From The Host: See You in September!

Dear VDP Guest, As KentPresents increasingly demands more of our time and attention, we must announce that this will be our final posting on the Virtual Dinner Party website until September. Of course, we hope to see you in Kent this …Read More

Rebel in the Soul

It is worth a visit to the Irish Repertory Theater to see “Rebel in the Soul,” a most interesting play about an Irish doctor’s mission to obtain healthcare for the poor in Ireland during the ’50s. Very well acted and …Read More

The Golden Apple

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Posted: 05/19/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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We’d heard that New York City Center’s Encores! production of “The Golden Apple” was a cult musical — a critical success in 1954, a commercial flop. Not sure any of that matters today, six decades later. It is fun, funky, …Read More

Present Laughter

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Posted: 05/19/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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Tired of the Depressing Headlines? Looking for Something Fun? Get Tickets to “Present Laughter.” We did just that over the weekend. “Present Laughter” — a revival of the Noël Coward classic — features a fine cast, led by a memorable …Read More

The Little Foxes

A little dated, but you will not look at your watch! The Manhattan Theater Club is staging a revival of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 “The Little Foxes.” We went on Wednesday and — after the response to my comments on “Sunday …Read More

The Great Derangement

The great writer Amitav Ghosh spent two months at the University of Chicago, courtesy of the prestigious Berlin Lectures Award. He dedicated his time there to the study of climate change. The result of his research are these lectures and …Read More

A Stranger in Spain

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Posted: 05/19/17 by | Category: Books | No Comments »

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H.V. Morton is a scholarly writer unequaled in his ability to meld travel and history. The story of his long and leisurely journey through Spain more than sixty years ago, is crammed with delicious morsels of Spanish history dating back …Read More

Frantz

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Posted: 05/19/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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“Frantz” is ostensibly a movie about World War I — a time far removed from most Americans’ thinking. As a child one heard of it, of returning veterans, of poppy fields far away in Flanders, but it had no resonance. …Read More

A Quiet Passion

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Posted: 05/19/17 by | Category: Movies | 1 Comment »

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The thing about this two-hour biopic on the life and times of Emily Dickinson is that you will get a sense of life in Amherst, Mass., between 1830 and 1890 for a hermit/poet from a substantial family. “A Quiet Passion” …Read More

Kips Bay Decorator Show House

We spun quickly through this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House in a wide building (the former China Institute) at 125 E 65th St. It is probably worth seeing for the soignée dining room alone, which is a sensory overload …Read More

Bessou

This small restaurant, Bessou, in NoHo offers Japanese food with modern twists, all served up with excellent service and barley tea. We enjoyed miso-marinated chicken (weekends only, and the “whole bird” option is quite a hefty serving) and fried chicken …Read More

From The Host: Week Ending May 4, 2017

Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 9 reviews and 8 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, May 4, 2017. As KentPresents increasingly …Read More

Frantz

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Posted: 05/05/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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Inexplicably, the excellent “Frantz” has had an all too short shelf-life on the art house circuit since its March launch. Yet this compelling tale (inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 “Broken Lullaby”) about the ravages of war, guilt, redemption, forgiveness, devotion …Read More

The Lost City of Z

This haunting film about destiny is both beautiful and poignant. Charlie Hunnam is the British Major Percy Fawcett who “has chosen his ancestors badly” as one wag puts it, and he is determined to put his own reputation to rights. …Read More

The Promise

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Posted: 05/05/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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We saw “The Promise” last night alone in a West Palm Beach movie theater. It was a pleasure having our own screening room. Set in Turkey between 1914–1916, this is an epic tale about the Armenian genocide and their struggle …Read More

How To Transcend a Happy Marriage

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Posted: 05/05/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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“How to Transcend a Happy Marriage,” at the Lincoln Center Theater for a few more days, reminds some people of the movie “The Big Chill.” As I was never able to make it through that entire movie, I suppose that …Read More

Pacific Overtures

For Sondheim aficionados (as I’m guessing most VDP members are), a new revival of “Pacific Overtures” opened last night at Classic Stage Company. As directed by John Doyle in his trademark minimalist style, it is pared back in every way—10 actors …Read More

Der Rosenkavalier

Renée Fleming may indeed be leaving operatic roles forever… or maybe not. Her “swansong” in “Der Rosenkavalier” at a Gala Met performance gave her and all her colleagues in their various roles ample opportunity to show their medals. And well …Read More

