This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

BROOKLYN MUSEUM FIRST SATURDAY: FUTURE FEMINISMS

Alfred Stieglitz, “Georgia O’Keeffe,” gelatin silver print, circa 1920–22 (© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)

Alfred Stieglitz, “Georgia O’Keeffe,” gelatin silver print, circa 1920–22 (© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, March 4, free, 5:00 - 11:00
212-864-5400
www.brooklynmuseum.org

The Brooklyn Museum goes feminist to the hilt with the First Saturday program “Future Feminisms,” part of its 2017 theme “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum.” There will be live performances by Charlotte Dos Santos, Buscabulla, and Natasha Diggs with #SoulInTheHorn; a Blues Lounge Bar; a screening of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s The Trans List, followed by a discussion with writer Kate Bornstein and DJ and philanthropist Lina Bradford, facilitated by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make wearable handmade paper flowers inspired by the new exhibit “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern”; a Postcard Write-In hosted by Forward March NY; a Scholar Talk with Linda Grasso about her upcoming book Equal Under the Sky: Georgia O’Keeffe and Twentieth-Century Feminism; a screening of Suha Araj’s The Cup Reader and Pioneer High; pop-up gallery talks on “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” hosted by teen apprentices; a tour of “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern” led by guest curator Wanda Corn; and the Brooklyn premiere of Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey’s web series Brown Girls, followed by a talkback with members of the cast and crew, moderated by Lindsay Catherine Harris. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” “The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago,” “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and, at a discounted admission price of $12, “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern.”

DAYBREAKER NYC: SPRING FLING

Early morning Daybreakers will celebrate Spring Fling at Irving Plaza on March 1 (photo courtesy Daybreaker NYC)

Early morning breakfast clubbers will celebrate Spring Fling at Irving Plaza on March 1 (photo courtesy Daybreaker NYC)

Irving Plaza
17 Irving Pl.
Wednesday, March 1, yoga 6:00 am, dance party 7:00 am
Admission: $26.75 dance party only, $37.05 yoga and dance party
www.daybreaker.com
irvingplaza.com

Getting home at six in the morning isn’t unusual in New York City. Getting up to go clubbing at that hour certainly is, but thanks to Daybreaker’s now-legendary 6:00 – 9:00 sober dance parties, New Yorkers can do just that. Founded three years ago by Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal, the Daybreaker movement is spreading to more than three dozen cities around the world, bringing its ethos of mindfulness, mischief, camaraderie, wellness, and self-expression to happy early risers everywhere. Almost every month, a couple hundred to a thousand partygoers show up at a rotating series of clubs around New York for an hour of funky club-style yoga (bring your own mat), followed by a two-hour psychedelically lit, high-energy, super-positive dance party with high-energy DJs, surprise performers, and changing themes. Then they head off to work. The parties are alcohol-free, and each has a different suggested theme, but the vibe is pretty accepting of whatever you wear, since most of the twentysomething attendees are powering off to work at nine. The March 1 rave at Irving Plaza is a Spring Fling; the next, who knows? Tickets come with lots of treats from partners, including cold-brewed coffee, green juice, coconut water, energy drinks, and more. Stoking the energy at that hour is key, led by yoga instructor Alex Silver-Fagan and French DJ duo FDVM, who will orchestrate the music, with a performance by singer-songwriter Erin Willett to keep the spirit high. As Daybreaker’s website says, “We come as we are to sweat, dance, and connect with ourselves and each other. Dancing sober in community during the morning is amazing for your health and happiness.” If you want to jump-start your day with possibly the best jolt of energy in the city, rave on with Daybreaker.

