Horseback for the Ceremonial-Re-Opening of the Theodore-Roosevelt-Memorial at the American-Museum-of-Natural-History.


This Overcrowded-Event was, however, no Night-in-the-Museum-Scenario.


Nonetheless, I did find myself standing next to Theodore Roosevelt IV, who is carrying-on the Family-Tradition of Nature-Conservation.


Whatever you may think of Teddy Roosevelt as the Leader of the Rough-Riders at San-Juan-Hill, or the Presidential-Buster of Gilded-Age Corporate-Trusts, surely one of his most Important-Achievements must have been to save some 280-Million-Acres of American-Wilderness for Posterity!


Yes, there were also the Panama-Canal, the Great-White-Fleet, & Walk-Softly-but-Carry-a-



But Teddy Roosevelt—the Apostle of the "Strenuous-Life,” the African-Big-Game-Hunter, & the Patron of the American-Museum—should most be remembered as Our-Environmental-President!


Not only has the Great Roosevelt-on-Horseback Statuary-Group on the Museum’s front-steps been conserved, with a lot of that Green-Glop used to preserve Bronze-Memorials, but there’s now also another Teddy down in the Basement.


This Bronze is a Seated-Teddy, complete with Binoculars. He’s firmly-sited on a Wooden-Bench & you are welcome to take a Family-Photo with him on your iPad.


The Heroic-Murals in the Roosevelt-Rotunda have been restored to Glowing-Color, celebrating Teddy’s many Adventures both in Nature & in Statecraft.


The Murals aren’t the only Newly-Preserved & Restored-Treasures: the Hall of the North-American-Mammals has been wonderfully-freshened & Digitally-Enhanced.


Oddly enough, No-one at the American-Museum—not even President Ellen Futter nor Science-Provost Michael Novacek—seems to realize that the Two-Legged-Denizens of New-York-City are also North-American-Mammals.


Why don’t we also have some Historical-Dioramas of Human-Mammals?


How about Teddy Roosevelt Presiding-at-Table at Sagamore-Hill, the Family-Estate on Oyster-



It is maintained by the National-Park-Service, which Teddy established!



Edvard Munch Screams Again at MoMA: Only On-Loan for Six-Months! Otherwise, Oslo!


That Iconic-Agonized-Image of the Screamer—standing on a Long-Diagonal-Bridge, under a Threatening-Norwegian-Sky—is now recognized Worldwide, even if many do not know that it was created by Edvard Munch.


This Million-Dollar-Artwork does not belong to MoMA.


It is on-loan from a Private-Collection. No Names cited…


Aside from his 1895 Lithograph of The Scream—of which only Thirty-Copies are now known—Munch made only Four-Images of The Scream, three of which are still in Norway, in what was once Kristiania, now Oslo.


MoMA does own a Scream-Litho, which is also on-view, along with other Edvard Munch Oils & Lithos.


Among them: Melancholy, The Storm, Angst, Madonna, & Vampire.


If the Munch-Estate still holds a Copyright for the Scream-Image, the Oslo Munch-Museum could be rolling in Euros, Kronor, or whatever Currency-Medium they are currently using in Norway, because the Iconic-Image has been borrowed or re-cycled so many times & in so many ways.


Not least by Andy Warhol


Indeed, at MoMA’s Press-Check-In, there was a Halloween-Pumpkin, with The Scream cut into its Orange-Flesh, lit from behind by a Candle!



The Art of Richard Artschwager Pre-empts an Entire-Floor at Whitney-Museum!


You do not have to Just-Look at Richard Artschwager’s distinctive Chair at the Whitney-Museum.


You can buy one at Auction, either at Phillips-de-Pury or at Bonhams!


Although there are a number of Works-in-Wood in this new show which are designed/crafted to suggest the Idea of a Piece-of-Furniture, few of them are clearly-intended to be in any sense Practical.


But there are also Paintings of Would-Be or Imagined-Furniture, such as Window/Table & Door Window Table, Basket, Mirror Rug #10—which dates from 1974.


Not to be confused with Basket, Mirror, Window, Rug, Table, Door, of 1985.


You cannot put any Books in Artschwager’s Bookcase III because it’s a Formica-on-Wood-Construction.


