Author: Pia Ehrhardt

As You Like It

Last Saturday, I attended a Teen Takeover performance of “As You Like It” at Classic Stage Company. An earnest, willowy high schooler seated me with charming hesitation. The teen ushers brought a fresh energy into the theater that lasted through …Read More

Alma Thomas

Last weekend, Malcolm and I took the speedy A train up to 125th to see the colorful, rhythmic paintings and works on paper of Alma Thomas. What a joy they are! Thomas was the first African-American woman to have a …Read More

Beauty And Truth: Agnes Martin

To see Agnes Martin’s elegant, intense work in the Guggenheim — up close and across the beckoning spiral — is a quieter kind of joy. There’s the discovery of these wondrous paintings and works on paper that you savor on …Read More

The Red Rooster

After visiting the Studio Museum in Harlem, we were hungry for the comfort food of Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden. I ordered the Fried Yardbird – two pieces of perfectly battered dark chicken …Read More

My Name Is Lucy Barton

This spare, compelling novel opens with a woman in a hospital bed. She is mysteriously ill and alone, the mother of two, but her husband isn’t with her. Instead, she awakens to find her estranged mother sitting at the foot …Read More

Ironbound

This play by Martyna Majok just closed, but I enjoyed Marin Ireland’s (“reasons to be pretty,” Tony award) mercurial performance as a struggling Polish woman trying to make her life in America work. (Ironbound is a neighborhood in Newark.) For …Read More

Syrena Bakery

Step into this time-warped Polish bakery on Norman Street (and Humboldt) at your own risk. There are towel sized flat pans of fresh cakes made with apples, berries, or both; and donuts, lots of fresh donuts; and wicker baskets filled …Read More

London Spy

Warning: I’m on a Ben Whishaw (“The Crucible”) crusade. He brilliantly carries the weight of this wrenching 5-part British murder mystery. I’m not sure there’s a single scene without him in it, lucky for us. (He also shines in “The …Read More

Tournesol

  As newly landed denizens of Long Island City, we think it’s only fair to share our favorite restaurant with you: Tournesol. It’s tiny and dear, with a charming, youthful French-speaking staff. The daily specials are delicious: Coq au vin, …Read More

Noises Off

Weighing in on what others have already said, but, this play is such silly, giddy fun with razor-quick timing, and stage blocking that boggles the mind. I’d love to have been at the tech rehearsal of the “tech rehearsal.” From …Read More

The Crucible

Malcolm and I are still reeling after seeing yet another Ivo van Hove (director, “The View from The Bridge”) revival of an Arthur Miller masterpiece. Set during the 17th century’s Salem witch trials, the play is frighteningly current with modern …Read More

Dirty French

Our whiz-kid server, Pamela, coaxed us through the menu with great enthusiasm and knowledge. My friend and I shared the delicate, million-layered mushroom millefeuille. (Thank you, spellcheck! Make that spell check.) I ordered the buttery trout meuniere; she decided on …Read More

The Color Purple

Last night I saw “The Color Purple” and two central roles were played by understudies, which could have felt like second prize, except that the two actors had rooting sections in the theater, who were there to give them wings. …Read More

Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions

Time’s running out, but there’s an elegant and enlightening show of works on paper by Martin Puryear at the Morgan Library. He’s known for his abstract sculptures that explore craft and deal poetically with race. These drawings and prints reveal …Read More

The Heir Apparent

“The Heir Apparent” is a new Classic Stage Company offering from playwright David Ives (“Venus In Fur”), and it’s a ridiculous amount of fun. Ives’ erudition is exhaustive, and his wit is exhausting — in the best way. I wish …Read More

Of Mice And Men

I hadn’t read this book since high school. And, let me say at the top, I went not to see James Franco (does he even need a citation?) or Leighton Meester (“Gossip Girl” –- a TV show I’ve never seen), …Read More

Pinch-Hitting for Dudamel

Next year Dudamel needs to get his flu shot. His heralded three-day stint with the N.Y. Philharmonic got canceled due to “severe” flu. I was disappointed because I wanted to see the fiery, tiny Venezuelan conduct the massive Bruckner Symphony …Read More

Waiting for Godot

Beg, borrow, do what you must, but go! Go! And see two masters at work in a play I always thought was over my head. What was I thinking? Beckett’s masterpiece is funny, tender, wise, silly, slapstick, soft shoe, profound, …Read More

