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A John Waters Christmas

Hold on to your Santa hat. John Waters is coming to town. Like a St. Nic for the adult set, the filmmaker, author and raconteur arrives with a sleigh full of nostalgic, smutty fun. It’s all done up as “A John Waters Christmas,” a touring show presented on Sunday night at The Egg (12/2, Albany NY). (See full schedule below.) “You could call it my obsession, having the right kind of Christmas,” says Waters. “But everyone should have whatever kind of Christmas they want. Even if you’re Jewish, you can have the right kind of Christmas.” As a writer and director, Waters is best known...
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Alex Ross on gay progress and “How to be Gay”

Honestly, I just re-subscribed to The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago after being away from it for a few years.  Just didn’t have the time to keep up, such long articles and all.  But if I’d not already done so, coming upon Alex Ross’ “Love on the March” from the November 12 issue would probably have been enough to get me back as a subscriber.  There may be no music journalism better than Alex’s (just ask the MacArthur judges) and now he goes and writes some — what, 10,000 words? – on the evolution of gay rights during the past 25 years. I am forty-four...
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Cage and Gould in virtual dialogue

It sounds like a late-night parlor game:  pick two artistic geniuses of the 20th century that you’d like to hear share a conversation in the great beyond. Michael Century had no trouble coming up with a dynamic combination:  experimental composer John Cage and classical pianist Glenn Gould.  He’s paired them up in an unusual concert happening Saturday night at EMPAC and presented by the iEar series. Actually “happening” is an operative word to describe the event.  The term dates from the 60s and is attributed to Cage, who infused music with theatricality and all manner of other media...
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Ades’ “The Tempest” storms theaters worldwide

Saturday afternoon the Met’s Live in HD broadcasts features Thomas Ades’ “The Tempest.”  The composer conducts.  Here’s a sampling of reviews of the production starring Simon Keenlyside and directed by Robert Lepage, who seems to have redeemed himself among critics who scorned his staging of The Ring.  Also, some video excerpts and a discussion with Lepage. The work got the royal treatment from the Met, including a chic production by Robert Lepage. Unlike the director’s leaden, glitchy “Ring” machine, this staging effortlessly evoked magic, imagining Prospero’s...
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Milton Glaser’s timely images & insights

It’s time again to ♥ NY.  That wasn’t the case a week or so ago when I interviewed Milton Glaser.  It was just because two shows of his works were coming to Albany…. Designer Milton Glaser is the man who made the heart symbol into a verb, with the I ♥ NY logo. But over the course of his 50 years as a designer, he’s created many other images that have permeated our culture. Simultaneous exhibits of his works will be on display at Sage College’s Opalka Gallery and Rathbone Hall starting Friday and running through Dec. 14. Since 1977, when I ♥ NY was created for...
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Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012)

“The connecting thread between this vast array of works in so many disparate genres was politics, a commitment to which never left him, although varying in degree over time. Henze adhered throughout his life to leftwing ideologies, a reaction to his youth in Nazi Germany, which left an indelible mark on his creative psyche. He was not afraid of courting controversy, even as recently as last month: ‘So long as there are people living in Israel who endured the Nazi concentration camps, Wagner should not be performed there. I see no pressing reason to play Hitler’s favourite music.’” — from...
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“Stonewall,” the latest opera from composer David Conte

David Conte‘s most recently completed opera is titled “Stonewall” and it will be developed at the University of North Colorado.  It’s his 11th collaboration and third opera with librettist John Stirling Walker, who died this past May.  Among their previous efforts was “Famous,” based on Ultra Violet’s book “Famous for 15 Minutes,” based on her years with Andy Warhol. Conte lives in the Bay Area and has been on the faculty of San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 1985.  He’s written extensively for mens choruses and two of his...
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“The Man on the Fifth Floor,” a film in development about Gerald Busby

Director Jessica Robinson is working a new film, “The Man on the Fifth Floor,” about the life and work of Gerald Busby, a 76-year old composer and one of the few remaining tenants of the famed Chelsea Hotel. (He’s on the fifth floor.)  Playwright Craig Lucas and choreographer/dancer Richard Daniels are executive producers. The project needs backing and is raising funds through Kickstarter. Previously on MyBigGayEars: Take a look at Gerald Busby Queeries for composer Gerald Busby  
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Where I go daily for fashion, fun and a tiny bit of girlfriendy bitchiness

Tom and Lorenzo, formerly known as ProjectRungay.  It’s highly readable fashion commentary combined with a light gloss on pop culture – though I’ve never heard of about half of the celebs whose outfits they score.  Example: Matt Smith is one of their favorite subjects but I still don’t know who he is, besides a skinny British guy with great hair and lots of outfits. Anyway, I’m super proud of the guys for appearing this week in the New York Times. Yet I’ve been checking the site daily for years now, justsoyouknow. I mostly just pay attention to their the posts...
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Nice guys gather round a piano

“What Makes You Beautiful” from The Piano Guys
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