Apparently Eli BroadLA’s Post-Modernist Art-Maecenas—liked this work so much he acquired it for the Broad-Art-Foundation of Santa Monica.


What would the Real-Saint-Monica think of all this? Would she want to know if Artschwager actually makes his Wooden-Constructions himself?


His RA-26 looks like the Piano-Box in which a Victorian-Pianoforte might have been shipped from the Factory…


Another Fun-Construction—made of Wood, Aluminum, & Formica—is Symbolically-Titled Table Prepared in the Presence of Enemies.


Unfortunately—at least in the Whitney-Show—there is no My-Cup-Runneth-Over nor Valley-of-the-

Shadow-of-Death, to complete the Suite of 23rd-Psalm-Inspired-Artworks.


 Nonetheless, there are lots & lots of Fun-Canvases & Idiotic-Assemblages on-view.


Some of the Artworks are Untitled


How about S.M.S [Shit Must Stop]?


Come-On! Get-Real!


If the Shit ever Stopped, what would the New-Museum have to exhibit?


Beyond the Whitney, do look for Artschwager’s "Iconic” BLPS down at the High-Line.


These Blips seem to be Oblong-Black-Markers that are supposed to Draw-Attention to Stuff



At the Guggenheim: Picasso’s Black-&-White Artworks,

Plus: Looking-Ahead at Guggenheim-Museums-Worldwide…


Currently, the Great-White-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Rotunda at the Guggenheim-Museum & its encompassing Spiral-Ramps are crowded with Black & White Sculptures, Paintings, & Engravings, created by the Art-Machine known as Pablo Picasso.


How he found time to make so many B-&-W-Images—still having time to devote to various Mistresses & Models—is a Mystery.


These will be on-view until 23 January 2013, but they will be joined on 9 November by Gabriel Orozco’s Asterisms, from the Deutsche-Guggenheim-Berlin. This is part of the Deutsche-Bank-Series at the Manhattan-Guggenheim.


Orozco has Combed-the-Beach in Baja-California, where he found that Whale-Skelton he used in Mobile-Matrix.


The results—in Sandstar—consist of a Layout of Thousands-of-Pieces of Washed-Up-Detritus, including Fishing-Net-Floats, Burned-Out-Light-Bulbs, Brooms, Balls, Stones, Shells, Clear-Plastic-Beverage-Bottles, Bricks, & What-Have-You. Plus some Wall-Grids & Photos


But the Big-News at the recent Press-Presentation & Luncheon at the Fifth-Avenue-Guggenheim was what’s Going-On in Guggenheims-Around-the-World.


Both Britain & America may have given-up on Dreams-of-Empire, but not the Guggenheim.


Not only is there Peggy Guggenheim’s original Guggenheim in Venice, but there’s also that famed Frank-Gehry-Guggenheim in Bilbao, a City you wouldn’t dream of visiting, were it not for that Amazing-Architecture


Thomas Krens—onetime Manhattan-Guggenheim-Director—even dreamt of a Salzburg-Guggenheim, inside a Mountain!


He hoped that the Salzburgers would hollow-out Tons-of-Mother-Stone from the Mönchsberg, that towers over the Medieval/Baroque City-of-Mozart.


This Plan was foiled—by Salzburg itself.


Instead, it destroyed the beloved Café-Winckler, atop the Mönchsberg, to construct a Museum-der-Moderne, which is, in effect, Salzburg’s MoMa.


Not its Guggenheim


At the recent Press-Presentation—if I understood correctly—there is also now a Guggenheim in Abu-Dhabi or one of those Arab-Emirates, as well as the BMW-Lab-Mumbai & the UBS-MAP-Global-Art-Initiative of No-Country: Contemporary Art for South & Southeast-Asia.


Forthcoming Manhattan-Guggenheim-Exhibitions were described in-detail by Curators—with what we used to call Lantern-Slides of the Artworks to be on-show, even demonstrating their Galley-Placement in some cases.


Coming-Soon: Zarina: Paper Like Skin, Gutai: Splendid Playground, James Turrell, Robert Motherwell: The Early Collages, Christopher Wool, & Italian-Futurism, 1909-44.


