January 6, 2011 | by David J. Hoffman
Arts news in brief

Radcliffe goes glam in new photo shoot

Still boyish at 21, Daniel Radcliffe may portray the teen wizard as more geeky than gonzo on the big screen as Harry Potter. But now you can see Radcliffe show off his inner wild man, going full wizard indeed to promote his upcoming film, the last of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”

Little Harry has grown up. Check out his cover photo shoot for the feature story “The Boy Magician Shape Shift,” in Dazed and Confused magazine. With festive face and body paint, at times grotesque, at other times glammed to the nines with feathers, Radcliffe is always sensual. He’s shown his wilder side before. A much-ballyhooed nude scene on stage at age 17 in Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play “Equus” happened in 2007 on London’s West End.

Next stop for Radcliffe is a planned 2011 revival of “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” in which he is reportedly seeking to re-sculpt his body, hoping for six-pack slimness for shirtless scenes as the musical’s window-washer.

He also sent a recent message to gay teens as a new spokesman for the Trevor Project, the LGBT youth crisis-prevention 24-hour hotline. Speaking of the recent rash of gay teen suicides, he said that “it has been heart-breaking for me (that) these young people were bullied and tormented by people that should have been their friends.”

(Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort)

Last weekend for ‘Grinch’ ice exhibit

This is the last weekend to see the impressive ice-sculpted show ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as it closes Sunday. Featuring the artistry of Chinese ice carvings, it’s housed in a special 15,000-square foot pavilion at the waterfront Gaylord National Harbor Resort. It’s near the Beltway at the Wilson Bridge, right across the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria, and it closes Sunday.

This one is perfect for kids of all ages, an indoor wonderland just 9 degrees above zero inside. Parkas are handed out to keep warm. It features 10 scenes from the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic story of the “Whoville-hating” Grinch, carved from two million pounds of ice, as well as a complete exhibition of the actual storybook artwork and commercial-art illustrations by Theodor Seuss Geisel, the American writer and cartoonist who died in 1991. For tickets and times, go to wefrozethegrinch.com or call 301-965-4000.

From left, Austin Johnson as Fritz, Emily Whitworth as Louise and Dalles Tolentino as the Nutcracker in Synetic's 'Nutcracker,' which continues through Jan. 16. (Photo by Ulia Kriskovets; courtesy of Synetic)

Synetic’s ‘Nutcracker’ features original music

Equally kid-friendly is a striking new twist on this tinseled old favorite — the original E.T.A. Hoffman tale of the enchanted Nutcracker Prince who saves a young girl from a nightmare attack of scampering mice — given it by educator and director Lilia Slavova. This version, which runs through Jan. 16 at the Synetic Family Theater’s Crystal City stage, 1800 S. Bell St. in Arlington, is virtually non-stop action and filled with whimsy and wonder, magic and movement, bright fun and broad farce.

Slavova’s re-imagining is shorn of most of Tchaikovsky’s music from the ballet suite and in its stead music from Synetic in-house composer Konstantine Lortkipandize is heard along with Bach, Beethoven and Stravinsky. For acting and dancing, including credible Russian-style leg-kicks and break-dance stunts, pay special attention to cute 22-year-old Austin Johnson who plays “Fritz” as a goofy 9 year old full of mischief, and lithe and limber Dallas Tolentino as the Nutcracker Prince. Tickets at 800-494-8497 or synetictheater.org.

Katz to speak at Foundry on controversial exhibit

Then there’s visual art, including, of course, the art world’s breakthrough museum show, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.” As has been widely reported, this is a display of the depiction of same-sex attraction in American art from the 19th century to today. It closes at the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F St N.W., on Feb 13.

The show’s co-curator Jonathan Katz, director of the doctoral program in visual studies at the State University of Buffalo, will discuss the firestorm over the recent political intervention in the exhibit to force the removal of the video “A Fire in the Belly,” at D.C.’s Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th St. N.W., Saturday Jan 15 at 4 p.m. Attendance at the lecture is free.

Transformer Gallery began showing the censored video after its removal from the show. Also there is a special exhibit there from through Jan. 30 to celebrate D.C.’s historic passage last year of the same-sex marriage law. The show features a juried selection from an “open call” for entries for visual representations of the theme of gay marriage. One of the artists featured is Bill Travis, a photographer of male nudes and art historian who recently moved to D.C. from New York City and whose show “Bodyscapes” just ended its own run at the D.C. Center on Jan 5. The reception for the show’s opening is tonight from 6 to 8.

Opera legend Renee Fleming plays the Kennedy Center this weekend. (Photo by Andrew Eccles)

Opera diva Fleming in recital this weekend

Grand opera’s sumptuous soprano celebrated by critics for her “creamy, generous tone” is expected to be as gorgeous as ever vocally when she appears in a Kennedy Center Concert Hall recital at 8 p.m. Saturday – a Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) event. Tickets at $47 to $125 are available through wpas.org or 202-785-WPAS.

Known as “the people’s diva,” Fleming sets the bar high for opera and lieder with such signature roles as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” and Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello.” Fleming also stars on Jan. 31 in another of her great roles, as Violetta in Verdi’s “La traviata,” when “Opera in Cinema” kicks off its new season, now presented at D.C.’s new West End Cinema. Tickets for $20 are at www.westendcinema.com.

‘Seasons’ suites to be heard at Cathedral

Just when cold winter releases its latest icy grip comes a vision from Vivaldi that there are indeed four seasons, celebrated in a centerpiece selection of three masterworks by the Shakespeare Library’s Folger Consort — in concert tonight and Saturday night in the majestic nave of Washington National Cathedral, located at Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, N.W.

Violinist Julie Andrijeski leads the baroque orchestra in the classic Vivaldi “Four Seasons” and also 17th century English composer Christopher Simpson’s fantasia suites for strings, “The Seasons.”

Rounding out the concert is the atmospheric music for John Cage’s 1947 ballet “The Seasons” — arranged for baroque instruments. American-born Cage, a composer and artist whose romantic partner for most of his life was dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, died in 1992 at age 78.

Get tickets from $30 at folger.edu/consort or 202-544-7077. Robert Aubry Davis also leads a free pre-concert discussion with Folger Consort artistic directors and musicians tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the cathedral’s Tower auditorium.

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