From The Host: Week Ending April 13, 2017

Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 11 reviews and 4 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, April 13, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the …Read More

The Hairy Ape

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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We just saw the current production of Eugene O’Neill’s prize-winning play “The Hairy Ape” at the Park Avenue Armory. Bobby Cannavale is absolutely perfectly cast as Yank. His performance alone may be reason enough to see this. Paddy is also …Read More

The Hairy Ape

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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The Park Avenue Armory and Old Vic London Production of Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Hairy Ape” is a physical feat. Bobby Cannavale leads the charge in a beautifully choreographed non-stop journey from the bowels of a transatlantic ocean liner to …Read More

Pacific Overtures

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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The original 1976 Broadway production of this Sondheim-Weidman show got mixed reviews, as did most of the several revivals, some employing techniques of Kabuki theatre. The current revival at the Classic Stage Company is performed in-the-round with an energetic cast …Read More

Latin History for Morons

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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I had high hopes heading into the new John Leguizamo one-man show at the Public Theater. I thought it would be not only entertaining, but very interesting and hopefully even educational to learn about the Latino history, which he thought …Read More

Whitney Biennial

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Visual Arts | No Comments »

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The first in the Whitney’s downtown home, this 78th Biennial survey of American art uses every part of the museum’s new capacious quarters. We were fortunate to have a guide who exposed us to artistic thought at several levels — …Read More

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim

A staggeringly handsome exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum celebrating the 80th anniversary of the collection. Beautifully mounted with superb treasure after superb treasure it is a joy to see. It gives deeper insight into the non-objective and the abstract schools …Read More

Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era: The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection

The New York in the 20s/Art Deco exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt is another jewel in New York this spring, with so many beautiful examples of decorative arts created during that era. The jewelry, pottery, glassware, textiles, fashions, and silver are wonderfully displayed …Read More

Grief is the Thing With Feathers

“Grief is the Thing With Feathers” by Max Porter is a beautifully written small book. It is a treasure. The story of two children and their father who have lost their mother and wife and share their life as they …Read More

Prisoners of Geography

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Books | No Comments »

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In “Prisoners of Geography,” Tim Marshall explores ten different regions around the globe to reveal how geography explains global politics. Political realities are shaped by physical strengths and vulnerabilities and Marshall provides numerous examples of how geography dictates needs. The …Read More

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Music | No Comments »

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One of Stephen Sondheim’s best songs in “Gypsy” is “You Gotta Get a Gimmick.” Max Raabe, the founder of Berlin’s Palast Orchester got a gimmick in 1985: he formed a band to perform 1920s and 1930s songs in true period-style …Read More

Five Came Back

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Posted: 04/14/17 by | Category: Television | No Comments »

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“Five Came Back” is a new Netflix series exploring the World War II films made by five key Hollywood directors, as told by the top directors of today. It shows what John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Huston and …Read More

From The Host — Week Ending April 6, 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 4 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, April 6, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. …Read More

Hello Dolly

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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Yes, it holds up, yes, it still works, yes, it’s faithful to the original, and yes, even an orangutan could probably play the title role, as Dolly the First has noted. This production of “Hello Dolly” is a special delight. …Read More

Bandstand

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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You come into the Bernard Jacobs Theatre expecting a nostalgic look back at the late Swing/Big Band era in the euphoria of America’s victory in World War II, before the Cold War set in. Instead, “Bandstand” serves up a cautionary …Read More

Exit West

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Books | No Comments »

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What I loved most about Moshin Hamid’s novel “Exit West” was the limning of humanity, by which I mean that even under dire circumstances Hamid describes how people are people and act on impulses, feelings, thoughts and emotions. In Hamid’s …Read More

Mitsuko Uchida at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall presents a number of different programs centered around a particular artist. Tonight’s “Meet the Artist” was a piano presentation by the internationally renowned Mitsuko Uchida. Just one piano and a bench on the stage stood between us and …Read More

Alvin Ailey Dance Company

Alvin Ailey’s legacy burns brightly, but the company’s “season” is often short and sporadic. The group performed on Saturday — April “Fools” — and over that weekend at the NYU Skirball Performing Arts Center to a “sold out” audience. And …Read More

Eugene Onegin

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Opera | No Comments »

