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It’s my first week of funemployment and NYC has never felt so full of promise! There are lots of excellent events to consider attending this week.

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) starts Tuesday at the Public Theater:

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) stages original new plays and musicals by emerging writers during the summer months at the legendary Public Theater in New York City. Since its inception in 2004, SPF has invested millions of dollars in emerging theatre artists, produced over 500 public performances, and has provided an opportunity for 75 writers, as well as hundreds of directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.

This year’s lineup includes a “testosterone-driven new musical” (Departure Lounge), which is possibly the most questionable statement I’ve heard this summer. All tickets are $10, so this is an excellent way to get your dose of questionable theater cheaply!

Tuesday night you can be part of the drama at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where an interactive retelling of an 1873 Murder Mystery casts the audience as the detectives. You can learn about the underbelly of NYC a century ago and test your intuition.

If you’re looking for a slightly more athletic participatory event on Tuesday, you can head out to The Bell House and join the Ping Pong Tournament. The Tournament is strictly amateur and just $5 to join but be forewarned- “whiners will be paddled!”

pingpong001

On Wednesday night at The Slipper Room you can experience a book release party of an unusual nature; this dirty book needs an array of naughty performances to usher it into the world:

On July 8th, Fugu Press will release “Scarlett Takes Manhattan,” the first graphic novel by Dr. Sketchy’s creator Molly Crabapple and her longtime collaborator John Leavitt. Set in the demimonde of Gilded Age New York, “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” tells the story of poor Bowery girl Shifra Helfgott, who rises to become the premier fire-eater of her age. Chock full of rigged boxing matches, dirty politics, and turn of the century lesbian culture, “Scarlett” has been described as “disgustingly wonderful” by Warren Ellis and led Margaret Cho to call Molly “THE artist of our time.” Hosted by Amber Ray, New York’s “Salvador Dali of Burlesque” / Book signing by “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” creators Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt / Burlesque by Gal Friday / Fire performance by Jo Boobs / Vaudevillian music by The Two Man Gentleman Band, who will debut their new song “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” /  Free red-hot flavored cupcakes by Glittle Cupcakes.

scarlett flier

Also on Wednesday you can see Reality Bites at the ball fields at McCarren Park, as part of the Summer Screen Series by L Magazine. This is the movie that used the trope of home video years before youtube would propel our angst into the public realm. Check out the original trailer here.

ALSO on Wednesday, if you want to see some truly vintage movies head over to Dead Herring, where there will be a screening of “rare old-time cartoons hand-picked by Owen Kline and Tom Stathes, all projected on 16mm film.”

Thursday afternoon, if you’re funemployed (like me!), you can grab some gourmet munchies for a pittance at the World Financial Center Restaurant Showcase:

The 16 eateries of the World Financial Center will offer a tasting of world class cuisine for as little as $1 (and as much as $5) under the palm trees of the World Financial Center Winter Garden.

EAT

This may be the last week to see Twelfth Night at the Delacorte, but Thursday is opening night for another distinguished outdoor Shakespearean theater- Shakespeare in the Parking Lot! This year the parking lot, on the corner of Ludlow and Broome, will open its season with Midsummer Night’s Dream; what could be more dreamlike than Puck in a parking lot?

Finally I have one special advance theater notice: there will be two performances of Cirque Jacqueline July 25 and 26 at the Players Loft. This one-woman play about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has received excellent reviews and the tickets are likely to sell out quickly, particularly as they’re only $20 apiece! The New York Times says that its author and star, Andrea Reese, “becomes uncannily Jackie-esque.”

jackie0poster

Have a great week and stay tuned for additions!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I had a marvelous weekend, full of adventures! It was great to have the LSAT behind me (for the moment).

Friday night G and F and I checked out New York Classical Theatre’s production of King Lear. The show begins at 103rd St. and Central Park West and the cast members beckon the audience to follow them from one area of the park to another whenever the scene changes (sometimes with fabulous Shakespearean epithets like “come you mongrels!”). The constant moving around keeps you much more engaged, though towards the end I would have preferred to settle down. The best scene was definitely the battle near the end of the play; rushing after the cast and hearing the clash of swords through the trees as you approached them was super exciting. I would definitely recommend this production as a much simpler way to enjoy Shakespeare in Central Park- no waiting in line for free tickets, etc., just show up and settle on the grass. Here are some pictures of the show (all by Miranda Arden):

Kent (John-Patrick Driscoll), King Lear (Donald Grody) and the Fool (Andrew Sellon)

Kent (John-Patrick Driscoll), King Lear (Donald Grody) and the Fool (Andrew Sellon)

The Fool (Andrew Sellon)

The Fool (Andrew Sellon)

On Saturday I saw some very forgettable ballets at the New York City Ballet; I will not discuss them further as they were far from spectacular (the ballets, not the dancers).

