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Theater Review: ‘Dream Play,’ at the Here Arts Center

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 30 Maret 2013 | 16.43

It's easy to be fascinated by our own dreams. Yet when the dreams of others are recounted to us, so much gets lost in translation. Or, to put it more plainly: suffering through someone else's jump cuts and surreal metaphors can be tedious  as all get-out.  

There goes art imitating life again in the National Asian-American Theater Company's "Dream Play," an adaptation of the Strindberg drama by Sung Rno and Andrew Pang, at the Here Arts Center. It's admirable for a company to tackle such difficult material, but there is precious little to hang onto during this production of roughly 90 minutes.

"A Dream Play" follows Agnes, the daughter of the Hindu god Indra, as she travels down to earth to try to understand what it is to be human. There is great potency in many of Strindberg's lines, and humor. But the work is also, to borrow the daughter's words, "a ponderous world," shot through with pedantic messages and heavy-handed emotionalism.

This version, directed by Mr. Pang, tends to emphasize these less enthralling qualities. As Agnes, Tina Chilip spends far too much of her time welling up and wringing her hands. She is surrounded by the members of a hard-working, overemoting ensemble, who come and go as multiple characters through a spare, movable set designed by Joseph Lark-Riley.  

Structurally, the production also falters, never finding an inner logic or coherency to guide itself. Instead of a nimble navigation and bracing assessment of the mutable paradoxes within the human experience, this "Dream Play" just lurches around. There is a recurring pole dance motif.  

Pole dancing can be disturbing, alienating, objectifying, distasteful — there are any number of intriguing possibilities. But here, like the larger context in which it occurs, it is reduced to something silly and pallid. Get out while you still can, Agnes. Save yourself.

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Music Review: University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, at Carnegie Hall

Richard Termine for The New York Times

The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble performing at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday night.

For many casual observers, the term "wind ensemble" will conjure up notions of earnest students huffing and thumping through Sousa marches and college fight songs. But aficionados, and those who have played in a university wind ensemble during the last 30 years or so, know that such groups now constitute a bona fide hotbed of opportunity for contemporary composers. Neo-Romantics, avant-gardists and postclassical eclectics have heeded the call, lured by generous commissions, multiple performances, and rehearsal time measured in weeks instead of hours.

On Tuesday night one of America's most esteemed concert bands, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, came to Carnegie Hall to introduce a commissioned work with the potential to resonate well beyond the usual college circuit, Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony No. 4. Mr. Fairouz, a versatile, prolific young New York composer, based his piece on "In the Shadow of No Towers," a graphic-novel memoir by Art Spiegelman about the personal impact and wider ramifications of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The notion of an Arab-American artist addressing Sept. 11 with an ostensibly lowbrow mix of band music and comics might have seemed paradoxical, but what resulted is technically impressive, consistently imaginative and in its finest stretches deeply moving. Rather than adapting Mr. Spiegelman's narrative literally, Mr. Fairouz uses a handful of potent images as a starting point for his own idiosyncratic elaborations.

In the first movement, "The New Normal," Mr. Fairouz uses a comfortably mundane opening theme to evoke a triptych of panels depicting a family watching television before, during and after the attacks. Bombast erupts midway through, after which the initial theme resumes, warped with dissonances and crowned with a funereal trumpet solo (played eloquently here by Janis Porietis).

"Notes of a Heartbroken Narcissist" sets gentle, melancholy strains on piano, harp and double bass against scraping, skittering percussion, meant to suggest workers digging through the wreckage. In "One Nation Under Two Flags" the ensemble splits into separate groups. A marching-band configuration plays garish, jingoistic fanfares inspired by those in Stephen Sondheim's score for "Pacific Overtures"; they clash with the urgent, angry strains, redolent of Philip Glass's cinematic style, played by the rest of the musicians.

"Anniversaries," a concluding movement calculated to last 9 minutes 11 seconds, evokes memories simultaneously fading and swelling; over a steady ticktock rhythm on woodblock and claves, a melancholy theme on saxophones wanders through various soloists and sections, building to a more controlled reprise of the opening movement's outburst.

The ensemble, conducted by Paul W. Popiel, performed with polish, assurance and copious spirit, eliciting a rousing ovation for its members and for Mr. Fairouz. The playing was equally exacting and enthusiastic in the concert's opening work, Mark Lortz's effective arrangement of Mr. Glass's grandly buoyant Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, which featured Ji Hye Jung and Gwendolyn Burgett as the precise, animated soloists.

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Richard Griffiths, Falstaffian ‘History Boys’ Star, Dies at 65

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Music Review: Gustavo Dudamel at Avery Fisher Hall

Richard Termine

The Los Angeles Philharmonic performing John Adams's "Gospel According to the Other Mary."

During the "Infernal Dance" of Stravinsky's "Firebird," which depicts the subjects of the ogre Kastchei spinning with such savagery that they drop in exhaustion, the music builds to vehement, searing chords. In his performance of the complete "Firebird" on Thursday night with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, the second of two programs, Gustavo Dudamel drew such blazing colors, slashing attacks and sheer terror from the orchestra that at the climax of the dance some people in the hall broke into applause and shouted "Bravo." This temporarily drowned out the transition that immediately follows: the powerful chords disperse to reveal mysterious, hushed sonorities.

The formal protocols of classical music concerts that can make audiences feel uptight should be tossed out. And to his immense credit, Mr. Dudamel is drawing newcomers into concert halls. So if some listeners on Thursday could not help expressing their excitement, why not?

For me, though, it was also a revealing moment. Like most ballet scores, "The Firebird," based on a Russian folk legend, is episodic. Still, this 45-minute piece has an overall structure and should unfold inexorably. For all the intensity, imagination and excitement Mr. Dudamel, conducting from memory, brought to bear, the performance lacked some cohesion and depth.

I liked that the dynamic 32-year-old Mr. Dudamel did not go for the obvious and simply pump up the piece with youthful energy. Quite the contrary, during long stretches he drew out the music, often taking slow tempos so as to convey the strangeness embedded in the score. But there were some oddly languid passages. "The Firebird" has seldom seemed so long.

It is exciting to hear this charismatic conductor taking risks and following a vision. Now in his fourth season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has galvanized the city and become for all conductors a model of community outreach and education. Not bad.

He has also fostered working relationships with living composers. This visit by the orchestra to New York will be remembered especially for Wednesday night's performance of John Adams's ambitious and powerful oratorio "The Gospel According to the Other Mary," which tells the story of the Crucifixion from the perspective of Mary Magdalene, with a libretto compiled by the director Peter Sellars, drawn from the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament sources, with poems and texts by Dorothy Day, Louise Erdrich, Primo Levi and others woven in.

Mr. Dudamel and the Philharmonic gave the premiere of this work in a concert performance last spring at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Early this month the piece was performed there in a semi-staged version directed by Mr. Sellars. That staging was presented on Wednesday for the work's New York premiere.

"The Gospel According to the Other Mary" depicts the events of the Crucifixion by showing three siblings — Mary Magdalene, Martha and Lazarus — as both biblical and contemporary characters. This Mary Magdalene is a social activist who runs a center for unemployed women with Martha. When we meet them, they have been jailed for protesting on behalf of the poor. Martha is responsible and somber; Mary is searching and troubled.

In a video interview online Mr. Adams describes the challenge of writing this work, comparable in length to his operas. Since the premiere last year, he has made some trims. It remains a long piece: Act I lasts some 70 minutes; Act II about an hour. As a structure, the oratorio sometimes seems overextended, and the narrative thrust loses momentum.

Still, this is an extraordinary work, containing some of Mr. Adams's richest, most daring music. At this point in his career he has a masterly ability to write multi-textured scores where layers of music swirl and spin simultaneously, yet everything is audible. Though his language draws from recognizable inspirations, like big-band jazz, Bach, Copland, Ives, Ravel and more, his voice could not be more personal and fresh. I will not soon forget the entrancing sound of the three countertenors, who both relate, and participate in, the story. Their music hovers on a border between the celestial and the eerie.

Mr. Sellars's production blends the cast of three singers, three dancers and the countertenors into a fluid choreography of gestures that mingle singing, acting and movement. Though Jesus does not appear, the singers and dancers voice his words and become him.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2013

An earlier version of this review misstated the timing of one of two Gustavo Dudamel's programs at Avery Fisher Hall. As mentioned elsewhere in the article, the works by Vivier and Debussy were performed on Thursday, not Wednesday.

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Barnes Foundation Restores Greek Vessel and Its Founder’s Room 17

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 28 Maret 2013 | 16.43

Ryan Collerd for The New York Times

Margaret A. Little, senior conservator of objects at the Barnes Foundation, is currently restoring a Greek pyxis, from 750 B.C., which was broken in the 1950s.

PHILADELPHIA — The art collector Albert C. Barnes had no compunction about letting people know precisely how much he wanted things his way. In a 1939 letter to the auto scion Walter P. Chrysler Jr. he gleefully torpedoed a request — as he did frequently, especially from the rich and powerful — to visit his personal foundation near Philadelphia, where he housed his world-class works.

"During his present strenuous efforts to break the world's record for goldfish swallowing," Dr. Barnes could not possibly be bothered with such a request, he replied, writing in the voice of a fictitious secretary.

So just imagine how supremely unhappy Barnes would have been for decades about the state of a small gallery on the second floor of his foundation, whose collection was transplanted intact last year from the suburb of Merion to a sleek new home downtown.

Like many of the institution's galleries, which feature not only a profusion of paintings but also enigmatic ensembles of sculptures and artifacts that became Barnes's signature — a Gesamtkunstwerk, or room-as-art aesthetic — this gallery united a handful of lovely Matisses and Klees with rather odd roommates, like works by unknown folk artists depicting birds. And Barnes crowned the whole conglomeration with a glass cabinet in the middle of the room displaying one of the best Greek vessels he ever bought, an Attic pyxis, or lidded round box, from 750 B.C., topped with four expressive horses with oddly birdlike heads.

