Tag Archives: Classic Stage Company

April 24-26 What to do?

First of all can we just stop and freak out for a minute that it’s going to be in the EIGHTIES this weekend?! My uncle called me and reminded me to clean my air conditioner’s filter before turning it on (you should too)! In other words, you should get outside as much as possible this weekend!

I told you all about my wonderful picnic in Prospect Park last weekend and the subsequent rambling through the Cherry Orchard in the Botanic Garden; those would both be excellent activities for this weekend as well.

If you’re a fan of beautiful old villas and landscaped gardens overlooking the Palisades and you’ve never been up to Wave Hill this is certainly the perfect weekend to check it out. There are various events for Arbor Day happening, including tours of the gardens where wild flowers, magnolias and lilacs are in bloom. The views are dramatic and there’s a lovely Sunday brunch buffet (make your reservation by 4pm today).

Wave Hill

Wave Hill

Another great outdoor activity- join New York Like a Native on a walking tour of a part of Brooklyn you don’t know well or that you think you know well. You’ll learn something new about the history of your area and most of the tours include a treat (like a beer or an ice cream cone).

For a somewhat more active learning experience you can participate in a crazy scavenger hunt on the LES with the Anthropologists on Sunday. When did you last go searching for clues downtown?

If you want your sunshine with art on the side the TOAST is for you:

The TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of approximately 100 artists’ studios throughout TriBeCa. Bringing artists and the public together, it provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the artists and see their artwork at the source, the artist’s own studio. An artist-run organization, TOAST has led a true metropolitan “grass roots” path.  It began as an ad-hoc group of artists who wanted to revive a neighborhood art walk.  Now a not-for-profit organization, it is still a grass roots effort, run by the participating artists. Neighborhood businesses and supporters supplement most of the needed funds not covered by the artists’ entry fees.

When you’re ready to step indoors there are several fantastic exhibits worth checking out. First, the exhbit of Picasso’s later works at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea has gotten fantastic reviews.

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

A new exhibit at the Met, “The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984,” has also received some good buzz. Thirty artists from the Boomer Generation are represented by 160 works in all media.

They were all making art that combined elements of Pop and Conceptualism with social concerns about consumerism, political power and gender. Their work kept ideas to the fore but rematerialized them as images. Many of those images were photographic, extracted from everyday life, a life that was increasingly a creation of media culture, as Andy Warhol well knew.

This piece, by David Salle, sparked my interest and I’m hoping to check it out in person sometime soon.

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

Tonight is the opening of a much more contemporary artist’s exhibit at 3rd Ward; check out the work of Poster Boy, which is now being endorsed by the advertisers!

A piece by Poster Boy

A piece by Poster Boy

Also tonight, you can party for a cause at Montien’s, where there will be great drink specials to raise money to shoot the pilot episode of “Foreign Bound” : A travel-reality show that focuses on inspiring and educating the younger demographic and aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and effective communication between borders.

There’s a great line-up tonight at Crash Mansion, including new releases from Musiciens Sans Frontieres and Josephine. RSVP to NewYorkUnderbelly for reduced admission. 

Saturday night get a double dose of soul with  Dig Deeper and yummy soul food at Five Spot Soul Food; get your tickets here.

Dig Deeper

Friday and Saturday at BAM you can see St. Matthews Passion– an incredible operatic piece by Bach. There are only stage seats remaining so get yours right away!

Also at BAM Saturday is the 10th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival: The New Cookers:

A swinging hard bop jazz quintet—born out of the tradition of the late, great jazz genius Freddie Hubbard—The New Cookers are known for their driving rhythms and engaging performances, celebrating the original Brooklyn jazz music makers and adding their own sound to that rich legacy.

On Sunday you can get a hefty dose of Shakespeare for free at Symphony Space, where the Classic Stage Company will be presenting Shakespeare Birthday Marathon 2009.

shakespeare

And don’t forget about the improv comedy festival at the Creek LIC that I mentioned earlier, not to mention the first roller derby game of the season and the Wit’s End Jazz Party, both of which I also detailed previously.

Have an amazing weekend and stay tuned for additions!

Poetry, Delicious Eats, Orchids, Films, Burlesque and Chekhov

The last five days have been so full that I can hardly believe it has only been five days. I will chronicle my adventures and leave it to you to decide which you would like to try for yourselves.

On Wednesday I attended the InDigest Reading Series at Le Poisson Rouge, which I wrote about in an earlier post. I like the space for the most part and while the bartender was a bit clueless there was free absinthe, which was an excellent way to start the evening. Paul Dickinson read first; I found his list-style poem about the various kinds of poets (the poets who write in their cabins, the poets who write about flowers, etc.) amusing but it was the second reader, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, who the four of us found truly compelling. F and G were especially interested in him and on an impulse I bought them both copies of his book, ’19 Names For Our Band.’ The cover of the book is fantastic and probably was at least partially responsible for the impulse.

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Our minds full of poetry G and I went over to Rhong Tiam to fill our stomachs with Thai chicken soup, which was fantastic.

