Author: Barbara Tober

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

Roberto Devereux

Donizetti, ever the romantic, may have fictionalized a liaison between Queen Elizabeth and her courtier, Robert Devereux, (second) Earl of Essex, but he took his theme to the thousandth power! This opera, the third in a trilogy of the Tudor …Read More

The Dinosaurs Among Us

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the Museum of Natural History’s incredible collection of creatures great and small. And you must have seen enough dinosaur movies to resonate with those phantasmagorical creatures that roamed the earth before …Read More

Shuffle Along

This long awaited revival of “Shuffle Along” at the 63rd Street Music Hall, May 23, 1921 has a star studded cast, some brilliant dance numbers and a history that pulls at the heart strings of the current zeitgeist. A group …Read More

De Materie

A great number of words and huge photographs in the media, devoted to critiques of this extraordinarily creative “cultural stew,” have concentrated on the venue, The Park Avenue Armory. The enveloping size, the deft handling of the space and the …Read More

She Loves Me

The Roundabout Theatre Company resuscitated this “old chestnut” as they’re called and it’s absolutely charming! Who doesn’t love “She Loves Me” and all the familiar (to some) songs that emanate from Studio 54 in the evening as Mr. Nowack courts …Read More

Flamenco Festival 2016

We were on the way to Dallas the nights that Farruquito performed at the Flamenco Festival 2016 at New York City Center. His accolades were already in bold print in the New York Times before he even touched down at …Read More

The English Concert in America

Extraordinary young and accomplished artists of The English Concert in America gathered to create the “Fete Musicale Baroque” at the New York Historical Society. The concert took place in the auditorium, with dinner afterward beneath the rescued and restored Picasso …Read More


Tough play! This riff on the English “Jailbird” is a rough ride through the emotions of lust, loss, vengeance and a yearning for closure, with no real desire to obtain it. A young man makes love to a 13-year-old girl …Read More


This last warmish Sunday, we ventured over the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO (official translation, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This transitional neighborhood is a haven for millennials and their families – endless couples with children and dogs and where …Read More

Chinese Consulate And Fireworks And New York Philharmonic

The Year of the Monkey is being celebrated this year in early February, and, of course, monkeys portend “many changes,” including “political uncertainty, an upturn in global economic growth, technological innovation and expansive creativity in the arts.” And that’s only …Read More

The Finest Hours

Donald and I may be among the very few who ever saw this gripping film that passed through the New York theaters quickly (even with 3D). It had a reasonable review and vanished behind Maggie Smith and other more “popular” …Read More

Une Éducation Manquée (An Incomplete Education)

The Opera Lafayette and French Institute/Alliance Française organized an evening of elegant and beautiful voices and charming operatic performances that date back to the 19th Century. Inspired by the original 18th-century opera comique these lovely offerings concerned “country matters” such …Read More

Lead Belly Fest

It was the promise of a Celebration of Lead Belly that brought us to Carnegie Hall last week for a one night “extravaganza.” But a more heinous example of a “bait and switch” has never been experienced. There were photographs …Read More

Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray

Dr. Helen Fisher is the anthropologist who truly understands LOVE. Having written scholarly books on the sexual behavior of early man and those other creatures that all anthropologists enjoy examining closely (these were the specialties of anthropologist Margaret Mead as …Read More


The New York City Opera opened once again with their Renaissance performance of “Tosca” at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This beleaguered opera company has tried over the last eight years to resurrect itself at BAM and other venues outside NYC. …Read More

Chimes at Midnight

There is an extended run for this film created at the pinnacle of Orson Welles’ most active career in producing, directing and starring in his own films. They came sporadically, “Citizen Kane” being the most well known. But “Chimes at …Read More


Jennifer Lawrence is seldom joyous in this “real-life” drama that portrays her as family drudge and peacemaker with a loosely related crew of dysfunctional relatives, even former husbands. The producers definitely wanted to slam home the dreary quality of her …Read More

9/11 Museum

By this time, almost everyone has visited the 9/11 Museum for the sake of history, for the memory of that fateful day and for nostalgia about someone dear who was lost that day, or escaped under harrowing circumstances. But the …Read More

Chevalier (Baccarat Hotel)

  It’s expensive, I’ll say that for it. But one would expect the restaurant in the elegant new Baccarat Hotel, replete with chandeliers and other shimmering glass treatments from floor to ceiling everywhere, to be tres cher. We tried the …Read More

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

  This expert group of musicians usually visits New York at Carnegie Hall, but this time, they came to David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for a limited engagement under the baton of Louis Langrée, who is also the conductor …Read More

The Revenant

No matter what Leonardo DiCaprio got paid for making this movie, he deserves it. Yes, of course, there were “doubles” and stunt men, but never have I seen anyone struggle so hard for so many hours as did Hugh Glass …Read More

The Pearl Fishers

New Year’s Eve could not have been more captivating, alluring and satisfying than spending it with “The Pearl Fishers” at the Metropolitan Opera. From the first moment of oyster divers bubbling and breathing their way up and down the entire …Read More

Tappin’ Thru Life

Energy, expertise and the love of performing are electric in this captivating history of Maurice (and his brother Gregory) Hines as they “tapped their way” through life from childhood to 72 (as Maurice admits). Sadly Gregory is long gone, but …Read More

China Doll

We went to see Al Pacino talk his way non-stop through this intense indictment of a wealthy man, his airplane and his tax problem. While trying to connect with his mistress (whom you never meet), he wheels and deals on …Read More

Richard Estes: Painting New York City

Super-realist Richard Estes has literally painted his way around the world, but he is particularly in love with New York City. Hence this exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design that is his testament to the extraordinary diversity of …Read More

The Simone

  A friend of ours said, “I found a new restaurant, come for dinner.” And so we did, entering a small “bistro” uptown where courtesy and deeply satisfying food reign. The owners of The Simone, Chip Smith (chef) and Tina …Read More

Gershwin’s Concerto in F

  The photograph of Yuja Wang on the invitation showed an athletic female Lang Lang with a short skirt, which diminished her talent immediately. But no such person appeared on stage with Michael Tilson Thomas and the superb group of musicians …Read More