Arts + Culture
There may be few places as exciting as London this summer. First, there is that small, international sports event known as the Olympics, starting in late July. Second, the London 2012 Festival, an olympiad of arts and culture of unprecedented scale—more than 25,000 artists from all 204 competing Olympic nations participating in 12,000 events and performances throughout the UK—spans the period June 21 to September 9 and involves the widest range of music, theater, dance, art, film, and then some.
And while the Queen's jubilee year hovers over all these proceedings like a benevolent as well as royal presence, perhaps the most spectacular show in town is at the Goldsmith's Hall, a magnificent, neoclassical palazzo, northeast of St. Paul's Cathedral, where "Gold: Power and Allure, 4,500 Years of Gold Treasures from Across Britain" (through July 28) offers visitors a dazzling opportunity to consider the beauty and this most fabled, precious metal.
David Lamb, the managing director of the World Gold Council, gives T+L an overview of the splendid display:
The Centre Pompidou Metz is marking the centennial of WWI with “1917,” a new exhibition running through September 24. It’s the kickoff event in a series of international commemorations of the Great War and will feature Picasso’s largest work (pictured), a 33-foot-by-33-foot canvas stage curtain made for the controversial ballet “Parade.” Don’t miss Chagall, Rodin, Klee, and the two hundred other artists represented in this highly anticipated retrospective.
Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.
Photo by Alamy
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: Few cinemas are as iconic as the films they show, but The Paris Theatre, America's oldest continuously operated art-house cinema, is itself a celebrity. The cinema, located just a stone's throw away from The Plaza Hotel, was opened by Marlene Dietrich in 1948 and remains one of the New York's last single screen theaters. You won't catch this summer's blockbuster here (the theater shows only movies shot on film), but you'll be sure to see some of the finest independent and foreign films. While only one flick is shown each week, this cinephile wonderland never ever plays any pre-show ads.
Video courtesy of GloboMaestro, the only web series where hotel concierges dish their insider destination tips.
We asked true travel pros what to do near The Ritz London, Piccadilly's grande dame for over a century. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.
“Zara Home’s (129 Regent St.) pretty and affordable bed linens are a must-buy. I’m anxiously hoping they’ll open in the U.S.” —Carolyn Ernst, via Facebook
“You’ll find free choral recitals (and an amazing flea market on Tuesdays) at St. James’s Church (197 Piccadilly).” —Sunshine Flint, via Facebook
“The Only Running Footman, near Berkeley Square, is my favorite pub for people-watching—it’s packed with locals after work.” —Georgia Aarons, via Facebook
“I recommend the Wolseley for great cream teas, and the deck chairs in Green Park on a sunny day.” —Zoe Bramley, via Facebook
“Check out Paxton & Whitfield (93 Jermyn St.); they’ve sold crave-worthy cheeses since 1742.” —@tammypeters
“Fakhreldine (85 Piccadilly) is the place for high-end Lebanese food and an iconic park view.” —Julie Brennan, via Facebook
Photo courtesy of The Ritz London
If the Alan Lomax collection had a time travel section, that’s where you’d find the 78 Project. Rather than just observing and preserving present-day culture, the project combines technology and traditions from the past with modern musicians—an active exploration of antiquity that’s more mad scientist than history professor.
Filmmaker Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright (with the support of executive producer Erik Nelson) created the project, and serve as its field recording team, but the PRESTO recorder—a later model of the device that Lomax used for his Library of Congress recordings in the ‘30s—is the one who’s really in charge.
With Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History opening May 25 at the recently renovated New-York Historical Society (in which you’ll learn that home-brewing has been around in New York City since the 17th century), now is the perfect time to check out some of the city’s newest brew-centric spots.
Top Hops Beer Shop (pictured): A former distributor for Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, owner Ted Kenny is the mastermind behind this Lower East Side beer emporium. The 700- bottle selection fills refrigerators in the back, while the custom wood-and-polished aluminum bar up front offers 20 beers on tap (tip: order a flight). The menu is limited, so don’t come hungry—just really thirsty. 94 Orchard St.; 212-254-4677.
Late last month Denver’s newest museum, the History Colorado Center opened the first phase of its three-tiered reveal to the 90,000 visitors they expect in their first year. Designed to share 10,000 years worth of stories and artifacts about the state and its people, at the same time the museum successfully looks forward to the future with high-tech exhibits and a hands-on experience for a new generation of museum-goers, bringing history to life, and having fun in the process. Night at the Museum anyone? Well, maybe not quite.
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.