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


Workspace Artist-in-Residence Tamar Ettun rehearses at LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty (photo by Jonathan Patkowski for LMCC)

Workspace Artist-in-Residence Tamar Ettun rehearses at LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty (photo by Jonathan Patkowski for LMCC)

Who: Sarah Anderson, Mirene Arsanios, Chloë Bass, Jesse Bonnell, Esteban Cabeza De Baca, Glendaliz Camacho, Adriane Connerton, Nick Doyle, Tamar Ettun, Joel W. Fisher, Nadja Frank, Susan Karwoska, Amy Khoshbin, Lisa Ko, Courtney Krantz, Tora Lopez, Melanie McLain, Rangi McNeil, Irini Miga, Trokon Nagbe, Meredith Nickie, New Saloon, Christina Olivares, Piehole, Ronny Quevedo, Maria Rapoport, Keisha Scarville, Pascual Sisto, Stacy Spence, Yuliya Tsukerman, Jessica Vaughn
What: LMCC Open Studios
Where: LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty, 28 Liberty St. between Pine, Liberty, Nassau, & William Sts.
When: Friday, April 29, 6:00–9:00, and Saturday, April 30, 1:00–6:00 (Open Texts 6:00–8:00), free with advance RSVP
Why: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which “empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond,” is kicking off its annual Open Studios by welcoming visitors on Friday night, April 29, and Saturday afternoon and evening, April 30, to wander through its Financial District space and check out works-in-progress by thirty-one artists artists who have been busy since September immersed in paintings, sketches, photographs, sculptures, videos, poetry, dances, plays, and more. The event is free with advance RSVP; the studios will close Saturday at 6:00 for two hours of spoken-word performances. The Open Studios program continues through October with presentations at 28 Liberty and 125 Maiden Lane and on Governors Island with such performers and choreographers as Okwui Okpokwasili, the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, Faye Driscoll, Netta Yerushalmy, Amber Hawk Swanson, Ephrat Asherie, Jodi Melnick, and YACKEZ (Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson).


J-Lounge Stage (photo by Jason Gardner)

J-Lounge Stage at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great place to both party and relax (photo by Jason Gardner)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway
Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, $20-$25 (children under twelve free), 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

Spring appears to finally have arrived, and that means it’s time for one of the city’s most fabulous annual festivals, the Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The weekend celebrates the beauty of the blossoming of the cherry trees with live music and dance, parades, workshops, demonstrations, martial arts, fashion shows, Ikebana flower arranging, a bonsai exhibit, Shogi chess, garden tours, the Mataro Ningyo Doll Museum, book signings, Japanese food, clothing, pottery, wall scrolls, kimonos, lots of children’s activities, and more. Below are ten daily featured highlights of this always lovely party, with many events going on all day long and over both days.

Saturday, April 30

Book signing: Kate T. Williamson, A Year in Japan, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:00

Ukiyo-e Illustration Demonstration with Jed Henry, Art Alley, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:00 & 2:00

The Battersby Show: Cosplay 101, with Charles Battersby, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:30

Manga Drawing with Misako Rocks!, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 12 noon, 1:15, and 3:00

Sohenryu Tea Ceremony, with tea masters Soumi Shimizu and Sōkyo Shimizu, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 12:15 & 2:45

Dancejapan with Sachiyo Ito, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 1:30

Book signing: Abby Denson, Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:00

Hanagasa Odori flower hat procession, with the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 4:00

BBG Parasol Society Fashion Show, featuring live music by the Hanami Ensemble, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 4:30

Yuzu’s Dream: An Urban Folk Odyssey, with Yuzu, Akim Funk Buddha, and his Origami Dance Crew, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 5:15

Sunday, May 1

Japanese Garden Stroll, 10:00 am

Akim Funk Buddha’s Urban Tea Ceremony Unplugged, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 12 noon

KuroPOP dance party, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 12:45

Stand-up Comic Uncle Yo, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 1:15 & 3:00

Samurai Sword Soul, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 2:00

Takarabune Dance, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 2:00

Book signing: Rumi Hara, The Return of Japanese Wolves, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:00

