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

CROSSING THE LINE 2014

Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

French Institute Alliance Française and other locations
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
September 8 - October 20, free - $35
212-355-6160
www.fiaf.org

One of the best multidisciplinary arts festivals every year, FIAF’s Crossing the Line is back for its eighth season, featuring another exciting lineup of dance, theater, music, installation, exhibitions, and hard-to-describe events. Cocurators Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester explain it thusly: “This year’s edition of Crossing the Line brings together fifteen extraordinary international artists and companies, each of them offering unique perspectives on the world we all share. We invite New Yorkers to explore their meticulous and deeply considered work, both the familiar and the unknown, and find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française and taking place there as well as several other locations, CTL offers numerous opportunities to “find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Palais Galliera director Olivier Saillard gets seven former supermodels to open up in Models Never Talk, a world premiere at Milk Studios. Trajal Harrell continues his Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church with a week of special performances at the Kitchen. Justin Vivian Bond is joined by special guest Miguel Gutierrez for the one-night-only Love Is Crazy, consisting of songs and stories about love and romance.

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Patti Smith, her daughter, Jesse, and Soundwalk Collective examine the death of Nico in unique ways in Killer Road at FIAF. Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin and German visual artist Julius von Bismarck use motion-sensor technology and lighting to delve into physics in Quantum at BAM Fisher. Jessica Mitrani and Pedro Almodóvar regular Rossy de Palma pay tribute to Nellie Bly in Traveling Lady at FIAF. The audience is encouraged to participate in Aaron Landsman’s free Republic of New York: Perfect City Discussions at Abrons Arts Center. Fernando Rubio’s Everything by My Side is a fifteen-minute rotating performance on seven beds in Hudson River Park. The works of French choreographer Xavier Le Roy will be re-created at MoMA PS1. Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” exhibition at 104 Washington St. challenges gender roles in China and the world. Julie Béna’s site-specific “T&T Consortium: You’re Already Elsewhere” at the FIAF Gallery puts visitors into a fantastical setting. The star of the festival is Japanese electronic artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose Park Avenue Armory installation “The Transfinite” dazzled New York back in 2011; the mathematical mastermind will present the immersive, multimedia Superposition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gallery exhibition at Salon 94, and “Test Pattern [Times Square],” which can be seen on nearly four dozen screens in Times Square as part of the “Midnight Moment” program each night in October from 11:57 pm to midnight. CTL is also one of the most affordable festivals, with nothing costing more than $35, so you have no excuse not to check out at least a few of these ultracool events.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: RED EYE OF LOVE

RED EYE OF LOVE
Amas Musical Theatre at the Dicapo Opera Theatre
184 East 76th St. at Lexington Ave.
Tickets: $35-$45 August 27 - September 3, $35-$55 September 4-28 ($10 discount codes available here)
www.amasmusical.org

Billed as “a Girl-Meats-Boy Love Story,” Red Eye of Love is a new musical comedy about Selma Chargesse (Alli Mauzey), a woman who is forced to choose between materialistic meat store baron O. O. Martinas (Kevin Pariseau) and young idealist Wilmer (Josh Grisetti) in a fantastical New York City. Filled with double entendres that are likely to infuriate PETA — watch out for the dancing cows — the show is directed by Tony winner Ted Sperling (The Other Josh Cohen, The Light in the Piazza), with book and lyrics by the late Arnold Weinstein and John Wulp, based on Weinstein’s 1961 play, which earned Wulp an Obie as Best Director; the music is by Sam Davis. The costumes are by Martha Bromelmeier, with choreography by Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez; the sets are by American artist Robert Indiana, from a 1998 revival of the play. The Amas Musical Theatre production also features Dylan Boyd, Katie Chung, Daniel Lynn Evans, Tracie Franklin, Katie Hagen, Daniel May, and Sam Tanabe. There are several special postshow talk backs scheduled, including “Conversation and Collaboration from Play to Libretto” on September 7, “Conversation and Collaboration from Libretto to Musical” on September 11, and “Further Conversation with Author John Wulp” on September 21.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Previews for Red Eye of Love begin August 27 at the Dicapo Opera Theatre, with the opening set for September 2, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free for performances through September 28. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite, or least favorite, meat food product to contest@twi-ny.com by Friday, August 29, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.

