Tag Archives: Lincoln Center

Labor Day etc.

Tomorrow is Labor Day in The Big Apple and since you won’t be laboring you should check out some of the awesome events that will be taking place in this fine town!

On Eastern Parkway The West Indian Day Parade will be one great big party! The parade will be followed by dance and musical performances at The Brooklyn Museum!

West Indian Day Parade 2008 (in front of the Brooklyn Museum)

West Indian Day Parade 2008 (in front of the Brooklyn Museum)

If you feel up to some cooking whip up something local and bring it to The Bell House for their ‘Lunchin’ Local on Labor Day Potluck.’ Your dish gives you free access to the festivities, which include “4-square, hopscotch, hula hoops and more!”

As the day draws to a close head uptown to Lincoln Center Plaza for the last free opera of the season! The Metropolitan Opera’s outstanding performance of Madama Butterfly will be broadcast in HD; get there early to snag a seat and enjoy the show!

Also, in case you missed my last post, let me reiterate…

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! Tickets are only $5 if you buy them online in advance using the promo code RASP. It’s going to be hilarious and rumors say that a sing-a-long will also be part of the evening… Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite:

Enjoy the start of a new season and stay tuned for additions! Also don’t forget- for the latest updates follow The Big Red Apple on twitter!

Music, Cherry Blossoms, Theater and a Very Big Bubble

Last week A and I went to see Lorenzo Pisoni perform his childhood in his one man show ‘Humor Abuse.’ The theater is tiny and Pisoni draws his audience into the story (sometimes literally) while keeping them on their toes (beware of those sandbags!). One of my favorite lines went something like…

‘So it was me and a lifesize model of me and several helium balloons in the steamer trunk and it was summer and it was hot and sometimes the balloons would break, and it was very loud. This started when I was three. I HATE balloons.’

The tricks and acrobatics were exciting but it was the story that really drew the piece together and made it feel worth watching. I only wish clowning was always that engaging!

Friday night I saw Emanuel and the Fear play at Crash Mansion (I mentioned the show to you in my weekend post). The number of instruments on stage is a bit overwhelming but all of the sounds are used to great effect, including the voices of the two vocalists- Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley.

Dallin Applebaum and Liz Hanley

Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley

Liz Hanley, Brian Sanders and Colin Dean

Liz Hanley, Tom Swafford and Brian Sanders

Saturday was beautiful and I hope everyone spent as much time out in the sunshine as possible; I certainly did! I had a picnic in Prospect Park with a group of friends and then we all wandered over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to experience the cherry trees in bloom. They will be blooming for several weeks and you can keep track of their progress and plan your visit accordingly through the website.

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday evening G and I attended one of the Jazz at Lincoln Center events. Of course first we wandered around failing to find the theater and then failing to find the box office but eventually we made it to our seats. This event showcased some pieces by Wynton Marsalis, who was also performing, and some stories by Langston Hughes. I will admit the whole thing was a bit too edgy for me. There was a whole series devoted to various animals and generally speaking no matter how interesting it is to make a saxophone sound like a monkey I still do not think it’s worth buying tickets to hear the result. However, some of the jazz was more traditional and certainly the technical skill of the musicians was more than adequately demonstrated. There was also tap dancing, which was marvelous to watch, even from the balcony. P.S. If you attend any events at the Rose Theater you should call the box office and ask for the seats behind the stage; they’re cheaper and you’ll be right on top of the action (I intend to do this next time).

We grabbed a bit of a hurried dinner at Cafeteria (classic Chelsea restaurant- music loud enough for a club, men with too much product in their hair, modernist furniture and slightly pretentious everything, however pretty yummy for all that) before heading over to the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas to see The Raspberry Brothers in action! Jerm says I was one of the first to begin promoting their show but luckily others have now caught on; check out his interview with Andrew Singer in The Apiary. The Apiary is also recommending the improv comedy festival at The Creek LIC this weekend, which also includes an act from one of the Raspberry Brothers (amazing how comedy comes together).

The Raspberry Brothers

The Raspberry Brothers

On Sunday G and I experienced a somewhat different form of comedy at the Barrymore Theater, where we saw an all-star cast perform ‘Exit the King.’ The whole cast is fantastic but I felt like Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon were really incredible. The script was witty and occasionally just a tad profound without feeling dark. For example;

He acts as if no one has ever died before!

No one alive HAS ever died!

The final scene is rather hypnotic and was not necessarily the best way to draw the story to a close. I adored the absurd capes and crowns and had to fight the urge to go and find a very long piece of fabric immediately (I played dress up a lot as a child).

