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


nyc comedy week

Who: Pat Dixon, Evan Williams, Anthony Atamanuik, Alingon Mitra, Paul Virzi, Mike Recine, Dan Soder, Tom Shillue, Mark DeMayo, James Adomian, Amanda Seales, and many others
What: NYC Comedy Week: 2-for-1 tickets
Where: Carolines on Broadway, the Stand NYC, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Gotham Comedy Club, Jebon Sushi, the Peoples Improv Theater, the Kill Bar at Times Scare, and the Brooklyn Brewery
When: April 6-19
Why: The fourth NYC Comedy Week takes place April 6-19, with more than five dozen events at eight venues in three boroughs, featuring stand-up, improvisation, sketch comedy, storytelling, and a Japanese game show, with two-for-one tickets available for all presentations.


coney island horror story

Coney Island USA
1208 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Ave. & West 12th St.
Saturday, March 28, $100-$150, 7:00 - 12 midnight

Arts fundraisers can be pretty stuffy affairs, so leave it to Coney Island USA to do things just a little bit differently. On March 28, their gala spring fundraiser — taking place for the first time ever in its home base on Surf Ave. — will feature daring burlesque, sideshow performers, a Mystery in a Box, and more. The Coney Island Horror Story theme is a riff on this past season of American Horror Story, which was set at a freak show, and AHS star Mat Fraser will take part in the festivities, along with his wife, Julie Atlas Muz, and a fab cast of characters that also includes Deity Von Cuchi, Velvet Crayon, Jennifer Miller, Clara Coquette, Ginger Twist, La Maia, Puss n Boots, Sincerely Yours, Sizzle Dizzle, Tiny D, Zoe Ziegfeld, Adam Realman, Wae Messed, Betsy Propane, Divina GranSparkle, Sabrena Sunshine, Agent Topchik, Betty Bloomerz, Ray Valenz, Princess Pat, Alejandro DuBois, Sean Coleman and the Quasars, and Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones. In addition, the Great Fredini will be on hand, making his Scan-a-Rama 3D portrait, and there will be a silent auction. All of the proceeds go into Coney Island USA’s unique programming, consisting of such favorites as the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Film Festival, the Coney Island Museum, Burlesque at the Beach, and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. (VIP tickets entitle you to early admission, a meet-and-greet with some of the performers, a gift bag, and unlimited beer, wine, and food.)


Rory Culkin will be among the special guests at the ReelAbilities film festival, discussing his starring role in GABRIEL

Rory Culkin will be among the special guests at the ReelAbilities film festival, discussing his starring role in GABRIEL

Multiple venues
March 12-18, free - $50 (most film screenings $12-$13)

The seventh annual ReelAbilities film festival will feature more than two dozen programs, focusing on “promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities.” This year’s festival, running March 12-18, will take place at more than three dozen locations in all five boroughs in addition to Westchester and Long Island. The Finishers, Nils Tavernier’s drama about a teenager with cerebral palsy who is convinced by his father that the two should compete together in an Ironman triathlon in France, is the opening-night selection, with a gala screening at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, while the closing-night film is Carlo Zoratti’s The Special Need, about a twenty-nine-year-old autistic man who is determined to lose his virginity, being shown March 18 at the JCC in Manhattan and followed by a reception. Among the other films are Adam Kahan’s The Case of the Three Sided Dream, a documentary about blind and paralyzed jazzman Rahsaan Roland Kirk; Troy Kotsur’s mockumentary No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie; Richard Kane’s Jon Imber’s Left Hand, which tells the story of the artist who had to switch the hand he paints with because of ALS; and Lou Howe’s Gabriel, which stars Rory Culkin as a teenager dealing with mental illness. (Many of the screenings will be followed by discussions and Q&As with the filmmakers, actors, protagonists, and health professionals.) There will also be such special events as “(In)Visible,” a conversation between blind Michigan Supreme Court justice Richard Bernstein and Jason’s Connections cofounder Jason Harris; a multimedia exhibit at the JCC in Manhattan by the Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs; the ReelAbilities Comedy Night at the JCC with Anita Hollander, Mary Archbold, Pat Shay, Shannon DeVido, and David Harrell; and a Shabbat Dinner celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, with film screenings and a panel discussion with historian Warren Shaw, Justice Bernstein, photographer Rick Guidotti, and others, moderated by Lawrence Carter-Long.


Adam Carolla will be at Carolines this week for live podcasts and the NYC premiere of his new film, ROAD HARD

Adam Carolla will be at Carolines this week for live podcasts and the NYC premiere of his new film, ROAD HARD

Who: Adam Carolla and special guests
What: Two-night stand in Times Square
Where: Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway between 49th & 50th Sts., 212-757-4100
When: Live podcast March 4-5, $54.50 - $125.25, 7:00/7:30; film premiere March 5, $22, 9:00
Why: In his most recent book, President Me: The America That’s in My Head (It Books, May 2014, $26.99), podcast king and former Man Show cohost Adam Carolla writes, “Consider this book my official campaign platform. As you’ll see, I have an assload of opinions and a dump truck full of ideas on how to make this country better.” Carolla continues his presidential aspirations this week at Carolines, where on Wednesday and Thursday he’ll host live editions of his ferociously popular podcast, The Adam Carolla Show, joined by David Alan Grier on March 4 and Alec Baldwin on March 5. The March 5 podcast will be followed by the separately ticketed New York City premiere of his directorial feature debut, Road Hard, which Carolla wrote with Kevin Hench (The Hammer) and stars in alongside a bevy of actors and comedians, including Grier, Diane Farr, David Koechner, Illeana Douglas, Howie Mandel, Jay Mohr, Dana Gould, and Larry Miller.


Who: Louis C.K.
What: Stand-up comedy tour
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Wednesday, January 7 & 14, $25-$65, 8:00
Why: Mastermind behind the FX hit Louie and such stand-up specials as Oh My God and Shameless is selling out the World’s Most Famous Arena these days, sharing his unique views on marriage, divorce, children, health, dating, sex, weight, and other topics


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, January 3, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum welcomes in 2015 by handing over the reins of its free monthly First Saturdays program to several of the artists featured in “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond,” which concludes on January 4. The night before, curators Eugenie Tsai and Rujeko Hockley will discuss the exhibition at 5:30, “Crossing Brooklyn” artist Linda Goode Bryant will talk about urban farming at 6:15, jazz percussionist Ches Smith will activate David Horvitz’s forty-seven suspended bells as part of a site-specific musical composition at 6:30, and BFAMFAPhD (Blair Murphy, Susan Jahoda, and Vicky Virgin) will delve into the nature of creativity and debt at 7:15. “‘Crossing Brooklyn’ Artists’ Choice” also features live performances by Snarky Puppy, DJ Selly and DJ Asen from Fon, ventriloquist Nigel “Docta Gel” Dunkley (telling the story of Cindy Hot Chocolate from Geltown), immersive dance company Ani Taj and the Dance Cartel, Fela! veterans Chop and Quench led by Sahr Ngaujah, and spoken word poets Corina Copp, Patricia Spears Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, and Charles North as well as Greg Barris’s “Heart of Darkness” comedy showcase with Janeane Garofalo and Ilana Glazer, a print-making art workshop, a creative writing workshop led by Jaime Shearn Coan, and D’hana Perry’s multimedia improvisational “LOOSE.” In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Revolution! Works from the Black Arts Movement,” “Judith Scott — Bound and Unbound,” and “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time.”


What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, art, and discussion, organized by PS 122
Where: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Chocolate Factory, Vineyard Theatre, Invisible Dog Art Center, the Swiss Institute, Asia Society, Parkside Lounge, New Ohio Theatre, Danspace Project, Times Square
When: January 2-17, free - $30
Why: Dancers and choreographers Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith in Rude World; Temporary Distortion’s durational multimedia live installation My Voice Has an Echo in It; Faye Driscoll’s extraordinary, interactive Thank You for Coming: Attendance; Alexandra Bachzetsis’s Diego Velázquez-inspired From A to B via C

Who: Under the Radar Festival and Incoming!
What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, and art, organized by the Public Theater
Where: The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., and La MaMa, 74 East Fourth St.
When: January 7-18, free - $40
Why: Daniel Fish’s A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again based on audio recordings of David Foster Wallace; Marie-Caroline Hominal’s The Triumph of Fame, a one-on-one performance inspired by Petrarch’s “I Trionfi”; Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: 1900-1950s; Toshi Reagon’s Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version; Reggie Watts’s Audio Abramović, in which Watts will go eye-to-eye with individuals for five minutes

Who: American Realness
What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, art, conversation, discussion, readings, and a workshop, organized by Abrons Arts Center
Where: Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St.
When: January 8-18, $20
Why: World premiere of Jack Ferver’s Night Light Bright Light; Cynthia Hopkins’s A Living Documentary; Tere O’Connor’s Undersweet; Luciana Achugar’s Otro Teatro: The Pleasure Project; My Barbarian’s The Mother and Other Plays; Dynasty Handbag’s Soggy Glasses, a Homo’s Odyssey

Who: Prototype
What: Festival of opera, theater, music, and conversation
Where: HERE, St. Paul’s Chapel, La MaMa, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Park Ave. Armory, Joe’s Pub
When: January 8-17, $22-$75
Why: The Scarlet Ibis, inspired by James Hurst’s 1960 short story; Carmina Slovenica’s Toxic Psalms; Bora Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral; Ellen Reid and Amanda Jane Shark’s Winter’s Child

winter jazzfest

Who: Winter Jazzfest NYC
What: More than one hundred jazz groups playing multiple venues in and around Greenwich Village
Where: The Blue Note, (le) poisson rouge, Judson Church, the Bitter End, Subculture, Bowery Electric, others
When: January 8-10, $25-$145
Why: Catherine Russell, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Saul Williams, Jovan Alexandre & Collective Consciousness, Marc Ribot & the Young Philadelphians with Strings, So Percussion Feat. Man Forever, Theo Bleckmann Quartet with Ambrose Akinmusire, and David Murray Clarinet Summit with Don Byron, David Krakauer, and Hamiet Bluiett