Post-ballet we had intended to hit the Big Apple BBQ but sadly it was raining so G and I took shelter in Brasserie Cognac and munched on croissants until it was time to head to our next entertainment- a performance by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus at St. Peter’s Church. The chorus performed the first two pieces in the round and the surround-sound effect was fantastic. The concert showcased original pieces, one of which was declared the winner of the Competition for Young Composers. It was fascinating to hear the innovations of these talented young composers, performed by talented young NYers.

Young New Yorkers' Chorus at St. Peter's Church

Young New Yorkers' Chorus at St. Peter's Church

On Sunday G and I had yummy Israeli brunch at Miriam’s in Park Slope and then headed to Governors Island to check out Figment. It was truly a unique “participatory art” experience. There was a giant polygon to climb on and a huge putt putt golf course and rubber chickens hanging from trees and umbrellas planted like flowers and giant chalkboards… Here are a couple of pictures; some of the pieces will remain through the summer so you still have time to play!

Part of the City of Dreams Mini Golf Course, open through the summer

Part of the City of Dreams Mini Golf Course, open through the summer

Shield/Coraza by Hector Canonge

Shield/Coraza by Hector Canonge

Sunday night G and I had dinner at Prime Meats, an excellent restaurant featuring local and seasonal produce and meat in Carrol Gardens. After ordering dry-aged beef by the ounce our steak was brought out to us (raw) for our inspection, this sort of emphasis on process is inherent in the service and the quality of the food; we enjoyed ourselves a great deal and will certainly be back.

Stay tuned for news of the weekend yet to come!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

The next week leading up to the LSAT is going to be a bit hectic (read: traumatic) for me so I’m going to unload a whole bunch of upcoming events on you- brace for impact!

First, some additions for this weekend. Tonight is the first night of the Raspberry Brothers’ new show at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas! This month they will be making fun of the original Terminator! I have actually seen their Terminator routine at Union Hall and I can guarantee that you will have an excellent time!

terminators-having-sex

On Saturday the NYC Lab School presents TASTES: from the meatpacking district to chelsea. TASTES is…

an exciting new culinary festival that will benefit arts and enrichment programs for public school children at the NYC Lab School on 333 West 17th Street. Patrons will sample a broad array of specialty dishes from fine restaurants in The Meatpacking District and Chelsea.

Also on Saturday head to Union Square to experience the Silent Rave! The idea is that everyone gathers at a given place and time (the south end of Union Sq. at 6:30pm) and begins simultaneously dancing to whatever music is playing on their individual iPods/MP3 players. It’s something you have to experience to understand but believe me, it’s amazing! Check out this picture from a Silent Rave I attended last summer:

silent rave union sq 2008

An exhibit worth swooning over will be opening at the Open House Gallery this weekend; to celebrate 60 years of damsels in distress Harlequin is putting on a show of their cover art. Here is a prime example:

harlequin

Starting this weekend and continuing every weekend through Labor Day you can party all day on top of the Gansevoort Hotel. The Get Up Get Down party will involve brunch by the pool, lounging around, and dancing once the sun goes down; you may not be in St. Tropez but you will feel almost as chic.

rooftop

On Monday at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Félix Lajkó will perform with violist Antal Brasnyo as part of the River to River Festival:

Hungarian violinist Félix Lajkó fuses folk, jazz, Gypsy, and Jewish klezmer music to create a unique and energetic musical style. Known for his charismatic performances, Lajkó has collaborated with everyone from Japanese Butoh dancer Min Tanaka to the French rock band Noir Désir. Here he will perform with violist Antal Brasnyo as part of Extremely Hungary, a yearlong festival celebrating Hungarian arts and culture in New York and D.C. (extremelyhungary.org).

Monday is also the start of Sake Week! More than 100 restaurants will be offering menu pairings, cocktails and other “sakecentric” events.

Wednesday is the premier of the Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival:

The Media That Matters Film Festival, one of the world’s first and largest online film festivals, kicks off its ninth year with an offline world premiere tonight. This year’s festival showcases twelve jury-selected shorts tackling a broad range of social issues, including climate change, urban planning, and immigration, with humor, humanity, and honesty.

On Thursday, in celebration of Internet Week, Thrillist is hosting a crazy bash at M2 Ultra Lounge. There will be free booze, trapeze artists, a dj battle and visuals by ValuJet Visuals (aka my talented friend W).

