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Everybody Has Always Hated MoMA

Every week, we’ll take you back into New York Magazine’s archives to showcase our extensive arts coverage. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of MoMA’s Yoshio Taniguchi Building, we unearthed Thomas B. Hess’s “MoMA and the Towering Limbo,” from March 15, 1976, which skewers MoMA’s plan at the time to build luxury apartments in order to stop dipping into its then-dwindling endowment.

Shoals of little shark’s grins was the initial observation on my scientific — i.e., totally random — poll of the Greater New York art community’s reaction to the Museum of Modern Art’s latest expansion program.

“What do you think of the MoMA tower?” I asked two museum directors, three dealers, one shrink, four critics, five artists, a visiting butter-and-egg woman, and about a dozen other fellow sinners. “What do you think about MoMA’s plan to double its gallery space by deeding its air rights to a corporation that will fill some of the air above the building with 40 stories of luxury condominium apartments?”

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  • Posted 11/20/14 at 5:55 PM
  • Tv

Hugh Laurie Returns to Comedy, Joins Veep

Veep has added one more accomplished funny person to its cast of accomplished funny people, as TVLine reports that Hugh Laurie has signed on for a recurring role in the show's fourth season. Neither Laurie nor HBO has said anything about his role; though it seems likely he'll play the new veep, we would pay at least three pound sterling to see him play a scheming prime minister. Anyway, look at Tony Hale's tweet below, and try to determine whether Laurie looks more presidential, ministerial, or even senatorial.

Allison Williams Would Rather You Not Hate-Watch Peter Pan Live!

If you're already planning on "hate-watching" NBC's Peter Pan Live!, well, lay off, said star Allison Williams to Time:

If you're going to watch this the same way that you watch a TV show that you hate, but you hate-watch it with all your friends so that you can drink wine and tweet at each other about how it's bad, you need to just go ahead and take those lenses out of your glasses and put in the lenses that you had when you were six.

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Adnan’s Family Just Gave Their First Interview About ‘Serial’

The major figures in the murder of Hae Min Lee have largely refrained from commenting publicly on "Serial," but on Thursday, CBS This Morning got Adnan Syed's family to talk about the podcast for the first time. Adnan's brother Yusef Syed told CBS's Jan Crawford that it's difficult to listen to: "I wake up as soon as they put it on ... Some days I'll be like, This is a really great episode, and some days I'll feel down and depressed." Syed says he's glad the show is helping his brother's case, but reminds the obsessed "Serial" fan base that "there's a real girl who died." Hae Min Lee's family has not spoken publicly since "Serial" premiered; the only clue about their thoughts comes in a Reddit post from someone purporting to be Hae's brother: "You weren't there to see your mom crying every night, having a heart attack when she got the news that the body was found, and going to court almost every day for a year seeing your mom weeping, crying, and fainting."

Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe Returning to Parks and Recreation

Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will appear in one episode of the final season of Parks and Recreation, TVLine reports. Their characters Ann and Chris moved away from Pawnee in episode 13 of last season, and Ann made a brief reappearance in episode 17, so really, Ann and Chris have barely been gone at all. The much more glaring absence is Parks itself not currently airing. Give the people a premiere date, NBC! When will we be back among the calzone-scented Hoosiers we so love?

Better Call Saul Gets a Premiere Date

We’ve been in the dark about Better Call Saul for a while now, but that’s about to change. AMC announced today that the Breaking Bad prequel will premiere on Sunday, February 8 at 10 p.m. The second episode will then air the next day, Monday, February 9, at 10 p.m. The show will then continue to air on Mondays at 10 p.m. The timing couldn’t be better. It avoids any confusion with the BCS title game, and it'll give you something to talk about with your loved one at yet another Valentine's Day dinner.

  • Posted 11/20/14 at 3:45 PM

Direction and Misdirection: An Appreciation of Mike Nichols, 1931–2014

If Mike Nichols ever produced anything as banal as a résumé, it would have looked highly suspicious, the humblebrag of a con man. He did too many things, they were too far-flung, and he was too successful at all of them. There was the career in sketch comedy with Elaine May, circa 1958 to 1962; they had three Top 40 albums and a Broadway hit and then broke up. Next came the switch to stage directing, which netted nine Tonys, from 1964 (Barefoot in the Park) to 2012 (Death of a Salesman). When he defected to Hollywood in 1966, it was cover-of-Newsweek news; soon he owned a local subspeciality, the superstar prestige pic, puppeteering everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Cher to (inevitably) Meryl into Oscar-bait performances. Was he also a classical-radio DJ? Yes. A Broadway producer? Yes. (He made a fortune on Annie.) An amateur wigmaster? Certainly — he lost all his hair in a freak childhood reaction to a whooping-cough vaccine. It goes without saying that he was an escape artist, and not just from the Nazis in 1938. He had two countries, three names, four wives, innumerable lives. Well, not quite innumerable; he died yesterday at 83. Or let’s say he reinvented himself again.

