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…

Finian’s Rainbow

Sometimes you just get lucky. You find money on the sidewalk. You get an unexpected check in the mail — or you find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, like Finian did. In my particular case, I was generously gifted with two tickets to see Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre…

New York City Labor Chorus

  The right song at the right moment can change history.” — Pete Seeger Just days after what has probably been the most contentious election in my lifetime, I was gifted with a ticket to go hear my friend’s mom sing in the New York City Labor Chorus. There was no place I would rather have…

Ardor

Noun, meaning enthusiasm or passion. I like that. I have been savoring the new play, Ardor, by Matthew Gasda, ever since I had the privilege of experiencing it Saturday evening, and I wanted to be sure I understood the exact meaning of its title. How to write about it coherently, however, eludes me. The play…

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…

the public domain, final rehearsal with Simon Halsey and Annie-B Parson

“Singing is the best example I can think of, of people who don’t necessarily know each other … form[ing] a community to create something.” — David Lang, quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding the public domain. I absolutely agree. I belong to many civic and arts organizations, and I have created the most diverse,…

The Hubble Cantata

The stars were certainly out in Brooklyn last night. I mean gazillions of stars — more stars than I have ever seen here in our light-polluted city. In fact, I felt like I was floating through the cosmos. I could see infinite space in every direction. There were shooting stars, and I even watched the birth of a star in…