Tag Archives: Central Park Summerstage

August 5-9 Summer in the city…

In August many New Yorkers flee their hometown to escape the sticky heat and herds of tourists; this August make your friends in the Catskills green with envy when you tell them about all the shenanigans you got up to in The Big Apple while they were swatting mosquitoes! This week has lots of jealousy worthy events in store!

This evening, if it doesn’t rain, The Asphalt Orchestra will be performing as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival:

An iconoclastic 12-piece marching band conceived by Bang on a Can premieres ambitious processional music from every corner of the music world, works that coax funk from the funereal and would make a halftime show sparkle with sophistication. Choreographer Susan Marshall weds parade spectacle to new pieces by Tyondai Braxton (of Battles), Goran Bregovic, and Stew and Heidi Rodewald, and arrangements of songs by Björk, Meshuggah, Mingus, Nancarrow, and Zappa.

If it rains they’ll be performing throughout August so you’ll have more chances to experience this funky version of a marching band.

Also at the whim of the weather gods, Waltz with Bashir may be screening in Socrates Sculpture Park this evening; for an audience numbed to the violence shown on the news this animated film is somehow more real than a traditional documentary. Here’s the trailer:

On Thursday check out a special shorts screening of work by Peter Buntaine and Lorenzo Gattorna of New York(er) Shorts on a rooftop in Bushwick (15 Lawton Street, Brooklyn; films screen at sunset).

If you’re interested in seeing some better known short films outdoors spend your Thursday evening in Central Park where Ashbury Shorts will be screening at Summerstage:

New York City’s longest running exhibition of award-winning independent short films presents “An Evening of the World’s Best Short Films,” featuring live music, celebrity guests, and noteworthy, festival award-winning short films compiled over the past ten years. Films to be featured include: Super Powers – Best Short Film, 2007 Tribeca Film Festival; Yours Truly – voted best animated short film at over five international festivals; Stalker Guilt Syndrome – Live Action Comedy – Jonah Kaplan, Brooklyn; Tanghi Argentini – Audience Prize, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival; plus other classic shorts.

For the literary amongst you there’s a great reading at Solas Thursday night, courtesy of the St. Mark’s Bookshop– John Joseph will read from his autobiographical work The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, which details his experiences in the punk scene and his struggles with homelessness, addiction and insanity. Be prepared to be horrified.

If you want more laughter and less horror in your Thursday check out The Raspberry Brothers at Comix; this time they’re exercising their wit on Karate Kid.

Pat Morita in Karate Kid

Pat Morita in Karate Kid

On Friday, if you missed seeing The Muppet Movie at BAM last week you have another chance to see it, this time on Pier 46 in Hudson River Park.

You also have a chance to see two great up-and-coming bands Friday night at Spike Hill. Ellis Ashbrook is playing alongside Mem (who I wrote about recently). Here’s a great shot from Mem’s last show:

Mem

Mem

If recent screenings of Cary Grant films have left you hungry for much much more you’re in luck- BAM is having a Cary Grant Retrospective all through the month of August; here’s a clip from Saturday’s offering The Talk of the Town:

Saturday is a big day for electronic music. First, Boys Noize is playing on Central Park’s Sumerstage. For those of you who need a full day of electronic music I bring you… The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival! This massive event at the Old American Can Factory features performances by Juan Maclean, Young Love and Designer Drugs.

flyer

For those of you who have a favorite anime character (admit it- you have more than one), Saturday is your chance to dress the part at Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition‘s All Day Anime Event! Keep your costume legal (no naked nymphs, etc.) and mingle with other anime enthusiasts while checking out awesome new artworks!

If you think you have what it takes to complete the Pizza Tour of Brooklyn join fellow pizzaholics for a day of serious eating this Sunday.

pizzaflyer

Have you heard of silent kung fu films? No? Well, that may be because there is only one surviving from the golden age of Chinese cinema. Rooftop Films will be bringing it to you with a new original score by Devil Music Ensemble, performed live, at the Automotive High School in Brooklyn. This screening of Red Heroine also includes a martial arts demonstration and is followed by an open bar.

