★★★☆☆ Would the real Branden Jacobs-Jenkins please stand up? Throughout half a dozen plays, the restless, talented writer has flaunted a genius for polymorphous perversity. His output includes absurdist neo-minstrelsy (Neighbors), meta-historical race melodrama (An Octoroon), pitch-black workplace comedy (Gloria) and metaphysical family drama (War). His next move—of course—was to update the 15th-century English morality play Everyman.To be fair, satire runs clearly through Jacobs-Jenkins’s sensibility as well as a fascination with the ways in which blackness is appropriated and defamiliarized on stage. In Everybody, characters argue about racial insensitivity and political correctness, but that almost feels like a red herring. This time, the writer is chasing a bigger, faster-moving target: mortality and morality.In the source play, God enlists Death to call Everyman to account for how he lived his life. Terrified about facing extinction alone, our allegorical hero turns to family, friends and even anthropomorphized possessions for companionship as he travels to the other side. Each rejects Everyman in turn, until he is left with only his five senses to face the grave.For this very meta and saucy adaptation, Jacobs-Jenkins neutralizes gender and randomizes the casting: Five actors who, we're told, memorized the entire script (Brooke Bloom, Michael Braun, Louis Cancelmi, David Patrick Kelly and Lakisha Michelle May) are assigned their roles by lotto-style Ping-Pong balls. Th
As the leader of Parliament-Funkadelic, George Clinton has always been a tireless workhorse—his memoir lists nearly 60 albums in its “select discography”—and age has hardly slowed the 75-year-old. He’s still touring regularly, with a group that combines longtime P-Funk members and a new generation of musicians. Recently, Clinton has been working with electronic producer Flying Lotus, and he recently acted in FlyLo’s out-there film project, Kuso, which was reportedly gross enough to scare away several audience members at Sundance. Clinton revived his more free-form, rock-driven project Funkadelic with 2014's First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate, and plans to release a new Parliament album—full of classic horns and funk stomp—this spring. We caught up with Clinton before the mothership touches down in Times Square for his annual Fat Tuesday show. You’ve made music through a lot of politically challenging times. What’s it like now?It looks just like 1968. I can’t get away from the television. I don’t necessarily like looking at the news, but it’s happening so fast every day, and you’ve seen this story before. Did you know there was going to be some kind of backlash after having the first black president?No, no way. I saw it happening but I didn’t believe it. I got a thing, that we’re in socially engineered, anarchy-induced chaos. They play us against each other to the point that we’re all mad at each other and can’t explain or understand what we’re even mad about. I’ve heard ther
By any chance, were you in England last month to see the great Simon Russell Beale play Prospero in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new Tempest? No? Not to worry. Starting next week, a high-definition recording will be broadcast to select movie houses across North America. Gregory Doran’s staging, which opened to strong reviews at the RSC’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, was filmed for Live from Stratford-upon-Avon. New Yorkers can catch a screening at Symphony Space on March 15 or March 25.This innovative production of Shakespeare’s magical late play was developed with Intel, in association with Andy Serkis’s Imaginarium Studios. It aims to break new boundaries in theatrical staging with the first live-motion capture performance in a major classical stage production.Watching great theater, dance and opera from around the world is increasingly a matter of visiting your local movie theater. For years, the Metropolitan Opera and London’s National Theatre have brought their work to millions of viewers around the world. Here's a chance to see a great performer in a great play. With popcorn. For more information and tickets visit the RSC online.
Brace yourselves, sugar lovers: The Pop-Tarts Cafe is officially open in Times Square. Decked out in blue and white to echo Pop-Tarts packaging, the shop employs the toaster pastries in dishes like personal Pop-Tarts pizzas ($8), Tarty Tacos ($9) and Birthday Fiesta Nachos ($9), but those savory-sounding items are actually just desserts in disguise: Crumbled Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts sub in as the "ground beef" in the tacos and the Brown Sugar Cinnamon variety acts as the crust for the pizza. "Nachos" at Pop-Tarts CafePhotography: Courtesy of Pop-Tarts Cafe "Burritos" consist of chopped Pop-Tarts wrapped in a crepe with fillings like torched marshmallows with semi-sweet chocolate or banana slices with salted caramel sauce. There are even "salsas" (kiwi, strawberry) to dip them in, as well as a frosting "sour cream." Cake pops at Pop-Tarts CafePhotography: Courtesy of Pop-Tarts Cafe On the more traditionally sweet side, you can get loaded milkshakes, tiramisu and cake pops. Or, if you're a purist, you can get a single tart for a buck each or a flight of four for $3. You can even toast your Pop-Tart to your desired goldenness at a special toasting station. For the rest of the meals, diners are given a buzzer once an order's been placed, which they can then pick up in treat "lockers." The Pop-Tarts cafe will be open from 8am to 11pm daily at the Kellogg’s NYC shop until this Sunday, February 26th. Check out the space and the menu below: Photography: Kelsey Du