INSTANT TICKET GIVEAWAY: PHOENIX

A one-night stand goes a long way in PHOENIX, starring James Wirt and Julia Stiles

A one-night stand goes a long way in PHOENIX, starring James Wirt and Julia Stiles

PHOENIX
Cherry Lane Mainstage Theatre
38 Commerce St.
Monday - Saturday through August 28 (extended), $56-$66
212-989-2020
www.phoenixtheplay.com
www.cherrylanetheatre.org

Scott Organ’s Phoenix, a play about a one-night stand that gets rather complicated, has been extended for four more performances at the Cherry Lane through August 28, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to this poignant one-act drama. Julia Stiles stars as Sue, a traveling nurse who has set up a meeting with James (James Wirt) to let him know that there has been an unexpected result of their previous coupling. What follows is a verbal cat-and-mouse game as they each try to figure out who they are and what they want out of life — and whether there is any kind of future for them together. (You can find out more about the show here.)

TICKET GIVEAWAY: There are only a few nights left to see Phoenix, which concludes its limited engagement at the Cherry Lane on August 28, and twi-ny has a much-coveted pair of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play with the name of a city in the title to contest@twi-ny.com by Monday, August 25, at 3:00 to be eligible. (Yes, that’s today.) Please also include two preferred dates to see the show. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; one winner will be selected at random.

BABY GIRL

Fringe

Christa Meyers (l.) is delightful as a young woman investigating her sexuality and family history in Fringe hit BABY GIRL

New York International Fringe Festival
The Kraine Theater
25 East Fourth St. between Second Ave. & Bowery
Sunday, August 24, $18, 12 noon
www.fringenyc.org
www.babygirltheplay.com

Conceived during a New York City writing workshop, writer-director Kim Ehly’s semiautobiographical Baby GirL became a hit in South Florida and has now come north for the eighteenth annual New York International Fringe Festival, where it plays its last of five performances on August 24 at noon at the Kraine Theater. That’s not a typo in the title; Ehly wants to emphasize the “L” in LGBT, a community she has been part of for many years. Baby GirL is about a young woman sharing her compelling, and very funny, story about being adopted, coming out as a lesbian, and going in search of her birth mother, ranging from 1968 to 1995. Christa Meyers is delightful as Ashley, easily gliding between re-created scenes from her life and speaking directly to the audience as her character explores her sexuality and family history; it’s easy to see how she recently played Vanda in a Cleveland production of Venus in Fur. (An unfortunate distraction, however, was that Meyers slowly sweat through two gray shirts during the show; hopefully the costume designer has since adjusted her wardrobe so the focus can remain where it belongs, on her splendid performance.) The other seven members of the uniformly strong cast all portray multiple roles, including Amy Bizjak as Ashley’s adoptive mother and birth mother, Joe Wissler as her adoptive father and husband of her birth mother, Samuel Floyd as various men in her life, and Nori Tecosky as her current girlfriend and other women, in addition to Jessica Farr and Noah Levine, but it’s Lucy McMichael who nearly steals the show, playing a series of mostly bitter and cranky old ladies; after a few of them, just her mere appearance onstage as a new character gets much-deserved laughs. A production of Ehly’s Fort Lauderdale-based Kutumba Theatre Project, BabyGirL might not delve too deeply below the surface, but it has an inviting, charming warmth that is just right for the Fringe.

