Category: Music

Christie’s auction preview and Shawn Colvin

Sunday, September 10th, 2006 | All Things, Arts, Music

I attended the Christie’s preview reception for their upcoming auction: “First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art” — not “40 years of Star Trek: The Collection” (which takes place early next month) as the wise guys among you had surmised.

But for all you fanboys:

40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection
September 25 – October 3
Rockefeller Center Concourse

Christie’s presents 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection at auction October 5th-7th. The sale will offer an extraordinary array of property from one of the most groundbreaking and iconic film and television series in history. Items include costumes, props, weapons, artwork, rare furniture, accessories and more, encompassing Star Trek’s prolific 40 year history. Before going to auction, selected items will be on display in the Rockefeller Center Concourse from September 25th-October 3rd.

Edited to add: Admission to the viewing will be via purchase of a $90(!) or $500(!!) auction catalogue or by $25 “Star Pass” only.

M(LF), KP and I headed inside to the galleries together, and wandered among the artwork for auction, plastic wineglasses of chardonnay in hand. Pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning… and a lot of others I didn’t recognize. As usual, some of the stuff was downright bizarre: like Tony Feher’s installation of plastic bottles, water, food dye, wire and rope (estimated at $20,000-30,000.)

Christie's Galleries

Christie's Galleries

Christie's Galleries

Here, Rikrit Tiravanija’s silkscreened tent, titled Atlas (a seeming bargain at $5,000-7,000 – and you can sleep in it.) On the left wall, in peach, Imi Knoebel’s Siebeneck (Seven Corners) — enamel on shaped panel, valued at $20,000-$30,000.

Christie's Galleries

Afterwards, there was a private tour and a concert in the “Artist Den” upstairs. Before the main act, we screened taped performances from similar past events: Regina Spektor at The Angel Orensanz Foundation (one of the prettiest event spaces in New York) and Martha Wainwright on the stage we were watching. Finally: Shawn Colvin emerged, looking pretty darned good for her 50 years.

Right before the show, KP reminded me that Colvin’s biggest commercial success was for her single “Sunny Came Home.” All week I had somehow gotten it into my head that she was the artist behind “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” Turns out that’s Paula Cole – so uh, whoops. Both songs were nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 1998 Grammys — incidentally, Colvin won in both categories –- so the confusion is at least a little bit understandable. Paula Cole took Best New Artist that year.

Colvin had a charming, self-deprecating stage presence –- at one point, attempting and quickly abandoning a cover of The Carpenters “I Won’t Last A Day Without You.” She closed out her show with “I Don’t Know Why,” which KP was brave enough to shout out when Colvin asked for requests. Good thing I didn’t ask for “the Cowboy song.”

Christie's Sculpture

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Broadway on Broadway

Sunday, September 10th, 2006 | All Things, Eats, Events, Music

We arrived at 43rd and Broadway just as the Broadway on Broadway concert was getting underway. No dice: nobody — except for the pair of uniformed Navy sailors — were getting through. We were sent over to Eighth Avenue, and began the slow march uptown: West 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th.. at every intersection, we met with police officers redirecting people farther and farther away from the crowds that were rapidly filling Broadway. Finally at 47th, we were able to make our way over.

44th Street



From our spots behind the wooden police barricades, we could hear the concert sounds being piped out through the massive speakers, but could not see the stage, or determine where it was, really. We heard a song each from The Producers and from Les Miz, (which apparently is being revived for a limited six-month engagement at the Broadhurst Theatre. Already?) and “Seasons of Love” from Rent, featuring infamous American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis (who got lots of love from the crowd.) Also, “It Sucks to Be Me,” from the incomparable Avenue Q, which SYB and I attended together back in 2004.

… I’m kinda pretty
And pretty damn smart.

You are.

I like romantic things
Like music and art.
And as you know
I have a gigantic heart
So why don’t I have…
A boyfriend?
It sucks to be me!

Naturally, that last interjection was edited out for the Times Square audience.

It seemed a bit pointless to stay for the entire concert — though I would have liked to hear Martin Short do his bit — so we left just as the selection from upcoming Grey Gardens was starting. Now where brunch?