TICKET ALERT: INSIDE

Immersive show at St. John the Divine challenges audience perception of reality (photo by Ana Margineau)

Immersive show at St. John the Divine challenges audience perception of reality, two people at a time (photo by Ana Margineau)

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.
March 15-18, $40, 5:40 - 9:00 pm
212-316-7540
www.popuptheatrics.com
www.stjohndivine.org

Slots are filling up fast for PopUP Theatrics’ latest immersive theatrical production, Inside, which investigates perception, alternate realities, and unique interpretation. Previously staged in a Madrid hotel and a Bucharest train station, Inside now moves to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where two guests at a time will be led on an adventure through nonpublic areas in and around the historic space, seeing the same things but being fed different information. The monthly five-night runs begin March 14, with pairs taking off on their seventy-minute adventure every twenty minutes from 5:40 to 9:00. The show was devised by PopUP Theatrics partners Tamilla Woodard, Ana Margineau, and Peca Stefan, examining the question “How much of what you experience is affected by the voices in your head, being those media, social media, or family-inherited beliefs?” Collaborating with PopUP on Inside, which is directed by Margineau, are playwrights Zhu Yi and Troy Deutsch, director France Damian, and choreographer Joya Powell, with production design by Deb O. In a statement, Woodard explains, “With this immersive, our intention is to make it plain that you can be in the same place at the same time and have your perspective manipulated, so much so that you can begin to ignore the reality in front of you.” In these challenging times, there’s something to be said for ignoring the reality right in front of you, and what better place to do it than one of New York City’s most beautiful treasures.

ARMORY ARTS WEEK 2017

tm gratkowski no matter what collaged paper on wood panel (courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery)

Art on Paper: Tm Gratkowski, “No Matter What,” collaged paper on wood panel (courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery)

It’s that time of year again when the art world descends on New York City for the start of art fair season. There are no fewer than ten fairs this week, with the next batch scheduled for May. Below is a brief look at March’s shows, highlighted by participating artists and special events and projects.

What: Moving Image
Where: 269 11th Ave. between 27th & 28th Sts.
When: February 27 - March 2, free
Why: “A viewing experience with the excitement and vitality of a fair while allowing moving image-based artworks to be understood and appreciated on their own terms,” with works by Rebecca Allen, Marcos Bonisson and Khalil Charif, Kevin Cooley, Adriana Duque, Zachary Fabri, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani, John Craig Freeman, Claudia Hart, Robert Hodge, Marlon Hall, and Robert Pruitt, Iyvone Khoo, Christopher Manzione & Seth Cluett, Alexander Mazza, Joiri Minaya, Brenna Murphy, Damir Očko, Will Pappenheimer, Jacques Perconte, Jefferson Pinder, Jordan Rathus, Casey Reas, Michael Rees, Rick Silva, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Tamiko Thiel and Zara Houshmand, Naoko Tosa, Anton van Dalen, Arda Yalkın, Matteo Zamagni

What: The Art Show
Where: Park Avenue Armory, Park Ave. at Sixty-Seventh St.
When: March 1-5, $25
Why: “Offers collectors, arts professionals, and the public the opportunity to engage with artworks of the highest quality through intimately scaled and thoughtfully curated exhibitions that encourage close looking and active conversation with gallerists”

Friday, March 3
“Beyond New York: Cultural Vibrancy Across the U.S.,” Keynote at the Art Show, with Kaywin Feldman, Lawrence J. Wheeler, and Zannie Giraud Voss, moderated by Lindsay Pollock, Board of Officers Room, 6:00

volta ny

What: VOLTA NY
Where: Pier 90, West 50th St. at 12th Ave.
When: March 2-6, $25-$60
Why: “Showcases relevant contemporary art positions from emerging international artists, from cutting-edge trendsetters to next year’s rising stars [with an] approachable solo-booth format”

Friday, March 3
“Alternative Myths,” with Jesse Bransford and Dominic Shepherd, the Volta Salon with ArtNet, 1:00

Saturday, March 4
“Improv for Artists,” with Morgan Bassichis, Jill Pangallo, and Richards Smit, moderated by Hollis Witherspoon, 2:00

Sunday, March 5
“Art Meets Tech,” with Ashley Zelinskie, Valentine Uhovski, and Alicia Carbone, moderated by Ariel Adkins, 2:00

What: Spring/Break Art Show: Black Mirror
Where: 4 Times Square at 43rd St.
When: March 1-6, $15-$50
Why: “An internationally recognized exhibition platform using underused historic New York City spaces to activate and challenge the traditional cultural landscape of the art market”

scope

What: Scope
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West Eighteenth St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
When: March 2-5, $15-$150
Why: “SCOPE New York’s spirit of innovation has consistently forged the way for emerging artists and galleries. Attuned to nuances in the market and itself an influential force in the cultural sphere, SCOPE continues to usher in a new vision of the contemporary art fair.”

