Author: Barbara Tober

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

Blackbird

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

DUMBO

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

Tosca

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

Joy

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

Honeymoon in Las Vegas

How could one characterize the consummate Las Vegas denizen without the smoothest “gangster” known to Broadway: Tony Danza. This is a musical, so there’s the big band sound at first led by a conductor, Tom Murray, who could have doubled …Read More

On the Twentieth Century

  Let’s face it, Kristin Chenoweth can carry a tune.  She can also completely rescue a train that is moving too slowly with her operatic flurries and insouciant humor.  When Kristin is there, all is well.  Luckily the producers knew …Read More

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  There was something peculiarly compelling about going to the second Marigold Hotel movie. First was the secret allure of a place that was created especially for…well, dropping out somewhat elegantly. Second were the continuing characters of those unique Dames: …Read More

The Audience

By this time, Helen Mirren has become Queen Elizabeth to not only her audiences but to the world in general. In “The Audience,” the Queen begins as a youngster meeting her first Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, and continues on …Read More

Hermès Quartet

  This talented group of musicians is headquartered in Paris but perform all over the world. They are young (20s/early 30s), vigorous and perfectly coordinated in executing such classical works as Haydn, Janacek and Schumann. There is a precision and youthful …Read More

Carmen

There is so much to enjoy about the music of Carmen, and the Met production has sexed it up quite a bit in the first half giving the audience a moment to gasp, and plenty of dancing to enjoy. We …Read More

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras

We love Flamenco and follow the trends as they move to modernity. Sara Baras may be the most modern yet with her fashionable dresses for the women, choreography that taps and turns faster and makes more dynamic patterns on stage. …Read More

Chinese New Year Music

  Several museums hosted events for the Lunar New Year this time, as did the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, which begin its tribute a couple of years ago with a half Chinese/half Western program. This year, however, the emphasis was …Read More