Sunday night I had dinner in a bubble. Yes, a giant plastic bubble, the Raumlabor’s Spacebuster to be precise. This art installation by German artists focuses on the idea of using vacant space. The bubble will be traveling to various locales around the city this week and you should try to attend one of the events. It is definitely an amazing experience to dance to tunes spun by Jonathan Toubin inside a bubble in the courtyard of the Old American Can Factory... so I expect the other events will be at least as enjoyable.

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Add that to your plans this week! Also be sure to look at my earlier post for other events to consider and stay tuned for additions!

April 16-19 Take 1

I have a very busy weekend planned and I’m not even going to half of the events I’d like to go to.

Tonight I will be missing the Brit Boras concert at Pianos I told you about but I urge you to do what I say and not what I do (haha) and dance the night away! I have it on good authority that the cellist is adorable and the music’s good too.

Also tonight, Look Presents Detour: NY’s Premier Film Noir and Arts Festival. Go out to Galapagos for independent film noir, steamy burlesque and all sorts of other “unexpected adventures.”

Ongoing throughout the weekend is the Migrating Forms Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives:

Migrating Forms is the organization that grew out of the New York Underground Film Festival (1993–2008), presenting five days of new experimental film and video.

Here’s the trailer for this year:

On Friday Clay Space 1205 hosts an opening party for their new 11-artist group show from 6-9pm. Ask about their spring classes and ceramic workshops- pottery classes aren’t just for bored housewives afterall!

Clay Space 1205

Clay Space 1205

Friday is also opening night for the Raspberry Brothers at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas! I know I’ve told you about them in the past and now you’ll be able to see them every Friday and Saturday night at midnight! This month their victim is ‘Dirty Dancing’ and you can find me in the audience this Saturday night giggling whilst trying to eat popcorn.


On Friday night I will be rocking out to the tunes of Emanuel and the Fear at Crash Mansion. Here’s their promo video:

On Friday and Saturday you can hear Wynton Marsalis play at Lincoln Center:

Tap dancers Jared Grimes and Dewitt Fleming, Jr. join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalisin “Spaces,” a five-movement tap ballet by artistic director Wynton Marsalis along with the premiere of “Jesse B. Semple Suite,” based on stories by Langston Hughes set to music by JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner. The “Jesse B. Semple Suite” will feature actors Anthony Thompson Adeagbo and Summer Hill Seven.

Saturday night check out the Cameo Art Gallery in Williamsburg, where Sigmund Droid will be turning up the funk factor with his dirty dance punk.

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Space

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Gallery

Also on Saturday night there’s an awesome lineup at the Bowery Poetry Club– Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry editor of the New Yorker, is the featured reader and Racket provides the tunes. The late show is !BadAss! Burlesque with Velocity Chyaldd.

!BadAss! Burlesque

!BadAss! Burlesque

Ongoing this month, the ISSUE Project Room is presenting all sorts of experimental madness at Old American Can Factory near the Gowanus Canal, before making their big move to their new digs at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Read what Brooklyn Based has to say about the artists/musicians/performers involved.

P.S. Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival go on sale to the general public on Monday!

Recent Adventures

I’m feeling a tiny bit under the weather at the moment so you will have to forgive the brevity of this post. I’ve had several adventures worth relating this week.

On Monday I went to the Purim comedy act at the 92Y Tribeca, which I told you about in a previous post. I particularly liked the sketch modeled on ‘High School Musical.’ At the end the boy goes off with the girl against the wishes of his friends…

Girl: Oh no, you are going to leave those lousy friends of yours and go and do your school work. AND you are going to Medical School!

Boy: I have to go guys, I’ve been searching for a woman to replace my mother for my whole life!

You can watch clips of Shushan Channel’s sketches on their website.

On Wednesday I finally got around to seeing a film that was part of the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Series, which I mentioned some time ago. I saw ‘The Joy of Singing’ at the IFC and it was truly French in every sense you can imagine. My friend L was not a big fan but she’s not nearly as much of a francophile as I am. If you missed the series check your Netflix- some of them will probably come out on DVD sometime soon-ish.

I also saw B spin at Hugs that night (I told you about this in advance as well); he was fantastic as always and while we couldn’t get much dancing going I have high hopes for next time since it’ll be warmer and more people will be willing to move from their warm apartments.

Friday night my friend M was having a ‘Blue Velvet‘ party so I wasn’t able to attend any other events. Afterall, I wouldn’t want to miss blue velvet cupcakes and crazy sadistic sex scenes (oh David Lynch!)!

Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini in 'Blue Velvet'

Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini in 'Blue Velvet'

Saturday afternoon my grandmother and I saw ‘Happiness’- a new musical now playing at Lincoln Center. It was adorable and heartwarming and altogether lovely, certainly not ground-breaking, but lovely.

HAPPINESS unfolds the stories of a dozen or so New Yorkers stuck in the morning rush of a stalled subway car and required by the spectral trainman to recall and re-enact the happiest moment in their lives before they can continue their travels… and travails.

HAPPINESS celebrates those fleeting moments in everyday lives — typically unanticipated, largely overlooked, always ephemeral — that upon reflection become people’s fondest memories


Saturday night I saw the Young New Yorkers Chorus perform (mentioned this to you earlier). They were fantastic and I found the melodies, which are apparently based on ‘ancient chants’ to be very similar to some of the chants Jewish prayers are set to. I would be interested to look into the correlation further.

I’m off for the moment but I promise to get back to you with this week’s events shortly.

Love & Racism- Two Musicals

I spent both of the last two evenings crying while actors sang love songs on stage. It was marvelous. Luckily on both occasions my companion(s) were tolerant of the waterworks and realized they were actually indicative of what a wonderful time I was having.

Monday night I saw the new revival of West Side Story, which is currently in previews at the Palace Theater. Arthur Laurents, at the age of 91, is doing a revival of his own show that goes in a totally new direction- the Puerto Rican characters speak and sing in Spanish. At first I found the scenes that were almost entirely in Spanish, like an argument between Anita and Bernardo, jarring and confusing. Subtitles were deemed a distraction so if you don’t speak Spanish you can only guess at exactly what’s being said. I didn’t begin to really appreciate how powerful the contrast between the languages could be until Anita and Maria sang A Boy Like That/I Have a Love. When Maria breaks into English the audience feels that she’s embracing Tony and the country he’s part of, but also that she’s painfully breaking from her own. The music is even more powerful, especially through the voices of these two truly phenomenal actresses- JOSEFINA SCAGLIONE and KAREN OLIVO.

Karen Olivo (Anita), George Akram (Bernardo) and company

Karen Olivo (Anita), George Akram (Bernardo) and company


Josefina Scaglione (Maria) and Matt Cavenaugh (Tony)

Josefina Scaglione (Maria) and Matt Cavenaugh (Tony)


The final scene after Tony has been killed, in which Maria threatens to kill herself and members of both gangs, feels raw and terrifying. She switches hysterically from English to Spanish and her pain and confusion is more clearly demonstrated through this mix of languages than it could possibly have been otherwise. I certainly recommend seeing this production, if possible see it before it officially opens.

As interesting and enjoyable as West Side Story was I will admit that it paled somewhat in comparison to South Pacific, which I saw last night at the Lincoln Center Theater. We arrived late (my fault; I mixed up the time) but were immediately swept away by the energy and talent of the performers. The theater is much smaller than the Palace and even from the balcony we had a fantastic view. Andrew Samonsky lives up to his character’s description (“You sexy Lieutenant!”). The relationship between him and Liat (Li Jun Li), though really the secondary romance of the musical, has more of a feeling of authenticity than I expected. These are two actors truly embodying their characters; they are both swept away by a love that seems to exist outside of reality. The feeling of bitterness and desire in the song ‘Happy Talk’ is amazing. I started crying then and kept on crying right through until the end of Act II.

Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable) and Li Jun Li (Liat)

Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable) and Li Jun Li (Liat)

Of course it was Kelli O’Hara (Nellie Forbush) and Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) who made the show truly phenomenal. Since we missed the opening scene it took me some time to really feel the chemistry between them. My first impression of her was formed during ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,’ which she performed beautifully.

Kelli O'Hara (Nellie Forbush)

Kelli O'Hara (Nellie Forbush)

I can’t count how many times I’ve sung that song in the shower after a breakup; it is ingrained into my subconscious image of relationships. Her southern accent and his French accent were problematic for me at first; they felt inauthentic and distracted from the words being spoken. In song they appealed to me much more. When he sings ‘This Was Nearly Mine’ the irony is present to a degree that recalls Greek tragedy more than musical theater.

Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) and Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable)

Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) and Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable)

I was involved enough that I actually forgot there was a happy ending and was so swept away by it I was hysterical all the way through the curtain calls. If you have any positive associations with this musical see it now before this cast begin to leave the production.

Stay tuned for additions to this week’s roster of events and for my weekend post!