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A Pope to Believe In

A Pope to Believe In

BY DAVID NOH | There will probably never be another Golden Age of Cabaret as there was in the 1970s, when nearly every block in Manhattan seemed to have at least one boîte where supernovas, almost-stars with cult followings, and unknowns alike could get up on stage and attempt to bring an audience to its knees […]

Low Voltage “Elektra”  

Low Voltage “Elektra”  

BY ELI JACOBSON | In the world of opera, Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” (1909) defines the concept of “larger than life. Except for its tidy 100-minute length, this opera is big. It has the opera repertory’s biggest, loudest post-Wagnerian orchestration and requires the biggest, most powerful voices. The libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (adapted from the Sophocles […]

No Fouttés Left To Give

No Fouttés Left To Give

BY BRIAN McCORMICK | Ben Munisteri is outta here, bitches. He’s headed to Alma College in central Michigan, where he’s accepted a full-time teaching position. But before he leaves, he’s taking some time to remind everyone he’s still an esteemed and talented New York choreographer — a master of formalist remix — with four performances at […]

All Donizetti, All the Time

All Donizetti, All the Time

BY ELI JACOBSON | The Metropolitan Opera has scheduled five Donizetti operas this season — two comic gems, “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “Don Pasquale,” and the Tudor Queen Trilogy as a vehicle for Sondra Radvanovsky. The Metropolitan completed the trilogy with the company premiere of Donizetti’s 1837 opera “Roberto Devereux” directed by Sir David McVicar (who also […]

Veterans Kicking Strong

Veterans Kicking Strong

BY DAVID NOH | If she doesn’t already, Bette Midler, soon to be the new Dolly on Broadway, should know what a deep influence she has had on her fellow entertainers. In three interviews this past week — including with Kathy Griffin  — very talented and very different ladies each, coincidentally, found serious reason to mention […]

Roaming Operagoer  

Roaming Operagoer  

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Victor DeRenzi has put Sarasota Opera on the map through an ultra-complete Verdi cycle that “Aida” and the rare “La battaglia di Legnano” completed this year in the company’s wonderfully intimate and refurbished 1920s theater. For better and worse, Sarasota is also probably North America’s Ground Zero for traditional productions: most everything […]

Victorian Delights

Victorian Delights

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | “I heard a terrific performance at the New York Philharmonic.” How often these days do we hear or think that sentence? It does happen, and it happened March 8, largely thanks to the always welcome guest conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, now 85 and in full command. The piece at hand was Johannes Brahms’ […]

The True King of Tap

The True King of Tap

BY DAVID NOH| There was no show more entertaining than “Tappin’ Thru Life,” starring the phenomenal triple threat talent Maurice Hines, who, at 72, just blew me away with his inexhaustible energy, showmanship, and elegance (in some fabulous Armani). Backed by the wonderful all-girl Diva Jazz Orchestra and featuring three dazzling, gorgeous, and excruciatingly young tap […]

Cavalli Soars as Puccini Sours

Cavalli Soars as Puccini Sours

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Juilliard made a fantastic contribution to the opera season with Zack Winokur’s imagistically haunting, pitch-perfect staging of Francesco Cavalli’s 1651 “Calisto.” The work exemplifies opera’s second generation, in which what had been a restrained, literally aristocratic pastime went public — especially in the fun-house mirror of Venetian culture — and aimed for […]

All Hail the New King

All Hail the New King

BY DAVID NOH | You can see a new star exploding at Lincoln Center these days in the revival of “The King and I,” in the title role-personage of Hoon Lee, an actor I’ve admired for years who has now fully come into his own. Possessing the real majesty, histrionic prowess, vocal chops, devastating sexiness, and, […]

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