Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.” We made it as easy as 1-2-3.
Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being. Stay Safe.
Today is election day. I believe, as do so many others, that this is the most important election we have ever faced. We have to vote today like our democracy and our life depends on it, because it does.
This website has always been non-political, focused on cultural events and everything to do, see and enjoy in this great city. Because it is election day, I feel it is necessary to lead off today’s events and focus attention on this art installation: ‘Wall of Lies’
“This isn’t the first art installation depicting claims made by President Trump to appear in NYC. A second mural had to be created after the original installation in Brooklyn was defaced.
Every claim had been organized in chronological order from the fact-checkers at the Washington Post. Radio Free Brooklyn, a nonprofit organization providing active learning in media practices for underserved Brooklyn communities, who put up the mural, said the color-coded display is categorized with pink for environment, green for coronavirus, blue for immigration, purple for crime, yellow for Russia, and so on.” (secretnyc.co)
Please go out and vote, if you haven’t already.
Earlier today we covered 14 Classic NYCity Films and Lower Manhattan sights. Now, how about some more useful information.
New York magazine is biweekly these days and every issue has a wonderful section, “The Culture Pages,” which includes a “To Do” list – 25 things to see, hear, watch, and read. Here are my favorites from the current issue (Oct.28-Nov.11).
The Ghosts of Versailles
Featuring a young Renée Fleming.
In 1991, the Metropolitan Opera made its long-awaited return to contemporary opera after 25 years of wallowing in the past. It did so with a work that wallowed in the past. Long gestating, theatrically dazzling, sumptuously cast, wildly expensive, and ambivalently reviewed, John Corigliano’s romp through 18th-century styles made a splash, popped up again a few years later, and then vanished from the company’s repertoire. Fortunately, the broadcast, first televised in 1992, is still around to stream. —Justin Davidson
metopera.org, October 31.
State of Darkness
It’s been more than 30 years since dancer and choreographer Molissa Fenley first performed her fiercely concentrated State of Darkness, set to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Now she’s spent the summer coaching (from a distance) seven dancers, all from different companies with different styles, each of whom gives the work a distinctive stamp. The series, streamed from the Joyce Theater, concludes with successive turns by Lloyd Knight, Cassandra Trenary, and Sara Mearns. —Justin Davidson
joyce.org, through November 1.
In two parts.
Weill and Brecht’s grit-crusted “play with music” was built to fit just about any stage or even no stage at all. The start-up company City Lyric Opera has found a way to adapt it to technology and separation, without stinting on theatrical effect, for a two-week run. —J.D.
citylyricopera.org, October 29 to November 15.
Leilah Babirye is one of the strongest artists to have emerged in the past five years. Her ceramic, wood, metal, and found-object sculptures and assemblages pack optical punches and deliver dollops of passion, power, material intelligence, spiritual wisdom, off-the-wall humor, and almost revolutionary ancestral identity politics. She’s taking back whole swaths of art history, deploying stolen tropes, remaking visual history, and remembering the past in medium-size objects that all possess talismanic dignity and tenderness. —J.S.
Gordon Robichaux, 41 Union Square West, through November 22.
Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare
All the men and women merely silverware.
In 2018, British experimental troupe Forced Entertainment visited New York with its sweetly brilliant object-theater series Table Top Shakespeare: In each episode, an actor retells a condensed version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, “casting” the parts with various bits and bobs like teapots or pepper grinders. I caught the ensemble’s Antony and Cleopatra — the Egyptian queen was a gilded bit of crockery — and it absolutely knocked my saltcellar off. Now, with kitchen tables among the few sanctioned performance spaces, the company has begun streaming a domestic version of the series, making every miniature play available for free. A new one appears online each night; all told, there are 36. Collect ’em all. —Helen Shaw (Sept.17 – Nov.15)
*This article appears in the October 26, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
GD: Unfortunately, fans of Broadway will have to wait a little longer for shows to resume — until at least late May 2021. That hurts!
Broadway theaters closed on March 12 as New York City enacted rules to promote social distancing and slow the spread of Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a show. The NYC theater community has responded with initiatives and online shows to help support its members and entertain audiences via the internet while we’re staying away from crowds.
