200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, May 7, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum celebrates its new exhibition, “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art,” which pairs twenty-five contemporary works of art with historical masquerade pieces to create a dialogue, at its free First Saturday program on May 7. The evening will feature live performances by Ifetayo Youth Ensemble, Jojo Abot, DJ Tunez, Laara Garcia (activating Saya Woolfalk’s “ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space”), and Djassi DaCosta Johnson (performing Brendan Fernandes’s In Touch); screenings of Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning and short films from Wangechi Mutu’s AFRICA’SOUT!; a multimedia book club reading and discussion with Nnedi Okorafor, N. K. Jemisin, and Ibi Zoboi, along with performing arts collective BKLYN ZULU; pop-up gallery talks; a hands-on workshop in which participants can make their own masks and costumes; a talk by Arts of Africa and the Pacific Islands associate curator Kevin Dumouchelle on African masquerade around the world; interactive storytelling exploring African myth with Gage Cook; and, for the grand finale, a Vogue Ball hosted by Jacolby Satterwhite. In addition, you can check out such other exhibitions as “This Place,” “Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999–2016,” “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull),” and “Agitprop!”
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.
Who: Anna Karina
What: Screenings and discussions in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens
Where: BAMcinématek, BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St., 718-636-4100
Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria, 718-777-6800
Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., 212-727-8110
When: BAM: Tuesday, May 3, $20, 7:30; MoMI: Wednesday, May 4, $25, 7:00; Film Forum: Friday, May 6, $14, 7:30
Why: Legendary Danish-French actress Anna Karina will be making three rare New York City appearances next week at a trio of special screenings of films she made with Jean-Luc Godard. On May 3, the seventy-five-year-old Karina, who was married to Godard in from 1961 to 1965, starred in seven of his films in addition to works by Agnès Varda, Roger Vadim, Jacques Rivette, Volker Schlöndorff, Tony Richardson, Benoît Jacquot, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Raoul Ruiz, and others, will be at BAM for a members-only screening of 1960’s A Woman Is a Woman, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with Melissa Anderson. If you’re not a BAM member, you can see Karina on May 4 at the Museum of the Moving Image, where she will participate in a conversation with Molly Haskell after a screening of 1965’s Pierrot le fou. And on May 6, Film Forum will present 1964’s Band of Outsiders, with Karina taking part in a discussion and audience Q&A following the 7:30 show. Band of Outsiders continues there through May 12, alongside the series “Anna & Jean-Luc,” which also includes Vivre Sa Vie, Alphaville, Le Petit Soldat, Made in U.S.A., A Woman Is a Woman, and Pierrot le Fou.
Who: Steve McQueen and Donna De Salvo, Harry Belafonte and Dr. Cornel West
What: Two public programs in conjunction with the exhibition “Open Plan: Steve McQueen”
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., 212-570-3600
When: Friday, April 29, Steve McQueen in Conversation with Donna De Salvo, $15, 6:30; Sunday, May 1, Harry Belafonte and Dr. Cornel West Discuss Paul Robeson, $20, 5:00
Why: The Whitney’s five-part “Open Plan” series, which previously featured installations by Andrea Fraser, Lucy Dodd, Michael Heizer, and Cecil Taylor, concludes with a project by visual artist Steve McQueen that expands on his 2012 work, “End Credits,” an exploration of the FBI’s investigation into the political activities of actor, singer, athlete, lawyer, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. McQueen, who began his career as an experimental short filmmaker (his 2004 exhibition at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College was an eye opener), wrote and directed Hunger and Shame before directing 2013’s 12 Years a Slave, which won the Best Picture Oscar. In conjunction with the multimedia show, the Whitney will be hosting two talks. On April 29, McQueen will discuss his career with senior curator Donna De Salvo, who organized the show with curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell. And on May 1 — not coincidentally May Day — actor, singer, songwriter, and activist Harry Belafonte and philosopher, professor, author, activist, and self-described “prominent and provocative democratic intellectual” Dr. Cornel West will team up to explore Robeson’s life and legacy. End Credits will be on view in the expansive Neil Bluhm Family Galleries through May 14; in addition, the Whitney is presenting the U.S. debut of McQueen’s “Moonlit” sculpture in the adjacent Kaufman Gallery.
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
GIRLHOOD (BANDE DE FILLES) (Céline Sciamma, 2014)
French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Tuesday, April 26, $14, 4:00 & 7:30
FIAF’s two-month CinéSalon series “EDM Anthems: French Touch on Film” comes to a poignant conclusion April 26 with Céline Sciamma’s sensitive, gripping, award-winning Girlhood. In her outstanding film debut, Karidja Touré earned a César nomination as Most Promising Actress for playing Marieme, a sixteen-year-old girl who is trying to find a workable path to a worthwhile adulthood but is continually thwarted by socioeconomic and cultural issues. Marieme wants to go to college, but a guidance counselor tells her that her grades aren’t good enough and that she should instead choose a vocational school. She’s clearly bright, but she has to spend much of her time taking care of her younger sisters while her mother works as a cleaning lady and her lazy older brother, Djibril (Cyril Mendy), plays video games and keeps a tight watch on the women in the family. Distressed by her options as a young black woman in France, Marieme starts hanging out with a gang of tough girls led by Lady (Assa Sylla), who christens Marieme “Vic” for victory. Vic, Lady, Adiatou (Lindsay Karamoh), and Fily (Mariétou Touré) battle other small gangs, head to the city to steal fancy clothing, and flirt with the local boys in the Parisian suburbs of Bagnolet and Bobigny. Vic is attracted to Ismaël (Idrissa Diabaté), a friend of Djibril’s who is hesitant to get involved with her, but the two soon start a kind of relationship. Amid gang fights, drug dealing, neighborhood gossip, and romantic entanglements, Vic desperately searches for her identity and refuses to give up on her dreams.
Sciamma never takes the easy way out in this fresh and potent coming-of-age story. Girlhood is beautifully photographed by Crystel Fournier, who also shot Sciamma’s Water Lillies and Tomboy, using a vibrant palette to illuminate the girls’ strong emotions. The pulsating electronic soundtrack by Para One, aka Jean Baptiste de Laubier, adds to the emotional upheavals experienced every day by the characters. Karidja Touré and Assa Sylla have a terrific chemistry; the film really comes alive when they are together, through good times and bad. And despite the serious subject matter, Sciamma also lets things get loose and crazy, like when the four girls dance to Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in a hotel room. Girlhood doesn’t go out of its way to make any overt political statements about race, poverty, or the aftermath of colonialism; instead it is an intelligent, deeply moving story of one girl who is unwilling to sacrifice her power and settle for less than what she wants. The film is screening at FIAF on April 26 at 4:00 and 7:30, with the later showing introduced by DJ Bearcat.