SONY MASTERWORKS RELEASES George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

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Porgy%20and%20Bess%20Cover Live Recording Conducted By Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Available September 21

In celebration of his 80th birthday, acclaimed conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt decided to make a recording of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess as a gift to himself. He fulfilled a life-long dream of conducting the famous opera at the Graz Festival in Austria in early 2009. It was a sensation with both the public and press, with one of Germany’s leading critics writing, "Harnoncourt’s…concentrated interpretation…achieved a density and intensity that took the audience’s breath away.“ On Tuesday, September 21, Sony Masterworks releases the live recording of Porgy and Bess conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Porgy and Bess on Broadway (October 10, 1935).

Harnoncourt considers Porgy and Bess to be the American opera, noting with enthusiasm that it is, for him: "important music for society at large… Whenever I hear anything about this work, I am always moved.“

Harnoncourt’s preparation for this production of Porgy and Bess was meticulous.


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces Fifth Annual National Design Week

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Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will host its fifth annual National Design Week from Oct. 9 through Oct. 17. The museum will offer free museum admission, sponsored by Target, along with a series of public programs and a range of online resources for students, teachers, design professionals and the general public to celebrate the important role that design plays in all aspects of daily life.
National Design Week is held in conjunction with Cooper-Hewitt’s most visible public education program, the National Design Awards. Now in its second decade, the Awards recognize the best in American design across a range of disciplines. The Award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner Thursday, Oct. 14, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. 

First launched at the White House in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards were established to promote excellence and innovation in design. The Awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops.
Public programs include:

Target Design Kids: Kid Made Modern, Saturday, Oct. 9, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Kids aged 5 to 12 are invited to create modern design pieces from everyday and recycled materials with Todd Oldham and crew. FREE. Advanced registration is required at Cooper-Hewitt (2 East 91st St., New York)

Teen Design Fair, 4:00-6:30 p.m.,
Tuesday, Oct. 12
New York City high school students are invited to learn about careers in design. The Teen Design Fair brings leading designers working in the fields of fashion, industrial, multimedia, graphic design and architecture, to meet one-on-one with students. A keynote address will be delivered by Tim Gunn, Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. and co-host of Lifetime TV’s Project Runway. Design colleges from around the country will also be on hand to provide admissions and scholarship information. FREE. Advanced registration is required at The Altman Building (135 West 18th St., New York)



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kare aikers Having eclipsed recent Oak Room records with her acclaimed Cole Porter show

In A Nutshell:

Elegance personified in a clinging blue gown, accented by a knotted strand of pearls, her Iconic hair style and striking bone structure, this is perhaps the finest Akers performance in recent memory.

Highlights include a haunting rendition of “Where or When,” a provocative rendering of “Isn’t It Romantic,” a poignant "It Never Entered My Mind" (saving the familiar lyric for the reprise) and a playful version of “Dancing on the Ceiling” “The Lady is a Tramp,” while well executed, didn’t require the updates in the lyrics (but what Hart lyric does?) 

Less familiar songs such as “This Funny World” and “A Lady Must Live” were a welcome addition. A striking take on "I Wish I Were In Love" was a show-within-a-show  while  “I Could Write a Book”, "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" and  a glorious interpretation of"My Funny Valentine" were give simple treatments and proved that less is indeed more.

intelligently  directed by Eric Michael Gillett with Don Rebic’s brilliant musical direction and the remarkable Dick Sarpola on bass, “Dancing on the Ceiling” is a must see!

Rating: A Major

last year, beautiful Karen Akers turns her attention and her beguiling voice to the songs of supreme melodist Richard Rodgers and bittersweet lyricist Lorenz Hart in her new show, “Dancing on the Ceiling.” From September 14th through October 23rd, Karen will offer her vivid interpretations of the songs of a pair of native New Yorkers who found astonishing success on Broadway, London’s West End and Hollywood.

“Dancing on the Ceiling” will play Tuesday thru Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11. There is a $60 cover per person weeknights and late shows and $65 for the early weekend shows, plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or



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It began in the Oak Room little more than a decade ago and has been performed

nearly 2,000 times coast to coast to universal acclaim.  Now, with its original cast of

co-creators Eric Comstock, Hilary Kole and Christopher Gines, OUR SINATRA returns to its first home for a limited two-week run from August 31st through September 11–a singing complement to Broadway’s current dancing tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes.  Kurt Stamm is director, and Richard Maltby, Jr., production supervisor.  Producer is Jack Lewin.

OUR SINATRA is a celebration of the magic and music of the legendary Frank Sinatra, and features over 50 Sinatra classics from his early years (“All or Nothing at All” –his first recording), from his movie career  (“My Kind of Town,” “All the Way”), saloon songs (“One For My Baby,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”) and the hits of the 50s and 60s (“Night and Day,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “The Lady is a Tramp”), among countless others.  

This stylish revue is not only a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, but to the illustrious Oak Room, which remains the Grande Dame of New York’s classic cabaret rooms, managing to be classy without being trendy, elegant sans snob and ever improving its food, which now rivals some of the best to be found in Manhattan supper clubs. This season, new oversized china has been added and preparations are more carefully executed and seasoned with authority. (Best new dish are Pan Seared Scallops on Acorn Squash Risotto). Service is warm and considerate.

But the show’s the thing and thanks to Barbara McGurn, you can depend on the most consistent lineup of talent in the city season after season.

OUR SINATRA  is bursting with terrific ensemble performances from Eric Comstock, Hilary Kole and Christopher Gines, The act is beautifully timed, staged and executed. And this is one of the few times in recent memory that 90 minutes whizzed by and left a full house of happy customers clamoring for more.

The complete song list, below, gives just a hint of the professional pacing, striking arrangements of range of emotions (and vocal talent) of this tantalizing trio. Memorable moments worth the price of admission include: the best version of “Everything  Happens to Me” – (Eric) I’ve every heard; a stunning “Old Man River” – (Chris) and a laid back and poignant rendition of “It Never Entered My Mind” – (Hillary).  An ideal introduction to the Fall, 2010 season. Long live The Oak Room.

OUR SINATRA plays Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11, with a $50 cover charge per person plus either $30 food and beverage minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner.   Reservations: bmcgurn@algonquin hotel.

com or 212 419-9331 (after 8/23) or 212 840 6800, Ext. 122.

Following this engagement, OUR SINATRA will perform in the Oak Room Monday evenings at 8:30, with new casts.   The cover charge will be $40 per person plus $30 minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner

The Program List

sinatra oak room 001