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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


Feb 28

American Dream/American Delusion: The Case for a Universal Basic Income

Taught by Phelim Kine
7 p.m. at WeWork // 205 Hudson

Sign Up - $15

Mar 2

Shakespeare Happy Hour | Think Olio 3rd Anniversary

Taught by Geoff Klock
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Mar 3

What is Food Anyway? Exploring Power and Individuality in the Things We Eat

Taught by Michael Haltenberger
7:30 p.m. at Brooklyn Art Library

Sign Up - $15

Mar 7

Scenius Party | Populism & the Voice of the People

Taught by Olio Happy Hour
7 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $0

Mar 8

Think Olio Read-In | The 2nd Amendment

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church

Sign Up - $5

Mar 8

Mar 9

Perverts, Creepers, and Freaks: A History of Sexual Perversions

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Mar 12

The American Moment: Victory, Dominance and Decline

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $15

Mar 15

A Radical Prescription for Democracy

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $25

Mar 16

The History of Tech & The Future of Sex

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

Sign Up - $20

Mar 21

The Problem of Evil

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Mar 23

OlioMuse | The Muse That Screams: Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8

Taught by Whitney George
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $25

Mar 30

Utopia Happy Hour | Thomas More and Afrofuturism

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

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!