Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Dissonance Edition

Loitering in B Flat: In what might only guarantee more loitering from me if not a decrease in the loitering of anyone else, the National Portrait Gallery is now playing classical music outside in an effort to keep the kids away from its very perchable stairs, DCist reports. DCist also suggests the museum play Wagner's Ring cycle, which I'd counter is way too badass. If they really want to scare off the kids, go with Schoenberg, the man who emancipated dissonance.

Off the Marks? I think any observer of local theater will agree that Arena Stage has had an impressive, landmark season in its first year in the shiny new Mead Center for American Theater. Hence, this mostly fawning Peter Marks profile of Arena's artistic director, Molly Smith, from yesterday's Post. The piece acknowledges Smith's numerous missteps since she took the troupe's reins in 1998—"as [the 2000s] wore on, the picks seemed to get sloppier, bottoming out in 2009, with a collegiate-level revue of the songs of Irving Berlin—but the reason for the turnaround seems like a stretch to me: "The answer lies in educability and patience. Arena’s board of trustees stuck with Smith for the long haul as she learned about the institution, refined her mission and built her staff. And in concert with key lieutenants brought in from the outside such as Associate Artistic Director David Dower, she was able, as the company was waiting to move back into its Southwest Washington headquarters, to fashion a concrete vision for what Arena might become." I'll withhold judgement for another season.

Sort of Home News: Jeffry Cudlin is one of City Paper's art critics, but for his day job he's the director of exhibitions at the Arlington Arts Center; in August, he'll be leaving that post to teach at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. WCP art critic Kriston Capps profiles Trinidad's design-focused Industry Gallery in the PostWCP contributor Marcus K. Dowling waxes philosophic about awesome R Street NW DIY spot Subterranean A at the Pink Line Project's blog.

Today on Arts Desk: D.C. new old emo dudes Monument return with a new cassette; Goethe-Institut's latest show of German photography; reviews from the Source Festival.

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