ARTS IN THE NEWS

Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away this past Sunday from an apparent drug overdose. Hoffman had several projects underway at the time, including the final installments of the Hunger Games series. He will still appear in Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2 as head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. Considered one of the most talented and ambitious actors of his generation, Hoffman was nominated four times for Academy Awards, including his 2005 win for his portrayal of Truman Capote in “Capote.”

Art 

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has proposed a plan for a new sculpture garden, partly to help mitigate anger over its unpopular decision to demolish the American Folk Art Museum as part of its current expansion. The sculpture garden, named for Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, will be open to the public. Amongst the changes coming to the MoMA in the near future are plans to make the entire first floor of the museum open to the public as well. The plan for a public sculpture garden has created controversy as the museum focuses on balancing its interest in being accessible to the public with managing foot traffic.

Book

A new chronicle of the Edward Snowden saga was released this week. “The Snowden Files,” by Luke Harding, pulls the curtain back even further on the secretive activities of the NSA, and adds to the pressing national debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security in the post 9/11 world.

Music

Broken Bells released their second album, “After the Disco,” this past week. Broken Bells is a collaboration between James Mercer (the singer and songwriter for The Shins) and Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse). This latest album features plenty of vintage equipment, invocations of 70s and 80s hitmakers and a more balanced approach to combining songs and effects.

Theater

Carly Rae Jepsen will take over the lead role in Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The role will be her first Broadway part and represents the culmination of her lifelong aspiration to sing on Broadway. Although Jepsen lacks formal broadway experience, the producers of the show were charmed by her upbeat attitude.

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