12 things our detractors are looking forward to in 2022
As a new year begins (again), our reviews spotlight the television, movies, music, art, theater, dance, and comedy that promise welcome distraction.
The end of “Better Call Saul”
I’ll be sad forever when “You better call Saul” is over, so part of me is actually dreading the sixth and final season. I never want to say goodbye to Jimmy or Kim – but man, I’m dying to see them again. By the time “Saul” returns to AMC this spring, it will have been on hiatus for a full two years. (Bob odenkirk, her star, has recovered from a heart attack that occurred on set this year. most carefully woven in our time. Of course, thanks to “Breaking Bad,” we know exactly where some of these characters are heading, but not how they get there, what they think about it, or who they’ll hurt along the way. Come back soon! But also, take it slow.
OK, so yeah, it was weird that my friends Sherri-Ann and Amber and I were the only black people in the movies when we saw the movie “Downton Abbey” in 2019. At the time, we agreed that despite the lack of a colored world in the theater and on screen, we have always found pleasure in the grandeur – the clothing, the castle, the cast of the characters, especially the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, wonderfully played. by Dame Maggie Smith. Now that we have set our calendars for March 18, 2022, for the rest, “Downton Abbey: a new era,“I can’t wait to see how the franchise tries to reinvent itself on the dawn of a new era, the 1930s, and how it performs in the current racial moment. (A black woman’s face appears in a trailer.) Partly in the south of France after the Dowager Countess learns she inherited a villa there, the film sends the Crawley clan upstairs and their employees downstairs on another adventure, with another marriage. While Julian Fellowes, the creator of “Downton,” has a new show, “The Gilded Age,” which premiered on HBO in January – which appears to be a bit more thoughtful in its approach to race, class and status. identity – here’s hoping that the sequel to ‘Downton’ bows out in the grand Grantham style.
Jane Wagner’s 1985 play “Searching for signs of intelligent life in the universe”Was tailor-made for chameleon gifts from his life partner (and, later, his wife), Lily Tomlin. Who else could have inhabited her 12 very distinct characters – including a runaway punk, a bored 1%, and a trio of disillusioned feminists – with such sardonic sympathy? When Tomlin won a Tony Award in 1986 for his work, it seemed to seal the idea that the performer and the play were one forever. But in the kind of casting that makes your head smack with pleasure, Cecily strong takes on Tomlin’s mantle in a Leigh Silverman-directed revival at the Hangar, which is scheduled to open on Jan.11. Strong – whose “Saturday Night Live” characters include Jeanine Pirro, the girl you wished you had struck up a conversation with Party and, more recently, Goober the clown who had an abortion when she was 23 – appears be another custom fit, almost four decades later.
Afrofuturism at Carnegie Hall
Emerging from its own history as a stronghold of Western classical music, Carnegie Hall will be the hub of a city-wide multidisciplinary festival of Afrofuturism: the visionary and technophile ways in which the culture of the African diaspora has imagined alternative paths. The Carnegie series is set to begin on February 12 with the fast-paced and sometimes mind-blowing electronic musician Flying Lotus. (A challenge could be the acoustics of the main hall.) Performances at Zankel Hall include the Sun Ra Arkestra’s galactic jazz with cellist and singer Kelsey Lu and insurgent Moor Mother (February 17); flautist Nicole Mitchell at the helm of her Black Earth Ensemble; and clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid with his Autophysiopsychic Millennium (February 24); African-born hip-hop duo Chimurenga Renaissance and Malian composer Fatoumata Diawara (March 4); and DJ, composer and techno pioneer Carl Craig at the helm of his Synthesizer Ensemble (March 19). There is much more: five dozen other cultural organizations will organize festivals.
The Metropolitan Opera rethinks Verdi
“Don Carlos” by Verdi may not be a flawless opera. But it is deep work; I consider it to be Verdi’s “Hamlet”. Written for the Paris Opera, it gave a nod to the grand French style and included epic scenes and choirs en masse. But when it premiered in 1867, it was deemed too long and ineffective. Verdi revised the opera several times, making cuts, translating the French libretto into Italian, leaving a confused legacy of revisions. the Metropolitan opera gives the audience the chance to hear the work as it was originally conceived in its French version in five acts, which many consider to be the best. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has directed some superb Met performances of the Italian adaptation, will be in that pit for this new production by David McVicar. The star-studded cast, led by tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role, includes Sonya Yoncheva, Elina Garanca, Etienne Dupuis, Eric Owens and John Relyea. When performances begin on February 28, prepare for a five-hour show with two intermissions; I can not wait.
