BOTTOM’S UP: Not since the days of Henry Kissinger rolling into town from Harvard University has Washington gotten such a kick of adrenaline from the Cambridge establishment. Only this time, instead of ushering in a new world order, the Harvard campus served up a cadre of nearly naked, glitter-covered dancing boys from the American Repertory Theater. The occasion was the Harman Center for the Arts’ tribute, directed by Michael Kahn, to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” complete with cinema clips of a 15-year-old Mickey Rooney performing in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 movie version of the play, and Rooney himself, who, for a while, refused to cede the stage to award winner Sir Ian McKellen. Meanwhile, conductor Lorin Maazel, 79, stopped by to plug his summer music festival at Castleton Farms in rural Virginia before heading off to rescue the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “James Levine fell ill, and I’m on the next plane to Boston to help fill in,” said Maazel, who left the New York Philharmonic at the end of June and is now scheduled to return to the podium Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 to lead the Boston orchestra in Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9, including performances of Beethoven’s Sixth and Seventh symphonies at Carnegie Hall in November. “The last thing I want to think about is the Beethoven Cycle. I’m supposed to be on vacation,” said Maazel, adding that from New York, he’s off to Europe to conduct London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic.
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