Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

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.


Fuerza Bruta Wayra Will “Blow You Away”

November 5, 2015 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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Join the over 500, 000 people who have already experienced the ‘brute force’ known as “Fuerza Bruta.” Originally created and performed in Buenos Aires in 2005, by Diqui James, the exuberant show was brought to New York in 2007 and is still running at the Off-Broadway Daryl Roth Theater.

The show has been described as “an energetic spectacle” which features audience interaction with the 16 performers and what is called a “360 degree” experience.

Perhaps less theater and more club, the newest version of Fuerza Bruta is called “Wayra,” or wind. The audience is up and dancing, screaming and hyperventilating at turns, enjoying the incredible aerial displays, water tank dancers, and pulsating, invigorating music.

This is an altogether different kind of show, which will, if nothing else, keep you talking long after the excitement has ended.


Join the Tour de Bronx: Its Free

October 15, 2015 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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Looking northwest on Bushwick Avenue as Tour de Brooklyn approaches Aberdeen Street on a sunny morning. Photo by Jim.henderson

Looking northwest on Bushwick Avenue as Tour de Brooklyn approaches Aberdeen Street on a sunny morning. Photo by Jim.henderson

With an anticipated participation of 6, 000 biking enthusiasts, the Tour de Bronx is the largest free cycling event in all of New York State. Cyclists can choose between a 40-mile race and a less demanding 25-mile route.

The mission of this event is to raise awareness about the benefits of biking, and is presented by the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. in partnership with Transportation Alternatives. The Bronx Tourism Council is producing the event, with its eye on showcasing the environmentally-friendly pedestrian alternative to carbon-based fueled vehicles.

Participants will need to register and sing a waiver, and is happy to recruit volunteers to help out with registration and marshaling the event.
The rides are scheduled for Sunday, October 25, 2015. Check-in time is 9am. For more information go to the Bronx de Force web site.


Fun in New York with Alice in Wonderland

September 6, 2015 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

rabbit-30751_640Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is celebrating its 150th year, having been published in 1865. It has certainly inspired many film adaptions, theater stagings, translations and more. Now, New York is taking the opportunity to celebrate Lewis Carroll’s work in many ways. Here are a few of them.

Morgan Library and Museum: Here, until October 11th, the museum will be hosting the original manuscript of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” that is usually held at the British Library in London. The exhibit includes rare editions of the book, original letters and drawings.

Grolier Club: At this book society in Manhattan, they will showcase translations of the work. This will run from September 16th until November 21st.

Brooklyn Public Library: At their Central Library branch, there will be dramatic reading of “The Mad Tea Party” which is one of the most memorable chapters of the book. This fun event will take place on September 19th and is part of the “bookend events” for this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival.