March 2014 City Smart

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If you can’t make it to the English countryside for the weekend, a visit to the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library is just the ticket. That’s especially true this month, when the resplendent childhood home of American collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont opens its brilliant new exhibit, Costumes of Downton Abbey. Oh yes, Masterpiece mavens, you can spy Lady Sybil’s harem pants (God rest her soul), Lady Mary’s engagement dress (God rest Matthew’s soul) and Lady Edith’s wedding dress (don’t even get us started), along with 37 other glamorous get-ups paired with du Pont family duds and decorative items used during the same era. Note: Winterthur is home to one of the last of the original wild gardens, a style of horticultural design that was all the rage at the turn of the 20th century. Be sure to stop and smell the roses! Through Jan. 5, 2015, http://www.winterthur.org

Theater buffs rejoice! Time is on your side with the Kennedy Center’s three-week-long World Stages International Theater Festival 2014. Curated by Alicia Adams, the veritable smorgasbord of performing arts showcases nearly 250 artists from 20 countries in 13 productions—nine of which are U.S. premieres. Highlights include a video installation with multiple interpretations of Ophelia’s mad scene in “Hamlet,” an installation of puppets by Rosa Magalhães of the Pequeno Teatro of Brazil, an exhibition of costume sketches for Broadway’s “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “The Wiz” and the premiere of “Green Snake,” a play by the National Theater of China. Also on the agenda are discussions with participating directors and playwrights, staged readings and behind-the-scenes tours. March 10-30, http://www.kennedy-center.org

Always up for a new challenge, the wildly versatile James Franco will join our favorite actor du jour Chris O’Dowd (you’ve probably seen him in “Bridesmaids” but check out “Friends with Kids”) in the first Broadway production of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck’s classic novel Of Mice and Men in 40 years. The revival is directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro, and also stars “Gossip Girl’s” Leighton Meester whom, well, we’re giving the benefit of the doubt. In case you don’t remember honors English, “Of Mice and Men” is the story of George (Franco) and Lennie (O’Dowd)—two migrant workers during the Great Depression who develop an unlikely but deep friendship. Previews begin March 19. Make haste! http://www.ofmiceandmenonbroadway.com

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