Bloomberg Muse

The arts and culture desk of Bloomberg News

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Anthony Townsend came to lunch at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Nov. 13 to talk about his new book, “Smart
Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New
Utopia,” which explores the way cloud computing and cellular
networks can help manage urban regions with tens of millions of
people. He is research director at the independent Institute for
the Future in Silicon Valley and a senior research fellow at
NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management,
advising industry and government on issues of technology — how
to make it “human-centered, inclusive and resilient.” Photographer: Philip Lewis/Bloomberg

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Over lunch on Nov. 12 at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York, playwright Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori revealed the challenges of turning Alison Bechdel’s best-selling comic-book-style memoir, “Fun Home,” into the season’s most celebrated new musical. What many people didn’t remember, they said, was how much playfulness there was in the dark tale of a father’s secret life in the closet. The chief innovations of the show, which is running at the Public Theater, were to have the heroine played by three actresses at different ages, and adding more kids to the story.

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Jeffrey Horowitz, founding artistic director of Theatre for a New Audience, came to Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Nov. 11 to discuss his troupe’s new home in Brooklyn and its acclaimed inaugural production, Julie Taymor’s staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Called the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, the theater was made possible through a partnership between the city and the company’s private benefactors. They included a last-minute $10 million contribution from a London-based businessman who had never seen one of their shows, but was born in Brooklyn. Photographer: Philip Lewis/Bloomberg

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Doreen Bolger, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, attended a Muse lunch on Nov. 8 at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York. She discussed the museum’s remarkable holdings (including the world’s largest collection of Matisse), the BMA’s coming Centennial in 2014 and the success of the recent capital campaign that raised more than $70 million.

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Molly Smith came to Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Oct. 7 to discuss American theater and the art of presenting it in Washington, D.C. Smith, artistic director of Arena stage, spoke about her mission of nurturing diverse audiences and original playwrights. She reported that recently she’s been hearing from many journalists who are interested in writing for the stage. Photographer: Philip Lewis/Bloomberg

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Josef Joffe came to lunch at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Nov.7 to discuss “The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies,” published by Liveright/Norton. Joffe, editor-publisher of Germany’s weekly Die Zeit, talked about the declining fortunes of China with its aging population, while expressing confidence in the future of the U.S., citing immigration reform (inevitable) and superior schooling. Photographer: Philip Lewis/Bloomberg

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Matthew Bourne came to lunch at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Oct. 29 to talk about his “Sleeping Beauty,” which is playing at the City Center. His captivating adjustments to the story include a new time line, vampires and a gardener. And evil Carabosse has a handsomely glowering son who continues the curse. The British choreographer and storyteller looked back to his fantastically inventive “Swan Lake” — featuring male swans — and ahead to a new staging of “The Red Shoes.” He received a Tony award for “Mary Poppins.”

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Pulitzer-winning playwright Marsha Norman spoke with Muse on Oct. 28 about her Broadway-bound show with composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown, ”The Bridges of Madison County” about a traveling photographer and a love-starved housewife. Her big challenge, she said, was creating an appealing, humorous secondary couple as a counter to the romantic leads. Norman also talked about the serious challenges facing women in the theater. Photographer: James Tarmy/ Bloomberg

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Matthew Gurewitsch lunched at Bloomberg’s New York offices on Oct. 31. Now exotically ensconced on the island of Maui, Gurewitsch was once central to New York cultural life as a highly regarded commentator on art and music. He was surrounded by old friends including the conductor James Conlon, now music director of the Los Angeles Opera, author Daniel Mendelsohn, and his host, Manuela Hoelterhoff. Photographer: James Tarmy/ Bloomberg

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Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, visited Bloomberg world headquarters in New York on Oct. 23. She spoke of the ongoing battle with real-estate developers to preserve important buildings in Manhattan, especially around East Midtown’s Grand Central Terminal, where some 29 are unprotected. Photographer: Philip Lewis/Bloomberg

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