But shortly after Barnes's death in 1951, while employees were documenting and photographing the collection, the earthenware pyxis shattered, either as a result of an accident or because it had become too fragile to handle. And the vessel, along with the case and all the other objects in it, including decorative American glassware and a French ceramic bowl, were taken off view, seemingly for good.

Now, more than half a century later, they are about to re-emerge from historical oblivion to bring the gallery, still called Room 17, back to its eccentric Barnesian counterpoise. The pyxis was rediscovered many years ago in pieces in a cardboard box, protected only by some wadded 1950s newspapers, after Barton Church, an artist and longtime Barnes Foundation teacher who died last month at 86, asked curators and conservators what had happened to it. (Mr. Church's sole painting in the Barnes collection, the last one acquired by Barnes before his death, hangs in the same room where the pyxis once sat.)

The vessel was transferred to a more secure archival container. But in part because the conservation facilities in the foundation's original home were so small and underequipped, the vessel remained a perpetual wish-list project. Now, in the new museum, a large, windowed conservation lab has become the locus of the first comprehensive efforts by the Barnes to take a hard look at its 2,500-object collection and assess what needs cleaning, stabilizing, conserving or even full-fledged restoration.

On a recent morning the foundation's sole Claude Lorrain landscape, from 1644-45, was out of its frame and up on an easel, undergoing the first steps of a cleaning and varnish removal by Barbara Buckley, the Barnes's chief conservator, to reverse the pronounced yellowing of the sky and darkening of the painting's ground that has worsened over centuries.

In a room nearby the pyxis, the lab's most ambitious project to date, was far along toward the kind of wholeness it had more than 2,500 years ago, when it might have been used to store cosmetics or jewelry and probably followed its owner to the grave. Margaret A. Little, senior conservator of objects, has been studying and working on the piece for more than a month now, removing weak adhesives and pieces of filler material used by earlier restorers, probably including one in the early 20th century, when the vessel made its way into the hands of a Parisian antiquities dealer.

"We have at least 75 percent of the original material of the vessel, which is really incredible," Ms. Little said, sitting at a table with the lid of the pyxis fitted back together like a puzzle, its gaps filled with bright white dental plaster that will later be painted. Nearby lay the pieces for the next and one of the trickiest parts of the job — reattaching the four horses that adorn the lid, a figural motif thought perhaps to denote the wealth of the vessel's owner.

"If you look closely, you can see small fingerprints on the horses" left by the hands of the sculptor before the pyxis was fired, Ms. Little said. She added, referring to the horses: "The way they're formed, they're really kind of goofy. I love looking at them."

The story of the pyxis's re-emergence is one the Barnes is eager to tell to demonstrate the benefits of the foundation's move to downtown Philadelphia, which happened only after a bitter legal battle allowed the circumvention of a rigid charter and bylaws written by Barnes to ensure that no artwork would be lent, sold or even moved from the walls of the galleries he built.

The relocation, which recreates and preserves the arrangements of artworks as Barnes left them at his death, has largely been a critical success. But it remains a deeply divisive topic in Philadelphia and in the art world, as does the way the institution will treat the legacy of Barnes, who viewed his foundation less as a museum than as a school. (A group opposed to the move, Friends of the Barnes Foundation, issued a news release last week criticizing the foundation for ending a temporary exhibition that focused on Barnes's life and complaining that the history of the Barnes will not be apparent enough to visitors.)

Judith F. Dolkart, the Barnes's chief curator, said the return of the sculptural elements to Gallery 17 — expected to happen by summer — would not only bring the small gallery back to its intended state but would also re-establish a kind of balance on the foundation's second floor, where Room 17 and others displaying Greek and Egyptian antiquities are echoed on the other side by galleries pairing Picassos and Modiglianis with African sculpture.

"I think this was part of Barnes's overall idea of bracketing his modern works with things that he knew modernist artists were looking to for inspiration," Ms. Dolkart said, adding that even after years of studying and looking at the foundation's rooms she could not quite picture the pyxis back among them.

"No one here now has ever seen it in this space, and I think it might take a while for it to settle back in," she said, standing where it would soon be. "I can't wait to see what it's going to announce."

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Bridge: Bridge — North American Championships

ST. LOUIS — On Sunday evening, the last day of the American Contract Bridge League's North American Championships here, with some 10 inches of snow falling outside, three national titles were decided.

The Machlin Women's Swiss Teams was won by Sylvia Moss of Boca Raton, Fla.; Joann Glasson of Pennington, N.J.; Cecilia Rimstedt from Sweden; and Laura Dekkers, Marion Michielson and Meike Wortel from the Netherlands.

The Jacoby Open Swiss Teams was captured by Richard Schwartz of Aventura, Fla.; Allan Graves of St. Johnsbury, Vt.; Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist from Norway; and Jon Baldursson and Thorlakur Jonsson from Iceland.

The 64-board final of the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams was between the original No. 6 seed (Ricco van Prooijen, Louk Verhees, Sjoert Brink and Bas Drijver from the Netherlands; Kevin Bathurst of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; and Daniel Zagorin of Chicago) and the No. 45 seed (Sabine Auken, Morten Bilde and Dennis Bilde, his son, from Denmark, and Roy Welland of New York City).

It was an exciting match that was close throughout. After 16 boards the scores were tied. But Auken won the next set by 33 international match points. Then van Prooijen recovered 11 imps in the third session.

In the last set van Prooijen gained three big swings to one to lead by 1 imp with two boards to go. The diagramed deal was Board 63.

In the given auction the one-no-trump overcall by Verhees (East) showed a four-card major, five or more diamonds and 8-plus points. Auken (South) doubled to show values. Van Prooijen (West) bid a natural two spades. Welland (North) made a takeout double. South tried for the vulnerable game with two no-trump, and North raised.

The defenders began with three rounds of diamonds. However, with the clubs breaking 2-2, Auken took ten tricks.

At the other table Brink (North) opened one club; Morten Bilde (East) overcalled one diamond; and Drijver (South) responded one heart, a transfer bid showing spades. (With hearts he would have doubled.) This silenced Dennis Bilde (West). North rebid two clubs, denying three spades; East doubled to show four hearts and longer diamonds; South raised to three clubs; and all passed.

The defense was perfect. East led the diamond ace, West signaling with the three, upside down. East cashed the spade ace (West discouraging with the ten) and diamond king, then led the diamond ten. Declarer (North) ruffed with dummy's club nine, but West overruffed with his queen. Then a spade lead promoted East's club jack as the setting trick.

Plus 630 and plus 100 gave the Auken team 12 imps on the board and the lead by 11.

On the final board, the Auken team gained another 7 imps to win, 135 imps to 117.

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Call to Cooper of CNN Hints at a Shift for ‘Today’

By Ben Werschkul, Marcus Mabry, Channon Hodge and Alyssa Kim

Big Changes for 'Today' Show?: The Times's David Carr and Brian Stelter discuss the possibility of CNN's Anderson Cooper replacing NBC's Matt Lauer.

Last week, it was Jay Leno who learned what NBC imagined his future to be. This week, it is Matt Lauer's turn in the spotlight.

NBC's succession planning at both ends of its weekday schedule is causing no small amount of heartburn within the corridors of Rockefeller Center. It is playing out in public view, enveloping two of the most illustrious shows on television, "Today" and "The Tonight Show," and two of the most successful men who have hosted those shows.

In Mr. Lauer's case, the rumored successor on Wednesday was Anderson Cooper, the biggest star on CNN. Reports of a phone call from an NBC executive to size up Mr. Cooper's interest in co-hosting "Today" renewed speculation about Mr. Lauer's future on the show. NBC tried to quell it by saying, in a blunt statement, "We are not considering replacing Matt Lauer."

The network's plans for "The Tonight Show" are, by all accounts, further along. With Mr. Leno's contract coming due in the fall of 2014, NBC has chosen Jimmy Fallon to be his successor. Though a deal is not yet done, Mr. Fallon is expected to take over "Tonight" that fall, if not earlier.

The plans for "Today" remain murky. Mr. Lauer, a star of the show for the better part of two decades, signed a contract last year — believed to pay him $25 million a year — that keeps him at NBC at least through the end of 2014. But the perception that Mr. Lauer forced his co-host Ann Curry from her job last year has badly damaged his reputation. Within the network, his current contract is widely considered to be his last, so there is clearly some succession planning to do.

The nature of the call to Mr. Cooper, however, raised the possibility that NBC might remove Mr. Lauer before his contract expires, or that Mr. Lauer might ask to be replaced. The inquiry, as reported by Deadline.com on Tuesday night, was about whether Mr. Cooper would consider joining "Today" later this year. His contract at CNN expires this fall, and other networks have expressed interest in hiring him.

Three people in the tight-knit television business, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the outreach was considered confidential, confirmed that the call was made this month. But executives at NBC, while tacitly confirming their interest in Mr. Cooper, strenuously denied that they saw him as a short-term fix to the problems that have plagued "Today," which fell to second place in the ratings last year after 16 years at No. 1.

A news division executive, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity, said in a statement, "NBC News has many exploratory talks with talent inside and outside of the network, but to read anything specific into that is presumptuous."

The same person also said, "We are confident in our anchor team and are focused on producing great morning TV."

Mr. Lauer still has millions of fans, just as Mr. Leno does at night. But that has not stopped high-ranking NBC executives from wondering aloud whether they should make a change at "Today" before Mr. Lauer's contract expires. The new co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of "Today," Willie Geist, and the moderator of "Meet the Press," David Gregory, are mentioned most often as possible successors.

Ryan Seacrest, the "American Idol" host and a radio D.J., was discussed a year ago as a possible replacement, but his name comes up less frequently these days.

That the names are mentioned at all is a challenge for the network going forward. While NBC News executives say they have resisted the lighter fare and tabloid style of their rival, ABC's "Good Morning America," the "Today" show itself risks becoming tabloid fodder.

In the wake of the Deadline.com report, TMZ.com reported that its sources had said that "Lauer is actually on board with the idea of Anderson replacing him," and that he "planned to have a meeting with Anderson to sit down and discuss it."

