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


Who: Joshua Malina, David Broza, Nita M. Lowey, Joel Grey, Shoshana Bean, Tiffany Haddish, Yemin Orde Youth Village Choir, more
What: Virtual benefit
Where: ImpactIsrael
When: Wednesday, October 28, free with RSVP, 8:00
Why: ImpactIsrael is a Maryland-based organization that “provides the support needed to transform immigrant and at-risk youth into productive members of Israeli society through value-driven education and support. ImpactIsrael works to improve the education, security, health, and welfare of over 25,000 Israelis by touching lives across all boundaries — religious, secular, Jews, Arabs, Druze, and Bedouins.” On October 28 at 8:00, it will be presenting “A Celebration of Gratitude and Hope,” an online benefit for Israel’s next generation of leaders. The evening will be emceed by Joshua Malina (A Few Good Men, Scandal) and features appearances by Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza (East Jerusalem West Jerusalem, At Masada: The Sunrise Concert featuring Shawn Colvin & Jackson Browne), U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey (who will receive the Tikkun Ha’Lev Award), singer and stage actress Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress), comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, The Carmichael Show), legendary actor and director Joel Grey (Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish), and the Yemin Orde Youth Village Choir, among others. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted, including at special levels that will qualify you for listings on a digital scroll, promotional materials, and recognition with a commemorative gift.


Meredith Monk (photo by Christine Alicino) and John Hollenbeck (photo by Mercedes Jelinek) will present virtual duet on October 28

Who: Meredith Monk, John Hollenbeck, Brett Littman
What: Virtual performance and Q&A
Where: Noguchi Museum and Zoom
When: Wednesday, October 28, free, 8:00
Why: Multidisciplinary avant-garde artist Meredith Monk and composer and percussionist John Hollenbeck celebrate ten years of collaboration between the Noguchi Museum and Bang on a Can with the special online presentation Duet Behavior 2020. The show, streaming for free October 28 at 8:00, features excerpts in which Monk and Hollenbeck improvise on pieces from throughout Monk’s fifty-plus-year career, reimagining familiar and unfamiliar works. They have been working together since 1998; Hollenbeck has appeared in Monk’s Magic Frequencies, mercy, impermanence, Songs of Ascension, and On Behalf of Nature in addition to recording several of their compositions on his own. New York City native Monk will be playing from upstate New York and Hollenbeck from Montreal, using Zoom for the visuals and Jamulus for the audio, produced by the House Foundation for the Arts. The premiere will be followed by a Zoom Q&A with the two creators and Noguchi Museum director Brett Littman.


Who: Jerry Lee Lewis, John Stamos, Elton John, Bill Clinton, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Walsh, Billy F Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Janson, Jacob Tolliver, James Burton, Jerry Phillips, Jimmy Swaggart, Linda Gail Lewis, Lindsay Ell, Marty Stuart, Mickey Gilley, Mike Love, Priscilla Presley, Tom Jones, Wink Martindale, Kenny Lovelace, Ray Gann, Kenny Aronoff, more
What: Virtual benefit birthday party for Jerry Lee Lewis
When: Tuesday, October 27, free with advance RSVP, 8:00
Why: At last year’s “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll” exhibit at the Met, the signage for Jerry Lee Lewis’s 1955 Petite Grand Piano spoke of “the Killer” in the past tense, but Lewis is still alive and kicking. The man behind such monster hits as “Great Balls of Fire,” “Breathless,” “High School Confidential,” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” turned eighty-five on September 29, and several dozens of his friends, relatives, and music colleagues will be honoring the living legend at the virtual birthday party “Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On: 85 Years of the Killer,” taking place October 27 at 8:00. Among the participants are Elton John, Bill Clinton, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Joe Walsh, Billy F Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, James Burton, Linda Gail Lewis, Marty Stuart, Mickey Gilley, Priscilla Presley, Tom Jones, Wink Martindale, Kenny Aronoff, and host John Stamos. The all-star event is free, but donations will be accepted for World Vision, which “partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”


