Tag Archives: Mendelssohn

New York City Blog – May 21 – May 28

Catering at the Frick spring party
Catering at the Frick spring party

Champagne? Tom Collins? White wine? Lemonade? Since red wine stains, the Frick serves only transparent liquids. The Frick Collection had its annual spring garden party. Sitting in the garden court, we waited for the few sprinkles of rain to stop and spent the time gobbling the caterer’s passing parade of lovely, tiny, bite size hors d’oeuvres, We then perched on a low wall in the garden that overlooks Fifth Avenue and studied the crowd’s finery.

On Saturday I went to 59th Street and 10th Avenue to the Left Forum. Isn’t there a sweet irony that a left organization would host a two day conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice? I was at the Gotham Greens table having volunteered to answer questions about our organization. Many times I had to turn to more knowledgeable colleagues for the answer. For instance, in how many states can Greens vote the Green ticket? Answer: twenty. What did Ralph Nader call the Democrats and Republicans? Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Good one, Ralph.

Judson Memorial Church sponsored a showing of Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll. It’s a documentary that explores Cambodia from its days as a French protectorate to modern times. Its history is shown through the evolving musical tastes of the Cambodians: from the 1950s the French influence of Charles Trenet and Edith Piaf, during the sixties the English invasion. Plus, American rock and roll. The Cambodians had a vivid music scene that came to a screeching halt when Pol Pot took over the government and decreed that all foreign influence was suspect. There were harrowing interviews with people who lied about being entertainers to save their lives and their families. The USA’s involvement in Vietnam and withdrawal from Cambodia was also shown. It’s a long, intense film. It took the director John Pirozzi and LinDa Saphan, the associate producer, ten years to make it.

 

LinDa Saphan, associate producer of CAMBODIA'S LOST ROCK AND ROLL
LinDa Saphan, associate producer of CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL

An annual spring ritual is going to the New York City Ballet’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tuesday night’s performance was wonderful. Balanchine + Mendelssohn + Tiler Peck. Does it get any better? Ms. Peck seems a worthy successor to the great Wendy Whalen.

Feldenkrais and gesellschaft were the two words spelled correctly that resulted in a tie at the Scripps annual spelling bee. Feldenkrais has something to do with movement and gesellschaft has something to do with society.

New York City Blog June 1 — June 7

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect vehicle for Balanchine’s choreography and Mendelssohn’s music. The NYCB’s current production is based on Balanchine’s production which premiered in 1962.The dancing is superb and the sets are magical. Most of the play takes place in an enchanted forest. Saturday afternoon’s audience was multigenerational and judging by the laughter and applause the performance was warmly appreciated.
Practically next door at the N. Y. Public Library for the Performing Arts, there’s a Frank Sinatra exhibit. Talk about strolling down memory lane. There are great photos of recording sessions and of some of the other celebrities who sang with Sinatra. His mentors were Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. It was Crosby who said: Frank Sinatra is a singer who comes along once in a life time but why did he have to come in mine? There’s even a closed booth where you can sing along with old blue eyes. The exhibit is at the library until September 4.
El Museo del Barrio has an exhibit honoring Gabriel Figueroa, the Mexican

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Sinatra at the Paramount
Sinatra at the Paramount

cinematographer. Who needs technicolor? Figueroa’s black and white scenes evoke moody, intense passion. They remind me of Martha Graham’s dances. Figueroa’s films are being shown at the Film Forum this week.