Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

On Tuesday morning, the first announcement went out that in Fall 2018 — only a year away! — Broadway performances will begin of Pretty Woman: The Musical. Prior to that, Chicago will host the world premiere run, beginning in the spring.

Sooooooooooooooooo if you've been wondering when one of Hollywood's most endearing-slash-problematic stories would make it to the stage, it's almost time!

For many people, the Jewish High Holidays are a time of celebration and spiritual renewal. But for those who have a more ambivalent relationship to their faith — those who might identify as culturally Jewish rather than religious — this time of year can be challenging.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the Municipal Auditorium in 1967,
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Records, Special Collection and Archives, Georgia State University Library

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra last month announced that it had transferred its archives to Georgia State University Library's Special Collection and Archives. The collection includes programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, business documents and a host of other memorabilia tracing the orchestra's 73-year history.

The New York City Ballet's costume shop is located on the eighth floor of a building in Lincoln Center. There are spectacular views of the Hudson River, but no one's looking out the windows. They're all working with a quiet intensity.

"It's a shop full of 18 people," says Marc Happel, the City Ballet's director of costumes. "Amazing craftspeople, machine operators, hand stitching, we have three drapers. I mean the level of costume-making here is probably the highest you could get."

This week's In a Broadway Minute (9/22) goes off-Broadway for a new production of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros with a new twist -- it's in Yiddish. Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews this production Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Many plays have been called "kitchen sink" dramas because of their attempts at realism, but Oh My Sweet Land takes that to the extreme. It uses not just the sink but also the stove, the refrigerator, a chopping board and a very big knife — and it's being performed in kitchens across New York.

We Shall Not Be Moved is a new opera that takes its name from both the old spiritual-turned-civil-rights anthem and the Philadelphia black liberation group, MOVE. That group might be best-remembered for a 1985 tragedy: A police helicopter bombed the MOVE house, and the resulting fire killed 11 people and destroyed 62 homes in the neighborhood.

The opera, presented by Opera Philadelphia with the Apollo Theater, had its world premiere Sept. 16. It revisits that house and its ghosts, while remaining centered on stories about young people in Philadelphia today.

Wandering around the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, composer David Hertzberg stares at the walls in wonder. He's been through the rooms many times, drinking in the works by Seurat, Modigliani, Renoir and other masters. It's not just paintings alone, or even the Asian and Egyptian sculptures and other artworks arranged around the rooms, or the doorhandles and other pieces of daily, everyday hardware that might have adorned a home a century ago. Rather, it's the way its all put together.

On fateful September 11, 2001, the little Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland, was inundated with diverted airplanes carrying thousands of passengers from around the world. What happened that day is the subject of the Broadway Musical "Come from Away." Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the musical this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Legendary theater director Sir Peter Hall might have ended up the grand old man of British theater, but he came from modest beginnings — Hall was born in 1930 in Suffolk, England to a father who was a railway clerk, and his family lived in a house without electricity.

Hall went on to run two of the most important theater companies in England — the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre — and directed Waiting for Godot and Amadeus, among dozens of plays, old and new.

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