A Large-scale Twelfth Night in the Park Shakespeare’s gender-bender comedy Twelfth Night, a Public Works initiative (community participatory theatre), reprises the stage at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, Labor Day weekend. The large-scale musical adaptation features the music and lyrics of the critically acclaimed singer and songwriter Shaina Taub (who also performs as the character Feste in the play), along with Tony winner Nikki M. James (Les Miserables) as Viola and Jose Llana (The King and I) as Orsino. The production is directed by Kwame Kwei-Arma, award-winning British playwright, director, actor, and broadcaster.
The play centers on twins Viola and Sebastian who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola disguises herself as a man to work for Duke Orsino, and is sent on Orsino’s behalf to win the love of the Countess Olivia for him. But Olivia falls in love with Viola’s alter ego instead, and comedy ensues.
In 2014, Taub, won the Jonathan Larson Grant, and in 2012 was Ars Nova’s composer in residence. Kwei-Armah’s plays include Seize the Day, A Bitter Herb, Blues Brother Soul Sister, Big Nose, and his triptych of plays chronicling the struggles of the British African-Caribbean community in London — Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix up, and Statement of Regret — which each premiered at the National Theatre between 2003- 2007.
As with each year’s Public Works productions, Twelfth Night features over 200 actors and community members alongside equity actors.
Cameo group performances include COBU, Harlem Dance Club, Jambalaya Brass Band, The Love Show, New York Deaf Theatre, Ziranmen Kungfu Wushu Training Center, and United States Postal Carrier.
The Public Works community partner organizations include Brownsville Recreation Center, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, DreamYard Project, Fortune Society and Military Resilience Project, along with alumni partners Children’s Aid Society and Domestic Workers United.
Delacorte Theater (81 Central Park West)
Sept. 2-5. Free
Artist collaborates with traditional porcelain makersWhat would result from mashing together a contemporary artist and an exclusive 300-year old porcelain manufacturing company. The answer is “Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit,” a traveling exhibition of a collaboration between the Oregon-based artist Chris Antemann, and the German MEISSEN Porcelain manufactory. In 2011 Antemann was invited to participate in MEISSEN’s Art Studio Program, where she worked closely with MEISSEN’s artisans to create unique pieces and a series of limited editions that strike a balance between her distinctive style and MEISSEN’s identity.
“Forbidden Fruit” is a series of porcelain figurines with allusions to the Garden of Eden, with figures posed in “intimate and playful vignettes of seduction.”
As described by the museum, the works are inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines: Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.
Her centerpiece, Love Temple (2013), is inspired by MEISSEN’s great historical model of Johann Joachim Kändler’s monumental Love Temple (1750). Stripping the original design back to its basic forms, Antemann added her own figures, ornamentation, and flowers to her five-foot work, as well as a special finial with three musicians to herald the arrival of guests to the banquet of forbidden fruit below.
Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit
Museum of Art and Design (2 Columbus Circle)
Sept. 22 through Feb. 5
top jazz artists SHOWCASE jazz styles This performance hearkens back to 1920s jazz era, the grand decade when, “the parties were bigger, the pace faster, the buildings higher, the morals looser.” Led by acclaimed saxophonist and Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Orchestra member Victor Goines, the Orchestra showcases the hot jazz of New Orleans, the sweet sounds of 1920s dance bands, and demonstrates how the integration of the two led to the Swing Era of the 1930s.
This concert features compositions by many top jazz artists including Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Louis Armstrong and His Hot 7. Goines will also debut a brand new composition written for the Orchestra, inspired by the Prohibition era.
Goines became a member of JALC in 1993, where he has since performed regularly, as well as touring throughout the world, and recording over twenty-one releases including Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning recording Blood on the Fields (Columbia Records, 1997).
Goines can be heard on the music score for the motion picture Undercover Blues, performed on the music scores for the motion pictures When Night Falls On Manhattan and Rosewood, as well as on music videos featuring Chick Corea, Garth Fagin, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Linda Ronstadt and Eric Clapton.
In November of 2007, Goines was named director of jazz studies and professor of music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Previously, he was the artistic director of the jazz program at the Juilliard School for seven years, and a faculty member in jazz clarinet and saxophone. During his tenure at Juilliard, the department expanded from a collaborative program with Jazz at Lincoln Center to include a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Artist Diploma to its curriculum.
Jazz at Lincoln Center is a part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Led by Wynton Marsalis, JALC performs year round at concerts and tours, both national and international.
The Jazz Age: Untamed Elegance
Jazz at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 60th Street)
October 28 and 29 Tickets range from $50-$140.50
(photo courtesy of victorgoines.com)