What: The Armory Show
Where: Piers 92 & 94, 12th Ave. at 50th St.
When: March 3-6, $25-$80
Why: “New York’s premier art fair and a definitive cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th and 21st century artworks,” featuring Platform projects by Abigail DeVille, Fiete Stolte, Evan Roth, Jun Kaneko, Dorian Gaudin, Douglas Coupland, Ai Weiwei, Iván Navarro, Yayoi Kusama, Per Kirkeby & Lawrence Weiner, Abel Barroso, Patricia Cronin, Sebastian Errazuri

Friday, March 3
“What’s Technology Got to Do with It? Art in the Digital Age,” with Shiva Ahmadi, Charles Atlas, Marilyn Minter, and Thomas Allen Harris, moderated by Barbara London, 4:00

Saturday, March 4
“David Salle: The Painting Life,” artist talk with Joe Bradley, Alex Katz, Dana Schutz, and Chris Martin, moderated by David Salle, 2:30

Sunday, March 5
“Glenn O’Brien: Like Art,” artist talk with Glenn O’Brien, Jeffrey Deitch, and Andy Spade, 1:00

What: Art on Paper
Where: Pier 36, 299 South St.
When: March 2-5, $25-$40
Why: “Art on Paper’s medium-driven focus lends itself to significant projects — unique moments that have set the fair apart and established a new and important destination for the arts in New York City,” featuring special projects by Pablo Lehmann, Peter Sarkisian, Tahiti Pehrson, Valerie Hammond, and Timothy Paul Myers in collaboration with Andrew Barnes

clio

What: Clio Art Fair: The Anti-Fair for Independent Artists
Where: 508 West 26h St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
When: March 2-5, free
Why: “Focuses attention on the kinds of contemporary art and interventions that are being created by independent artists the world over,” featuring works by Piero Manzoni, Carla Accardi, Maurizio Cattelan, Nina Berman, Denise Adler, Sonia Aguessy, Paul Bouchard, Peter Bradley Cohen, Robby Davis, Monica Delgado, Matthew Demers, Wenjun Fu​​, Orit Fuchs, Rachel Goldsmith, Larry Jones, Rusudan Khizanishvili, Gary Low, Rafael Melendez, Hayley Palmatier, Alicia Piller, Claudia Shapiro, Emily Strange, Kimberly Zeluck, more

What: The Independent
Where: Spring Studios, 50 Varick St.
When: March 2-5, $25
Why: “An invitational art fair devised by and for gallerists, which reexamines the traditional methods of presenting, viewing, and experiencing contemporary art”

What: New City Art Fair
Where: hpgrp Gallery, 434 Greenwich St.
When: March 3-6, free
Why: “A boutique art fair which aspires to globalize contemporary Asian art,” this year featuring works by Japanese artists Daisuke Takahashi, snAwk, So Sekiyama, Meguru Yamaguchi, more

EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE

(photo by Monique Carboni)

A veteran cast looks at the past, present, and future of the theater in EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE (photo by Monique Carboni)

The New Group at the Pershing Square Signature Center
The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre
480 West 42nd St. between between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Tuesday - Sunday through March 12, $100-$120
www.thenewgroup.org

