Tag Archives: Wendy Whalen

New York City Blog — February 27 – March 4

Circle in the Square has a long history which you’re reminded of while waiting in the ladies room line. Black and white photos of George C. Scott, Joanne Woodword and Vanessa Redgrave, among others, deck the walls. The Circle in the Square has moved from the original Sheridan Square site, then to Bleecker Street and now west 50th Street. The present theatre resembles a conference hall. The musical, in transit, is very American: the plot’s paper thin and predictable, lots of energy, wonderful voices and the obligatory standing ovation. The clever set is a subway station. The cast scoots in and out on stage subway cars, making use of the annoyances of NYC daily life to stir a responding reaction in the audience.

in transit at Circle in the Square










I’m a member of a three women Wendy Whalen fan club. We come from as far away as New Jersey and as close as east 14th Street. A perfect NYC evening is meeting at Haru on Eighth Avenue, savoring the fresh Japanese food and then crossing the street to the Joyce. Is there a bad seat in the house? Back to Wendy Whalen. Currently, she and Brian Brooks are dancing in a modern work, Some of a Thousand Words. Whalen dominates the stage. Surprise, surprise but it’s not the glow of narcissism. Rather, it’s the sense of witnessing someone who is dedicated and devoted to dance. When Whalen dances you are living in the moment. She spent much of her professional life at the New York City Ballet dancing the works of Wheeldon, Ratmansky, Forsythe. Having retired from the NYCB, she now works with Brian Brooks. Their chemistry plus the Brooklyn Rider’s music made for a memorable evening.

I found this ladies room sign very funny:

What a difference a word makes.


Graphic Lessons: Recent widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?

Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore?

New York City Blog – Oct. 16 – 23

Sunday evening was spent for a few hours in The Frick Collection’s Music Room. The Carducci Quartet, two violins, one viola and one cello, played a lively selection of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Beethoven.The Anglo-Irish quartet plays across a gamut of classical and modern. The concert began at five p.m., ended around seven and then it was on to dinner at Le Charlot, a very snazzy, local French bistro.

Part of the City Center sprawl is the Studio 5 series that is presented in a 56th Street studio. It began with Damian Woetzel and Wendy Whalen, sitting on high chairs like life guards, talking to the 200 member audience sitting around the perimeter of the large, bare space. Whalen and Woetzel met in 1986 when both were fledgling dancers at New York City Ballet. Woetzel is now the Artistic Director of the Vail Dance Festival. The evening’s program focused on Remixing A Festival From Vail to New York. The workshop is the first of four about dance. The dancing began with Robert Fairchild preforming a solo dance that Woetzel critiqued. This was followed by Unity Phelan and Cameron Dieck, young NYCB dancers, demonstrating how to interpret various dance movements. Heather Watts joined in the discussion and led Phelan through a few suggestive steps. Cameron Grant was the pianist who tripped merrily along with the dancers.

Robert Fairchild coming round the bend
Robert Fairchild coming round the bend
Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel
Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel
Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant
Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant

It’s an immediate, behind-the-scenes experience. I can’t wait for the next three sessions.

New York City Blog May 25 — May 31

A friend and I wended our way from the Gagosian Gallery’s Michael Heizer’s exhibit to the Highline and down the stairs and across Ninth Avenue to cocktails and dinner at the Tipsy Parson. Stuffed eggs, mac and cheese and delicious red wine always aid great conversation.

Michael Heizer's Altars
Michael Heizer’s Altars

Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries closed at the Frick Collection with Frick movie night. Staff and volunteers were invited to the Music Room to see a screening of the Man of La Mancha. it was based on the Cervantes eighteenth-century novel that no one reads. Lyrics were borrowed from the Broadway production. In spite of the fact that the late Roger Ebert gave the 1972 movie only two and a half stars, it was lots of nostalgic fun. Big names from that era include Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren, and Ian Richardson playing a young, idealist priest. Many years later in BBC’s House of Cards, Richardson played, brilliantly, a corrupt politician who flung his mistress off the roof of the houses of parliament.

For the past week the Joyce Theater has been a shine to Wendy Whalen. Two other acolytes and I went on bended knee and broken check book to Restless Creature: four dances choreographed and danced by Ms. Whalen and Alejandro Cerrudo, Joshua Beamish, Kyle Abraham and Brian Brooks. It was a rare treat watching a great dancer, supported by other great dancers, at the Joyce, which doesn’t have a bad seat in the house.