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.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jun 19

The (Un)Enlightenment and What it Means to be Modern

Taught by Lev Moscow
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jun 20

Believing is Seeing

Taught by Briana Toole
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $15

Jun 22

OlioHouse | Breaking Bread: An Olio Salon Dinner

Taught by Brian Lewis
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

The Artist in an Alternative World

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

OlioTour | Federal Hall & African Burial Ground

Taught by Jamie Warren
6 p.m. at Federal Hall

Sign Up - $0

Jun 26

Jun 27

The Long History of Selfie Culture

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism Weekend

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 7

Museum Trip | 'The 80s Show' Private Tour

Taught by Charles Riley
2 p.m. at Nassau County Museum of Art

Sign Up - $20

Jul 13

OlioHouse | Considering The Tyranny of Choice

Taught by Michael Haltenberger
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 25

Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Taught by Jessica Murphy
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


Find out when we launch new classes!