New Year's Eve in New York City may be know for Times Square silliness, but I was lucky enough to partake in a culture-lover’s dream come true: a night at the Metropolitan Opera! And not just any night, but the premiere of a new staging of Bizet’s “Carmen.”
As the New Year closes in and we all take a little time for reflection, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll be doing at the close of the next decade -- and the next, and the next... I get solace and inspiration from a 'Studio 360' episode from last February which featured several older folks who are still productive, or had even started something new later in life.
Studio 360 has had many memorable segments this year, but my favorite has to be from the show that aired the week of Barack Obama's inauguration.
The Muppets have a proud tradition of taking the hit songs and making them their own: muppet-izing them, shall we say. The Sesame Street gang had a string of successes with “Letter B” (ala the Beatles’s “Let Her Be”), “Born to Add” (ala the Boss’s “Born to Run”) and “U Really Got a Hold On Me” featuring Smokey Robinson and a rather clingy Letter U.
On December 3, the United Nations named Stevie Wonder a Messenger of Peace. 'We all know Stevie Wonder is a musical genius whose songs have given pleasure and hope to millions of people around the world,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated. “He is also a great humanitarian who has campaigned against apartheid, for children in need and for persons with disabilities.'
It may surprise some people that movie star Willem Dafoe (Spiderman, The English Patient, Platoon) has roots deep in the stages of experimental theater. Dafoe was a founding member of The Wooster Group in New York, along with director Elizabeth LeCompte and Spalding Gray. Recently, I was lucky enough to catch him back in his old stomping grounds in Richard Foreman's 'Idiot Savant' at the Public Theater.
Hard to believe, but the Muppets turned 40 this month! And my favorite segments from "The Muppet Show" are still "Pigs in Space."
I was lucky enough to be a fly on the wall for Kurt's interview with David Hockney last week. It was a revelation to hear him talk about his way of seeing. And I was surprised to learn that he has started painting on his iPhone, using the 'Brushes' application, to 'paint' lovely little pictures that he then sends off to his friends.
If you're planning to see 'Amelia,' the new Amelia Earhart biopic now in theaters, keep an eye out for recent 'Studio 360' guest Gore Vidal -- or at least the actor playing him. The film takes place long before he became notorious for his envelope-pushing novels and on-air political smackdowns with William F. Buckley. At the time he knew the famous female aviator, Vidal was still a kid. But it turns out that his father, Gene, was an able pilot in his own right and one of Earhart's great loves.
This week New York welcomes 'Performa '09', the third biennial of performance art to hit the city. The event features more than 150 artists over three weeks, and one of whom has me very excited.
I got outed on the elevator the other day. A co-worker spotted knitting needles in my bag.
New York City’s El Museo del Barrio has reopened after a well-deserved multi-million dollar renovation.
Carl Jung, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, had his own very fraught and very formative 'confrontation with the unconscious.' He meticulously documented the experience. But his journals have remained unpublished and shrouded in mystery -- until now. Bound as a single volume, The Red Book will be released tomorrow. And it could throw the door open on a whole new way to understand Jung’s life and work.
As the Belvedere Torso inspired Michelangelo, Michelangelo inspired Robert Mapplethorpe. The Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy, has never exhibited a contemporary artist in the revered museum that houses Michelangelo's 'David.' Until now.
Next week, Kurt will be speaking to musician, artist, and all-around icon Yoko Ono -- she has a new album coming out, "Between My Head and the Sky," on which she collaborated on with her son Sean Lennon.