Mon 16 Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Usher in BAM’s 31st celebration with one of the founders of #BlackLivesMatter as well as racial justice and immigrant rights activist Opal Tometi, who will deliver what is bound to be a tearful and uplifting keynote speech. The memorial continues with show-stopping musical performances by gospel legends of the Institution Radio Choir and the bluesy Sacred Steel band the Campbell Brothers. Harlem Gospel Choir MLK Day MatineeThis soulful group of ladies and gents have an impressive vocal range, which garnered attention from music legends such as Bono, Diana Ross and Jimmy Cliff. Watch the world-famous choir take you to church during their mellifluous and exuberant homage to Martin Luther King Jr., and get ready for a religious experience that will surely bring you to your knees. Swing Stroll and Dance ClassDance through the birthplace of swing at this tour experience that requires some fancy footwork. Visit iconic Harlem dance institutions such as the Savoy, Alhambra Ballroom and Lenox Lounge, learn about the influence of Lindy Hop legend Frankie Manning and try your twirl at a dance class after the tour. Make sure your fox trot is on point! Bridget Everett and the Tender MomentsThe astonishing, totally fearless Everett has been playing more comedy shows these past few years, including opening for Amy Schumer, and she never fails to shake up a room with hits like "Boob Song." The towering sex goddess's triumphant set fi
Wakka Wakka’s madly audacious new show, Made in China, defies labels. It is, somehow, a musical satirical romantic puppet thriller; it also has elements of ghost story, issue play, kung fu flick and porno. It begins with a shock of lumpy, saggy puppet flesh: Bitter, middle-aged Mary (Peter Russo) sits stark naked on her couch, eating macaroni and talking to her dog. After trying to cheer herself up with a manic shopping spree, she opens a box of Christmas lights and finds a handwritten plea from a Chinese worker in a forced-labor camp. Although she tries to ignore it at first, the note winds up sucking her and her reticent Chinese-American neighbor, Eddie (Ariel Estrada), into a supernatural international adventure of self-discovery. Written and directed by Gwendolyn Warnock and Kirjan Waage, with a clever score by Yan Li, Made in China takes full advantage of the freedom that being a puppet show affords. Seven skilled performers, hidden in black clothes and veils, wrangle Waage’s full-body puppets in a variety of inventive sequences, including a zany comic number sung by Chinese-made appliances and an impressive dragon attack in a bamboo forest. The show may be a little messy—the personal plot is more sharply defined than the political one—but it’s packed with happy surprises. 59E59 Theaters (Off Broadway). By Gwendolyn Warnock and Kirjan Waage. Music and lyrics by Yan Li. Directed by Warnock and Waage. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 30mins. Click here for full tick
No one emerges unscathed from Paul Cameron Hardy’s insightful new play—including the audience. What starts as a raunchy comedy about a pair of low-level porn-industry pals escalates into something darker and poignant: a searing portrait of an alt-righter as a youngish man.Trevor (Eric T. Miller, painfully convincing) is the quintessential straight, clueless white dude, a no-name adult-film performer prone to casual racist and sexist behavior who pretends to be a party boy but deep down knows he’s tanking. His ambitious African-American roommate and coworker, Shawn (the charming RJ Brown), is constantly chilling with their new Asian neighbor, Alice (Jennifer Tsay, pitch-perfect). Trevor got Shawn into the biz, and they have a longtime codependent bromance, but as the latter moves up and on, his buddy unravels. Effectively staged by RJ Tolan and produced by EST’s emerging-writers collective Youngblood, Hardy’s sly one-act seduces with raucous laughs, then slowly shifts as tension builds within this sad, scary man. Politics are never mentioned, and yet, in the shadow of our catastrophic election, we know Trevor shouldn’t be dismissed as harmless. Mope’s sex talk and nudity aren’t what shock; the way it exposes our society’s just-below-the-surface fury is what truly jolts. Ensemble Studio Theatre (Off Broadway). By Paul Cameron Hardy. Directed by RJ Tolan. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 45mins. No intermission. Through Feb 4. Click here for full ticket and venue
