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


Who: Molissa Fenley, Jared Brown, Lloyd Knight, Sara Mearns, Shamel Pitts, Annique Roberts, Cassandra Trenary, Michael Trusnovec, Peter Boal
What: Livestreamed performances from the Joyce stage
Where: JoyceStream YouTube
When: October 24 - November 1, each dance $12, full Choreographers & Cocktails experience $150 per household
Why: In 1988, dancer and choreographer Molissa Fenley created State of Darkness, an American Dance Festival commission that is a solo set to Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (“Rite of Spring”); the thirty-five-minute piece was performed exclusively by Fenley through 1994, then by Peter Boal in 1999-2000 and Rachel Foster, James Moore, and Jonathan Porretta of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in June 2007. With the pandemic lockdown, Fenley, who was born in Las Vegas, grew up in Nigeria, and has been based in New York City since 1975, is revisiting the work, presenting it live on the Joyce stage to an empty house, performed October 24-25 and October 31 - November 1 by seven dancers with their own interpretations, livestreamed via the JoyceStream YouTube channel, the first live show from the Joyce stage since March. The October 24 lineup features Michael Trusnovec (formerly Paul Taylor Dance Company) at 5:00 and Jared Brown (Shechter II — Hofesh Shechter Company) at 8:00; October 25, Annique S. Roberts (Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company) at 5:00 and Shamel Pitts (formerly Batsheva Dance Company) at 8:00; October 31, Lloyd Knight (Martha Graham Dance Company) at 5:00 and Cassandra Trenary (American Ballet Theatre) at 8:00; and concluding November 1 with Sara Mearns (New York City Ballet principal) at 5:00. There will also be a behind-the-scenes discussion of the work on October 24 at 7:00 with Fenley and the dancers, moderated by Boal.

“It has been truly inspiring and uplifting to see the dancers and Molissa tackle State of Darkness during this difficult and unprecedented interruption to our lives,” Joyce executive director Linda Shelton said in a statement. “To me, this piece is about emerging from the darkness we have been coping with since March.” Fenley added, “In 1988, environmental, political, and social unrest inspired me to create State of Darkness. Today, a response to similar influences affecting us feels even more urgent and necessary.” Tickets for each individual dance is $12; the complete Choreographers & Cocktails experience, including all seven performances, an interview with Fenley, a live Q&A with the dancers, and a signature cocktail recipe by chef Peter Kelly, is $150 per household.


Who: Jelani Alladin, Jacqueline Antaramian, Antonio Banderas, Laura Benanti, Kim Blanck, Ally Bonino, Danielle Brooks, Jenn Colella, Elvis Costello, Daniel Craig, Alysha Deslorieux, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Holly Gould, Danai Gurira, Stephanie Hsu, David Henry Hwang, Oscar Isaac, Nikki M. James, Alicia Keys, John Leguizamo, John Lithgow, Audra McDonald, Grace McLean, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kelli O’Hara, Mia Pak, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Hyde Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Liev Schreiber, Martin Sheen, Phillipa Soo, Meryl Streep, Trudie Styler, Sting, Will Swenson, Shaina Taub, Kuhoo Verma, Ada Westfall, Kate Wetherhead
What: Virtual celebration and fundraiser
Where: Public Theater, Facebook, YouTube
When: Tuesday, October 20, free (donations accepted), 8:00
Why: Originally planned for June 1 but delayed because of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Public Theater is now holding its gala fundraiser online on October 20. “Forward. Together.” features appearances and performances by a wide range of actors, musicians, playwrights, and other creators, sharing songs and stories, from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Antonio Banderas, Elvis Costello, Daniel Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and John Leguizamo to Danielle Brooks, Jenn Colella, Audra McDonald, Phillipa Soo, Meryl Streep, and Suzan-Lori Parks, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. One of the highlights will be Jelani Alladin performing a brand-new song from the Public Works production of Hercules. The cochairs are Kwame Anthony Appiah, Candia Fisher, Joanna Fisher, Laure Sudreau, and Lynne Wheat, honoring Audrey and Zygi Wilf and Sam Waterston; the evening is directed by Kenny Leon, with music direction by Ted Sperling.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted; twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to eight Public Works partner organizations and Hunts Point Alliance for Children. You can also participate in the online auction, where you can bid on such items as a virtual conversation with Queen Latifah and Lee Daniels, a coffee chat with Liev Schreiber, ten years of premium reserved tickets to the Delacorte for Shakespeare in the Park, a private Zoom cooking class with Andrew Carmellini, and lunch (on Zoom or in person) with Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis. The Public has presented several outstanding productions during the pandemic, including The Line, What Do We Need to Talk About?, and the current audio play Shipwreck, so give if you can to help support this ongoing dream from Joe Papp.


