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


MCNY event will go behind the scenes of the making of classic Yiddish musical THE GOLDEN BRIDE (photo by Ben Moody Cameron Johnson)

MCNY event will go behind the scenes of the making of classic Yiddish musical THE GOLDEN BRIDE (photo by Ben Moody Cameron Johnson)

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St.
Wednesday, May 4, $25, 6:30

This past December, we raved about National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s utterly delightful revival of the long-lost 1923 operetta The Golden Bride (“Di Goldnene Kale”) at the company’s new home at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The production is back by popular demand this summer, running July 4 through August 28. You can get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the show on May 4 when the Museum of the City of New York presents “Vintage Theater on a Modern Stage: The Golden Bride,” being held in conjunction with the exhibition “New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway,” which continues through July 31. The event features a discussion with musical archaeologist Michael Ochs, codirectors Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner, musical director Zalmen Mlotek, costume designer Izzy Fields, and NYTF executive producer Chris Massimine as well as select songs performed by Rachel Policar, who stars as Goldele, Glenn Seven Allen (Jerome), Jillian Gottlieb (Khanele), and other cast members, followed by an exhibition viewing and reception. The Golden Bride has many similarities to Fidder on the Roof, which is currently playing at the Broadway Theatre; in a fun coincidence, both shows have been nominated for Outstanding Revival of a Musical by the Drama Desk. In addition, Wasserman and Didner are up for Outstanding Director, battling it out against Spring Awakening’s Michael Arden, The Color Purple’s John Doyle, American Psycho’s Rupert Goold, and Fiddler’s Bartlett Sher. (On June 19, MJH is hosting a Fiddler on the Roof sing-along, consisting of a screening of the Oscar-winning 1971 film and appearances by members of the current Broadway cast; attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character.) If you register for “Vintage Theater on a Modern Stage: The Golden Bride,” you will also receive a free ticket to a preview of The Golden Bride.


Workspace Artist-in-Residence Tamar Ettun rehearses at LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty (photo by Jonathan Patkowski for LMCC)

Workspace Artist-in-Residence Tamar Ettun rehearses at LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty (photo by Jonathan Patkowski for LMCC)

Who: Sarah Anderson, Mirene Arsanios, Chloë Bass, Jesse Bonnell, Esteban Cabeza De Baca, Glendaliz Camacho, Adriane Connerton, Nick Doyle, Tamar Ettun, Joel W. Fisher, Nadja Frank, Susan Karwoska, Amy Khoshbin, Lisa Ko, Courtney Krantz, Tora Lopez, Melanie McLain, Rangi McNeil, Irini Miga, Trokon Nagbe, Meredith Nickie, New Saloon, Christina Olivares, Piehole, Ronny Quevedo, Maria Rapoport, Keisha Scarville, Pascual Sisto, Stacy Spence, Yuliya Tsukerman, Jessica Vaughn
What: LMCC Open Studios
Where: LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty, 28 Liberty St. between Pine, Liberty, Nassau, & William Sts.
When: Friday, April 29, 6:00–9:00, and Saturday, April 30, 1:00–6:00 (Open Texts 6:00–8:00), free with advance RSVP
Why: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which “empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond,” is kicking off its annual Open Studios by welcoming visitors on Friday night, April 29, and Saturday afternoon and evening, April 30, to wander through its Financial District space and check out works-in-progress by thirty-one artists artists who have been busy since September immersed in paintings, sketches, photographs, sculptures, videos, poetry, dances, plays, and more. The event is free with advance RSVP; the studios will close Saturday at 6:00 for two hours of spoken-word performances. The Open Studios program continues through October with presentations at 28 Liberty and 125 Maiden Lane and on Governors Island with such performers and choreographers as Okwui Okpokwasili, the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, Faye Driscoll, Netta Yerushalmy, Amber Hawk Swanson, Ephrat Asherie, Jodi Melnick, and YACKEZ (Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson).


J-Lounge Stage (photo by Jason Gardner)

J-Lounge Stage at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great place to both party and relax (photo by Jason Gardner)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway
Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, $20-$25 (children under twelve free), 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

Spring appears to finally have arrived, and that means it’s time for one of the city’s most fabulous annual festivals, the Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The weekend celebrates the beauty of the blossoming of the cherry trees with live music and dance, parades, workshops, demonstrations, martial arts, fashion shows, Ikebana flower arranging, a bonsai exhibit, Shogi chess, garden tours, the Mataro Ningyo Doll Museum, book signings, Japanese food, clothing, pottery, wall scrolls, kimonos, lots of children’s activities, and more. Below are ten daily featured highlights of this always lovely party, with many events going on all day long and over both days.

