Theater review by Raven Snook A depressed adolescent Hamlet, armed with a handgun and grappling with loss, feels uncannily suited to the cultural moment. When English director Robert Icke's production of Shakespeare’s tragedy premiered to acclaim in London five years ago, Andrew Scott's middle-aged Prince of Denmark cut a very different figure. But in the production’s New York engagement, with perennial troubled-youth portrayer Alex Lawther (The End of the F***ing World) as the great Dane, Shakespeare's ghost story becomes an unsettlingly contemporary tale of insurmountable and all-consuming grief. Clocking in at almost four hours, this Hamlet shows us the full monarch. Surveillance screens are everywhere in designer Hildegard Bechtler grayscale, warehouse-chic Elsinore; the spirit of the recently deceased king (David Rintoul) reveals himself to Hamlet, his mourning son, in a jump scare conjured chillingly by Tal Yarden's video design. Already cursing the hasty remarriage of his mother Gertrude (a sympathetic Jennifer Ehle) to his uncle Claudius (Angus Wright), Hamlet is sent into a tailspin when the ghost demands revenge for his murder. The rest is tragedy, as Hamlet's erratic behavior destroys everyone in his path. Lawther’s youthfulness—he is 27 but reads a decade younger—helps make him a remarkably legible Hamlet, with a quaver in his voice, a nervous physicality that seems always on the verge of explosion, and a mindset that makes you question what's real. When played by
Things to do near the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Find great events, activities and attractions near the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
While the Guggenheim’s collection of modern art works is certainly impressive, it is impossible to separate the museum’s contents from its form with architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s brilliant and controversial design. Opened in 1959 on Fifth Ave across from Central Park, just months after Wright’s death, the concrete inverted ziggernaut (a Babylonian step pyramid), stomped on the expectations and tradition of clean square galleries exemplified and cherished by the neighboring Upper East Side museums, like the nearby Metropolitan Museum. Instead Wright combined his use of geometric shapes and nature, to create a gallery space that presented art along a flowing, winding spiral, much like a nautilus shell, with little in the way of walls to separate artists, ideas or time periods. Best experienced as Wright intended by taking the elevator to the top of the museum and following the gentle slope down, the art is revealed at different angles along the descent and across the open circular rotunda in a way that even the most well known Monet landscape might seem like a revelation. This unusual, bold way of approaching art, both as it is displayed and viewed, has inspired spectacular exhibits by highly-conceptual contemporary artists such as a series of films by Matthew Barney and hundred of Maurizio Cattelan's sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Considering the steep price of admission ($25, students and seniors $18, children under 12 free), make sure to take a break from the captivat
NOTE: The Frick Collection is currently housed at the Frick Madison, the former Met Breuer and Whitney Museum Building at 945 Madison Avenue, while the mansion undergoes a major renovation. The opulent residence that houses a private collection of great masters (from the 14th through the 19th centuries) was originally built for industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The firm of Carrère & Hastings designed the 1914 structure in an 18th-century European style, with a beautiful interior court and reflecting pool. The permanent collections include world-class paintings, sculpture and furniture by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Renoir and French cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener.
Even in the worst of times, a world-class city needs restaurants offering the escape of over-the-top coddling and luxurious food, with a star chef who's not just on the awning but in the kitchen and dining room, too-—in short, a place like Daniel. The most classically opulent of the city's rarefied restaurants, Daniel Boulud's 15-year-old flagship emerged from a face-lift last fall, looking about as youthful as a restaurant in a landmark Park Avenue building realistically can. The sprawling dining room no longer resembles the doge's palace in Venice. Instead it's been brought into the 21st century with white walls, contemporary wrought iron sconces and a centerpiece bookshelf lined with vibrant crystal vases among other curios. The redesign, by longtime Boulud collaborator Adam Tihany, couldn't have come at a better time. With even neighborhood regulars keeping an eye on their budgets, now more than ever the place needs to cultivate a new clientele. Despite Boulud's ever-expanding reach—he'll soon launch his tenth restaurant, on the Bowery—the chef still prowls the dining room here most nights, charming fans and sending extras to his special guests. While the setting has been revamped, the food—overseen since 2004 by executive chef Jean Franois Bruel—hasn't taken a radical turn. Still, presentations overall seemed much more up-to-date. The tiered silver tower cradling an overkill of miniature bites that used to kick off a meal has given way to a less-is-more amuse-bouche on a
It's difficult to impress as a sushi restaurant in a city full of competitors luring in customers with fresh seafood. But at this Upper East Side restaurant, the $300-a-person, edomae-style sushi joint is one of the priciest in the city that actually backs up its hefty price tag. But the Michelin star and ancient aging techniques from chef Abe Nozomu makes the wallet-gouging bill worth it.
