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The New Yorker

The New Yorker January 9, 2017

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Nicholas Schmidle ( “Can Football Be Saved ?,” p. 38), a staff writer, is a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton this spring. Tad Friend ( “California Dreamin’,” p. 32) has been a staff writer since 1998. Jerome Groopman (Books, p. 70), the Recanati Professor of Medicine at Harvard, has written several books, the most recent of which is “Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You,” with Dr. Pamela Hartzband. Jelani Cobb (Comment, p. 19) teaches in the journalism program at Columbia University. Jena Friedman (Shouts & Murmurs, p. 31) is a comedian and filmmaker. Her standup special, “American Cunt,” will be available on iTunes later this month. Kelefa Sanneh (“Secret Admirers,” p. 24) is a staff writer. Ian Frazier (“High-Rise Greens,” p. 52) recently published “Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces,” and…

2 min.
the mail

WHAT’S IN A WORD? Hilton Als, in his review of the play “Sweet Charity,” takes the director Leigh Silverman to task for her seriousness of purpose (“Dear Heart,” December 5th). “The problem is that she’s too serious about theatre; she wants her shows to count—to have a moral purpose,” he writes. “Sometimes a play is just a play, and not all of her productions can bear the weight of her imperative.” Throughout the review, Als stops just short of telling Silverman, “Smile more!” Have we really not moved beyond this tired critique of women’s work and ambition? How can The New Yorker justify taking aim at a woman because she wants her work to “matter”? This unexamined cliché is disheartening, and diminishes both Als and your publication. “A play is just…

7 min.
goings on about town

JANUARY 4 - 10, 2017 Lee Fields has earned the grit that coats his voice. With more than four decades of wear, his imperfectly preserved instrument might sound familiar to devotees of Stax and Chess. The North Carolina native, who plays Irving Plaza Jan. 7 with his band, the Expressions, is more revisionist than revivalist, performing as if the horns and Rhodes pianos of soul music had never given way to disco. His latest side, “Special Night,” arrives via Big Crown Records, a budding Greenpoint soul label pressing seven-inch singles. ART MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES Metropolitan Museum “Jerusalem, 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven” In this captivating show of some two hundred objects from the era of the Crusades, there are manuscripts, maps, paintings, sculptures, architectural fragments, reliquaries, ceramics, glass, fabrics, astrolabes, jewelry, weapons, and, especially, books—in nine…

11 min.
the theatre

G.I. Jive Rare Second World War musicals resurface, at “Under the Radar. A FEW YEARS before writing “Guys and Dolls,” which premièred in 1950, Frank Loesser put his sizable talents to work for Uncle Sam, when the U.S. Army hired him to collaborate on a series of musicals to be performed by and for the troops. Commissioned by the Special Services Division to boost morale, these “Blueprint Specials” came with a script, a score, and instructions for easy assemblage. (“The gags and situations are of the type to hit the GI funnybone. . . . The scenery can be knocked together in a jiffy from scrap materials found in even the loneliest outpost.”) Loesser, who had been writing lyrics for Hollywood before the war, cut his teeth crafting songs for camp shows…

17 min.
classical music

In Extremis Women of indestructible spirit dominate this year’s Prototype Festival. Several decades after Catherine Clément wrote “Opera, or the Undoing of Women,” a classic feminist critique, women still frequently come to grief on opera stages. The form can’t seem to dispense with what Clément describes as a punitive adoration of female singers: “They suffer, they cry, they die.” Yet modern tales of doomed heroines tend to reflect a more progressive, critical sensibility, particularly when female composers take the helm. Such revisionism could almost be the theme of this year’s Prototype Festival, which, in the past four years, has become essential to the evolution of American opera. On the bill are Missy Mazzoli’s “Breaking the Waves” ( Jan. 6-9), about a Scottish wife who sacrifices herself to aid her maimed husband; David…

8 min.
night life

New Routes As young producers redefine fame, RJD2 remains heard and not seen. HIP-HOP PRODUCERS HAVE long had to conjure up a voice to build recognition: Dr. Dre and Kanye West learned to rap; Mike Will Made-It and Metro Boomin added sonic name tags to their beats. But in recent years amateurs have emerged at the fore via new channels. SoundCloud, the audio-hosting service, has provided young beatsmiths with a social network all their own, where they share mixes and build followings without the need for a rapper’s endorsement, gaining micro-fame in the process. Policy updates suggest the company is smartly turning its attention toward this organic community: SoundCloud’s founder and tech manager, Eric Wahlforss, recently explained to the German magazine Groove that the service would no longer terminate accounts for uploading…