Neue Galerie Masterpieces
Neue Galerie’s exhibition “Selections from the Permanent Collection” features masterpieces from the museum’s holdings of German and Austrian fine and decorative arts. The current installation focuses on Austrian art. Among the highlights are paintings and drawings by Klimt, Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka. Klimt’s painting “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” is probably the most famous work on view here. It was stolen by the Nazis from the Bloch-Bauer family in 1938. After many years and the intervention of the United States Supreme Court it was finally returned to its owners. Schiele’s “Town Among Greenery” was an important gift to the museum. And Kokoschka’s “Martha Hirsch” is an excellent example of his early portraiture.
Just a few blocks away from Neue Galerie, the Metropolitan Museum of Art continues one of its longstanding holiday traditions. The Medieval Sculpture Hall is hosting again a lavishly decorated Christmas tree and a Neapolitan Baroque creche with a vivid 18th Century nativity scene. Through January 6th, visitors from around the world will be able to admire the candlelit spruce, the colorful decorations, and enjoy the music and lighting ceremonies.
For a musical celebration of the holiday season, “God’s Trombones” will be performed at the historic Gatehouse in Harlem from December 16th to the 19th. This is composer and musician Craig Harris’ new interpretation of a work inspired by the poetry of James Weldon Johnson. The cadence of these poems echoes the rhythm and cadence of gospel preachers. In the performance of “God’s Trombones” the text connects musical improvisation that includes not only gospel, but funk and jazz, R&B and hip-hop.
Angels in America 20th Anniversary
Signature Theatre Company presents the first New York revival of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” directed by Michael Greif. This year marks 20 years since the play was written, a period in which it has won many awards, including a Pulitzer and a Tony. The play is set in late 1985 and early 1986, as the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in America is escalating and Ronald Reagan has been elected to a second term in the White House. Its two parts, “Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika,” bring together a variety of memorable characters including: a young gay man with AIDS and his frightened, unfaithful lover; a closeted Mormon lawyer and his Valium-addicted wife; and a steel-winged, prophecy-bearing angel. The lives of these disparate characters intertwine and are blown apart during a time of heartbreak and transformation.
“Busk” is a new dance work by Aszure Barton that will be performed at Baryshnikov Arts Center on December 17th and 18th. It questions the source of self worth: external group praise or internal affirmation? Its title is inspired by a Spanish word meaning “to seek” – as in to seek fame and recognition. Performed to music by Russian composer Lev Zhurbin, its choreography is stark, athletic and elegant. “Busk” retains Barton’s signature style of precise use of the entire body, as well as an intense and intimate awareness of the thin line between humor and sadness.