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Performing Arts Blog

To celebrate John Lahr’s colossal new biography of Tennessee Williams, we’re exploring the playwright’s long association with City Center. Up today: the 1950 run of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Uta Hagen and Anthony Quinn. We’re pleased to present a previously unpublished letter that Williams wrote to Hagen about her radical reinterpretation of Blanche.

UTA

Uta Hagen and Anthony Quinn in Streetcar.

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September 29, 2014 by New York City Center
Trisha Brown Dance Playlist

Trisha Brown in 1978, photographed by Lois Greenfield.

The notion of a Trisha Brown playlist seems counterintuitive at first—after all, the postmodern dance legend made her name in the 1960s with Judson Dance Theater works that were often performed in utter silence. “I didn’t want to be marshaled in a certain direction by music,” Brown admitted later. “You know: music makes you dance. That’s cheating!” That stance evolved over time, as Brown embarked on dazzlingly fruitful collaborations with avant-garde musicians like Laurie Anderson and Salvatore Sciarrino—both of whom are represented in this Fall for Dance playlist, which runs the gamut from Monteverdi to Cat Power.

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September 25, 2014 by New York City Center
Pontus Playlist

Pontus Lidberg, photographed by Gregory Batardon.

“My work often touches on aspects of relationships,” says the Stockholm-born choreographer Pontus Lidberg, whose award-winning dance films (The Rain, Labyrinth Within) explore longing and loneliness within a magical alternate reality. For his Fall for Dance playlist, Lidberg chose “songs that speak to or about someone, directly or indirectly.” Ane Brun’s tremulous “True Colors” cover turns up, as does “Answer Me, My Love,” performed by a world-weary Joni Mitchell. “The clarity of her voice from her younger days is no longer there,” says Lidberg, “but she sings from a point of view that is rich and interesting. I can perceive other perspectives in her voice.”

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September 24, 2014 by New York City Center

To celebrate John Lahr’s colossal new biography of Tennessee Williams, we’re exploring the playwright’s long association with City Center. First up: the 1966 revival of The Rose Tattoo, Williams’s daffy, operatic “love-play to the world.” Read new interviews with actors Maria Tucci and Christopher Walken, and listen to the long-unavailable cast recording, which appears here courtesy of Harper Audio.

When City Center’s revival of The Rose Tattoo opened on October 20, 1966, Tennessee Williams was in the depths of his “zombie” phase—holed up in his apartment, injecting himself with a daily hypodermic “full of mysterious fluids,” and mourning the death of his lover Frank Merlo, whose Sicilian gusto had inspired Rose Tattoo. Williams was also mourning his career: 1964’s The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore had closed after five performances, and 1966’s Slapstick Tragedy shuttered after seven.

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September 22, 2014 by New York City Center
Streb at FFD 2013

Last fall, Central Park served as the rustling, atmospheric backdrop for two Fall for Dance performances. Photo by Tammy Shell.

For its tenth anniversary last year, the Fall for Dance Festival found new ways to bring exciting, varied dance performances to the audiences that eagerly line up for its bargain-priced tickets. For the first time, the festival commissioned world premiere dances and expanded to a second venue, Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, for two free evenings designed to make Fall for Dance offerings even more democratically available to everyone from seasoned dance-watchers to first-timers exploring the art form.

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September 22, 2014 by New York City Center