This year's lineup for Lincoln Center Festival certainly doesn't disappoint: there's work from Japan, England, Canada, France and here at home. No other local institution has shown such a long-term dedication to Japanese theatrical traditions such as Kabuki and Noh, and that spirit continues with a bonanza of Noh dramas being presented by Kanze Noh Theatre—six nights of varied programming. Also visiting from Tokyo is Takarazuka Chicago, a flashy and splashy all-female take on the classic Broadway musical. For more traditional fare, there's an English staging of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. For Bardophiles and ballet lovers, there's National Ballet of Canada's interpreation of The Winter's Tale. And if you simply want a music concert, there's much to tickle your ears: a one-act opera by Huang Ro and three concerts of work by pioneering composer Steve Reich. That's just a sampling of all the fabulous live art and summer concerts to get excited for.
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Lincoln Center Festival 2016 shows
Young Chinese-American composer Huang Ro mixes Bible stories and 16th-century Chinese lore for this 80-minute opera directed and designed by Jennier Wen Ma. Soprano Qian Yi (The Peony Pavliion) stars as a woman on a desperate search through a phantasmal garden.
Lincoln Center Festival. As a part of the Reich/Reverberations festival-within-a-festival, the talented So Percussion plays the 1971 piece Drumming, an early landmark in Reich's composing for groups of like instruments.
Charismatic singer, guitarist and bandleader Goran Bregović, one of the world's most popular Balkan performers, visits Carnegie Hall with his vivacious band, a seemingly homely folkloric outfit that's actually every bit as sophisticated and subversive as Astor Piazzolla's great quintets.
For centuries, Noh Theater has been a cultural mainstay of Japanese culture: painstakingly stylized movement and striking stage pictures. Now, the 26th Grand Master of the Kanze School, Kiyokazu Kanze, brings his troupe to New York for six performances, each a different collection from the classical repertoire. Some of the offerings include The Stone Bridge, The Fake Sculptor and The Persimmon Thief.
Lincoln Center Festival. The wondrous JACK Quartet plays a pair of Reich remembrances: the holocaust memorial Different Trains and WTC 9/11, his gift to his hometown in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Also on the program, his heady 1998 Triple Quartet.
Lincoln Center Festival. The ever versatile Ensemble Signal presents two of Reich's larger works, the 2007 Double Sextet and the iconic 1976 Music for 18 Musicians.
This remount of Molière's 1670 five-act "comédie-ballet"—satirizing middle-class manners—uses the original score by Jean Baptiste Lully. Denis Podalydès directs the spoofy fun, in which a noveuau riche tries to develop the cultural and social habits of aristocrats. Expect lots of harpsichord, wigs and outrageous French mugging.
Even if you consider yourself an expert in Broadway or movie musicals, you won't be prepared for the Japanese phenomenon known as takarazuka. In this flamboyant tradition, an all-female cast puts on the razzle-dazzle with extravagant song-and-dance adaptations of song-and-dance classics. Here they take on Kander & Ebb's tale of jazz-age murder and fame.
The formidable English actor Jonathan Pryce takes on one of Shakespeare's most controversial figures: vengeful moneylender Shylock. This Shakespeare's Globe production comes to New York with original cast intact, including Pryce's daughter, Phoebe, playing rebellious Jessica.
Two of China's most acclaimed musicians join for one night of haunting music played on traditional and contemporary instruments. Wang Li has distinguished himself through throat-singing and the Calabash flute. Wu Wei is a master of the sheng. Together they create deeply original and meditative soundscapes: futuristic and ancient at once.
Two weeks after its Reich Reverberations appearance at the festival, So Percussion kicks off a three-night run with Steve Reich's iconic Music for Pieces of Wood. Also on the bill are works by David Lang and Bryce Dessner.
The versatile So Percussion continues its three-day residency with the mighty Metaux from Pleaides by Iannis Xenakis. Also on the bill are works by Cenk Ergun and the ensemble's own Dan Trueman.
So Percussion ends its quick festival residency with one of John Cage's major works, Third Consruction, along with works by Paul Lansky and Steven Mackey.
English neo-expressionist theater troupe 1927 returns to New York with its visually stunning adaptation of the Jewish myth. Using live and pre-recorded animation, music and ingenious stage pictures, the company re-invents the story of inert matter brought sinisterly to life. The result is a sly multimedia commentary on the digital revolution.
Canada's leading ballet troupe presents choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's enchanting danced version of Shakespeare late romance. The creative team unites the talents who made such a visual smash with 2011's Alice in Wonderland.