★★★★☆ James Houghton, beloved and visionary founder of Signature Theatre Company, died last August after a battle with cancer. I don’t know how far in advance the Signature programs its seasons, but I’d guess the current shows were not planned by Houghton’s estimable successor, Paige Evans. Intentionally or not, there’s a lot of death in the building: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Everybody updates a late-medieval allegory of dying; and now writer-director Will Eno (The Realistic Joneses) unveils a quietly beautiful 75-minute piece in which a man (Michael Emerson) walks us through a presentation, the ultimate point of which is: Enjoy the ride while you can. Eno, who has noted that Houghton’s illness affected the writing of Wakey, Wakey, knows that there are only so many ways of saying, “You will die; celebrate life,” so he makes a spectacle of vamping and false starts, awkward yet deeply felt pauses, as the keen, funny, transfixing Emerson reads from index cards, gets his slides confused and bathes the audience in his gentle, beatific fussiness. January LaVoy, ever radiant with a touch of mystery, arrives late as a caregiver, and here Emerson shifts into an elderly man actually facing his final minutes. You know how great actors have the ability to age decades right before your eyes? That happens here, and it's a pure astonishment. In case you hadn’t already clocked the title as a pun, it is. Although Emerson wears pajama bottoms throughout and dozes briefly, you cannot be rou
With dozens of world-renowned museums and thousands of art galleries, New York’s art scene can seem a bit intimidating. You could spend months exploring it and still not see every influential work. That doesn’t mean newcomers and novices should abandon all hope—you just need a step-by-step plan to help you prioritize all the most significant pieces. Maybe you’re in town for a long weekend, you just moved to the city and want to get a quick cultural education or perhaps you’re trying to impress a date. Whatever the case, consider this your guide to New York City’s art scene—for dummies. Start with the classicsThere’s a reason why more than 6.3 million people visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art every year: The extensive collection spanning more than five thousand years of art history is not to be missed. Spend a day taking in all of the museum’s highlights, like the exquisitely preserved Temple of Dendur, landmark paintings like Johannes Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Water Pitcher and stunning original Tiffany windows. Once you’ve toured the highlights, seek out these best easily missed artworks, too. Move into the modern eraEver since it first opened in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art has been a pioneer in the modern art world. Walk its galleries to get acquainted with influential 20th-century artists such as Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso. Since the permanent collection includes more than 150,000 works, from Salvador Dalì’s The Persistence of Memory to Roy Licht
★☆☆☆☆It would be disingenuous to ask how on earth David Mamet's latest under-conceived, underwritten play came to be produced. We know. First, Mamet's early dramas (Speed the Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross) were wonderful enough that people are still willing to watch his work—even though he has long since coasted to a creative stop. And second, The Penitent is up at the Atlantic Theater Company, which he co-founded in 1985. What, they're going to say no? Poor things.The Penitent, ironically, is about what it means to be good. (It has been too shoddily constructed to actually gel around this idea, but it does point at it.) Is Charles (Chris Bauer), a psychiatrist, being good when he refuses to testify for his patient, a psychopath who just shot ten people? He invokes his Hippocratic Oath to stay silent. Is Charles good when he won't accept a newspaper's apology after it libels him? It claims he described gayness as an “aberration,” and he refuses their offer of a correction. And is he good when he dodges questions about his Judaism whenever a lawyer (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) asks him to explain if it affected his care of the homicidal boy? Certainly his wife Kath (Rebecca Pidgeon, struggling with basic tasks here) and his own lawyer Richard (Jordan Lage) believe in his moral uprightness, although they keep advising him to give in to the constantly changing “them.” As Kath insists, “You're better than I!” This attitude is—given the information offered by the play—ridiculous.It feels w
★★★★ Robert Colescott, The Three Graces: Art, Sex and Death, 1981Whitney Museum of American Art with permission of the Estate of Robert Colescot The 1980s are back, not just in terms of the appalling triumph of a certain short-fingered vulgarian but also given the increasing attention museums and galleries are paying to artists from that decade. The Whitney’s salvo in this ongoing reappraisal is a collection show highlighting the museum’s holdings of big names from the period, along with lesser knowns who are perhaps all the more intriguing because of their lower profiles. Julia Wachtel, Membership, 1984Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © Julia Wachtel, courtesy the artist and Elizabeth Dee New York Painting made a big comeback in the ’80s, partially as a swing away from the Conceptual Art, video, performance and other modes that marked the 1960s and ’70s. However, without much curatorial attention to the historical circumstances—or even to the specifics of pigment on canvas—the focus here feels contingent on another factor that’s as relevant now as it was then: a booming art market. Julian Schnabel, Hope, 1982Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, © 2016 Julian Schnabel / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York The medium’s roaring return nearly four decades ago came on a wave of Neo-Expressionism, represented in “Fast Forward” by variants that look toward art history on the one hand and to pop cult
It's been four years since New Zealand teen Lorde broke out with moody pop smash "Royals" and her subsequent LP, Pure Heroine. Since then, there's been little news to report on its follow-up, besides that it's rumored to be coming soon. The singer has been confirmed for Coachella, Governors Ball and other festivals, as well Saturday Night Live, where she'll perform on March 11. Presumably she'll have a pair of new songs to promote by then, though, as mentioned, nothing has been announced officially. Over the weekend, Lorde posted a cryptic video on a site called imwaitingforit.com that might be a preview of what's to come. The clip plays a few seconds of piano before cutting to screens that state "3.2.17 NYC" and "3.3.17 NZ." Whether that means there's a single debuting March 2, some kind of local promotional event like a pop-up shop or listening station, or a performance, well your guess is as good as ours.