“We need more plays!” Nellie (Jill Eikenberry) cries out in the New Group’s marvelous production of Evening at the Talk House, making its U.S. premiere at the Signature Center through March 12. That sentiment couldn’t be more true, especially if they’re such works as Wallace Shawn’s utterly delightful, deliciously wicked black comedy, one of the most gregarious shows you’re ever likely to see, despite its dark undertones. The audience enters the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre directly onto Derek McLane’s inviting set, where the all-star cast is mingling in the main meeting room of the Talk House, a club where New York’s literati partied once upon a time. The audience sits on rising rows on two sides of the stage, but before taking your seat, you can mix with the actors, enjoy gummy worms and marshmallow hors d’oeuvres, and sip colored sparkling water from plastic cups. A group of colleagues has gathered at their old hot spot, the Talk House, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening night of Midnight in a Clearing with Moon and Stars, a fondly recalled critical and popular failure by playwright Robert (Matthew Broderick), now a successful TV writer. He is joined by star Tom (Larry Pine), composer Ted (John Epperson), costume designer Annette (Claudia Shear), and producer Bill (Michael Tucker), along with longtime Talk House host Nellie and server Jane (Annapurna Sriram), who regularly took great care of them ten years before. There is also an unexpected guest, Dick (director and playwright Shawn), a sad, bedraggled shell of a man who thought he should have gotten the Midnight part that ultimately went to Tom. The show begins with an extraordinary, and lengthy, monologue by Robert, making direct eye contact with nearly everyone in the audience as he fills in the details of who everyone is (and was) as well as what has become of the theater in this ostensibly realistic yet unsettling somewhat parallel universe. “At that time, you see . . . theater played a somewhat larger part in the life of our city than it does now,” he says. “A decline in the theater-going impulse could in a way be seen as a small price to pay for the rather substantial benefit derived from entering into an era that quite a few people would describe as much more tranquil and much more agreeable that the one that preceded it. . . . Because what exactly was ‘theater,’ really, when you actually thought about it?” It isn’t long before Robert discovers that this new era is not quite as tranquil and agreeable as he thought, as Shawn slyly injects some frightening twists that go by all too smoothly, highlighting how increasingly easy it is to accept monstrous horrors in our everyday life. Is this our world? Or a wryly distorted funhouse mirror of it?

(photo by Monique Carboni)

Dick (Wallace Shawn) and Robert (Matthew Broderick) reminisce over old times in New Group production of Shawn play (photo by Monique Carboni)

Evening at the Talk House unfolds in a kind of near-future alternate reality where the “walls have ears.” In describing the setting of Midnight, Robert explains that it took place “in a sort of imaginary kingdom that predated history altogether or stood to one side of it, at any rate.” Although Shawn wrote Talk House several years ago, it prefigures the Trump era, as the president threatens to cut arts funding and fiercely battles a free press. “I want the old days back! Where are they? Where have they gone?” Dick, wearing pajamas, his face battered and beaten, says. “The old days were wonderful days! And they were better for me — I mean, personally, you see, they were much better for me.” There’s no room anymore for nostalgia in this world, which has changed so drastically even if not so overtly. Both the old days and the new days seem good for Shawn, who has written such previous plays as Aunt Dan and Lemon and The Designated Mourner, cowrote and costarred in Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre, and has memorably appeared in such films as Heaven Help Us, The Princess Bride, and Radio Days. In Evening, Shawn’s writing, acting, and direction are impeccable; the play is like a poignant short story come to life, with well-developed characters and sharply unpredictable dialogue. The acting is excellent all around, a mostly veteran cast clearly having a grand old time, glorying in their love of theater even as their characters have experienced its downfall. Audiences can rejoice as well; with shows such as Evening at the Talk House, the theater is far from a thing of the past.

AN EVENING WITH BILLIE JEAN KING

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King will talk about her life and career at special Women’s History Month event at New-York Historical Society (photo by Andrew Coppa)

