Thursday, June 28, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The rainbow flag, a symbol of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pride was ubiquitous at the parade. The flag was designed by artist Gilbert Baker, and was first flown in San Francisco. The original design had 8 colors, but as of 2006, it consists of six coloured stripes of red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sun), green (nature), blue (harmony), and violet (spirit). It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colours appear in a natural rainbow.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
From the New York Times:
Piaf, who died in 1963 at 47, a casualty of morphine and alcohol addiction, was a ragamuffin Gallic fusion of Billie Holiday and Judy Garland, but fiercer than either. Ms. Cotillard’s Piaf ages shockingly, from a famished alley cat ravenously slurping up life to a stooped, feeble wreck whose dyed red hair is falling out. It is an entirely convincing portrait of instinctive genius and raw life force wedded to self-destruction.
Held together by the intensity of Ms. Cotillard’s performance, “La Vie en Rose,” which opens commercially in New York and Los Angeles on June 8, is the most memorable of this year’s Rendez-Vous series of 17 films (including one documentary), which runs through March 11. It continues an expansion that began last year, when Rendez-Vous began showing films at the
Leaping around in time, “La Vie en Rose,” like the life it remembers, is a chaotic jumble in which Piaf’s original recordings, embellished with new studio orchestrations, are impeccably lip-synched by the star. The glossy 140-minute film does not sentimentalize its subject until the end, when it jarringly injects a “rosebud” moment from the singer’s past.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The exhibit combines immense urban views with digitally projected film clips and dramatic enlargements of more than 160 rare and unusual production stills. The imaginative displays capture the epic relationship between the real New York and its cinematic portrayal over the decades, beginning with the American film industry’s origins on the sidewalks of Manhattan more than a century ago. It will also look at the cinematic New York practically invented just for movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the ‘30s and ‘40s, as well as the more realistic vision provided by location shoots in the actual city from the late 1940s to the present.
Adding to the unique attraction of this exhibit are six “scenic backing” paintings used in such films as Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Vincente Minnelli’s The Clock. These gigantic, meticulously rendered cityscapes, some more than 25 feet high and 60 feet long, have never been exhibited for the general public. Shown above is one of the pictures I made of one of the scenic backing (ca 1950) from MGM Studios depicting the skyline of midtown Manhattan.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Doug Wagner writes:
“The Naked Cowboy is able to reminisce upon two births, really. One brought him into the world as a swaddling babe in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he grew up, studied at the University of Cincinnati, and tried his hand at professional modeling, dancing and bodybuilding. The other transpired on a sunny morning in Venice Beach, when after an unsuccessful stint of playing guitar on the boardwalk fully clothed, he took the advice of a friend and stripped to his undies before strumming away. It was then that the Naked Cowboy was born.
Every moment thereafter has been an inspired step in Burck’s self-avowed journey of “dominating the commercial landscape of the entire world.” Armed only with his boots, hat, guitar and briefs, the Naked Cowboy has achieved mind-boggling success in his solitary campaign to market, promote and sell the most personal of commodities: himself. His purely self-generated fame has landed the Naked Cowboy appearances around the globe, in print, on radio, and on shows like The David Letterman Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, MTV’s Total Request Live, and the Disney Channel. He’s graced the televisions of viewers in Japan, Korea, Germany, China, Brazil, Italy and South Africa. He’s strummed scantily alongside Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in the film “New York Minute.” He’s done interviews and photo-shoots for magazines including Paper, Gotham, People, YM and FHM. He’s been seen by millions in commercials for products including M&M’s, AOL, the Olympics and Pepsi (the last in a spot directed by Spike Lee that aired during the Oscars.) The likes of Dave Matthews, Donald Trump, and Sponge Bob Square Pants have all retained his services at one time or another.
Far more than just a quirky New York icon, the Naked Cowboy has endeared himself to millions with his trademark stark entertainment. His idiosyncratic life philosophy, in which he aligns himself with thinkers as diverse as Christ, Buddha, Copernicus, Tony Robbins and many more, is outlined in multiple self-published manifestos, found on his website, www.nakedcowboy.com. The Naked Cowboy, however, makes very clear that his astounding success is owing to no one but himself.