Martin McDonagh plays leave a sour tang in the mouth, which actually helps you remember these shallow shockers afterward. His characters are stubbornly two-dimensional, his plots are mechanical with predictably bloody climaxes. The best of his writing digs a bit deeper: a fabulist caught in the gears of a police state in The Pillowman. Ranking just below that is The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), his breakout drama, a dance of death between scheming, malicious Mag (Marie Mullen) and her miserably virginal, middle-aged daughter, Maureen (Aisling O’Sullivan). If McDonagh dangles hope for the night to rise to heights of poetry and tragedy, he gleefully stomps it into the ground by the end.Tantalizingly, the first half of Beauty Queen is almost a pared-down Celtic riff on The Glass Menagerie: overbearing mother, daughter with mental problems, a gentleman caller (Marty Rea) who offers escape from a stifling household. For a fourth presence, there’s no Tom Wingfield waxing lyrical on the sidelines; instead it’s Ray Dooley (Aaron Monaghan), an imbecilic local who, unbeknownst to him, figures large in the story. See, Ray is supposed to deliver an important letter to Maureen, and to her alone.… Ah, but I’m spoiling the plot, and plot is practically all this playwright has.That’s not entirely fair: McDonagh has a great ear for the repetitive, singsong blather of his rural Irish characters, who are bored to death and keen to gossip and nurse grudges or goad each other into arg
So you're thinking about moving to the greatest city on earth? Or you just moved here and you're not sure you've got what it takes? Either way, here are 11 signs that'll prove you were destined to be right here in NYC: 1. Crowds don't faze you. Whether it's a packed elevator, a subway so full you can barely find a pole to grab onto or Times Square at 5pm two days before Christmas, you charge ahead straight into the masses. 2. If you could avoid sitting in a car for weeks, months or, hell, even years at a time, you'd be ecstatic. 3. Paying a small fortune on rent is totally worth it if its means you can walk to amazing restaurants or quickly access the city's great cultural institutions. 4. The idea of residing within a mile of thousands of people creating art, innovating their industries and developing new ideas excites you more than it stresses you out. 5. You wouldn't mind sleeping in a bedroom barely big enough for a twin bed, because you plan on being outside exploring during your waking hours anyway. 6. You always want to be running off to a show, exhibit, party, restaurant or experience. 7. You see backyards as an inconvenience and would rather get in your outdoor time at a public park. 8. Sleeping through sirens, ragers and screaming babies is no problem for you. 9. You've got style in spades. 10. Bars closing at 2am—or even worse, midnight—is just too darn early. You don't even leave the house until 11pm. 11. Whenever you see a prized play
Over the past year or so, plans for an expansion for the Museum of Natural History have been announced and approved. Now new details are emerging of what people can expect when the new addition—the 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation—opens in 2020. A lot of it, as it turns out, involves bugs. Courtesy Ralph Appelbaum Associates The futuristic design by Chicago-based Studio Gang architects includes two major sections devoted to bugs: A state-of-the-art Insectarium (the first such facility in a half century) and a Butterfly Vivarium that will upgrade the current Butterfly Conservatory. Both galleries will be loaded with interactive, high-tech exhibits while the Vivarium will also have live butterflies flitting about. Courtesy Ralph Appelbaum Associates The Gilder Center itself is anchored by 21,000-square-foot glass-walled Collection Core equipped with observation areas that allow visitors to watch scientists at work. In all, the new addition will contain 3.9 million specimens or about ten percent of the museum’s total collection.
