What a freakin’ punk rock opera! Not really of course, since Dmitri Shostakovich wrote it in 1928, three years before the electric guitar was even invented and four decades before the garage rock explosion of the 1960s. But! It is noisy to point of near-constant atonality, and is just as constantly rebellious and acidly satirical. I mean, less than ten minutes into the opera, we hear a three-minute instrumental piece for nothing but battering un-pitched percussion, the first piece of its kind in classical music ever. So! Punk rock!
Legendary playwright and drag performer Charles Busch has always combined elegantly languid, self-effacing charm with an effortlessly brassy glamour. His current cabaret act, titled “Ridin’ High” is the first club act of his I’ve seen, though I’ve seen many of his plays. The act possesses those qualities I mentioned above, as well as a discreetly dishy side.
There’s something more than a bit radical about the fairies in gay composer Benjamin Britten’s operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He wrote the part of Oberon, king of the fairies, for a countertenor, a male voice singing in a soprano range (hauntingly sung by Iestyn Davies in the Met’s current revival).
Anyone who knows me or has read what I’ve written about New York City’s possible sugary drink ban knows that I am completely against it!
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is fighting hard to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. On Thursday, the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to take up the case after a lower court stopped the ban earlier this year. The thing is, they likely won’t hear the case until next year when Bloomberg is no longer in office, and New York City will have a new Mayor.
As an undecided voter, should I vote for the next NYC Mayor based on their opinion of the sugary drink ban? Let’s take a look at where Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota stand on the issue. You might be surprised.