Tag Archive | Radio City Music Hall

Eye On Design: Art Deco Lamp By Donald Deskey

Donald Deskey Art Deco Lamp
All Photos By Gail

Donald Deskey  (1894 – 1989) creator of the interiors at Radio City Music Hall, is a towering figure of modern design. This Art Deco Lamp (circa 1927) is a response to the upward thrust of the New York City skyline. Its boxy proportion echo a tall, narrow building, while on the two side panels, rectilinear puzzle-like patterns similarly evoke compressed architectural forms.

Donald Deskey Art Deco Lamp

The use of frosted glass in different textures activates the lamp’s surface, even as it diffuses the emitted light, and its compactness attests to Deskey’s awareness that he was typically designing for small domestic interiors.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: Ladies Powder Room Seating at Radio City Music Hall, By Donald Deskey

Furniture By Donald Deskey
Photo By Gail

Donald Deskey (November 23, 1894 – April 29, 1989) was an American industrial designer. Deskey’s approach to design was strongly influenced by the new European modernist principles he encountered while attending at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris and visiting the Bauhaus in Germany. Initially, Deskey experimented with these ideas at his company, Deskey-Vollmer, Inc., during the late 1920s. Most European modernist works, however, were made with expensive materials and labor-intensive procedures. These were characteristics that Americans were reluctant to embrace in the wake of the Depression. By the early 1930s, Deskey had struck out on his own and revised his approach. He made his designs more affordable and appropriate by adapting nontraditional materials, such as cork, aluminum, and steel, into his furniture and interiors. In 1932, he was awarded the commission to complete the interiors of Radio City Music Hall (RCMH) — the first public commission to feature these unlikely materials.

Although we now consider the interiors of this landmark theater to be a great achievement in the history of design, project manager Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel originally envisioned a more traditional rococo style. Deskey, a strong proponent of modernism, met Rothafel halfway by designing an interior in a style he called, “modern rococo.” Aluminum wallcoverings, whimsical modern patterns, and furniture made of Bakelite and tubular steel graced the halls, lobbies, and powder rooms of the theater.

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Craig Ferguson at Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Craig Ferguson Marquee
All Photos By Jamie Moroni

I love comedian Craig Ferguson as the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, but can rarely stay up late enough to watch it, so I was excited to have the chance to see Craig do Stand up at NYC’s best performance venue, Radio City Music Hall. Ferguson is so off the wall and charming, so I suspected he would put on a pretty good show, and I was not disappointed.

Craig Ferguson with Dancers
Ferguson is Ushered onto the Stage by a group of Rockette-Like Dancers

What stood out most for me was that Craig’s jokes are some of the most original bits I’ve heard in a stand up routine. I hadn’t heard any of them before, either on his talk show or via YouTube clips, so everything was totally fresh and hilarious.

While a bit in which Craig debated the correct pronunciation of the word “Clitoris” went on kind of longer than it needed to, he did manage to incorporate a distinctive and highly memorable hand gesture culled from that routine (you’ll recognize it if you see his act) into bits about Warren Beatty and possibly others as well. Hysterical! My friend, Jamie and I continued to make that gesture to each other while we hung out after the show! We were laughing so hard for well over an hour, and you know how you can hardly ever recall specific bits from a show like this after you leave the theater, because it moves so fast, but many jokes — such as his bit about Actors going to Rehab and a Drew Carry Joke that took him the entire length of the set to finish telling — stood out. Craig is awesome and I would see him again.

Craig Ferguson Suit

We also enjoyed the opening act, Josh Robert Thompson, who you will recognize as the voice of Craig’s Late Late Show gay robot skeleton Side Kick, Geoff Peterson. Thompson does spot on Morgan Freeman impersonation and his ability to actually transform his face into that of a young Robert Deniro for his “Happy Birthday to Me” bit was just amazing.

Top Ten Random Observances from Last Night’s MGMT Show at Radio City

Hurray for the Mr. Softee truck parked right across the street!

From the third mezzanine (thanks, Ticketmaster!) the band really did look like ants. It could have been anyone on that stage.

They charge $5 – Five Bucks – for a bottle of Coke in this place. Geez. At least they let you take it to your seat.

All female MGMT fans are between the ages of 18 and 23 and have straight, light to medium brown long hair. All of them. They are like Stepford fans, or something.

As stupid as I know I look when I dance in my seat because I am too lazy to stand up, the woman next to me, who resembled a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to do the Robot (note new fake band name: Tyrannosaurus Robot) as she danced to “Electric Feel” wins the prize for most retarded dance moves ever! Ever!

Estimated percentage of MGMT fans in attendance who actually know who Brian Eno is and can name one of his albums: 3%.

Attention, all people with ants in their pants: If you have an assigned seat number, please stay in it. Please do not move seats every time someone with a seat one row closer to the stage gets up to go to the can. You are annoying and I get pleasure from making fun of you.

What is it with these dipshits who compulsively need to text and send emails all throughout the show like they can’t even possibly continue to live if they aren’t in continuous contact with their friends on FaceBook and Twitter? Guys, get with the vibe of the music and pretend it’s the Seventies, when this techy shit didn’t even exist. And get a life while you’re at it.

If you light a match in the Ladies Room behind closed stall doors, the Radio City Toilet Police will come storming into the john and loudly threaten anyone with ears that, “If you are smoking in here, you will be kicked out!” Jesus lady, it was just a courtesy match. If you knew better, you would be glad I lit it.

As we battled our way back out onto the sidewalk after the show, a random MGMT fan tapped me on the shoulder and asked if she could take a picture with me, because she likes “Pink People” and not because she recognized me as a world-famous blogger. Just being serious. I enjoyed the attention, but am unsure if she was able to get my pink Chuck Taylor’s in the frame, because honestly, they would have made  the shot.

Read Geoffrey’s legitimate critical review of the show – complete with set list and pictures taken from a hundred miles away from the stage – at This Link.