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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Borle’

Took a day or two to shoot into NYC.  We packed a lot into a very short time and quickly fled the throngs that packed the streets and parks of the city. Hit and run.

Neue Galerie - Gustav Klimt Portait of Adele Bloch-BauerWe first ran up through Central Park  to the Neue Galerie, a small museum just above the Metroplitan Museum that features German and Austrian Modern art.  It’s a beautiful collection situated in a beautiful 5th Avenue mansion which makes for intimate, if sometimes crowded, viewing of the art.  If you’re in NYC, the Neue Galerie is worth a visit if only to see this piece even though there is much, much more to see there.

It has a memorable group of Germanic paintings and drawings from the likes of Klimt, Schiele, Kirchner, Beckman and many others.  But undoubtedly, the crown jewel of their collection is the  Portrait of Adele-Bloch Bauer by artist Gustav Klimt, the $135 million masterpiece with the fabled past that spawned last year’s film, Woman in Gold.

The lighting in the room with this painting is a flat and even light that dampens the gold’s glimmer, making it less shimmering than you may have seen it in photos.  But even that can’t diminish this stunning piece which is evidenced by the flocks of people that surround it, a long with a docent who monopolized the piece for about 30 minutes.

That was all the time we had for museum hopping and it was on to the theater.  We were meeting our neighbor and friend Bill’s English class from our local high school the next day for a matinee of the Eugene O’Neill landmark drama Long Day’s Journey into Night so we figured that we needed something a bit less weighty and dark to counter the dose of O’Neill that was to come.  We hit the musical  Something Rotten which tells the story of two playwright brothers struggling to outdo William Shakespeare, who is wonderfully portrayed by Tony-winner Christian Borle as a rockstar who is idolized by the masses in Elizabethan England.

Very high energy, very funny and a really great cast.

The next day’s performance continued that theme, if you substitute the word dark for funny.  The revival of O’Neill’s biographical masterpiece features a tremendous cast with Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne, Michael Shannon and John Gallagher, Jr. and they did not disappoint in any way.  You could sense their total engagement with the material which is really needed for a production that runs over 3 1/2 hours and features very dark and probing dialogue between the small cast.  In lesser hands, it could be a tortuous 3 1/2 hours but they made the time pass easily for the viewer.  Great, great show.

Bill’s students seemed to understand the significance of what they were seeing which is a great thing to witness.  Many kudos to Bill for exposing these kids to this part of the world.  And if you get a chance and like the idea of seeing great actors doing great material, check out this show before it ends its short run at the end of June.

All in all, a good couple of days in the city.  That being said, there is nothing better than that time approaching home when the traffic that snarls the city has fallen away and all you can see ahead of you is a single pair of taillights far in the distance and the outline of darkened hills set against the clear night sky.  No crowds, no traffic, no noise– home is near.

Okay, for this Sunday’s music, here is a little sample from Something Rotten.  It is the real theme of the whole show.  It’s God, I Hate Shakespeare sung by Brain d’Arcy James.

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