Thursday is also opening night for two great shows. First, the Gallery Players present The 12th Annual Black Box New Play Festival, which begins with ‘Father Mike,’ “a nostalgic comedy that takes place in 1955 in the home of a proud Catholic family.”

poster

Also on Thursday the Hudson Warehouse starts their summer season with Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

On Friday you can finish off Internet Week properly at the Webutante Ball! This classy coming out event is happening on the roof of the Empire Hotel; there will be free vodka cocktails from 6-7 and a ceremonial crowning of a Webutante King and Queen!

webutante ball flier

Next Friday and Saturday you can see the results of the New York 48 Hour Film Project:

The 48 Hour Film Project’s mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. Through its festival/competition, the Project encourages filmmakers and would-be filmmakers to get out there and make movies. The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers—emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills. While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the filmmakers, it is also liberating by putting an emphasis on “doing” instead of “talking.”

Click here to see some of the films from previous years and from other locations around the world!

Next Saturday Gemini and Scorpio will be screening Serenity on a private rooftop:

A rooftop screening of Joss Whedon’s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse) space-western “Serenity,” to benefit Equality Now, an international women’s rights advocacy group and Whedon’s favorite charity. Also featuring “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” Whedon’s musical-romp internet series created during the WGA writer’s strike. The screening is a prelude to a bigger CSTS shindig on June 28 hosted by The Browncoats of NYC, and to a series of semi-private rooftop “Firefly” screenings starting June 11, info on which will be available via the G&S mailing list. Look for The Browncoats at the event offering June 28 CSTS tickets and merch.

On Sunday my favorite fitness guru will be performing along with her dance company- Skin, at Symphony Space. Tina Thompson is a force of nature, as you may recall from my past ravings, and you won’t want to miss this performance!

skin dance

Finally, next weekend is also the start of two exciting theater festivals! The first is the Antidepressant Festival at the Brick Theater:

This summer’s fiesta is meant as a diversion at a time of plummeting stocks and rising unemployment. Nineteen productions are planned, including “Exit, Pursued by Bears,” about the fictional vice president of a Chicago sanitation union who leads a double life as Tickle Bear, the center of an anonymous online furry sex community; and “Schaden, Freude and You: A 3 Clown Seminar,” which provides the audience with a chance to laugh at others as a means of fighting depression. In this case the “others” are clowns, so they’re used to it. For more extroverted types, the Brick is including “Suspicious Package: Rx,” a sequel to last year’s “Suspicious Package,” an interactive theater piece that put audience members, each wearing a Zune media player, into the middle of a film-noir-type mystery. This year a trip to the future is in store.

The second is the Muslim Voices Festival, which will involve events at various locations:

The Asia Society, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York University Center for Dialogues will present a festival and conference that explore and celebrate the arts of the Muslim world. Offerings encompass visual arts, crafts, documentary film, standup comedy and theater, including “Richard III: An Arab Tragedy,” a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s play that examines the Arab world’s relationship with the West, from Sulayman Al-Bassam, a Kuwaiti director. The production, commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will be presented at the BAM Harvey Theater.

Enjoy and stay tuned; I will try to post additional events as my schedule allows! Oh, and wish me luck!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

First of all can we just stop and freak out for a minute that it’s going to be in the EIGHTIES this weekend?! My uncle called me and reminded me to clean my air conditioner’s filter before turning it on (you should too)! In other words, you should get outside as much as possible this weekend!

I told you all about my wonderful picnic in Prospect Park last weekend and the subsequent rambling through the Cherry Orchard in the Botanic Garden; those would both be excellent activities for this weekend as well.

If you’re a fan of beautiful old villas and landscaped gardens overlooking the Palisades and you’ve never been up to Wave Hill this is certainly the perfect weekend to check it out. There are various events for Arbor Day happening, including tours of the gardens where wild flowers, magnolias and lilacs are in bloom. The views are dramatic and there’s a lovely Sunday brunch buffet (make your reservation by 4pm today).

Wave Hill

Wave Hill

Another great outdoor activity- join New York Like a Native on a walking tour of a part of Brooklyn you don’t know well or that you think you know well. You’ll learn something new about the history of your area and most of the tours include a treat (like a beer or an ice cream cone).

For a somewhat more active learning experience you can participate in a crazy scavenger hunt on the LES with the Anthropologists on Sunday. When did you last go searching for clues downtown?

If you want your sunshine with art on the side the TOAST is for you:

The TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of approximately 100 artists’ studios throughout TriBeCa. Bringing artists and the public together, it provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the artists and see their artwork at the source, the artist’s own studio. An artist-run organization, TOAST has led a true metropolitan “grass roots” path.  It began as an ad-hoc group of artists who wanted to revive a neighborhood art walk.  Now a not-for-profit organization, it is still a grass roots effort, run by the participating artists. Neighborhood businesses and supporters supplement most of the needed funds not covered by the artists’ entry fees.

When you’re ready to step indoors there are several fantastic exhibits worth checking out. First, the exhbit of Picasso’s later works at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea has gotten fantastic reviews.

