Late Summer Stars

W‘s arts and culture director shares her must-sees for August


Kate Bush is such a towering figure in British music that just about every other offbeat female vocalist gets compared to her. Beyond her sublime, otherworldly voice—just listen to Bush’s caterwauling on the 1985 album Hounds of Love—the singer-songwriter owes her mythic stature to her original, intermittent recordings and her choice to refrain from forging a media presence. Hard to imagine, that. It’s been 35 years since the reclusive Bush performed a full live show, but beginning August 26, she will take to the stage for “Before the Dawn,” a run of 22 performances in London—do what you must to get a ticket. In another rare outing, powerhouse actresses Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert team up to play homicidal housemaids Claire and Solange in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Jean Genet’s The Maids, coming to New York’s Lincoln Center Festival (August 6 through 16). The 1947 play—loosely based on the story of France’s notorious Papin sisters—details the sadistic rituals of sibling domestics who act out fantasies of murdering their employer. And if it’s a quiet escape you’re after, check out Mary Gordon’s The Liar’s Wife (Knopf, August 5), four novellas about Europeans in America and Americans abroad that are sure to set your mind traveling.