Colossal Origami, with Taro Yaguchi, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:45

Sohenryu Tea Ceremony for Families, with Soumi Shimizu and Sōkyo Shimizu, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 4:15

The Seventh Annual Sakura Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show, with original music by Taiko Masala, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 5:15


Don DeLillo and Dana Spiotta will team up at the 92nd St. Y on May 2

Don DeLillo and Dana Spiotta will team up at the 92nd St. Y on May 2

Who: Don DeLillo, Dana Spiotta
What: Reading, conversation, and signing
Where: 92nd St. Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., 212-415-5500
When: Monday, May 2, $15-$35, 8:00
Why: In accepting the 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, Bronx-born writer Don DeLillo spoke of looking at the books on his shelf, how fragile each one can be. “When I lift the book from the shelf, gently, I understand, again, the power of memory that a book carries with it. What is there to remember? Who I was, where I was, what these books meant to me when I read them for the first time.” There are millions of people in the world who feel the same way about books written by DeLillo, the author of such well-regarded works as Great Jones Street, White Noise, Mao II, Underworld, and his latest, Zero K (Scribner, May 3, $27). On May 2, DeLillo will make his only New York City appearance in conjunction with the release of the novel, at the 92nd St. Y, with one of his personal favorite writers, Syracuse-based author Dana Spiotta, who has written such books as Eat the Document and Stone Arabia. Spiotta will read from her latest book, Innocents and Others (Scribner, March 2016, $25), DeLillo will read from Zero K, and then the two will hold a conversation, followed by a signing. “We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?” one of the characters says in Zero K. It also is a human glory to read almost anything by the seventy-eight-year-old DeLillo, a fate always worth accepting.


Jazz great Cecil Taylor rehearses at the Whitney in November 2015

Jazz great Cecil Taylor rehearses at the Whitney in November 2015

Whitney Museum of American Art
Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, fifth floor
99 Gansevoort St.
April 14-24, free with museum admission unless otherwise noted

The fourth stage of the Whitney’s “Open Plan” series, which previously saw Andrea Fraser, Lucy Dodd, and Michael Heizer take over the large fifth-floor space in the new downtown building, hands the reins over to free jazz legend, poet, and New York City native Cecil Taylor. The eighty-seven-year-old pianist will be celebrated in a series of programs beginning April 14 at 8:00 ($50), when Taylor will make a rare public appearance, collaborating with British drummer Tony Oxley and Japanese dancer and choreographer Min Tanaka. On April 15 at 7:00, cellist Tristan Honsinger will perform a solo set, while writer Thulani Davis, dancer and professor Cheryl Banks-Smith, and bassist Henry Grimes join forces for a unique presentation. On April 16 at 2:00, Banks-Smith will moderate “Cecil Taylor and Dance,” a panel discussion with Dianne McIntyre, Heather Watts, and Tanaka. That evening at 7:00, trumpter Enrico Rava, double bassist William Parker, and drummer Andrew Cyrille will perform as a trio, in addition to a solo set by Cyrille. On April 20 at 3:00, a Poetry and Music gathering brings together poets A. B. Spellman and Anne Waldman and saxophonist Devin Brahja Waldman, Anne’s nephew. On April 21 at 3:00, Poetry and Music features Steve Dalachinsky, Clark Coolidge with Michael Bisio, and Nathaniel Mackey with Grimes. That night at 9:00 ($10), Hilton Als directs a restaging of Adrienne Kennedy’s one-act play A Rat’s Mass, starring Helga Davis; Taylor wrote and directed the music for the show. And on April 22 at 6:00, Chris Funkhouser, Tracie Morris and Susie Ibarra, Fred Moten and William Parker, and Jemeel Moondoc/Ensemble Muntu (featuring Parker, Mark Hennen, and Charles Downs) will present an evening of poetry and music. Throughout this part of “Open Plan,” there will also be listening sessions hosted by Davis, Archie Rand, André Martinez, Gary Giddins, Moten and Funkhouser, Ben Young, and Nahum Chandler in addition to screenings in the Kaufman Gallery of such films as Sheldon Rochlin’s Cecil Taylor: Burning Poles, Chris Felver’s Cecil Taylor: All the Notes, Billy Woodberry’s And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead, and the world premiere of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s The Silent Eye about Taylor and Tanaka (and followed by Q&As with the director, who sat on Taylor’s stoop until the pianist would finally talk to him). There will also be documents, videos, audio, scores, photographs, poetry, and ephemera from throughout Taylor’s life and career on view.


