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


Forest Hills Stadium
West Side Tennis Club
Friday, September 19, $35-$59.50, 6:30

When the Replacements announced they were going on a reunion tour, shows in their hometown, Minneapolis, sold out in minutes. Strangely enough, there are still tickets to be had for their September 19 concert at Forest Hills Stadium. Perhaps it’s because only two of the original members are still in the band: songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Paul Westerberg and bassist-guitarist Tommy Stinson. Chris Mars departed over creative differences when the band was making 1990s All Shook Down; lead guitarist Bob Stinson, who was known to perform in diapers, left the band in 1986 and died from a drug overdose at the age of thirty-five in 1995; replacement Replacement Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke in 2012; and drum replacement Steve Foley died in 2008 at the age of forty-nine. Paul and Tommy are now out on the road with guitarist Dave Minehan and drummer Josh Freese, playing songs from throughout the ’Mats too-short career, as well as Westerberg solo tracks and covers. We’ve gotten into discussions with friends whether these can really be considered Replacement shows; it certainly doesn’t have the same feel as when we saw the group play their legendary frantic, packed gigs back in August 1985 at Irving Plaza and in February 1986 at the Ritz.

(photo © 2014 by Kelly Shee)

Craig Finn lets it all out at Hold Steady show last week (photo © 2014 by Kelly Shee)

For those of you heading out to the renovated Forest Hills Stadium, be sure to get there on time, because the Replacements are only one-third of a hot triple bill. Born and raised in Minneapolis before moving to Brooklyn, the Hold Steady is an inspired choice to play with the ’Mats. “They were the first band I saw that made me think I could be in a rock band,” lead singer and songwriter Craig Finn says on the DVD of 2011’s Color Me Obsessed, a documentary about his all-time-favorite group. A truly great live band that plays with energy and passion, after a brief hiatus the Hold Steady are back with Teeth Dreams, the exciting follow-up to the disappointing Heaven Is Whenever. The 2014 disc is a return to form for the group, filled with clever wordplay, inventive hooks, and Finn’s quirky, inviting voice, the sound of a man who loves that he’s in a rock-and-roll band. From the powerful drive of “Hope I Didn’t Frighten You” and “Spinners” to the epic ballad “Oaks,” the Hold Steady again sound like the band they were meant to be, living up to the promise of their breakthrough records, Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls in America. And when Finn sings, “You came back to us / South Minneapolis / Said ’revenge exists outside of space and time’ / Out behind the Ambassador / Man, it feels kinda magical / I guess your friend can really move things with his mind” on “The Ambassador,” it’s as if he’s singing about Westerberg and the Replacements.

Deer Tick will open show for the Hold Steady and the Replacements at Forest Hills Stadium on September 19

Deer Tick will open show for the Hold Steady and the Replacements at Forest Hills Stadium on September 19

Opening the show is Providence’s Deer Tick, whose most recent album, Negativity, came out in 2013, following a 2012 EP the band had the audacity to name Tim. Led by singer and songwriter John McCauley, the five-piece has been known to play a fiery cover of the Replacements classic “Can’t Hardly Wait,” which features one of the sweetest guitar lines in the history of alternative music. During this tour, Deer Tick has also been covering the Hold Steady, and the Hold Steady has been covering Deer Tick, so it’s all become a kind of mutual admiration society. (You can also find Finn and fellow Steady Holder Tad Kubler covering the ’Mats’ “Within Your Reach,” “Color Me Impressed,” and “Hootenanny” here.) But it all starts and ends with the Replacements, who once famously proclaimed, “Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round / They sing, ‘I’m in love. / What’s that song? I’m in love / with that song.” The same can be said for Westerberg, whether you consider this a welcome reunion or not.


dave chappelle block party

BAMcinématek, BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.
Saturday, September 20, $14, 9:45
Series runs September 19-20

In September 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle put on a surprise block party in Bedford-Stuyvesant, sort of a mini-Brooklyn version of Wattstax, Mel Stuart’s seminal L.A. concert film in which Richard Pryor teamed up with a host of black musicians, including Isaac Hayes, Albert King, the Staples Singers and Carla and Rufus Thomas. Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep) and photographed by Ellen Kuras (Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Blow) Block Party is Chappelle’s Wattstax for the twenty-first century. Gondry and Chappelle take viewers on a very funny trip as the comedian wanders around his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, handing out golden tickets like a black Willy Wonka, offering everyone free transportation to Brooklyn, loading buses up with a fascinating mix of people of all races. When he bumps into a college marching band, he invites them to play at the party, joining such big names as Kanye West, the reunited Fugees, Big Daddy Kane, Common, John Legend, the Roots, and Dead Prez. Gondry cuts between the preparation for the block party and the actual festivities, an infectious blend of music and comedy that makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of it all. Musical highlights include West performing “Jesus Walks” with Legend and Common, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu backing the Roots on “You Got Me,” and Talib Kweli, Common, and Fred Hampton Jr. rapping with Mos Def on “Umi Says.”