A spokeswoman for "Today" who represents Mr. Lauer declined to comment.

It is unclear who at NBC or its parent company, Comcast, made the call to Mr. Cooper. The news division does not currently have a president. Patricia Fili-Krushel, the chairwoman of NBCUniversal News Group, who oversees the news division, previously worked at Time Warner, the parent of CNN, for nearly a decade.

In some ways, Mr. Cooper would be a logical choice for "Today": he is in his mid-40s and has demonstrated that he can juggle hard news interviews with the fun and games that morning television shows serve up.

His presence on "Today" might spur former viewers to give the show another chance. "Today" has fallen about 20 percent in the ratings since Ms. Curry was removed as a co-host next to Mr. Lauer last summer.

Co-hosting "Today" would, however, be a drastic lifestyle change for Mr. Cooper, who is "not a morning person," one friend said, and is used to hosting a prime-time newscast. "Anderson Cooper 360," his nightly hour on CNN, is shown live at 8 p.m. and replayed at 10 p.m.

While "360" is one of CNN's highest-rated programs, it has struggled in the ratings: it currently attracts fewer than one million viewers at 8 p.m.

Furthermore, Mr. Cooper's shot at a daytime talk show in the fall of 2011 has been viewed as a disappointment. It was renewed for a second season but canceled last October, only one month into that season.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Cooper at CNN declined to comment. When his CNN contract ends, another option besides "Today" is an expanded role on the weekly CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes."

He currently contributes a few stories to the newsmagazine each year. His CNN contract prohibits him from doing more, and CBS executives would jump at the chance to change that.

Mr. Cooper may opt to stay at CNN, however, given that it provides him a daily presence on television.

"Today" would provide the same thing, and a much bigger audience. But Mr. Cooper may be leery of appearing to force out Mr. Lauer.

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In the Running: For Lhota, No Regrets Over Losing Fight to Remove Art

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Joseph J. Lhota, as deputy mayor, pushed the Brooklyn Museum to get rid of a painting in 1999.

The deputy mayor, Joseph J. Lhota, never went to see the painting. Just hearing about it was enough.

The eight-foot-tall portrait of the Virgin Mary, a semi-abstract collage hanging at the Brooklyn Museum, contained clumps of elephant dung and cutouts of female genitalia from pornographic magazines. Mr. Lhota, a Roman Catholic, was horrified. "As a concept," he said in a recent interview, "it was offensive."

In fall 1999, that personal revulsion turned into public policy. Overnight, he became the tip of an unbending Giuliani spear aimed at the museum, seeking to cajole, browbeat and threaten the 190-year-old organization into removing the work of art.

Now, as Mr. Lhota promotes himself as a moderate Republican candidate for mayor of New York with urban sensibilities that the national party lacks, his handling of the episode stands out as a deeply discordant moment, raising questions about how he would operate in a diverse city whose current mayor champions unpleasant speech from every quarter.

Arguing that public money should not be used for the desecration of religion, Mr. Lhota threatened the museum's financing from the city, raised the specter of evicting it from its home in Prospect Heights and declared that, when assessing what art should be displayed to the public, the sensibility that really mattered to him was that of his 8-year-old daughter, Kathryn.

"You need a framework, mental architecture, to understand what you're looking at so that you don't go home at night and have nightmares," he said then.

His actions, and those of his colleagues at City Hall, touched off an extraordinary showdown over free speech, respect for religion, and public financing of the arts that eventually entangled Congress, the Catholic Church — even Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the first lady.

The city lost the battle, but 14 years later, Mr. Lhota is unapologetic. "I don't regret the tactics — at all," he said.

He defended his conduct and the motivation behind it, even as he acknowledged that his legal reasoning was faulty. "I have a much clearer understanding of the First Amendment now," he said.

Asked how, as mayor, he would respond to an art display that offended him, he replied: "Ask them nothing. Probably go see it. Enjoy it. Hope there is a ribbon cutting."

Yet he still appears to be wrestling with the lessons of "Sensation," as the museum exhibition was called. Mr. Lhota, a seasoned municipal deal maker, prefers to describe the ultimatums that the city issued, including the eviction threat, as routine strategies in a negotiation, not as a flash point in the battles over free speech that raged throughout Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's tenure.

Should Mr. Lhota become the Republican nominee for mayor, his Democratic opponent would most likely pounce on his role in the museum controversy, linking him to an administration that, in pursuit of a better-behaved New York, ran afoul of the First Amendment by seeking to block a rally for young black men in Harlem, cutting financing for an AIDS housing group that mocked City Hall and firing a police officer who criticized the department.

For many involved in the Brooklyn Museum debate, bitterness toward Mr. Lhota still lingers.

"He did it once; he could certainly do it again," said Jack A. Josephson, a museum board member at the time.

"If you are a museum person today, you'd have to keep this in the back of your mind. They all should be worried that they might do something that would offend a Mayor Lhota."

From the start, Mr. Lhota and his colleagues in City Hall were repulsed by several pieces in "Sensation," a deliberately provocative collection of about 90 paintings, photographs and sculptures that had arrived in Brooklyn after making its debut, to huge crowds as well as controversy, in London.

Objections were voiced by many in New York's arts community, but for a different reason: in a potential conflict of interest, the exhibition drew from the collection of a single wealthy collector, Charles Saatchi, who had helped finance the show.

City Hall's rawest fury, however, was reserved for the "Holy Virgin Mary," by the artist Chris Ofili. Mr. Lhota, who had briefly considered becoming a priest, concedes that he did not see the artwork — or the rest of the "Sensation" exhibition — in person, despite living in Brooklyn Heights, about 10 minutes from the museum. He looked at pictures instead.

"The use of the dung, I thought, was gratuitous," he said.

As Mr. Giuliani denounced the show before it opened as "sick stuff" and "Catholic-bashing," a sentiment shared by many, Mr. Lhota quickly became the administration's hands-on enforcer in the case, interviews and court records show. His blunt message to the museum's chairman: Unless the "Holy Virgin Mary" was removed from the show, the city would cut off the museum's financing, its $7 million-a-year lifeblood.

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ArtsBeat: Justin Timberlake's Album Has Blockbuster First Week

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 27 Maret 2013 | 16.43

Never underestimate Justin Timberlake.

When "The 20/20 Experience" (RCA), his first new album in almost seven years, was released last week, music industry experts predicted that it might sell half a million copies. With album sales diminished over all, that would be perfectly respectable for a hit. But as the week went on, the sales projections kept climbing: past 700,000, past 800,000, past 900,000 and ever closer to one million.

The final number, reported by Billboard late Tuesday with data from Nielsen SoundScan, was 968,000 copies. That is slightly shy of the highest projections for the album, but still extraordinary for an album in 2013. Since SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991, only 19 albums have sold more than 900,000 copies in their first week, including two albums by Mr. Timberlake's band N' Sync (but not his previous two solo records).

"The 20/20 Experience" also had the second-biggest opening week for an album on Spotify, with 7.7 million streams in the United States. (Mumford & Sons' "Babel" last year had eight million.)

While music sales have been sliding since 2000, blockbusters still come with regularity. Last year Taylor Swift's "Red" sold 1.2 million copies; in 2011, Lady Gaga had sales of 1.1 million with "Born This Way" and Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" sold 964,000; and in 2010, Ms. Swift sold just over one million with her album "Speak Now."

The success of those albums argues for the continuing strength of pop stardom even in a declining music industry. In most cases they also point to the necessity of overwhelming promotion to secure a genuine blockbuster, and perhaps no album campaign in history has been as extensive as the one for "The 20/20 Experience."

It included television commercials by Target and Bud Light Premium (for which Mr. Timberlake is "creative director"); a heavy push on radio by Clear Channel and CBS Radio; a string of concert performances, including ones around the Super Bowl and the South by Southwest music festival; and high-profile television appearances by Mr. Timberlake, like hosting "Saturday Night Live" for the fifth time and spending an entire week as a guest on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."

SoundScan will report the rest of this week's music sales on Wednesday.

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Garth Hudson and Landlord in Dispute Over Storage Space

KINGSTON, N.Y. — In the decade that Michael Piazza has been a landlord in this small Hudson Valley city, he has dealt with only a handful of nonpaying tenants.

On a recent afternoon at the storage warehouse he owns, Mr. Piazza was rummaging through a brightly lighted space that contained the eclectic belongings of one such tenant. There were heaps of cardboard boxes and old catalogs strewn across the floor. There were empty musical instrument cases and handwritten letters. There was even an unopened bar of soap.

But while Mr. Piazza has dealt before with a small number of people who have fallen behind in their rent, the owner of this particular trove is certainly unexpected. He is a member of a group enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"I've had other deadbeats," Mr. Piazza, 66, said. "But nothing like Garth." That would be Garth Hudson, the enigmatic musician and a founder of the rock group the Band. In February, after what Mr. Piazza described as years of fruitless efforts to collect tens of thousands of dollars he said he was owed in rent, Mr. Piazza took action. He held a garage sale of items in the storage unit, then moved many of Mr. Hudson's remaining things — among them records, reel-to-reel tapes, sheet music and memorabilia — to a local auction house, where they were to go on sale in early April.

But a judge halted the auction after Mr. Hudson and his wife, Maud, who is also a performer, requested a temporary restraining order and filed a complaint in State Supreme Court in Ulster County accusing Mr. Piazza of all manner of unscrupulous activities.

Now, the dispute has become another unpleasant footnote in the Band's tumultuous afterlife.

Mr. Hudson, 75, has lived in upstate New York for more than a decade, though he was born and raised in Ontario. Despite a classical music education, he began playing organ and saxophone with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks, a wild rockabilly band from Arkansas, in 1961. By 1968, the Hawks — minus Mr. Hawkins — had been rechristened the Band, they had backed up Bob Dylan and they had released their widely acclaimed debut album, "Music from Big Pink."

In 1976, the Band played what was supposed to be its final show: a concert in which everyone from Muddy Waters to Neil Young participated, and that became a documentary, "The Last Waltz," directed by Martin Scorsese.

