The Getty has seen its reputation tarnished over a series of missteps. Christopher Knight has five ideas he thinks would put Getty at the center of LA’s cultural life.
Toni Morrison found working on the opera Margaret Garner frustrating experience. Would she do another opera? No. “Although Morrison has collaborated previously with composers Danielpour and André Previn on some well-received song cycles, novelists aren’t used to generating just one of many elements – and not the dominant one – of a creative production.”
Sport yes, but once there was also artistry. “The word “sport” is the giveaway. With its pancaked athletes in garish clothes grinding out desperate spins and neck-breaking jumps in neon-lit arenas, in front of politically-motivated judges with protégés of their own among the competitors, ice-skating can be as offputting to watch as it seems dubious. Even the ice-dancing can be underwhelming, straining to mimic ballet or musical theatre.”
“We know why science exists — to find a cure for cancer, fly us to the Moon or invent those weird bars of metal soap that claim to get the smell of chopped onions off your fingers and which, amazingly, actually work. But what about art? Determining the function and quantifying the success of a painting or a piece of music is almost impossible. Or is it?”
It’s a disappearing art. “In the old days you had to prompt, you really had to follow with your finger and mouth it with them. You marked up your script very precisely. You helped them through it. But what became of the prompt? Is it now an extinct species?”
A musical based on the movie “The Wedding Singer” debuts in Seattle. “It’s notable as the most recent in an accelerating wave of commercial Broadway tuners devised by writers and composers who came of age in the ’80s. This new breed is giving American musical comedy its own slant, and inspiring backers to stake millions on fresh shows — especially those, like ‘Wedding Singer,’ with a hit movie title on the marquee.”
The video rental business has been on the decline. “Blockbuster will certainly not survive and it will certainly not be missed. It has been a precipitous fall. But pegging the habits of the video consumer has always been difficult.” What will be the preferred way to get videos?
Dancers of the Australian Dance Theatre have teamed up with robots, “towering, ambulatory, geometric structures that cross art deco with Lego, or smaller, silvery creatures that swarm across the stage with bunched spidery legs. They perform as equal partners with the ADT at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in March, separately or strapped to the dancers’ bodies like mutated insect prosthetics.”
Violence erupted in the Middle East over the weekend as crowds of Muslims protested Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad. “Those attacks earned widespread condemnation from European nations and the U.S., which accused the Syrian government of backing the protests. The Danish foreign minister said: ‘enough is enough. Now it has become more than a case about the drawings: Now there are forces that wants a confrontation between our cultures. It is in no one’s interest, neither them or us.’ Syria blamed Denmark for the protests, criticizing the Scandinavian nation for refusing to apologize for the caricatures of Islam’s holiest figure.”
Chicago theatres are opening their stages to anxiety this season. “Audiences seeking to exorcise the demons that plague us in the midnight hours can face down their fears a little earlier, in the collective warmth of a theater, and emerge cleansed of anxiety when the lights come up and the world rearranges itself around us, still intact for the time being.”