Tag Archives: Joe’s Pub

Culture High & Low

If you’re feeling a bit blue, stuck in NYC while your friends are rocking out at SXSW, you should be reminded of some of the amazing cultural events happening in our fine city- both High and Low.

This past weekend G and I attended, among other diversions (he met my mother for the first time this weekend! It went well!) Franco Zeffirelli’s legendary production of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. More than perhaps any other opera La Bohème has captured the imagination of generations of artists. Its compelling story was the basis for the musical Rent. Baz Luhrmann’s version also spent time on Broadway. Recently there was even a production without music.  As G said after the performance, the characters are much more familiar than most characters in opera; these are people you can imagine knowing. Anna Netrebko was an incredible Mimi; both her acting and her singing were intensely evocative. I cried (of course) when she died but I also felt that the story had a message for the audience, much more so than the melodramatic plots of Aida or Tosca. If you haven’t seen this classic I highly recommend finding a way to do so.

Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko

I will be seeing a much less classic opera next week- The Nose is a surrealist opera based on a short story by Gogol.

Artist William Kentridge defies genres with Shostakovich’s adaptation of Gogol’s story. “The opera is about the terrors of hierarchy,” Kentridge says. “There’s a mixture of anarchy and the absurd that interests me. I love in this opera the sense that anything is possible.” The new production is conducted by definitive Shostakovich interpreter Valery Gergiev. Acclaimed baritone Paulo Szot, who won a Tony Award® for South Pacific, makes his Met debut as the man who wakes up to discover that his nose has disappeared.

You can get a taste of Kentridge’s work at the MOMA, which is currently hosting a retrospective.

Best known for animated films based on charcoal drawings, he also works in prints, books, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts. This exhibition explores five primary themes in Kentridge’s art from the 1980s to the present, and underscores the inter relatedness of his mediums and disciplines, particularly through a selection of works from the Museum’s collection. Included are works related to the artist’s staging and design of Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose.

I haven’t visited the Kentridge exhibit yet but G and I did take a look at Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, which just opened to the public on Sunday. The exhibit documents her various performance pieces, both through video and photographs of the original performances, and through recreations by actors. The most interesting, and disturbing, of the latter was a pair of naked actors- one female, one male- standing within a narrow archway; you had to pass between them to get into the next room. It was impossible not to touch the naked pair and this was hugely unnerving but, simply because it was unnerving, forced you as the viewer to think further about the piece. I am thrilled that the MOMA has chosen to showcase such challenging work. The exhibit is a triumph for the curator, Klaus Biesenbach, who has succeeded in creating a retrospective of performance art, something never done in the MOMA, and possibly never done as successfully in any other major museum.

You can see some less established artists in the Jonathan LeVine Gallery’s Five Year Anniversary Exhibition.

Since 2005, Jonathan LeVine Gallery has been an important venue for Street Art (ephemeral work placed in public urban environments) and Pop Surrealism (work influenced by illustration, comic book art, and pop culture imagery). As such, the pieces in this exhibition—comprised of paintings, drawings, and sculptures—will be primarily figurative with a strong sense of narration.

I am quite a fan of this image (Ray Caesar, Arabesque):

Ray Caesar, Arabesque

Ray Caesar, Arabesque

On the lower end of the culture spectrum, this Thursday you can attend a retrospective of a rather different sort- a burlesque tribute to Dolly Parton! I expect The Queen of Country Music would be thrilled!

P.S. Best way to spend St. Patty’s Day- Benefit Concert for City Reliquary at the Knitting Factory!

Please follow myself and Miss Scorpio on twitter for the latest and be sure to sign up for the G&S listserve so you can benefit from the editing that eats up so much of my time… Enjoy!

Turkey Day Weekend

If you didn’t catch my last post you should check that first for some great events happening this evening and throughout the weekend, (Jazz! Sex Crimes Cabaret! Urban Gypsy Circus!), that said here are some more reasons to be in NYC over the holiday…

NewYorkology has compiled a  list of things that are open on Thanksgiving Day, including a number of museums, ice skating rinks, stores, shows and restaurants. One small addition- Trash Bar will also be open and serving $3 Guiness pints all evening; now that’s holiday cheer!

Friday evening, provided you aren’t killed in a Black Friday mob, there are two very different events I think are worth considering. First, Elysian Fields is playing at Joe’s Pub. Watch this video for a taste of their unique brand of luminosity:

Also on Friday there is a super nostalgic double feature showing at 92Y TribecaClueless AND Mallrats! Did you know that there are 53 different kinds of tartan/plaid used in Clueless, seven of which are worn by Cher? Just watching this trailer makes me want to say WHATever to someone.