Saturday, April 30

Book signing: Kate T. Williamson, A Year in Japan, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:00

Ukiyo-e Illustration Demonstration with Jed Henry, Art Alley, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:00 & 2:00

The Battersby Show: Cosplay 101, with Charles Battersby, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 11:30

Manga Drawing with Misako Rocks!, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 12 noon, 1:15, and 3:00

Sohenryu Tea Ceremony, with tea masters Soumi Shimizu and Sōkyo Shimizu, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 12:15 & 2:45

Dancejapan with Sachiyo Ito, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 1:30

Book signing: Abby Denson, Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:00

Hanagasa Odori flower hat procession, with the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 4:00

BBG Parasol Society Fashion Show, featuring live music by the Hanami Ensemble, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 4:30

Yuzu’s Dream: An Urban Folk Odyssey, with Yuzu, Akim Funk Buddha, and his Origami Dance Crew, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 5:15

Sunday, May 1

Japanese Garden Stroll, 10:00 am

Akim Funk Buddha’s Urban Tea Ceremony Unplugged, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 12 noon

KuroPOP dance party, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 12:45

Stand-up Comic Uncle Yo, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 1:15 & 3:00

Samurai Sword Soul, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 2:00

Takarabune Dance, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 2:00

Book signing: Rumi Hara, The Return of Japanese Wolves, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:00

Colossal Origami, with Taro Yaguchi, J-Lounge at Osborne Garden, 3:45

Sohenryu Tea Ceremony for Families, with Soumi Shimizu and Sōkyo Shimizu, BBG Tea Center Auditorium, 4:15

The Seventh Annual Sakura Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show, with original music by Taiko Masala, Main Stage, Cherry Esplanade, 5:15


Raquel Cion brings her deeply personal David Bowie tribute to the Slipper Room April 21 and May 15

Raquel Cion brings her deeply personal David Bowie tribute to the Slipper Room April 21 and May 15

The Slipper Room
167 Orchard St.
Thursday, April 21, and Sunday, May 15, $15-$25, 8:00

In a November 2015 twi-ny talk, Raquel Cion said, “Isn’t it great to be amidst a flurry of Bowie activity?” referring to Bowie’s sudden resurgence with an off-Broadway musical, new album, and various other new songs. “Oh, I have so much to say.” But it should be fascinating, and potentially heart-wrenching, to hear what she has to say about Bowie now that he is no longer with us, having passed away in January at the age of sixty-nine. In Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie, Cion reflects on her life through her worship of Bowie, singing Bowie songs and sharing deeply personal anecdotes that are both moving and funny. She is now bringing her glittery multimedia performance, which was nominated for a 2015 New York Cabaret Award for Best Musical Comedy or Alt Cabaret Show, to the Slipper Room on April 21 and May 15, joined by Jeremy Bass on guitar, Ian Jesse on bass, Michael Morales on drums, and Isai Centeno and DM Salsberg on vocals. The show is directed by Cynthia Cahill, and Cion’s glam outfits are by David Quinn. Tickets are $15 for general admission seating and standing and $25 for reserved seats.


Jazz great Cecil Taylor rehearses at the Whitney in November 2015

Jazz great Cecil Taylor rehearses at the Whitney in November 2015

Whitney Museum of American Art
Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, fifth floor
99 Gansevoort St.
April 14-24, free with museum admission unless otherwise noted

The fourth stage of the Whitney’s “Open Plan” series, which previously saw Andrea Fraser, Lucy Dodd, and Michael Heizer take over the large fifth-floor space in the new downtown building, hands the reins over to free jazz legend, poet, and New York City native Cecil Taylor. The eighty-seven-year-old pianist will be celebrated in a series of programs beginning April 14 at 8:00 ($50), when Taylor will make a rare public appearance, collaborating with British drummer Tony Oxley and Japanese dancer and choreographer Min Tanaka. On April 15 at 7:00, cellist Tristan Honsinger will perform a solo set, while writer Thulani Davis, dancer and professor Cheryl Banks-Smith, and bassist Henry Grimes join forces for a unique presentation. On April 16 at 2:00, Banks-Smith will moderate “Cecil Taylor and Dance,” a panel discussion with Dianne McIntyre, Heather Watts, and Tanaka. That evening at 7:00, trumpter Enrico Rava, double bassist William Parker, and drummer Andrew Cyrille will perform as a trio, in addition to a solo set by Cyrille. On April 20 at 3:00, a Poetry and Music gathering brings together poets A. B. Spellman and Anne Waldman and saxophonist Devin Brahja Waldman, Anne’s nephew. On April 21 at 3:00, Poetry and Music features Steve Dalachinsky, Clark Coolidge with Michael Bisio, and Nathaniel Mackey with Grimes. That night at 9:00 ($10), Hilton Als directs a restaging of Adrienne Kennedy’s one-act play A Rat’s Mass, starring Helga Davis; Taylor wrote and directed the music for the show. And on April 22 at 6:00, Chris Funkhouser, Tracie Morris and Susie Ibarra, Fred Moten and William Parker, and Jemeel Moondoc/Ensemble Muntu (featuring Parker, Mark Hennen, and Charles Downs) will present an evening of poetry and music. Throughout this part of “Open Plan,” there will also be listening sessions hosted by Davis, Archie Rand, André Martinez, Gary Giddins, Moten and Funkhouser, Ben Young, and Nahum Chandler in addition to screenings in the Kaufman Gallery of such films as Sheldon Rochlin’s Cecil Taylor: Burning Poles, Chris Felver’s Cecil Taylor: All the Notes, Billy Woodberry’s And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead, and the world premiere of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s The Silent Eye about Taylor and Tanaka (and followed by Q&As with the director, who sat on Taylor’s stoop until the pianist would finally talk to him). There will also be documents, videos, audio, scores, photographs, poetry, and ephemera from throughout Taylor’s life and career on view.


