By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
From an old Shue to some dusty glass slippers, the New York City Opera's mounting of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella was a bizarre mixed bag that started inauspiciously with LEA DELARIA motioning for more entrance applause, RENÉE TAYLOR redefining music, and EARTHA KITT playing the Fairy Godmother as if she rode in on a broomstick. It seemed like the show might have worked much better on icebut it gelled more delightfully in Act Two, and then I turned back into a rotting pumpkin.
Finally, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is refreshingly unchanged; some of the set pieceslike the Rockettes' Parade of the Wooden Soldiersare as iconic by now as the Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin and must never die. Commercialism and solemnity have rarely been so nicely interwoven. The show sleighs me! And now on to my next 20 years.
MOMA, ready for the hard hats
photo: Robin Holland
Culture came to Bloomingdale's last week when it unveiled its Phantom of the Opera windows with an outdoor concert of music from the upcoming movie, led by an enthusiastic conductor whose baton accidentally went flying at a violinist. ("Death by cocktail stirrer," cracked director JOEL SCHUMACHER.) After that, they showed a film clip, which overflowed with chandeliers, candles, and feathersvery ABC Carpet & Homeand then the cast flicked a switch that illuminated the store's twinkly holiday lights and terrifyingly large Phantom mask, a Halloweeny image intriguingly served up for yuletide cheer!
The same night, culture found a more traditional home at the Museum of Modern Art's reopening gala, which unveiled a gi-normous space where you're so busy gasping at some of the structural views from the escalators that you don't even have to look at the art. I hear they actually had several openings, one of which was supposedly just for the construction workers! (I probably would have known more people at that one; this opening was filled with hoity-toity-accented people from another planetuptown.) Overheard comments included: "If you're oppressed, then who are the über people?" and "These works are A.D.D. on LSD." No, dear, they're A-R-T.
Outside, protesters were handing out flyers bemoaning the joint's new $20 admission with the slogan "Manhattan is robbed again." In protest, they wanted people to go to the museum a few days later and pay with rolls of pennies. Instead I went and flashed my press card. M.M.
Web extra: Improbably enough, the Fiddler on the Roof score is sizzling hot again, not only because Harvey Fierstein will be taking over the lead role in the Broadway revival in January, but because the next single off Gwen Stefani's Love Angel Music Baby CD will be "Rich Girl," which liberally borrows from the old-time musical's "If I Were a Rich Man," with help from Eve. So much for "Tradition."