In the film, Mr. Hudson remains largely out of view; only occasionally does the camera capture his bearded face. Yet he was a significant force within the group.

Levon Helm, a vocalist and drummer for the group who died last year, wrote in his 1993 autobiography, "This Wheel's on Fire," that Mr. Hudson was "the soul and presiding genius of our band."

Barney Hoskyns, the author of "Across the Great Divide: The Band and America," said in an interview recently, "He is genuinely the most original and brilliant and moving keyboard player that has ever operated within rock 'n' roll."

Mr. Hudson was also reclusive. He declined to be interviewed for this article, and Mr. Hoskyns, who spoke to him for his book, said he had to be bullied into the few interviews that appeared in "The Last Waltz." In 1983, the Band, partly reunited, started touring again, but the group never regained its prominence.

In 1986, Richard Manuel, who played piano and sang, committed suicide in a hotel room. In 1996, Rick Danko, the bassist and singer, was found guilty of smuggling heroin into Japan. Three years later, Mr. Danko, 56, died in his sleep. In 1978, Mr. Hudson's California ranch home burned down, and he has declared bankruptcy three times.

As Mr. Hoskyns put it in an e-mail, "things got rough for all the Band guys."

In Mr. Piazza's telling, things were rough with Mr. Hudson almost from the start. The monthly rent, which was approximately $600, Mr. Piazza said, arrived sporadically, then stopped altogether. Mr. Piazza estimates that he is owed $60,000.

On Jan. 10, 2008, Mr. Piazza secured a warrant to remove the Hudsons' belongings, according to court documents, but the stuff, Mr. Piazza said, was "too cumbersome to move, and if we did put it on the street, every picker in town would be all over it."

After years of unanswered correspondence, a second eviction in 2010, and an unsuccessful attempt to coordinate a fund-raiser for Mr. Hudson with other Band members, Mr. Piazza sold what he could last month and prepared the rest for auction.

In the 16-page complaint, the Hudsons countered that Mr. Piazza agreed to an unusual payment schedule, then "looted" the "Garth Hudson Archive" anyway, selling its contents on eBay and elsewhere and demanding an inflated payment.

The Hudsons' lawyer, John Clark, said Mr. Piazza is owed at most $11,000, but does not have the right to take the items and sell them.

"He has a lien on my client's property. That's it," Mr. Clark said, adding that a pump organ from the storage space had already been sold, and irreplaceable items like signed posters and master recordings of the Band might also be among the Hudsons' items.

Mr. Piazza, however, described the archive as abandoned, and called the complaint "fictitious."

"Ninety-nine percent of this is, 'Mike Piazza is a bad guy, a mean guy who's after Garth, and he's an icon,' " Mr. Piazza said.

For now, the Hudsons' items are off the auction block. At a brief court hearing this month, Judge Mary Work offered no clues about whom she might believe. At the hearing, Mr. Piazza sat quietly. The Hudsons did not attend.

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Jason Molina, Leader of Magnolia Electric Band, Dies at 39

Jason Molina, an influential singer-songwriter whose relentlessly sad lyrics and clear and urgent tenor defined the two alternative bands he led, the lo-fi Songs: Ohia and the only slightly more energetic Magnolia Electric Co., died on March 16 at his home in Indianapolis. He was 39.

His death was announced by his record label, Secretly Canadian. No cause was given, but his brother, Aaron, said he had had health problems related to alcoholism.

Before bearded banjo bands like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers rode a folk-rock revival to mainstream success, Mr. Molina was constructing spare songs about 19th-century heartbreak and the despair of blue-collar workers, about loneliness and bad weather and scarred landscapes in a fading Midwest.

"I don't really have any, you know, far-reaching vision, and never have outside of just the songs themselves," he said in "Recording Josephine," a 2009 documentary about the making of a Magnolia Electric Co. album.

Mr. Molina made his first widely released recordings after he was signed by Secretly Canadian, based in Bloomington, Ind., in 1996. He was the first artist the label signed, and he went on to tour, write and record almost constantly until 2009. Songs: Ohia, which consisted of Mr. Molina and a changing array of other musicians, evolved into the more stable Magnolia Electric Co. in 2003. In total, Mr. Molina released more than a dozen albums and several EP's, nearly all on Secretly Canadian.

In 2011, his band's Web site announced that he had not been touring because he had been undergoing rehabilitation treatment. Noting that he had no health insurance, the site asked supporters to help pay his medical expenses.

Mr. Molina's songs, however bleak, were meticulously executed. Even critics who needled him for wallowing in gloom — four of the seven songs on his 2002 album "Didn't It Rain" had the word "blue" in the title — might go on to declare a song spellbinding or magical.

In "Almost Was Good Enough," from 2003, Mr. Molina sang: "Did you really believe that everyone makes it out?/Almost no one makes it out."

Chris Swanson, a founder of Secretly Canadian, said that although Mr. Molina did not reach a mainstream audience, he toured extensively enough and sold enough records — perhaps 20,000 to 25,000 a year — to make a living. And his followers included better-known performers like the Avett Brothers, who shortly after his death posted a tribute video in which they performed his 2005 song "Hammer Down."

"He never needed to make a breakthrough record," Mr. Swanson said. "He could indulge his muse without having to think about commercial reality."

Jason Andrew Molina was born on Dec. 30, 1973, in Oberlin, Ohio. He grew up in nearby Lorain, in a single-wide mobile home on Lake Erie that had no reliable television but offered excellent fishing. He learned to play guitar before he was 10. He studied art at Oberlin College.

In addition to his brother, Mr. Molina's survivors include his wife, Darcie; a sister, Ashley Lawson; and his father, William, a retired middle-school teacher.

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Lori March, ‘Secret Storm’ Actress, Dies at 90

Lori March, who reigned as the matriarch of the long-running daytime television drama "The Secret Storm" for 13 years, died on March 19 in Redding, Conn. She was 90.

The death was confirmed by her stepson Philip Taubman, a former reporter and editor for The New York Times.

In a career that included work on Broadway, in film and on prime-time television, Ms. March's longest-running role was that of Valerie Hill Ames Northcote, who she played on CBS from 1961 until "The Secret Storm" was canceled in 1974. After her screen husband died, Valerie married her stepdaughter's psychiatrist, eventually played by Ms. March's first husband, Alexander Scourby.

Lori von Eltz was born on March 6, 1923, in Los Angeles. Her mother, Peggy Prior, was a screenwriter in the 1920s. Her father, Theodor von Eltz, was a character actor who began his career in silent films and went on to appear in "Topper," "Magnificent Obsession" and other films in the 1930s and 1940s. When her parents divorced in 1928, Lori and her brother, Ted, were at the center of a bitter custody battle and placed in a foster home. But when her mother remarried, Lori was adopted by her stepfather, Joseph Moncure March, the screenwriter and poet best known for "The Wild Party."

Ms. March studied acting at HB Studio and began her career in the early 1950s. Her television debut was on a 1952 episode of "Manhunt" and her Broadway debut in "Cyrano de Bergerac," starring José Ferrer, in 1953. Her other Broadway appearances included "Charley's Aunt" (1953, also with Mr. Ferrer) and "The Chalk Garden" (1955). Her Off Broadway work included John Houseman's 1954 "Coriolanus," with Robert Ryan.She made two feature films, both in 1956 — "Lovers and Lollipops," a romance praised mostly for its pretty photography, and "Ransom!," a drama with Glenn Ford and Donna Reed — but devoted most of her time to television. She appeared on anthology series like "Playhouse 90," "Armstrong Circle Theater" and "The United States Steel Hour."

Viewers of "The Twilight Zone" saw her in 1960 as Fritz Weaver's anxious wife, preparing her family to escape nuclear annihilation by stealing a rocket ship and heading to another planet in the episode "Third From the Sun." "Perry Mason" fans saw her on five episodes over the years, at least twice as a murder defendant.

Regional theater was a part of Ms. March's later career, and she often worked with Mr. Scourby, who was an audiobook narrator (he was the voice of the Bible) as well as an actor, during their 41-year marriage. They played husband and wife in a dinner theater production of "High Spirits" (a musical version of Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit") in Darien, Conn., in 1977, and patient and doctor in "Old World" at Hartford Stage in 1979. That same year Ms. March played George Grizzard's helpless wife in an East Hampton, N.Y., production of "Deathtrap." Ms. March continued to work in television, particularly on soap operas. Her final screen appearance was in a 1988 episode of "Another World."

Ms. March, who lived in Redding, was widowed three times. Mr. Scourby, with whom she had a daughter, died in 1985. In 1988 she married Howard Taubman, a music and theater critic for The Times, who died in 1996. Her third husband, Milton Williams, was a public relations executive. They were married from 1997 until his death in 2008.

Besides her stepson Mr. Taubman, her survivors include her daughter, Alexandra S. Mackler; a granddaughter; another stepson, William C. Taubman; and four step-grandchildren.

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ArtsBeat: Baseball Fan Clubhouse Gets an Art Gallery

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 26 Maret 2013 | 16.43

An art gallery in the middle of a building devoted to baseball may strike some as a culture clash, but Major League Baseball will try to change that view with the launch of the M.L.B. Fan Cave Art Gallery on April 4 in Manhattan.

The gallery's first featured artist will be Thierry Guetta a k a Mr. Brainwash, who was the subject of the Banksy film "Exit Through the Gift Shop." In a phone interview on Monday, Mr. Guetta said that while he was not a baseball fan per se, he wanted to contribute to the gallery because, "Baseball is a part of America. It is something important and brings joy to people."

Due to time constraints, Mr. Guetta said only two pieces would be baseball-themed. "I had a piece that I twisted into baseball and there was one that was made for the show," he said.

Other contemporary artists, who are yet to be announced, will follow Mr. Guetta and their work will be on display throughout the rest of the baseball season. The curator of the gallery will be Kerri Lisa, who starred in the reality television series "Gallery Girls" on Bravo.

