Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

It all started when a director and producer from a tiny theater in Portland, Ore., posted a message on Facebook; he was outraged that the Edward Albee estate wouldn't grant him rights to produce Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? because he'd cast a black actor in one of the roles. His post went viral, and a firestorm ensued.

For many people, New Orleans is practically synonymous with jazz; it's the birthplace of both the music and many of its leading lights, from Louis Armstrong to Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. But now, one organization is working to draw attention to the city's history of opera music.

When Linda Grenis was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the things that kept her going following surgery and through treatment was her yoga class. 

Two and a half years later, Grenis stands in tree pose on a yoga mat midstage with several dancers from Roxey Ballet, re-enacting that experience through music in an upcoming production of We Vs C: Personal Stories of Triumph, which weaves together the words, stories and emotions of 22 survivors through music, art and dance.

Kevin Kline is starring in the revival of Noel Coward's comedy Present Laughter on Broadway, the first time he's performing there in 10 years. Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the production this week on In a Broadway Minute.

How is this for a first day on the job: Maurice Murphy, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)'s late principal trumpet player, spent his very first day with the orchestra recording Star Wars' iconic opening theme, with its incredible brass fanfare — and Murphy leading the trumpets.

In the early 1920s, before he became an icon of the American songbook, composer Cole Porter wrote the score for a protest ballet. The production, called Within the Quota, criticized restrictive immigration laws that had been passed by Congress. According to Princeton music professor Simon Morrison, who rediscovered the score two years ago in Yale's Porter archives, the show opened in New York at a time of fearful backlash against Polish, Greek and Australian immigrants arriving in the U.S.

Dina Merrill was born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton on Dec. 9, 1923, into a life of high society.

Her father was Wall Street broker E.F. Hutton and her mother was cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old.

A 2010 exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco showcased precious pieces that the French jeweler Cartier made for America's mega-rich.

Vee Popat

Performers from 15 US high school jazz ensembles, and one from Cuba, came together last weekend to share performances and learn from mentors during Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition and Festival. Among those bands coming out at the top was Newark Academy's (Livingston, NJ) Chameleon big band, which received honorable mention. The band was also honored for Outstanding Rhythm Section and Outstanding Reed Section, and several of its musicians received individual recognition.

When John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2014 for his undulating orchestral piece Become Ocean, you'd be forgiven for thinking of him as something like the Jacques Cousteau of contemporary classical music.

In an unusual arrangement, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon are trading roles each performance in the Broadway revival of Lillian Hellman's classic play, The Little Foxes. Hear Theater Critic Howard Shapiro's review.

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