Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

The Best of New York in February for Kids

February 6, 2018 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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The winter can seem long in New York, but there is so much to do to take your mind off how cold and wet you are feeling, that you wont notice. Here is a brief selection of what we think you and your kids should not miss this coming month.

Take your kids to a Broadway show, for free!

On February 27 children 18 years old and under can go to one of several selected Broadway shows for free in the company of an adult with a full-price ticket. The offer is called “Kids Night on Broadway,” and more information is available on the website.

Soap Bubbles Galore

The “Gazillion Bubble Show” has been described as “Enchanting” by the New York Times, and praised by countless others. The performance is a “dazzling display of bubbles” sure to please children and adults thoroughly. Using lasers and an enormous amount of creative artistry, the Yang family members have certainly proven that they are supreme experts in the art of changing simple soap bubbles into something awesome. Go to their website for more details.

How to Get to Sesame Street

From February 9-19 the younger set can be transported to the magical, interactive world of Sesame Street. The audience participates in picking a party theme, and then join in with Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster in some sing-a-long singing, building a snowman with Elmo, flap their wings with Big Bird, and enjoy some fun moments with Super Grover. For more information go to the Sesame Street Live website.


Winter is Wonderful in New York

January 3, 2018 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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You’ve already missed the Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Swim in Coney Island, but do not fear, there is still plenty left to do this month, and some of it indoors.

Concerts

globalFEST- This truly international music festival celebrates the music of Indian hip-hop, Iranian folk music, Mexican mariachi, and Brazilian Tropicália. BB King Blues Club & Grill, Midtown West January 14, 2018.

OSHUN- Combing new-soul with hip-hop and pop music, this Brooklyn-based group presents two superb vocalists debuting their first album at this performance. Rough Trade NYC, Williamsburg, Friday January 12, 2018.

Carnivals

The City Pond skating rink in Bryant Park, Manhattan, New York City. Photo courtesy of Beyond My Ken.

Bryant Park- Try a bit of curling; drink some sweet hot chocolate and of course ice skating at this amazing midtown Manhattan winter wonderland carnival. Entrance is free. The Winter Village is already up and running, and most of the fun will continue until March 4, 2018.

WinterFest on Long Island- It might be a bit of a drive, but it is well worth it to see the beauty in the winter of the east end of Long Island. This is the 11th annual festival, beginning on February 23 and ending a month later, on March 18. All schedules and venues will be announced on January 15, so stay tuned.

Spas

Aire Ancient Baths- this Spanish import envisions an experience resembling the large and extravagant bathhouses of ancient Rome and Greece. This luxury bathhouse minichain, features three stories of open room baths, with hot, cold, saltwater, and multijet pools. There are also steam and hot-stone rooms for lounging for as long as two hours. The facility offers a lot more and is worth checking out. It is in Tribeca at 88 Franklin Street.

Great Jones Spa- This spa believes that water is the secret to good health. It offers a water lounge with underground pools, saunas, steam rooms and a 40-foot waterfall. You can get a haircut here, as well as a manicure. North of Houston at 29 Great Jones Street at Lafayette.


New York’s Winter Wonderland is Better Than Ever

December 14, 2017 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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The Radio City Rockettes perform the March of the Wooden Soldier at the Christmas Spectacular in Radio City Music Hall. Photo courtesy Bob Jagendorf.

There is so much to do in New York in December it’s hard to know where to begin with suggestions to make this holiday season the most special possible.

It theater is your thing, you should definitely not miss either the Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular or the Nutcracker.

The Spectacular features the beloved Rockettes, a phenomenon at the Music Hall since 1932. In the unlikely event that you are not familiar with the Rockettes, they are a dance troupe most famous for their line kicks, which are almost otherworldly in their synchronicity. This show is a cant miss as far as making the family squeal with delight.

If classic dance is more your speed then The Nutcracker is the show to see. There are a number of shows in the metropolitan area, but probably the most classic would be the incredible 1954 production choreographed by George Balanchine and performed by the full New York City Ballet Company and two casts of School of American Ballet students.

Other versions of the Nutcracker abound. There is a hip-hop version in which rapper Kurtis Blow MC’s the action, which includes digital projections and a score with a contemporary beat. The show takes place at Prudential Hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

If you hurry you can still catch the State Ballet Theater of Russia’s version of  Tchaikovsky holiday classic. On Friday, December 15 the one and only New York performance will take place at the Schimmel Center at Pace University at 3 Spruce Street in Manhattan.

No matter what you choose to do this holiday season, you can’t go wrong in New York City.


Seaport Music Festival Ready to Roll

September 5, 2017 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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South Street Seaport, New York City, NY. Photo courtesy Prayitno.

The South Street Seaport Music Festival will celebrate its 15th anniversary this September 7-10, and its sure to be an unforgettable experience.

The festival was founded in 2002 to be a gateway for nascent bands to help them break into the bigger New York music festivals down the road. Some of those ‘newbies’ have gone on to successful music careers, including Sufjan Stevens, Hot Chip and Dr. Dog, Joanna Newsom, and many more.

