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There are so many amazing events happening this weekend that my google calendar looks like a piece of psychedelic art! Sadly you can never do everything but here are my suggestions!

First off, don’t forget to check my previous post for great events taking place tonight!

Tomorrow night you’re going to have to make some tough choices; there are eight events I feel compelled to post.

First, Gemini and Scorpio are hosting a Nouvelle Époque Cabaret-Salon at The Players Club:

The legendary Players, boasting such luminary members as Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill and Ernest Hemingway, is a members-only social club founded by the famed 19th century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. The Players’ landmarked home is a magnificent Victorian mansion with a wrought-iron balcony overlooking Gramercy Park.

JC Hopkins’ Biggish Band plays rollicking hard bop swing all night featuring guest vocalists tap-dancing sensation DeWitt Fleming Jr, velvet-voiced Jolie Holland, and Tony-nominated downtown icon Justin Bond, in addition to JC’s resident front-woman Queen Esther. The always-surprising Julie Atlas Muz (Miss Exotic World 2006), the jaw-droppingly stylish MsTickle, and hilariously naughty Trixie Little & Evil Hate Monkey perform feats of burlesque to live accompaniment by the band all night. In band breaks, 1920s tap sensation The Minsky Sisters amuse and titillate you.

The dress code calls for top hats and opera gloves… All this and I get to play dress-up? Sign me (and Cinderella) up!

For a slightly more actively artistic salon experience pick up a ticket to the exclusive Draw-a-Thon event happening in Michael Alan’s private studio. The drawing will actually be taking place on the roof of the studio in Williamsburg; the models will be posing as animals against the backdrop of the sun setting over Manhattan- sounds inspiring!

There are five great concerts Friday night, ranging from highbrow to hipster. The first, the Philharmonic Concert in Central Park, I’ve already mentioned. The Metropolitan Opera is performing their final outdoor recital in Crotona Park in the Bronx. This one should be much less crowded than the Summerstage shows so if you’re up for the trek I’m sure it will be worthwhile.

For a more contemporary outdoor concert experience check out Robert Cray and The Sweet Divines at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Check out these ladies:

If you want to stay indoors you can head over to Mercury Lounge to rock out with The Spinto Band. I wrote about them some time ago; I’ve had some of their songs in my subway playlists since then and I’ve definitely become quite fond of them.

spinto band

You also have another chance to see Black Taxi! I saw them perform at Pianos a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post a full review of their amazing performance- I promise I’ll get that to you soon but for now let me just say I am certain their show at Le Poisson Rouge will be a blast!

Last but not least, I am very excited to announce that there will be a GIANT GAME OF CAPTURE THE FLAG taking place Friday night. Newmindspace has organized this carefully structured game in Williamsburg- play nice!

capture the flag

On Saturday pull yourself together (I know, Friday is going to be intense but you can do it!) and get out to Coney Island for the annual Siren Music Festival! This year performers include Monotonix, Micachu & The Shapes and Spank Rock (to name but a few). After the shows there’s a hot afterparty at The Music Hall of Williamsburg (where there will be even more shows!). Check out the awesome drawing that adorns the press releases:

siren music festival

If you missed out on François Truffaut’s New Wave masterpiece The 400 Blows last week you have another chance to see it on Saturday, this time as part of the ongoing French New Wave Essentials series at the Museum of Arts and Design.

On Sunday Dare Dukes is playing at the Rockwood Music Hall. Listening to him croon lovely urban folk songs should be an excellent way to wind down the weekend.

There are two exciting outdoor film screenings to consider attending Monday evening. Harold and Maude is showing in Bryant Park:

Teenager Bud Cort and sexagenarian Ruth Gordon both like to go to funerals of people they don’t know, and meet to embark on one of cinema’s great relationships. Audacious and heartbreaking, Hal Ashby’s superb black comedy also features a perfect soundtrack by Cat Stevens.

And downtown, on The Elevated Acre, you can see West Side Story.

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Enjoy and stay tuned for additions!

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It is so lovely outside today that I almost don’t want to be indoors writing to you, however, I would be a terrible blogger if I failed to inform you of some of the wonderful events the Big Apple has to offer this weekend.

First, an addition to tonight’s lineup; a new exhibit is opening at Mixed Greens– X 10th Anniversary Exhibition:

With X, we present a large selection of the many amazing artists with whom we’ve been privileged to work. Their techniques and subject matter vary widely, but all of these artists captured our attention either by their extraordinary use of materials or through their deep examination and investigation of their subjects. There is no theme uniting the 84 participating artists—the only common denominator is Mixed Greens. Some might call it narcissistic. Others nostalgic. We consider it to be a celebration of some of the best artists working today.

