The Arts

Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker’

‘Tis the season for Nutcrackers. And in the nation’s capital, that means Washington Ballet is installed for an extended run at the Warner Theater. In cities large and small across America, however, there’s at least anecdotal evidence that the local ballet company pays for the rest of its season with ticket revenues from the Tchaikovsky…

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Review: ‘Beautiful’

It’s as though the creators of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, the touring production that opened last night at Washington’s National Theatre, didn’t exactly set out to celebrate one gifted songwriter along with two decades of American pop culture, the civil rights movement and women’s quest for meaning and equality. It just sort of worked…

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Tragedy & Transcendance

If you go to the cinema over Thanksgiving weekend and watch two current-release movies, the “compares” are as numerous as you choose to recognize. Both films cover the late careers of two gifted yet troubled artists who died far too young – describing their efforts to find fame with artistic integrity, their risings and fallings…

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Review: ‘Silent Night’

One hundred years ago today – at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – what we know as World War I came to an end, with tens of millions of soldiers and civilians dead and the Old World of Europe in tatters. In his opera Silent Night, composer Kevin Puts…

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WNO’s ‘Silent Night’

On the night before Armistice Day – which, of course, gets swallowed up by Veterans Day in the United States – Washington National Opera presents an opera about one half-remembered moment during a war that ended with ringing church bells a full century ago this year. Yet if composer Kevin Puts has his way, and…

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Richard Ford @ The Folger

Eudora Welty, whose closely observed, very Southern fiction included the 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Optimist’s Daughter and the much-read-in-schools short story “Why I Live at the P.O.,” barely ventured outside her own neighborhood in Jackson, Miss. Today, her home is a National Historic Landmark that’s open for tours. And if you ask anyone in…

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New Glenstone, Part 2

The 204,000-square-foot Pavilions are intriguing, and not without their own updated version of trompe l’oeil. The area is a cluster of eleven stark gray boxes rising from earth toward sky, and from any distance you can’t tell how large or small they are unless someone is walking alongside them. Yet if you think these buildings…

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New Glenstone, Part 1

The century-long journey from museum as exposition to museum as experience finds its ultimate expression, for now and the foreseeable future, at Glenstone – the newly and vastly expanded museum of contemporary art in the rolling, altogether monied hills of Maryland. While the spotlight here is on the likes of Rothko, Twombly, Pollock, Calder, Warhol…

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