Marinetti’s Futurist-Manifesto—saluting the Modernism-of-the-Machine—was also a Founding-Document of the Fascism that Benito Mussolini brought, disastrously enough, to Italy.


This promises to be a Very-Important-Exhibition, with some Modernist-Treasures such as Umberto Boccioni’s striding-bronze-statue: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space.


The Presentations took about an Hour-&-a-Half, followed by a Sumptuous-Buffet up in the Guggenheim-Board-Room: Great-Views of the Lake in Central-Park.



The Builders Association’s HOUSE/DIVIDED  [*****]


Walls of Foreclosed-Ohio-House Meet the Joad-Family, Alan Greenspan, & Lehman-Brothers!


Center-Stage at BAM’s Harvey-Theatre stand some Sections of a Disembodied-House


These are, in fact, the Remains of a Foreclosed-House from Columbus, Ohio.


They stand-in for the Thousands & Thousands & Thousands of Mortgage-Foreclosed-Houses across the United-States-of-America.


They also become a Projection-Screen for further Horrors of the Housing-Bubble-Melt-Down, engineered by the likes of Wells-Fargo, Bank-of-America, AIG, & Goldman-Sachs.


The Immediate-Tragedy of House/Divided is that it was on-view over in Brooklyn only for a few evenings.


It should have been moved to Manhattan & made Required-Viewing by all the "Bangstas” & People-Who-Voted-for-Mitt Romney


The Depression-Era-Dispossessed Joad-Family of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath are a Concurrent-Running-Commentary on our own "Recession.”


The House may be the Center-of-Attention, but it is vigorously & visually-framed by Videos & Actualities of the Machiavellian-Machinations of Wall-Streeters & such Fiduciary-Rascals as Dick Fuld & Alan Greenspan.


Many Talents were involved in constructing House/Divided, but Marianne Weems, Director of the Builders-Association, should get Titular-Honors for this singular-achievement in Theatrical-Exposure of the Evils-of-Unbridled-Capitalism.


During the Performance, many Cell-Phones, Androids, & iPads were glowing among the Audience. This was OK, as there was an AR-Layer to the Production.


Augmented-Reality is as yet in its Infancy, but who know what the Builders-Association will do with it next-time-out?


The Conflation of the Joads with the Housing-Bubble is, however, a bit Tenuous.


They & thousands of other "Okies” & "Arkies” basically lost their Farms because of Nature or an Act-of-God.


The Dust-Bowl was not manufactured by Wall-Street



Millionaires Buy Treasures of Other Millionaires at Christie’s: Artworks & Furniture Recycled!


Ex-President George Bush should be very pleased with the Results of his Policies of More-Tax-Cuts-for-the-Rich!


None of this Gelt has really "trickled-down” to create Jobs & Food-for-the-Poor, but it has made-possible such Fabulous-Sale-Results as the nearly $50-Million-Total achieved on 16 October at Christie’s Auction of Magnificent-Jewels.


Top-Lot was a Pear-Shaped D-Color Flawless-Diamond of 50.52-Carats. It sold for $9.5-Million!


Another Pear-Shaped D-Color Flawless-Diamond—but only of 10.05-Carats—was sold for a mere $1.2-Million


At Christie’s Sale of Important-American-Furniture, Folk-Art, & Decorative-Arts, only an Important-Chippendale-Carved-Mahogany-Easy-Chair broke the $1-Million-Marker.


If you find it difficult to think of a Chair being Important, please be aware that this Chair is "attributed to the Garvan-Carver,” of Philadelphia, c.1760-1765.


De-escalating from the Million-Dollar-Stratosphere, the Top-Sale at the Treasures-of-France: From The Sun-King to the Belle-Époque was only $278,500.


But this Lot was a Louis XV Ormolu-Mounted Amaranth, Bois-Satine, Tuplipwood & Bois-de-Bout Marquetry-Table, á la Bourgogne, by Jean Pierre Lutz, c. 1755.


If you had been among the One-Per-Centers, you could have purchased—at the same Sale—a François Boucher Painting, titled The Bird-Nesters, for a modest $242,500.


