Utah Symphony and Opera Turns A Corner?

A year ago, the fortunes of the Utah Symphony and Opera were on the rocks, and the organization looked in peril. “The outlook for the USO is now ‘cautiously optimistic,’ words recited like a mantra by management, musicians and patrons alike. Indeed, there is reason for hope: Ticket sales are up and donations are rising. But the institution isn’t in the clear yet. Administrators need to keep the numbers moving upward and grapple with ongoing challenges.”

Louisiana Phil Back In New Orleans

The Louisiana Philharmonic has resumed playing in its homeown. “The orchestra has started a 12-week spring season that was planned long before Hurricane Katrina hit and scattered the players everywhere. Members have since played with 61 different orchestras. The musicians [have gone] to great lengths to maintain the programs planned before the hurricane.”

Hong Kong Gets Literary

Hong Kong is becoming a big literary center. “This month, Hong Kong becomes home to a new international literary prize and to the relaunched Asia Literary Review. Major overseas publishers and agents, meanwhile, have been making regular visits or setting up operations in this area. Hong Kong is working hard to position itself in the middle of this potentially booming book trade.”

The Remarkable Turnaround In Animation

“Not a single animated feature was released in the U.S. in 1984, and the five released in 1985 sold less than $50 million worth of tickets combined. How healthy are animated movies today? Well, in 2004, the top five animated films sold more than $1.1 billion worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada. The three films nominated for Best Animated Feature that year outgrossed the five live-action nominees, $858.6 million to $401.5 million.”

The End Of Feminism?

“According to a remarkable thesis that has blown open the debate around feminism, sexism and the future role of women, a new generation of bright, rich professionals have broken through the glass ceiling and have nothing to fear from the men around them. They will be just as successful.” But “the meteoric rise of this new generation of ‘go-getting women’ who want high-powered, well-paid jobs has dire consequences for society. It has diverted the most talented away from the caring professions such as teaching, stopped them volunteering, is in danger of ending the notion of ‘female altruism’, has turned many women off having children – and has effectively killed off feminism.”

Bollywood Looks Up From Its Formula

Bollywood certainly has its formula. The movies typically are “kitschy, megawatt musicals with lavish song-and-dance sequences largely disconnected from the plot. In a three-hour film – it could even be a grisly thriller – there may be as many as 10 songs with leading men and women strutting their stuff in settings as diverse as idyllic mountain meadows and grimy city streets. And every time the music starts, the storyline comes to a halt as the hero and heroine dance in gaudy attires that change with dizzying frequency.” Now some Indian directors are experimenting to change the formula…

Seattle Rep To Produce “Rachel Corrie”

Seattle Repertory Theatre will be the first big American company to produce the controversial “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” “The fact that Rachel Corrie was from Olympia, and went to college at Evergreen, is a big part of why we want to do this. This is about someone local, who could have been any of us. And it’s about what happens when your passion and activism reaches the level that hers did.”