January 14 - March 24
America came of age in the 1960s, from the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X to Vietnam and the Summer of Love. Carnegie Hall is paying tribute to the turbulent decade with the two-month series “The ’60s: The Years that Changed America,” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert A. Caro. The native New Yorker, who turned eighty-two this past October, is the author of such books as The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and the four-part The Years of Lyndon Johnson, with a fifth tome on the way. “Luther King gave people ‘the feeling that they could be bigger and stronger and more courageous than they thought they could be,’ Bayard Rustin said — in part because of the powerful new weapon, non-violent resistance, that had been forged on the Montgomery battlefield,’” Caro wrote in Master of the Senate, a quote obviously apt for MLK Day. Running January 14 through March 24 all across the city, the festival features concerts, panel discussions, film screenings, dance, art exhibitions, and more. Below are only some of the many highlights; keep watching this space for more additions.
Sunday, January 14
Saturday, March 24
“Max’s Kansas City,” photos and writings, Mark Borghi Gallery, free
Friday, January 19
“You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the Sixties,” Library After Hours opening night program with experimental films, album-cover workshop, games and puzzles, curator tour led by Isaac Gewirtz, dance party with Felix Hernandez, and more, exhibit continues through September 1, the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, free, 7:00
Kronos Quartet, works by Stacy Garrop (world premiere inspired by “I Have a Dream” speech), Zachary J. Watkins (world premiere inspired by Studs Terkel), Terry Riley, John Cage, and Janis Joplin, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $62-$72, 9:00
Tuesday, January 23
Friday, May 18
“The Global Interconnections of 1968,” Kempner Exhibition Gallery, Butler Library (sixth floor), Columbia University, free
Thursday, January 25
Snarky Puppy with David Crosby and Friends, including Chris Thile and Laura Mvula, Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $26-$100, 8:00
Friday, January 26
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Classic Film Series: Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978), Justice in Film presentation introduced by Susan Lacy, New-York Historical Society, free with pay-what-you-wish museum admission, 7:00
Tuesday, February 6
Sunday, February 11
March, duet from Lessons inspired by civil rights movement, part of winter season program by Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, a Dance Company, the Joyce Theater, $26-$46
Friday, February 16
“Philip Glass Ensemble: Music with Changing Parts,” Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $14.50 - $95, 8:00
Wednesday, February 21
“The Summer of Law and Disorder: Harlem Riot of 1964,” panel discussion, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, free with advance registration beginning February 7, 6:30
Tuesday, March 13
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series: “The ’60s from Both Sides Now: An Evening with Judy Collins,” in conversation with historian Harold Holzer, New-York Historical Society, $38, 6:30
Saturday, March 24
“The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad,” multimedia presentation with Friction Quartet performing George Crumb’s “Black Angels” and more groups to be announced, narrated by John Monsky, Zankel at Carnegie Hall, $35-$45, 2:00
Monday, January 15
It’s hard to believe that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that half a century later racism is still such a central issue in America and around the world. In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was shot and killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-nine on Monday, and you can celebrate his legacy on Monday by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service project or attending one of numerous special events taking place around the city. Below are some of the highlights.
JCC Harlem: Community Carnival at All Souls Church, MLK Day-themed art projects for community children, 88 St. Nicholas Ave., free, 10:00, 12:30, 3:00
Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March: “A New Revolution: Youth and Social Change,” Eleanor Roosevelt Monument in Riverside Park at 72nd St. at 10:00 am to Manhattan Country School at 150 West 85th St. at 2:00, free
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Martin’s Mosaic, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm; Museum of Impact visits CMOM, Upstanders Fest, 12 noon - 4:00, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., $11-$14
Thirty-second Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with keynote speaker Jelani Cobb, Martha Redbone, and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, free, 10:30 am; Unbound: Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele, launch of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, moderated by Rashad Robinson and followed by a book signing, BAM Fisher, Fishman Space, free, 1:00; screening of 4 Little Girls (Spike Lee, 1997), BAM Rose Cinemas, free, 1:00
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including visits to “King in New York” and “Activist New York” exhibits and poster workshop, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., free with museum admission of $12-$18, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Family Matinees: Selma, Lord, Selma (Charles Burnett, 1999), $7-$15, 11:00 am; The Wiz (Sidney Lumet, 1978), $7-$15, 1:00, Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St., price includes admission to galleries
I Have a Dream Celebration: Make Art Not War: Interactive Handprint Mural, 11:30; I Have a Dream Cloud, 1:00; Kids Take Action! Letter Writing for Change, 1:30; Sylvia’s Story Corner on the Bus, 3:30, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., $11
Harlem Gospel Choir Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Matinee, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., $25-$30 (plus $10 minimum per person at tables), 12:30
Soul to Soul, with Lisa Fishman, Cantor Magda Fishman, Elmore James, Tony Perry, and musical director Zalmen Mlotek, followed by a discussion with the artists and creators, presented by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., $25 (use discount code “Mishpokhe” for 20% off online tickets), 2:00
Hands On | Harlem Dreams, Legends, and Legacy, teen photo studio, time capsules, mixed-media art, scavenger hunt, and in-gallery collage, Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th St., $3-$7, 2:00 - 6:00
Cinematters: Muhammad Ali: Me Whee (Arny Stone, 1975), followed by a Q&A with executive producer Drew Stone, Lou DiBella, and Craig Setari, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 5:00
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, January 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum looks to 2018 with its January First Saturday program, “New Year, New Futures.” There will be live music by Sinkane, BEARCAT, Zaven of Resonator Collective (an in-gallery soundscape for the terrific exhibition “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo”), and New Kingston; a curator tour of “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze” with Lisa Small; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make zines inspired by “Proof”; a community talk with Murad Awawdeh, the vice president of advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition; a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2017), followed by a discussion with activists Jessica Green and Aisha Karefa-Smart (Baldwin’s niece); a Feminist Book Club event focusing on the 1970 book Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement, edited by Robin Morgan, hosted by Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl based on selections by Judy Chicago; pop-up gallery talks on “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making”; a Brooklyn Dance Festival movement workshop and live performances; pop-up poetry with DéLana R. A. Dameron (Weary Kingdom) and Rickey Laurentiis (Boy with Thorn), followed by a signing; and a NYLaughs comedy showcase with Negin Farsad, Nimesh Patel, and Jordan Carlos, hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and followed by a discussion on humor, activism, and crisis. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making,” “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt,” “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” “Arts of Asia and the Middle East,” “Infinite Blue,” “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys,” “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.