Has any aesthete ever worn his carnation so invisibly? »

  • Posted 11/20/14 at 3:10 PM
  • Theater

Disney’s Tom Schumacher on the Massive Success of The Lion King and How Broadway Has Changed Over 20 Years

As soon as Frozen became a "Let It Go"–powered hit animated movie, it was obvious that Disney would eventually develop it into a stage musical. While a date has not yet been announced for the Frozen show, it's in early stages of development and will likely be a hit, just like many of the titles that Disney Theatrical president Thomas Schumacher has helped bring to the stage. John Horn, host of Southern California Public Radio's new daily arts and entertainment show "The Frame," talked to Schumacher about a new production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is currently playing in La Jolla, California, and about how Broadway has changed in the two decades Schumacher has held his position. (Listen to part of Horn and Schumacher's interview below, and subscribe to "The Frame" at iTunes or Stitcher.)

"Tonight there are 18 productions produced by Disney Theatrical playing." »

  • Posted 11/20/14 at 3:02 PM
  • Art

We Smoked a Cigarette in the Whitney Last Night

Last night the annual Fall Studio Gala and Studio Party gave blue-chip collectors and artists the opportunity to bid a tearless adieu to cramped Museum Mile and wax poetic about the, uh, Meatpacking District. No one mentions starchitect Renzo Piano, who is responsible for building the fourth home for the Whitney Museum, a blobby mass on a stretch of Hudson waterfront that New Yorkers know from vodka commercials in which fully grown women can’t suppress the urge to hook arms before sliding out of a taxi. I suppose the neighborhood is getting the building it deserves, but the Whitney certainly isn’t.

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  • Posted 11/20/14 at 3:00 PM
  • Music

Country Singer Ty Herndon Is ‘Out and Proud’

Ty Herndon has been telling people he's gay for decades, but this week, he finally told People. "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," the country star tells the magazine. Herndon says he's been out to friends and family for a long time but was inspired by a Tony Robbins seminar to come out publicly. He hopes that his announcement "could help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been." 

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  • Posted 11/20/14 at 2:50 PM
  • Books

Amazon Jokes and Escapist Fantasy: The 2014 National Book Awards

Not since 1974, the year a disheveled comic pretended to be Thomas Pynchon and a streaker ran across the stage, has the National Book Awards ceremony felt as radical-chic as it did last night. Some of it had to do with the best emcee in years, Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), whose edges were as sharp as his timing. Maybe too sharp: His joke about African-American children’s-lit winner Jacqueline Woodson’s actual allergy to watermelon was roundly castigated today, and he’s issued an apology.

Fantasy versus reality. »

Vincent Kartheiser Goes to Antarctica in This Gorgeous New Trailer

Last season on Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser's Pete moved to California, and in the new movie Red Knot, Kartheiser is going even further afield: This time, he's heading all the way to Antarctica. Kartheiser and Olivia Thirlby play a married couple who finally decide to take a late, most unusual honeymoon aboard a research vessel that's heading to Earth's southernmost continent, but along the way, things get almost as icy between them as the dramatic, gorgeous glaciers they pass and peer at. Since the trailer for the film (opening December 5 at New York's IFC Center) is debuting exclusively on Vulture, you, too, can gawk at those stunning visuals, though you may be equally enticed by the sight of Kartheiser as a normal, modern-day dude with a healthy hairline. Enjoy!

