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And Now, Grindr: The Opera

And Now, Grindr: The Opera

BY ELI JACOBSON |  Some years ago, New York and Philadelphia-bred actor, singer, playwright, and composer Erik Ransom came up with the idea of creating a cabaret theater piece about the gay sex hook-up site Manhunt.net. But the world of online gay dating evolved faster than the piece did. Soon gay men were ditching their […]

Footwork After 40

Footwork After 40

BY DAVID NOH | Dancers bring so much joy into our lives. But if I had a kid who wanted to do it for a career I don’t know how thrilled I’d be. The reality is a hard one and the professional tenure is short. Dancer Over 40, started in 1990, is a vitally important foundation […]

Nellie’s ‘60s

Nellie’s ‘60s

BY DAVID NOH | Hallelujah! The ever-surprising and original Nellie McKay has a new CD out of songs from the 1960s, “My Weekly Reader.” In addition to a melting version of the Beatles’ “If I Fell,” she sings works by Country Joe, Moby Grape, Frank Zappa, Richard Fariña, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Kinks, […]

Capital Thrill

Capital Thrill

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | On February 27, a good-sized crowd heard Washington National Opera “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” the company’s first attempt at Poulenc’s riveting dramatic study. Francesca Zambello’s production played quite well in Hildegard Bechtler’s sensibly spare sets, though the deployment of dress extras out of “Les Miz,” increasingly frequent these days, sapped concentration […]

Dorothy’s Dozen

Dorothy’s Dozen

BY DAVID NOH | Once upon a time, in the distant BR (Before RuPaul) era, real women ruled our hearts in gay dives. Barbra Streisand at the Lion, Bette Midler at the Continental Baths, Ellen Greene at Reno Sweeney made us swoon, cocktails in hand, with their big, actual voices, talent, and camp sensibilities. Carrying on the […]

The French Connection

The French Connection

BY ELI JACOBSON | French opera has become something of a stepchild in the international operatic repertoire — it doesn’t always get the love and attention it needs even in Paris. Its specialists are few and far between, and the French style has become internationalized, losing character, delicacy, and perfume. The Metropolitan Opera, historically a major […]

All-American Dream

All-American Dream

BY MICHAEL SHIREY | Steve Grand may well have felt that lightning struck. In July 2013, the songwriter, singer, piano player, and guitarist from the Chicago suburbs released a self-produced debut single, “All American Boy,” that went viral in a matter of days. The country-infused song soon scored him appearances on “Good Morning America,” CNN, and […]

The Swan of Pesaro’s Highland Fling

The Swan of Pesaro’s Highland Fling

BY ELI JACOBSON | The standard mid 20th century critical trope regarding Gioachino Rossini was that his genius was limited to opera buffa and his musical legacy would consist of the “The Barber of Seville” and the “William Tell Overture” (the latter due to the “Lone Ranger” television series). The last 40 years have been a […]

“Oscar” Winning, But Not for Best Score

“Oscar” Winning, But Not for Best Score

BY ELI JACOBSON | It is never a happy task to criticize a work which is created out of love for the best artistic and social reasons by gifted people –– but good intentions do not automatically make great art. (As well, great artists are not always great or even good human beings outside of their […]

Snowy Lincoln Center Nights

Snowy Lincoln Center Nights

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | The Metropolitan’s seemingly endless run of the 1982 Zeffirelli “Bohème” resumed January 15 after more than a month’s lapse. Riccardo Frizza had trouble holding together ensemble; rehearsals for cast members new or returning from past seasons must have been minimal. The performance dragged and just didn’t quite gel. French tenor Jean-François Borras […]

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