(photo by Manuel Harden)

Jonathan Pryce will play Shylock in Shakespeare’s Globe production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at Lincoln Center Festival this summer (photo by Manuel Harden)

Multiple venues at Lincoln Center
July 13-31, $30-$125
Tickets on sale now

For twenty years, one of the highlights of every summer arts season has been the Lincoln Center Festival, and 2016 is no exception, with another stellar lineup of dance, music, opera, and theater from around the globe. The festival begins with six presentations by Japan’s Kanze Noh Theatre at the Rose Theater in Jazz at Lincoln Center. Led by Grand Master Kiyokazu Kanze, the troupe, which rarely ventures outside its home country, will perform Okina with Kanze’s son, Saburota, and Hagoromo on July 13, Sumida Gawa, Busshi, and Shakkyo on July 14, Hagoromo, Kaki Yamabushi, and Sumida Gawa on July 15, Okina and Aoi No Ue on July 16 at 1:30, Hagoromo, Busshi, and Aoi No Ue on July 16 at 7:30, and Okina and Shakkyo on July 17. From July 13 to 16 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma directs composer Huang Ruo’s Ming Dynasty romantic opera, Paradise Interrupted. Japan’s Takarazuka Revue will bring “All That Jazz” and more to the David H. Koch Theater July 20–24 with an all-female version of Chicago, with a rotating cast, lyrics in Japanese, and Bob Fosse’s original choreography. Shakespeare’s Globe, which recently staged the marvelous Broadway double shot of Twelfth Night and Richard III, will make its Lincoln Center debut July 20–24 at the Rose Theater with Jonathan Pryce in The Merchant of Venice, directed by Jonathan Munby. British company 1927 reinvents a traditional tale in Golem, incorporating animation, puppetry, crazy set design and costumes, and general absurdity July 26–31 at the Lynch.

(photo by Maiko Miagawa and Nobuhiko Hikichi)

Japan’s Takarazuka Revue will present an all-female version of CHICAGO at Lincoln Center Festival (photo by Maiko Miagawa and Nobuhiko Hikichi)

The National Ballet of Canada waltzes into the Koch Theater July 28–31 with Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon’s unique take on The Winter’s Tale, featuring music by Joby Talbot, scenic design by Tony winner Bob Crowley, and silk effects by Basil Twist. In addition, Goran Bregović’s Wedding and Funeral Orchestra marches into David Geffen Hall July 15–16; Reich/Reverberations pays tribute to Steve Reich July 16, 19, and 21 with Sō Percussion, Ensemble Signal, and JACK Quartet; C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord’s version of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme goes for laughs July 20–24 at the Lynch, directed by Denis Podalydès and with choreography by Kaori Ito; musicians Wang Li and Wu Wei team up on July 23 at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse; and a few days later Sō Percussion’s Trilogy takes over the Penthouse, with Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting playing works by Reich, Dessner, and Lang on July 28, Xenakis, Ergun, and Trueman on July 29, and Cage, Lansky, and Mackey on July 30. There are various special ticket packages that can save you between twenty and thirty-five percent if you go for multiple shows, but those deals are going fast.


Roarke Menzies

Roarke Menzies will celebrate the release of his sophomore album, CORPOREAL, at Sunnyvale on April 7 (photo by Josh Simpson)

Who: Roarke Menzies, Imaginary Tricks, the Despot, Breanna Barbara, O Paradiso
What: Album release party for Corporeal
Where: Sunnyvale Brooklyn, 1031 Grand St. at Morgan Ave., 347-987-3971
When: Thursday, April 7, $7, 9:00
Why: This past October, we talked to New York City-based artist and composer Roarke Menzies about his debut solo album, Shapes. The Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based Menzies, who also composes electronic scores for film, dance, and spoken-word theater (with Paul Rome), hasn’t wasted much time, already preparing to release his sophomore album, Corporeal. “A blank hard drive — no memories, just structure, architecture, an empty page — is marked with human data: mouth sounds, sung melodies, lips, teeth, breath, traces of bodily presence,” he states about the project. “Corporeal is a series of musical collages that consider the repetitive, hypnotic acts of the body in performance, as well as the storied, figurative romance — utopian and fatal — between human and machine.” The seven songs, which feature such titles as “For Vinyl-Covered Stages,” “Flicker Film,” “Apparatus or Caress,” and “The Wake,” combine found and created sounds with mysterious vocals to create atmospheric aural adventures that come alive with the rattle and hum of real life. As Menzies describes, “A voice echoes down an audio cable. A sewing machine is cranked by human hands. Fists pound and beat on a sheet of steel.” Menzies will be the release of Corporeal on April 7 at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn; also on the bill are Imaginary Tricks, the Despot, and Breanna Barbara, with DJ sets by O Paradiso. You can find out more about the event here and check out a sample song and pick up the album here.