In Wednesday’s (3/4) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “Instead of focusing on another country, the major festival at the Kennedy Center next year will focus on another landscape: the terrain inhabited by artists with various disabilities, from deafness to diabetes, around the world. This was a highlight of the 2009-10 season schedule, which the Kennedy Center announced at a news conference yesterday. … The Kennedy Center hasn’t cut back its artistic budget for this season, according to the center’s president, Michael Kaiser, who says the $89 million price tag is in line with other seasons.” Other highlights include the return of the Mariinsky Theatre in a production of Prokofiev’s “War and Peace”; a visit by the Bolshoi Ballet in February; the first Washington performance of Balanchine’s “Nutcracker”; “Golden Age,” a new play commissioned from Terrence McNally; and “the Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ the production directed by Liv Ullmann, with Cate Blanchett as Stella. … The National Symphony Orchestra is offering a similar balance of the new-but-safe and the familiar. The new involves a two-program series conducted by the composer John Adams … There are a string of debuting conductors unknown to many Americans: Juraj Valcuha, Jakub Hrusa and Alexander Vedernikov. There’s also a new piano concerto from the fine composer Jennifer Higdon.”

Posted 3/4/2009