Author: Barbara Tober

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Puritani

Vincenzo Bellini created “I Puritani” in 1835, but of course because the theme is love, requited and reborn, it is never out of favor. The Met this year reinstituted this beautiful work of art with authentic backdrops: steps, gardens, walls …Read More

Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture

The Museum of Arts and Design secured this historic exhibition, “Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture,” organized by the Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Michael Cepress. Two floors of extraordinary, colorful, complicated and fascinating clothing are mostly supported …Read More

Georges Seurat at The Metropolitan Museum

Seurat’s “Circus Sideshow” is a major offering at the Metropolitan Museum this Spring in the Lehman Wing, which circles around to show not only Seurat’s own painting of “Circus Sideshow” in the late 1880s, but others by many compatriots of …Read More


A more popular film for the global set is hard to find right now, as “Lion” at the Paris Theater fills night and day with eager film lovers looking forward to a poignant story. And so it is… We hear …Read More

Chinese New Year and The New York Philharmonic

The celebration of Chinese New Year has steadily risen in importance. Until now the Chinese community and their friends continue the tradition throughout what seems to be almost two weeks. Highlights of the Season are spectacular fireworks over the Hudson …Read More

A Trifecta of Misery

Just a short comment on what everyone has already written about but for various reasons, we have just seen: “Manchester by the Sea” (a film) and “The Humans” (a play) plus “The Present” (comments last week)… were, discounting the extraordinary …Read More

The Present

Think of one contentious extended family at a 40th Birthday gathering when the days are endless and purpose is in short supply. A group of misguided libidos are in search of… relief of boredom; even resuscitated passion. OR this is …Read More

Museum of Arts and Design

There are several worthy and diverse exhibitions to see right now at MAD — CROCHET CORAL REEF: Toxic Seas by Margaret and Christine Wertheim displays an extraordinary array of Coral Reefs – both live with color and creature habitat and the …Read More


This entire opera belonged to Patricia Racette as the princess of Judea — her voice, her strength, her dramatic abilities, her “way of going” in spite of the difficult stagecraft, unfortunate sets and other incongruities. Over 100 minutes of dramatic …Read More


The China Arts and Entertainment Group settled into New York for a short festival (four days) of their national award-winning dance drama named “Confucius” at the Lincoln Center Koch Theater. As their teacher and philosopher who “shaped the nation,” he …Read More

La La Land

This delightful throwback to old cinematic times is a fresh breeze in an otherwise overly introspective world. The beginning sequence is worth the price of the tickets. A crowded freeway in Los Angeles becomes the backdrop for a vigorous, rousing, …Read More

Roméo et Juliette

There are many ways to spend New Year’s Eve, but for us the Opera is both spiritually rewarding and an artistic adventure. “The Merry Widow” with Renee Fleming one year, “The Pearl Fishers” with Diana Damrau the next, and THIS …Read More

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

Half, if not more, of New York has already seen this vibrant and athletic interpretation of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” which is giving “Hamilton” a run for its money in the pop opera category. Coming from Off-Broadway’s Ars Nova four …Read More


This is truly an historic production, with James Levine at the conductor’s podium and Placido Domingo in the role of Nabucco. For those who do not know the story, it actually ends happily, so stay until the end. In the …Read More

Finian’s Rainbow

The Irish Repertory Theatre has its share of O’Reillys, O’Neills, O’Dwyers and O’Malleys, but it reaches beyond the strictly dramatic Irish offerings to indulge in some totally light-hearted evenings that send you away singing. Such is “Finian’s Rainbow.” This delightful …Read More

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The history of this extraordinary dance company has been charted by three Artistic Directors: Alvin Ailey the founder in 1958, the great Judith Jamison for 21 years, and Robert Battle, who is now distinguishing himself as a worthy successor. Assisting …Read More

La Bohème

Yes, you’ll cry. Your senses and sentimentality will be torn asunder by this Met Opera production. But you will experience a reawakening of your humanity (even after dinner) that is seldom achieved in a theater seat. THIS “La Bohème” is …Read More

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

As is often the case, there are fine musical organizations that seek support from philanthropists in the United States. They come from Salzburg, Vienna, London, Israel, etc., and now Oxford University has joined “the chorus.” We happened to attend a …Read More

The Eagle Huntress

Donald and I respond unfailingly to the world of natural beauty, historic adventure and/or a combination of both. The magnificent story of a 13-year-old girl and her very supportive father in Mongolia touched us completely for its bravery, charm, stalwart …Read More

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

This is just the sort of complex French interaction of the sexes that once brought the entire nation its reputation for both délicatesse and cruelty. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ examination of 18th Century aristocratic behavior begins when one Grande Dame …Read More

Letter from Iceland

SLIPPING ON THE ICELAND … Adventures in the Land of the Vikings “I’m a rambling wreck from Reykjavik The future’s very clear We must do this and we should do that But disaster is so near” (To the music of …Read More

New York City Ballet

September is the time when so many organizations and institutions offer their new season to the public. The New York City Ballet began with a longer than usual Gala performance that included a number of exciting new sounds by composers …Read More

The Back Door

I was invited to a VIP Preview of “The Back Door” at the Park Avenue Armory and oh dear…the Emperor’s clothes are now definitely ready for the dry cleaners! This hodge-podge of useless “artistic expressions” – piles of boxes, lights …Read More

Studio Job: MAD HOUSE

“Studio Job: MAD HOUSE” at the Museum of Arts and Design This review has been updated and has replaced its original post on March 28, 2016.  The meeting, melding and tearing apart of the two designers, Job Smeets and Nynke …Read More

Harry Bertoia’s Atmosphere for Enjoyment

Enter the world of Harry Bertoia and you’re in a playground for all ages. There are the sculptures that attempt to reproduce his “Sonambient Stone Barn” in Pennsylvania. These are carefully mounted on a platform and are an immediate hit. …Read More

Fully Committed

Having seen/heard this one-man show several years ago, we were promised a “comical” evening, but never such a tour de force as we witnessed last week at the Lyceum Theatre. I remember Barbra Streisand’s “Buyer & Cellar,” which took the singular …Read More

FJK Dance

There are just so many ways in which the body can move, and Fadi J. Khoury tests of all them to a fault. As much as one can applaud the creative and often sexy choreography by Khoury, the well muscled …Read More

Emerson String Quartet

Last week we went to hear the Emerson String Quartet who are on tour and happily landed at Alice Tully Hall for a masterful concert featuring Haydn Op. 76, Nos. 1 and 4 as well as Beethoven Quartets, Op. 18, …Read More