The new campus of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia represents, simply put, a game changer for what a museum can be, the experience of art, and role architecture plays in both. It is also a game changer for Philadelphia, at a moment of splendid cultural renaissance.
When it opens to the public on Saturday, May 19th, visitors will find the celebrated collection displayed in a series of galleries that preserve the scale, proportion, and configuration of the original institution in Lower Merion (located in suburban Philadelphia), but now placed in a larger setting that invites contemplation and offers many pleasures.
What do the Broadway musical, Leap of Faith, about a charlatan preacher; the NBC musical drama Smash, revolving around the intrigue and egos of the creative types working on a musical about Marilyn Monroe; and the Princess Grace Foundation have in common? The actor Leslie Odom, Jr. Odom, who has received praise and award nominations for his role as Isaiah, the antagonist to Raúl Esparaza’s con man-of-the-cloth in Leap of Faith, has a continuing role on Smash, and has won a Princess Grace Award for Acting.
T+L spoke with the multitalented actor about the stage, screens both big and small, and dancing his butt off in New York.
The dashing American baritone Nathan Gunn is currently starring in Billy Budd in the landmark production by John Dexter at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Benjamin Britten’s opera, based on the novella by Herman Melville, revolves around the clash of good and evil embodied in the young, charismatic sailor Billy Budd and the malevolent master-of-arms John Claggart. The Met’s staging of this gripping work of 20th-century music theater, with Britten’s evocative music, was last revived 15 years ago. Gunn talks to T+L about the role, his life as a singer, and the essential part travel plays in it.
This week and through May 12, six North American orchestras arrive in New York to participate in Spring for Music at Carnegie Hall, a festival that celebrates the individuality of musical enterprise, from Alabama to Edmonton, Houston to Milwaukee, and inventiveness and adventurousness in programming. Audiences get the chance to hear these orchestras, some in Carnegie debuts, at which new music or music, familiar or rare, in new contexts is key. And the price of these musical adventures: $25 for all seats, regardless of the location in the hall—front row to top balcony. Carnegie’s celebrated acoustics ensure every ensemble will be heard at its best.
I spoke with Jacques Lacombe, music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra(NJSO), one of the participants who is traveling the least but which brings one of the widest-ranging programs.
The rehabilitation of the quais along the Seine will be completed by this summer (just in time for Paris Plage, which kicks off at the end of July). The Left Bank section, stretching from the Pont Royal to the Pont d’Alma, will open exclusively to pedestrians in June; by the following month, newly installed traffic lights on the Right Bank will make strolling the Seine even safer.
One of this year’s most anticipated openings also takes place on the beloved Parisian river: after a seven-year renovation, the funky green multi-level space known as Dock d’Austerlitz will re-open in late July as the Cité de la Mode et du Design, a center for fashion, design, and all things culture related. Look out for boutiques, restaurants (like MoonRoof on the top floor), fashion shows, museum exhibitions, and even a nightclub run by André Saraiva and Lionel Bensemoun (of the popular Le Baron, Hotel Amour, and Le Montana).
Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.
Photo by Hemis / Alamy
The British are Coming…and the Chinese, the French, the Russians, and the Brazilians…
The most important contemporary art fair in London is coming to New York this weekend, May 4-7. Frieze New York will be like no other. It takes place on Randall’s Island in the East River, housed in a specially commissioned tent designed by SO – Il, a Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm, on a site with spectacular postcard views of the Manhattan skyline.
From hotel openings to cultural happenings, we’ve got the latest in five buzzing cities.
Eat: Fábrica Moritz Barcelona
Tapas restaurant set in an old Moritz beer factory and made over by French architect Jean Nouvel. 34/93-426-0050; dinner for two $55.
Do: Museu d’Idees I Invents de Barcelona
A two-story showcase for wacky inventions such as a mop with a microphone. —Suzanne Wales
On display at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) until July 8th is the first exhibition to provide a glimpse into the life and achievement of Yves Saint Laurent, one of the 20th-century's most celebrated fashion designers.
Their faces are the very image of a blank expression. Perched high on a heap of sand, the two beach-going women in Igor Savchenko’s “Untitled (4-90-22)” strike a pretty pose for the close-up. To the photographer, however, their physiognomy means less than zero. Savchenko styles his models not with powder puffs but with razor blades, and he's fed their faces to Glad bags.
This scene is one of many stunning images now at the biennial FotoFest, the international photography exhibition—America’s largest—running throughout Houston until April 29.
Fall is generally considered the beginning of the cultural season, but in April and May there’s a special tingle in the air in New York City. It could be the warmer temperatures and sunnier, longer days. But for me, the creative energy emanates from new plays and musicals opening on Broadway—the actors, musicians, designers, directors, and producers involved with them—just in time to be considered for various theater honors that culminate with the Tony Awards in June.
Much of what visitors and New Yorkers experience today in the theaters and streets around Times Square is owing to the vision, passion, know-how, and work of Gerald Schoenfeld, the legendary chairman of the Shubert Organization for more than 35 years. His recently published memoir, Mr. Broadway: The Inside Story of the Shuberts, the Shows, and the Stars (Applause Books; $27.99), finished shortly before his death in 2008, is an absorbing page-turner. For those interested in Broadway history, it provides an insider’s view to the world of the fractious Shubert dynasty and the key role it played in theater in the 20th century in New York and beyond.