This year you can be sure the talent is high and excitement will be electric. The festival will be welcoming such newcomers as Jean Grae, Death Valley Girls, Azar Swan, and a huge additional list of groups and individuals.

Music is not the only entertainment on offer. If you are a fan of NPR then you have probably heard of Ophira Eisenberg. She is a host of the radio network’s trivia comedy show “Ask Me Another.”

Eisenberg is a comedian and a writer, and as a host of the popular show she has interviewed and played funny games with a varied group of artists, including, Sir Patrick Stewart, Weird Al, Ethan Hawke, and others.

She has been on Comedy Central, Girls, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, and VH-1. She has performed on The Moth as well as hosted it, and she recently released her second comedy album, “BANGS!”

As you can see, this is a festival not to be missed. See you there!


Summer in the City is Sensational

July 18, 2017 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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PJ Harvey @ Coachella 2011. Photo courtesy of PJ Harvey.

Free this evening? There are all sorts of events and parties to choose from, every night of the week. Here is what’s going on just this coming Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

  • Cruising has never been so convenient and easy. The fun starts at 6:30pm from Pier 15 at 78 South Street, Pavillion 2, at Fletcher. For a mere $20 you will sail up the great Hudson River on Hornblower’s Sensation. You will get to dance your heart out to live DJ’s music on all of the boats three decks. Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection wines will also be on hand, as will some light snacks and a temporary tatoo bar called Tatty’s.
  • The Hudson River will also be the backdrop for a just-like-the-old-days outdoor movie. Come to Pier 1 at Riverside Park at 7pm for a free showing of the Barbra Streisand comedy “What’s Up, Doc?” Released in 1972, you will probably laugh until you cry while you watch Barbra, Ryan O’Neil and Madeline Kahn go screwy all over the big screen.
  • Do you have some money left in your entertainment budget? The why not spend a mere $49.50 on a ticket to see PJ Harvey in Central Park. This alt-rock icon will be giving a benefit performance at the Rumsey Playfield at 8:30pm in the wake of her recent release of “The Hope Six Demolition Project.”

Drunk Shakespeare is a Wild and Crazy Night Out

November 3, 2016 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009.

Portrait of William Shakespeare

There is no question that New York is full of surprises, but this is one it would be hard to imagine all on one’s own.

Known as “Drunk Shakespeare,” the premise is that one actor begins his evening with five shots of whiskey, and then, with presumably no time to sober up, begins to perform in a real Shakespearean play.

I imagine that for purists this might smack of sacrilege, but for the rest of us with senses of humor, this could turn out to be a pretty fun evening. Among the other strange elements patrons can expect are a hidden library on the 4th floor of a building on 43rd and 8th Avenue which has more than 15,000 books; a mysterious bartender who serves his drinks through and opening in a 10-foot high bookcase which is made completely of black books; one-hundred valuable novels buried for all time in an amber fluid in front of a king’s throne; and more…

The troupe of actors bringing this fascinating premise to life is known as the “Drunk Shakespeare Society.” They perform nightly at the Roy Arias Stages in Midtown Manhattan, a performance space made to look very much like a library. When the cocktails have been served out the actual “Drunk Shakespeare” performance begins, in close proximity to the audience. A somewhat truncated version of Macbeth ensues. Each evening a different actor, playing a different role, is required to become inebriated and then perform his lines as convincingly as possible.

Due to the drinking atmosphere, the audience is less inhibited, and easily become part of the action. There are two audience members who get special attention, as they have spent extra for the privilege of sitting on royal thrones. These special patrons have purchased the rights to champagne, caviar, and the right to tell the drinker to drink some more, why don’t you?

The show opened in November, 2014, and does not show signs of abating. Performances take place every night of the week but Tuesday. Friday nights have two shows, and Saturday evenings there are three to choose from.


The Best of Broadway this Summer

August 25, 2016 in Entertainment,Theater | Comments (0)

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Sholom Aleichem circa 1907

Sholom Aleichem circa 1907

Oh no! Summer is almost over and you haven’t yet done something really spectacular? No need to fret, just go to a Broadway show!

Broadway is one of the unique New York attractions that bring people from all over the world to the Big Apple. Why not indulge yourself and another special someone, or even the entire family?

Here is what is on offer on the Great White Way:

Musicals

This genre of theater is really what Broadway a household word all over the world. And for very good reasons; the music is phenomenal, costumes and scenery will blow your mind, and the voices will most assuredly send chills up and down your spine. Pick the right show and you will also be treated to some incredible dancing. The choices are varied and many. Here are some of our favorites:

The Lion King: Based on the beloved Disney movie whose story bears a strong resemblance to Hamlet, the staged version of the animated film takes the music, and everything else to a completely new, and incomparable level.

The Book of Mormon: This controversial original play won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical of 2011, and was nominated for 14.

Fiddler on the Roof: This revival of the iconic 1964 show based on the “Tevye” stories written by Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem tells the story of love between couples old and young; between parents and children; social and political upheavals at the turn of the 20th century; and done with humor, empathy and lots and lots of heart. In short, its themes are universal and guaranteed to please whatever your ethnic origin.

