Last week was one where the stars aligned and somehow each day I had an arts experience worth writing about. So instead of picking just one, I’d like to pay homage to each of them in what I’d like to call “Laura’s Week in the Arts”.
Monday: From March 25th-30th the American Folk Art Museum presented: Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts at the Park Avenue Armory. Luckily, I had a two-hour chunk in the middle of my day to go check it out. I wouldn’t necessarily label myself a “quilt person”, but the spectacle of this exhibit was completely worth the trip.
It’s unbelievable that one person, Joanna S. Rose, has collected over 1,000 red and white quilts through the years (650 of them on display in this particular exhibit), yet to see the vast, gravity-defying display guest curator Elizabeth V. Warren has fashioned is transforming. As you enter, the quilts – like fanned out playing cards across the 55,00-square-foot hall- poetically lead you through a wonderland of infinite red and white immersion. An arts experience both visually and physically gratifying in its magnitude.
Laura’s Review: Two thumbs up, possibly suspended in air!
Tuesday: Cactus Flower at the Westside Theatre, directed by Michael Bush, definitely let me down this week. One of the lead roles, Toni, is a character I’ve always wanted to play but had never seen performed live. In the 1969 version, Goldie Hawn won an Oscar for her spunky, naïve, pixie-haired delivery of Toni. I’m not sure if in this adaptation Ms. Barber thought she could win an Oscar or not, but, her almost perfect mimic of Hawn’s performance is obvious and annoying, right down the same exact pixie hairdo.
Lois Robbins, who played the nurse, eventually brought the play back to life in the second act with her glamorous blooming and newfound no-nonsense attitude. However, the plea of one cast member during curtain call for us to use our electronic devices to help them fill the seats of the theatre was completely unprofessional and left a bad taste in my mouth. All in all, it was great to finally see the play performed live for character research reasons alone.
Laura’s Review: Pppppllllllffffffff.
Wednesday: Had a major breakthrough in my Brush Up Your Shakespeare class. I’ve been working on a monologue from Shakespeare’s King John and just haven’t quite been able to get the results I’ve been looking for. But, with a few suggestions from my teacher and a change in physical stature, I was able to finally open a new door. It was enlightening to finally get out of acting the piece in my head and actually feeling the emotion that Constance feels from the suppression of all the misogyinists she is surrounded by in King John.
Laura’s Review: Whoop whoop.
Thursday: Took a teen led tour of the Glenn Ligon: America exhibit at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Complete awesomeness to be guided by teens, and the fact that they had just met Mr. Ligon earlier in the week infused them with an artistic motivation to share his work. With a focus on text, the exhibit features almost 100 of Ligon’s works inspired by things such as the million man march, slavery, and even Richard Pryor! Nice way to spend a Thursday afternoon.
Laura’s Review: Enlightening.
Friday: High 5’s Pizza and a Movie Night! This month the theme was “Cons or Heists” and we ended up watching the film The Prestige, starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale (dreeeeeaamy). I had seen the movie before, but, the second time around I was able to appreciate it in all its psychological submersiveness. Without giving it away to those of you who haven’t seen it, there are a multitude of magical and not so magical tricks going on all at the same time – it’s up to you to figure them out. Director Christopher Nolan’s genius is once again in top form throughout the film.
Laura’s Review: Rent it, watch it, twice.