Dave Chappelle invites everyone to his Bed-Stuy block party

Dave Chappelle invites everyone to his Bed-Stuy block party

Unfortunately, the songs are not seen in their entirety, one of the film’s only drawbacks. Behind the scenes, Chappelle tickles the ivories to “Misty” and “Round Midnight,” hangs out with the bizarre white couple who live in the Broken Angel house across the street, and jokes around with Mos Def. The film avoids any overt political messages, although some of the songs deal with controversial topics. One of the sweetest moments is when Wyclef Jean plays “President” for the marching band, letting the members know they can be anything they want to be. Block Party is a shining, defining moment for Chappelle, who shortly after walked away from a $50 million Comedy Central contract, succumbing to the pressure of fame and expectation. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party is screening September 20 at 9:15 as part of BAMcinématek’s “The Source360” series, honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of the influential magazine. The two-day festival also includes George Tillman Jr.’s Notorious, a biopic about Biggie Smalls; One9’s Time Is Illmatic, a documentary about Nas; The Man with the Iron Fists, followed by a Q&A with director and star RZA; and Peter Spirer’s Rhyme & Reason, which follows the history of rap music. In addition, Pass the Mic: Ladies First — A Night of Women Emcees, with Nitty Scott, Rajé Shwari, Roxanne Shanté, and Sweet Tee, takes place in the BAMcafé on September 19 and International Hip-Hop Night, with Amkoullel, Gokh Bi System, Rebel Diaz, Shokanti, AYoinmotion, and Bocafloja, hosted by Toni Blackman, is scheduled for September 20.


(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

People will be flocking to the Madison Square Park aread this month for food, art, music, and more (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Worth Square and Madison Square Park
Broadway & Fifth Ave. at 24th St.
Mad. Sq. Eats open daily through October 3, free, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mad. Sq. Music takes place Saturdays at 3:00 through October 4
Mad. Sq. Art opens September 18

The fall edition of Mad. Sq. Eats is up and running in the pedestrian plaza known as Worth Square at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Ave. at 24th St., where more than two dozen gourmet vendors are serving culinary delights through October 3. People flock to the area, just outside of Madison Square Park, to amass their own international multicourse tasting menu. Among the many tantalizing options are oysters from Brooklyn Oyster Party, chili salted shrimp from Hong Kong Street Cart, fish tacos from Calexico, a personal pizza from Roberta’s, bulgogi burgers from Asiadog, truffled mozzarella crepes and fries from Bar Suzette, gluten-free dishes from Two Tablespoons, charcuterie from Charlito’s Cocina, the pressed chicken sandwich and Phoenician fries from ililli, empanadas from La Sonrísa, the short rib brisket sandwich from Mayhem & Stout, mini rice balls from Arancini Bros., the lobster BLT from Red Hook Lobster Pound, Tostilocos from Mexicue, Frenchman Street Creole gumbo from the Gumbo Bros., and meatball sliders with Not Your Average Brown Sauce and Gorgonzola cheese from Mighty Balls, in addition to culinary fare and flair from Pig and Khao, the Cannibal, Turan, Breads Bakery, Lunch Box by Takumi, and Seoul Lee Korean BBQ. And then comes dessert, which features ice-cream-cookie sandwiches from Melt, corn-flake and compost cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar, truffles from Nunu Chocolates, truffle-cheddar pretzels from Sigmund’s, cannoli from Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, apple cider donuts from Doughnuttery, and the splendid macarons from Macaroun Parlor. To enhance your visit, plan on going during one of the free Saturday afternoon Mad. Sq. Music concerts in the park from 3:00 to 5:00; Suzy Bogguss and Miss Tess & the Talkbacks perform on September 13, Aoife O’Donovan and Cahalen Morrison & Eli West on September 20, and Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge and Front Country on September 27. (Dom Clemons and the Brain Cloud take the stage on October 4.) And on September 18, Mad. Sq. Art will unveil Tony Cragg’s three-sculpture installation “Walks of Life,” which will remain on view through February 8.


