Now that summer has come and gone, many city dwellers are ready to get back to a few unofficial metropolitan sports — table-hopping and theater-going. Of course, neither activity happens without technology of some sort.
IN THE WINGS: Last season, more than 12 million people made their way to a Broadway theater, with 44 new productions raising their curtains. Here, a look at some set to bow in the next few weeks.
This story first appeared in the September 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Mia Farrow, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Candice Bergen and Carol Burnett are among the actors lined up to be part of the rotating cast that performs A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters.” The Pulitzer-nominated play officially opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Sept. 18.
James Earl Jones is the big draw for the latest incarnation of “You Can’t Take it With You,” which first opened on Broadway in 1936, although the younger set will no doubt turn up for “Bridesmaids” star Rose Byrne. In town for fashion week, British designer Jeff Banks planned to see the show before jetting back to London.
The National Ballet of Canada has brought Christopher Wheeldon’s fantastical “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to the David H. Koch Theater through Sunday. With other-worldy costumes by Bob Crowley and an upbeat score by Joby Talbot, the Lewis Carroll-inspired piece has a decidedly contemporary spin.
Central Park’s Delacorte Theater kicks off the 11th Fall for Dance festival featuring Lil Buck and dancers from the New York City Ballet in Damian Woetzel’s new project, among other pieces. Dance fans line up for free tickets Friday and Saturday.
Rachel Dratch will headline “Tail! Spin!” — a political comedy based solely on the actual e-mails, texts, tweets, IMs and interviews relayed by Anthony Weiner, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig and Mark Foley in the wake of each of their respective sex scandals. Previews start Sept. 18, with the opening set for Oct. 1 at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project.
Looking further out, Maggie Gyllenhaal will make her Broadway debut opposite Ewan McGregor in “The Real Thing,” with previews set to start Oct. 2.
MENU MANIA: With an estimated 1,000 restaurants opening in New York each year and 80 percent closing within the first five years, there is no time to spare for booking tables at these up-and-comers.
Kurt Gutenbrunner is putting the finishing touches on a redesign of Upholstery Store: Food and Wine Bar for the opening later this month. Having created a following for his contemporary Austrian fare thanks to restaurants like Wallsé and Blaue Gans, the chef will be going the sharing route with dishes like oysters with tuna and caviar, shrimp pappardelle and venison with wild mushrooms and blackberries.
He and his partner Leo Schneemann tapped 212box to play up a modern Austrian interior that includes a print of Wiener Werkstatte founder Koloman Moser. The duo have expanded their 713 Washington Street address by purchasing the adjacent space, which dates back to the 1870s and is now known as Upholstery Store, where diners will find banquette seating, marble tables and a Josef Hoffmann-type chandelier.
Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, who run the Buvette and I Sodi, respectively, are set to opening a third West Village location, Via Carota, on Grove Street. Inspired by Sodi’s grandmother’s 13th century home in the village of Bagno a Ripoli, Via Carota is designed with an assortment of reclaimed woods, as well as such repurposed pieces as chapel chairs.
As a sort of double entendre, the twosome hope that regulars and newbies will worship their sharing-friendly delicacies. Sodi, a longtime Calvin Klein executive, will be certain that the staff is dressed impeccably. The pair intend to offer breakfast though maybe not right out of the gate, since everything about their restaurant is meant to be when it feels right, Williams said.
Nestled in the leafier section of SoHo, Bar Hugo offers patrons a rooftop view from atop the sleek new Hotel Hugo. Run by Sean Largotta, the maestro behind The Lion and Crown, this Marcello Pozzi-designed watering hole has an S-shaped bar, a constellation of colorful blown-glass pendants and views of the Statue of Liberty and The Chrysler Building. After a banana daiquiri, a Manhattan or a star anise negroni or two, the cocktail crowd can order small plates from chef Carlo Bigi, who also mans the Il Principe, the hotel’s main restaurant on the ground floor.
Chef Charlie Palmer is leaving his stamp all over New York this fall. With Crimson & Rye open in the Lipstick Building, he is gearing up for next week’s opening of Charlie Palmer Steak at 3 East 54th Street. Later this year, he will unveil three Knickerbocker Hotel spaces, Jake’s at the Nick, Charlie Palmer at the Nick and St. Cloud rooftop bar. And at the D&D Building, an event space, Upper Story by Charlie Palmer, aims for a November debut
Meanwhile, Indochine and Acme vets Jean-Marc Houmard and Hui Chi Lee are finessing Tijuana Picnic at 151 Essex Street, which was once Laugh Lounge, while Mexican chef Enrique Olvera is gearing up to start welcoming diners to Cosme in the Flatiron District later this month.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: The average American spends 11 hours a day with electronic media, though that figure does include old-fashioned TV and live radio. Here’s a glimpse of a few tech-minded pursuits.
Those who want to explore the reliance on technology can check out the new Nam June Paik show, “Becoming Robot,” at the Asia Society. Known as the “father of video art,” Paik envisioned the possibilities of an Internet-like network and coined the term “electronic superhighway” in 1974.
Opening Friday, Eyebeam and Shapeways present “Matter That Moves,” an exhibition of 3-D-printed fashion garments. Stemming from a Computational Fashion Master Class in July, where 10 fashion designers, engineers and media artists from North America and Asia came together to learn tech skills and collaboratively design work, the exhibit features four garments that function as an extension or augmentation of the body, exploring concepts such as fashion as a “second skin,” as well as responsive and kinetic structures that can change shape based on the body or environmental conditions. The exhibition takes place at Hotel Particulier in Manhattan.
Over on Governors island, where there is no Internet or cell-phone service, Eyebeam Off-The-Grid features such work as Ingrid Burrington’s “LittleNets,” which sets up site-specific mesh networks with things that might be useful to have on a remote island — simple communication tools, artworks and games, and Torkwase Dyson’s sculptural installation “Solar Day,” addressing the intersection of and mutual relationship between sunlight, interior architecture, space, belonging and periodicity. The exhibit runs through Sept. 28.
The Chelsea retailer Story and tech giant Intel have teamed up to explore the convergence of style and technology. Through Oct. 5, shoppers and stoppers-by the 144 10th Avenue location can check out such wearable technology as Ringly connected cocktail rings, Withings Activité watch-meets-activity tracker, iFetch’s automatic tennis ball launcher and Mimo Baby’s connected baby monitor-meets-onesie.
“Everyone is talking about wearables,” said Story founder Rachel Shechtman. “However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We wanted to acknowledge the scope of the space, both in merchandise and store experience.”