True-Crime, with Renée Zellweger
This winter brings more than the usual number of big stars taking time out for the small screen, like Uma Thurman (“Suspicion”), Christopher Walken (“Severance”) and Samuel L. Jackson (“The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray”) . The one that piques my interest the most is Renée Zellweger, assuming only her second leading TV role in “The thing about Pam, Which airs March 8 on NBC. Zellweger may be hit and miss, but her hits – “The Whole Wide World”, “Chicago”, “Judy” – keep her at the forefront of American actresses. Here, she plays Pam Hupp, who is involved in multiple deaths and is currently serving a life sentence for one of them, in a real-crime miniseries that showrunner Jenny Klein produced. solid TV offerings like “The Witcher”. and “Jessica Jones”.
At 91, Faith Ringgold gets a retrospective
When the Museum of Modern Art opened its expanded home in 2019, its most important Picasso suddenly found itself with a new companion: a tumultuous panoramic painting of American violence that Gold Faith Ring painted 1967. Ringgold, born 91 years ago in Harlem, has never been an obscure figure: her art has been exhibited in the Clinton White House as well as in most New York museums; his children’s books have won awards and reached bestseller lists. But she had to wait too long for a retrospective of her career in her hometown. The one at the New Museum, which opens on February 17, will reveal how Ringgold intertwined the political and the personal: first in his rigorously composed “American People” paintings, which channeled the civil rights movement into grid, repetitive, and syncopated forms; then in “history quilts” in reconstituted fabric representing Michael Jackson or Aunt Jemima, and geometric abstractions inspired by Tibetan silks and embroidery. The show is accompanied by a major chance to rediscover: the first release in more than two decades of its “French Collection”, a cycle of 12 quilts which reconstructs the history of Paris in the 1920s through the eyes of a fictional African-American artist and model. .
A Viking prince seeks revenge
Robert eggers has only directed two feature films, and yet he is already known as a director of beautifully weird and critically acclaimed films. “The Witch”, from 2016, was followed three years later by the sinister and confusing “The Lighthouse”. Both established Eggers as a stylistic descendant of the Brothers Grimm, a maker of macabre fables that descend in torrents of madness. That’s why I can’t wait to see his third feature film, “The man of the North“, which premieres on April 22, about a Viking prince seeking revenge on his murdered father. Infused with Icelandic mythology, the story is based on Amleth’s story, the inspiration of Prince Hamlet, my favorite sad boy in English literature. Eggers wrote the screenplay with Icelandic poet Sjón, so we can certainly expect an epic with epic writing to match. There is also a stellar cast, including Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe – and Björk as a witch. I’d watch this on my own.
Transformation, via modern dance
“Four quartets», An ambitious one-night work by the modern choreographer Pam tanowitz, lands at the Brooklyn Academy of Music next month (February 10-12), barring a Covid cancellation. Based on poems by TS Eliot, the production includes live narration by actress Kathleen Chalfant, music by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and set by Brice Marden; Tanowitz continues his exploration of the relationship between emotion and form.
Rapper Saba explores trauma
Diaristic and quietly intense, Saba, a rapper from Chicago, is the kind of artist who mourns with heartwarming calm. In 2018, his record “Care for Me” tackled this theme the day after the murder of his cousin and collaborator, stabbed to death a year earlier. Released on February 4, his next album, “Few good things, ”Confronts life’s equally devastating challenges: the anxiety of generational poverty and the depths of survivor guilt. It takes up the undulating and poetic flows of Saba, which exude a deep sense of storytelling. The beats are always buttery, jazzed up and meticulously arranged. But this time around, there’s more wisdom – a recognition that going through trauma means finding gratitude and affirmation when you can.
Comedian Taylor Tomlinson on tour
“Quarter-Life Special”, the first special stand-up of Taylor tomlinson, presented a young artist with real potential. Tomlinson spoke forcefully about a clear character (happy but not the life of the party; rather, as she put it, “the weak pulse of the bribe”) and told jokes marked by a diverse arsenal of ‘acts and ways of distracting. She’s covered standard territory (dating, sex, parents, kids) with enough insight and dark undertones to grab your attention. More excitingly, every now and then she would let her thought process fly in unexpected delusional directions, like the story that led her to imagine a police-led sadness test. “Instead of a breathalyzer,” she explained, “they make you sigh in a harmonica.” This Netflix special caused a stir, but it probably would have been bigger if it hadn’t been released in March 2020. A pandemic later, she has another hour ready and another Netflix special on the way. She is now playing it on tour, which is slated to stop in New York in January at Town Hall and then at the Beacon Theater.