Drama

The Price: This is a revival of a 1968 play written by Arthur Miller, of “Death of a Salesman” fame. The original was nominated for two Tony Awards, and is the story of family dynamics, the price of furniture and also the price of one’s decisions.

Heisenberg: A hit off-Broadway, Heisenberg tells the story of Clare, who notices a “much older than she is” Alex in a crowded London tube station. She spontaneously kisses him on his neck, which sets the stage for the two to engage in a life-changing game.

Photograph 51: See Oscar winner Nicole Kidman perform as Rosalind Franklin, the x-ray crystallographer whose photo allowed Watson and Crick to uncover the structure of DNA. The play focuses on the frantic hunt for the answer to how the shape of DNA transmits the information which carries the secret of life. Written by Anna Ziegler, Photograph 51 is a journey through what is sacrificed for science, love and a place in history.


Enjoy Jazz Concerts Throughout the Summer in New York

July 28, 2016 in Entertainment,Night Life | Comments (0)

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Picture courtesy of OLGA LEDNICHENKO

Picture courtesy of
OLGA LEDNICHENKO

The place to be for jazz lovers this summer is New York City. With such stars as the Charles McPherson Quintet, Julian Lee, and the Jon Irabagon Quartet, there is something for everyone to love.

On August 2 treat yourself to a fantastic concert with the Jon Irabagon Quartet. Irabagon is the winner of the 2008 Thelonius Monk Saxophone Competition and the New York City Jazz Record’s 2012 Musician of the Year.

Joining him as part of the quartet is Billy Drummond on drums; bassist Yasushi; and pianist Luis Perdomo.

In New York Irabagon is an up and coming performer in the New York music world. He is a member of several ensembles, including “Mostly Other People Do the Killing” and the “Mary Halvorson Quintet.”

The concert is on Tuesday, August 2, at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, will mostly explore the more swinging style of Irabagon, performing pieces from his well-received 2015 album “Behind the Sky.” The venue is Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Broadway and 60th Street, on the fifth floor.


The Best Things in New York Are Free

June 10, 2016 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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Brooklyn Bridge Park w/ Jane's Carousel. Photo by dumbonyc

Brooklyn Bridge Park w/ Jane’s Carousel. Photo by dumbonyc

New York City is a truly amazing place. One of the most enjoyable activities in the entire city is completely free- Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The park frequently hosts free events to entice a wide range of tastes. There is a spectacular view of the iconic New York City to write home about. There are art installations scattered throughout the beautiful grounds. Kayaks are free to borrow on the weekends. And that is just the beginning.

So let’s just take a look at the week coming up: June 26-July 2:

•    Checkmate 101 is a chess instruction workshop, especially for beginners, designed to take your game to the next level. Sundays at 11am from June 19 to August 7.

•    Wildlife Theater presents the Butterfly Boogie. On Sunday, June 26 from 11am to 1pm the Butterfly Boogie will take participants on a 3,000-mile adventure proving that bugs are the coolest creatures ever. The musical, interactive performance shows children the interdependence of plants and animals and introduces them to the idea of metamorphosis.

•    Summer Reading Storytime features Brooklyn Heights librarians reading stories out loud from the Brooklyn Public Library’s summer reading list. Tuesdays from 10:30am to 11:30am from June 28 to August 9th.

And I almost forgot to mention the fabulous 100-year-old Jane’s Carousel. It is enclosed in glass to protect from the elements and also costs $2 to ride, so technically it isn’t free. But considering all the things you do get for free, including the amazing view, you will probably agree it is two well-spent dollars.

Are you convinced yet? If you are, then be warned that parking is difficult near the park. It is highly encouraged that visitors beyond walking distance take public transportation. Check out the park’s very own website for more information.


May the Fourth Be with You!

May 5, 2016 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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star-wars-1088872_640Don’t be ashamed: We know you love Star Wars and everything the Force can influence, and even sometimes the Dark Side, too. New York has some great ways to celebrate this nerdiest of days.

•    Star Wars and the Power of Costume: The Exhibition at Discovery Square– Talk about cool! Head over to 226 West 44th Street and check out the more than 70 iconic costumes from all seven of the Star Wars films. From the Darth Vader’s super creepy black mask, to that incredibly uncomfortable looking golden junk pile Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was forced to wear, you will certainly be enthralled to see the real things up close and personal.

•    Transport yourself to The Lego Store at 620 Fifth Avenue in Times Square and get a good deal on many Star Wars items offered on sale. Get a free copy of the official LEGO version of the Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens theatrical movie poster, with any Star Wars purchase. Hurry though, the promotions end on May 4.

•    New York Jedi creates real life action with onstage, illuminated combat with lighsabers. Yup, you heard me right. You can even take a course in the skill, and you don’t even have to bring your own lightsaber. Lucky for most of us, they will provide them. Just think, after learning how to wield said saber the force can be with you all year long. Ripley Grier Studios, 520 8th Ave.