Established in 2011, the M.L.B. Fan Cave on Fourth Street and Broadway has been host to baseball fan events, player interviews and a concert series. Nine fans also live in the building and watch every Major League Baseball game for an entire season. They then create videos, blogs and other digital content to chronicle their experiences.

Art buffs and baseball statheads can visit mlbfancave.com for more information.

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Merton Simpson Possessed Valuable Art but No Burial Money

Juliette Pelletier

The Merton D. Simpson Gallery, with some of the samples of African art objects the owner collected, in 2011.

Family and friends gathered in Charleston, S.C., on Friday for the funeral of the New York-based artist Merton D. Simpson, a painter and pioneering champion of African art who accumulated a collection said to be worth millions of dollars. Gathering in the city of his birth, eulogists celebrated Mr. Simpson's expertise on the saxophone, his generosity and his visionary artistic taste.

But after the ceremony, Mr. Simpson was not buried. His body was returned to the funeral home in Charleston, where it has been for more than two weeks since his death on March 9 at 84.

Despite Mr. Simpson's collection of museum-quality art, some of it housed in the Manhattan gallery he owned, which is now under lock and key, his family said it lacked the money for a burial.

"We got him in a store room in the back," said Bernard Fielding, a retired probate judge and president of the century-old Fielding Homes for Funerals in Charleston.

Last week Merton Simpson Jr., the artist's son, sent an e-mail to his father's friends asking for contributions for a funeral, including wiring instructions for a PayPal account.

"While my father had considerable assets, they are illiquid, and the family needs immediate financial assistance for a proper funeral," Mr. Simpson wrote. "He deserves no less."

The appeal grew partly out of a long-running and rancorous dispute over Mr. Simpson's care and his prodigious art collection. With Mr. Simpson's death, the finger-pointing and recriminations have reached a head, with accusations of mismanagement and exploitation.

Things got really ugly "while this man was still alive, and I knew that when he passed, it was going to get really ugly," said Luna Devin Crystal, a longtime friend of Mr. Simpson's, who at one point helped run the gallery.

Mr. Simpson was an Abstract Expressionist painter and arguably the most significant dealer of traditional African art in the United States, a man whose exquisite taste made him a pre-eminent expert in his field. But now his singular archive and extraordinary collection are matters of contention among an array of friends, family and staff members, who all claim to have his best interests at heart.

As Mr. Simpson's health deteriorated in recent years, control of his personal and business affairs bounced among his son Merton Simpson Jr., who is a legislator in Albany County, New York; Ms. Crystal, a former actress and fashion model; a court-appointed guardian; his Charleston relatives; and a noted Wall Street banker and friend, Raymond J. McGuire.

Last week lawyers filed a will for Mr. Simpson in Surrogate's Court in Manhattan. Dated April 7, 2011, it names his son Merton Jr. as an executor, and divides the bulk of the assets among his two sons, his brother and a nephew. The will states that it supplants any previous wills, which would include one Mr. Simpson signed in 2007 naming Mr. McGuire as executor.

Until the court determines that the 2011 will is legally valid and names an executor, the artist's estate is controlled by Ann Pinciss Berman, an elder-care lawyer appointed by a judge last year as Mr. Simpson's guardian.

Ms. Berman said she had authorized $3,000 to pay for death-related expenses in New York and another $3,000 to be spent in Charleston. Additional funds, she said, are simply not available. For example, a year ago, Ms. Berman said she cashed in a $76,000 life insurance policy of Mr. Simpson's to pay expenses for his 24-hour care and his Upper East Side apartment.

"I can't spend money that I don't have," Ms. Berman said. "This guardianship has been operating hand-to-mouth."

But $3,000 does not cover the cost of a modest burial in Charleston, Mr. Fielding said, noting that a grave site and cemetery fees alone often cost about $2,500.

For many of his 84 years, Mr. Simpson was a prominent figure in the art world, known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings and work with the Spiral Group, a politically minded artistic movement in the 1960s that included Romare Bearden. He may have been best known, however, for his love affair with African art, becoming an internationally renowned dealer and among the foremost authorities in the field.

Yet while Mr. Simpson has been honored at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his work was exhibited in museums, behind the scenes his family, friends and staff were feuding for control of his legacy. Former employees disagree over who was responsible, but they agree that for long stretches, the Merton D. Simpson Gallery was in disarray. Art was poorly cared for, sales faltered, the doors were closed to customers for long periods, and inventory control was slack.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 25, 2013

An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of Merton D. Simpson several times as Merton.

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ArtsBeat: Avicii Turns to Nashville for Ultra Music Festival Show

MIAMI — Avicii, the Swedish music producer and D.J., is known for catchy house music like the hits "Levels" and "Silhouettes." But on Friday, at the Ultra Music Festival here, his one-hour set more resembled a Nashville concert than a performance by one of the stars of electronic dance music.

In a preview of his as-yet-untitled debut album, due this summer, Avicii shared the stage with the country and bluegrass artists Mac Davis, Audra Mae and Dan Tyminski, as well as three members of the alternative band Incubus. It was a set unlike any other at Ultra, which spanned two weekends this year for the first time, featuring seven stages and more than 200 D.J.s.

Mr. Davis has had a long music and acting career that included writing songs like the 1970s hit "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me." While Avicii manned the mixer on Friday, Mr. Davis performed with the singer and rapper Aloe Blacc, who sang "Black and Blue," a song Mr. Davis wrote with Avicii. "How am I ever gonna get my head screwed back on," Mr. Blacc sang as Ann Marie Calhoun played the violin.

Mr. Blacc opened the night with "Wake Me Up," a collaboration with Avicii and Michael Einziger, the Incubus guitarist, and the first single from Avicii's album.

Ms. Mae sang "Addicted to You," a song Mr. Davis also wrote with Avicii, and later played kazoo on "Road to Hell." Mr. Einziger and his bandmates, the bassist Ben Kenney and the drummer Jose Pasillas, provided backup.

Avicii, in an interview the night before his Ultra performance, said he and his management team had decided that Ultra was "the perfect place" to preview the album. "It was the live streaming," he said of the festival's Web streaming this year, adding, "This is the most interesting time for electronic music right now, because it has never been this big before."

His fans, though, seemed a little subdued during the set, which was sandwiched between performances by Cazzette and Tiësto, who played more traditional, higher-energy house sets. Avicii "turned off quite a few people, but I think it is going to win over a lot of new fans," said Adeeb Hakim, 27, of New York, who attended the show. "I am just really proud of him for doing something like that. It was very risky."

Mr. Davis said he collaborated on two tracks for the Avicii album. Neil Jacobson, senior vice president for A&R at Interscope Records, first contacted him about writing with the 23-year-old Avicii. "They dragged me out of retirement," said Mr. Davis, 71. "We were in the studio within a week and wrote together and hit it off."

"When I wrote songs for Elvis Presley I sat down by myself and wrote a song," he went on. "This process of co-writing and jamming is new to me, but it is a great process. You cut something to a click track and he does his magic on it. He calls me 'yo, bro,' and I call him 'genius,' and he is."

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 26, 2013

An earlier version of this blog post quoted incorrectly from the song "Black and Blue." The song contains the line, "How am I ever gonna get my head screwed back on," not, "How am I ever going to get my head on straight."

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New Music: Albums by Dido, OneRepublic, Thompson Square, Tomasz Stanko

Sarah Jonek/Picture-Alliance-DPA, via Associated Press Images

OneRepublic performing last week in Bielefeld, Germany. It serves up layer upon layer of glossy keyboards, reverberant guitars and choirlike backing vocals.

"Girl Who Got Away"


Don't worry, Dido hasn't cheered up too much. Advance reports that this British songwriter's fourth album, "Girl Who Got Away," would be a "big, fun electronic extravaganza" were misleading. Dido is still a forlorn, sensitive ballad singer, still wondering, as she does in "Blackbird," "Why do I bring you love/When all you give me back is pain?"

The electronics are there, however, and they lift the album's better songs out of the sad-sack zone. "Girl Who Got Away" revisits the fusion of folk-pop melodies and club beats that sold more than 28 million copies worldwide of Dido's first two albums, "No Angel" (1999) and "Life for Rent" (2003). Her third album, "Safe Trip Home" (2008), switched producers, largely renounced electronics and grew more melancholy; it found fewer listeners.

"Girl Who Got Away" reunites Dido with Rollo Armstrong, her brother and the leader of the dark dance-pop group Faithless, as her main producer and songwriting partner. And their songs continue to long for solace.

Breakups, separations, loneliness and attempts at self-healing fill the album, buoyed by programmed beats. Greg Kurstin, who has produced Pink and Kelly Clarkson, sends electropop keyboards percolating through the bitter kiss-off "End of Night," and he supplies the moody, descending bass line and trip-hop backbeat in "Happy New Year," which has the singer missing an ex who may be absent or dead. "Go Dreaming," which vows to rise above bullying, hints at Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."

Dido is no dance-pop belter; her sweet, small voice rarely escapes its underlying reserve, which can be soothing or merely dull. In the album's title song, synthesizer chords puff gentle syncopations as Dido wishes she could be "the girl who got away" — less mousy and uptight, more passionate — but doesn't expect much. "Sitting on the Roof of the World," carried by folky guitar picking, reflects on sudden pop success and "not knowing how I got there or how to leave," insisting that she'd rather just "fit in" to everyday life.

Dido wrote and largely recorded the album before the birth of her son in July 2011; she polished the productions last year. But she found guests to keep her current, like Kendrick Lamar, whose vociferous rap tears through the conciliatory "Let Us Move On." And in "Day Before We Went to War," with keyboards from Brian Eno, Dido sets personal moping aside to come up with a genuine enigma: an eerily pretty vision of mass destruction. JOHN PARELES



(Mosley Music Group/Interscope)

There's a thin line where ardent emotion meets maudlin simpering, and that's exactly where Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic's lead singer and main songwriter and producer, has built an impressive hitmaking career. "Feel Again," the 2012 single that previewed OneRepublic's new album, "Native," has already sold half a million copies.