20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, 2013)
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Presale September 5 at 12 noon, tickets on sale to general public September 6, 12 noon
Event takes place Saturday, September 20

For more than forty years, Australian singer, songwriter, novelist, film composer, screenwriter, musician, lecturer, honorary doctor of laws, actor, and father Nick Cave has been a beguiling and intriguing figure in the entertainment world, leading such bands as the Birthday Party, the Bad Seeds, and Grinderman while imparting his outrageous views of contemporary society. “I am Nick Cave and there is no going back to what I was,” the tall, lanky Cave said at the BIGSOUND 2013 conference in Brisbane last year. “And on some level, I see that as being successful in my job and on the other hand sometimes it’s fucking exhausting.” Cave looks back at his life and career (he turns fiftyin the new film 20,000 Days on Earth, a mix of fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and reality from first-time directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who specialize in cultural reenactments. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary editing and directing awards at Sundance, 20,000 Days on Earth opens at Film Forum on September 17, but there will be a very special screening at Town Hall on September 20, with Cave, who will turn fifty-seven two days later, participating in a Q&A with Forsyth and Pollard in which fans can send in questions in advance via Twitter (@drafthousefilms, #20000Days); the directors will also be making appearances at Film Forum opening weekend. In addition, Cave will be giving a very rare solo performance at the event. Tickets go on sale to Cave’s mailing list and website on September 5 at noon and to the general public September 6 at noon. It should be an amazing night with one of the world’s greatest, and strangest, entertainers.


“Rococo Hut” is one of three sculptural pieces that make up Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Rococo Hut” is one of three sculptural pieces that make up Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Madison Square Park
23rd to 25th Sts. between Madison Ave. & Broadway
Wednesday, September 3, free, 5:30 - 8:30
Exhibition continues through September 7
folly slideshow

At first look, Rachel Feinstein’s site-specific “Folly” installation in Madison Square Park appears to be a trio of fragile ornamental structures, seemingly crudely made out of paper (they began life as handmade paper models), that could serve as backdrops for a high school play. Echoing fairy-tale-like nonfunctional garden decoration from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe as well as Nymphenburg porcelain, the three pieces — “Cliff House,” inspired by Ballets Russes sets; “Rococo Hut,” influenced by Marie Antoinette’s château Le Petit Triannon; and “The Flying Ship,” based on a Commedia dell’arte skit about Punchinello — are actually constructed from powder-coated aluminum. The works, which also give nods to Federico Fellini, Marlene Dietrich’s portrayal of Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s real and imagined landscapes, might look like they could collapse at any moment — “Rococo Hut” features crooked steps, “The Flying Ship” uses a tree for balance, and “Cliff House” looks supremely unsafe — but they are sturdy enough to be home to a wide-ranging collection of performances on September 3. “The Madison Park Conservancy has given me the opportunity to marry my early interest in theater and performance with my later obsession with the handmade in one of the most spectacular settings. I picture ‘Folly’ as an empty Fellini-esque set dropped into the middle of a lush green wonderland in the historical Flatiron district of New York City,” the New York City-based Feinstein (“The Snow Queen”), who was born in Defiance, Arizona, and raised in Miami, said in a statement. “I have always been driven by the stark contrast between good and evil in old fairy tales. Having this setting, a hidden natural jewel situated within the tall skyscrapers of yesterday and today, will be the perfect backdrop for my theater, where the real people who occupy the park every day will stand in as Commedia dell’arte performers.”

Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” will be home to a wide-ranging performance festival on September 3 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” will be home to a wide-ranging performance festival on September 3 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

On Wednesday, “The Last Days of Folly” will consist of My Barbarian performing its “Broke Baroque Suite”; a procession through the park led by artists Allison Brainard and Cara Chan; musical segues by Jarvis Cocker based on Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé for the Ballets Russes; Sofia Coppola directing six Joffrey Ballet School ballerinas dancing to Isao Tomita’s version of one of Claude Debussy’s Arabesques; a sound-and-movement piece from multidisciplinary artist Tamar Ettun; Little Did Productions’ magic lantern interpretation of parts of the Ramayana with Luke Santy on sitar and Jessica Lorence on vocals; an improvised dance by Lil Buck set to music by Paul Cantelon and cellist Wolfram Koessel; Kalup Linzy’s “Romantic Loner” and “One Life to Heal,” with live music by Mike Jackson; Molly Lowe’s nude costume incorporating numerous performers; a music set by Angela McCluskey and Cantelon, joined by Lil Buck and others; a puppet show from Shana Moulton; a new video work by Tony Oursler collaborating with Constance DeJong; a sound installation by Carlos Vela-Prado; and “Folly”-inspired fashion from Giles Deacon, Duro Olowu, Zac Posen, Narciso Rodriguez, Cynthia Rowley, Proenza Schouler, and Madeline Weinrib. We have no idea how this is all going to be squeezed into a mere three hours, but we can’t wait to find out.


Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

French Institute Alliance Française and other locations
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
September 8 - October 20, free - $35

One of the best multidisciplinary arts festivals every year, FIAF’s Crossing the Line is back for its eighth season, featuring another exciting lineup of dance, theater, music, installation, exhibitions, and hard-to-describe events. Cocurators Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester explain it thusly: “This year’s edition of Crossing the Line brings together fifteen extraordinary international artists and companies, each of them offering unique perspectives on the world we all share. We invite New Yorkers to explore their meticulous and deeply considered work, both the familiar and the unknown, and find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française and taking place there as well as several other locations, CTL offers numerous opportunities to “find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Palais Galliera director Olivier Saillard gets seven former supermodels to open up in Models Never Talk, a world premiere at Milk Studios. Trajal Harrell continues his Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church with a week of special performances at the Kitchen. Justin Vivian Bond is joined by special guest Miguel Gutierrez for the one-night-only Love Is Crazy, consisting of songs and stories about love and romance.

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Patti Smith, her daughter, Jesse, and Soundwalk Collective examine the death of Nico in unique ways in Killer Road at FIAF. Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin and German visual artist Julius von Bismarck use motion-sensor technology and lighting to delve into physics in Quantum at BAM Fisher. Jessica Mitrani and Pedro Almodóvar regular Rossy de Palma pay tribute to Nellie Bly in Traveling Lady at FIAF. The audience is encouraged to participate in Aaron Landsman’s free Republic of New York: Perfect City Discussions at Abrons Arts Center. Fernando Rubio’s Everything by My Side is a fifteen-minute rotating performance on seven beds in Hudson River Park. The works of French choreographer Xavier Le Roy will be re-created at MoMA PS1. Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” exhibition at 104 Washington St. challenges gender roles in China and the world. Julie Béna’s site-specific “T&T Consortium: You’re Already Elsewhere” at the FIAF Gallery puts visitors into a fantastical setting. The star of the festival is Japanese electronic artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose Park Avenue Armory installation “The Transfinite” dazzled New York back in 2011; the mathematical mastermind will present the immersive, multimedia Superposition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gallery exhibition at Salon 94, and “Test Pattern [Times Square],” which can be seen on nearly four dozen screens in Times Square as part of the “Midnight Moment” program each night in October from 11:57 pm to midnight. CTL is also one of the most affordable festivals, with nothing costing more than $35, so you have no excuse not to check out at least a few of these ultracool events.


Brazilian Day will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary with a big party on 46th St. on Sunday (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

46th St. between Sixth & Madison Aves.
Saturday, August 30, and Sunday, August 31, free, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

One of the best street festivals of the year is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary on Sunday with another afternoon of great food, music, dance, and more. Brazilian Day, which is being rebranded as BR Day New York, is a colorful celebration of the culture of the South American nation and of the many Brazilian immigrants who now live in the tristate area, believed to number more than 300,000. But first comes Saturday’s annual Lavagem da Rua 46, the ritual Cleansing of 46th St., a parade (don’t miss the Bonecos Gigantes de Olinda) from Times Square to Madison Ave., followed by a street fair, as part of Brazil Week NYC, with live performances by Alavontê, Lucy Alves, Chambinho do Acordeon, Del Feliz, Afoxé Filhas de Gandhy, Eu Sou do Sul, O Hierofante Cia de Teatro, Batala Band, França, Márcio Mendes, and Manhattan Samba, hosted by Monika Oliveira and George Roberts. The parade goes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, followed by the fair from 1:00 to 4:00. Sunday’s festivities in Little Brazil will include two stages of live entertainment, with music from Daniel, Carlinhos Brown, Ivete Sangalo, Saulo Fernandes, Tiago Abravanel, and others, hosted by hunky actor Cauã Reymond, as well as traditional Brazilian cuisine (keep a look-out for whole hog, feijoada, fresh sugarcane juice, and caipirinha), arts and crafts, information about traveling to Brazil, capoeira demonstrations, and more, with some 1.5 million people expected to attend what is always a blast of a party, with little pockets of music and dance liable to break out anywhere at any moment. In addition, the Brazil Expo continues at the HSA Gallery (4 West 43rd St.) through August 29, exhibitions and performances are taking place through August 30 at the New York State Office Building (163 West 125th St.), and the Brazil Week Pagode do Massa after-party will rock out at B. B. King’s on Sunday night with Grupo Samba Mais, Trio Open Bar, and DJ Bruno Goiano. “We are going to show the world the cheerfulness of the Brazilian people,” Daniel said at a press conference announcing the events and this year’s theme, “The Greenyellow Mood.” Just don’t mention the recently completed World Cup if you want that cheerful mood to continue.