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


celebrate israel

57th to 74th St. up Fifth Ave.
Sunday, June 4, free, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

On May 14, 1948, “The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” proclaimed, “The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Israel’s existence has been fraught with controversy since the very beginning, and there have been recent issues involving President Trump and the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but the nation perseveres, and on June 3 its seventieth birthday will be honored with the annual Celebrate Israel Parade. This year’s theme is “70 and Sababa!” As the official parade website explains, “When Israelis say something is Sababa, they mean it’s awesome, fantastic, super! In just seventy years, this tiny, arid country with few natural resources has grown, developed, and prospered beyond belief and expectation. With incredible landscapes and seascapes, gigantic skyscrapers and beautiful cities, amazing technological, medical, and agricultural advancements, Israelis have been at the forefront of it all, and the whole world has benefited. Israel: You are Sababa!”

On Sunday, tens of thousands of marchers are expected to make their way from Fifty-Seventh to Seventy-Fourth St. up Fifth Ave. Among the performers will be Ninet Tayeb, Omri Anghel, Paparim Ensemble Dancers from the Israeli Dance Institute, Kosha Dillz, Mitzvah Clowns, Milk & Honeys, Yarden Klayman, Six13, Lipa Schmeltzer, SOULFARM, Yakov Yavno, and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene playing excerpts from its upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof. The grand marshals are Dina and Jonathan Leader, with honorary grand marshals Jonathan Lipnicki, Siggy Flicker, Eyal Shani, Lipa Schmeltzer, and Liel Leibovitz. Special guests include members of the Israeli Knesset and numerous American public officials. In addition, the unaffiliated Israel Day Concert in Central Park is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary with a free show in Rumsey Playfield (2:30–7:00) that this year pays tribute to the seventieth birthday of the State of Israel. There will be live performances and speeches by Izzy Kiefe, Marcos Molinaro. Rita Cosby, Jules Wainstein, Chele Farley, Siggy Flicker, Chaim Kiss, Mordechai Shapiro, Ken Abramowitz, Helen Freedman, Aaron Klein, David Weprin, Rory Lancman, Stacy Kessler, Morton Davis, Martin Oliner, Mort Klein, Pete Hegseth, Danny Danon, Dani Dayan, Yehuda Glick, Tal Vaknin, Shuali Muallem, Oded Forer, Yoel Hasson, Avraham Fried, Shlomie Dachs, and more.


Outdoor screening of The Wedding Singer is part of Hudson River Parks

Outdoor screening of The Wedding Singer is part of Hudson River Park’s twentieth anniversary of free summer programming

Hudson River Park, Pier 45
Cross at Christopher St.
Saturday, June 2, free, 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Hudson River Park is celebrating its twentieth anniversary of hosting free summer events with an all-day festival on June 2 with a diverse slate of activities, beginning in the morning with Healthy on the Hudson workouts at 9:00 and 10:45 and an eco walk at 10:00. Other highlights include a science show, magic with Kid Ace, live Sunset on the Hudson music, Sunset Salsa dancing led by Talia Castro-Pozo with Mitch Frohman and the Bronx Horns, and a twentieth-anniversary screening of Frank Coraci’s The Wedding Singer, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Among this season’s free programs are Hudson RiverFlicks — Big Hit Wednesdays, Hudson RiverFlicks — Family Fridays, Jazz at Pier 84, Sunset on the Hudson, the annual Blues BBQ, the Hudson River Dance Festival, Sunset Salsa, Big City Fishing, Healthy on the Hudson, Hudson RiverKids, Hudson River Nature Walk, and more.


secret society of the sisterhood

Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel Steps
Fifth Ave. & Twenty-Fifth St.
Tuesday, May 29, $25-$30, 7:00 - 11:00 pm

