Isaac Mizrahi’s sequel is coming to the Guggenheim NY


When artist and fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi can’t sleep, it’s usually the symphonic children’s fairy tale ‘Peter and the Wolf’ dancing in his brain late at night as he lies in bed , eyes closed.

“It’s really, really, deeply, deeply embedded in my physical and emotional system,” he said of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic. “Music seems magical to me. It transports me to another era.”

The piece was a big part of his life, with fond childhood memories of Leonard Bernstein’s recording, as well as David Bowie’s 1978 version.

Mizrahi’s take has been produced at the Guggenheim in New York since 2007, as part of the Performing Arts Series Works & Process.

Suffice it to say he has the tune memorized.

And so, “when this pandemic hit, I turned to those comforting thoughts,” he said.

And from these reflections was born the idea of ​​a complementary piece, a kind of sequel, which was commissioned by Works & Process. “Third Bird” will be presented at the Guggenheim from June 3 to 5.

Mizrahi wrote the libretto, narrates and directs, with music by Nico Muhly and choreography by John Heginbotham.

“Nico wrote a very comfortable score. It’s a very beautiful score,” Mizrahi said.

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The original piece, featuring the boy, the bird, the cat, the duck, the wolf and the grandfather, presents a static system of nature. His work – which includes three birds, an ornithologist, a zookeeper and a grandfather – hopes to show how the world has changed.

“The natural order of things now is much less about creatures eating each other and more about achievement and recognition and the desire to do something wonderful, the desire to be free,” he said.

Marjorie Folkman in a scene from the December production of

Mizrahi says this piece and his other recent adventures in performance have given him a new sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

“The reason I’m in show business now is because it brings that satisfaction and joy that’s other than the satisfaction and joy that you could get from fashion and clothes,” he said. he declared. “It’s a whole new level of joy. … It feels more essential to who I am.”

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“Third Bird” was developed through a Works & Process bubble residency in April 2021 at the Catskill Mountain Foundation, and a Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” residency in November 2021 at The Church in Sag Harbor, New York.

“There are things about it that feel so relevant to me,” he said. “There are also things about it that I find incredibly beautiful, and I hope that as a work it finds its place in the modern-day classical repertoire.”

The story continues under the gallery

Performances of “Third Bird” are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday June 3, and at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday June 4 and Sunday June 5. The 30-minute performances will take place in the Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. The show is recommended from 5 years old. Full vaccination is required. For more information, visit

To follow Mizrahi’s work, visit

Ilana Keller is an award-winning journalist and lifelong New Jersey resident who loves Broadway and really bad puns. She shines a light on arts advocacy and education, theater fundraisers and more in her “Sightlines” column. Connect with us on Twitter: @ilanakeller; [email protected]


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