Who: Daniele Uditi, Dave Beran, Greg Dulan, John Cleveland, Roni Cleveland, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo, Jonathan Whitener, Ludo Lefebvre, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Nick Montgomery, Steve Samson, Wes Avila, Alice Waters, Ana Roš, Dominique Crenn, Éric Ripert, Ferran Adrià, Fuchsia Dunlop, José Andrés, Josh Niland, Lamar Moore, Musa Daĝdeviren, Zaiyu Hasegawa, Jenn Harris, Laurie Ochoa, Evan Kleiman, Lisa McRee, Phil Rosenthal, Danny Trejo, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eric Wareheim, more
What: Virtual food event benefiting World Central Kitchen and the Food Bowl Takeout & Give Back campaign
Where: Los Angeles Times YouTube and Facebook
When: Saturday, October 17, free with advance RSVP, 8:30
Why: Craving travel and good food? You can get a bit of both at the LA Times Cook-a-thon, taking place virtually on October 17 at 8:30. Several dozen chefs, gourmands, gourmets, food writers, and celebrity guests from LA and around the globe will share culinary tales, lead kitchen tours, give recipes, and discuss the dire situation the restaurant business finds itself in during the coronavirus crisis. A fundraiser for José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen and the LA Times Food Bowl Takeout & Give Back initiative, the cook-a-thon will feature appearances by Daniele Uditi, Dave Beran, Greg Dulan, John Cleveland and Roni Cleveland, Mary Sue Milliken, Alice Waters, Ana Roš, Éric Ripert, Musa Daĝdeviren, Zaiyu Hasegawa, Phil Rosenthal, Danny Trejo, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more. Admission is free; be sure to come hungry.


Who: Jessica Flores, Enrique Sapene, John Leguizamo, Edward James Olmos, Jessica Alba, Oscar De La Hoya, Mario Lopez, Carlos Ponce, Melissa Fumero, Xolo Mariduena, Aymee Nuviola, Laith Ashley, Ellen Ochoa, Pitizion, Victor Ramos, RaqC, Rebecca Antonia Rodriguez, Kim Guerra, John Henry, Julian Castro, more
What: Live virtual gathering of Latinx influencers, content creators, entrepreneurs
Where: Hispanicize
When: Thursday, October 15, free with RSVP, noon - 6:00
Why: Hispanicize is following up its July 1 summit, which you can watch here, with another virtual gathering of Latinx creators and influencers, this time in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and with an eye to the upcoming presidential election. The Hispanicize #UnidosTogether Virtual Summit is taking place October 15 from noon to 6:00, including keynote addresses, roundtable discussions, performances, and breakout sessions featuring appearances by Jessica Flores, Enrique Sapene, John Leguizamo, Edward James Olmos, Jessica Alba, Carlos Ponce, Melissa Fumero, Xolo Mariduena, Aymee Nuviola, Laith Ashley, Ellen Ochoa, Pitizion, Victor Ramos, RaqC, Rebecca Antonia Rodriguez, Kim Guerra, Father Augustino Torres, John Henry, Julian Castro, and many more, hosted by Jessica Flores and Enrique Sapene. Below are only some of the special events; you can also check out Hispanicize’s VODcasts here.

DJ Mando Fresko Pre-Show, 11:30

Welcome & Blessing, with cohosts Jessica Flores and Enrique Sapene, noon

Keynote: Jessica Alba in conversation with Anne Vazquez, 12:15

Latinx Hollywood, with Julissa Calderon, Melissa Fumero, Ben Lopez, and Xolo Maridueña, 12:45

Latinx Unity & Empowerment, with Kim Guerra, John Leguizamo, Edward James Olmos, Monica Ramirez, and Claudia Romo Edelman, 1:15

Keynote: Oscar De La Hoya in conversation with Mario Lopez, 2:30

Latin Music Industry: Rising Stars, with Mariah Angeliq, Pitizon, Byron Salas, Anaid Quijada, and RaqC, 3:30

Hispanic Kitchen with Chef Eddie Garza, 4:15

Latinx Vote 2020, with Cristela Alonzo, Mayra Macias, Mike Madrid, Alicia Menendez, and , 5:10Henry Muñoz III

Meet Andrekza: Dim Mak En Fuego’s First Latina Artist, 5:45

DJ Chava & After Party, 6:00


Who: Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Doug E. Fresh, Harlem Music Festival All Star Band, Ray Chew, Alyson Williams, the Georgie Gee Orchestra
What: Harlem Week special event
Where: Harlem Week
When: Sunday, August 23, free with RSVP, 1:00
Why: The forty-sixth annual Harlem Week celebration has been a virtual potpourri of fun events that continue this weekend with an online 5K run, a vendor village, live music, a fashion show, dance parties, discussions, a story slam, film screenings, and foodie programs. The highlight could very well be Harlem Day on August 23, which features appearances by the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (performing “Chamber Music of the Harlem Renaissance” by Duke Ellington and Harold T. Burleigh, with clarinetist David Shifrin, pianists Gloria Chien and Wu Han, and violinist Chad Hoopes), Doug E. Fresh, the Harlem Music Festival All Star Band featuring Ray Chew with special guests, and Jazzmobile Great Jazz on the Great Hill with Alyson Williams and the Georgie Gee Orchestra. (Stevie Wonder had been on the bill for a talk with Fresh but that seems to no longer be happening.) Admission to Harlem Week is free with registration. Have a great day!


