It’s great to be back in the city and I’m super excited about all the events coming up! PopRally tonight is sold out but if you can figure out a way to get in it’s sure to be worth the effort! This is the premiere of “SCRYING, a non-narrative performance ballet conceived and directed by New York-based artist Jen DeNike and choreographed by Melissa Barak.” There will also be a live performance of “tribal/electronic/ambient anthems” by Soft Circle.
Also tonight you can learn the gritty details of the work of undercover cops in the tenements of the LES at the start of the twentieth century. This lecture, at the Tenement Museum, will be full of stories of prostitutes, immigrants, anarchists and other questionable characters.
LES Tenements around 1900
If you’ve never heard of Alaina Hammond, now is the time to discover the work of this talented writer; the series “Here We Go Again: More Plays by Alaina Hammond” is playing at Manhattan Theater Source several nights this week. It’s not terribly questionable theater but the tickets are cheap enough ($15) that even if you find it questionable it’s not an unreasonable expense.
It’s been some time since I’ve gotten a shot of burlesque and I may get my fix on Wednesday at Skits ‘n’ Tits:
Outrageous monthly variety show presents NYC’s best burlesque beauties, comedians, sketch, variety acts, and music. Produced by and starring Diane O’Debra (formerly of the O’Debra Twins), Steph Sabelli (absurd characters, improvisational comedian), and Jessica Delfino (award winning dirty folk rocker publicly denounced by the US Catholic League). Starring celebrity guests, amazing giveaways, drink specials and more, including a super secret surprise celeb comedian. A wild, dirty little show.
On Saturday you can sing-along with the Muppets when they Take Manhattan at 92Y Tribeca. Check out the trailer and be prepared to join in with your favorite fuzzy friends.
There are lots of other awesome things coming up so stay tuned for more updates!
Once again we have a super stuffed weekend coming up, not to mention the days before and after! I’ll admit as one of the funemployed I fail to recall what day of the week it is most of the time…
Tonight, as I’ve told you already, I’ll be at Comix to see the Raspberry Bros do their thing to The Breakfast Club (plus participate in the John Hughes sing-a-long). If you’d like to join buy your tiks in advance using the code RASP and they’re just $5 ($15 at the door)!
Tomorrow is ‘Fashion’s Night Out‘- an advertising ploy by Vogue and the rest of the fashion industry to get you to shop before they all go broke (the blurb in the Sept. issue of Vogue says “don’t you miss shopping?”). There are innumerable sales and events involved; my pick is champagne fueled lingerie shopping at Kiki de Montparnasse (starts at 8pm).
Four hundred years ago a Dutch ship called the Half Moon, guided by Henry Hudson, reached the shores of Manhattan. This week the Dutch are celebrating that historic landing and all that’s followed it with a slew of exciting events! I’ll admit I’m at a loss to choose between the explorations of Dutch culture, the environmental lectures, the sports and the historical events. However, the big three are The Flying Dutchman Sailing Race, the NiEuW Amersterdam Restaurant Week and the New Amsterdam Market. The Restaurant Week runs from Sept. 5 to the 20th; participating restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for $24- the amount Hudson paid for Manhattan (now THAT’s inflation!). I recommend Bachas, Bar Tabac and Resto! The New Amsterdam Market is your standard farmers market but with the additon of various workshops and events (for example ‘drink with Henry Hudson’). Embrace your inner Dutchman!
New Amsterdam Market
If your favorite part about the Dutch is their beer you’ll be glad to know it’s also NY Craft Beer Week from Sept. 11 to the 20th! This year’s NY Craft Beer Week includes 83 different venues featuring 162 unique beers throughout the five boroughs. There are also all sorts of events such as beer “strolls,” “walks” and “crawls” (I find the distinction in naming quite intriguing…). Get out and take your knowledge and appreciation of this fine form of alcohol to a whole new level!
If you can’t pay tribute to John Hughes tonight you have another chance Thursday night- Cattle Call Tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This event is highly participatory so you should only go if you want to be part of the show! Audience members will reenact their favorite scenes from the film with some dubious direction; do you have what it takes to be Ferris? Here’s a clip to remind you of the size of the shoes you’re trying to fill…
This weekend previews for A Steady Rain begin at The Schoenfeld Theatre. This is Daniel Craig’s Broadway debut and the general feeling seems to be that he is likely to be terrible, but hey, you never know, especially with Hugh Jackman around. Here’s a panel from an excellent cartoon in New York Magazine that perfectly sums of the problem:
Friday night Flux Factory is throwing the dance party to end all dance parties; there will be DJs, bands, installation art, weird performers and much much more, ALL ON A BOAT.
Starting this Sunday Philip Seymour Hoffman is back on stage in The Public Theater’s production of Othello. He’ll be playing alongside John Ortiz in what is certain to be one of the most memorable productions of this challenging play. Get your tickets now before the critics start raving in earnest.
From Sept. 22 to Oct. 3rd New York City Center will host some of the most creative and talented dancers from around the world. Not only that but the tickets to these marvelous performances, all part of the annual Fall For Dance Festival, are just $10 each! The catch? Well, the catch is that this Sunday you’d better get up early and join me on line to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale!
Competitive cookoff gurus Theo Peck and Nick Suarez, present to you the Brooklyn Cheese Experiment, a cheese cookoff and homebrew-off of epic proportion. Amateur chefs will whip up their favorite cheese-based dishes ranging from sweet to savory, while local homebrewers pit their home made brews against each other in Brooklyn’s premier culinary competition. The audience will vote for their favorites along with a judging panel of highly touted cheese and beer aficionados. Prizes and cash will ceremoniously be given away to those who strive for cookoff glory. Do you have what it takes to compete?