Christie’s Sale of American-Art realized only $2,649,475-Million, whereas the Sales of Photographs & Richard Avedon [also Photographs, of course!] totaled $7,793,000-Million.


Peter Beard’s Photo-Triptych of an Orphan-Cheetah set a New-World-Record for a Beard-Photo-Assemblage: $662,500.


Avedon’s Photo-Portrait of Brigitte Bardot sold for $266,500, but his Lauren Hutton fetched only $104,500.


Not-To-Worry: These are not the Only-Prints of these Photos out there…


But Avedon’s Bardot did better than Norman Rockwell’s Keeping his Course (Exeter-Grill), which brought only $218,500. Still, this is an Oil-on-Canvas, not a Photo-Print


One-of-a-Kind, but you could also have had Rockwell’s Study for "The Runaway,” oil-on-paper, for $206,500.


Also on-offer in this Sale of American-Art: Works by Andrew Wyeth, Robert Henri, & Steve Wheeler!



Not-Porn! Anxiety Rather Than Arousal: Egon Schiele’s Women at Galerie St.-Etienne…


Jane Kallir has done it again!


Not only has she just mounted an excellent, challenging Exploration of Egon Schiele’s distinctive-way of looking at Women & Girls, she has also just published her own study of this Controversial-Austrian-Artist, with the appropriate-title of Egon Schiele’s Women.


If you have never seen one of Schiele’s Watercolors of Girls or Women—with their Sexily-Stockinged-Legs splayed-outward—you are In-for-a-Surprise.


Nonetheless, Jane Kallir helpfully notes: "Although the Artist was repeatedly accused of Peddling-Pornography, even a Cursory-Review of his Work shows that it more often evokes Anxiety than Sexual-Arousal.” [Caps added for Emphasis…]


True Enough!


But why was Schiele so obsessed with Matters-Vaginal?


If you cannot get enough of these Schieles at St. Etienne, Ronald Lauder has collected a lot of them over at the Neue-Galerie



Edward Albee’s Steppenwolf WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?  [*****]


College-Town-Horrors: A Cluttered Room-of-One’s-Own for Martha, But No Watery-Suicide…


If you have admired the Talents of Tracy Letts—Playwright of August, Osage County, Bug, & Killer Joe—you will be astounded at his Devastating-Performance as George, the Bog in the History-Department, who has, perhaps unwisely, married Martha, the Daughter of the President of the College where he toils Unsung & Unrewarded, not least by his Raging-Wife.


Virginia-Woolf-Playwright Edward Albee recently had an Important-Heart-Operation, which he has survived.


Considering his somewhat Heartless-Treatment of a New-Professor & his Ditzy-Wife—who have been invited-over to George & Martha’s Book-Littered-Living-Room after a rather Late-Mixer at the College—which he wrote Years-Ago, Albee’s Heart has certainly seen a Lot-of-Wear-&-Tear.


The Current-Incarnation of Who’s Afraid?now at the tiny, little Booth-Theatre—is one of the best, especially with Amy Morton’s tormented Martha.


Despite all the horrible, hurtful Things they say to each other, it is finally clear that they not only Love-Each-Other, in their Odd-Ways, but that Each cannot live without the Other.


Also excellent are Madison Dirks & Carrie Coon, as the Young-Faculty-Couple in George & Martha’s devilish-game of Get-the-Guests.


This impressive Steppenwolf-Production—tautly staged by Pam MacKinnon—should remind New-Yorkers that there is Theatre-Out-There-Beyond-the-Hudson!


Unnecessary-Note: Edward Albee is now 84-Years-of-Age. So are Hal Prince & Marian Seldes. In Two-Months, Your Roving Arts-Reporter will join them in that Select-Club



Theatre-Rites’ MOJO  [***]


Prague’s Black-Theatre Lives Again: Puppets from the London-Olympics & the Salzburg-Festival.


This past Summer, for the first time in over Fifty-Years of Reporting-on-Productions at the

Salzburg-Festival, I was denied the Press-Privilege.


Supposedly because the Salzburg-Festival has become so Famous, Worldwide, that they no longer have Press-Tickets for a Professorial-Nobody from New-York-City


Thus, I missed seeing Mojo, which was a Co-Production of the Salzburg-Festival & the London-Barbican for the Olympic-Celebrations.