The Secret Society of the Sisterhood is making its New York City debut on the night of the full moon, May 29, at historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Dubbed “An Evening of Storytelling for Women and Fierce Allies of Women,” the show is hosted by BanterGirl founder Trish Nelson, a self-identified producer, performer, writer, and waitress who hopes “that other women across the land will be able to see that no matter where you come from, or where you currently are in life, you do not have to wait around for someone else to give you permission to execute your dreams.” The theme of the May 29 event is “Soooo... THAT happened!,” with actress and poet Amber Tamblyn, writer and activist Lorri Davis, bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton, and comedian Ayanna Dookie sharing true tales. There will also be live music by Kaki King and a song by Treya Lam, visual art by Aditi Damle, Rebekah Harris, and Marguerite Dabaie, and a dance party led by DJ Tikka Masala. Proceeds from the festivities will go to Girls Write Now, which provides mentoring programs, college prep courses, reading series, digital exhibitions, workshops, and more to empower young women. So you’re not going to want to miss this opportunity not only to hear and see cool things — it all takes place under candlelight — but also to get to hang out at an amazing cemetery during a full moon. We already can’t wait to tell people, “Soooo... THAT happened!”


Elizabeth Streb’s Action Heroes return to Brookfield Place for five free performances May 24-26 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Brookfield Place
230 Vesey St.
May 24-26, free

You’re not going to find Arnold Schwarzegger, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, or Jackie Chan at Brookfield Place May 24-26 as part of SEA: Singular Extreme Actions. But you will see associate artistic director Cassandre Joseph, Jackie Carlson, Daniel Rysak, Felix Hess, Loganne Bond, Tyler DuBoys, Luciany Germán, and Justin Ross, the action heroes who make up STREB Extreme Action Company. Based in Brooklyn and under the leadership of Elizabeth Streb, the troupe combines dance and movement with breathtaking acrobatics using specially created apparatuses from which they propel themselves. Having seen the company perform several times, including at the World Financial Center, which is now known as Brookfield Place, I can vouch for the phenomenal abilities of these action heroes, who most definitely do not ever use stunt doubles. From May 24 to 26, they will be flirting with danger in the air and on the ground, performing pieces from their repertoire, which features “Air,” “Tilt,” “Squirm,” “Steel,” “Tied,” “Slam,” “Quake,” “Little Ease,” “Falling,” “Rock,” and “Silver.” The free shows, as always with DJ/MC Zaire Baptiste, will take place at 12:30 and 6:00 on May 24 and 25 and at 12:30 on May 26. In addition, there will be a KIDACTION class at 9:00 in the morning on May 26; advance registration is recommended.


Gallim Dance

Andrea Miller’s (C)arbon continues at the Met Breuer May 22-24 (photo courtesy Gallim Dance)

The Met Breuer
945 Madison Ave. at 75th St.
May 22-24, free with museum admission

MetLiveArts artist in residence Andrea Miller concludes her year-long residency with the world premiere of (C)arbon, a multimedia dance piece made in conjunction with the exhibition “Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now).” Miller, the artistic director and choreographer of the Brooklyn-based Gallim company, collaborated with visual artist and filmmaker Ben Stamper on the project, which explores the human body; Will Epstein composed the soundscape, with costumes by fashion designer Jose Solis. “I am fascinated by the phenomenon of the human body and its mostly elusive and invisible engines: its biology, its chemistry, its emotions, its history, its culture, and its inhabiting will and spirits,” Miller explained in a statement. “I hope to both unsettle and relieve our concerns of the human body and its quotidian and epic journey and potential.” The ninety-minute work, performed by a rotating cast of six Gallim dancers (Allysen Hooks, Sean Howe, Gary Reagan, Connor Speetjens, Haley Sung, and Georgia Usbourne), takes place on the fifth floor of the Met Breuer on May 22 at 1:00 and 3:30 and May 23 and 24 at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:30 and is free with museum admission. On the third and fourth floors, “Like Life” consists of more than one hundred lifelike sculptures dating back seven hundred years. “Melding sound and body with Andrea and her gifted dancers is a joyful alchemy,” Epstein said in a social media post. “Their skillful blend of sensitivity and strength immediately casts a spell and is deeply inspiring to work with and simply to be around.” Just to reiterate, the durational work is not being performed within the exhibition; instead, it is performed in three galleries with no art on the walls, so the piece is a work of art unto itself.