Fun Home

This intelligent, heartfelt musical is based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her closeted father, her own coming out, and his suicide. We loved every note of it: the carousel stage that moves actors, sets, and time with narrative elegance; …Read More

The Commons of Pensacola

Another artistic attempt (after “Blue Jasmine”), to delve into the character of a Madoff-like wife who should have known, but didn’t know, although how could she not know, and what does she do now with the knowing about the people …Read More

Prune

Prune: the awning’s pink, the place seats 33, the tables are smooshed together, it’s noisy, and the food is simply wonderful. My friend and I sat at a tiny two-top by the sidewalk on a steamy night, hoping for a …Read More

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Another alarmingly talented young jazz singer who is singing her way through jazz history. Born in Miami to a French mother and a Haitian father, her new (and second) CD, “WomanChild,” is a revelation with a fresh embrace of standards …Read More

Retronaut.com

A vault of time-stopping photos organized by era, category, clusters. Retronaut.com is a  UK-based website that is both elegant and busy, and you could lose the morning clicking around, but if you sign up you can wake up every day …Read More

New York Philharmonic

 I’m a fan of Alan Gilbert’s adventuresome programming, and last week I made the acquaintance of four works. The evening’s first half included Stravinsky’s “Ragtime for 11 Instruments;” Shostakovich’s arrangement of “Tea for Two” (who knew?);  and Copland’s Concerto for …Read More

Nox

I read this elegy-in-a-box by Ann Carson in one sitting and was deeply moved. Carson is exploring and grieving her brother’s unexplained death, and she does so through an accordion-fold of photographs, pieces of letters, postcards, bits of essays and …Read More

Audra McDonald

“Broadway at NOCCA” Series, featuring Seth Rudetsky at piano.  Audra McDonald is the fourth Broadway superstar (five Tonys!) to come to New Orleans, and her voice and persona pushed us back in our chairs.  Newly married, she opened with “When …Read More

Resto and Cannibal

Double carnivore, sister restaurants next door to each other, on 29th between Park and Lex. Resto has amazing dry-aged steaks. Decent and small wine selection but massive imported beer choices. Cannibal is a sit-down butcher shop and beer house. Trust …Read More

Il Buco Alimentarie E Vineria

High energy, big, eclectic crowd and great food. The short ribs, porchetta, insalata bottarga and the Lattuga salad were worth the cross-country flight. For you locals, you only have to go to NoHo ( it is on Great Jones Street).  –pia …Read More

Taboon

This Hell’s Kitchen restaurant features Middle Eastern food prepared in a blazing, white-domed oven, and you don’t want to skip the bread. Oh, but it’s good, brought to you as they do on a wooden plank. With your choice of …Read More

Sutton Foster

At New Orleans’ “Broadway at NOCCA” Series, featuring Seth Rudetsky at piano. Patti LuPone was first up and we missed her, but we caught Sutton Foster. Not a woman who sings quietly, but what a force of nature. When she …Read More

Gretchen Parlato

The Lost and Found. The older I get the more I am drawn to women who sing quietly. Gretchen Parlato is a jazz vocalist with a smoky instrument who could probably blow us down. But she practices control and restraint, …Read More

The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

By Alex Ross.  I’m gobbling this up. I grew up with musician parents but we never talked about music. So Alex Ross feels like the family I always wanted. My copy’s studded with 3M Post-Its and I’ve been on a …Read More

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name

By Vendela Vida.  I am always on the prowl for books about mothers leaving their daughters, and this novel doesn’t pull any punches. The narrator’s voice is funny, worried and caustic, and she’s insistent about going to the source for …Read More

La Silhouette

This Hell’s Kitchen restaurant is discreetly situated right off Ninth Avenue. Look for a Mondrian-like façade of blue, red, and gray rectangles and squares. It’s a bit of a trek back to the main dining room, but the food is French, and …Read More

Brasilina

Another neighborhood find in Hell’s Kitchen. I don’t know how else to describe Brazilian food: It’s gentle: pumpkin, yucca, plaintains, quinoa couscous. And luscious: tapioca fritters – like fried puddings. Trust me. Croquettes. Cornish hen with corn cream and spring …Read More