Every few weeks, musicians, designers, artists and more discuss the strong connection between art and space in our Art in Place series. This is a way to highlight the best events in the city at the moment, while paying homage to the places where they are held.
In this November issue, an architectural historian talks about a unique masterpiece: the New York City skyline as seen from the water. The city also has a recently renovated concert hall and several theater venues.
AINY Architecture tour around Manhattan , New York from the water
Thomas Mellins, architectural historian: “New York is a city on the water. Walking the streets or on the subway, it's easy to forget, but the city's waterfront, once heavily used by industry and now surrounded by parks, has played a central role in New York City's growth and success. Seen from the water, the city's grid of streets seems to disappear, and its buildings become part of a vast urban landscape, each painting a different profile against the sky.
Thursday, October 27
Apollo Circle Benefit, Temple of Dendur, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art
I like DJ Isaac: “For a DJ who lives and works in New York, playing in the Met is the holy grail. You won't find a better place. I have never been to the temple of Dendur at night, but during the day it has the most beautiful natural light of all the rooms in the city. Also, my mom has a master's degree in art history and tells me about 5 times a month that I need to go to the museum more often, so she is very happy that I booked this gala.
I try to go to the Met once a year. This summer I visited the Costume Institute exhibition a couple of times, and the last time I was on the roof – there was a DJ playing vinyl, the weather was beautiful, the view. It was crazy, everything looked like in a movie.”
from 9 to 12 November
"Jurassic Park in Concert", Wu Tsai Theatre, David Geffen Hall
Guest director Konstantin Kitsopoulos: “Geffen Hall is a place I've been going to since I was a kid. My father took me to New York Philharmonic concerts in the 1960s and 1970s and has always been part of the cultural mystique emanating from Lincoln Center and the land on which it stands. I thought of the orchestra I always heard on New York Philharmonic records as my home orchestra. Hearing them live in your homes, whether acoustically important or not, has always been exciting. When I made my directorial debut in 2013, I was in awe of a podium that brought together so many great directors, including Leonard Bernstein, one of my eternal heroes.
These rehearsals and performances of Jurassic Park will be my first exposure to the new venue. My sister, Maria Kitsopoulos, has just celebrated her 25th birthday as a member of the New York Philharmonic's cello section. On a very personal level, every time I work with Maria, it's a good time.
John Williams has an incredible ability to turn a person into music. I remember being obsessed with William's music. It was 1977 and it was a Star Wars movie. With this movie, I started following Williams' music, watching the films he wrote, buying soundtracks, etc. His Jurassic Park score captures the majesty and terror of the dinosaurs in a way that only Williams could. I think Jurassic Park will be the first film to have an orchestra play in the new theater. I can't wait to hear how the audience reacts to the different tones and styles of the score from the magnificent New York Philharmonic.
The music of John Williams is the quintessence of musical art. The New York Philharmonic performing William's music will clarify this.
"Candida", Teatro Dos, theater cycle
Set designer Lindsay Genevieve Fuori: “The Theater Row is a collection of six cozy theater spaces under one roof. The second theater is a narrow proscenium with 99 seats, there is no bad seat in the hall. Outer space is a blank slate waiting for a truly transformed space. The problem here, especially with Candida, which takes place in a living room with multiple entry and exit ports for six characters, is that the set is about 80 feet tall. Luckily, the stage is almost as wide as it is deep, which is not usually the case with a proscenium. The second part of the piece that I like the most is its height from the stage floor, which gives the decorator a lot of options.
Shaw staged Candida in London in 1894, but when David asked me to develop a program, I realized that he wanted our production to be shown in Harlem in 1929. but that he was also fascinated by religion in general and wanted the room to reflect that. The house is probably related to the church in some way, so it may not be up to the typical architectural standards of the time. In addition, this space has passed through many hands, as we heard at the beginning of the work, the church was recently moved to the center of Morel. All this suggested to me that the room, in fact, should have another character on stage to help tell the story.
For this project, the research phase of my process was especially important. I had a lot of fun looking through the Harlem House archives. I spent my nights walking around the old quarters of the city and collecting pieces of history. I even took the opportunity to delve into my family history: my grandparents lived in Harlem and the Bronx at the time of the play.
This study provided information on small details such as finishes and window styles, but more broadly influenced the choice of colors and textures included in the space. Our CTO Sarah Shemer has done an amazing job keeping these details in mind. These details make or break an intimate setting, but they often come to the fore when a production has the time and budget constraints we face.
Aside from budgeting for the details, the biggest challenge of this show was just getting everyone on stage. The script requires multiple entry and exit points, and of course there were things like libraries and windows that we felt were necessary to shape the world. David and I went through dozens of iterations of how to furnish a room!
It was important to me that the space be warm and livable, not a museum piece. The work of our props manager Sean Sanford is to be commended for this. One of the challenges I always face when designing is remembering what items I order and what happens after the show is over. Sean was able to find junkyard books and used furniture from all over New York and Connecticut. David, our manager, also provided items from his collection, perhaps most notably his late partner's rocking chair. All these little details, sometimes difficult to coordinate, changed our scene. It's really a team effort that allowed this set to exist."
Until December 18
"Unimportant Man", Lynn F. Angelson Theater
Lighting designer Adam Honore: “Traditionally, the space in the American theater was divided into three zones; Spectators at home, actors on stage and backstage of the group hall. Angelson combines all three elements and creates a dialogue between the actors and the audience. This was achieved by restoring the site's original rustic charm to what was once a working inn in East Town.
The script, combined with John Doyle's minimalist approach, includes lighting design based on emotion rather than place or time. We wanted to capture the warmth of Dublin Council House. The "hall" is the space where the public visits and enters the whole story; Separate only spiritually and emotionally.
At the climax of the show, the audience is filled with a lone ghostly light on stage, reflecting our protagonist Alfie. A group of characters then bring the space to life, adding warmth and light to the show and reminding Alfie that he really isn't alone. A beautiful moment, which is reflected towards the end of the play.
Until January 1, 2023
"Asya Vetra's Inner Circle", Judson High School
Set design by Adam Blumenthal: The set for Asya Vetra's Inner Circle is designed to create a social connection, as if the entire audience gathered around a table and shared a seat with Asya as she performs an intimate and highly interactive magic show. . The circular pattern of the design is meant to draw viewers' attention to the decor and lighting of the seat, spreading energy throughout the space. The show is not only about the cards, but also about the public and the community that creates them. I wanted the design to expand so that it was visually interesting to look around the room and see how the audience observed and reacted to the wonders of being themselves. Design also allows us to create movement and moments. A transition that goes beyond the entire audience.
The Judson Gym is an important place in the history of New York's off-Broadway dance and theater scene, but the four-sided white box was the exact opposite of the space we needed. High ceilings and enough volume to create your own world. When you enter a room and encounter a minimalist walkway, you can turn right or left and climb the stairs leading to the center of our round world. The edges of the room turn black with no distinguishable borders, and you have no idea what lies beyond the visual limits of our design.
I worked with Asi to transform the showroom. From the moment we started, he knew he wanted the audience to be around him and feel as close to the action as possible. It took months of refinement and life-size replicas of our reclining seats to create the perfect graphics for all viewers, so that all viewers have the same vision of magic. Asya's resume was to create a space where you can experience magic like you've never seen before. I wanted our visual world to be as close to full cycle as possible. Even though our seating is only 180 degrees, our stage porch rings and ceiling lights enhance the circular pattern and really give you the feeling of being 360 degrees surrounded by the magic Asi and the audience create together.”