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Free As Gods: Picasso, Calder and Artists Take Center Stage

Picasso, scene from Parade

More than just stars on the art scene, Picasso and Calder took center stage in the world of theater. In 1917 Picasso fell in love with a ballerina in the Ballets Russes while creating scenery and costumes for his collaboration with Satie on the pathbreaking dance work, Parade. His stage designs changed the course of his painting. Alexander Calder, who has a major show at the Whitney this summer, created his famous Circus as well as the set for Satie's opera Socrate and many other theater works.

Cultural historian Charles A. Riley II, author of Free as Gods, will share the backstage secrets of Picasso, Calder, Leger, Chagall, Hockney, Kentridge, and many other contemporary artists who have found a home in the theater.


After Professor Riley's Olio, members from the company of The Other Side of Paradise invite you to listen to select songs from the musical. 
The Other Side of Paradise is a wild concert telling of the relationship between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, written by Angela Sclafani. Part concert, part theater, part 1920's underground apartment party, the night spans 40 years of history in one blazing 75 minute set. 
After selling out their world premiere at Ars Nova's ANT Fest, the jazz concert party has announced a speakeasy club tour in July. Tickets can be purchased here
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Recommended reading from Penguin Press:

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse, and the Birth of Modernist Art by Sue Roe

A lively and deeply researched group biography of the vibrant figures who invented modernist art in bohemian Paris at the dawn of the twentieth century.




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.


Other upcoming Olios


Aug 22

The Wisdom of Pop Culture

Taught by Geoff Klock
6:15 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $15

Aug 28

"I'll Play it First" - An Immersive Listening of Bitches Brew

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Aug 31

Selective Histories: Memory, Aesthetics, & Urban Art

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Sep 7

Should I Kill Myself or Have a Cup of Coffee?

Taught by Olio Happy Hour
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Sep 14

OlioHouse Launch | Eros: The Bittersweet

Taught by Jamie Warren
11:30 a.m. at OlioHouse

Sign Up - $60

Sep 21

Time, Desire, and Action: Ramayana and The Cosmic Game

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!