Finally, to add a little art to your weekend I recommend checking out the ongoing exhibit at the Yossi Milo Gallery– Sexy and the City New York Photographs:

Sexy and the City shows the alluring, romantic and sometimes scandalous side of New York’s people and places. Capturing private, intimate moments and blatant displays of sexuality, these photographs span the decades from the 1940s to the present day, taken in landmark locations like the Brooklyn Bridge and in the quiet, out-of-the-way corners of the city.

This is one photograph being displayed:

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic image of a kissing couple in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic image of a kissing couple in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945

Have an excellent week(end) and stay tuned for additions!

July 10-13 Pretty and French

It is so lovely outside today that I almost don’t want to be indoors writing to you, however, I would be a terrible blogger if I failed to inform you of some of the wonderful events the Big Apple has to offer this weekend.

First, an addition to tonight’s lineup; a new exhibit is opening at Mixed Greens– X 10th Anniversary Exhibition:

With X, we present a large selection of the many amazing artists with whom we’ve been privileged to work. Their techniques and subject matter vary widely, but all of these artists captured our attention either by their extraordinary use of materials or through their deep examination and investigation of their subjects. There is no theme uniting the 84 participating artists—the only common denominator is Mixed Greens. Some might call it narcissistic. Others nostalgic. We consider it to be a celebration of some of the best artists working today.

I’ve heard tell that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck will also be there!

If you’ve never been to a Contra Dance event you should experience the madness Friday night at the LGBT Community Center; this event will have the added twist of being “gender neutral.” There are a lot of twists in contra already, that one makes this a true ‘only-in-New-York’ event.

Contra Dancers

Contra Dancers

If you’re looking for a nice way to enjoy the evening outdoors you can enjoy a childhood favorite on the shore of the Hudson River; The Wizard of Oz will be screening on Pier 46!

Inside, and a bit further north, The Raspberry Brothers will be tearing apart the 80s classic Pretty in Pink! This is a must see if you’re going to attend the Pretty in Pink Prom Saturday night (keep reading for details). I guarantee their antics will give you excellent cocktail conversation.

raspberry-prettyinpink

So, The Prom, well, Pretty in Pink Prom Night is happening Saturday night at The Bell House (where else?). It’s going to be an epic nostalgia trip complete with a “totally radical giant 80s prom backdrop,” in front of which you can have your prom pictures professionally shot, a “50 foot balloon drop” AND “bathrooms stocked with Aqua Net for heavy primping.” Not to mention one of the best 80s cover bands available- The Engagements! Get out there and have the prom you always dreamed of!

Also on Saturday it’s Bronx Gridlock vs. Brooklyn Bombshells at the Hunter College Sportsplex! If you haven’t made it out to a Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout this year, this is a great time to go!

roller derby

ALSO on Saturday Rooftop Films is screening a movie at The Old American Can Factory- 45365 won Best Documentary at SXSW 2009:

45365 captures the plain pathos of a single place like few other films ever do. It is amusing and informative, exciting and realistic, tragic and eternal. But as I said, this synopsis is inadequate. To get at these emotions and ideas, you could live all your life in Sidney, Ohio, or you could see this film.

The Oberlin band Like Bells will perform before the screening; my little sister is currently an Oberlin student so all things Oberlin have a special place in my heart.

Of course I’m also a tremendous francophile so I may have to celebrate Bastille Day on Saturday. There are a number of celebrations in the city; my pick is the Petanque Tournament at Cornichon. Petanque is sort of like frenchified bocce ball; there will also be lots of wine and good cheer!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

On Sunday you can continue to embrace your inner francophile at Le Poisson Rouge, where they will be screening one of the most influential French films of the French New Wave- The 400 Blows. François Truffaut‘s masterpiece gives you an intimate look into the Paris of the 1950s.

