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


come together

22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave.
Saturday, March 24, each session $10, both $15, 12 noon - 6:00, 6:00 - 9:00

The second annual Come Together: Music Festival and Label Market takes place March 24 at MoMA PS1, a joint venture between the museum and the late, lamented Other Music record shop. More than seventy-five labels will be in Long Island City, selling and sharing awesome music. There will be live performances by Laetitia Tamko’s Vagabon, Hailu Mergia, and Dead Moon, which will also be the subject of an archival exhibition; the New York premiere of The Potential of Noise (Reto Caduff & Stephan Plank, 2017), about sound designer and producer Conny Plank; “The Creative Independent,” a workshop with Brandon Stosuy, Katie Alice Greer, and Jenn Pelly; a sound design experimental workshop with Marco Gomez (False Witness); DJ sets by Yo La Tengo, phoneg1rl b2b NK Badtz Maru, Sal P, and Duane Harriott; a multisensory listening experience with Suzi Analogue’s Never Normal Soundsystem and wearable audio technology company SUBPAC; the multimedia lecture “A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music According to Mississippi Records” with Eric Isaacson; clips of live music performed at Other Music between 1995 and 2016; loops of prank calls by Longmont Potion Castle in the elevator; an interactive reading and listening room in honor of Mexican Summer’s tenth anniversary; the performative, interactive thrift-store installation “Jimmy’s Thrift of New Davonhaime” by Azikiwe Mohammed; and a zine-making workshop with Suffragette City. Among the other participating labels are 4AD, Cantaloupe Music, Captured Tracks, Daptone, Glassnote, Goner, Luaka Bop, Matador, New Amsterdam, New World, Ninja Tune, Nonesuch, Northern Spy, Rough Trade, Sacred Bones, Sub Pop, Third Man, and XL Recordings. Tickets to the fair are $10 for the 12 noon to 6:00 session and $10 for the 6:00 to 9:00 extended programming; you can get into both for $15.


Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino should be more excited when they join Brian De Palma for the world premiere of the thirty-fifth anniversary restoration screening

Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino should be more excited when they join Brian De Palma at the Beacon Theatre for the world premiere of the thirty-fifth anniversary restoration screening of Scarface on April 19 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival

Beacon Theatre
2124 Broadway at 75th St.
Tribeca Film Festival runs April 18-29

Tickets are now on sale for four special Tribeca Film Festival events taking place at the Beacon Theatre, a quartet of world premieres, three of which will be followed by discussions with some pretty serious characters.

Wednesday, April 18
Gala: Love, Gilda (Lisa D’Apolito, 2018), world premiere screening of documentary about Gilda Radner, $46-$156, 7:00

Thursday, April 19
Retrospective Special Screenings: Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983), world premiere of thirty-fifth anniversary restoration of 170-minute version, followed by a discussion with stars Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer and director Brian De Palma, $71-$356, 7:00

Thursday, April 26
Retrospective Special Screenings: Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993), twenty-fifth anniversary screening, followed by a discussion with stars Liam Neeson, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Embeth Davidtz and director Steven Spielberg, moderated by Janet Maslin, $71-$356, 6:30

Friday, April 27
Special Screenings: Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 (Dexton Deboree, 2018), world premiere screening of documentary about the Air Jordan sneaker, followed by live performances by Kid Ink, Gizzle, and others, $61-$206, 8:00


(photo by Stephanie Berger)

Meredith Monk (left) and Vocal Ensemble perform Cellular Songs at BAM through March 18 (photo by Stephanie Berger)

Brooklyn Academy of Music
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St.
March 14-18, $25-$55

Legendary interdisciplinary artist Meredith Monk offers a brief prologue to her latest evening-length work, Cellular Songs, with an audiovisual installation in the lobby at the BAM Harvey Theater. Five small monitors, side by side and just about at eye level, show five women (the primary cast of Cellular Songs) uttering sounds as the camera cuts from facial close-ups to just their mouths and to X-rays of the human brain and hand. It serves as an aperitif to the main course, a gorgeous seventy-five-minute piece incorporating experimental sound, movement, video, and lighting. The show begins with a film by Katherine Freer of five enormous hands projected on the stage floor, touching and clutching fingers. Monk then walks out with four members of her Vocal Ensemble, Ellen Fisher, Katie Geissinger, Allison Sniffin, and Jo Stewart, all dressed in loose-fitting white and beige costumes by Yoshio Yabara, who also designed the environment, which features several chairs, a piano in one corner, and a small pile of white clothes near the back. Individually and as a unit, the five women vocalize sounds that form unique rhythms, complemented by their movement, which includes lying on the floor, gathering around the piano, and sitting in a circle, holding hands. Joe Levasseur’s lighting goes from individual and group spots to bathing the production in reds and blues. In the program, Monk explains, “Some of the pieces have much more dissonance and chromatic kind of harmonies, and the forms are almost like three-dimensional sculptures. Earlier, my music had much more to do with layering. Now you can almost see or hear the piece rotating as if it were a sculpture in space, though it’s just a musical form.”