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

A new exhibit at the Met, “The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984,” has also received some good buzz. Thirty artists from the Boomer Generation are represented by 160 works in all media.

They were all making art that combined elements of Pop and Conceptualism with social concerns about consumerism, political power and gender. Their work kept ideas to the fore but rematerialized them as images. Many of those images were photographic, extracted from everyday life, a life that was increasingly a creation of media culture, as Andy Warhol well knew.

This piece, by David Salle, sparked my interest and I’m hoping to check it out in person sometime soon.

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

Tonight is the opening of a much more contemporary artist’s exhibit at 3rd Ward; check out the work of Poster Boy, which is now being endorsed by the advertisers!

A piece by Poster Boy

A piece by Poster Boy

Also tonight, you can party for a cause at Montien’s, where there will be great drink specials to raise money to shoot the pilot episode of “Foreign Bound” : A travel-reality show that focuses on inspiring and educating the younger demographic and aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and effective communication between borders.

There’s a great line-up tonight at Crash Mansion, including new releases from Musiciens Sans Frontieres and Josephine. RSVP to NewYorkUnderbelly for reduced admission.

Saturday night get a double dose of soul with  Dig Deeper and yummy soul food at Five Spot Soul Food; get your tickets here.

Dig Deeper

Friday and Saturday at BAM you can see St. Matthews Passion– an incredible operatic piece by Bach. There are only stage seats remaining so get yours right away!

Also at BAM Saturday is the 10th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival: The New Cookers:

A swinging hard bop jazz quintet—born out of the tradition of the late, great jazz genius Freddie Hubbard—The New Cookers are known for their driving rhythms and engaging performances, celebrating the original Brooklyn jazz music makers and adding their own sound to that rich legacy.

On Sunday you can get a hefty dose of Shakespeare for free at Symphony Space, where the Classic Stage Company will be presenting Shakespeare Birthday Marathon 2009.

shakespeare

And don’t forget about the improv comedy festival at the Creek LIC that I mentioned earlier, not to mention the first roller derby game of the season and the Wit’s End Jazz Party, both of which I also detailed previously.

Have an amazing weekend and stay tuned for additions!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

Having spent the day sleeping, making myself grilled cheese and dancing around naked in my apartment to Passion Pit (thank god my roommate is never home), I believe I am prepared to survive the week on 5 hours of sleep a night!

On Monday, according to The New York Rock Market, the show to go to is Nous Non Plus @ Mercury Lounge. As a francophile anything described as

a (faux) French rock band that plays upbeat, joyous tunes ranging from simple love songs in French to parodies about Paris Hilton.

is pretty much ok by me. I’ve picked up two tickets and the first person to tell me they want to come along can have the second!

Tuesday is my grandmother’s 84th birthday so I’ll be out in Queens attempting to fit a giant sized sandwich into my mouth at Ben’s Kosher Deli, however, you may be interested in attending Pop Rally at MOMA. I really like the idea of artists as curators and I’ve been meaning to attend one of these for some time. Actually if you don’t have a day job (ex-investment banker?) you should get to the museum before it closes for the day and check out the Marlene Dumas exhibit; I saw it a few weeks ago and I really liked ‘High Heeled Shoes’

High Heeled Shoes by Marlene Dumas

High Heeled Shoes by Marlene Dumas

Wednesday I’m going to the new 92Y Tribeca for You’re Doing It Wrong: Creative Misuse of Technology, a series of short films featuring ummm… creative misuse of technology. I will probably always love the 92Y Tribeca because that is where I first saw Tiny Ninja Theater. I saw tiny ninjas perform ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and it was without a doubt the most hysterical Shakespeare I have ever witnessed.

"Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!"  Mercutio (Trevor Bigfoot) vs. Tybalt (Brice Leigh)

"Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!" Mercutio (Trevor Bigfoot) vs. Tybalt (Brice Leigh)

When the puppeteer walked in holding two white boxes (like the kind you get munchkins in from Dunkin Donuts) and said “Two households, both alike in dignity…” I knew my understanding of Shakespeare had changed forever.

Thursday I will probably try to see one of the Oscar movies I haven’t made it to yet; top of my list is Waltz with Bashir, which I’ve heard is fantastic. What I’d really love to do is check out one of the two photography exhibits I’ve been meaning to see but the museums aren’t open late enough for office lemmings to make it during the week. I want to see the new Walker Evans exhibit at the Met:

Walker Evans Postcard Exhibit @ Met

Walker Evans Postcard Exhibit @ Met

I also really want to get over to the International Center of Photography to check out some of the amazing photographs discussed in the NYTimes recently, for example, this one:

Tim Walker photograph

Tim Walker photograph

Friday I’ll be at Grassroots Tavern celebrating my friend S’s birthday but I want you to tell me all about your plans in case we need an awesome afterparty!

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Past Shenanigans

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