BROADWAY WEEK SUMMER 2014

Tony winner A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER is among those shows selling half-price tickets during Broadway week

Tony winner A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER is among those shows selling half-price tickets during Broadway week

Multiple venues
September 1-14, buy one ticket, get one free
www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek

Tickets are now on sale for the summer edition of Broadway Week, which runs September 1-14 and offers theater lovers a chance to see new and long-running shows for half-price as well as have an opportunity to pay a $20 fee to upgrade to better seats. Twenty-one shows are participating, but they’re already starting to sell out, with the most popular selections being Cabaret and The Lion King. Among the other choices are Pippin, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Kinky Boots, If/Then, the rebooted Les Misérables, Matilda the Musical, Motown the Musical, and such longtime mainstays as Wicked, Jersey Boys, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia! In addition, tickets are available for a few promising shows in preview, the Broadway debut of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, starring Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson, Donald Margulies’s The Country House with Blythe Danner, and a revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It with You, featuring James Earl Jones, Rose Byrne, and Elizabeth Ashley. You can look all you want, but the two-for-one list does not include The Book of Mormon, unfortunately.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: DONKEY PUNCH

(photo by Hunter Canning)

DONKEY PUNCH explores sex and friendship at SoHo Playhouse (photo by Hunter Canning)

DONKEY PUNCH
SoHo Playhouse
15 Vandam St. between Varick St. & Sixth Ave.
Wednesday - Sunday through August 31, $45
212-691-1555
www.sohoplayhouse.com
www.ivytheatre.com

In June, Micheline Auger’s provocative The Feminism of a Soft Merlot, or (How the Donkey Got Punched) had a brief but successful run at the Tada Theater. The Ivy Theatre production about sex and friendship has now made a big move to SoHo Playhouse and shortened its name to the much more simple and direct Donkey Punch, a reference to a controversial sexual position. In the dark comedy, directed by Ivy cofounder Audrey Alford, the adventurous Kareena (Cleo Gray) is considering settling down with Teddy (Michael Drew) while setting up her prudish best friend, Sam (Lauren Dortch Crozier), with Kyle (Stephen Stout), a pornographer she found online. As their lives and relationships intersect, everyone is faced with a decision: Punch or be punched?

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Donkey Punch runs Wednesday through Sunday through August 31 at SoHo Playhouse, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free for performances through August 28. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play with an animal name in the title to contest@twi-ny.com by Wednesday, August 20, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.

LIFE’S A PICNIC IN GRAND CENTRAL

lifes a picnic

Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal
89 East 42nd St. at Vanderbilt Ave.
August 18-22, free, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm (food available for purchase 11:00 am - 4:00 pm)
www.grandcentralterminal.com

Grand Central Terminal’s classy Vanderbilt Hall is getting a makeover this week, being transformed into an indoor public picnic space August 18-22, with tables covered in gingham cloth, an AstroTurf floor, prizes and giveaways, and food from many of the restaurants that are located throughout GCT. “Life’s a Picnic in Grand Central” will also feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and live performances. You can bring your own lunch or pick up specials from a rotating lineup of GCT eateries, including Café Spice, Ceriello Fine Foods, Ciao Bella Gelato, Financier Patisserie, Junior’s Bakery, Magnolia Bakery, Zaro’s Bakery, Manhattan Chili Co., Tri Tip Grill, Two Boots Pizza, and Murray’s Cheese. Below is the music schedule, programmed in conjunction with Music Under New York.

Monday, August 18
Music Under New York: Susan Keser, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

West Village String Quartet, 4:00 – 7:00

Tuesday, August 19
Music Under New York: Gabriel Aldort playing Galdort Gumbo, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Music Under New York: West Village String Quartet, 4:00 – 7:00

Wednesday, August 20
Big Apple Circus presents Dicky’s Wacky Magic Show, 12 noon – 2:00 pm

Music Under New York: The Poor Cousins, 4:00 – 7:00

Thursday, August 21
Music and dance from iLuminate and Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter, 12:30 – 2:00

Music Under New York: Jason Green, 4:00 – 7:00

Friday, August 22
Broadway Hour: musical performances from Chicago, Motown, Pippin, and Cinderella, 12:30 – 1:30

Music Under New York: Inti & the Moon, 4:00 – 7:00