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


Kurt Russell can’t believe the feast that awaits at Nitehawk Cinema

Kurt Russell can’t believe the feast that awaits at Nitehawk Cinema

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (John Carpenter, 1986)
Nitehawk Cinema
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, $75, 7:15

When Nitehawk Cinema first announced that John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China would be its next Film Feast presentation on April 18, in which a special movie-related menu accompanies the screening, tickets sold out in an hour. But there are still a few seats left for an added show on April 19. In the fourth collaboration between Carpenter and Kurt Russell (Elvis, Escape from New York, The Thing), Russell stars as truckdriver Jack Burton, who gets into a bit of trouble with the Lords of Death as well as green-eyed Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) and the evil and mysterious David Lo Pan (James Hong). The cult fave cemented Carpenter’s future as an indie king; he said, “The experience [of making Big Trouble] was the reason I stopped making movies for the Hollywood studios. I won’t work for them again. I think Big Trouble is a wonderful film, and I’m very proud of it. But the reception it received, and the reasons for that reception, were too much for me to deal with. I’m too old for that sort of bullshit.” The Nitehawk screening will feature food by one of Chinatown’s best, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, paired with beers from Lagunitas. The five-course meal, each timed to a specific scene, consists of steamed chicken and shrimp siu mai with Lagunitas IPA, Taiwanese fried pork chop sandwich with Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, fiery dank shank lo mein with Lagunitas Waldo Triple IPA, veggie broth with Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Wheat Ale, and fried matcha sesame balls with Lagunitas Aunt Sally Sour Ale. As Burton says in the film, “Everybody relax; I’m here.”


The Year of the Rooster will be celebrated at Brookfield Place and other locations over the next several weeks

The Year of the Rooster will be celebrated at Brookfield Place and other locations across town over next several weeks

Sara D. Roosevelt Park and other locations
East Houston St. between Forsythe & Chrystie Sts.
January 28 - February 17

Gōng xǐ fā cái! New York City is ready to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, or, more specifically, the Fire Rooster, this month with special events all over town. People born in the Year of the Rooster are trustworthy, responsible at work, talkative, loyal, thoughtful, and popular. Below are some of the highlights happening here in the five boroughs during the next several weeks of Chinese New Year.

Saturday, January 28
New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand Street at Chrystie St., free, 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

Chinese New Year Temple Bazaar, with live performances, martial arts, food, arts & crafts, and more, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., $3-$5, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Sunday, January 29
Lunar New Year Celebration: Madison St. to Madison Ave., with the New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Fei Fang, FJ Music, juggler Lina Liu, Chinese marionette puppet show, martial arts performance by American Tai Chi and Health Qigong Center, face painting, calligraphy, themed photo booth, and more, beginning at Harman store at 527 Madison Ave., free, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Lunar New Year Celebration, with live performance and brush and ink painting workshop sponsored by the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terr., $8, 2:00 – 4:00

Tuesday, January 31
Chinese New Year Celebration, with the New York Philharmonic performing works by Li Huanzhi, Adam, Saint-Saëns, Chen Qigang, Huang Zi (arranged by Bao Yuankai), Puccini, Li Qingzhu, and Ravel, David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, $35-$110, 7:30

Friday, February 3
Pauline Benton and the Red Gate Exhibition Opening Reception, Flushing Town Hall, $5 suggested donation, 5:00

Saturday, February 4
Lunar New Year Celebration, with family-friendly arts and crafts, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., free, 1:00

Chinese New Year Celebration, with family workshops, dumpling making, storytelling, lion dance, live music, more, workshops $5-$20, party and performance $10-$20, China Institute, 40 Rector St., 1:00 – 7:00

Sunday, February 5
Eighteenth annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, with cultural booths in the park and a parade with floats, antique cars, live performances, and much more from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and other nations, Chinatown, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and Columbus Park, free, 1:00

Rooster Shadow Puppet Workshop, Flushing Town Hall, $8-$10 (free for teens with ID), 1:00

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster, with live performances by Sesame Street puppeteers, Chinese opera by Qian Yi, lion parade, Balinese music by Gamelan Dharma Swara, the China Youth Orchestra, traditional music by Mingmei Yip, Vietnamese drums, drawing, paper folding, button making, tea gatherings, comics workshop, hand-pulled noodle demonstration with Chef Zhang, storytelling, collection chats, and more, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St., free with suggested museum admission, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday, February 11
Lunar New Year Family Festival, with folk arts, live dance, food sampling, storytelling, a gallery hunt, a Nian monster mash-up, and more, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $12, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lunar New Year 4715: Year of the Rooster Celebration, with costume contest, riddles, martial arts, live music and dance, rice balls contest, paper lantern arts and crafts, games, more, P.S.310, 942 62nd St., free, 11:00 am - 2:30

Year of the Rooster Celebration, with lion dancers, lion parade, live music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, theatrical players, and more, New York Chinese Cultural Center at Arts Brookfield, 230 Vesey St., free, 1:30 – 3:30

Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12
Lunar New Year: Year of the Rooster, with puppet shows, scavenger hunt, calligraphy workshop, fortune cookies, and more, Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Ave., $6-$8, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Friday, February 17
Lunar New Year Shadow Puppet Slam, hosted by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin, adults only, Flushing Town Hall, $13, 7:00



Who: More than three hundred and fifty restaurants throughout the city
What: Winter Restaurant Week
Where: All five boroughs
When: January 23 - February 10, three-course lunches $29, three-course dinners $42
Why: Reservation lines are now open for Winter Restaurant Week, in which hundreds of New York City eateries offer three-course prix-fixe lunches for $29 and dinners for $42. (Some restaurants do only lunch or dinner, and others offer the deals only on weekdays.) Many of the prix-fixe menus are available online so you know just what you’re in for. Among the many restaurants are such favorites as ‘21 Club,’ ABC Kitchen, American Cut, Asia de Cuba, Aureole, Bann, Barbetta, Blue Fin, Calle Ocho, Casa Lever, Charlie Palmer Steak, Chez Jospehine, Circo, Darbar, DB Bistro Moderne, Delmonico’s, Dos Caminos, Esca, Estiatorio Milos, Gotham Bar & Grill, HanGawi, Haru, i Trulli, Il Mulino, Indochine, Le Cirque, Lure Fishbar, Mercer Kitchen, Monkey Bar, Nice Matin, Nobu, Periyali, the Red Cat, Rosa Mexicano, the Russian Tea Room, Shun Lee Palace, the Strip House, Tao, Tribeca Grill, Victor’s Cafe, and the Water Club. As a bonus, if you register your American Express card, you will receive $5 back each time you charge at least $35 at a participating restaurant.


Gene Wilder is centerpiece of Christmas and Hanukkah celebration at the JCC on December 25

Gene Wilder is centerpiece of Christmas and Hanukkah celebration at the JCC on December 25

JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.
Sunday, December 25, 12 noon – 6:00, $7 per film, $18 for all three

Six years ago, comic legend Gene Wilder was at the JCC in Manhattan, being interviewed by his wife, Karen Boyer, about his latest book, What Is This Thing Called Love? The star of stage and screen passed away on August 29 of this year, at the age of eighty-three, and the JCC is paying tribute to the man born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee with a Christmas Day marathon featuring three of his best films. The celebration begins at 12 noon with Mel Stuart’s 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the beloved classic based on Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wilder plays candy baron Willy Wonka, who has decided to retire and give his company to a child who passes all the necessary tests during a fantastical visit to his factory. That will be followed at 2:00 by one of the funniest movies ever made, Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles, in which Wilder portrays the washed-up Waco Kid, an alcoholic gunslinger who is brought back to life when a new sheriff (Cleavon Little) comes to the racist town of Rock Ridge; the all-star cast also includes Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, Alex Karras, Slim Pickens, Dom DeLuise, John Hillerman, David Huddleston, and Rodney Allen Rippy. At 4:00, the festival continues with another comic Western, Robert Aldrich’s underseen, underrated 1979 charmer, The Frisco Kid, with Wilder starring as Avram Belinski, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who partners up with bank robber Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford) on his way from Philly to San Francisco to serve as a rabbi. The afternoon concludes at 6:00 with a Hanukkah candle lighting and sufganiyot, special jelly donuts that are a Hanukkah treat.



Santa Hanukklaus is among the special guests at second annual Santastical at Northern Territory in Brooklyn

Northern Territory
12 Franklin St. at Meserole St., Brooklyn
Thursday - Sunday, December 1-23, free admission ($15 Santa photos, $5 rooftop access), 6:00 - 10:00 pm

“There is no price tag on being able to say, ‘Hey I did something really strange today,’” immersive-theater impresario Timothy Haskell says, and he knows something about strange. Haskell is the mastermind behind such seasonal productions as Nightmare Haunted House and Full Bunny Contact, and now his Northern Pole Territory: A Santastical Bit of Holiday Nonsense is back for its second year. The demented adventure is presented by Psycho Clan, which consists of Haskell, production designer Paul Smithyman, props designer Faye Armon, Charles Dunham, and Nathaniel Nowak. From Thursday to Sunday evening December 1-23, Australian-American restaurant and rooftop bar Northern Territory, which is located in an old Greenpoint factory building, will host three floors of holiday mischief. On the ground floor, for fifteen dollars you can get your photo taken with the kind of Santas not usually found in department stores — Hunky Santa, Sexy Mrs. Claus, the Jewish Santa Hanukklaus, and Elvis Santa. Five bucks gains you entry to the rooftop bar, where you can engage in snowball fights, share a kiss in the mistletoe grotto, pretend ice-skate, hang out amid tacky lawn decorations and colored lights, and try to avoid the evil Krampus in the Christmas tree forest. A fifteen-dollar advance ticket gets you a photo with Santa and rooftop access. The nights are for adults only, but there will be a family brunch on Sundays from 12 noon to 3:00, when Santa photos are only ten bucks but the roof will be closed. Sunday, December 11, is Gay Afternoon/Night from 4:00 to 8:00, with a SCRUFF DJ spinning tunes. Of course, you can also have dinner at the restaurant, which serves such dishes as fish in foil, Aussie beef burger, grilled halloumi, lamb lollies, Aussie meat pie, mushy peas, and fish and chips in addition to half a dozen craft beers on tap and unique cocktails.


