Author: Ken Roman

Art in the Open – at the Museum of the City of New York

Starting in the late ’60s, New York City became the site of hundreds of innovative installations of artworks and sculptures – in parks, on median strips on Park Avenue, in building plazas and on building walls, even in subways. Until …Read More

Meteor Shower

Steve Martin can do no wrong, and he does no wrong in so many ways – playwright, screen writer, novelist, actor, musician. Following his wonderfully warm blue-grass show “Bright Star,” his new show “Meteor Shower” takes dead aim at over-intellectualized …Read More


I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t win awards as Best Documentary. The story of 26-year-old Jane Goodall leaving England to study chimpanzees in Tanzania is given fresh dimension by 50-year-old glorious footage by photographer Hugo van Lawick, who became her …Read More

Art and China After 1989: Theater of The World

  Why 1989? Tiananmen Square! This is art with a message – a political message. Experimental film, videos, paintings, and installations by Ai Weiwei and other Chinese artists of today. Hanging across the entire atrium is a contemporary take on …Read More

Last Hope Island

Fans of Lynne Olson books (“Citizens of London,” among others) will devour her latest, “Last Hope Island,” on how London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of seven occupied nations that were overrun by the Nazi blitzkrieg …Read More

The Battle of The Sexes

Those of us who remember the landmark tennis match of the #1 woman’s player against a former top men’s player (and noted hustler) will have a ball being reminded of the suspense – and the high stakes for women in …Read More

The Flying Dutchman

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

Turner at The Frick

There’s a gem of an exhibit on Turner’s great port paintings at The Frick Collection. Two huge portraits of Dieppe and Cologne, together for the first time, plus an unfinished third canvas. But the stars for us were four smaller …Read More


This is a minority report: all the big reviews are ecstatic. Not that this J. T. Rogers drama doesn’t have its strong parts. The Bartlett Sher direction in the Lincoln Center Theatre is fluid – actors moving furniture on and …Read More

Pacific Overtures

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

Whitney Biennial

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

Eugene Onegin

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

Saint Joan

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

Visionaries at The Guggenheim Museum

Don’t miss the current show, “Visionaries.” 170 works from the Museum’s collection – Calder, Duchamp, Klee, Mondrian, Picasso, Kandinsky… and more – organized around its six early patron collectors: Justin Thannhauser, Karl Nierendorf, Peggy Guggenheim, Katherine Dreier, Hilla Rebay and …Read More

Orchid Show

                                          The one place that “more is more” works is with flowers. This year’s theme at The NY Botanical Garden …Read More

Seurat’s Circus Sideshow

Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece is the center of this marvelous exhibition at the Met Museum, which is so much more. Like other great museum exhibitions, it places the famous painting in context with its times. The subject, an outdoor teaser performance …Read More

The Second Avenue Subway

They’ve done a lousy job marketing the new subway on the East Side. Sure, there is interesting art in the stations, but that’s not why we take subways. Most of the news was about three new stations – at 96th …Read More


I think we’ve seen every production since the original of this sophisticated Bernstein-Sondheim operatic spoof of Voltaire’s philosophic message: “This is the best in this best of all possible worlds.” The current New York City Opera revival, directed by Harold …Read More

Patriot’s Day

As a Bostonian, this is one I had to see – and I wasn’t disappointed. The story of the bombers at the Boston Marathon (properly, The Marathon) is well-known, although I had forgotten how the entire city had been closed …Read More


The first team is back in town, and they’re not alone. James Levine commanded the thunderous Met Orchestra with precision, matched by Donald Palumbo’s great chorus. Placido Domingo defied age as a vigorous King Nabucco. But the star of the …Read More

National Gallery East Wing

Just opened in September after three years of work, the new I.M. Pei East Wing is spectacular. The National’s modern art collection has a wonderful new home. Great open spaces for a hanging Calder, spacious galleries for the Picassos and …Read More

Love Love Love

The first act is a mindless trifle about Oxford students on a summer break in London. The second act dramatizes clichés of the 1960s. But the third act redeems by showing the consequences of self-indulgence and selfishness, as the couples at …Read More

Hacksaw Ridge

This is a feel-good movie, and I felt good after seeing it. The true-life story of a conscientious objector – and how he came to this principled stance, yet also served as a medic in the great battle of Okinawa …Read More

The Kingdom of Speech

Tom Wolfe’s new book is a short (170-page) tour de force. The writing, as always, erupts off the page with vitality. This time, Wolfe aims his barbs at the unlikely target of linguistics, and the revered (in some circles) Noam …Read More

Klimt and The Women of Vienna’s Golden Age 1900-1918

It’s not hard getting art deco/nouveau fans like us to the Neue Galerie. Ronald Lauder’s museum is a jewel box. The current exhibition is 11 life-size portraits – including the $135 million movie-inspiring “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” — along …Read More


Talk about moving up in the world, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants has moved from its cramped Second Ave locale of 33 years to the most elegant new setting in an old mansion at 24 East 81st St.  (Formerly the Crown …Read More


Why does a talented seven-term Congressman with a politically connected wife and a bright future throw it away in serial sexting scandals? And why does Anthony Wiener permit it all to be filmed – not just the public stuff and …Read More

Eli’s Night Shift

Who makes the best hamburger in New York? Ellen and I have long felt it was J.G. Melon on Third Ave. Also the best cottage fries, best chili, and best cheesecake. But just up Third Avenue at 79th Street, there’s …Read More

American Psycho

I didn’t expect the major critics to like it, and they didn’t. But the mostly youngish audience was with it from the moment serial killer Patrick Bateman (Benjamin Walker) steps out of a vertical tanning bed in a cloud of …Read More

I Saw the Light

OK, it’s another biopic. And maybe not the best one. But this film about country music star Hank Williams is still satisfying. It has wonderful music, and Tom Hiddleston is a credible Williams (if unlikely, as a Brit). Williams created …Read More

Four Seasons

We paid a sentimental visit to this great restaurant before it relocates elsewhere than its longtime, elegant home in the Seagram Building. In my business days, I was there every week or so. Now we go less often – I …Read More

Bright Star

An unqualified rave for this blue-grass musical by polymath Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell (Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars). Several intertwined stories set in rural America in 1923 tell a familiar story of youthful ambition, young love and how …Read More

Nice Fish

As card-carrying members of the Mark Rylance Fan Club, we trekked to Brooklyn to the St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo. (A wonderful space, on Brooklyn Bridge Park – facing Manhattan.) The audience of Rylance groupies reacted to his every line, …Read More

Manon Lescaut

The story of a simple country girl falling in love, being lured away by a sugar daddy, then reuniting with her early love … and dying with her lover during an escape to a bizarre “arid wasteland” does not require …Read More

K. Scott Warren at St. Ignatius Loyola

Half the pleasure of this concert was the 45-foot high Mander organ, the largest of its type in New York City, with 5,000 pipes. The sound reverberates through your bones. The other half was organist Scott Warren, who delivers a …Read More