TOO MUCH JOHNSON (Orson Welles, 1938)
MoMA Film, Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Wednesday, January 3, 1:30
Thursday, February 15, 1:30
In August 2013, a 35mm nitrate workprint containing the raw footage of what was to be Orson Welles’s professional debut as a film director was discovered in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy, home of an annual silent film festival. Consisting of sixty-six unedited, purposefully silent minutes, the film had been shot to accompany the Mercury Theatre’s streamlined staging of William Gillette’s 1894 farce, Too Much Johnson. Unfortunately, when the theatrical production opened in 1938 in a Connecticut theater, the filmed segments couldn’t be shown, spoiling the show’s chances to eventually make it to Broadway — various reports claim that the footage was not finished in time; the Stony Creek Theater lacked the proper projector; Paramount, which owned the rights to the play, demanded a fee; or it just wasn’t safe to screen the film in the theater. But you can see the raw footage at MoMA on January 3 and February 15 at 1:30, the first screening accompanied by a live score by Ben Model, the second by Makia Matsumara. Restored and preserved by George Eastman House, Too Much Johnson is a wacky, breathless tale of lust, passion, and betrayal, as Leon Dathis (Edgar Barrier) catches his wife (Arlene Francis) cheating on him with the dapper Augustus Billings (Joseph Cotten). Dathis sets out after Billings, chasing him through the streets, around a basket shop, and across the rooftops of Lower Manhattan, predominantly in the Meatpacking District — if you look closely, you can see the elevated railroad tracks that became the High Line. Dathis is joined by residents and storekeepers from the neighborhood and a pair of Keystone Kops (John Houseman and Herbert Drake) as they desperately try to catch the cad. The cast also includes Ruth Ford as Billings’s wife, Mary Wickes as Mrs. Battison, and Howard I. Smith as Cuba plantation owner Joseph Johnson.
In his cinematic debut, Cotten, who would team up with Welles on The Magnificent Ambersons, Citizen Kane, Journey into Fear, and The Third Man, shows quite an aptitude for slapstick comedy, à la Harold Lloyd, fearlessly portraying Billings, doing all the stunts himself, including several very dangerous ones. Meanwhile, Lenore Faddish (Virginia Nicolson, Welles’s wife at the time) and Harry MacIntosh (Guy Kingsley) are preparing to go to Cuba together (Tomkins Cove along the Hudson doubles for Cuba), which does not make her father (Eustace Wyatt) very happy. Welles and cinematographer Harry Dunham use silent-film tropes, from fast-paced action to overemoting to lush close-ups — and yes, the dastardly villain actually twirls his mustache — as well as what would become Welles’s trademark deep focus; the uncut footage features multiple takes, scenes shot from different angles, funny mistakes made by the cast and crew, clearly fake palm trees, a duel without swords, and long takes that would have likely been edited down later. One of the funniest bits involves Dathis and hats, which leads into a suffragette march. The whole thing is a hoot, but just be prepared and know that it’s not a fully realized, fully chronological story with a beginning, middle, and end. Fans of Welles, silent comedies, and Cotten will go crazy for it. And yes, the title means what you think it does. (You can see a home-movie clip of Welles directing the film here.) Too Much Johnson is screening as part of the MoMA series “Modern Matinees: Considering Joseph Cotten,” which runs January 3 to February 28 and also includes the Welles collaborations in addition to Shadow of a Doubt, Gaslight, Duel in the Sun, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Soylent Green, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, and other films by the underrated radio, TV, stage, and screen star, who was never nominated for an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, or Tony.