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


bruce off broadway

Who: Jim Boggia
What: Ukulele tribute to the music of Bruce Springsteen
Where: Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St. at Orchard St.
When: Saturday, January 27, $10, 8:00
Why: Retro-pop nostalgia devotee Jim Boggia released three albums last decade, Fidelity Is the Enemy, Safe in Sound, and Misadventures in Stereo, and has also played with the Fab Faux and Mad Dogs & Dominos in addition to many, many others. On January 27, the vinyl-obsessed musician will be at Arlene’s Grocery, offering an alternative to the hottest show around, Springsteen on Broadway, with his own celebration, “Bruce Off Broadway: A Ukulele Tribute to the Boss.” Yes, Boggia, who was raised just outside Flint, Michigan, and is a longtime Philly dude, will be playing Springsteen songs on his ukulele, and, lo and behold, he’s pretty damn good at it, as evidenced by his videos for “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Thunder Road,” and “Growing Up.” It might not quite be the toughest ticket going, but get one while you still can to check out what should be a very different kind of Springsteen experience.



Town Stages
221 West Broadway
Saturday, January 20, $20 per session, $35 for both, 3:00 & 7:00

Saturday’s Women’s March on New York City takes place from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, starting at 72nd St. & Central Park West and continuing to Sixth Ave. & Forty-Fifth St., to speak out for equality. “Over the past year, basic rights for women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, the religious and nonreligious, people of color and even Mother Earth have struggled to survive under the weight of the current administration,” the official march registration website explains. “America’s First Amendment has been challenged and healthcare for millions has been threatened. We must stand together to demand and defend our rights. Let your voice echo from the streets of New York City to the capital city. Show the world that red, white, and blue are colors of tolerance.” Immediately following the march, the collective BAE is hosting “Uprising” at Town Stages, consisting of two sessions of panel discussions (with community leaders, artivists, and change-makers), live art, music, healing modalities, food & drink, and more in support of the Women’s March Alliance. Session 001, “The Women’s Movement: Stages of Evolution,” runs from 3:00 to 7:00, while Session 002, “Cities, Spaces, Sex & Power: How We Evolve,” goes from 7:00 to 11:00. Tickets for each session are $20, or you can pay $35 for both, called “Double Impact.” BAE refers to itself as “a celebration of female creativity and divine feminine energy, before anything else. It is a gathering of our collective evolution and the vitality of tangible sacred spaces curated, produced, and performed by women, for ALL.”


French pop icon Johnny Hallyday stars as an alternate version of himself in Jean-Philippe

French pop icon Johnny Hallyday stars as an alternate version of himself in Laurent Tuel’s Jean-Philippe

French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Monday, January 22, $14, 7:30

On December 5, 2017, singer and actor Johnny Hallyday, known as the French Elvis, died of lung cancer at the age of seventy-four after eight years of serious health problems. “We all have a piece of Johnny Hallyday inside every one of us. The public today is in tears, and the whole country mourns,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement. More than a million people lined the streets of Paris for the funeral procession of the national hero, who sold more than one hundred million records and was married five times to four women. On January 22, FIAF will pay tribute to the motorcycle-loving Hallyday, born Jean-Philippe Smet, with the special program “An Evening Celebrating Johnny Hallyday.” The tribute begins with a screening of Laurent Tuel’s 2006 film, Jean-Philippe, in which the pop icon portrays a fictional version of himself, just a regular person, opposite Fabrice Luchini. The screening will be followed by a wine reception with live performances of some of the Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur’s many hits.


You Say You Want a Revolution exhibition at NYPL is part of Carnegie Halls festival

“You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the Sixties” exhibition at NYPL is part of wide-ranging Carnegie Hall festival

Multiple locations
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


The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be celebrated all over the city and the country this weekend

The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be celebrated all over the city and the country this weekend