Mr. Tedder is America's anthem guy: a thorough student of the midtempo Britpop arena-rock processional, emulating the music of U2, Peter Gabriel and Coldplay while substituting melodramatic endearments for their literary ambitions. He often writes for OneRepublic with the band's cellist and bassist, Brent Kutzle, whose parts bring a chamber-music formality to the songs; Mr. Tedder has also collaborated on hits with Beyoncé ("Halo"), Kelly Clarkson ("Already Gone"), Adele ("Turning Tables") and many others.

Mr. Tedder reaches for the hymnlike melody — usually with a dramatic upward leap somewhere to test and reward his reedy tenor voice — and the majestic crescendo, with booming drums and opulent keyboards. If cellphones aren't being waved from the balconies by the end of the chorus, the song isn't working.

It's the kind of pomp that has also conquered hip-hop; OneRepublic got its big break in 2007 when the hip-hop producer Timbaland slightly remixed "Apologize" to become a worldwide hit. Hip-hop beats gave OneRepublic million-selling singles, like "Good Life," from its second album, "Waking Up," in 2009.

But that was then; now pop has turned to the four-on-the-floor beat of European-style dance music, and on "Native," OneRepublic won't be left behind. Goodbye syncopation, hello stomp and shimmer; in a song like "If I Lose Myself," the band's old Coldplay-style marches merge easily with the pulsating keyboards and kickdrum impact of trance.

The craftsmanship is painstaking and impressive: layer upon layer of glossy keyboards, reverberant guitars and choirlike backing vocals (although Mr. Tedder applies too much obvious Auto-Tune to his leads). But these crystal-palace productions are proud showcases for unctuous, sometimes oddly morbid lyrics: "In this world full of people there's one killing me/And if we only die once I want to die with you," Mr. Tedder sings in "Something I Need," while in "Burning Bridges" he implores, "I want you to burn my bridges down/Set me on fire." The best anthems are never so sappy. JOHN PARELES

Thompson Square

"Just Feels Good"

(Stoney Creek)

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Books of The Times: ‘The Tragedy of Mister Morn’ by Vladimir Nabokov

Written By Unknown on Senin, 25 Maret 2013 | 16.43

The Russian Revolution upended the lives of Vladimir Nabokov and his family. Leaving behind an aristocratic world of colossal wealth and privilege (a world about which he could speak of "the smallest and oldest of our gardeners"), Nabokov would become an exile in Berlin, where he supported himself as a tutor, teaching French, English and tennis. On March 28, 1922, his father, a liberal politician, was shot and killed at a Berlin lecture while trying to protect another man from an assassin — a loss that would reverberate throughout Nabokov's life and fiction.

Carl Mydans/Time & Life Pictures - Getty Images

Vladimir Nabokov in 1958.


By Vladimir Nabokov

Translated by Anastasia Tolstoy and Thomas Karshan. 147 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $26.

Loss and death are the two electrical currents that run beneath his polished, magical prose, and those themes — as well as the subject of revolution and its consequences — are the animating forces behind the play "The Tragedy of Mister Morn," his first major work, written in the winter of 1923-24, when he was only 24.

In his astute introduction to this volume, the scholar Thomas Karshan notes that "Mister Morn" was never performed or published in Nabokov's lifetime: the Russian text was published in a Russian literary journal in 1997 and a revised version (the basis for this first English translation, by Mr. Karshan and Anastasia Tolstoy) only became available to a wider Russian-reading audience in 2008. Shakespeare is the presiding muse in this play: from its use of blank verse to its fascination with disguised (or masked) characters, and its investigation of kingship and the relationship between personality and politics.

Though Nabokov's hatred of the Soviet regime "is directly expressed in much of his writing," Mr. Karshan argues, "he would never again write anywhere nearly so directly about the moment of revolution itself, or so probingly about ideology, as he did in 'Morn.' " The play pits a mysterious king, who has brought "four years of radiant peace" to a fairy-tale land, against a group of revolutionaries, led by a nihilist named Tremens, who believes that everything "is destruction. And/the faster it is, the sweeter, the sweeter." Tremens refers to his followers as sheep and promises that he will give "such a speech, that tomorrow/nothing but ashes will remain of the city."

At the same time "Mister Morn" also stands as a kind of primer to Nabokov's later work, an index of the motifs and preoccupations that will surface again and again in his stories and novels: the elusiveness of happiness, the beauty of the world, the stubborn fact of death, the transformative possibilities of art, and the blurring of reality and make-believe. We see expressed in these pages the love that Nabokov, the lepidopterist and pointillist observer, had for detail. "My eyes," one character says,

have grown used to chance details

in diligently tracing the trails of little beetles

and the scratches on the surface of antique

furniture, of peeling paint, the specks of dust

on nameless canvases.

And we are given a tiny glimpse of the Russia the author left behind forever, "a northern country" with "bombs ...churches ... golden princes ... / revolutionaries in raincoats ...blizzards."

With its playful games about identity and its framing of stories within a story "Mister Morn" presages aspects of Nabokov's tricky 1962 novel "Pale Fire," much the way its examination of the dynamic between the personal and the political serves as a kind of harbinger of issues in "Bend Sinister" (1947). In this case the king — a Prospero-like figure, who behind his mask is an ordinary man named Mr. Morn — falls in love with a shallow woman named Midia, the wife of Ganus, an exiled revolutionary. Ganus escapes from prison, returns home to find that the king has restored peace and prosperity and tells his leader, Tremens, that he wants to forget "the smoke of revolutionary conversation."

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‘Heard NY’ Brings Dancing Horses to Grand Central Terminal

Julieta Cervantes for The New York Times

Students from the Ailey School at a dress rehearsal on Sunday at Grand Central Terminal for "Heard NY," a performance that takes place there this week.

Commuters in Grand Central Terminal will encounter a new obstacle to making the train on time this week: 30 dancing horses.

It's part of "Heard NY," a site-specific performance by the Chicago artist Nick Cave, in collaboration with dancers from the Ailey School. Mr. Cave, known for his Soundsuits — costumelike sculptures that make noise as they move — has created the life-size horses out of colorful raffia. Each fits two dancers and rustles like a corn field when the herd "grazes" in Vanderbilt Hall or suddenly breaks into choreography, set to live percussion, steps from the main concourse.

The idea was to produce a dreamlike vision worth stopping for, Mr. Cave said, as people are rushing through the terminal. "You're stopped in your tracks," he said, "and then you do get on the train and you get home. How do you share this, how do you describe — just imagine, coming into Grand Central and you run into 30 horses? That's when it becomes this transformative moment."

The piece, a production of the public arts group Creative Time and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Arts for Transit program, has been in development for over a year. It is to include two performances daily, and the Soundsuits will be on view to the public as sculptures when they're not galloping across the floor. This is Mr. Cave's first public arts project in New York.

Nato Thompson, chief curator of Creative Time, said it fit with the group's mission to make arresting art in unexpected places.

"Grand Central is an iconic public space not only for New Yorkers but for the world," he said.  "We wanted something magical and family friendly that captured the spirit of a city on the move."

On Saturday Mr. Cave and his choreographer, William Gill, met their dancers for the first time and began auditioning them to be either the front or the back of a horse. Don't be disappointed if you're the back, Mr. Cave advised. "Don't think technique, think character," Mr. Gill said. Mr. Cave added, "Don't even think horse," as the students sashayed and rolled across an Ailey studio.

They were looking for dancers who could bring personality to the suits. "Do you want to be a stallion, or do you want to be a lazy horse, a horse that just sort of trots?" Mr. Cave asked.

A dancer in a green T-shirt looked to his partner. "I think we should be aloof," he whispered, "the Eeyore of the group."

On Sunday they had their first performance, a public dress rehearsal in Grand Central. Passers-by stopped to gawk, cameraphones aloft, as the horses — heads standing eight feet high, rears bent over, yogalike — shimmied around a makeshift paddock in Vanderbilt Hall. One kicked up a little leg: a city pony, playing to the crowd.

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Television Review: Billy Zane in ‘Barabbas,’ a Two-Part TV Movie on Reelz

Barabbas, the man the crowd spared from crucifixion instead of Jesus, makes only a brief appearance in the Bible, but in more recent times his bit part has been expanded into a full-fledged "Easter event."

That, at least, is how Reelz is billing "Barabbas," a two-part, four-and-a-half-hour film it serves up Monday and Tuesday night with Billy Zane in the title role. And lest we miss the importance of this offering, Reelz has been trumpeting it for the past few days with a pair of specials, "The Making of Barabbas" and "Billy Zane Revealed."

That's a lot to pile onto a common thief and rabble rouser, and the load sits unevenly on Barabbas's shoulders, and on Mr. Zane's. The film has some very nice moments, but it also has its share of awkwardness, and the director, the television veteran Roger Young, can't seem to get his multinational cast on the same page or find a consistent tone.

In short, Anthony Quinn can rest easy. Quinn played the lead in the grandiose but fondly remembered 1962 "Barabbas" movie, which was drawn from the same source material as the Reelz venture, a 1950 novel by the Swedish writer Par Lagerkvist, a Nobel Prize winner. The story tracks Barabbas's spiritual journey, which begins in a skepticism that borders on contempt for the following being amassed by the enigmatic Jesus of Nazareth but ends with Barabbas's own supreme act of faith.

The portrayal of Jesus (Marco Foschi) here is refreshingly different. Rather than a smiling, beatific man with male-model looks, he is gaunt and somewhat furtive, seeming uncomfortable with his growing celebrity. When it comes time for the Crucifixion, however, Mr. Young goes the way of other recent portrayals, amping up the torture and stage blood, as if the story isn't powerful enough in its own right. Here, once again, the central message of Easter involves martyrdom, not joy.

That moment ends Part 1, which frees Part 2 up to focus more on Barabbas and his spiritual struggle with survivor guilt, to the film's benefit. Yet the out-of-sync feel remains. Mr. Zane plays his part with a 21st-century panache and cheekiness; throughout, his Barabbas seems to be reining in a Johnny Depp pirate character.