A hidden place within the elegant avenues of New York's Upper East Side is currently in the spotlight. The Lowell Hotel is a serene establishment that is tucked away within a residential block and surrounded by some of the top fashion stores in the world. This 74-room hotel is 17 floors full of creature comforts, refined artwork and posh furnishings, and is consistently named one of the best hotels in the world. The minute you walk into the lobby of the Lowell Hotel you are immediately hit with the smell of fresh orchids and hydrangeas. The enticing scent only gets better with the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies offered to guests while checking in (best way to beat off the New York winter chills). The Italian marble lobby is currently under renovation but is still quite extravagant, with no expense spared by the current owners. This boutique hotel has been decorated by famed interior designer, Michael Smith. He is best known for decorating the Obama’s private residences in the White House and being BFF’s with the family. When you get up to your private residence, be thankful you don’t have to deal with the typical flimsy hotel key card; you actually get an wrought iron key to unlock your oasis. One also may luck out and get one of the few rooms with an actual wood burning fireplace, a rarity in NYC. Just make sure to call down to the front desk to have them light it, while you are lounging in your sitting room, drinking fresh made Keurig coffee and wrapped in your com
Undeniably lavish, minus the pomp, The Mark does everything right (and makes it seem easy, too) Known for its impressive celebrity clientele, The Mark beckons the fashion-conscious with near-tangible magnetism. Why? Because ostentatious aspects of design are married with more contemporary and zealous aesthetic choices. Yes, there’s black-and-white decor and yes there are marble features, but it’s all punctured by distinctive orange hues in the form of flora, wallpapers and soft furnishings. In short, it looks really, really nice. And the whole operation is slick and polished, from succinct check-in to simple check out. As for the suites, the bath is luxuriously deep and the wifi is speedy. Plus, it’s culinary wonderboy Jean-Georges Vongerichten who heads up the fine dining restaurant and bar offerings, so you can expect an eclectic menu with the likes of hamachi sashimi, Scottish salmon and parmesan-crusted chicken with artichokes and lemon-basil butter. Delicious. Neighborhood: A five-minute wander from Central Park and pretty close to the Guggenheim, The Met and the rest of Museum Mile, you’re perfectly located for a few days of culture. But while it may be the glistening streets of the Upper East Side that draws tourists and inner-state travellers to the hotel, it’s The Mark’s flamboyance that keeps them there. Nearby: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: for creative inspiration Papaya King: to get your fill of hot dogs and syrupy papaya juice Bemelmen’s Bar: for a luxe dri
This elegant addition to the city’s museum scene is devoted entirely to late-19th- and early-20th-century German and Austrian fine and decorative arts. Located in a renovated brick-and-limestone mansion that was built by the architects of the New York Public Library, this brainchild of the late art dealer Serge Sabarsky and cosmetics mogul Ronald S. Lauder has the largest concentration of works by Gustav Klimt (including his iconic Adele Bloch-Bauer I) and Egon Schiele outside Vienna. You’ll also find a bookstore, a chic (and expensive) design shop and the Old World–inspired Café Sabarsky, serving updated Austrian cuisine and ravishing Viennese pastries.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The phrase might be a little crude, especially referring to The Pierre, but in this case, nothing seems more fitting. Sure, they might have recently spruced up the Rotunda and newly-added Perrine, but the old-world charm shines through. The classic, five-star hotel sits right on the southeastern edge of Central Park, on Fifth Avenue and 61st Street. While it might not have the grandest lobby or the showiest decor, the understated elegance in its 1930s bones is hard to resist. And when I trundled in off the subway, burdened with over-sized Uniqlo and Flying Tiger plastic bags in my elbow creases, the staff didn’t turn up their noses or act surprised when I asked where check-in was. During the speedy process, they implored me to take chocolates (milk and dark) and promptly handed me the keys to my room, adding, “You’ll have a great view of Central Park in the snow.” Before you make it to your room to scope out that view, white-gloved attendants ride the elevator up with you, pressing the button to your floor, lest you soil your delicate hands. Opened in 1930, none of the decor really feels new or modern or fresh, but that’s part of the allure. The hallways are tastefully lined with cream and gold trimming, with a total of 189 rooms, 49 of which are suites. There isn’t a spa in the hotel, but there is a 24-hour fitness center along with 24-hour laundry and car services. The room I was given was outfitted with a king-size bed with a golden, tuf
Founded in Soho in 1996, Marianne Boesky Gallery migrated to Chelsea in 2005, taking up an elegant purpose-built space right next to the High Line. After opening and closing venues on both the Upper and Lower East Side, Boesky re-consolidated her operation at her Chelsea shop, adding an annex—Boesky East—next door. She also operates a space in Aspen, Colorado. Throughout her career, Boesky has exhibited a mix of established, mid-career and emerging artists that includes such high-profile names as Frank Stella and John Waters.