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Russia was everywhere in this beautiful Met Opera co-production with the English National Opera – in the largely Russian cast, in joyous energetic Russian folk dances, in evocative scrims of the Russian countryside, in familiar music by someone named Pyotr …Read More

Pizza Moto

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Restaurants | No Comments »

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Up for a pizza adventure? Try Pizza Moto in Brooklyn – a delightful discovery serving Neopolitan-style pizza from a wood-fired oven dating from decades ago. Evolving from a food truck, this outfit is now in a building that, in the …Read More

The Zookeeper’s Wife

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Posted: 04/07/17 by | Category: Movies | 1 Comment »

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For the same reason “Woman in Gold” was an important film, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” revisits the horror that was Nazi Germany through the lens of a zoo in Warsaw during the five-year period starting in 1939. In the words of …Read More

From The Host: Week Ending March 30, 2017

Dear VDP Guest, We are pleased to invite you to this week’s Virtual Dinner Party. Today we are serving up 6 reviews and 4 comments to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 30, 2017.   REVIEWS THEATER Saint Joan …Read More

Saint Joan

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Posted: 03/30/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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This brilliant Donmar production of the Shaw classic “Saint Joan” is the best single modern-dress staging of any play we can remember. We saw it on NT Live (as in National Theater) from London. Set in a modern corporate board …Read More

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

“946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips” at St. Ann’s Warehouse is a terrific production in every way! Based on a children’s book about England in World War I! It is touching, charming, funny and sheer delight. Excellent acting, fine …Read More

Testosterone Rex

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Posted: 03/30/17 by | Category: Books | No Comments »

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Cordelia Fine’s “Testosterone Rex” is a book about the role testosterone plays in gender development. It’s an interesting investigation of how the mythology surrounding huge differences between the sexes greatly contributes to inequality but has little basis in science. She …Read More

The Amati Society, Young Arts Program

During the “season” the Met Museum offers musical “exhibitions” of various sorts – from guitar/jazz jam sessions to classical treasures for both members of the Amati Society, which supports musical endeavors, and regular donors. A couple of years ago, a …Read More

Audubon Terrace Excursion: American Academy Invitational Exhibition, Charles Ives Studio and Handpulled Noodles

Don’t fret that the Hispanic Society will be closed until 2019. Take a trip up to Audubon Terrace (the 1 subway or the 4 bus) to catch the American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts. The display of a number …Read More

Beauty and The Beast

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Posted: 03/30/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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We are currently in Palm Beach with almost no decent movie choices, but will be returning to New York for a week of theater. When Dale suggested that we see “Beauty and the Beast,” I protested. My protestations were confirmed …Read More

From The Host – For the Week Ending March 23, 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 1 comment to share with you for the week ending Thursday, March 23, 2017. Please click on www.theVDP.com to savor the repast. …Read More

Sunset Boulevard

Oh, how the audience responded to Glenn Close as she came on the stage! Enthusiastic at first, then escalating to wild applause with every scene, especially the beginning of the second act when “Norma” sings her “big number.” This production …Read More

Groundhog Day

If the Tony Awards had a category for “Best Stage Magical,” it would go to “Groundhog Day.” They will have to settle for “Best Scenic Design in a Musical,” which is accurate, but not sufficiently poetic. In other words, the …Read More

The New Yorkers

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Posted: 03/24/17 by | Category: Theater | No Comments »

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Encores! has done it again with “The New Yorkers.” Led by artistic director Jack Viertel, this theater series from New York City Center has resurrected a forgotten, creaky, nine-decade-old Cole Porter musical and created an evening of dance, songs and …Read More

Viceroy House

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Posted: 03/24/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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For the British the “special relationship” has always been India. Starting in 1600, under Elisabeth I, the East India Trading Company was granted a charter. Thus assumed an incredibly complex interplay between a very old civilisation and a newer mercantilist …Read More

Song to Song

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Posted: 03/24/17 by | Category: Movies | No Comments »

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I’ve always been fond of the word “stultifying,” but have seldom had the perfect opportunity to use it. Now I have… although in its adverbial form: “Song to Song” is the most stultifyingly boring movie I’ve ever seen. Imagine sitting …Read More

Roméo et Juliette

This is definitely the year for romance, and “Roméo and Juliette” are everywhere… Ballet and Opera for sure. We had the opportunity to see Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo on New Year’s Eve, and I wrote about how beautiful and …Read More