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Romantic Italian Opera at Dawn

Music

Romantic Italian Opera at Dawn

The theme of the inaugural season of Will Crutchfield’s Teatro Nuovo Summer Festival at Purchase College was “The Dawn of Romantic Opera,” which according to Crutchfield happened in Italy in 1813. In February of that year in Venice, 21-year old Gioachino Rossini scored his first breakthrough triumph with the opera seria “Tancredi. In November 1813 in Naples, 50-year-old Bavarian-born Giovanni Simone Mayr scored his greatest theatrical success with “Medea in Corinto.” Teatro Nuovo presented both operas in three (barely) semi-staged concerts. Comment
Fashion

Wedding Photographer with an Adventurous Streak

The picture of photographer Stephanie Zakas — taken by Canadian Sherry Nelson of Fresh Air Photography — tells you a lot about this woman’s adventurous spirit. It’s shot in Iceland, where this Williamsburg-based professional spends two weeks a month. Comment
Nightlife

Queen of the Night

Long the queen of New York nightlife, Susanne Bartsch, has now been immortalized in a documentary about her life and wild times, “Susanne Bartsch: On Top,” just released on video. Comment
Theater

Lonely Hearts Club

Theater

Lonely Hearts Club

“A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur” is not one of Tennessee Williams’ top-drawer plays. But even as a middle-drawer work, it’s got a marvelous richness and poignancy to spare, thanks in no small part to a sturdy cast, led by the splendid Kristine Nielsen, nominated for a Best Actress Tony for the farcical “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Comment
Music

A Pop Attack on Gender Conformity

Music

A Pop Attack on Gender Conformity

In a musical landscape where the distorting effects of Autotune on vocals are the clearest hallmark and glitchy production effects are increasingly common (the aesthetics behind trans producer Sophie’s “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides” and rapper Travis Scott’s “Astroworld” aren’t so far apart despite vast differences in recording budgets and sales figures), the idea that music is most truthful when it consists of a singer/ songwriter standing with a guitar and performing confessional songs about their life is dying out. Comment
Theater

Character Issues

Theater

Character Issues

The dazzling, diminutive production of “Heartbreak House,” now on Theatre Row, draws its emotional heft from several sources. It starts, of course, with the play and Shaw’s passionate condemnation of Britain’s institutional and cultural status quo that created the conditions for the first World War and then treated that war merely as a hiccup rather than the transformative event that should have awakened people to a new world but did not. Shaw wraps his polemics in characters for whom, however symbolic, an audience comes to care. Then there is Shaw’s nod to Chekhov in creating a darker domestic comedy, like “The Cherry Orchard,” where the characters are blinded to the world around them, making this one of his bleaker social commentaries. Comment

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