Even though most New Yorkers do it five days a week, commuting in New York on the subway every morning never fails to surprise. From unexpectedly delays to cars packed tighter than a sardine can, there's a wide variety of experiences you've probably encountered while underground early in the day. Here are 25 things you have probably been thinking while they happened to you. 1. How does that underground accordion player have so much energy for 9am and does he know how to play anything other than that one song? 2. If the subway had quiet cars, how much would I be willing to pay for a ticket? 3. I wonder what level of physical mobility will be afforded to me on the train this morning. 4. Are the other people on this train half an hour late or half an hour early for their jobs? 5. Should I acknowledge this person that I stand on a platform next to five days a week or nah? 6. Should I publicly announce that my stop is the last on the train so that I have seat priority? 7. Can anyone hear the show tunes I’m blasting right now to get pumped for the day? Does that guy next to me have the expression of someone listening to Bernadette Peters? 8. Is he staring at me? Is he into me? Or is he just staring at me staring at him since I haven’t had a coffee yet? 9. If I tell this woman that I’m Jewish, I wonder if she’ll stop talking to me about my soul in the rapture and give up. Would anyone ever convert before noon on a weekday? 10. Is it 6 p.m. yet? 11. It’s like the train kno
It was just too good to last. After an announcement last September that bar cars would be returning to Metro-North trains, there’s now a counter piece of news that seems like it will limit the amount of booze in train stations. The stands on train platforms selling snacks and booze may be disappearing, because of course we can’t have nice things. Several dozen cart vendors were recently put out of a job, a strong indicator that the carts may soon be gone altogether. Though no official decision has been made yet, you may want to start stocking up on snacks now and find a new happy hour spot that’s not a train platform. And in the meantime, you can still eat your feelings and all the free samples at Grand Central’s Dining Concourse this week.
The Campbell Apartment, the opulent cocktail lounge inside of Grand Central Terminal, is coming back, baby. The bar closed last summer due to a change in management—Scott Gerber of the Gerber Group (Kingside, Whiskey Blue) outbid Mark Grossich, who had held the lease since 1999—but will return May 1st as, simply, the Campbell, according to a video by Bloomberg. Gerber will reportedly honor the original bar's timeless looks, but will freshen the space with a marble bar and new light fixtures. Stay tuned for more details.
When you live in New York, many of the dogs you see (including the infamous hugging dog) walking around the city look way better than you do. But this dog... this dog will get that promotion you've been working toward, become your best friend's new best friend and steal your girl, all in one train ride. He's taking that N train from the last stop, but it's the weekend baby, and he's feeling good. I mean look at him. He's wearing sweet kicks and bright shades, he's SO ready for spring, and best of all, he knows damn well how good he looks. This dog makes me want to post on missed connections. The coolest dog in the world has been spotted on a train in Queens
Word hit last month that the meme-sparking meat seasoner known simply as Salt Bae was opening a restaurant in New York—now we finally know where that likely heavily salted restaurant will be located. Nusret Gökçe will debut his eponymously named steakhouse, Nusr-Et, at the former location of midtown's China Grill, which has stood at 60 West 53rd Street for three decades. Details on an opening date are still to come but, if the New York location is similar to its sisters in Istanbul and Dubai, diners can expect meaty dishes like a tenderloin with mustard sauce, barbecued Turkish sausage and marinated sliced beef.