Sunday is also the most anticipated literary event of the year- The Brooklyn Book Festival! Last year I came unprepared and failed to make strategic choices when waiting on line for tickets to readings. This year if I’m able to make it out there post-FFD ticket line (so unfair that these are the same day!) I’ll follow Brooklyn Based Cheat Sheet!
The Summer Play Festival (SPF) stages original new plays and musicals by emerging writers during the summer months at the legendaryPublic Theaterin New York City. Since its inception in 2004, SPF has invested millions of dollars in emerging theatre artists, produced over 500 public performances, and has provided an opportunity for 75 writers, as well as hundreds of directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.
This year’s lineup includes a “testosterone-driven new musical” (Departure Lounge), which is possibly the most questionable statement I’ve heard this summer. All tickets are $10, so this is an excellent way to get your dose of questionable theater cheaply!
Tuesday night you can be part of the drama at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where an interactive retelling of an 1873 Murder Mystery casts the audience as the detectives. You can learn about the underbelly of NYC a century ago and test your intuition.
If you’re looking for a slightly more athletic participatory event on Tuesday, you can head out to The Bell House and join the Ping Pong Tournament. The Tournament is strictly amateur and just $5 to join but be forewarned- “whiners will be paddled!”
On Wednesday night at The Slipper Room you can experience a book release party of an unusual nature; this dirty book needs an array of naughty performances to usher it into the world:
On July 8th, Fugu Press will release “Scarlett Takes Manhattan,” the first graphic novel by Dr. Sketchy’s creator Molly Crabapple and her longtime collaborator John Leavitt. Set in the demimonde of Gilded Age New York, “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” tells the story of poor Bowery girl Shifra Helfgott, who rises to become the premier fire-eater of her age. Chock full of rigged boxing matches, dirty politics, and turn of the century lesbian culture, “Scarlett” has been described as “disgustingly wonderful” by Warren Ellis and led Margaret Cho to call Molly “THE artist of our time.” Hosted by Amber Ray, New York’s “Salvador Dali of Burlesque” / Book signing by “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” creators Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt / Burlesque by Gal Friday / Fire performance by Jo Boobs / Vaudevillian music by The Two Man Gentleman Band, who will debut their new song “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” / Free red-hot flavored cupcakes by Glittle Cupcakes.
Also on Wednesday you can see Reality Bites at the ball fields at McCarren Park, as part of the Summer Screen Series by L Magazine. This is the movie that used the trope of home video years before youtube would propel our angst into the public realm. Check out the original trailer here.
ALSO on Wednesday, if you want to see some truly vintage movies head over to Dead Herring, where there will be a screening of “rare old-time cartoons hand-picked by Owen Kline and Tom Stathes, all projected on 16mm film.”
The 16 eateries of the World Financial Center will offer a tasting of world class cuisine for as little as $1 (and as much as $5) under the palm trees of the World Financial Center Winter Garden.
This may be the last week to see Twelfth Night at the Delacorte, but Thursday is opening night for another distinguished outdoor Shakespearean theater- Shakespeare in the Parking Lot! This year the parking lot, on the corner of Ludlow and Broome, will open its season with Midsummer Night’s Dream; what could be more dreamlike than Puck in a parking lot?
Finally I have one special advance theater notice: there will be two performances of Cirque Jacqueline July 25 and 26 at the Players Loft. This one-woman play about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has received excellent reviews and the tickets are likely to sell out quickly, particularly as they’re only $20 apiece! The New York Times says that its author and star, Andrea Reese, “becomes uncannily Jackie-esque.”
I’d like to add a couple of events I’ve just come across to my earlier post. Tonight at the Tenement Museum Stephen Wolf, editor of I Speak of the City: Poems of New York, hosts a celebration of National Poetry Month; a group of writers and actors will read from classics by Whitman, Hughes, Ginsberg, and more.
“Poems about New York have their own restless rhythm and ever-changing style, much like the city itself. They capture the major moments and daily doings of New York, from immigrant experiences at Ellis Island to the rush and pull of Broadway.”
Also tonight the Bushwick Bookclub challenges local musicians to create and perform songs about James and the Giant Peach. Head out to Goodbye Blue Monday and have some pie with your Tuesday (unless you’re Jewish and celebrating Passover like me, in which case enjoy the music and pout over absurd traditions).
There are two concerts this week that I’d like to bring to your attention; they’re not sold out as of this morning but you should grab tickets soon if you want to see these musicians fresh out of SXSW.
If you want something a bit… dorkier go to the Bell House on Wednesday for Union Hall’s Secret Science Club.
Mars expert JAMES HEAD recently spent his “holidays” in Antarctica, studying the bone-chilling landscape for clues that might help explain the mysterious Martian terrain. Dr. Head asks: Could frigid water below the surface of Mars contain evidence of life? What’s the latest news from recent Mars missions such as the Mars Express and Phoenix?
Professor of Geological Sciences in the Planetary Geosciences Group at Brown University, Dr. James Head spent his early career at NASA, training Apollo astronauts and planning lunar landing sites. As a geological explorer, he has traveled around the world (and to the bottom of the ocean in deep-sea submersibles) to study volcanism and tectonism. He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers on topics ranging from gullies and glaciation on Mars to Venusian impact craters. Currently, he is a co-investigator for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Mission, the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury and the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3).
Before & After
**Groove to spaced-out tunes and video
**Blast off with the Secret Science Club’s quantum cocktail of the night, the “Mars Express”
**Stick around for the out-of-this-world Q&A and music from PHANTOGRAM and BIG BANG TV!!
If you’re more interested in the past than the future get a history lesson on sex in NYC on Thursday at the Tenement Museum where Kat Long will be discussing her book “Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex and Sin in New York City.” I just picked it up yesterday and it’s full of details about brothels during Prohibition and street walkers in pre-Guiliani Times Square. History has never been this steamy!