As Salzburg-Festival-Productions often cost more than $400-per-ticket, this was indeed a Saving for the Salzburg-Festival-Management, as Press-Tix are free


Fortunately, I was finally able to see Mojo on New-42nd-Street, at the New-Victory-Theatre, where tickets for Kids & Adults are often in the $20-range.


Before the Fall of the Berlin-Wall, Prague was an East-European-Center of Theatrical-Innovation. The Black-Theatre-of-Prague & Laterna-Magika were stunners.


Mojo uses the Black-Light-Effect that was the Stock-in-Trade of Prague’s Black-Theatre.


In the Czech-Capitol & also later in Manhattan, the Puppeteer-Handlers were dressed in Black, against Black-Backgrounds, so Objects which glowed under Fluorescent-Illumination seemed to dance & gambol-about with a Life-of-Their-Own.


The Technology may be a bit different with Sue Buckminster’s Theatre-Rites-Ensemble, but they also combine seemingly Random-Objects to construct, among other things, a Young-Girl, who seems to Grow-Up.


In the Foreground, there is a Slanted-Revolving-Platform, with a variety of Hinged-Doors in its surface, out of which Performers & Puppets can Pop.


There is a lot of Movement, Dancing, & Song, inspired by two Remarkable-Musicians: Adriano Adewale & Leo Altarelli.



Brian Freel’s THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY  [*****]


Irish-Innocents Murdered by Brit-Troops on Bloody-Sunday-1972: But Irish-Poverty Still Relevant!


In Londonderry, if you were an Honored-Guest of the Mayor & the City, you would be granted The-Freedom-of-the-City, much like being given the Keys-to-the-City, in any American-Metropolis.


But, as the Title of Brian Friel’s disturbing Evocation of the Dreadful-Day of Bloody-Sunday, the Phrase is bitterly Ironical.


On 30 January 1972, Peaceful-Unarmed-Irish-Civil-Rights-Protestors were fired-upon by British-Soldiers, killing an Unlucky-13-People.


But why were the Brits killing & abusing Irishmen & Women in Londonderry & elsewhere in Northern-Ireland?


In 2012, hardly anyone on this side of the Atlantic—aside from some Irish-Catholics—remembers the Times of the Troubles, the IRA, the Provisionals, & the Anti-Catholic-Orangemen


Although the Irish-Free-State had gained some Autonomy following The-Great-War, it took some time before it could become the Free-Standing Irish-Republic, with its own Parliament, the Daïl.


Not answerable to London, Westminster, & The Queen


Britain, however—as Her-Empire was breaking-up in the wake of World-War-II—didn’t want to lose any more of her Sovereign-Territories.


So a Tight-Grip was maintained on Northern-Ireland, where the Protestant-Irish had always Lorded-It-Over the Catholic-Irish. Some Anti-Catholic-Laws were still on-the-books


The 1972 Civil-Rights-March wasn’t just about Legal-Rights—some Wrongs, as well—but also about Extreme-Poverty, access to Education to the Highest-Levels of Achievement, & lack of Jobs & even Futures for many young Catholic-Irishmen & Women.


These Concerns are exposed & aired by Three of the Protestors, who have apparently thus far escaped the Tumult & Shootings in the Square.


They have dashed off the street & into a side-door, only to find themselves in the lavishly-decorated Mayor’s-Parlor, complete with Liquor-Cabinet & the Elegant-Red-Robes of Mayorality & Councildom.


Lily [the solidly wonderful Cara Seymour] is a Middle-Aged, Under-Educated Mother-of-Eleven, living in Brutal-Poverty in a squalid Two-Room-Flat.


The Boyo, Skinner [the lively Joseph Sikora], doesn’t really give a Damn. He has no Hopes, no Expectations.


The System is stacked-against-him: Getting-Drunk is only a Temporary-Relief


Michael [an appealingly-thoughtful James Russell], on the other hand, is an intelligent, educated Young-Irishman who believes that Life can be better for all of them, if only they hold-firm in demanding their Rights-as-Citizens.


Friel hilariously imagines what happens when the Three are confronted with all the Booze they can drink, as well as the Robes-of-the-Mighty.


