Culture Club: From Art to Music,
12 Reasons to Get Excited for Spring
by Chelsea Allison
March 22, 2013
Along with the more expected fresh things that crop up come spring, like flowers and fashion, we’re anticipating a number of happy returns on the cultural landscape. From the small screen to the printed page, here is our roundup of some of this season’s most promising highlights.
TV: Mad Men
A few glamorous stills and a single promo poster are all that the famously tight-lipped Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has released about the show’s sixth season, just enough material for fans to attempt to divine Don’s future. AMC’s award-winning show returns April 7, but even at two hours, the premiere is likely only to bait viewers’ curiosity further.
Film: Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring
She’s dazzled at industry events and walked down the aisle in the three years since her last film, but with the June premiere of The Bling Ring, which she directed and wrote, the red carpet will really be Sofia Coppola’s own. Starring Emma Watson, the movie is based on a group of California teens who burgled celebrities in 2008 and 2009—no doubt rich fodder for Coppola’s atmospheric, moody aesthetic.
Poetry: Anne Carson
It’s been a decade and a half since Anne Carson published Autobiography of Red (Vintage), that ambitious novel in verse that tells the modern-day story of Geryon, the red-winged monster meant to be slayed by Hercules. This month, Geryon (now simply called “G”) stars in Carson’s unexpected, dizzying follow-up, Red Doc> (Knopf), sure to be the verse event of the season.
Novel: James Salter’s All That Is
The author of A Sport and a Pastime is a master of the sentence so vivid it stuns. His sweeping new All That Is (Knopf), will be the 87-year-old’s first novel in three decades when it hits shelves in April, refreshing the canon of one of America’s best living writers.
Music: Fleetwood Mac’s Reunion Tour
The mysticism of Stevie Nicks, all blonde hair and billowing chiffon, inspired later female artists as wide-ranging as Courtney Love and Taylor Swift. Beginning in April, more than 30 years after Fleetwood Mac’s breakout hits, Nicks will show today’s admirers she’s still got it when she takes the stage for the band’s 50-plus date tour.
TV: Arrested Development
When we last left our demented heroes, an Arrested Development movie was a mere glint in Ron Howard’s eye (and a wink to the viewer in that final voice-over). The new season of Arrested, its fourth, has been in development for some time after the series sunsetted in 2006, but episodes will be released on Netflix in May. The cult hit pioneered the chaotic callbacks that are the core of the modern sitcom, and it’s that spirit of invention that makes its comeback (which will feature everyone from series regulars to Liza Minnelli to show newcomer Kristen Wiig) all the more thrilling.
Art: Frieze in New York
The stateside spin on London’s Frieze Art Fair returns to Randall’s Island for its second edition on May 10. Inclusion of more than 180 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries will make it the largest event ever hosted by Frieze, and the seven projects curated by High Line Art’s Cecilia Alemani, including an homage to iconic seventies artist-run restaurant Food, will bring a delicious frisson to the public art event.
The cover art for Beyoncé’s new single might be a bit heavy-handed—really, the whole in-your-face anthem might be—but the message is unmistakable: Queen B is back. Her first solo song in more than a year, “Bow Down/I Been On,” previews her hotly anticipated fifth album, about which she’s previously been a bit coy. “I’m going to be tweaking,” she told Vogue’s Jason Gay. “I still have things to figure out.” But if her mega-successful HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, is any indication, Beyoncé’s tinkering is more like perfecting.
Film: The Great Gatsby
Paramount Pictures made three attempts at translating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic to the big screen: a 1926 silent flick, a 1949 movie, and the 1974 version that starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow but lacked the novel’s verve. This year’s edition gets the Baz Luhrmann treatment, a glittering Great Gatsby that reunites the Aussie director with his Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio, as Jay. Given Luhrmann’s able hand in the department of star-crossed lovers, we’re keen to see what’s in store for the film that opens Cannes on May 15.
Art: Punk Takes Over the Met
Some seasons, with flashes of studs and safety pins or edgy eye makeup darting down the runways, one might question whether punk ever really fell out of fashion. The rebellious movement with roots in DIY has inspired couture designers since the seventies, and its enduring influence will be spotlighted in this year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Punk: Chaos to Couture.” The annual Costume Institute presentation regularly draws record attendance numbers, and with such an incendiary theme, this year’s exhibition will doubtless catch on. Our recommendation: Get in line now.
Theater: Bette Midler Back On Broadway and Pippin
How many performers can boast the range of Bette Midler? In the decades since she first appeared on stage, she’s had several incarnations: the gaudy entertainer, the Academy Award–nominated movie star, the sultry, sometimes silly singer. She’s back on Broadway for the first time in three decades in April, starring in the one-woman play (for Bette, what other kind is there?) “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers,” playing a Hollywood power agent. There’s just one thing, however, that we miss from Midler’s latest role: Mengers doesn’t sing.
The whimsical “Pippin” has been a popular choice for high school drama clubs since the musical bade farewell to Broadway in 1977. This month, the eponymous boy prince graduates to the big stage when the Diane Paulus–directed revival, just off a successful run in Cambridge, Massachusetts, opens for previews on March 23 at the Music Box Theatre.
Within a few months, the doors to a new Upper West Side outpost of the much-hyped, always-packed Chinese restaurant RedFarm will finally open for those hoping to get a taste of the tasty, but intentionally inauthentic, cuisine. They’ve already nailed food and atmosphere in the West Village location, so here’s hoping that, with the arrival of this bright spot on Broadway and Seventy-seventh, there is also something for uptowners to get excited about come spring.