Meredith Monk gets closer to the earth in Cellular Songs at BAM (photo by Stephanie Berger)

Meredith Monk gets closer to the earth in Cellular Songs at BAM (photo by Stephanie Berger)

Cellular Songs is a follow-up to the environmentally conscious On Behalf of Nature and was inspired by Siddartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. The seventy-five-year-old New York City native has taken the concept of the cell as both healthy and unhealthy biological unit and applied it to music, as if each note is a cell. The majority of the utterances by the five performers are just sounds, although at one point Monk (Songs of Ascension, Vessel) sings the song “Happy Woman,” in which she repeats “I’m a happy woman” over and over again, along with some other adjectives replacing “happy.” The work is about transcendence and connection, about the life cycle of birth, life, and death, as revealed when the Vocal Ensemble is joined by ten members of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City; the fifteen girls and women split into three sets of five by age, each group in slightly different costumes. As Monk also explains in the program, “As artists, we’re all contending with what to do at a time like this. I wanted to make a piece that can be seen as an alternative possibility of human behavior, where the values are cooperation, interdependence, and kindness, as an antidote to the values that are being propagated right now.” Cellular Songs is a multimedia celebration of hope in a deeply troubled era, offering tired souls the opportunity to immerse themselves in a uniquely uplifting aural and visual landscape that is free of sentimentality or rage, instead a place for contemplation, harmony, and more than a little magic.



Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Pl.
December 25 - January 1, $25

In 2006, the original orchestrations for Kurt Weill’s 1922 Zaubernacht, his first work for the stage, was found after eighty years, lost when Weill fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and then found in a locked Yale safe. The children’s pantomime for solo soprano and chamber orchestra was last performed in New York in 1925, so it should be a treat to see the family-friendly tale when it is revived March 14, 15, and 18 by Jody Oberfelder Projects and the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. New York-based choreographer Oberfelder, whose 4Chambers and The Brain Piece explored the human heart and brain, respectively, now turns to the world of children as a fairy brings toys to life and characters emerge from fairy tales in what might or might not be a dream. “I’ve devised a fresh fairy tale, told through the lens of a child, about overcoming darkness, developing resilience, and finding one’s place in the world,” Oberfelder said in a statement. The Lower Manhattan-based Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, now in its tenth anniversary season, returns to the Battery Park City museum after 2012’s “Music for the Tempest Tost: A Tribute to Emma Lazarus,” 2013’s “Banished Genius: Emigre Composers in America,” and 2014’s “Pièces de Résistance: Music Celebrating the Polish Spirit.” The seventy-five-minute Zaubernacht features a nine-piece instrumental ensemble and a troupe of dancers performing such sections as “Lier der Fee,” “The Kitchen Stove Enters,” “The Children Awaken,” and “The Tumbler.”


(photo by Julieta Cervantes)

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble will present world premiere of Celluar Songs at the BAM Harvey this week (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

Brooklyn Academy of Music
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St.
March 14-18, $25-$55

Eclectic New York City multidiscplinary artist Meredith Monk will unveil her latest work this week at BAM, presenting the world premiere of Cellular Songs at the Harvey March 14-18. The multimedia performance comprises voice, movement, light, site-specific video installation, instrumental music, and film; Monk, who made her BAM debut in 1976 with Quarry and was last at the Brooklyn institution in 2014 with On Behalf of Nature, will be joined by four members of her Vocal Ensemble, Ellen Fisher, Katie Geissinger, Allison Sniffin, and Jo Stewart in her Monk debut. The seventy-five-minute piece, which examines humanity’s interdependence with nature in a tech-driven world, features costumes and scenography by Yoshio Yabara, lighting by Joe Levasseur, sound design by Eli Walker, and video design by Kate Freer. Cellular Songs follows On Behalf of Nature, which Monk calls “a meditation on what we’re in danger of losing”; the new work is inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddartha Mukherjee. Speaking about the new work at Jim Hodges’s Queenslab last June, Monk, equating human cells to musical cells, says, “I started thinking that I was going deeper into On Behalf of Nature, going way inside the body but also from microcosm all the way to the universe to macrocosm, so it’s really that contrast and also between organic forms and the individual human beings and those realms.” You can get a sneak peek at Monk & Vocal Ensemble rehearsing Cellular Songs at Abrons Arts Center here.