Also on Sunday you can swing under the stars with George Gee’s Big Band at Moondance on Pier 54!

Monday is the start of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Series; Paulo Szot, Lisette Oropesa, Alek Shrader, and Vlad Iftinca will be performing on Central Park’s Summerstage. If you can’t get any of the free tickets for this event check out the performances in the outer boroughs throughout the week.

Also on Monday, Wilco will be performing in Keyspan Park; Yo La Tengo will open. Check out this video:

Have a marvelous weekend and stay tuned for additions!

June 18-21 Mermaids, Farmers and Jello- oh my!

We have a super exciting weekend ahead of us! First of all, let me remind you of several events I’ve mentioned already– on Thursday  The Raspberry Brothers are having a special early roasting of Garden State and Discovery is playing at Public Assembly. There are also various ongoing events like the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival; New York Classical Theatre’s wandering production of King Lear in Central Park, which I just reviewed and The NYC Food Film Festival (discussed in this post).

That said, please prepare yourself for difficult decisions.

Also on Thursday Schmami is the special guest DJ at Studio B’s Sunset Disco Rooftop BBQ with People Don’t Dance No More; get out there and prove them wrong!

poster

Friday is a very special holiday in Sweden- Midsummer, a traditionally pagan holiday linked to the summer solstice and fertility rituals. So where should you celebrate your Swedish heritage, (or celebrate with some hot Swedes)? Party with the Swedish Consulate of course! They’re having a traditional Swedish Midsummer Celebration in Battery Park City:

Adults and children of all ages are welcome to help decorate the midsummer pole, make flower wreaths, play traditional games and dance to authentic fiddle music. Food stands will offer traditional delicacies from New York’s finest Swedish restaurants and food purveyors.

Keep your ears open for news of the equally traditional riotous afterparty!

Also on Friday you can help support Ground UP Productions and have a drink under the stars at their Rooftop Rendezvous! The posh event will be held on the Scholastic Center Rooftop Terrace and in the adjacent Greenhouse, both of which have enviable views of Soho. Get discount tickets HERE.

BAMcinemaFest is kicking off with screenings of new films at the BAM Rose Cinema. The New York Times wrote a blurb with their recommendations; I personally am quite intrigued by this trailer:

Saturday is the biggest event of the summer (at least if you’re a mermaid)- The Coney Island Mermaid Parade!! Words fail to describe the brilliance of this event, so here are some photos from past parades:

mermaid parade coney island

mermaid2

mermaid3

That is exactly the kind of madness that defines NYC!

Should you be looking for something more literally tasty there are also two amazing food-centric events happening on Saturday. First, you can witness a competition of gelatinous proportions at the Gowanus Studio Space; the great Jello-O Mold Competition will be judged on creativity, aesthetics, structural/sculptural ingenuity and  edibility/culinary appeal. Can we achieve the jell-o art of times past?

If Jello-O isn’t hearty enough for you head over to 513 Henry St at Sackett in Carroll Gardens, where the Greenhorns are presenting the Goat Spit Summer Throwdown:

Join the Reverend Billy and the Greenhorns — a group of especially ambitious (and young!) farmers — in the previously abandoned Vermont Market & Pharmacy in Carroll Gardens for an afternoon of delectable treats and plenty of sustainable tips. Goat gets roasted on a bike-powered spit; you can fill up on greens, burgers, pickles, beer, and espresso, too. A rooftop gardening workshop coaxes your own latent green thumb, while a documentary on the Greenhorns also screens, perhaps serving as inspiration.

Sounds delicious!

On Sunday Central Park Summer Stage is embracing francophilia with a line-up that showcases the diversity of French contemporary music. I am particularly excited about Coralie Clément; watch this adorable music video and you will be too!

Also on Sunday you finally have another chance to check out Dare Dukes, who I called sexy ugly in a post ages ago. He’s also an excellent musician and songwriter and his show at The Living Room is certain to be the perfect way to wrap up your weekend!

Stay tuned for addtions!