But we in the Audience already know what will happen when they tidy-up & leave the Premises.


Before we saw them bounding-about the Mayor’s-Parlor, we already saw their Dead-Bodies on the ground outside.


We have also been listening-in on the Widgrey-Commission, seeking to establish that the Three were Armed-Terrorists & not Innocent-Irishmen, shot dead with Explosive-Bullets by the Vengeful-Brits.


On 5 July 2012, a Murder-Investigation was finally invoked, possibly to provide Posthumous-Justice for those killed on Bloody-Sunday.


Whatever its Eventual-Findings, it cannot Restore-Life to Lily, Michael, & Skinner, who—if we are to believe Brian Friel’s sensitive-evocation of their Personalities & Dreams—are Real-People you might want to know.


Brian Friel wrote The Freedom of the City way back in 1974—only two-years after Bloody-Sunday—but some of its Central-Concerns still seem Importantly-Relevant, not only for Ireland, but for Lands beyond the Irish-Channel as well…


Questions-of-ReligionProtestant vs. Catholic—are now of relatively little importance, compared with the Escalation-of-Poverty, the Growing-Gap between The-Rich & The-Poor, & the Lack of Employment-Opportunities for Men & Women who are more than willing to Work.


That Fatal-March was made back in 1972.


Occupy-Wall-Street came along much later, but it was also about Economic & Social-Problems.


So The-Irish-Repertory-Theatre is to be praised for its Timely-Revival of The Freedom of the City.


Especially Ciarán O’Reilly, who staged so ably, & Artistic-Director Charlotte Moore, who has so clearly understood this drama’s Relevance. Not only for the Irish


As Jobs fly-off to Asia & the Rich-vs-Poor-Gap continually widens, as Home-Foreclosures continue & Mortgage-Debt remains un-payable, as Opportunities for the College-Educated & the Common-Man & Woman evaporate, even in America, there is the Distinct-Possibility of Civil-Unrest.


To Prevent, Discourage, Break-Up, or Contain more Occupy-Movements in Major-American-Cities, there are already Detailed-Plans for bringing Police & Military-Forces to act against Aggrieved-Citizens.


Whereas Ireland had been Oppressed, Abused, & Occupied for Centuries—think of the Anglo-Irish, with their Great-Estates; think of Scots-Protestants being "planted” in Northern-Ireland long, long ago; think of the Anti-Catholic-Laws; think of an English-Lord governing Ireland from Dublin—Americans have not had such Problems.


So, for Ireland, Religion & Foreign-Intervention are no longer the Central-Problems: It’s the Economy, Stupid…


With the Entrance of Eire into the European-Union, Prosperity seemed everywhere in the air. Not only in Dublin.


Roads were being modernized; Harbors being developed; Tourists encouraged, Festivals mounted!


Hewlett-Packard opened a huge Ink-Jet-Printer-Factory across the road from the Wonderful-Barn.


Vast Housing-Estates were also built!


But then the Housing-Bubble exploded. The Euro was threatened.


Cheap-Irish-Labor was replaced by even cheaper Asian-Hands


Where Are The Jobs?


Has either Ireland or America seen the Last of the Protests?


Will the new "Troubles” be the Poor against the "Bankstas” & the Filthy-Rich?



Hurricane-Watch: Vintage Vincent-Van-Gogh Portrait On-Loan at the Frick-Collection!


If you love Vincent’s Yellows, you will surely admire the Yellow-Straw-Hat of his Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier) now on-loan at the Frick from the prestigious Norton-Simon-Museum in Pasadena.


Aside from the Annual-Rose-Bowl-Parade, Pasadena really has little else to recommend it other than Norton Simon’s Astute-Art-Acquisitions.


Van Gogh’s Peasant has a Reddish-Visage, set-off by a Green-Coat, against a Blue-Background.


The Horrible-Hurricane delayed the Unveiling—with Commentary by Carol Togneri, Chief-Curator of Mr. Simon’s Museum.


The Frick & the Simon now have an Exchange-Program. But what will the Frick loan to Pasadena?


A Holbein? An El-Greco? A Matisse? A Watteau?

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