This weekend you have two chances to pair excellent food and excellent music at Monkeytown; the Neel Murgai Ensemble will be accompanied by a 5-course Indian dinner. Nothing goes together like raga and Chai spiced poha pudding!

That’s all for the moment but stay tuned for all sorts of additions over the weekend! Follow me on twitter for the latest and Happy Turkey Day!

Let there be light; D.W. sings and other events

Tonight you can experience the High Line in a whole new light (heh heh); LightmappingNYC is presenting a tour and discussion of the “challenges and innovations developed for the lighting of this 1.2 mile elevated train track.”

This week there are two exciting programs at BAM. The first is a presentation of new French films; as a francophile I am naturally quite excited! The second program is a very interesting circus act straight from Sweden:

The human body unfolds as a surreal rock and roll fantasy in Inside Out, Swedish troupe Cirkus Cirkör’s phantasmagoric journey into the outer reaches of inner life. Accompanied onstage by dub-punk-new wave-electro-inspired band Irya’s Playground and featuring an outlandish mix of highly skilled acrobatics, musical theater, and spectacle, Inside Out boggles the mind by way of the body. Actors and acrobats course through veins, explode through space like uncoiled strands of DNA, and lunge across synapses to become the body electric. Breathtaking, poetic, and humorous, never before has there been such a fantastic, gravity-defying voyage.

On Thursday The New School is hosting a celebration of esteemed poet Marie Ponsot and her new collection of poems, titled ‘Easy’. Participants include Rosemary Deen, Jean Gallagher, Deborah Garrison, Richard Howard, Phillip Lopate, Alice Quinn, Sapphire, L.B. Thompson, and Jackson Taylor.

On Sunday the voice of one of the Wild Things (K.W.) will be exercising her lovely vocal chords at Joe’s Pub. Lauren Ambrose, whose performance in Exit the King I enjoyed almost as much as her performance as K.W., is also an accomplished singer. She is also much more attractive than her “wild” counterpart:

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

There are a number of great exhibits, some big some delectably small, worth checking out so stay tuned for an all-art post coming up shortly! I’ll also be bringing you more weekend events and fun things to look forward to next week! Be sure to follow me on twitter for last minute updates and other news from The Big Red Apple!

Trapeze Artists, Hobbits and much more!

I’ve already mentioned that you can judge the new Met for yourself this weekend, and be part of history at the 10 year anniversary party of NonsenseNYC; and of course you can peek behind closed doors at all sorts of venues during Open House New York. In addition to all that madness there are many more events to consider.

This weekend you have two opportunities to see The Lord of the Rings as you’ve never seen it before:

Howard Shore’s Original Academy Award®-winning score performed live to the epic motion picture by the 21st Century Orchestra, The Collegiate Chorale and Brooklyn Youth Chorus conducted by Ludwig Wicki.

Can you imagine that incredible score performed live while the movie is screened on an enormous screen? If not buy your tickets now and experience it in person.

Lord of the Rings at Radio City Music Hall

Lord of the Rings at Radio City Music Hall

For those of you who read my review of The Golden Pasties and have been lusting for burlesque ever since, the show to go to this weekend is Killer Queen Burlesque at Joe’s Pub.

Burlesque stars Anita Cookie and Clams Casino and emcee Neil O’Fortune, the minds behind The Costello Show: A Burlesque Tribute to the Other Elvis, KISS THIS: Burlesque Rock City and more, return to the Joe’s Pub stage with Killer Queen Burlesque!  A burlesque tribute to the music of Queen, Killer Queen Burlesque made it’s debut in early 2008 and has been their most-requested show ever since.  Now it returns with an all new, all-star cast: a night of funny, campy, sexy performances combining striptease with live music and comedy, all unified by Queen’s unstoppable lineup of beloved hits.

I’ve already mentioned the crazy vertical 3-ring circus happening at The Trapeze School of New York this weekend; here’s a trailer to give you a taste:

At the Brooklyn Skillshare this weekend you can learn such useful skills as butter making and how to infuse your own vodka. There is also a free lunch involved; I can only imagine the water-cooler talk potential (so, what did you do this weekend? I learned to make butter!).

The Mile High Dance Party is back for a second week at Pianos; I had a blast last week and I would highly recommend swinging by after other goings on Saturday night. Check out their awesome flyer for this week:

mile high

Get into the Halloween spirit early this October with a trip to Greenwood Cemetery, for extra spookiness check out Angels and Accordions– a very ummm… unique site specific work you have to see to believe.

Finally, quick heads up for next week, in celebration of the release of Where the Wild Things Are, there are a range of events happening in the city; it’s billed as Wild Things Week and it’s going to be (ahem) wild!

That’s all for the moment; have a great weekend and be sure to follow The Big Red Apple on Twitter for the latest news!

The Big Red Apple is BACK!

