Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland Votes to Approve Gay Marriage, Putting Country in Vanguard

By Danny Hakim and Douglas Dalby
A couple at Dublin Castle on Saturday.
IRELAND---Ireland became the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory Saturday for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change. With the final ballots counted, the vote was 62 percent in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, and 38 percent opposed. The turnout was large — more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million eligible voters cast ballots, and only one district out of 43 voted the measure down. [link]

Friday, May 22, 2015

God is big box office on Broadway this month

By Jeremy Gerard
Jim Parsons Transforms Into God for 'An Act of God'
NEW YORK---Who says Times Square is godless? That hasn’t been the case at least since Disney came back to Broadway, though as usual the deity must co-exist, however uneasily, with Mammon. At the Shubert-owned Booth (where, we hope, He has a wicked sense of humor and a taste for, well let’s just say the exotic), best-play Tony nominee Hand To God is building: 88% of the seats were filled. Meanwhile at Studio 54, which the Roundabout Theatre Company is renting out for the limited run, Jim Parsons’ first full week of previews in the comedy An Act Of God took in $774K, or 73% of its $1 million gross potential, filling 80% of the seats. [link]

Texas law protecting pastors passes Texas House

By Phil Prazan

TEXAS---A new bill is on its way to the Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk that would protect the clergy’s right to say “no.” It would allow pastors to excuse themselves from performing weddings that violate their religious beliefs. The final product garnered overwhelming support. I just wanted to clarify,” said Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, “this cannot force a church to perform a wedding it doesn’t want to. As it exists under current law.” [link]

“Unorthodox” at the Jewish Museum in New York

Zachary Harris. Linen Last Judgement, 2013-2014. Water-based paint, ink, linen, wood. 72 x 54 1/2 x 3/4 in. 182.9 x 138.4 x 1.9 cm. © Zachary Harris / Image provided by Feuer / Mesler Gallery and David Kordansky Gallery.
NEW YORK---The Jewish Museum in New York, in the United States, will hold a group exhibition called “Unorthodox”, from 6 November 2015 to 27 March 2016. The large-scale group exhibition will present more than 50 contemporary artists from around the world, whose practices cross forms and genres, without the constraints of artistic conventions. Even though the artists come from a variety of social situations and generations, they are united by their independent spirit and individuality. [link]

Italian police shut down art installation, "The Mosque" at Venice Biennale

By Randy Kennedy
A prayer service inside the mosque installation created by the artist Christoph Büchel on May 8. Credit Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times
ITALY---The police in Venice closed an art installation in the form of a functioning mosque on Friday morning.... The Icelandic Art Center, which commissioned the installation, said in a statement that it believed the aims of the mosque had been realized, in a sense, even if the installation was not allowed to remain open, as originally planned, over the course of the Biennale through November. [link]