Carter Brown, the 41-year-old director of Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, will be a dervish this Bicentennial year. Due to have well over two million visitors, the National Gallery has already fired its opening salute—a dazzling “European Vision of America,” including such Americana as Bartholdi’s model for the Statue of Liberty. Still to come, in June, is “The Eye of Thomas Jefferson,” the broadest survey ever of the Founding Father’s passionate interest in art and architecture. And November will bring the first U.S. showing of King Tut’s treasures, on loan from Sadat’s Egypt.
Katharine Hepburn is coming back to Broadway. Six years after she last appeared there in Coco, the three-time Oscar winner will tread the boards again, this time as star of A Matter of Gravity, a drawing room comedy by Enid Bagnold (National Velvet, The Chalk Garden). Kate plays a dowager whose turf is invaded by her prodigal grandson’s kinky friends. Although the play got mixed reviews during tryouts in Philadelphia, Washington and New Haven (it opens in New York on Feb. 3), Hepburn, now 66, is packing in the customers. And, to the delight of her producers, she is working scale—$345 a week—until Gravity gets off the ground.
Martha Graham and Rudolf Nureyev may appear an odd couple indeed. Graham is 81; Rudolf a mere 37. But already the Lucifer ballet she choreographed for him last June is becoming a modern classic. And Graham’s newest—and 152nd—ballet, inspired by Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and again designed for Nureyev, is kicking off the ’76 season. Graham sees no incongruity in a Russian playing the puritanical Reverend Dimmesdale—nor in the theme. She explains: “After all, I have always been preoccupied with the theme of intolerance.”
Tatiana Trayanos, 32, is guaranteed cries of Brava! Brava! at her Rosenkavalier Met debut in March. The American mezzo-soprano has for a decade won cheers abroad for a luscious voice and sensuous stage presence in such roles as Carmen.
James Levine, a bespectacled, bushy-haired wunderkind, will be taking over America’s No. 1 opera showcase, the New York Metropolitan. A former child prodigy pianist, Levine (rhymes with divine) has been the Met’s principal conductor since age 29, and in the latest round of revolving doors was named the opera house’s ultimate artistic director, to assume full control next fall. He hopes to generate excitement by adding 20th century works and luring more American singers. Says Levine, only 32: “At my age I’ve got the energy and idealism to give it a try.”
Twyla Tharp, at 33, is emerging as ballet’s hottest young choreographer. Indiana-born, California-raised and Barnard-educated, she formed her own avant-garde troupe ten years ago and scored with original, athletic dances like Deuce Coupe—set to Beach Boys songs and evoking “freeways, Los Angeles and Hollywood Boulevard when I was 18.” Blending classic ballet with pop dance, Tharp is completing a work for American Ballet Theatre’s winter season, to star Mikhail Baryshnikov, and soloing in her own latest work, Sue’s Leg.