Featured NYC events in September 2018
One of the top things to do in New York this fall includes two weeks of drinking some of the best beer in NYC during Oktoberfest. Take in the beautiful fall foliage while drinking at one of the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York City. Oktoberfest New Yorkers, take advantage of this glorious holiday to sample fine Bavarian beer and food. Prost!
Get camera-ready for Fashion Week 2018. NYC will be filled with a stampede of posh editors, bloggers, stylists and shutterbugs. (They will be invading your favorite coffee shops and cafes. You’ve been warned). Tickets to some of the major runway shows aren’t available to the general public, but newsflash: you don’t have to be part of the elite fashion world to feel like an insider. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don't fret—we’ve got you covered.
Get excited for the coolest event during Fashion Week 2018. NYC is the home base for 29Rooms—Refinery29’s stellar and interactive exhibition featuring 29 rooms designed by retail brands, artists and other creatives. This event will definitely be one of the most Instagrammed New York attractions of the year. For more information on this immersive funhouse, we’ve provided all the essential details—including how to snag last-minute tickets—below.
Dîner en Blanc—NYC’s pièce de résistance of picnics—returns to New York every year to give Gothamites an opportunity to show off their all-white wardrobe, decorative skills and Top Chef-level cooking. The location for the event changes every year, which makes the party hard to crash. But if you register your table in advance, you can partake in one of the coolest secret things to do in NYC and one of the best things to do outside.
The Oscars of street food returns for its 14th annual roving-eats smackdown, where nominated food trucks, stalls and pushcarts post up on Governor’s Island to compete for your final vote. Experience cuisine from all around the world with diverse offerings from top contenders. Public nominations determine the winner, so you get to choose by casting a ballot to crown the next food truck champ.
You’re king (or queen) of the world! Hop aboard Hornblower’s Sensation and cruise along the Hudson while taking in unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline. Each ticket includes one beer (don't worry, there's a cash bar, too) to loosen you up to hit the dance floor with live DJs on all three of the Sensation's decks. Plus there will be light bites, games, giveaways, and more. And, yes, we’ll forgive you if you say, “I’m on a boat!” all night long. (We’ll be saying it too.)
This food-centric market features Bronx-based vendors serving up tamales, soul food, latkes, ice cream, pastries, elotes and vegan creations, plus libations from the Bronx Brewery, Port Morris Distillery, Brox Beer Hall and others. In addition to all of the delicious provisions, the market offers nifty wares from local artisans and live music performances from Bonx musicians. Come appreciate all that NYC's northernmost borough has to offer.
This live talent showcase invites authors, comedians, scientists and others to present researched stories on a wide range of interesting topics. Presentations include spoken word, musical compositions, photography and more. The fall tour is the biggest one yet, with stops in San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and other spots. This time, they hit BAM with an excellent lineup and musical support from the Magik* Magik Orchestra. September's edition features multimedia stories from Rebecca Skloot (#1 New York Times bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Ann Friedman (co-host, Call Your Girlfriend), Ed Yong (The Atlantic), Yowei Shaw (NPR's Invisibilia), Emily Dreyfuss (Wired), Jason Parham (Wired, Spook), Meg Smaker (filmmaker, Boxeadora), and NYC's own Landon Nordeman (photographer, New Yorker, New York Times) among others. They're set to discuss thirst traps through the ages, terrorist rehabilitation centers, small-town American businesses, robot ethics, flower extinction and other interesting topics.
Lions, tigers and bears—oh my! The Bronx Zoo goes all out every Halloween season, and this weekend kicks of its month of spooky festivites. Drop in to take a hayride through a haunted forest, watch live performances, get wowed by a mentalist, participate in a costume parade and lots more.
The Color Factory NYC is officially open to the public as of Monday, August 20, and the experience is red hot. Actually, it covers a spectrum of hues, and it is guaranteed to be one of the most vibrant, educational and downright enjoyable Instagrammable moments you’ve encountered in New York. It really blue us away. The interactive exhibition, which is located in Soho, was designed and launched by event planner Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day (a crafts and celebrations blog) to help visitors explore the fun and importance of color. There are 16 rooms to explore throughout the 20,000-square-foot space which showcase immersive artwork from local writers, poets and musicians. The event got its start in San Francisco, but the Gotham iteration is very much an ode to New York, as there are various poems and tips for folks who live in the Big Apple throughout. Similar activiations such as a baby-blue ball pit remain in addition to a disco-themed dancefloor, oddball artifacts (think puke-inspired art) presented by the Mmuseumm and more. Best of all, you can wander through the installation phone-free (if you want.) Upon entry, you are given a card to scan at each of the various photographic experiences inside. The photos will be sent directly to your email, so you can focus on enjoying the art versus panicking over taking the perfect picture. That’s pretty convenient, but what we really love is that this ticketed attraction ($38) is worth the price in freebies alone. During your visit
Selling Fast in September 2018
Tom and Betsy Salamon’s unique adventure—part interactive theater, part scavenger hunt, part walking tour—draws participants into an amusing web of puzzles and intrigue. You can choose between the three-hour New York tour, which takes participants through various neighborhoods of lower Manhattan, or the two-hour Village tour, which travels through quirky Greenwich Village on Saturdays. Groups of as many as 11 are booked every half hour.