This April, the New York Botanical Garden is giving you one more reason to spring to the Bronx: a brand-new exhibit by Dale Chihuly. The renowned artist will be making the garden's 250 acres of budding flowerbeds, stunning vistas and Victorian-style glass conservatory even more dazzling with his famed glass sculptures. As light and colors interact with the near-translucent geometric pieces, the already gorgeous environment will gain a new life. Chihuly's works will be scattered among the grounds and buildings, with sculptures particularly curated and designed for various spots. The Native Plant Garden and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool will see their water features transformed by dramatic hand-blown stained glass sculptures, while a new multicolor neon sculpture takes over the Conservatory Courtyard. Fans of Chihuly's 2015 holiday windows at Barneys and his 2006 exhibit, the last time he was at NYGB, will be happy to learn that the whimsical, delicate "Blue Herons" will return to roost in a new display at the Haupt Conservatory. Drawings, paintings and other paper works by the artist will also be on view at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. Chihuly opens April 22 and runs through October 29, giving you ample opportunity to see the exhibit with the changing seasons as a backdrop. The garden will be open for special nights as well, so visitors can see the glass change with the sunset.
If you're like me and the grief you are feeling in response to our current political situation is keeping you from sleeping at night, it looks like you've got a place to go this month. On Saturday January 28, one week after inauguration, the French Embassy and Brooklyn Public Library are hosting a twelve-hour Night of Philosophy and Ideas, a marathon political recuperation session featuring talks, readings, yoga and food. Starting at 7pm, you can catch talks on politics, philosophy and big issues of the time, like "Ivanka at Colonus" by William Baker (10pm), "Resistance to Unjust Immigration" by Javier Hidalgo (12:30am) and "On Tragedy" by Simon Critchley at 5am. Balancing out the discussions will be performances from Trisha Brown Dance Company (8pm), virtual reality experiences (9pm) and other performances and screenings throughout the night. If you're feeling oversaturated, you can pull a Party Girl and just wander the stacks late into the night. A Night of Philosophy and Ideas is on Saturday January 28 7pm–7am. You can learn more about the free event here.
The Brooklyn-centric Exponential Festival runs longer than the other festivals; while the Manhattan fests whizz by in a cloud of dust, Exponential's programming extends in leisurely fashion past the end of the month. "That's so Brooklyn!" I hear you say. Yes, indeed. Taking its time, crafting artisanal product, waiting patiently for the G (which is actually so much better now)—that's the BK way.RECOMMENDED: January festivals guide, Under the Radar roundup and Coil festival roundupMore time means two of the fest's marquee offerings are fully produced shows with long sit-down runs. Both are hugely worth seeing. Fresh off their much-lauded A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, playwright Kate Benson and director Lee Sunday Evans present the feel-weird comedy [PORTO] at the Bushwick Starr. The armature of the show is a meet-cute romance: The lonely Porto (Julia Sirna-Frest) frequents a local gastropub run by Doug the Bartender (Noel Joseph Allain) and Raphael the Waiter (Ugo Chukwu). Porto's blitzed friend Dry Sac (Leah Karpel) usually gets the guys—she's got that beauty-plus-damage quality—but tall, dark newcomer Hennepin (Jorge Cordova) may, shall we say, have a taste for a finer vintage.Sweet, right? But Benson likes to play with meta-narration, and here she provides stage directions, speaking them herself in a voice-over that sometimes seems audible to the play's characters. Her interjections can turn pushy (she calls a blackout out of p
After wandering in the wilderness (well, the Beacon Theatre) for a time, the Tony Awards will finally come back to Radio City Music Hall on June 11 for its 71st annual ceremony. The Tonys have called Radio City home for 20 years, and have been broadcast on CBS since 1978.“Bringing Broadway’s biggest night back to Radio City Music Hall truly feels like returning home,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “Over the years, we have created some magical and iconic moments at Radio City, and we are thrilled to return and share the stories of this year’s incredible season on Broadway.”No word yet on who the host will be (last year, you'll remember, it was James Corden). The Tony eligibility cut-off date will be April 27, for all Broadway productions opening in the 2016–17 season. Productions which meet all other eligibility requirements and open on or before the eligibility date are considered eligible for 2017 Tony nominations, which will be announced on May 2.