The Ninth Avenue restaurant scene has exploded these past few years, and brunch is generally far less of an ordeal than farther uptown in my neighborhood. After dismissing some other options (Pam Real Thai, Island Burgers & Shakes) as not “brunchy” enough, we eventually found our way to Eatery. Unfortunately, it also happened to be the one place on that stretch of Avenue with a line out the door. Uh, no thanks.

We did the next best thing by heading over to Eatery’s lesser known sibling (and fellow WC-designed space) Whym. Good solid brunch of corned beef and sweet-potato hash with eggs – and I think we were the youngest people in the restaurant, excepting the bartender, which I find rarely happens in the city these days… outside the Philharmonic, that is.

Hash and Eggs

Errands at Whole Foods (ulitmately deciding against loitering among the prepared foods), and then we stumbled upon a fair in progress at Lincoln Center. When I asked SYB what was being sold at the stands there, I thought he replied “Crap” when he’d actually said: “Crafts.”

Crafts Fair

Don’t be sad if you missed it: they’ll be around next weekend, too. (And it’s not all crap.)

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Opera for All!

Thursday, September 7th, 2006 | All Things, Events, Music

Thanks to SYB’s ticket-seeking tenacity last month, we snagged a pair of prime seats to the opening night of New York City Opera’s Opera-for-All Festival.

Second Row Center! Again!

NYS Theater


I had attended 2005’s inaugural festival with B, so I knew that we were in store for a series of stellar performances. This year’s lineup did not disappoint – sort of a “Greatest Hits” of the upcoming opera season. Each piece opened with an introduction by NYC Opera Music Director/guest conductor, George Manahan, who provided both context and history for the novice-heavy audience. There were the usual crowd pleasers: the drinking song from La traviata; a quintet from Carmen; and the big finale: “Quando m’en vo” — Musetta’s waltz from La bohème. In between, there were several wonderful performances that had the crowd alternately cheering and weeping in appreciation, including “Una furtive lagrima” from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore – one of the best loved and most touching Bel Canto arias. As Manahan noted: “It’s great to be a tenor!”

OFA Opening


There was a surprise insertion of the “The William Tell Overture,” (an example of Rossini‘s more serious, later work) which sent a rippling murmur of recognition through the audience after the opening bars, and a hammy ensemble performance of “When the foreman bares his steel” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.

Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance

La Boheme

Although I just recently signed up for a series subscription at The Met (which lowered ticket prices this year in an attempt to draw new audiences), I am also interested in NYC Opera’s multimedia production of Die tote Stadt, Erich Wolfgang Korngold‘s operatic masterpiece. Korngold is the composer often credited with creating the modern Hollywood film score, for which he won two Academy Awards in the 1930s.

We made our way to the New York State Theater mezzanine after the concert, following the crush of the capacity crowd and the sound of blaring rock guitars and drums. Hey, it’s the East Village Opera Company (EVOC)!

Earlier in the day, I sent an email to LP, rightly figuring that she would be at tonight’s performance to support her boyfriend, EVOC’s lead singer. She responded right away, and we agreed to look out for one another at the afterparty. Not quite so easy: the floor was filled with throngs of revelers, rocking out in full appreciation of the high-energy, updated opera classics (and the free food and wine.)

LP spotted me first, and we were able to catch up on our summers and share some office scuttlebutt, though I did feel a tad rude shouting over her boyfriend’s super-amped vocals. Turns out she was in Hong Kong a couple of months after I was, accompanying the band towards the end of their Asia tour. This Fall, the EVOC has bookings throughout the country, in Canada and in Mexico. And in 2007: South America! Forget tenors: it’s great to be a rock star!



SYB deduced that LP had played the lead in the performance of Broadway’s Miss Saigon he attended in 2000 — TR had left the cast by then. Small world! After EVOC’s set, LP brought us up past the gaggle of groupies to congratulate TR on his performance. He graciously agreed to sign EVOC’s eponymous CD that SYB purchased that night.

At one point, wandering around the party, I overheard some snarky comments from beneath the mezzanine tiers. I turned to locate the source, which turned out to be a gathering of divos from this evening’s concert. Also tonight’s Musetta — whose real name is Elizabeth Caballero. Not knowing that at the time, I greeted her, “Hey, Musetta!”, and added “You were great up there!” She smiled, “Thanks,” and we made small talk for about a minute before I left her to continue mouthing along to the lyrics of the EVOC’s performance. Tough crowd.

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