This might have been quite effective had any of the other actors been in the same universe, but they're not. Several of the women, especially Cristiana Capotondi as Barabbas's romantic interest, are doing an annoying baby-doll thing that leaves you expecting them to be tied to a railroad track at any moment, and other actors succumb to the overwrought-itis that frequently afflicts religious-theme productions. (See the "Bible" mini-series on History.)

But occasionally the acting style, tone and writing line up, and in those moments "Barabbas" can be affecting. A quiet scene early in Part 2 gets everything just right. After Jesus' death Barabbas, still not grasping who Jesus was or what type of kingdom he sought to establish, asks Peter (Franco Castellano) why Jesus did not save himself from the cross.

"You must have faith in him," Peter tells him, advice Barabbas dismisses.

"He is a dead man, Peter," Barabbas says.

"He is not dead," Peter responds. "And he is not a man."

For a beat Mr. Zane's cocky, worldly Barabbas is forced out of his comfort zone.


Reelz, Monday and Tuesday nights at 9, Eastern time; 8, Central time; 6, Pacific time.

Produced by Compagnia Leone Cinematografica. Directed by Roger Young; written by Salvatore Basile, Nicola Lusuardi and Francesco Scardamaglia; based on the novel by Par Lagerkvist; Marco Dionisi, executive producer; Paola Pannicelli, Filippo Rizzello and Federico Scardamaglia, producers; Nicolò Forte, line producer.

WITH: Billy Zane (Barabbas), Filippo Nigro (Pontius Pilate), Marco Foschi (Jesus of Nazareth), Cristiana Capotondi (Esther), Anna Valle (Claudia), Valentina Carnelutti (Mary), Hristo Shopov (Kedar), Paolo Seganti (Valerio Flacco), Giampiero Judica (Iezer), Tommaso Ramenghi (Dan), Mariacristina Heller (Samira) and Franco Castellano (Peter).

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‘The Croods’ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Lead the Box Office

DreamWorks Animation

"The Croods," a prehistoric road movie from DreamWorks.

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood finally lured moviegoers out of their caves.

Phil Caruso/FilmDistrict

From left, Aaron Eckhart, Gerard Butler, Finley Jacobsen, Angela Bassett and Robert Forster in a scene from "Olympus Has Fallen."

For the first time this year two movies arrived to $30 million or more in ticket sales in North America, giving studios hope that a dismal box-office stretch was behind them. "The Croods," about a prehistoric family's road trip, took in an estimated $44.7 million over the weekend, easily enough for No. 1, while "Olympus Has Fallen" took in a stronger-than-expected $30.5 million, for second place.

Even "Spring Breakers," Harmony Korine's lurid art-house tale of bikini-clad killers, lived up to its hype, taking in about $5 million in relatively limited national release.

Still, moviegoing in the United States and Canada remains deeply troubled. Ticket sales for the year to date total $2.06 billion, a 13 percent decline from the same period a year ago, according to Paul Dergarabedian, a box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. Attendance has fallen 14 percent.

Star-packed movies like "Gangster Squad" and "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" have arrived to virtual shrugs. An expensive fantasy, "Jack the Giant Slayer," flopped outright. Movies aimed at men ("The Last Stand," "Broken City" and "21 & Over") have disappointed in assembly-line fashion.

One of the few exceptions, "Oz the Great and Powerful" from Walt Disney Studios, sold an additional $22 million in tickets over the weekend, placing third. "Oz" has now taken in $177.6 million in North America over three weeks. (Crucial overseas sales, however, have been soft.)

"The Call" (Sony) was fourth, selling about $8.7 million in tickets, for a two-week total of $30.9 million. "Admission," a new comedy starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, was an underwhelming fifth, taking in about $6.4 million. But it cost Focus Features only an estimated $13 million to make.

DreamWorks Animation urgently needed the cave people of "The Croods" to succeed. The studio's last release, "Rise of the Guardians," was a box-office failure, prompting an $87 million write-down. "The Croods" also represents the beginning of a new distribution partnership for DreamWorks Animation, which parted ways with Paramount Pictures late last year in favor of 20th Century Fox.

Opening-weekend results for "The Croods," which cost at least $135 million to make, are on par with "How to Train Your Dragon," also from DreamWorks with a March release date, which took in $46.5 million over its first three days in 2010 (after adjusting for inflation) and went on to gross about $500 million worldwide and spawn two sequels, a TV series and a live arena show. But "How to Train Your Dragon" also received much stronger reviews than "The Croods."

"Olympus Has Fallen," an R-rated White House action thriller starring Gerard Butler, cost Millennium Films about $70 million to make and was distributed by FilmDistrict. Aside from giving Mr. Butler's career a much-needed lift, the strong turnout puts pressure on Sony's similar "White House Down," planned for June release.

The inexpensive "Spring Breakers," distributed by A24, played in 1,104 theaters — a huge release by independent film standards but a modest one compared with mainstream Hollywood. ("The Croods," for example, was booked into 4,046 theaters.) Mr. Korine, still best known for writing "Kids" (1995), has never had this kind of success as a director; his previous four films took in less than $500,000 combined.

Starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco and fueled by drugs, sex and violence, "Spring Breakers" was backed by an aggressive social media marketing campaign orchestrated by A24, an upstart distributor, and theAudience, a company partly owned by the William Morris Endeavor talent agency that seeks to build (and exploit) networks of fans across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 24, 2013

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the weekend box-office ranking of the film "Admission."  It was fifth, not fourth;  fourth place was held by "The Call."

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Spare Times Listings for March 22-28

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 24 Maret 2013 | 16.43

Museums and Sites

American Museum of Natural History: 'Whales: Giants of the Deep' (Saturday) This interactive exhibition covering the world of the giant mammals, in context to humans and other animals, will be on display through Jan. 5. Daily from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Central Park West and 79th Street, (212) 769-5200, amnh.org. Timed tickets are necessary for the exhibition, with a suggested admission price of $25; $19 for students and 60+; $14.50 for children 12 and under.

Museum of Jewish Heritage: 'Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust' (through April 7) This exhibition of more than 50 rare images, which chronicled the daily hardships that Soviet Jews endured during World War II, is based on David Shneer's book of the same title. Mr. Shneer is also the co-curator, with Lisa Tamiris Becker, of this exhibition. 36 Battery Place, Lower Manhattan, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org; $12, $10 for 65+, $7 for students; free for members and children 12 and younger. Museum hours are Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New York Transit Museum: 'Meet Miss Subways' and 'ElectriCity: Powering New York's Rails' (continuing) Two exhibitions are on display. "Meet Miss Subways," which looks at the beauty contest and the lives of former Miss Subways, up through June 2; and "ElectriCity: Powering New York's Rails," a historical display of items from the museum collection, including switches and circuit breakers, that illustrates how electricity powers the subway system. Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights, (718) 694-1600, mta.info/mta/museum; $7, $5 for those ages 2 to 17 and 62+, free for members and for 62+ on Wednesdays.

New-York Historical Society: Teachers College Pioneering Education Through Innovation (through March 31) An exhibition of photographs, documents and artifacts commemorating the 125th anniversary of Columbia University's Teachers College, the oldest graduate school of education in the United States. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 170 Central Park West, at 77th Street, (212) 873-3400, nyhistory.org; $5 to 15, free for 4 years and under.

'On Time/Grand Central at 100' (through July 7) Events celebrating the terminal's 100th anniversary keep growing. This multimedia exhibition, commissioned for the occasion, features 18 artists' impressions of time, travel and the commuters who flood the terminal each day in pieces incorporating painting, video photography and sculpture. It can be viewed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store, Grand Central Terminal, near the Station Masters' Office, (212) 878-0106, grandcentralterminal.com/centennial; free.

Grady Alexis Gallery at El Taller Latino Americano: 'Women Inspired' (through April 30) This group exhibition — including film; digital and alternative processes; photo collage; and mixed media — celebrates Women's History Month. It features the work of 21 photographers who belong to the Professional Women Photographers group, an international nonprofit in New York City. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Grady Alexis Gallery at El Taller, 2710 Broadway, third floor, at 104th Street, (212) 665-9460, tallerlatino.org; free.


New York Botanical Garden: The Orchid Show and 'Orchid Evening' (through April 22) An evening of music and cocktails for visitors 21 and older, is planned Saturday night from 6:30 to 9; $30, or $20 for members. Thousands of orchids from all over the world are on display at this annual exhibition, returning for its 11th year. In addition to viewing the beauties during regular garden hours through April 22, guests can also take part in orchid care demonstrations, weekend concerts, and Q. and A. sessions. A full schedule is at nybg.org. Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road, the Bronx, (718) 817-8777; $25, $22 for students and 65+, $10 for children 2-12, free for children under 2. Discounts available for members. The garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Art and Design on the Piers (Friday through Sunday) The annual Home Design Show, sponsored by Architectural Digest, is at Pier 94, 55th Street and the West Side Highway. Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $30 online or $35 at the door; archdigesthomeshow.com. Another show, Artexpo New York, can be found at Pier 92, 52nd Street and the West Side Highway. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $20, $15 for 60+, students and those 13 to 17 years old, free for children 12 and younger; artexponewyork.com.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92: 'Reflections on Rosie' (Friday through Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday) The exhibition, "Reflections on Rosie," contains the stories of women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II and the female artists who now work in studios in the Center. The display, also sponsored by the Brooklyn Historical Society, includes oral histories and multimedia presentations and will be on view through May. Open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, 63 Flushing Avenue, at Carlton Avenue, (718) 907-5992, bldg92.org; free admission to exhibition.

Coney Island: Luna Park Season Opener (Sunday) Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, will once again christen the Cyclone, the century-old wooden roller coaster, with an egg-cream and bestow his annual blessing on the rides. Tradition holds, so the first 100 guests in line can ride the Cyclone free. At noon, 1000 Surf Avenue at West 19th Street, (718) 373-5862, lunaparknyc.com; $29 for a package that includes all rides, $32 for unlimited access to the two Scream Zone roller coasters.