It has been a long time since my last post, for which I sincerely apologize; I’m afraid while I was in Boston I had trouble looking at NYC events without feeling homesick and in an effort to enjoy my time there with G I neglected you… Now I am back and ready to announce a spread of fabulous events for those of us staying in the Big Apple for Labor Day weekend!

Tonight Q and I are seeing Emanuel and the Fear at Joe’s Pub. I’ve written about them several times in the past and what with L Magazine’s enthusiastic recommendation I sense that they are about to hit the big time- get out tonight so you can say ‘you saw them when!’

Also tonight Art Four Life is having a snazzy opening for their new photography exhibit, Egotrip, at M2 Ultralounge:


This weekend there are several festival style events worth checking out; if you missed Figment on Governors Island you have another chance to see art with a view- starting this weekend the Governors Island Art Fair will be dressing up the island! There are over 150 artists participating in what is sure to be an art show with something for everyone. Try to make it out this weekend when the weather is perfect for wandering! Also, if you’re on the island be sure to stop into the Poetry Brothel, which will be in operation on the island every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the fair. The Poetry Brothel, as I’ve told you in the past, involves poets as ‘whores’ and listeners as ‘johns’: “The Madame presents a rotating cast of both male and female poets engaged in a night of literary debauchery and private poetry readings.” If you can’t get enough poetry for free you can always pay for it (heh heh).

Then again, you may not want to pay for it this weekend since the Howl Festival will be taking over Tompkins Sq. Park:

The annual Howl! Festival named in honor of the groundbreaking poem by Allen Ginsberg and produced every summer celebrates the East Village and Lower East Side’s role as a preeminent locus of culture. Centered in Tompkins Square Park, the festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors bringing to the clubs, galleries, parks, streets, and theaters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side an explosion of dance, film, food, music, performance, painting, poetry, sculpture and theater.

The events include readings of the poem, theatrical productions, video installations and all sorts of beat style madness!

For madness of an even more absurd variety head to Coney Island for the Rockabilly Festival; there will be sideshow acts, tons of musical performances and of course Burlesque on the Seashore!


Saturday is the last Warm Up of the season at P.S.1 so if you haven’t made it out there hop on a 7 and finish the summer off in style! (Special Tip: For the best brunch in Long Island City check out Tournesol, which is a short walk from P.S. 1 and boasts snooty French waiters in a relaxed bistro.)

Saturday night there are two great dance parties to consider. First, The Bell House will be on the wild side for Release the Beast:

The NRG DJs present Release the Beast, a new rock, funk and R&B party premiering September 5th. Get primal with DJs Fucci and Brian Blackout as they blend everything from ELO to Heart to Earth Wind & Fire to Can. We’ll be featuring video and masks themed around a different beast- this time come its that stripey feline that loves breakfast cereal and kerchiefs-the tiger. PLEASE NOTE: No furries were harmed in the making of this party.

B tells me he’s “getting [his] funkiest, most outrageous cuts ready” and I’m super excited to hear them!

If that’s not your style perhaps you’d be interested in Back to School, an art and music event at the Old Red School House. Exhibiting artists include: Elisha Zeitler (mixed media clay sculpture), Anjia Jalac (installation), Mariette Papic (photography/ graphic print), Vanessa Porter (photography/ graphic collage), Chris Chludenski (sculptural mobiles), Ebony Yizar (mixed media), Erin Oldynski (photography), and Bari Langbaum (clothing sculpture).

On Sunday be part of the art with Freestyle Art Events; the event will start at the Mets Citi Field North Entrance and then move to the Queens Museum of Art.

Also on Sunday discover Mrytle Avenue, where, amongst other things, Five Spot is having a Philly Cheese Steak eating contest.

On Monday skip the amateur BBQs and get BBQ done right at Marfa in the E. Village:

From 5pm onwards, East Village rib joint Marfa is hosting the West Texas All You Can Eat Labor Day Barbecue on their roof deck. For $15, fill your plate with BBQ ribs, pork, beef, salmon and all the fixins. And for an extra $2, you can add some wild boar or shrimp to that plate. Drinks include $5 Margaritas, $3 PBR and shots of the house-infused tequila.

If you’re a fan of Manolos and Cosmo’s get your tickets now to the “lecture” of the season: Sex and the City and Best Friends Forever: Candace Bushnell and Jennifer Weiner, at Kaufmann Concert Hall this Tuesday!

On Wednesday join me at Comix to pay tribute to John Hughes in the best possible way- by watching the Raspberry Brothers make fun of The Breakfast Club! It’s going to be hilarious and rumors say that a sing-a-long will also be part of the evening… Hope to see you there!

Have an excellent weekend and stay tuned for additions! It’s good to be back!