Talented singers from the Broadway and cabaret worlds sing side by side in this tribute to the master of musical theater that has often featured former cast members of Sondheim shows. Guests at the September episode include Annie Golden, Sarah Rice, Hunter Ryan Herlicka, Seth Sikes and the Marquee Five.
Two piano men battle it out to prove who is truly the master of all 88 keys, with a playlist decided entirely by the audience. Whether you’re in the mood for Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera or current chart toppers, these pianists are up for the challenge. But they expect you to do your part by singing along.
Broadway by the Year impresario Scott Siegel curates this monthly concert series, in which Broadway stars sing some of the Great White Way's best-loved tunes. Performers at the September edition include Lisa Howard, John Cudia, Danny Gardner, Ward Billeisen, Maxine Linehan and Brian Charles Rooney.
It's been two years since Dev Hynes released his stunning 2016 effort, Freetown Sound. A complex, swirling affair, Freetown cemented his status as a multi-talented alt-pop visionary. Back in April, Hynes teased the release of a proper follow-up to that album; in August, his new full-lenth, Negro Swan, arrived. Count on hearing from that release when he takes the stage for this SummerStage gig.
Self-billed as "the hardest-working middle-aged man in show business," old-school comedian-singer and nightlife survivor Hill looks like he should be entertaining at an Elks Club dinner in 1958—and that's how he likes it. In his new solo show, directed and cowritten by Scott Wittman (Hairpray), Hill digs into the darker side of his life as a pillar of downtown performance. He is backed by the Early Bird Specials, a swinging combo led by Paul Leschen.
A member of the local vocal group Marquee Five makes her solo cabaret debut with a show about chasing stardom in New York City.
Performance artist, countertenor, choreographer and professional oddity John Kelly keeps his head in the Clouds and works Blue in a musical homage to the stubbornly idiosyncratic Canadian songbird Joni Mitchell.
With the start of a new season comes a new wave of young powerhouses ready to risk their reputations for a chance at eternal glory on the iconic Apollo stage. Your cheers (or boos) will decide who receives the night’s biggest honor—Top Dog—along with a cash prize of $20,000. Consider this your chance to see legends in the making before they become household names.
The Tony-winning star of Jersey Boys, both the Broadway musical and the Clint Eastwood film, brings his musical highs and puppyish eyes back to Feinstein's/54 Below in a new set that focuses on songs from the Great White Way, including selections from Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz, Hair and Hamilton.
Theater events in September 2018
Hamilton: Theater review by David Cote What is left to say? After Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s prodigious quill scratched out 12 volumes of nation-building fiscal and military policy; after Lin-Manuel Miranda turned that titanic achievement (via Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography) into the greatest American musical in decades; after every critic in town (including me) praised the Public Theater world premiere to high heaven; and after seeing this language-drunk, rhyme-crazy dynamo a second time, I can only marvel: We've used up all the damn words. Wait, here are three stragglers, straight from the heart: I love Hamilton. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right. A sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda’s uniquely personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith, Hamilton hits multilevel culture buttons, hard. No wonder the show was anointed a sensation before even opening. Assuming you don’t know the basics, Hamilton is a (mostly) rapped-through biomusical about an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who came to New York, served as secretary to General Washington, fought against the redcoats, authored most of the Federalist Papers defending the Constitution, founded the Treasury and the New York Post and even made time for an extramarital affair that he damage-controlled in a scandal-stanching pamp
In this captivating original musical, Hello, Dolly! scene-stealer Taylor Trensch now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Read the full review.