I’ve heard tell that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck will also be there!

If you’ve never been to a Contra Dance event you should experience the madness Friday night at the LGBT Community Center; this event will have the added twist of being “gender neutral.” There are a lot of twists in contra already, that one makes this a true ‘only-in-New-York’ event.

Contra Dancers

Contra Dancers

If you’re looking for a nice way to enjoy the evening outdoors you can enjoy a childhood favorite on the shore of the Hudson River; The Wizard of Oz will be screening on Pier 46!

Inside, and a bit further north, The Raspberry Brothers will be tearing apart the 80s classic Pretty in Pink! This is a must see if you’re going to attend the Pretty in Pink Prom Saturday night (keep reading for details). I guarantee their antics will give you excellent cocktail conversation.


So, The Prom, well, Pretty in Pink Prom Night is happening Saturday night at The Bell House (where else?). It’s going to be an epic nostalgia trip complete with a “totally radical giant 80s prom backdrop,” in front of which you can have your prom pictures professionally shot, a “50 foot balloon drop” AND “bathrooms stocked with Aqua Net for heavy primping.” Not to mention one of the best 80s cover bands available- The Engagements! Get out there and have the prom you always dreamed of!

Also on Saturday it’s Bronx Gridlock vs. Brooklyn Bombshells at the Hunter College Sportsplex! If you haven’t made it out to a Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout this year, this is a great time to go!

roller derby

ALSO on Saturday Rooftop Films is screening a movie at The Old American Can Factory- 45365 won Best Documentary at SXSW 2009:

45365 captures the plain pathos of a single place like few other films ever do. It is amusing and informative, exciting and realistic, tragic and eternal. But as I said, this synopsis is inadequate. To get at these emotions and ideas, you could live all your life in Sidney, Ohio, or you could see this film.

The Oberlin band Like Bells will perform before the screening; my little sister is currently an Oberlin student so all things Oberlin have a special place in my heart.

Of course I’m also a tremendous francophile so I may have to celebrate Bastille Day on Saturday. There are a number of celebrations in the city; my pick is the Petanque Tournament at Cornichon. Petanque is sort of like frenchified bocce ball; there will also be lots of wine and good cheer!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

On Sunday you can continue to embrace your inner francophile at Le Poisson Rouge, where they will be screening one of the most influential French films of the French New Wave- The 400 Blows. François Truffaut‘s masterpiece gives you an intimate look into the Paris of the 1950s.

Also on Sunday you can swing under the stars with George Gee’s Big Band at Moondance on Pier 54!

Monday is the start of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Series; Paulo Szot, Lisette Oropesa, Alek Shrader, and Vlad Iftinca will be performing on Central Park’s Summerstage. If you can’t get any of the free tickets for this event check out the performances in the outer boroughs throughout the week.

Also on Monday, Wilco will be performing in Keyspan Park; Yo La Tengo will open. Check out this video:

Have a marvelous weekend and stay tuned for additions!

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I have indulged in some truly decadent food these last few days. I have been meaning to detail my gastronomic adventures but have found myself too food coma-ed to do so. On Sunday night my friend D, who was in the midst of serious vacation splurging since she was only visiting from San Fran, reserved a table for us at Tailor. I couldn’t even find the place at first; the dark exterior didn’t even begin to suggest the chic restaurant within.



I had kept her waiting and she was already sipping at one of their exquisite cocktails- the Butternut & Fulernum, which is said to contain “Rum, Butternut Squash and Fulernum.” It is impossible to describe but I highly recommend it nonetheless. I tried the Rooi Moer, which was less exciting. We ordered the Beeted Tongue to start and it was truly fantastic. The presentation was impossibly colorful and intricate. The flavor was multifaceted; the nuts added an interesting texture. Best of all the horseradish sprinkled on top was an incredible little ping! to top it off. I had the Roasted Lamb and D had the Brisket for our respective entrees. The chef was really great about making alterations to cope with D’s intense lactardation (lactose intolerant like WOAH). All of the dishes were splendid though the starter and D’s dessert were the stars. For dessert D ordered the Grapefruit Tart and the chef did something magical to make it non-dairy and even without the blessing of butter it was superb. So, now that I’ve made you all hungry you’re ready to hear about Monday night.