Who: Kurt Andersen, Chavisa Woods, Siri Hustvedt, Carlos Menchaca, the Blacksmiths Marching Band, Will Calhoun, PRC Drum Team, Stefan Zeniuk, Laurie Anderson, Nona Hendryx, Masha Gessen, Tine Kindermann, Bill T. Jones, Elizabeth Streb, Batala NY, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Mambembe NY, Holly Bass, Plezi Rara, Kenny Wollesen and the Himalaya
What: RuckUS 2020 get out the vote events
Where: Multiple locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan
When: Saturday, October 24, free, noon - 6:00
Why: With the election only eleven days away, events to get out the vote are ratcheting up around the country and here in New York City. RuckUS, a group started by Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Iain Newton to advocate for voter participation and election security, will be hosting rallies in Brooklyn and Manhattan on Saturday following last week’s events in Staten Island and the Bronx, featuring special guest speakers and socially distanced live performances. (An event in Queens for Sunday has been canceled but is trying to be rescheduled.) Below is the lineup. And remember: “Register. Plan. Protect.”

Saturday, October 24, Manhattan
The Africa Center, 1280 Fifth Ave. & 110th St., noon
New York Public Library Main Branch, Fifth Ave. & 42nd St., 2:00
New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th St. off Seventh Ave., live performance by Holly Bass of Moneymaker, twelve-hour endurance performance, 4:00
Washington Square Park, 5:00
Speakers: musicians Laurie Anderson and Nona Hendryx, journalist Masha Gessen, visual artist Tine Kindermann, choreographers Bill T. Jones and Elizabeth Streb
Live performances: Batala NY, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Mambembe NY, Plezi Rara, Kenny Wollesen and the Himalayas

Saturday, October 24, Brooklyn
Grand Army Plaza, noon
BRIC, Fulton St. & Rockwell Pl., 2:00
Cadman Plaza, 4:00
Speakers: Kurt Andersen, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, Siri Hustvedt, Chavisa Woods
Live performances: The Blacksmiths Marching Band, Will Calhoun, PRC Drum Team, Stefan Zeniuk


Who: Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Norah Jones, David Fricke, Mark Felsot, Jason Hedges, Sarah Hedges, Caamp, Dawes, Grouplove, Jason Isbell, the Killers, Kurt Vile, the Raconteurs, Resynator, Grace Potter, Starcrawler, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Larkin Poe, Steve Ferrone, Low Cut Connie, Andrew Leahey and the Homestead, Arts in Medicine Hospital Band, Edan Archer, Emma Swift, Hannah Harber, Hannah Wicklund, Have Gun Will Travel, Hedges, Jake Thistle, Jeff Slate’s Weekend Wilburys, Johnathan Coody, Michigan Rattlers, Miss Tess, Mr. Cool, Sunkat, the High Divers, Tristen Orphans
What: Virtual birthday bash for Tom Petty
Where: SiriusXM’s Tom Petty Radio, Amazon Music,
When: Friday, October 23, free, 4:30 - 9:00
Why: The music world, trapped in the pandemic lockdown, is coming out in a big way to celebrate the seventieth birthday of one of their best, Tom Petty, who passed away on October 2, 2017, at the age of sixty-six. In conjunction with the release of Wildflowers & All the Rest, an expanded and remastered version of his 1994 hit solo record, Petty will be feted on October 23 by dozens of his friends, colleagues, bandmates, and musicians who were influenced by his work. From 4:30 to 7:00, SiriusXM’s Tom Petty Radio will broadcast Petty songs along with tributes by such artists as Dawes, Jason Isbell, the Killers, Kurt Vile, the Raconteurs, Starcrawler with Mike Campbell, Larkin Poe with Steve Ferrone, and Jeff Slate’s Weekend Wilburys. That will be followed by the main event, a livestreamed show on featuring performances by Mike Campbell & Benmont Tench, Adam Sandler, Amos Lee, Beck, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Dave Stewart, the Flaming Lips, Foo Fighters, Gary Clark Jr., Jackson Browne, Lady Blackbird, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Roger McGuinn, Spoon, and more, with such special guests as Eddie Vedder, Jakob Dylan, Kiefer Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Marty Stuart, Post Malone, Rick Rubin, and Stevie Nicks. It’s free to listen and watch, but donations will be accepted for Save Our Stages, Shands Arts in Medicine, Digitunity, and MusiCares. As Petty famously sang, “You belong among the wildflowers / You belong in a boat out at sea / You belong with your love on your arm / You belong somewhere you feel free,” words to live by in these troubled times.