If theater is your religion and the Broadway musical your sect, you've been woefully faith-challenged of late. Venturesome, boundary-pushing works such as Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal closed too soon. American Idiot was shamefully ignored at the Tonys and will be gone in three weeks. Meanwhile, that airborne infection Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark dominates headlines and rakes in millions, without even opening. Celebrities and corporate brands sell poor material, innovation gets shown the door, and crap floats to the top. It's enough to turn you heretic, to sing along with The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers: "Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt-a, fuck you in the eye." Such deeply penetrating lyrics offer a smidgen of the manifold scato-theological joys to be had at this viciously hilarious treat crafted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez, who cowrote Avenue Q. As you laugh your head off at perky Latter-day Saints tap-dancing while fiercely repressing gay tendencies deep in the African bush, you will be transported back ten years, when The Producers and Urinetown resurrected American musical comedy, imbuing time-tested conventions with metatheatrical irreverence and a healthy dose of bad-taste humor. Brimming with cheerful obscenity, sharp satire and catchy tunes, The Book of Mormon is a sick mystic revelation, the most exuberantly entertaining Broadway musical in years. The high
Theater review by Adam Feldman The world of Harry Potter has arrived on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it is a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, the two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with stagecraft on a scale heretofore unimagined. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom to immerse us in the narrative. It works: The experience is transporting. Jack Thorne’s play, based on a story he wrote with Rowling and Tiffany, extends the Potter narrative while remaining true to its core concerns. Love and friendship and kindness are its central values, but they don’t come easily: They are bound up in guilt, loneliness and fear. Harry (Jamie Parker) is weighted with trauma dating back to his childhood, which hinders his ability to communicate with his troubled middle son, Albus (Sam Clemmett); it doesn’t help that Albus’s only friend is the bookish outcast Scorpius Malfoy (the exceptional Anthony Boyle), son of Harry’s erstwhile enemy, Draco (Alex Price). Despite the best intentions of Harry’s solid wife, Ginny (Poppy Miller), and his friends Hermione (Noma Dumezweni) and Ron (Paul Thornley), things turn dark very fast. Set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Neil Austin keep much of the stage shrouded in
Theater review by Adam Feldman “I'm no hero, that’s understood,” sings Bruce Springsteen in “Thunder Road,” self-effacingly but also with the knowledge that a cardinal rule of heroism is denying it. He's got the dirty hood, sure, but it’s a hoodwink of a kind, and in the extraordinary concert show Springsteen on Broadway he is candid about that: Rock stardom, he says, is partly “a magic trick.” He's the young man without a driver’s license writing songs about the road; the artist costumed in the “factory clothes” of his emotionally withholding father; the working man who is also always the Boss. For more than four decades, Springsteen has maintained a sturdy performance of authenticity. He writes unforgettable character songs and sings them, essentially, as an actor; between them, he recites eloquently plain-spoken monologues—full of lists that touch on joy and sex and pain—that he writes for the character of Bruce. So Springsteen on Broadway is less of a contradiction in terms than it may seem. Dressed in simple black with no band (though his wife, Patti Scialfa, joins him for two duets), he performs what amounts to a two-hour solo musical about himself, a rock-star cabaret act. The hits are here, including “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” but stripped down and edged with wistfulness; “Born in the U.S.A.” is pared into a skeletal, nearly a cappella blues. It’s an intimate show and a generous one, not just to past friends and collaborators but also to the audience,
[Note: The review below is for a 2014 version of this show, which was then titled The Imbible. A revised version now plays at New World Stages. A different, brunch-theater edition, titled Day Drinking, plays on weekend matinees.] Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet. That description of Anthony Caporale’s The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking may sound far-out, but the show is both educational and entertaining. (It's also a fine showcase for a cappella classics arranged by Josh Ehrlich and performed by a gifted ensemble that includes the show's director, soprano Nicole DiMattei.) Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. And the show's lessons—on subjects like the drinks served at Prohibition-era speakeasies, the origin of the gin and tonic, and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink—can be washed down with complimentary, thematically appropriate beverages. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.” That makes the show a must-see for anyone who enjoys free booze, which is probably nearly everyone.—Amelia Bienstock
Theater review by Helen Shaw When you walk into Say Something Bunny!, you enter another time. You might not notice that at first, because the brick office space where it takes place is so determinedly ordinary-looking. The small audience sits around a doughnut-shaped conference table, and as Alison S.M. Kobayashi begins her multimedia docuplay, some spectators are already paging through the scripts that have been placed in front of each chair. The text turns out to be the full transcript of a real, unlabeled 65-year-old recording that Kobayashi found hidden in an antique wire recorder: the audio relic of a teenage boy in Woodmere, Queens, enthusiastically taping two dozen family members and neighbors. Kobayashi has listened to the recording hundreds of times and has a seemingly boundless interest in the people whose voices it preserves, including amateur recordist David, mother Juliette and neighbor Bunny. She conducts us through a pair of after-dinner conversations, the first in 1952—she deduced the date from song lyrics mentioned on the wire—and the second in 1954. Aided by coauthor Christopher Allen, she pursues hints and half-heard jokes to determine who these people were and what befell them; she shows us the census records she used to find their old houses. The play unspools unhurriedly, leaving space for Kobayashi to make jokes, play short films and highlight points of historical interest. It takes a while for it to sink in that—of course—many of these vibrant people
This musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz addresses surprisingly complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, fighting fascism. Thanks to Winnie Holzman’s witty book and Stephen Schwartz’s pop-inflected score, Wicked soars. The current cast includes Jackie Burns as Elphaba and Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda.