David Duchovny holds up his brand-new book on Twitter for all to see

David Duchovny holds up his brand-new novel on Twitter for all to see

Who: David Duchovny and Bill Goldstein
What: Reading, discussion, and signing of Bucky F*cking Dent (FSG, April 5, $26)
Where: Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 East 17th St., 212-253-0810
When: Tuesday, April 12, free, 7:00
Why: “Mr. Peanut needed help. He had the dimpled gray-beige peanut torso, insect stick legs, and bad eyesight. In one eye, at least. No balls to speak of, sexless, a eunuch, and he couldn’t see or walk without the use of a cane. Help that dude. And why the top hat? He’s asking for it.” So actor, author, director, and musician David Duchovny, the X-Files star who played a novelist in the Showtime series Californication for seven seasons, writes on the first page of his second book, Bucky F*cking Dent, the follow-up to his debut, Holy Cow (now available in trade paperback), both of which reference baseball in their titles, for those not familiar with Yankees lore. On April 12, Duchovny will be at the B&N at Union Square, speaking with Bill Goldstein, book reviewer for NBC and other outlets. The event begins at 7:00; priority seating will be given to attendees who purchase the new novel. Shortly after his book tour, Duchovny will be heading to Europe for eleven May gigs in support of his 2015 album, Hell or Highwater.


Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, and Bryan Doerries team up for special event at the 92nd St. Y

Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, and Bryan Doerries team up for special event at the 92nd St. Y

Who: Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Bryan Doerries, Thane Rosenbaum
What: “The Redemptive Power of Ancient Stories”
Where: 92nd St. Y, Buttenwieser Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., 212-415-5500
When: Saturday, April 16, $32 ($15 for ages thirty-five & under), 7:30
Why: “What do Greek tragedies have to say to us now? What timeless things do they show us about what it means to be human? What were these ancient plays originally designed to do? And can they still work for audiences and readers today?” writer, director, and translator Bryan Doerries asks in the prologue to his book The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today (Knopf, September 2015, $26.95). Doerries is the artistic director of Outside the Wire, a self-described “social impact company” that presents such projects as End of Life, Prometheus in Prison, and Theater of War, which consists of dramatic readings of Sophocles’s Ajax and Philoctetes performed for military and civilian communities in America and Europe, with a particular focus on the psychological and physical impact of war. On April 16, Doerries will be joined by Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated actors Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, John Adams) and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck.; Temple Grandin) at the 92nd St. Y, where they will perform dramatic readings and participate in a discussion moderated by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum. The evening will conclude with Doerries signing copies of The Theater of War as well as his brand-new graphic novel, The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan (Pantheon, April 5, 2016, $19.95), which links Homer’s Odyssey to American soldiers returning home from Afghanistan.


Maya Azucena

Maya Azucena will perform for free at Brooklyn Museum First Saturday program on April 1

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, April 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum celebrates spring with the April edition of its free First Saturday multidisciplinary program. There will be live music by Falu, the Brown Rice Family, and Maya Azucena; a dance performance and workshop by Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance; poetry readings by Desiree Bailey and Laura Lamb Brown; screenings of Guy Reid’s Planetary, followed by a talkback, and Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon’s BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, followed by a talkback with Gordon and Imani Uzuri; an art workshop led by Steven and William Ladd for a community mural project in City Point; a dance break hosted by WNYC’s Death, Sex & Money podcast; and pop-up gallery talks. In addition, the galleries are open late so you can check out such exhibitions as “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull),’” “This Place,” and “Agitprop!”