Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
Choreographer Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty marks the choreographer's return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer's trio of masterworks that began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995 with the international success, Swan Lake, featuring a cast of all-male swans. This timeless fairy tale about a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years was adapted into a beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. In a highly theatrical production that is not your grandfather's Sleeping Beauty, Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the story at the height of the fin de siecle epoch when fairies, vampires and a decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As the heroine Aurora matures into a young woman, the period shifts to the rigid confines of the Edwardian era. Decades later, awakening from her century-long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day -- a world she finds more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale. Bourne's haunting new scenario is a romance for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, resulting in a supernatural love story across the decades, one that even the passage of time cannot erase.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Stephen Sondheim's Company with the New York Philharmonic
Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking musical "Company," premiered in 1970 with a book by George Furth. Centering on Bobby, a confirmed bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his 10 closest friends (who also happen to be five couples), the musical culminates in Bobby's transformation from unattached swinger to tentative monogamist. This New York Philharmonic gala concert production stars Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby. Directed by Sondheim veteran Lonny Price, Harris' co-stars include Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls), Jon Cryer and Martha Plimpton performing the show's many Sondheim standards, including "Another Hundred People," "Barcelona," "Side by Side," "The Ladies Who Lunch" and "Being Alive." Also starring are Craig Bierko, Katie Finneran, Aaron Lazar, Jill Paice, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton and Chryssie Whitehead.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Renee Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg
American soprano Renee Fleming travels to Russia for a special visit to St. Petersburg with her friend and frequent co-star, Russianbaritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. There in the "Venice of theNorth, "they explore and perform in some of the most spectacular locations of a city that was born in the remarkable mind and imagination of the young Czar Peter the Great (a city that he named not for himself, but for Saint Peter). St. Petersburg is a city of palaces, and Fleming and Hvorostovsky take in three of the most memorable, all of them on the water. First is the Winter Palace, also known as the Hermitage, built with one entire facade facing the Neva River. Next on the tour is the Yusupov Palace (the scene of Rasputin's murder); and lastly, the Peterhof with its fantastic fountains on the Gulf of Finland. In each location, they sing arias and duets by Veri and Tchaikovsky, as well as the Russian songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.