Theater review by Diane Snyder For seven Harry Potter novels, the mediocrities of the Hogwarts house Hufflepuff lived in the shadow of their overachieving schoolmates. Matt Cox’s Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic gives them their due. In this funny and affectionate homage to J.K. Rowling’s world of wiz kids, Harry, Hermione and Ron take a back seat to average American wizard Wayne (Zac Moon), goth gal Megan (Julie Ann Earls) and math genius Oliver (Langston Belton), who is stuck at a school that doesn’t even teach his subject. They may not be at the top of the class, and they’re not wild about Harry, but they persevere through adversity and find power in friendship. A press release asks that the word parody be avoided in describing Puffs, but much of the show’s comedy is clearly aimed at Potterphiles. The 11 cast members play an assortment of characters, from a mumbling potions master to a squeaky house elf, and some of the jokes will be lost on those with no knowledge of the films or books. But even Potter virgins will enjoy the show’s witty wordplay and well-executed physical comedy. At times, the pacing is so frenetic that jokes can’t find a place to land, but there’s heart as well as humor here. In the past two years, Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker have shepherded their silly, subversive show from the People’s Improv Theater to Off Broadway’s New World Stages. Like its main characters, Puffs illustrates the heigh
After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery. Running time: 2hrs 15mins. One intermission.
Music events in September 2018
Vitriolic Bristol punks Idles come stateside for a rager behind last year's critically acclaimed Brutalism. Show up for a raucous, searingly candid and wholly untethered performance from this politically-charged five-piece. Local noise-rock trio Bambara opens in the wake of their Western gothic latest, Shadow On Everything.
It's been two years since Dev Hynes released his stunning 2016 effort, Freetown Sound. A complex, swirling affair, Freetown cemented his status as a multi-talented alt-pop visionary. Back in April, Hynes teased the release of a proper follow-up to that album, as well as a new mixtape and eight singles. Count on hearing from that treasure trove when he takes the stage for this Summerstage gig.
The celebrated indie-pop upstarts, who first made our hearts flutter with 2014's dreamily delicious single, "Archie, Marry Me," hit town for a pair of dates behind last year's effervescent and thoroughly satisfying Antisocialites. Catch the Toronto quartet at Greenpoint's Polish-community-center-turned-concert venue for a late-summer dose of starry-eyed melodies that'll carry you far into fall.
The much-lauded lo-fi indie-rock quartet takes the stage at Bowery Ballroom for its final show ever. Don't miss the chance to revel in the band's plentiful fuzzed-out guitar licks and singer Dave Benton's muted, deadpan drawl one last time.
Chicago MC Chancelor Bennett has built a tidy following the past several years with witty, joyful, freewheeling mixtapes like 2013's Acid Rap and the follow-up, Coloring Book. Add to that a series of collaborations with Donnie Trumpet, confounding fringe-rapper Lil B, and soulful singer and keyboardist Francis Farewell Starlight and you have an impressively prolific series of mixtapes and singles to expect tunes from at this open-air gig. Chance visits NYC for this show as part of Spotify’s RapCaviar Live, a concert series based on the streaming service's trendsetting hip-hop playlist. Also of particular note on the bill is rising Philly rapper Tierra Whack, whose wildly inventive debut album, Whack World, features 15 songs of a minute in length each.
Brooklyn-via-Ohio alt-rock superstars the National present this two-day fest in Queens, featuring turns from Future Islands, Cat Power, Cigarettes After Sex, Phoebe Bridgers, Bully and more. The National headlines each night, so you'll have ample opportunity to savor singer Matt Berninger's microphone-stand-pounding, collar-tearing abandon on stage.