Monday night my friend W was having his birthday dinner at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse. For those of you who are not aware Peter Luger’s is pretty much the epitome of an old school steakhouse. It’s been open since 1887 and they’ve pretty much been serving steak their way to any man big enough to tackle it since then. If W sends me some of his pics from that night I’ll post them but honestly even the thought of the sheer quantity of food still makes me a trifle queasy. I’ll be damned if I didn’t hold my own though. I mean I earned my place at the guy’s table when W took me to see amateur female jello wrestling and I thought it was awesome. I ate steak with the best of them but oh my did I feel sick Tuesday morning!

Luckily I was recovered sufficiently this evening to enjoy my dinner at Merchants New York Cafe in the Financial District. I was early and A was a bit late so I ended up chatting with the chef for quite some time. Coincidentally he had been to Tailor and so we were comparing notes on that and he was talking up his specials and the scallops he pushed me into were excellent. I preferred one of his regular dishes though- the heart-shaped ravioli were fantastic and I appreciated that he was flexible about the pancetta (I don’t eat pork). If you end up in that area I would definitely recommend this place, particularly because the chef is so involved. I generally feel that the more a chef is involved in the whole dining experience the more fluid it will be.

After dinner A and walked over a block to the 3LD Art and Technology Center for Fire Throws. The play used most of the original script, translated from the Greek, and then added music and dance together with some narrative monologues by “Antigone Who Is.” The performance was visually stunning, though the music was sometimes distracting. I disliked having some of the lines chanted or sung; it distracted from their meaning and didn’t increase the connectivity with the dance. The dancing, based in part on Balinese dance, was acrobatic and fluid and made excellent use of the space. The use of sashes reminded me of the Metropolitan Opera’s version of Madama Butterfly, in which long red sashes gather to become a dress and are unraveled in the final scene to represent blood. Actually the color palate in this production also emphasized red. I’m not sure that the costume designer had a specific meaning in mind (passion? blood? sin? impurity?) but it was certainly visually compelling.

Fire Throws

Fire Throws

The acting was a bit inconsistent. This scene, between Creon and his son Haemon, was notable mainly for the use of ‘Antigone Who Was”s shadow on a screen behind the players. This interesting image distracted me from the somewhat unimpressive acting onstage:

Antigone's shadow behind Creon and Haemon

Antigone's shadow behind Creon and Haemon

All the actors had their good and bad moments I think. ‘Antigone Who Was’ and Ismene were good in their scene together:

Antigone and Ismene

Antigone and Ismene

The trouble was that the director was more interested in making a statement about how the symbol of Antigone has been used over time than she was in telling the story of Antigone. I would respect her directorial choices more if I felt that her statement came across clearly. Unfortunately it seemed as though she couldn’t quite make up her mind what it should be; ‘Antigone Who Is’ is so preoccupied with wishing she could change the story that we never really see how the symbol of Antigone works within modern society. This is a beautiful production and truly lovely to watch but I can’t say that it expands the meaning of the play. I would suggest seeing it while it’s still in previews; if you do see it be sure to let me know what you think!

I will be posting weekend events shortly!

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A few additions to my last post:

Tonight there will be an “architecture duel.”  That’s right, I said an “architecture duel.” According to the NYTimes:

Architecture competitions are usually staid affairs involving scale models and renderings filled with happy people. Not so tonight, for the fifth installment of the party-giving LVHRD’s “architecture duel.” In the past, competitors have made bridges out of cheese and wilderness sites out of straws. This battle, in Dumbo, pits Weiss/Manfredi, who recently designed the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, against Front Studio, masters of making the most out of a small space. They will make stuff using a secret material for a yet-to-be-revealed theme. As always, though, the real winner is you: there’s free beer and Dewar’s.

Check out all the details at LVHRD.

In case you missed it in the “comments,” on Wednesday, my friend S, who is my source for all things opera, has informed me that The MET Opera in HD is rebroadcasting Lucia di Lammermoor. This stunning opera, composed by Gaetano Donizetti, features Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala as Donizetti’s fragile title heroine and her lover, Edgardo, and Mariusz Kwiecien as Lucia’s tyrannical brother. Seeing opera in HD is the next best thing to experiencing it in person and if you haven’t fallen in love with opera yet this is a great introduction to the art form.

Finally, I am proud to announce that Dare Dukes read my last blog post and will be offering a free CD to anyone who makes his show Friday at Banjo Jims and says they heard about it from TheBigRedApple. I already own one of his CDs and you should too!

Enjoy your week and check back for more weekend events!

Past Shenanigans

July 2020