Multiple venues
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


sounds of liberation

Who: Krishna Das, Lama Tenzin, Ani Choying Drolma, Manose
What: Benefit concert for Shedrub Development Fund
When: Saturday, January 13, $45 - $500, 8:00 (tickets are available here)
Where: Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 263 West 86th St. at West End Ave.
Why: The third annual New York City benefit concert for the Shedrub Development Fund will take place at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on the Upper West Side on January 13, raising money for Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudha, Kathmandu, known as the White Monastery, which was damaged in the devastating 2015 earthquake, along with the Nagi Gompa nunnery and other centers. The show, which follows one being held the night before at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, will once again be headlined by Grammy-nominated singer Krishna Das, who specializes in the Hindu devotional chant music known as kirtan. Also returning is Lama Tenzin Sangpo, who escaped his native Tibet as a child and received his education and ordination from Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche at the shedra, becoming an accomplished chant master. They will be joined this year by Ani Choying, known as “Nepal’s rock star nun,” and Nepalese bansuri flute master Manose, who has released such meditative albums as The Call Within, Epiphany, and Notes from Home: Himalayan Folk Tunes. “This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to raise funds for an institution that’s helping many people,” Krishna Das said. “It’s also an opportunity to make a statement about how all the different spiritual paths are related and blend into each other.” It’s a reunion of sorts for the performers as well. “Growing up in Kathmandu, I went to school next to the monastery and it was a big part of my upbringing,” Manose explained. “I’ve known Ani Choying, who also grew up in the neighborhood, for more than three decades, and we’ve collaborated on projects together. I first met Krishna Das through the kirtan circuit and have loved sharing the kirtan spirit with him over the years.” And Ani Choying described Lama Tenzin as “a Dharma brother I’ve known since my first day of monastic life.” Award-winning film composer John McDowell (Born into Brothels, Sold) serves as music director for the two evenings. Tickets for the New York City concert begin at $45 for general admission and $150 for preferred seating and are available here; some tiers are already sold out. Patrons who donate $500 or more also are invited to a catered preconcert reception with the artists. (You can watch a video of the rebuilding effort here.)


The seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride takes place on January 7 (photo courtesy

The seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride takes place on January 7 (photo courtesy

Multiple subway locations
Sunday, January 7, $2.75 (subway fare), 3:00-5:00

On New Year’s Day, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club marched into the Atlantic Ocean, braving outside temperatures in the teens. On Sunday, January 7, for the seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride, participants will be removing their slacks in a similar climate as they enjoy the freedom of revealing their gams to the delight, consternation, and confusion of fellow passengers. Between 3:00 and 5:00, thousands of men and women will head underground and strip down to their boxers, panties, and tighty-whities (leaving shirts, shoes, and jackets on). Started as a prank by seven guys in 2002, the ride — staged by Improv Everywhere, the prank collective behind such other unusual stunts as Reverse Times Square, Car Alarm Symphony in Staten Island, and Carousel Horse Race in Bryant Park — hit a small bump in 2006, when 150 people participated and 8 were arrested and handcuffed, but the charges were shortly dismissed. As it turns out, it’s technically not illegal as long as the exposure doesn’t get too indecent. (Of course, it is also not against the law for men and women to be topless in Times Square.) Participants should gather, with their clothes on, at one of seven meeting points around the city (Hoyt Playground in Astoria, the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, Foley Square in Downtown Manhattan, Hudson Yards Park on West 34th St. in Midtown Manhattan, the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park, the Great Hill in Central Park, and Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick) and will be assigned a train to ride on; the main rule is that you must be willing to take your pants off on the subway while keeping a straight face — and hopefully having someone around to document it for social media.

You should not document it yourself, and you need to act like you merely forgot to put your pants on or that you were feeling uncomfortable, pretending that it is a coincidence so many others did as well. Be natural about it, as if it’s no big deal; it’s important not to flaunt it or to wear undergarments that are too flashy or call attention to yourself. When it’s over at about five o’clock, there is a pants-less after-party at Bar 13 at 35 East 13th St., with a $15 cover (pants check is available); the festivities include music spun by DJs Dirtyfinger, Shakey, and Hamstaskin, live performances by the Flying Pants Brigade, art installations by Samantha Statin and others, performance art by Krauss Dañielle and Operative Slamdance, and more. And it should be comforting to know that the No Pants Subway Ride has spread to dozens of cities across the globe, including Adelaide, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dallas, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Prague, Stockholm, Vancouver, Warsaw, and Zurich.