Who: Billie Jean King, David M. Rubenstein
What: Discussion with athlete and activist Billie Jean King
Where: The Robert H. Smith Auditorium, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th St.), 212-873-3400
When: Tuesday, March 7, $48, 6:30
Why: In conjunction with the March 8 opening of “Saving Washington” in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery and the April unveiling of the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society, the institution is hosting a series of special events focusing on women’s history, beginning with a lecture by Amanda Foreman, “The Ascent of Woman,” on March 1 and a conference on “Reproductive Rights in Historical Context” on March 5. On March 7, “An Evening with Billie Jean King” features the groundbreaking tennis superstar and social justice activist talking about her life and career and her longtime fight for gender equality, in a wide-ranging conversation hosted by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. In 2009, the winner of thirty-nine Grand Slam titles was the first female athlete and LGBTQ community member to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “We honor what she calls ‘all the off-the-court stuff’ — what she did to broaden the reach of the game, to change how women athletes and women everywhere view themselves, and to give everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation — including my two daughters — a chance to compete both on the court and in life,” President Obama said in presenting her the medal. “Tennis is a platform, and I fight for everybody,” King said. Throughout March, the historical society will also display items from King’s personal archives. Among the other upcoming programs are “Women and the White House” moderated by Lesley Stahl on March 9 and a screening of Woman of the Year on March 24 with remarks by Kati Marton.

ESCAPED ALONE

Linda Bassett, Deborah Findlay, Kika Markham, and June Watson in ESCAPED ALONE (photo by Richard Termine)

Linda Bassett, Deborah Findlay, Kika Markham, and June Watson star in Caryl Churchill’s ESCAPED ALONE (photo by Richard Termine)

BAM Harvey
651 Fulton St.
February 15-26, $30-$90
718-636-4100
www.bam.org

Award-winning British playwright Caryl Churchill artfully reproduces the random textures and intricate rise and fall, and the complicated rhythms of our banal daily conversations in the glorious Escaped Alone, which continues at BAM through February 26. But under those chats, lurking in the interstices and bubbling just underneath the surface, are horrors that are exposed in dystopian apocalyptic interludes. Churchill masterfully captures the zeitgeist of life in the twenty-first century through the gossiping of a quartet of women just passing the time. Mrs. Jarrett (Linda Bassett) is walking along the street when she hears three acquaintances chattering away behind a fence. She steps through a gate to join Sally (Deborah Findlay), Lena (Kika Markham), and Vi (June Watson) in Vi’s grassy and sunny suburban backyard where, over the course of an hour, the women discuss children, television programs, cooking, jokes, and how things change as they get older. “It all goes by,” Sally says wistfully early on. Every so often Mrs. J steps out of the scene as red neon lights flash around the proscenium (evoking the special lighting effects employed in Churchill’s recent Love and Information) and proceeds to deliver deadly funny details of various devastating global catastrophes, including floods, mass hunger, and killer viruses, as if she is a lone witness. She then returns to her chair like nothing happened. Meanwhile, Sally, Lena, and Vi each give a personal monologue of their own, the lights dimming on the other three and zeroing in on the speaker as one by one the women share their inner fears in a matter-of-fact manner.

Linda Bassett Caryl Churchill (photo by Richard Termine)

Mrs. Jarrett (Linda Bassett) discusses global calamities in ESCAPED ALONE at BAM (photo by Richard Termine)

The play takes its name from a quote from the Book of Jonah that was also used by Herman Melville in Moby-Dick: “I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” Sally, who has a cat problem, Lena, who wants to be invisible, and Vi, who had a rather unfortunate incident with her husband, might still be trying to escape while Mrs. J faces it in her own way, ending her first monologue by saying, “Survivors were now solitary and went insane at different rates.” The characters regularly fly off on tangents, speaking in partial sentences that combine to form a kind of fluid, abstract stream-of-consciousness poetry that is absolutely lovely to listen to. Peter Mumford’s lighting is virtually a character in itself, making the most of Miriam Buether’s bright, charming set, which recalls the famous Robert Frost quote “Good fences make good neighbors.” (The fence also evokes Donald Trump’s wall, except this one offers free entry and exit.) The four women, who were all in the original Royal Court Theatre production, are extraordinary, their words ricocheting off one another like a championship doubles match at Wimbledon. Longtime Churchill collaborator James Macdonald (Cloud Nine, A Number) oversees it all with a deft hand, keeping every little bit utterly captivating. Now seventy-eight, multiple Obie winner Churchill (Top Girls, Serious Money) has written yet another stunning work, cutting into the contemporary mind like a surgeon, exposing the mystifying stories we tell ourselves to get through our days.

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