Chelsea certainly puts the art in the heart of New York. The neighborhood is home to dozens of galleries with the best free art in NYC on view—from Gagosian to David Zwirner galleries—and the newly minted Whitney Museum of American Art, one of the best museums in the city. Once you've had your fill, head to the High Line to lounge on tree-lined paths with views of the river, then head to one of the best Chelsea restaurants or bars, like Del Posto and the NoMad. The sky's the limit in this neighborhood!
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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
After a brutal winter and a chilly spring, it's time to indulge in a smoking hot summer. Head to this dope pool party at the McCarren Hotel, featuring complimentary Prosecco DOC, Core Water cocktails, vittles and giveaways. If you're down to lounge like royalty, opt in for the VIP ticket, which grants you and ten buddies a private lounge with unlimited cocktail service. Treat yourself! Powered by Eventbrite
This summer catch some movies under the stars with Hudson RiverFlicks, free evening films at some of Hudson River Park’s many piers. Big Hit Wednesdays will show blockbuster films from the past year; Family Fridays returns with recent favorites as well as classic movies for the whole family; and Sing Along Specials in Clinton Cove celebrate musical movies. Check out the entire lineup and pier location here.
To untimely rip and paraphrase a line from Macbeth: Our eyes are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth all the rest. A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at the bedazzling and uncanny theater installation Sleep No More. Your sense of space and depth---already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don---is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor. Directors Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, of the U.K. troupe Punchdrunk, have orchestrated a true astonishment, turning six warehouse floors and approximately 100,000 square feet into a purgatorial maze that blends images from the Scottish play with ones derived from Hitchcock movies—all liberally doused in a distinctly Stanley Kubrick eau de dislocated menace. An experiential, Choose Your Own Adventure project such as this depends on the pluck and instincts of the spectator. You can follow the mute dancers from one floor to the next, or wander aimlessly through empty spaces. I chose the latter, discovering a room lined with empty hospital beds; a leafless wood in which a nurse inside a thatched cottage nervously checks her pocket watch; an office full of apothecary vials and powders; and the ballroom, forested with pine trees screwed to rolling platforms (that would be Birnam Wood). A Shakespearean can walk about checking off visual allusions to the classic tragedy; the less lettered can just revel in
This artist from Benin evokes the global glut of refugee tents with his own colorful version that invites viewers to express themselves through drawings. Also on view are wigs braided into the shape of such Washington, D.C., institutions as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Theater review by James Gavin From the Great Depression to the Cold War, Woody Guthrie roamed the country with his guitar, writing and singing songs that empowered blue-collar workers, rallied for unionization, scorned capitalist greed and glorified the heartland. “This Land Is Your Land” and other Guthrie tunes inspired Bob Dylan and galvanized the burgeoning folk movement. His story is an American epic, and a cast of four gives it a stirring reenactment in Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie. Like the songs themselves, everything about the show has the ring of truth. The performers look and sound as though they’ve stepped off a farm in Guthrie’s native Oklahoma, and their singing evokes the Weavers, the 1950s quartet (featuring Pete Seeger) whose rough-hewn fireside harmonies helped make the Guthrie canon famous. Playing guitar, fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica and other instruments, the performers plumb the inner depths of a man whose Okie roots—scarred by poverty, mental illness and domestic tragedies—filled him with empathy for the downtrodden. As Woody, David M. Lutken (who devised the show with director Nick Corley and others) captures Guthrie’s droll humbleness and purity of heart. Earth mother Helen Jean Russell sings with a lullaby sweetness. Megan Loomis is touchingly guileless and plaintive; Andy Teirstein dispenses the show’s gruffer, pluckier wisdoms. Together the cast gives voice to Guthrie’s disdain for the abuse of power at the expense of the com
This weekly celebration of Times Square tackiness takes over the Hard Rock Cafe for outrageous performances (with bellinis!) from Sugga Pie Koko, Epiphany and Bootsie LeFaris plus guest shows by RuPaul’s Drag Race stars such as Alyssa Edwards, Nina Bonina Brown and Chi Chi Devayne.