On Thursday evening I treated myself to even more poetry at the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas, which I also mentioned in an earlier post. Tom Raworth read first. His poetry wasn’t really to my taste, though to be fair I think it was probably more about the reading style. Peter Richards had a more dynamic style; he engaged me more and I was less likely to drift into my own thoughts. There was one line of Peter Richards’ I particularly liked:

There is no extra charge for this extra charge.

I apologize that I have no idea which poem it is from; if anyone does know please tell me and I will credit it properly. Post-poetry we had a drink at my favorite secret bar, Angel’s Share, before walking over to Polonia for authentic Polish food. There were pierogi and potato pancakes and Polish beer and finally slow painful walking to the train.

Friday, my sleep-deficit already at a dangerous level, I opted out of most more elaborate plans and limited myself to the aforementioned free whiskey tasting followed by dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The whiskey tasting was held at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit .

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

We were tasting bourbon, vodka and whiskey made by the only New York State distiller- Tuthilltown Spirits. All of the products we tasted were single-ingredient products, which means that there’s no recipe per say; it’s all in the quality of the ingredients and the methods by which they’re processed. I enjoyed the whiskey, though generally it’s not my beverage of choice, (I’m a gin girl), and Kate1 liked the bourbon. However, I adored the tiny squat glass bottles.

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Warmed by liquor we walked deep into the W. Village to one of the best Italian restaurants in the city- Malatesta. I first discovered this restaurant through an ex and while it was at first an emotional feat to go back there following the break-up (he met my parents there among other things), it was well worth it and I have now thoroughly reclaimed it for myself and my friends. Their cheese ravioli and gnocchi are most definitely the best I’ve ever tasted and where it lacks comfort (cramped, shaky wooden tables, etc.) it makes up for it in superb quality. Go. Eat. Be glad I never let men get between me and amazing restaurants.

Saturday was quite the day. It began with brunch at Jane, which I know I’ve told you in the past is one of my favorite brunch spots. It was delicious as always. I then meandered around Union Sq. for a bit and witnessed this classic Union Sq. tableau:

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

In the foreground we see a man with an alarming number of tattoos and a vintage-looking bike. In the background on the left is a man who is informing the general public about god, and the devil, and the likelihood that we will all go to hell (apparently quite high) and what hell will be like (apparently not pleasant). In the background on the right are a group of teenagers advertising free hugs. I post this only to lead up to the following statement- I LOVE NEW YORK.

On that note… I went up to Grand Central and G and I took the Metro North train to the New York Botanical Garden for the annual Orchid Show. The Orchid Show will be ongoing until April 12th and I would highly recommend that you head up there sometime before then; the conservatory is simply stunning.

Orchids

Conservatory

After strolling through the grounds and watching the sunset behind the conservatory, we took the train back into the city and dared to walk through Times Sq. in search of a secret bar I had recently heard tell of… It is called Bar Centrale and I suggest that you seek it out as well. The entrance is satisfyingly hidden and the bartender is snooty (he reminded me faintly of Truman Capote for some reason) and the jazz is soothing and the carafes of extra martini are exciting.

Once I was properly giggly we hurried downtown to a screening of short films being considered for the Downtown Short Film Festival; I wrote about the audience choice screenings in an earlier post. I found out about this series through one of my bosses, SW, and we were supposed to go together but she was called away. In this case I can’t say she missed anything too exciting, however, I look forward to seeing the actual series in April as I suspect only the better films will make it in. This screening consisted of the following films:

  • Tunnelrat: Soldiers from opposite sides trapped in a tunnel. They get out and then one ironically gets killed by his own side. Predictable and unpleasant to watch.
  • Der Pfandlaie: This involves a pawn shop and a dominatrix; there was a lot of wasted potential.
  • Reach: A tiny robot is given life but is confined by the length of his power cord; he dies seeking to reach a mysterious bird. Sad and beautiful. Maybe WallE has conditioned me to find robots adorable.
  • The Last Leaf: Illness, melodrama, survival, hope, sacrifice. Too much to contain in a not particularly well put together piece.
  • An Angel Stops By: The Angel of Death tells a porn director he must make his film into a biblical tale to avoid death. There is death. With a small twist.

All that rating made us hungry and we were lucky enough to find space at Persimmon, a marvelous Korean restaurant in the E. Village.

Persimmon

Persimmon

To finish up the day (yes- this is still Saturday, astounding as that may seem) I attended the aforementioned Jackson-themed burlesque show at Joe’s Pub- ‘Beat It Burlesque.’ I had a burlesque-virgin with me and I am pleased to say this was a perfect first show; Tigger did slightly disturbing things on stage, Anita Cookie was as bubbly as can be and GiGi La Femme was the hottest pussycat out there.

Today my grandmother and I saw the final performance of Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company. If you missed it I highly recommend that you look into their upcoming productions. The theater is tiny and intimate and if this show is any indication this is a company worth watching. Maggie Gyllenhaal was just as superb as I expected her to be and I got an extra special thrill because Meryl Streep happened to be seeing the show as well (she bumped into my grandmother in the lobby but was very nice about it).

I am exhausted but I promise to post this week’s events as soon as possible!