arts 09.2.08

Fall Preview

Singer-songwriter Dar Williams releases Promised Land, her first album of new material in three years, a week from today. She's got a new producer on this one, so expect something of a change in sound. As always with Williams, though, you can also anticipate first-rate songs (often with the richness of a short story), some social/political commentary, and this time out, a cover of Midnight Radio from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She'll be performing Sept. 27th, 9pm, at the Fillmore. (Photo by Traci Goudie)

Fleet feet fire up the Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer [Houston/Prince] 212.352.3101, from October 16th-19th when Pasión Flamenca performs Tributes, a selection of pieces, including Flamenclorico: Lore of the Miners, and Un Ultima Gota de Agua, that combines dance with cinematic elements. $25, except for the first performance, which is a benefit. (Photo by Cindy Quezada)

The Times of London wrote this about the inestimable Royal Court's production of The Seagull: "This is not the most laugh-out-loud version, but by the end, you'll realize you've watched one of the great productions of this masterpiece—such a deeply thoughtful and sympathetic version, you can almost sense Chekhov's dark, kindly eyes watching over it…" It's made the trip stateside, starring Kristin Scott Thomas (who won an Olivier for her performance as Arkadina) and Peter Sarsgaard. Previews begin September 16th
at the Walter Kerr.

Among the all-star lineup of the Sixth Annual Gourmet Institute, a weekend of non-stop cooking demos, meals, seminars, and wine tastings from October 17th-19th, Chicago's Grant Achatz (Alinea), who shows you how to "inject aromas into the dining experience." Also on hand: Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Johnny Iuzzini, Gabrielle Hamilton, Andrew Carmellini, Kurt Gutenbrunner, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, to name a few. $1,395.

Somewhere along the way you've probably raced through a well-worn paperback copy of Alive, the Piers Paul Read account of the 1972 plane crash that left some members of an Uruguayan rugby team to fight for survival (putting it mildly) for over two months, high up in the Andes. Opening October 22nd, Stranded, a documentary about those same events and their long aftermath, told by the survivors themselves.

Sure, it's an easy pick on our part, but what art lover will be able to resist Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night at MoMA (in collaboration with Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum)? The exhibition, opening September 21st, focuses on Van Gogh's interest in painting and drawing night and twilight landscapes and interiors.

The master returns. John le Carré's new novel, A Most Wanted Man, will be out October 7th. In this tale, the author takes on intelligence agencies and their inadequate responses to the Islamist terror threat.

The miasma that passes for political discourse on the network and cable gasbag gabfests gets the most appealing air freshener imaginable in Rachel Maddow, who will host her own show on MSNBC starting next week. Rhodes Scholar, Air America host, out lesbian—all very well. It's her ability to cut through the aforesaid Beltway echo chamber, though, and bring someone genuine insight into the political landscape that will make her 9pm show must-see TV.

As we hope you've noticed, MUG is back after a complete facelift, tummy tuck, and rest cure. We've still got some refinements to make, but we think we're looking good. That's thanks to the great work from our designer George Gozum and tech supervisor Ian MacKenzie.

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