Next up for the Naked Cowboy is a slot promoting the 2006 New York City Half Marathon on behalf of Nike, on August 27. He is also currently hard at work on an album with 4Sight Music Productions, whose tracks will be infused with rock, dance, pop, blues, hip-hop, Latin, and, yes, a healthy dose of nakedness.
What to glean from the breakout success of a man, his guitar and his skivvies? Only that when conquering the world, the best ambition is naked.”
Sunday, June 17, 2007
This Petunia is one of the beautiful flowering plants for sale today at the Flea Market on the
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
"Richard Serra’s mostly magnificent retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) proves that he is not only our greatest sculptor but an artist whose subject is greatness befitting our time. I have in mind the show’s climactic sections…" by Peter Schjeldahl
Monday, June 11, 2007
There’s a little bit of Broadway in everyone. That was the slogan for the 2007 Tony Awards broadcasted by CBS last night. I attended the awards night at the
The winners of the 61st Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards are:
Best Musical -Spring Awakening
Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Musical-Christine Ebersole,
Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Musical-David Hyde Pierce, Curtains
Best Play-The Coast of
Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Play-Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Play-Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed
Best Revival of a Musical-Company
Best Revival of a Play-Journey's End
Best Direction of a Musical-Michael Mayer, Spring Awakening
Best Special Theatrical Event-Jay Johnson: The Two and Only
Best Direction of a Play-Jack O'Brien, The Coast of
Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Play-Jennifer Ehle, The Coast of Utopia
Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Play-Billy Crudup, The Coast of Utopia
Best Choreography-Bill T. Jones, Spring Awakening
Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Musical-Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Musical-John Gallagher, Jr., Spring Awakening
Best Original Score-Spring Awakening
Music: Duncan Sheik
Lyrics: Steven Sater
Best Book of a Musical-Spring Awakening, Steven Sater
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Today is the 50th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade celebrating Puerto Rican heritage. The parade started at at
"The National Parade is the vehicle to promote to our town and culture at national level," said Madelyn Lugo, president of the parade organizing committee. "We have worked to show the efforts and contributions of our community to the American society."
Organizers estimate that more than 80,000 people lined Fifth Avenue to watch the parade. There are about 2.1 million Hispanics living in
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Last Wednesday night, I went to see SPRING AWAKENING, the most Tony nominated Broadway show this season. Based on Frank Wedekind's masterpiece “The Awakening of Spring”, Spring Awakening tells the story of how a dozen young people in a provincial German town in the 1890s make their way through the exciting, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. The story centers around a brilliant young student named Melchior, his troubled friend Moritz, and Wendla, a beautiful young girl on the verge of womanhood. Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff star as teens Wendla and Melchior, respectively who are drawn to each other in a world where parents, ministers and teachers create an atmosphere of shame, silence and ignorance. Both actors were wonderful in this musical. John Gallagher Jr. plays Moritz and his performance is outstanding. He effectively expresses his inner confusion and frustrations. The music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater features songs that illuminate the urgency of adolescent self-discovery, the burning intensity of teen friendships and the innate suspicion of the uncomprehending adult world. The musical reminded me of RENT, and has its own cult following.
From the New York Times:
“As that daring sequence suggests, Mr. Sater, who wrote the book and lyrics, remains faithful to the play’s awareness that the discovery of sex can carry in its heady wake both salvation and destruction, particularly when it is coupled with ignorance. Mr. Sheik’s music, spare in its simple orchestrations, lush in the lapping reach of its seductive choruses, embodies the shadowy air of longing that infuses the show, the excitement shading into fear, the joy that comes with a chaser of despair. The singing throughout is impassioned and affecting, giving powerful voice to the blend of melancholy and hope in the songs.
For the characters’ confusions are ultimately not sexual but existential too. Sex is a central expression of life’s mystery, and a metaphor for it too. But the awakening really taking place in “Spring Awakening” is to something larger than the insistent needs of the flesh. Mr. Sater and Mr. Sheik’s angst-riddled teenagers are growing into a new awareness of “the bitch of living” itself. And the beauty of living too.”