Posted inPerformance

Original Sin, Original Theater

Experiencing “The Humans” does require some stamina, as it’s a three-hour long play that often dips into follies that can drag a bit long. Yet if you’re interested in theater, the influences of art’s obsession with forms, Shakespeare, Wodehouse, and scatological humor wrapped around a frame of the Greek satire of Aristophanes is an intriguing experiment.

Posted inNews

NYC Cultural Institutions Have Pension Payments Withheld While City Examines “Anomalies”

The New York Times reported yesterday that New York City is withholding payments this fiscal year into a pension system for many cultural centers with city contracts, such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Basically, the city is asking if the amount they have to pay into the retirement system has been overstated in the bookkeeping of these places.

Posted inArt

Our Robots, Ourselves

Despite our intense familiarity with machines, there’s still something a bit foreboding about our increasingly sophisticated mechanical creations. Generally they are not evil natured or programmed to destroy us (like those pink robots after Yoshimi), but sometimes there’s a feeling of not being entirely in control of our docile electronic devices, an undercurrent creators have long fed on in iconic ways, whether it’s HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the seamlessly human-like replicants in Blade Runner, all reflecting back our own insecurities about robots in our lives.

Posted inPerformance

A New Kind of Theater Space Opens BAM to More Aggressive Work

Standing at the corner on which Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand helped anoint the new Barclays Center at the southern edge of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, it’s possible to feel an air of controversy around the 19,000-seat sports arena and concert venue that opened its doors for the very first time just weeks ago. Meanwhile, over at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the 150-plus-year-old arts institution that has long helped to anchor the area, began inaugurating a new space of its own in September.

Posted inPerformance

A Play Brings the Politics of Fascism to 21st-Century America

As a high school kid, I thought Eugène Ionesco was pretty much one of the best writers I had encountered up to that point. He was an entrenched misanthrope with a brutal wit who wasn’t afraid to take on politics, philosophy, and the unfortunate realities of human interaction. And, most importantly to me at that time, one of his sharpest tools was his sense of the absurd. As a teenager who had moved a number of times and changed schools every couple of years, who spent most of her time in her own head or with her nose in books, and who was grappling with depression and a latent queerness, absurdity made perfect sense to me. The world outside of my head was excruciatingly absurd and twisted to me then, and most of the time I hated it and assumed it hated me right back. Ionesco was perfect.