On the Town: Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

May 9, 2013

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The Dowager Countess of Grantham said it best, "Nothing succeeds like excess." This upcoming weekend is certainly bound to be one full of excess—Baz Luhrmann's long-awaited film adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits theaters on Friday, and it seems as though the city has gotten in the spirit with a slew of opulent and over-the-top arts events! So grab a couple bottles of Monica and Chandler and let's get this weekend started. Thanks, champagne!


A Gatsby opera! What could be a more perfect pairing with the film's hip hop score than John Harbison's opera inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel? Commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera in 1999 and beautifully interpreting the aural landscape of the jazz age, this opera will be presented in concert by Emmanuel Music at Jordan Hall. Featuring a world-class cast and a pre-concert talk with the composer, this Boston premiere is sure to delight!

The Great Gatsby: By John Harbison; Conducted by Ryan Turner. At New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall; 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston; emmanuelmusic.org. May 12 only. @emmanuelmusic


A musical based on this very column, who knew? Just kidding (but wouldn't that be fun?!). Comden and Green's classic story of three sailors's excess during 24 hours of shore leave in New York City is inspired by Jerome Robbins' ballet, Fancy Free (which you may remember was presented by Boston Ballet last season). Given such a short period of time to enjoy the city, these boys cram in as much as they can: romance, sightseeing, and singing and dancing to an unparalleled Bernstein score.

On the Town: Book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Music by Leonard Bernstein; Directed by Spiro Veloudos; Music direction by Jonathan Goldberg; Choreography and musical staging by Ilyse Robbins. At the Lyric Stage Company of Boston; 140 Clarendon Street, Boston; lyricstage.com. Through June 8. @lyricstageco


It could be argued that nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch invented excess. Her name has been described as the "nightlife equivalent of a couture label" by The New York Times. Taking a night off from hosting New York's hottest parties, Bartsch is coming to Boston on Saturday night and bringing one of her bacchanals with her. Aided by the likes of Amanda Lepore and Joey Arias, enhanced by outlandish attire, and with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the One Boston fund, you have no excuses to miss this party.

Bartschland: At Space 57 at the Revere Hotel; 200 Stuart Street, Boston; reverehotel.com. May 11 only. #bartschland