Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

Roald Dahl's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is drawing audiences young and old on Broadway. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review of the musical this week on In a Broadway Minute - Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

The American Boychoir School, whose choir has performed with major orchestras and pop stars including Beyoncé, is closing its doors after 80 years as declining enrollment hampered its financial recovery.

In a statement posted Tuesday on its website, Rob D’Avanzo, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, said enrollment for the coming year fell unexpectedly, leaving the school with 19 to 21 students to start the semester in three weeks.

The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra will have a guest conductor this week: Dennis Prager. He'll conduct Haydn's Symphony No. 51 at an orchestra fundraiser.

A six-year initiative by the Houston Grand Opera will explore human and universal themes in operas new and old, and this week on A Tempo (Saturday 8/12 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz touches base with the opera company to learn more. She'll speak with HGO's Assistant Artistic Director, Paul Hopper, about the themes that will be covered in the initial years of "Seeking the Human Spirit", plans for new commissions, and community partnerships with hospitals, museums and other organizations to bring members of the broader community along on this operatic journey.

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Michael Moore, the documentarian and liberal activist, is making his Broadway debut as a monologist in a show he calls "The Terms of My Surrender." Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

 

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 was supposed to be the next Hamilton. It was going to invigorate Broadway and attract younger and more diverse audiences — and it almost succeeded. Instead, it's closing on Sept. 3, in part because of a controversy over casting and race.

Updated, Nov. 27 at 4:45 PM: Bruce Springsteen announced this afternoon that the show, titled "Springsteen on Broadway," will extend its run, with additional performances scheduled from Feb. 28 through June 30th, 2018. According to the press release, only fans who had previously registered via Ticketmaster's "Verified Fan" service, and who were either placed on standby or were not able to purchase tickets, will have access to tickets for the new spring 2018 dates.

Tony Award-winning actress and singer Barbara Cook, an ingénue in Broadway's Golden Age — during the 1950s and '60s — who later transformed herself into a concert and cabaret star, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tuesday of respiratory failure, surrounded by friends and family at her home in Manhattan, according to her publicist.

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The New Jersey State Council on the Arts recently held its annual meeting, awarding more than $15 million to arts organizations around the state and outlining its plans for the coming year. A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with Nicholas Paleologos, executive director of the Arts Council, about the grants, the state of arts organizations and arts education in New Jersey, and the Council's plans as it sets about creating its next strategic plan. Tune in Saturday (8/5) at 7 pm.

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The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park summer series in Central Park is presenting a large-cast production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro this week, when he reviews the play on In a Broadway Minute, Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10.

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And we're going to step it up a notch here. The words high energy - I mean, what an understatement when we're talking about this group of girls at a Baltimore high school. Their step performances feature stomping, clapping, chanting.

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The actor Kevin Hart is launching an all-digital streaming comedy service. The Laugh Out Loud Network is the latest entry in a crowded market. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

Comedian Sasheer Zamata is at a crossroads.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz this week interviews Daniel Hsu, the bronze medal winner at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Hsu is a student at the Curtis Institute for Music, which is also the Alma Mater of this year's gold medalist, Yekwon Sunwoo. Hsu will talk about his experience in preparing for and performing during the competition, which is held every four years in Forth Worth, Texas. That's Saturday at 7 pm.

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George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 has been popular in a London stage version and now it's on Broadway. Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews 1984 this week on "In a Broadway Minute" Friday morning at 8 am and Saturday morning at 10 am. 

For most of the 1990s, Adrian "Stretch" Bartos and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia hosted a famous weekly hip-hop radio show on Columbia University's campus radio station, WKCR. Their no-frills, four-hour show was broadcast during the wee hours of the morning — 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday mornings — on a low-strength signal that listeners had to be deliberate about searching out.

Don't bother trying to pigeonhole the music of Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist, who record under the name From the Mouth of the Sun. If their mission in this instrumental miniature is nothing more than beauty itself, they have succeeded on a disproportionate scale.

The music in "Light Blooms In Hollow Space" summons exactly what its title suggests. A simple, two-note piano figure ticks like a clock while wheezy organ chords slowly emerge and a sprinkle of ukuleles falls from above. The space may be hollow, but it's painted with impressionistic detail.

There's nothing like fandom to encourage innovation, and the devotees of the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical are no exception — whether they've actually seen the show in person or have memorized every lyric of the 46 songs on the soundtrack album. So it was only a matter of time before enthusiastic fans were going to search out culinary tributes to their most treasured folk hero.

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It's a rare opportunity when an emerging composer gets extended rehearsal time with a symphony orchestra to work through a new piece. So the chance to spend a week preparing a new work with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and hearing feedback directly from musicians offered an unusual learning experience for a select group of composers earlier this month. 

Mark Campbell is one of the most prolific and celebrated librettists in contemporary American opera. But, as he recently told an audience at the Guggenheim Museum, not everyone thought his latest project was a good idea.

Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews Marvin's Room, a play with actress/comedian Janeane Garofalo. Friday 8 am and Saturday 10 am.

Russian, American and French ballet dancers are gathering Thursday night for a bit of cultural diplomacy at New York City's Lincoln Center. They're celebrating the 50th anniversary of George Balanchine's masterpiece Jewels, considered the first full-length, nonnarrative ballet.

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