The two characters in Venezuelan playwright Virginia Urdaneta's new play come together doing something that real people in her homeland spend long hours doing, across the country, every day: waiting in line to buy scarce products from barren supermarket shelves. As the South American oil giant has gone from boom to bust in recent years, shortages, violent crime and the temptation to move abroad have become inescapable markers of Venezuelans' daily reality. The trend is an antidote to Venezuela's mainstream theater scene. "Venezuela is living a moment of pure absurdity.
Scheherazade, the story-telling Arabian queen from "One Thousand and One Nights," has captured the Western artistic imagination for centuries. In her latest incarnation, she is depicted by a violin as an empowered yet persecuted modern woman. John Adams, one of the leading US composers, has created a new Scheherazade who is chased by religious fanatics in the turmoil of the Arab Spring in a work which premiered Thursday evening at the New York Philharmonic. Adams called his 40-minute work a dramatic symphony -- the term coined by Berlioz for an orchestra pushing the boundaries of narrative -- and the violin expresses the full range of emotion of Scheherazade.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso.
MOUNTAINSIDE, N.J. (AP) — The gun is a triumph of American craftsmanship from the early 20th century, its sleek barrel familiar to anyone raised on the movies of Bogart and Cagney, "Scarface" and "Little Caesar."
Brock Lesnar will keep his heavyweight championship defenses on the WWE Network.
Blaze on New York's Fire Island ruins gay resort landmarks
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — An early morning blaze on Fire Island destroyed several structures, including two well-known landmarks in a historic gay resort, and required dozens of firefighters to respond by ferry from the mainland of Long Island, fire and police officials said Friday.
DETROIT (AP) — The Arab American National Museum is sending its exhibition about one of the earliest Arab-American settlements to Ellis Island, the same place where many of those immigrants first set foot in the U.S.
NEW YORK (AP) — Green Day front man and "American Idiot" co-creator Billie Joe Armstrong's new musical, the final installment of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit trilogy and the world premiere of a David Yazbek musical will be the highlights as the Atlantic Theater Company celebrates its 30th anniversary season.
BEIJING (AP) — Vin Diesel said Friday that the latest "Fast & Furious" film deserves a best picture Oscar but has two strikes against it when it comes to the Academy — it's an action flick and it's a sequel.