The Nose, Metropolitan Opera, NYC

In this production, though, a Metropolitan Opera premiere conducted by Valery Gergiev, the main attraction is the design by South African artist William Kentridge. It is a vibrant environment of projected stop-motion animation, graphic odds and ends, charcoal sketches, streaks of red and black, snippets of vintage newspaper and encyclopedia, agitprop slogans in a kitschy font. The dynamic projections, evoking the modernist, avant-garde style of Soviet artists of the 1920s and 30s, take on a mischievous life of their own. At their busiest, eye-candy elements shift and dissemble and transform in mesmerizing ways.

Two Unrelated Plays by David Mamet, Atlantic Theater Company NYC

Atlantic Theater Company’s double bill of two Mamet shorts, School and Keep Your Pantheon, is overkill in the extreme. They are so insubstantial and unnecessary that I assumed they were old projects excavated to give fans a taste of the writer’s juvenilia, slight but hinting at the promise to come. But both plays are new, and the endeavor smacks of lazy writing and producing.

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