October 3, 2014 |
WHEN WE first heard Stephon Marbury was starring in a musical in China titled "I Am Marbury," we briefly morphed into Tom McGinnis and let go with a lusty, "Are you kidding me?" The 37-year-old Marbury, it seems, is a megastar in China. Bigger than Jerry Lewis in France or David Hasselhoff in Germany. Heck, there's even a statue of the two-time NBA All-Star outside the MasterCard Center in Beijing where he led the Ducks to the Chinese Basketball Association title in March. The musical, which opened last night in Beijing and runs 11 days, is sold out for the first three shows.
October 3, 2014 |
Once again, as we have seen so frequently and so recently in many countries, massive crowds of young people are demonstrating for democracy against a repressive government. This time the civic protests are ongoing in downtown Hong Kong. As in Cairo's Tahrir Square in 2011, or in the early days of Syria's uprising, or last fall in Kiev, or in Moscow's Pushkin Square in 2012, the crowd is predominantly youthful and nonviolent - and it has no clear leaders. Its participants are so earnest that they clean up the trash and separate plastic and paper for recycling.
May 25, 2014 |
BEIJING - The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2014 China Residency and Tour of Asia hit its stride Friday at the National Centre for the Performing Arts with a packed house that roared in response to a powerhouse performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 , clapping long and hard, and seeming doubly charmed when music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin turned to the audience and quietly said, "Xie xie" ("Thank you"). The Philadelphia players had gotten to know the hall's acoustics for a Mahler symphony that taps an orchestra to the max. One man confessed he was so moved that he had begun writing a rhapsodic letter to his fiancée to say how much he loved her. But while explaining this to Nézet-Séguin in the postconcert autograph line, he told the conductor, "I've also fallen in love with you!"
May 24, 2014 |
BEIJING - The Philadelphia Orchestra is used to veneration in China, but not like this. The orchestra was said to be "rewriting the history of our musical life" by Patrick Ren, executive director of programming at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts. Facing a battery of TV cameras Thursday morning, he said, "Every time they walk on stage, they are in some way . . . creating a new epoch. " His comment indicates that Year Three of the Philadelphia Orchestra's five-year plan with the National Centre is anything but redundant.
March 28, 2014 |
MOVIES MAY STOP production for any of a hundred reasons ("the script isn't ready," "we can't raise the money," "we've run out of money," etc.), but here's one you thankfully don't hear every day: The disaster movie "Deep Water," about a jet that crashes into the ocean on its way to Beijing, has been put on hold because of its similarities to the missing Malaysian plane, which disappeared on its way to . . . Beijing. Arclight Films said yesterday that preproduction has been halted for the time being.
February 5, 2014 |
In Sochi, the Black Sea resort hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, there are 24 varieties of palm trees. And if, for his entrance at Friday's opening ceremonies, some of their fronds were scattered at Vladimir Putin's feet, few would be surprised. Whether ultimately triumphal or tragic, the Sochi Games are Putin's miracle. The Russian leader, having overcome logistical, political, and historical hurdles to land his nation's first Winter Olympics, has become its face. "Has any Winter Olympic Games in history been so identified or attached to a national leader as these Games are to Mr. Putin?"
January 31, 2014 |
A BRAZILIAN gymnast who was expected to compete in freestyle skiing at the Sochi Olympics is unable to move her arms or legs and can't breathe on her own after she hit a tree while skiing in Utah this week, doctors said yesterday. Lais Souza , 25, is fighting for her life and will miss the Olympics, Brazilian team doctor Antonio Marttos said at a news conference in Salt Lake City. She was injured Monday when she hit a tree while skiing recreationally in Park City, Utah, in an accident that doctors said could have happened to anybody.
December 30, 2013 |
When it comes to foreign policy, 2013 was a great year for autocrats and radical Islamists. For democracies and would-be democrats, the last 12 months were pretty grim. Mercifully, there are no global wars on the horizon. But in 2013 we began to see more clearly the shape of a world in which America leads from behind. The view isn't pretty. China, Russia, and Iran rushed to fill the power vacuum, with intentions that challenge U.S. values and long-term interests. Al-Qaeda founded a new emirate in Syria; the hopes of Arab Spring democrats were crushed and the borders of the post-World War I Middle East began to crumble.
November 1, 2013 |
'I used to be afraid of China, but now I'm not anymore. " That's Paula Marantz Cohen's mother-in-law. She'd just seen Cohen's documentary Two Universities and the Future of China , airing on WHYY's Y Info channel on Saturday and Sunday. Cohen, professor of English at Drexel University, says, "That's the best reaction I could have hoped for. " A 2008 visit to China struck Cohen "with the energy and possibilities of this vast country. " After two years of writing, calling, and visits to the Chinese embassy in Washington, Cohen returned in 2010 for a scouting visit for a film.
July 22, 2013 |
BEIJING - A man in a wheelchair who was airing grievances set off a homemade bomb in a crowded terminal at Beijing's main airport on Saturday evening, injuring himself but no one else, Chinese state media and witnesses said. Order was quickly restored, and no flights were affected by the explosion at the airport's main international terminal, state-run China Central Television said on its microblog. The official Xinhua news agency said the man set off the device outside the arrivals exit of Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport around 6:24 p.m. It said that he was being treated for injuries, but that no one else was hurt in the explosion.