It’s good to live it again: the openings, the excitement, the sheer volume of folks taking their talents out for a walk. New York’s art part is in full swing, from its galleries to its opera houses, dance spaces and theaters crammed to bursting with the kind of startling, involving work that makes me happy I’m here. Even if I can’t see it all—face it, there are only so many hours in a day, not nearly enough life to take in the likes of Richard Foreman, Jude Law, the honeyed duo of Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman, not to mention the glories unfolding at galleries (David Hockney! In Chelsea and Midtown!) and museums (the Kandinsky show at the Guggenheim is a miracle—don’t let it slip by). But I try; herewith, a sampler of good fun recently had.
Broken Embraces. A new Almodovar film is always cause for rejoicing. Since All About My Mother, this Spanish filmmaker keeps topping himself; the last ten or so years feels like his golden age, so it’s somehow apt that Embraces is a homage to the movies, but it’s also a love story, a melodrama and a mystery. Only Almodovar can craft such disparities into art. It’s heaven Time at the movies—forego the blockbuster of the week and see it when it opens in your burb.
Bill T. Jones. Last week, he revived his work Serenade/The Proposition, his stately meditation on Abraham Lincoln at the Joyce Theater (it closes Sunday the 15th). It’s a dress rehearsal for a piece that’ll arrive here next year: Fondly We Hope, Fervently We Pray was commissioned for the Lincoln Centennial, and is currently touring, but if you can’t wait there’s a flip side to this dancemaster’s talent on display at the Eugene O’Neill—Fela is a fever dream of a Broadway musical based on the life, loves and activism of the Nigerian king of Afrobeat. Not perfect, but with a beat that infectious, and a cast that’s all that, you’ll leave the theater sailing. A wall-to-wall party.
Gentleman Reg and Mr. Hudson. I’ve been playing these guys all week. Both blond, provocative foreigners (Reg is Canadian, Hudson’s a Brit), they make thoughtful, sensuous and oh, so, masculine music. Reg’s Jet Black is the newest release from this out and proud artist, but even your butch brother will love Reg’s glamrock panting and the retro instrumentals-this is what Prince might’ve sounded like if he’d grown up gay near the 49th Parallel. Hudson’s got Straight No Chaser, a Kanye West-produced effort bursting with blue-eyed echoes of Steve Winwood, Sting and Leo Sayer, but this guy owes a debt to no one. He’s an original, and the music kills. Check it out, as the kids say. Both works are chocolate for the ears.
Top, Mr. Hudson, bottom, Gentleman Reg