Marie Antoinette’s Head:

One of the final humiliations Marie Antoinette suffered, after languishing in a filthy prison cell, waiting for her execution, was to have her hair chopped off in order to offer a clean surface for the blade of the guillotine. Practical perhaps, but also the ultimate insult, according to "Marie Antoinette’s  ...

Culturevulture Critics Picks in Film for 2013

George Wu After the lackluster 2012, 2013 was a superb year for movies delivering excellence in every genre from dramas ("The Wind Rises," "Captain Phillips") to comedies ("American Hustle," "This Is the End") to documentaries ("Twenty Feet from Stardom," "The Act of Killing"), but explorations of romantic relationships ruled  ...

Sherlock on PBS (Season 3)

In case you haven’t watched “Sherlock” Season 1 or 2, the protagonist of this exciting television crime drama, acted by Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Fifth Estate,” “Star Trek into Darkness”), is a young 21st century Sherlock Holmes who portrays all the brilliance, remoteness and idiosyncrasies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s conception.  ...

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) (2013)

For those of us who still believe that commercial art forms like the movies have the potential to be transformative—“The Great Beauty,” an Italian film by Paulo Sorrentino, is a gift.  A contemporary film with classical ideals—concerned with art, beauty, love, and, mostly, death—“The Great Beauty” is a Fellini film  ...

David Greilsammer at Kennedy Center

Making his Kennedy Center debut, pianist David Greilsammer is not only a talented musician but also a man with engaging ideas that reach out to audiences across a wide spectrum of musical history. As part of its Hayes Piano Series, Washington Performing Arts Society knew how appealing Greilsammer’s program of  ...

Turner and the Sea

Given Britain's fine maritime heritage, and the painter John Mallard William Turner's unerring ability to capture the mercurial nature of the sea, it is perhaps surprising that there has never been a full-scale exhibition of his marine paintings before now, especially when one considers that his seascapes make up more  ...

Classical Crossovers

Dec. 31, 2013 Bramwell Tovey, conductor Tracy Dahl, soprano Travis and Jaimee Tuft, Joanna Meller, Slawek Roszak, MalachI Osai and Waszkiewicz, dancers Conductor-composer Bramwell Tovey was such a huge hit conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Christmas concert last year and he was back for this year’s New  ...

The Invisible Woman

      A strong, carefully directed period film with an excellent cast, “The Invisible Woman,” lets us into Charles Dickens’s personal life. This is not a film about the good-hearted Christmas-loving Dickens. Rather, it concerns Dickens’s 13-year clandestine affair with Nelly Ternan (fabulous Felicity Jones),  ...

BodyVox, on tour

BodyVox That rowdy dance troupe from Portland, Oregon known as BodyVox returned to their avid fan base at Dance Celebration in Philadelphia. They performed The Cutting Room an ambitious, erratic multi-media dance satire about movies. It was conceived by BVX’s artistic directors-choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, veterans of  ...

Downton Abbey, Season 4

With the new year comes “Downton Abbey, Season 4,” the continuation of the spellbinding costume drama created and written by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes. It’s another season of fascinating “must see” television (usually an oxymoron). PBS, taking full advantage of “Downton’s” popularity, as it should, has aired a Season  ...