The Playgoer: Kennedy Center: Missed Opportunity?

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Kennedy Center: Missed Opportunity?

Devastating takedown by Bill O'Leary in the WaPo of programming at our capitol's (if not our nation's) biggest and most visible performing arts center:

My favorite event this season at the Kennedy Center was probably the joint festival organized between the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Gallery of Art, the one devoted to the legendary 1889 Paris Exposition that electrified the avant-garde of Europe and changed the course of music and art. It was a logical collaboration given that the National Gallery is presenting a major show of works by Paul Gauguin, who was deeply influenced by the 1889 exhibition, and the National Symphony Orchestra regularly performs the music of Claude Debussy, who was equally impressed by the event.

Or perhaps it was the evening of early-19th-century theater scenes, read by local actors, and introduced by a scholar who is studying the role of race and revolution in early-American theater at the Library of Congress’s prestigious Kluge Center. Or the ongoing series devoted to the best international period instruments groups or even better, the festival of new one-act plays that took over the Theater Lab space where the endless run of “Shear Madness” finally came to an end.

If you missed any of those, don’t worry, because they did not happen. And that’s a problem.

Read on.

Oh, and Michael Kasier: call your office.

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