We’ve put together a sampling of streaming performances you can watch from your laptop or phone:
Broadway HD Starting in 2015, this online service began offering HD versions of classic and recent Broadway plays and musicals. You can try it out for free (with a one-week trial) or buy a subscription (from $9 a month) to watch some of your favorite shows. You can see stars like Katherine Hepburn in 1973’s televised version of The Glass Menagerie as well as musical hits like Kinky Boots, An American in Paris and Cats.
Stars in the House Broadway actor, director and writer (and radio host) Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, host two shows a day from their house on YouTube. The hourlong shows, which air live at 2pm and 8pm (the usual Broadway start times), raise money for the Actors Fund, helping to provide emergency relief for those unemployed in the theater community.
Living Room Concerts Broadwayworld.com has started posting daily concert videos from an array of performers, mainly those whose shows were running before the recent closure of Broadway. They’re posting a new video every day—stars featured include Carolee Carmello (Hello, Dolly!), Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little Pill) and teenager Andrew Barth Feldman, the former lead in Dear Evan Hansen.
Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar This West Village bar, known for sing-alongs to Broadway show tunes, has taken the experience online. They’re streaming two main sets of songs each evening, usually starting at 4pm, with different pianists tickling the ivories. To watch, join their Facebook group and tune in to “Sing out, Louise” (in the comfort of your own living room). You can also tip the piano players via Venmo or PayPal, with details during each performance.
Download recent shows, like the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, on Amazon Many recent shows are available to rent or buy on Amazon and other online streamers, usually in the range of $3–12. Highlights include Rent, taped just before it ended its Broadway run; 2013’s Carousel, via Live from Lincoln Center; 2010 Tony Award winner Memphis; and the original Broadway production of Into the Woods, starring Bernadette Peters.
Virtual Hal Prince Exhibit at Lincoln Center In December 2019, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts opened an exhibit on the late Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer behind megahits like The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd. While the library is closed, you can take a virtual walk-through and 30-minute guided tour of the gallery with Doug Reside, the show’s curator.
Broadway Dreams Live Lessons The Broadway Dreams Foundation is hosting free daily lessons, led by some accomplished Broadway-caliber talent, for aspiring actors, singers and dancers. Their lineup has included actors from Frozen, Head Over Heels and Chicago. To watch, get the Zoom link from their Facebook page. Sessions begin at 1pm; each day’s links are posted five minutes before class begins, though the schedule is listed earlier than that.
Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays Every year, the 24 Hour Plays event presents a series of shows that are written, cast, directed and performed in one day with the involvement of talent from the NYC theater community. Now they’re doing a mini version, with online monologues, on their Instagram account. They’re performed by actors like Denis O’Hare and penned by playwrights like David Lindsay-Abaire.
Groove to disco versions of Stephen Sondheim songs Broadway Records just released the digital version of Losing My Mind, a compilation of Sondheim songs with a dance beat. Conceived by Broadway performer Joshua Hinck and arranger Scott Wasserman, the 12-song album is an expanded version of a popular concert they put on in 2018. The album features singers like Alison Luff (Waitress) and Chip Zien (from the original Into the Woods). You can preview a track, “Unworthy of Your Love,” from Passion; hear the collection on Spotify; or order a copy from the Broadway Records site.
Broadway Backwards 2020 Encore Broadway Cares, which produces number of annual AIDS fundraisers, has put together a special encore series of recent star-studded performances from Broadway Backwards, at which performers belt out famous show tunes with gender-swapped roles. They’re also asking viewers to support an emergency fundraiser for actors affected by the Covid-19 crisis—you can make a donation at broadwaycares.org.
Watch Broadway classics like Cabaret for free on YouTube These days you may be wondering, “What good is sitting alone in your room?” You can get a very direct answer on YouTube by watching the 1993 version of Cabaret, featuring Alan Cumming in his breakout role. Other star turns worth checking out for free are Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in American Playhouse‘s 1986 broadcast of Sunday in the Park with George; Carol Burnett in 1964’s Once Upon A Mattress; Nell Carter in a 1982 broadcast of Ain’t Misbehavin’; Lauren Bacall in 1973’s Applause; Gregory and Maurice Hines in 1980’s Eubie!; and Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra in 1954’s Anything Goes.
Jason Alexander sings on Twitter While most people know Jason Alexander as George from Seinfeld, he got his big break on Broadway in a Stephen Sondheim musical (Merrily We Roll Along). He recently went on Twitter to sing a song from the show that got him interested in theater, Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin. The beautiful ballad, “With You,” has a message of love and support we can all use today.