Symphony Space honors Leonard Bernstein with Wall to Wall presentation on May 19 (photo by Don Hunstein, 1961; courtesy of Sony Music)

Symphony Space honors Leonard Bernstein with Wall to Wall presentation on May 19 (photo by Don Hunstein, 1961; courtesy of Sony Music)

Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
Saturday, May 19, free with advance RSVP (reserved premium seating $100-$250), 3:00 - 11:00

Symphony Space celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its popular Wall to Wall series on May 19 with Wall to Wall Leonard Bernstein, eight hours of the Maestro’s music, divided into three segments, running from 3:00 to 5:30, 5:30 to 8:30, and 8:30 to 11:00. Free general admission tickets are available in advance, or you can get premium reserved seating for $100 per segment or $250 for the whole eight hours. The show will feature compositions (and occasional dance) from West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide, Peter Pan, and On the Waterfront in addition to such works as the Chichester Psalms, Three Meditations from Mass, To What You Said, The Lark (French and Latin Choruses), Simple Song, and Halil: Nocturne for Flute, Percussion, and Piano. Among the many performers are pianists Garah Landes, Simon Mulligan, Michael Brown, Grant Wenaus, Peter Dugan, and Eric Huebner, cellists Summer Boggess and Nick Canellakis, percussionists Gregory Landes, Daniel Druckman, Pablo Rieppi, and Sae Hashimoto, bassists Randy Landau and Aaron Theno, flutists Janet Axelrod and Mindy Kaufman, sopranos Harolyn Blackwell and Elizabeth Smith, baritone John Brancy, Calliope Brass, DUO: Stephanie and Saar, the Pit Stop Players, Keigwin + Company, and many more. The event will also include film clips and discussions about Bernstein’s life and career. Over the decades, the Wall to Wall program has also honored such luminaries as Steve Reich, Johnny Cash, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Aaron Copland, and the Gerswhins, among others.


(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Tino Sehgal’s This variation goes from dark to light to dark again (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Daily through Sunday, May 13, free with advance tickets, 1:00 to early evening
Tenth Ave. at West Thirty-First Sts. (entrance on West Thirty-First)
shed slideshow

Next spring, the new arts center known as the Shed will open by Hudson Yards. Through May 13 of this spring, Shed chairman Dan Doctoroff and artistic director and CEO Alex Poots are presenting “A Prelude to the Shed,” a wide-ranging amuse-bouche consisting of live dance and music, panel discussions, an architecture exhibit, and an experimental course for students, all held in and around a transformable venue in an undeveloped lot at Tenth Ave. and West Thirty-First St., designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works and Berlin-based conceptual artist Tino Sehgal. Around the structure are tall, comfortable seats built into all four sides. The centerpiece of “Prelude” is Sehgal’s This variation, which interacts with choreographer William Forsythe’s Pas de Deux Cent Douze, a reimagining of the main duet from his 1987 ballet In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. The show begins every afternoon at one o’clock and continues into the early evening. You enter the space into almost complete darkness, but don’t let that stop you from moving forward. Just shuffle slowly, hands out, reacting to the movement and sounds of Sehgal’s performers, who will be able to see you and avoid any collisions. There are tiny slits of light, and your eyes will eventually adjust, first picking out silhouetted figures, then recognizing them as flesh-and-blood people.

Roderick George performs to a surprised audience at Prelude to the Shed (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Roderick George performs to a surprised audience as part of “Prelude to the Shed” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The cast includes Margherita D’Adamo, Descha Daemgen, Sandhya Daemgen, Jule Flierl, Roderick George, Michael Helland, Louise Höjer, Nikima Jagudajev, Josh Johnson, Leah Katz, just in F. Kennedy, Stuart Meyers, Thomas Proksch, Claire Vivianne Sobottke, and Andros Zins-Brown, many of whom have performed This variation in one of its previous incarnations, dating back to Documenta 13 at Kassel in 2012. They sing familiar songs and emit various sounds and utterances as they jump and move across the room. The audience can sit on the floor, lean against a wall, or move about carefully. However, after a while, the east wall is pushed out and turned around, opening the area to the rest of the city, allowing light to come pouring in and giving prime views to the men, women, and children who had been seated on the big chairs outside (and who kept sitting on them as the walls were moved). George and Johnson then join together for the Forsythe duet on this new indoor-outdoor stage; however, the afternoon we were there, Johnson was absent, so George performed a lovely solo, improvising while maintaining Forsythe’s choreographic language for two dancers, followed by a gorgeous piece sung by D’Adamo as she and George interacted. The space is eventually closed up and it starts all over again, each performance unique. More free tickets have just been released, but walk-ins are welcome as long as there is room.