Alvin Ailey winter season at City Center includes company premiere of Johan Ingers WALKING MAD (photo by Paul Kolnik)

Alvin Ailey winter season at City Center includes company premiere of Johan Inger’s WALKING MAD (photo by Paul Kolnik)

New York City Center
130 West 56th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
November 30 - December 31, $25-$150

For many people, the coming of Thanksgiving signals that Christmas is not too far off. For others, like us, it means that Alvin Ailey’s annual season at City Center is right around the corner. From November 30 to December 31, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be at the West Fifty-Sixth Street institution, presenting three world premieres, one company premiere, four new productions, and sixteen returning favorites. Mauro Bigonzetti follows up his 2008 Ailey piece, Festa Barocca, with Deep, set to music by French-Cuban twin sisters Ibeyi. Kyle Abraham’s three-part Untitled America, the first two parts of which debuted in December 2015 and this past June, will now be seen in its entirety for the first time. Longtime Ailey dancer Hope Boykin has choreographed r-Evolution, Dream., a large ensemble work inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with music by Ali Jackson and writings recorded by Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. Johan Inger reimagines Ravel’s Bolero with Walking Mad, with additional music by Arvo Pärt.

GRACE will be part of an all-Ronald K. Brown evening on (photo by Paul Kolnik)

GRACE will be part of Ailey celebration of Ronald K. Brown on December 14 at City Center (photo by Paul Kolnik)

AAADT artistic director Robert Battle’s The Hunt is getting a makeover, as are Alvin Ailey’s Masekela Langage, Ulysses Dove’s Vespers, and Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon, which pays tribute to Dizzy Gillespie. The season also includes pieces by Christopher Wheeldon, Rennie Harris, Judith Jamison, Matthew Rushing, Paul Taylor, Talley Beatty, and Ronald K. Brown, who will be celebrated on December 14 with performances of Open Door, Ife / My Heart, Four Corners, and Grace. There are still tickets left for the opening-night gala ($70-$90), “An Evening of Ailey and Jazz,” with Battle’s Ella, excerpts from John Butler’s Portrait of Billie, Beatty’s The Road of the Phoebe Show, Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon, Ailey’s For Bird – With Love and Pas de Duke, and live music and a gospel choir joining in on Revelations. On December 17 and 20, “Bold Visions” consists of r-Evolution, Dream., Vespers, The Hunt, and Revelations, while several “All Ailey” programs consist of a mix of repertory classics. Saturday matinees are followed by a Q&A with the dancers, while the always greatly anticipated season finale takes place on New Year’s Eve.



Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave.
Saturday, October 1, $15-$20 (children under twelve free), 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

The weather might be cooling a bit, but it’s going to remain hot, hot, hot this weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s twenty-fourth annual Chile Pepper Festival. On Saturday, October 1, the BBG will celebrate all things spicy with a full slate of activities, highlighted by tastings from more than five dozen food purveyors divided into Hot Sauce Sorcery (Bacchanal Sauce, Beast Feast Maine, Black Irish Hot Sauce, Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce, Poor Devil Pepper Co., Queen Majesty Hot Sauce, more), Chile-Chocolate Debauchery (Hernán Mexican Mole, Little Bird Chocolates, Lululosophy Artisan Chocolates, MarieBelle, Raaka Chocolate, Whimsy & Spice, others), Combustible Condiments (Anarchy in a Jar, Calcutta Kitchens, Elvio’s Chimichurri, Josephine’s Feast, Mama Margarita’s Salsa, Nafi’s Hot Pepper Condiments, Pierre’s Spicy, etc.), Hi-Scoville Sweets (Brooklyn Soda Works, Bushwick Kitchen, Culture: An American Yogurt Company, La Newyorkina, Mike’s Hot Honey, OddFellows Ice Cream Co,. Spoonable), and Piquant Pickles & Such (Divine Brine, Holy Schmitt’s Homemade Horseradish, Mama O’s Premium Kimchi, Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi, North Brooklyn Farms, Pure Mountain Olive Oil, Rick’s Picks, Zia Green Chile Company). The live-music lineup begins at 10:00 with Pilette’s Ghost and continues with Dahka Band (10:45), Élage Diouf (12:15), Hazmat Modine (1:45), Aurelio (3:15), and the Lost Bayou Ramblers (4:45). Robbins & Ringold, consisting of Todd Robbins and Stephen Ringold, will serve as masters of ceremonies. There will also be a Chile Chat with Gregory Seaton at 10:30, a Hot Chiles for Cool Kids workshop in which kids can take a pepper plant home, Sahadi’s Souk, and a booth featuring Archestratus Books + Foods.