Arts in the News

A brief overview of the big events across the arts world

Music

Lou Reed, best known as the frontman of the rock band The Velvet Underground, died on Sunday at age 71. His cause of death was unclear, but reportedly related to a liver illness; although sober for decades, Reed previously had a well-known drug and alcohol addiction. Reed and The Velvet Underground had a great impact on American rock music and culture, contributing significantly to the avant-garde rock and pop art scenes.

 

Books

The newest project of J. J. Abrams, the director-producer most well known for his science fiction films, is a hardback novel titled “S.” In August, a video teaser for “S”  was released, showing a mysterious man climbing out of the ocean. The book is not a typical novel; when its normal cover is removed, “S” takes on the guise of a worn book titled “Ship of Theseus.” The margins of the book contain printed handwriting in different colors, and notes and letters can be found between the pages.

 

Broadway

The cast for the Broadway production of “Les Miserables” was announced on Tuesday. Veteran theater performers Ramin Karimloo (“The Phantom of the Opera”), Will Swenson (“Hair”), Nikki M. James (“The Book of Mormon”) and Caissie Levy (“Ghost”) will star as Jean Valjean, Javert, Eponine and Fantine, respectively. This will be the third stint of “Les Miserables” on Broadway. Previews will begin March 1 at the Imperial Theatre.

 

Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced a formal amendment to its lease with the City of New York. Since the 1970s, the Met has had a $25 suggested donation entrance fee, which has been commonly misinterpreted as a $25 required entrance fee due to underemphasis of “suggested donation.” The new amendment allows the Met to change its schedules, rates and events, including potentially establishing a required entrance fee.

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