Escaped Alone

I came very close to adding Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill to my BAM subscription this winter but in the end, it did not make the cut (I had to be very selective at the time.) Luckily, my friend Rebecca ended up with an extra ticket and I had the privilege of seeing this terrific play…

Batsheva Dance Company: Last Work

Like languorous animals, suddenly pouncing; like edgy hyperactive aliens; like crazy-joyful-depressed zombies; like the best birthday gift to myself ever — these are the inchoate thoughts crowding my head as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night. How to describe a performance by Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company? Best to keep it to the wild jumble of…

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

My week began with a sudden and painful dental emergency, but antibiotics worked their magic and I felt back to normal as the lights dimmed at BAM’s Harvey Theater on Thursday evening. The Beauty Queen of Leenane commenced, and it was not long before I felt a new kind of pain — an uncomfortably real and heart-wrenching…

The Winter’s Tale

This was a bittersweet 2016 Next Wave Festival for me this year. For numerous reasons, I missed out on many shows I wish I could have seen. Thank goodness for the BAM social media team for sharing so much about the performances I could not attend. It was kinda sorta like being there. That said, I…

Kings of War

I sat on the G train on Friday evening — headed to Brooklyn Academy of Music — wondering if I had made a big mistake. Kings of War, performed in Dutch (with surtitles) by Toneelgroep Amsterdam and directed by Ivo van Hove had seemed like a no-brainer. (His Antigone at BAM last fall was fantastic.)…

Letter to a Man

A jarring buzz. The sound of a whip cracking? There are voices all around me. I am not sure where they are coming from. The voices repeat themselves exhaustively — sometimes in Russian. Lights flash on, then abruptly off. Random snatches of music enter my awareness. A man moves like a dream – glacially. Did…

Vortex Temporum

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is one of the contemporary choreographers I most admire. I discovered her accidentally, through my love of contemporary music. The first time I saw her work was at Brooklyn Academy of Music, when her dance company, Rosas, presented Drumming, performed to the seminal  percussive work of the same name by Steve Reich. I already…

The Hunger

Someone once told me that you can tell how fantastic a music festival is if the number of bands you wished you could have seen is equally as long as the groups you did get to see. This rule certainly applies to the BAM Next Wave Festival. The list of what I wish I could…

Phaedra(s)

I set off a smoke detector as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, but it was not because I was smoking. It was because of the hot mess of passion Aphrodite stirred up in the poor Phaedras – all three of them — played with a sizzling ferociousness by the inimitable French…

the loser

This is how “preaching to the choir” might look, I thought, as I sat in the mezzanine, completely enthralled by the story that baritone, Rod Gilfry — who was terrific in Anna Nicole — sang to us last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This was the world premiere of David Lang’s opera, the loser, based on…

Henry V

It has been a season of endings: both for BAM’s King and Country cycle of Shakespeare’s King plays, as well as for the folding of the print magazine I designed for years. (Print is dead. Long live print!) Focusing on the job situation is the reason for this extremely late review of Henry V, and for…

Elektra

Last fall, well into the already busy cultural season, I saw a production of Antigone at BAM. Today, as the season is winding down, I spent an afternoon immersed in another of Sophokles’ tragedies: Elektra. This version was the 1909 opera by Richard Strauss, as staged by the late Patrice Chéreau at the Metropolitan Opera….