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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!

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NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

We have quite the week ahead of us and I hope you are rested and ready to take on some of these amazing events! Tonight Tom Shillue will perform his stand-up act at The Green Room. He makes me nostalgic for Seinfeld; check out this clip from his act:

Also tonight, at The Half King, there will be  a book reading of the spicy variety; Evan Wright will read from his book ‘HELLA NATION: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut’s War against the GAP, and other Adventures with the Totally Lost Tribes of America.’

Evan Wright is the New York Times-bestselling author of Generation Kill, recently an HBO miniseries, for which he served as a writer and consulting producer. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair, he has also written for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among numerous other publications. He is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards, and for Generation Kill he received a Los Angeles Times Book Award, a PEN Literary Award, a J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and a General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award. He lives in Southern California.

hella-nation

On Tuesday experience the Urban Poetry Slam, starring Jaylee Aldee at the Bowery Poetry Club:

Known as the Teddy Bear with a razor blade under his tongue, Jaylee Alde is a young prolific poet who commands his audience with grit and grace. A bay area native and all around slam champion who combines classic verse with his truthful raw honesty. In St. Louis 2004 at the National Poetry Slam he placed 2nd in the Individual championships and as a member of the Berkeley Slam team placed in the top four teams in the nation. Jaylee is also a member of the Asian Bay Area collective Proletariat Bronze.

Also on Tuesday The Bell House hosts three fantastic bands for a night of awesome music; I predict that the chandeliers will be shaking by the end of the night. The bands are El May, Wye Oak and Crooked Fingers. Here’s the video for Crooked Fingers’ ‘New Drink for the Old Drunk’:

Also on Tuesday, if you know the right person to sleep with you might be able to get into The Dead Weather’s concert at The Bowery Ballroom:

The Dead Weather are a brand new rock outfit consisting of Dean Fertita, Jack Lawrence, Alison Mosshart and Jack White. The impetus for the band came when Mosshart’s band The Kills opened on a few US tour dates for The Raconteurs. Recognizing immediately the musical synergy between Mosshart, White and Lawrence, the trio devised a plot to record together during some down time in White’s own Third Man Recording Studio in Nashville where White enlisted the addition of erstwhile Raconteurs’ touring accomplice and Queens Of The Stone Age collaborator Dean Fertita. What was initially imagined as a one-off collaboration for a 7” single release turned into a full blown album project once the quartet switched on the recording tape. The Dead Weather’s menacing sounds were so electrifying that they couldn’t help but keep the tape rolling. In three weeks they had recorded a full length album, Horehound produced by Jack White, to be released on White’s Third Man Records in June. The album features the band’s explosive debut single, “Hang You Up From The Heavens”, which is currently available through iTunes, backed with a dirge driven cover of Gary Numan’s “Are Friends Electric?”

thedeadweather

ALSO on Tuesday (I know, it’s very overwhelming), Hebrew School will have their Record Release Party at Public Assembly. David Griffin has reworked Hebrew School classics with an indie rock bent. I’m a fan of his previous work with Nous Non Plus (you may recall my rave review of their concert at Mercury Lounge), and I’m excited to see how cool he can make the songs of my childhood.

hebrew_school_poster_small_2601

On Wednesday you have another chance to speed date with a soundtrack of music by The Smiths, at Black Rabbit. I posted their last speed dating event and sources tell me it was good fun.

Wednesday is also the first day of the Lincoln Center Film Society’s series ‘First Light: Satyajit Ray from the Apu Trilogy to the Calcutta Trilogy.’ Check out the NYTimes article to read more about this talented Indian director and the films that will be showing at The Walter Reade Theater through April 30th.

Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray

A and I are going to see ‘Humor Abuse‘ at the City Center on Wednesday; it’s a play about a very unusual childhood- growing up at the circus. This is your last week to check it out so if you’re interested don’t wait for my review!

Lorenzo Pisoni in Humor Abuse

Lorenzo Pisoni in Humor Abuse

On Thursday Brit Boras and the Cavalry play at Pianos. I love her voice, it has all the intensity and breathy sexiness of Alanis Morisette, but she’s also backed up by a talented group of musicians playing instruments you don’t often see in rock concerts, like a cello. Check out the music video from ‘Cassandra’:

Stay tuned for more events!

Past Shenanigans

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