Mayerling at The Royal Opera House

“No other choreographer has challenged classical ballet to express so many aspects of the human condition as Kenneth MacMillan. He reinvented the narrative ballet as psychological drama, able to reveal extreme states of mind.” — Jann Parry The excitement as …Read More

Pinch Chinese

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Posted: 05/05/17 by | Category: Restaurants | No Comments »

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With the closing of La Chine in the Waldorf Astoria, we’ve been searching for Chinese restaurants and were recommended to “Pinch Chinese” on Prince Street. We were told to try the dumplings as the chef and his staff all worked …Read More

The End of the Asian Century

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Posted: 05/05/17 by | Category: Books | No Comments »

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In “The End of the Asian Century,” Michael Auslin makes a good point that worrying about Asia taking over the world was less frightening than the more plausible present concern of instability in the region or an Asia in decline. …Read More

From The Host: Week Ending April 27, 2017

Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 8 reviews and 2 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, April 27, 2017. REVIEWS MOVIES NOLA French Film …Read More

NOLA French Film Festival and “Things to Come”

A great event every year in NOLA is the French Film Festival. This year has been no exception. I did not see all the films, but went to about half and all were wonderful. My favorite was “Things to Come” …Read More

Spoiler Alert: “Norman” and “Their Finest”

Two emotional film dramas opened last week, but neither of them has the usual happy ending that such stories are wont to do. Rather than reveal their conclusions, however, I will say that, given the respective journeys of their main …Read More

The Lost City of Z

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Posted: 04/28/17 by | Category: Movies | 1 Comment »

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Having recently read “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” I developed a greater understanding of the scope of devastation done to those living here by those who came from Western Europe. It was then even more interesting to …Read More

Calder/Miró: Constellations

There are two small but enchanting shows at Acquavella Galleries and Pace Gallery. The Acquavella show, which I think should definitely be viewed first, presents all 23 of Miró’s hand-painted “Constellation” series (22 originals, including just one copy). Miró produced …Read More

Why Pictures Now — Louise Lawler at MoMA

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Posted: 04/28/17 by | Category: Visual Arts | No Comments »

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Photographer Louise Lawler has her first NY museum retrospective, at MoMA currently. The exhibit is up through the end of July, so you have time to see this wryly witty show. The retrospective is entitled “Why Pictures Now” (which is …Read More

Sweat

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Posted: 04/28/17 by | Category: Theater | 3 Comments »

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“Sweat” is an almost. It does the serious stuff well. An industrial town disintegrates for all the usual reasons. Former friends become enemies as factories shrink, jobs disappear and unions lose power. Crime, drugs and fights infect the community. Sounds …Read More

The Door

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Posted: 04/28/17 by | Category: Books | 1 Comment »

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Far from new, “The Door” by Magda Szabó is the most exciting fiction I’ve read in months. It was reissued in 2015 (originally published in Hungary in 1987). If Szabó had not died in 2007, she would be on my …Read More

The Flying Dutchman

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Posted: 04/28/17 by | Category: Opera | No Comments »

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After the curtain came down at the Met on the season premiere of Wagner’s stirring sea story, “The Flying Dutchman,” the entire orchestra pelted conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin with dozens of roses. Boy, did he deserve it – after two and …Read More

From The Host: Week Ending April 24, 2017

Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 12 reviews to share with you for the ten-day week ending Monday, April 24, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. REVIEWS …Read More

Majorelle

For those of us who grew fond of Charles Masson’s welcoming home at Le Grenouille over the years, and who were less than pleased when family trauma caused him to exit the restaurant, life serves us up a helping of …Read More

Majorelle

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Posted: 04/24/17 by | Category: Restaurants | No Comments »

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Is it fair to judge a new restaurant after just one dinner there, on one of their first evenings after their “soft” opening? I thought that Majorelle deserved at least a second look, so we returned recently after they’ve had …Read More

Homage to White Asparagus

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Posted: 04/24/17 by | Category: Restaurants | 3 Comments »

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This is a love letter to a vegetable. Last week, four of us dined at the midtown country French restaurant we love, La Mangeoire, when lo and behold, white asparagus appeared on the menu as a special. We all ordered …Read More

Avra Estiatorio

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Posted: 04/24/17 by | Category: Restaurants | No Comments »

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Out of the cavernous depths of the now defunct Rouge Tomate has risen, like a phoenix, a new Greek fish restaurant, Avra Estiatorio (sister restaurant to the same name on 48th street). This gorgeous sizable addition to NY eateries has …Read More