Influential horror classic is brought back to life in stunning restoration and new live score at Baryshnikov Arts Center

Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jerome Robbins Theater
450 West 37th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Wednesday, March 14, $25, 7:30

A few years ago, Robert Wiene’s 1920 silent classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, was released in a stunning 4K restoration, giving audiences the chance to see it as if for the first time. Now you can hear it as if for the first time as well, as the Baryshnikov Arts Center will be showing it on March 14 at 7:30 with a new score by Stephen Prutsman, performed live by the Puck Quartet. Back in high school, we saw The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for the first time in the somewhat dubious “Christian Values in Film” class. The verdict: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has no Christian values. But the Caligari we saw back then is rather different from the digital restoration, made from the original camera negative by the Friedrich Murnau Foundation. This sparkling Caligari is now the only way to experience this truly frightening work, one of the most influential horror films of all time. You can find elements of Paul Wegener’s The Golem, James Whale’s Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, and Todd Browning’s Dracula — all three of which followed this truly seminal film — in this twisted, unsettling psychological thriller of murder and mayhem involving the mysterious Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) and the creepy somnambulist he controls, Cesare (Casablanca’s Conrad Veidt), who predicts the future and eerily walks in his sleep. The tale is told in a frame story by Francis (Friedrich Fehér), who, like his best friend, Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski), is in love with Jane (Lil Dagover). The only problem is that Cesare might have a thing for her as well.

A masterpiece that set the bar high for German Expressionism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari might have been shocking when it debuted in 1920, but it’s still shocking today, like nothing you’ve ever seen, with one of the most memorable, enigmatic villains ever put on celluloid. It’s not a traditional silent black-and-white film, instead tinted in blue and gold, with intertitles exploding in a wild green font. The sets, by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann, and Walter Röhrig, are sharply slanted, with crazy angles and perspectives and backdrops that include unmoving shadows painted right on them; they’re obviously fake and very fragile, adding yet more levels of weirdness. Written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, photographed by Willy Hameister (irising in and out, occasionally at the same time), and directed by Wiene (Raskolnikov, Der Rosenkavalier), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is thick with an ominous, sinister atmosphere that is sheer pleasure; you’ll find yourself smiling at the beauty of it all even as you tense up at the hair-raising proceedings. It is that rare film that works as historical document as well as pure entertainment, a treat for cinema enthusiasts and horror fans alike, especially when the twist ending turns everything inside out and upside down.

You can get a taste for the new score in the above video; pianist, conductor, and composer Prutsman has collaborated with such groups as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet, and in 2011 he wrote a new score for the Baryshnikov Arts Center’s screening of Buster Keaton’s 1924 comedy Sherlock, Jr. “I was well aware of the cardinal rule that film music ought never take attention away from the film itself; hence a complex yet cheap Schoenberg-like allusion would no doubt detract from the visual. I decided to ‘sprinkle’ dodecaphonic elements here and there,” Prutsman says of his Caligari score, “yet most of what one hears can be described as imitations of either post-romantic concert, salon, theater, or carnival music around the turn of the 19th century.” The Puck Quartet consists of violinists Lily Holgate and Kenneth Trotter, violist Katharine Dryden, and cellist Liam Veuve.


apologies from men

Who: Lauren Maul
What: Apologies from Men multimedia performance
Where: The People’s Improv Theater, PIT Striker Mainstage, 123 East 24th St. between Park & Lexington Aves., 212-563-7488
When: Friday, March 9, $10, 9:30
Why: In 2016, creator and composer Lauren Maul and director and choreographer Wendy Seyb made the web series Amazon Reviews: The Musical!, which took reviews written on Amazon for books, movies, toys, and other items and turned them into music videos. The Nebraska-raised, Chicago-trained, Brooklyn-based Maul is now getting a whole lot more serious — and perhaps even funnier — with Apologies from Men: The Concert, in which she takes the verbatim apologies offered by prominent male sexual harassers and predators and puts them to music, accompanied by fabulously silly, low-budget, right-on-target animated videos. Among her subjects are Louis CK, Matt Lauer, Mario Batali, Russell Simmons, Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Rose, and, of course, Harvey Weinstein. The Kevin Spacey remix video is particularly creepy, and just wait till you see who’s included in “The Men Who Have Not Apologized.” Maul will be at the PIT on March 9 for a one-time-only live performance with guitar and piano of Apologies from Men, which will also be released as an album the same day.