White Snake Projects
October 23, 25, 27, free with RSVP, 7:30

Alice goes down a very different kind of rabbit hole in Alice in the Pandemic, a virtual opera from Boston-based White Snake Projects. The production seeks to push the envelope of technological innovation during the Covid-19 lockdown as performers — and their 3D avatars — sing from wherever they are sheltering in place. The show features a libretto by creator Cerise Lim Jacobs, with music by Jorge Sosa, direction by Elena Araoz, and art by Anna Campbell; the cast includes Carami Hilaire as Alice, an ER nurse at Fair Hospital; Eve Gigliotti as Mrs. Lee (Alice’s mother, who falls ill) and other characters; and Daniel Moody as the White Rabbit, who Alice meets in the subway. Tickets are free with advance RSVP; there will be live shows October 23, 25, and 27 at 7:30. The sixty-minute digital opera will be told in ten scenes in one act, leading the audience on a wild ride through an alternative wonderland and a health crisis that is all too real.


Reiko Yamada will present the virtual world premiere of the Japan Society commission Sound Installation on Silent Films on October 21 (photo © Carolyn Drake)

Who: Reiko Yamada, Yoko Shioya
What: Livestreamed world premiere performance and artist Q&A
Where: Japan Society online
When: Wednesday, October 21, $15, 8:00 (available on demand through November 4)
Why: Japan Society’s virtual 2020-21 Performing Arts Season kicks off with the commissioned world premiere of Hiroshima-born multimedia artist Reiko Yamada’s Sound Installation on Silent Films. On October 21 at 8:00, Japan Society will livestream the prerecorded performance, filmed live in Yamada’s home, in which she accompanies a trio of silent films with music played on broken accordions. “During the pandemic, our everyday lives have been greatly compromised, leaving us at times painfully dependent on the internet for connection. But while some advances in technology take a center stage in this climate, others that changed the world but have since become commonplace — cinema, instantly available music, global transportation — have been halted,” Yamada said in a statement. “The three antique films that I have selected for this concert — a reel of sumo wrestling matches, an almost abstract animation, and a documentary on the history of railroads in Japan - were the new technologies of their day, light entertainments in the truest sense. Recontextualizing these movies as ‘streaming performances’ supported by music provides me a canvas to present our relationship to entertainment over time.”

The performance will be followed by a live Q&A with Japan Society artistic director Yoko Shioya and Yamada, whose other works include the experimental opera Mask Your Sonic Story, the score for the dance piece You Took a Part of Me, the solo exhibition Small Small Things, and the orchestral composition New Shadows in Raw Light of Darkness. “I have an affinity for the accordion, having used it as a primary instrument in past projects,” Yamada, who is currently based in Barcelona, continues. “Though the accordion has no significant role in the history of Japanese silent film, I find the instrument, even (and perhaps especially) in a dilapidated state, can convey a depth of experience and an almost tactile sense of sound. By filtering my performance live through a computer, I can better isolate the unique personality of each instrument. The films that make up this performance were painstakingly digitized, recaptured like butterflies on pins for a modern audience that may find them rendered alien out of context. Much as each frame of these films has been renovated by both analog and digital processing, I will be transforming these nearly nonfunctional accordions into time machines, linking the performance’s many parts across oceans and centuries.” Tickets for the fifty-minute show are $15; the stream will be available through November 4.