Re-Vamping The Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art today unveiled plans for a comprehensive redesign of the four-block-long outdoor plaza that runs in front of its landmark Fifth Avenue façade, from 80th to 84th Streets in Manhattan.
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Take My Picture, Mr. Beaton!

Celebrities have always been a driving force in the world of media. Public relations revolves around product placement, product endorsement and celebrity sightings. In our day, it’s the producer/director/paparazzi chasing the star in question. In Cecil Beatons’ day, the stars all chased him.

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Hookers, Stage Right Please

We are  now in the second year of the Met’s new production of Tosca, and it wears well for the costume department.  Brilliantly and esoterically designed by Milena Canonero, award winning (Barry Lyndon, Chariots of Fire,  The Cotton Club, Marie Antoinette), popularist, with a distinct point of view, the costumes lend voice to the already rich Puccini score. With a set that is more “mood” that visual, the costumes shine as individual moments .  They invoke each character’s flaws, or personalities.
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The Artist: Hot Movie of The Year

This film is burning a hole in my brain. Born of a cinematophile’s love of the medium, and executed by excellent pros of the genre, this film will sweep away the cobwebs of the mindset that has become blockbuster. We’re talking, of course, about “The Artist”, a seemingly innocuous film released to art houses across the country, on the QT. With it’s groundswell of support, and an audience that has seen the film and gone back for more, The Artist brings it’s point on home to the general public  now to a theatre near you. Touted in The Golden Globes, (Cannes had it’s day, too), and carrying home the prizes for Best Film (Musical) and Actor (in a Musical), The Artist will teach you what a movie is supposed to be.

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Little Bit O’ Christmas

There’s still a little Christmas left in us yet. On January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is celebrated around the world with festivities that mark the arrival of the three Kings to Bethlehem. For some of us, it’s another day to get/give presents. For others, it’s a day to fill up with special cakes, to be found in French, or Latin bakeries. Who doesn’t need another excuse for cake?

For parties, the Almond Cake , with it’s buried treasure, and crown, add a note of French Old World. The “feve”, sometimes an actual bean, but nowadays, a small ceramic figurine, is hidden inside the cake. Whoever finds it is the King for a Day, and gets to wear the crown convenienvtly provided by the bakery. With a warm toddy of mulled wine, it’s the way to wrap up the Twelve Days of Christmas, and start the road to St. Valentine’s Day.

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Steampunk Opera

Enchanted IslandRejoice! Old school opera is alive and well at the Met : The Enchanted Island steampunks it’s way onto the stage as of New Year’s Eve. The pastiche , a smorgasbord of little known baroque touchstones comes to The Metropolitan Opera at the behest of Mr. Gelb, General Manager extraordinaire. Countertenors, old fashioned hand-painted scenery, lush (really, really lush) costumes and a plot to boggle the mind bring a joyous experience that is basically opera 101 taken into 2012. It’s a brave new world out there with that projection screen that has come to roost at Center Stage, as an oft-seen element of design in many of the new productions this season. In Enchanted Island, the back screen is one delightful ingredient in indulgence. The characters stem from a long line of Shakespearean extempores: Prospero, Caliban, Ariel, to name a few. With a slick underplot from the Tempest, and an overt soap opera storyline from Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, the basics are a complicated commedia dellarte. Ariel takes some hints from Mickey Rooney in her/his spritely carryings- on throughout the drama, as the comic relief at every turn. Prospero is the manipulative lord of all he surveys , complete with 18th Century Court dress and appropriate haughty attitude. Sycorax, and her son, Caliban, as cast aways to the nether side of this Gilligan’s Island to a realm of twisted tree limbs and strange creatures.

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Holiday Cactus coming to Hudson Square

The Hudson Square Connection is adding a little twist to traditional holiday decorations, artist Animus Arts Collective will be adding 23 ‘Flaming Cacti’ to the district!

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Look At These Hats

Look at these hats that have flown all the way from London, England, via Australia just to grace our shores!

In 2009, Stephen Jones and Oriole Cullen began a curious but timely project for the annals of the renowned Victoria and Albert Museum. Specifically, from Stephen Jones’ (milliner extraordinaire) point of view, overseen by the astute curatorial eye of Ms. Cullen, this show would track and document the wherewithal of the hat amongst us. Fait accomplit: the show Hats:an Anthology by Stephen Jones, wowed them at the Victoria and Albert, and went on to boffo performances in Australia .From then ( 12th Century ) until now (as worn by Brad Pitt and other celeb noggins) hats chosen for their vivacity, their cunning in confection, magic and whimsicality have joined forces in an overwhelming tour de force for the hat.

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Tryst, Milliner Meets Bad Boy

Bad boy: so bad, so good, so bad. Love him, hate him. Psychologically, it’s easy to love a bad boy. This particular bad boy will enthrall and entice, even as he seduces his next female of choice.

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Alexander McQueen at The Metropolitan Museum

From the dark and stormy folds of the mind of Alexander McQueen, to the bright and glorious sun of his vision, the current retrospective at the Met is bar none, one of the most overwhelming exhibits that this writer has ever seen. Not just visual, but aural, the process envelops the participant in an experience. Sensory perception required.

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