'Ethiopia: A Re-enactment Through Fiction and Image' (Wednesday) Words and images evoking Ethiopia, from artists with a personal or professional connection to the country, is the subject of this event from 7 to 9 p.m. at ApexArt, 291 Church Street, near Walker Street, TriBeCa. Sponsored by the online magazine Warscapes and the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, the evening features a film screening, slide presentation and discussion. On the program is "Baalu Girma," a slide show by Eric Gottesman, a photographer with an interest in Ethiopia, focusing on the life of the Ethiopian writer Baalu Girma, who disappeared in the 1980s and was believed to have been killed by the military regime that ousted Emperor Haile Selassie I. Also to be shown is the 2009 film "Dead Weight," written by Blaine Sergew and directed by Yemane I. Demissie. It explores the ties that bind an Ethiopian immigrant in the United States to the country she left behind. Mr. Demissie and Mr. Gottesman will both take part in a discussion moderated by Maaza Mengiste, an Ethiopian-born writer whose 2010 novel, "Beneath the Lion's Gaze," is set in Ethiopia beginning with the last days of Selassie's reign. The free event includes refreshments; more information: (212) 431-5270, tinyurl.com/d5jckhh.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: Prince Dance Party and Book Launch (Friday) Touré, a co-host of "The Cycle" on MSNBC, is celebrating the release this week of his new book, "I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon" (Atria) with a dance party, the proceeds of which will be given to Housing Works in support of its mission to "end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS." The night features Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) as D.J. The music? Prince, of course. At 7 p.m., Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, near Houston Street, SoHo, (212) 334-3324, housingworksbookstore.org; $5, or $27 with book purchase.

Nitehawk Cinema: LIVE & SOUND & CINEMA (Saturday and Sunday) This screening is the first of a series that introduces new music performed live to silent era and classic films. This week it's "Chicago" (1927), directed by Frank Urson and produced by Cecil B. DeMille. The new print comes from the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Live music by Guizot: Clifton Hyde, guitars and mandolin; Chris Komer, French horn; Grant Zubritsky, bass; and Rich Stein, percussion. At 11:45 a.m., Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, at Berry Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 384-3980, nitehawkcinema.com; $16.

'Speakeasy Moderne' (Thursday) This monthly performance series blends the music and fashion of the past with the look and sound of today, with songs from the show "Cabaret" as well as tunes by Adele. Performers include the singer Dina Fanai; Hank Stampfl is the master of ceremonies. Participants are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire from their favorite era; cocktails will also be served. At 9 p.m., Stage 72, 158 West 72nd Street, speakeasymoderne.com; $15 to $50; $100 V.I.P. package includes a Champagne reception with the cast before the show; with a two-drink minimum.

'Synth Nights': Electronic Music (Friday and Saturday) This performance series of electronic music pairs veteran musicians and composers with emerging artists. David Behrman, a composer and producer, is featured on the bill for both evenings. Friday's lineup also includes the composers Ben Vida and Greg Davis, who will perform their new work, "Tripartite Node." Saturday's program will feature a collaborative piece by Sergei Tcherepnin, an artist and musician, and the artist Woody Sullender. At 8 p.m., the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, (212) 255-5793, thekitchen.org; $15.

Veggie Pride Parade (Sunday) The vegetables are coming! At least that will be the case for the humans dressed as carrots or zucchini who will be marching in this annual display of vegan pride. It will begin at noon at Gansevoort Street and Ninth Avenue, West Village, and continue on Greenwich Avenue toward Union Square Park, where a festival of food, music and activities will follow. (212) 242-0011, veggieprideparade.org; free.

Women in Hip-Hop (Saturday) Female hip-hop artists are the focus of two events at two locations. One, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Lenox Avenue, at 135th Street, Harlem, will feature a panel discussion with scholars and those in the music industry, a performance and film screenings. The performers include Genesis B, Ebonie Smith and FM Supreme. Although registration for the event is now filled, standby seats may be available 15 minutes after the doors open; a live broadcast can be seen in a nearby room. (212) 491-2206; schomburgcenter.eventbrite.com. Hip-hop and soul are on the bill for a performance at 7:30 p.m. at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue, at 135th Street. Two groups are scheduled to appear: Fredericks Brown, a duo from New Zealand featuring the singer Deva Mahal, a daughter of Taj Mahal, and the keyboardist Stephanie Brown; Jean Grae, a South African hip-hop performer and her band the Wait a Minutes; and DJ Mr. Len. (212) 281-9240, Ext. 19 or 20; harlemstage.org; $20 or $16 for members.

Spoken Word

Book Conversation with Taiye Selasi and Sapphire (Tuesday) Ms. Selasi, the London-born writer of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, whose debut novel, "Ghana Must Go," was released this month, will discuss her book with Sapphire, author of "The Kid" and "Push," the basis for the 2009 film "Precious." At 7 p.m., 52 Prince Street, between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, SoHo, (212) 274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com; free.

Grolier Club: A symposium on 'American Little Magazines of the 1890s' (Thursday) Kirsten McLeod, a lecturer in English literature at Newcastle University in England, is the keynote speaker and curator of the exhibit, "American Little Magazines of the 1890s: A Revolution in Print," which is on view through April 27. She will discuss the collection of magazines, books and other items, which are from private collections and universities. Other presenters include Brad Evans, associate professor of English at Rutgers University; Johanna Drucker, Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor of Bibliography at U.C.L.A.; and David Weir, associate professor of comparative literature and director of foreign language programs at the Cooper Union. At 5 p.m., Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, Manhattan, (917) 628-2797, grolierclub.org; free.

Met Salon Series: The Art and Science Dating Game (Wednesday) Pairs of artists and scientists from the PositiveFeedback consortium of Columbia University, New York University and the City University of New York discuss the dynamic synthesis of ideas that can emerge from the collaboration of art and science. Paul D. Miller, a k a DJ Spooky, artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Nilda Mesa, associate dean for administration for the Columbia School of Journalism, moderate the informal conversation over coffee and snacks. Participants will include Robin Bell of the Palisades Geophysical Institute and Eve Mosher, creator of the High Water Line project, among others. At 6 p.m., Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sacerdote Lecture Hall, (212) 535-7710, metmuseum.org; $27.

New York University: 'Feeding Our Kids, Feeding Our Future' (Thursday) Children's diets and efforts to influence better eating habits are the subjects of this panel discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Fales Library at the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library of New York University, 70 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village. Taking part in the discussion are Kate Adamick, a chef and co-creator of Cook for America, an organization that promotes programs and culinary training for school food service personnel; Cricket Azima, an author and founder of the Creative Kitchen, an organization that promotes healthy cooking instruction for children; Amy Bentley, an author and associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University; Jimmy Carbone, a restaurateur and radio host; and Victoria Stein Feltman, a nutritionist and author. The moderator is Clark Wolf, a writer and president of a food and restaurant consulting firm. Reservations: (212) 992-9744, tinyurl.com/cu687pf; suggested donation, $10.

92nd Street Y: David Stern (Thursday) Mr. Stern, commissioner of the N.B.A., will talk about his years on the job as well as the future and business of basketball with Josh Tyrangiel, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. At 8:15 p.m., 1395 Lexington Avenue, (212) 415-5500, 92y.org; $29.

The Public Theater: 2013 Emerging Writers Reading (Wednesday) Kicking off this writers series, which continues through April 29, is "Manahatta," written by Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Kate Whoriskey. The play follows a woman of Lenape ancestry who works in the place, now called Wall Street, where her people once lived. Reservations are required. At 3 and 7 p.m., Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, East Village, (212) 967-7555, publictheater.org; free.

'Punking Out' with Debbie Harry at the New York Public Library (Wednesday) Will Hermes, senior critic of Rolling Stone, discusses the New York music scene in the 1970s with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. This is part of a series of lectures, which ends April 27, exploring the sounds and styles of the many genres of music connected to the City of New York. At 6 p.m., New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 111 Amsterdam Avenue, at 65th Street, Lincoln Center, (917) 275-6975, nypl.org/events/programs; free.

Walking Tours

Municipal Art Society: 'Staten Island's Developing Waterfront' (Saturday) This tour, led by a lifelong Staten Islander, will begin with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Participants should take the 10:30 a.m. ferry from Lower Manhattan; the meeting place on Staten Island will be given with reservations: (212) 935-2075; mas.org. $20, $15 for members.

Myrtle Avenue: 'End to End' (Sunday) Sponsored by Shorewalkers, this walk of almost 10 miles will take participants through neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. It meets at 9:30 a.m. in Brooklyn, outside the Jay Street-MetroTech subway stop on the A, C, F, and R subway lines. Suggested donation, $3; members, free. (718) 478-2430 or (347) 633-6350; shorewalkers.org.

Pre-Passover Tours of the Lower East Side (Saturday and Sunday) Two walking tours of the Lower East Side in anticipation of the holiday — which begins Monday night — are planned by two tour operators. One of them, offered by NYC Discovery Tours, includes a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and a discussion about the importance of the bridge in the migration of immigrants from Manhattan to Brooklyn; it takes place Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., with the meeting place given with reservations: (212) 465-3331; $20. The other tour, led by Big Onion Walking Tours, takes place on Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. on the southwest corner of Essex and Delancey Streets; the fee is $20, $15 for 63+ and students; (212) 439-1090; bigonion.com.

'Union Square: Crossroads of New York' (Saturday) A tour focusing on the area's political history meets at 2 p.m. by the statue of Lincoln in Union Square Park, near the 16th Street transverse. Sponsored by the Union Square Partnership. (212) 517-1826, unionsquarenyc.org; free. ANNE MANCUSO and NICOLE HIGGINS DeSMET

Information on events for possible inclusion in Spare Times should be sent to weekend@nytimes.com by Monday at 5 p.m. for publication that week. Longer versions of Around Town and For Children listings are in a searchable guide at nytimes.com/events.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 23, 2013

An entry in the Spare Times listings in some editions on Friday about "Ethiopia: A Re-enactment Through Fiction and Image," scheduled at ApexArt in Manhattan on Wednesday, omitted a co-sponsor of the event. Besides the online magazine Warscapes, it is also sponsored by the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund.

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