Culture Watch: What’s new in theater, music, magazines and on the Web


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THEATER “Fela!” (National Theatre Live): NT Live’s global season continues with a broadcast of “Fela!,” the dance theater piece about the Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. The show, which stars the commanding Sahr Ngaujah and features Bill T. Jones’ relentlessly exhilarating direction and choreography, was one of the most energetic Broadway musicals in recent memory. But will the experience translate on the big screen? Hollywood’s Mann Chinese 6 is giving us the opportunity to find out Thursday. Visit www.ntlive.comfor a complete list of national and international venues.

—Charles McNulty

MAGAZINES “Gordon Matta-Clark and 112 Greene Street,’ the New Yorker, Jan. 17, pp. 80-81: Carver of decrepit buildings into environmental sculptures, Gordon Matta-Clark remains a major art-world fascination more than 30 years after his death. Peter Schjeldahl considers how he also helped create SoHo as a downtown Manhattan phenomenon.

—Christopher Knight

INTERNET “Minimalism, an Obituary.” Architect Sam Jacob’s short, lively essay, written for a New Museum publication and now on his own website, Strange Harvest, is a requiem for an approach to building he calls “an ultimate and mesmerizing nihilism” and is keen to hustle into the grave.


—Christopher Hawthorne

CDs: David Fray, “Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 25” (Virgin Classics): A hit at his Hollywood Bowl debut last summer, this stylish, cheeky, inventive young French pianist here confirms the emergence of a major new talent. Uncontainable Mozart is fully and finely animated. Jaap van Zweden conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in the same tantalizing spirit.

—Mark Swed

“Kepler” (OMM): Philip Glass’ latest opera is a musically cosmic meditation on the cosmos, replete with Glass’ trademark moves and some exciting new ones. A live recording from the Linz, Germany, premiere in 2009 is thrillingly conducted by Dennis Russell Davies and an excellent warm-up for Pacific Symphony’s Glass festival in March.

—Mark Swed

Top photo: ‘Fela!’ in London. Credit: Tristram Kenton / Associated Press