It may not say “RSVP” on the Statue of Liberty, but today it says “Refugees Welcome.” A giant red banner was unfurled on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty today with those two words in giant block letters. The Twitter account Alt Lady Liberty started tweeting out images of the sign about three hours ago. It’s still not clear who’s behind the banner, but the iconic monument has been a focal point for many of the protests against President Trump since his Executive Order banned travel from six majority-Muslim countries. That order, which has since been overturned by the courts, specifically prohibited Syrian refugees from entering the country. In a statement to the website Curbed, whoever’s behind the Alt Lady Liberty account had the following message: “The banner was hung today at about 12:45 PM. There were four people involved in hanging it. We have no group, but are just private citizens who feel that the principles that make America great are under attack. We wanted to send a reminder about the America we believe in.” Patriots unfurled a massive banner at the foot of Lady Liberty.When injustice is being perpetuated, we must all stand up#RefugeesWelcome pic.twitter.com/rz3Qtwzqco — Alt Lady Liberty (@AltStatLiberty) February 21, 2017
★★★☆☆ The theater must, of course, talk about gun violence. It's a powerful ethical call, to which the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Martín Zimmerman's On the Exhale responds. And though the play is actually an hour-long monologue tucked away in a tiny basement space, the Roundabout isn't burying the show. They've got Broadway talents down there: Leigh Silverman directs; Marin Ireland stars.Dressed in a cardigan and jeans and pacing a minuscule platform, Ireland plays a traumatized woman seeking out the wrong kinds of solace. Even before the much-foreshadowed tragedy, Ireland tells us she's a professor who believes a student will someday gun her down; the woman's also deliberately friendless, despite having a child who might need the occasional playdate. So it's not totally unexpected that this paranoid loner responds to an eventual shooting with instant derangement. Zimmerman creates a character whose feminism warps into a desire to seduce, whose pacifism tuns into a creepy attraction to a gun.As a moral construct, On the Exhale has weight, but as a play, it falters. Zimmerman is skilled: he shows a cinematic attention to detail and has a clever way of using storytelling techniques to shift focus and keep us disoriented. But ultimately, the characterization rings false. Zimmerman has written in the second person (“This is the first time you feel judged by your therapist”), which has a self-consciously literary flavor to it, as does much of his line-by-line dict
Some foods, from double-tortilla–wrapped tacos to dirty-water dogs, are well-suited to eat while standing. Steak isn't usually thought to be one of them, but Ikinari is looking to change that when it opens in the East Village (90 East 10th Street) this Thursday. At the first U.S. location of Kunio Ichinose's Tokyo-based standing steak restaurant chain—which has more than 100 locations throughout Japan—diners can choose between three thick cuts of 40-day wet-aged beef (ribeye, sirloin or filet) and note how many ounces they'd like (a minimum order is seven ounces or 10.6 ounces, depending on what cut has been chosen, but you can add more weight at an extra cost). Steaks are cut to order, cooked over an open fire and served with a daily vegetable at one of 40 standing stations, which are set with sauces like salt-and-pepper and the restaurant's signature soy-based J-Steak sauce. (There are also 10 seated tables.) The set menu makes for a quick, and cheap, meal: At lunchtime, you can get a 10-ounce chuck eye steak with salad, soup and rice for $20, tip included. Photograph: Courtesy of Ikinari People lining up at one of Ikinari's Japanese locationsPhotograph: Courtesy of Ikinari
Looks like Staten Island Chuck the groundhog was absolutely right about an early spring—after a gorgeous long weekend, NYC will hit a high of 68 degrees on Thursday, according to weather.gov. Sixty-eight degrees, a.k.a. the perfect temperature. That's three whole degrees higher than Phoenix, Arizona—a city that's literally in an arid desert—is projected for! Okay, so spring weather in the middle of February isn't great news for the planet at large, and we know that, but why focus on our city's future demise underwater after the melting of the ice caps when we can be outside enjoying brunch al fresco right now?!? (We need something to be happy about, okay?) Luckily we gathered all of the best things to do in spring to take advantage of right now, even though winter allegedly lasts for another month. Enjoy!
If this past weekend's record-smashing warm weather had you dreaming about summer nights at Prospect Park Bandshell, there's some good news. The first show in this year's BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival has been announced: Jazzy Brooklyn-based indie-pop band Lake Street Dive plays summer's first free show on Wednesday, June 7. That's in addition to the venue's previously announced ticketed shows that include the Shins on June 15 and Conor Oberst with Hop Along on July 20.
As if the ride to the airport wasn’t lovely enough, Port Authority is now reportedly considering a $4 “access fee” on all taxis ride to and from the three major NYC-area airports. The additional funds generated by the fee would be used to pay for improvements at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark. Other major airports in the country, including O'Hare and LAX, have similar fees in place. Public advocate Letitia James has called out the proposal, saying that it would create even more of burden for New Yorkers. “At a time when access to New York City’s airports is already limited, the Port Authority should be focused on improving public transportation options, not increasing burdens on consumers,” said James. Ride-sharing app Lyft has released a statement in favor of the fee. If the proposal passes, the extra $4 would start showing up on your airport taxi rides at the beginning of 2018. [Daily News]