arts 10.12.06

Up Next

mugshots… Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" makes a brief appearance at Ars Nova and Sweeney teams up with the fabulous Jill Sobule at Joe's Pub on 10/23…. I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is the new book by Amy Sedaris. She'll be at B& N Union Sq., 7pm, on Monday, October 16th….This Sunday, 6pm, at Housing Works Used Book Cafe, 126 Crosby [Prince/Houston] 212.334.3324, Dave Eggers will be reading from, and discussing, his new book What is the What?, a novel based on the life of one of the lost boys of Sudan, Valentino Achak Deng, who will be there with Mr. Eggers.

indie rock… Friday: Ex-Superchunk singer Mac McCaughan rocks more indie pop with Portastatic at Mercury Lounge. Sunday: Okkervil River bring their sad avant-folk tales to Bowery Ballroom. Just announced…11/03: Deerhoof. 11/13-11/18: Modest Mouse

movies… We've complained in the past about the Museum of Television and Radio being weirdly austere, giving off vibes of a sort of psychoarchitectural insecurity complex that its art form may not be as serious of purpose as the museum's own. But some good news: this year's DocFest (now there's a money title) has a first-rate lineup of screenings and events, including Unseens Gems of Maysles Films, Life After Tomorrow about former Annie cast members, and One Punk, Under God directed by Jim and Tammy Faye's son Jim Bakker. Check out the lineup here.

reading… Bill Bryson's new book The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (Broadway Books, $25) is out next week. Mr. Bryson will be at Symphony Space this coming Wednesday, 7:30pm. $21 in advance. At the author's website, there's a short, charming animated preview of the book.

chamber music… Well, not traditional chamber music: Zanana describes itself as "the electro-acoustic live processing chamber music duo." Got it? No? You can download clips here (the files are large) or you can catch them this Saturday, 8:30pm, as part of Roulette's Fall 2006 series, Location One, 20 Greene [Canal/Grand] 212.219.8242. $15.

dance… They'll be uncharacteristically cutting a rug at The New-York Historical Society, 170 CPW [77th] next Wednesday, 6:30pm, when a panel discusses The Savoy Ballroom: Boxers, Lindy Hoppers and Jazzsters 1926-1958, that will include a Lindy Hop demonstration by Frankie Manning, a leading Savoy dancer and choreographer. $15, call 212.868.4444 for tickets.

art… Brooklyn artist Loren Monk shows recent paintings at the Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery, 38 Marcy [Hope] Wburg 718.387.9818, and his borough plays a key role in these engaging works.

classical…The much-esteemed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs with ace pianist Emanuel Ax, tonight, 8pm, at Carnegie Hall. They'll perform two Mozart piano concertos, marking both the 30th anniversary of their collaboration and the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. 

A Chorus Line Original Cast Recording
We may be thin-slicing more than usual here, but we're guessing there's a group of you for whom the original cast recording to the original production of A Chorus Line was listened to, and sung along with, with fervor.

There are intermittent pleasures listening to the new A Chorus Line original cast album, but as for thrills, everything that's wrong with the album is made clear in the climactic bars of the climactic song "One (Reprise)." In the original (at about 3:29 into the song if you're following along here), just after the heraldic riff on the trumpets that announces the big moment of the show, the trumpets let loose with an expansive, spinning, high-note that explodes and then fades like fireworks between the lyrics 'One' and 'singular sensation.' It's a perfect Broadway climactic moment, exciting in a way unique to Broadway, and it gets repeated a few seconds later so make that two moments.

Now compare that to what those trumpets do in the new recording (here at 3:22). The trumpets start to do the same thing and then stop precisely at the end of the bar. It's a complete orchestral buzz-kill, one that makes no sense dramatically, and manages to turn one of musical theater's genuinely orgasmic moments into waxworks: synthetic, polite, perfunctory.

Included on the CD are karaoke versions of "What I Did for Love" and "One" but that strikes us as both overly-optimistic and redundant.


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