johnleiser

Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Othello @NYU Skirball Center 9/25/09

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm

John Ortiz and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Othello and Iago is a sure fire winner that fizzled as the play wore on. Peter Sellers does weird things and he is supposed to, why else would he wear his hair that way, but making people move up front for the second act because so many people left wasn’t weird, it was self defense.He took a lot of chances with this production and a lot of them worked although not everyone agreed. The spare set, built around a multimedia bed was a cool idea, making the not so subtle point that what happens in bed spills over into real life and everyone is vulnerable in both places. Changing the ethnic mix of the play was more of a essay point than an entrĂ© into post Obama America, and adding an affair with Emelia for Othello was odd. I thought PSH was great in the first act although there was more yelling than was called for and JO was strong until the murder in the last scene when he lost concentration too. The supporting players, from LAByrinth, were strong and helped the modernist touches, cell phones etc., along and the music? track was a distraction some times; did it have something to do with the bed?
I am really glad to see this production that pushes Willy around a bit and my guess is as it is developed it will become important, or I hope so anyway.

Vermeer’s The Milkmaid @ The Met 09/16/09

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm

This is a gem ! The couple of Vermeer’s are spaced so that each one is it’s own little show. And to have The Milkmaid for the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s exploration of the river that is named for him as well as the 300th in the last century is cool too. Any excuse to see Vermeer is worthwhile, but this show actually has something to show us about the light, from the left, and the references to contemporary life at the time. There is a chart of all 36 Vermeer paintings at the entrance to the show and everyone uses it as a scorecard;I saw more than you!, that’s a lot of fun. Of course you have to go to the Frick to see the 3 that they have to complete the NY experience.

Kandinsky @ The Guggenheim 09/17/09

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Kandinsky is the foundation of the Guggenheim’s collection so it’s natural to have a retrospective of all his work. The best part is all the paintings that are not usually seen because they are in storage or from other museums; Paris and Munich in this show. Chronological shows get a knock from some parts but this is the point of The Guggenheim’s survey. The early paintings are more representational and they morph into abstraction as the years go on. The much neglected later paintings are the surprise of the show.; beautiful colors and a disregard for the distinctions between figurative and abstract disciplines. The paintings look wonderful in the space as though the spiral was designed to show them, ya think? As the 50th anniversary of the Guggenheim comes up this month, seeing the core of the collection and the concept of the museum displayed this way makes an historical statement and shows how influential Kandinsky was to the mid century artists and relevant to what is going on today as “painting” makes a comeback in contemporary times .