  • Posted 11/20/14 at 2:29 PM
  • Obit

Frank Rich Remembers Mike Nichols

In February 1965, Mike Nichols was a rising stage-director best known as half of the comedy team of Nichols & May, the riotous byproduct of his and Elaine May’s collision as early members of the pioneering Chicago improv troupe the Compass Players. He was 33 years old. I was a 15-year-old high-school student working as a part-time ticket-taker at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., then a busy Broadway tryout house in the day when new plays were tweaked or overhauled on the road rather than in previews in New York. The National’s new attraction was The Odd Couple, Neil Simon’s third Broadway play. It had a middling advance sale. The stars were Art Carney, whose luster had faded a bit since his heyday as Jackie Gleason’s sidekick on television’s The Honeymooners in the 1950s, and Walter Matthau, a longtime character actor whose career had never taken off.

Nichols’s staging of The Odd Couple is the single funniest production of anything I’ve ever seen in the theater. »

  • Posted 11/20/14 at 2:00 PM

Trying to Understand Bill Cosby’s Stand-Up Now

Here are two things we know about Bill Cosby: He is a comedic genius, and a whole heap of his jokes aren’t funny anymore. Even worse, as suggested by the recent unearthing of a now-notorious bit about dosing women with Spanish Fly, some of his routines now scan as obvious hints of his alleged odious misbehavior

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  • Posted 11/20/14 at 2:00 PM
  • Leaked

Leaked Marilyn Manson Video Features a Lana Del Rey and Eli Roth Sexual-Assault Scene

A video featuring Lana Del Rey and director Eli Roth acting out a sexual assault leaked online today, reportedly from a scrapped Marilyn Manson video shoot. In an interview with Larry King last year, Eli Roth said that he'd shot the footage and it was "so sick, it's been locked in a vault for over a year." But as reported by Pitchfork, Manson's people completely deny his involvement: "This is not an upcoming Marilyn Manson video of any kind. It must be a fan video splicing up old Manson video footage with someone else's Lana Del Rey footage." The version below has been soundtracked by Del Rey's "Pretty When You Cry," although that pairing is not part of the original clip (which has since been taken down).

Tonight in the Art World: 5 Shows to See

We combed through tonight's gallery openings and events so you don't have to.

"Andy Warhol: 1950s Drawings"
Anton Kern Gallery, 532 W. 20th Street
November 20–December 20
How is an icon made? These 150 never-before-seen drawings offer a glimpse into how the young draftsman first perceived and filtered the images that would come to epitomize the Andy Warhol brand.

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  • Posted 11/20/14 at 1:50 PM
  • Tv

James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams Will Be Your Next 3 SNL Hosts

Saturday Night Live today announced the three hosts who will take us to the end of 2014. On December 6, James Franco will host, with Nicki Minaj as the musical guest; on December 13, it's Martin Freeman and Charli XCX; and on December 20, we get Amy Adams and One Direction. So: troll week, British week, adorable week. Freeman is the only first-time host of the trio — Franco has hosted twice before, while Adams has done it once — but he already has plenty of experience looking nervously into a camera.

Steve McQueen Finds His 12 Years a Slave Follow-Up

Earlier in the week, The Guardian reported from the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Hidden Heroes awards that Steve McQueen announced his next project would be a biopic about singer/actor/civil-rights activist Paul Robeson. That doesn’t appear to be the case, however, as The Hollywood Reporter reports the Oscar-winning director will next direct an adaptation of the 1980s British TV series Widows. McQueen has been a big fan of the show since he saw it as a teenager. The series focused on three wives of armed robbers. After their husbands were killed in a heist, the women (along with a fourth recruit) use their husband’s old books and accounts of past robberies to pull off a raid themselves. McQueen’s version will be set Stateside, probably because most Americans can only picture British people stealing tea bags and digestive biscuits.

John Cameron Mitchell Returning to Hedwig

John Cameron Mitchell will be donning a bouncy blond wig and mega go-go boots once again to reprise his role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, producers for the current revival announced today. Mitchell will headline an eight-week run beginning January 21, after Michael C. Hall finishes his stint, with Lena Hall continuing in her role as Yitzhak. Dreams do come true, kids! You can go home again, as long as home is a very successful revival of a show you co-created and starred in 25 years ago.

Which of These Scandal-Themed Candles Would You Buy?

It's Thursday night and it's time to watch Scandal. Maybe you're already looking forward to putting on your robe, pouring yourself a glass of Olivia Pope–inspired Shiraz, popping a fresh bowl of popcorn, and limbering those tweeting fingers. Maybe you're planning on lighting a candle ... or 20. How about some Scandal candles? Luckily for you, we've concocted our own line of scents — all designed to enhance your watching experience. Stand in the scent!

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