The Gaze

New online media series The Gaze rehearses on Zoom before debuting July 30

Who: Sharon Lawrence, Yvette Cason, Devere Rogers, Galen J. Williams, Jason “Freckle” Green, Eugene Byrd, T. C. Carson, Larry Powell
What: Premiere of new digital series
Where: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch
When: Thursdays, July 30 - August 27, free with RSVP, 10:00
Why: Many theater festivals are going virtual these days because of the pandemic lockdown, and joining the parade is the Evergreen Festival, albeit this one is an all-new, fictional work of metatheater itself, created by actor and playwright Larry Powell. The five-week series follows the life and career of openly queer Black actor Jerome Price over the course of fifty years, beginning with “…NO HOMO.” On its GoFundMe page, Powell explains, “In between protests, self-care, virtual funerals, and starting a full-on performing arts academy all in the span of a couple of months . . . in partnership with Angelica Robinson’s Tell Me a Story Productions and with a small army of multicultural artists and activists, I made this piece of artivism. ⁣The Gaze is a cycle of plays that examines the process of building culturally specific and queer works of color in historically white spaces. It tackles hard topics like racism head-on. It wrestles with the question: Why strain to be free under a gaze fixed on your imprisonment when it’s you who is holding the key? Why stay? Go where?” The impressive cast features Yvette Cason, Devere Rogers, Galen J. Williams, Jason “Freckle” Green, Eugene Byrd, T. C. Carson, and Sharon Lawrence as Evergreen Theatre Festival interim artistic director Miranda Cryer; you can learn more about her and the festival in the below prologue as well as watch a tech rehearsal here.

Presented as the online gathering “Fire Circle: A Celebration of Black, LGBTQIA & BIPOC Lives” with DJs and postshow discussions with artists and activists, each episode can be seen for free on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch from Thursday nights at 10:00 until the next Sunday at 11:59 pm. “Building this work has brought me through the poison of the past to the medicine of the present moment. This work puts the pain into the fire so that it may alchemize into power,” Powell recently posted on social media. “Theater is sacred ritual and it extends into all forms of media. It cannot be left behind. It is the foundation and basis of all forms. Find the theater in anything you do and there you will find the boundless strength and resilience of the human spirit.”


willie nelson picnic

Who: Willie Nelson & Family, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Particle Kid, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Shakey Graves, Ziggy Marley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Asleep at the Wheel, Steve Earle, Kurt Vile, the McCrary Sisters, John Doe, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Devon Gilfillian, Nathaniel Rateliff, Charley Crockett, the Peterson Brothers, Johnny Bush, Matthew Houck, Vincent Neil Emerson, Kinky Friedman, Gina Chavez, Kalu James, Monte Warden, Parker McCollum, Trey Privott, the War and Treaty
What: Virtual Independence Day celebration
Where: LuckStream
When: Saturday, July 4, $35 in advance, $45 day of show, 4:30
Why: Since 1973, Willie Nelson has been hosting July 4 week picnics with great music, food, and more. This year the festivities go virtual, with Willie hosting from his Luck ranch in Texas with an all-star lineup either performing live from the Luck saloon and chapel, at Nelson’s Pedernales Studios, or from wherever they’re sheltering in place. The roster features live sets by Charley Crockett at 4:40, the Peterson Brothers at 5:40, Particle Kid at 6:40, Shakey Graves at 7:00, Vincent Neil Emerson at 8:00, and Asleep at the Wheel at 9:00, followed at 9:30 by a prerecorded ninety-minute finale with music, interviews, and stories by such luminaries as Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Ziggy Marley, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle, Kurt Vile, John Doe, and Kinky Friedman as well as Willie and his sons, Lukas and Micah. Food and drink are also on the menu, with a “Prime Cuts” episode with chef Scott Roberts of Salt Lick BBQ, cocktail suggestions from mixologist Jessica Sanders, and delivery packages if you live within spitting distance of the ranch. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 day of show, with one dollar from each sale going to the Luck Reunion Fund, which “is dedicated to preserving and supporting the musical and cultural community inspired by the work of Willie Nelson and the Luck Reunion family.” Happy birthday, America!