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


the anthem

Culture Project, Lynn Redgrave Theater
49 Bleecker St. near Lafayette St.
Thursday - Tuesday, May 20 - July 5, $33-$99

“It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil,” begins Ayn Rand’s 1938 novella about a bleak dystopian future following the Great Rebirth. “It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws.” It’s hardly the stuff of musical theater, but who ever thought Les Misérables would keep packing them in on Broadway? Indeed, The Anthem is headed to the stage in a “radical new musical,” complete with circus acrobatics, at the Lynn Redgrave Theater. In a near future overrun with social media, Prometheus fights the system, headed by Tiberius, battling for individuality. The Anthem features a book by Gary Morgenstein (Right on Target, Ponzi Man), music by Jonnie Rockwell (Brave New World and grandson of Leoš Janáček), and lyrics by Erik Ransom (Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions), with Rachel Klein (Symphony of Shadows, The Tragedy of Maria Macabre) serving as director, designer, and choreographer. Jason Gotay (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark) stars as Prometheus, with the Village People’s Randy Jones playing Tiberius.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: The Anthem — not to be confused with Drew Robert Puzia and Katherine Toussaint’s Anthem the Musical, which was also inspired by Rand’s novella — begins previews May 20 at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project on Bleecker St. prior to a May 29 opening, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play or book about a dystopian future to by Friday, May 9, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.


The Players Theatre
115 Macdougal St. between Bleecker & West Third Sts.
May 16-18, $47.50 ($34.50 with code: FRIENDS)

Rocked by his father’s suicide, actor Josh Rivedal soon found himself on the ledge of a fourth-floor window, considering following his father’s lead. But he was able to right himself and get his life back on track, a journey detailed in his book and one-man show, The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah. A comedy with musical numbers in which Rivedal plays thirty characters, including various family members and Maury Povich, Sammy Davis Jr., and Elvis Presley, the inspirational show has traveled across the country, raising awareness about suicide. It returns to New York City next month, with proceeds benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah will be at the Players Theatre for four special performances May 16-18, and twi-ny has two pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and most memorable play or movie that deals with suicide to by Wednesday, April 30, at 5:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random.


Angélica Negrón will be telling musical stories at free Super Sabado at El Museo del Barrio

Angélica Negrón will be telling musical stories at El Museo del Barrio for free Super Sabado celebration of books

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th St.
Saturday, April 19, free, 12 noon – 5:30 pm

For the April edition of its free Super Sabado program, El Museo del Barrio celebrates the written word with “Mad About Libros.” From 12 noon to 3:00 on April 19, you can head over to the educational ArteXplorers Family Corner in the lobby or take part in a Manos a la Obra workshop where you can make your favorite book character. At noon and 2:00, in conjunction with Colorin Colorado, singer and actress Flor Bromley will be in the café, telling the stories of Librito and Juan Bobo and the Magic Book; composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón will share the participatory musical tale of Amigos at 1:00 and 3:00. From noon to 4:00, there will be a book fair outside the museum. And at 4:30, Roger Cabán of Poetas con Café will host poetry readings by Myrna Nieves, Jesus Papoleto Meléndez, and others. In addition, you can check out the special exhibition “Museum Starter Kit: Open with Care” as well as “Presencia: Works from El Museo’s Permanent Collection,” featuring pieces by Luis Mendez, Shaun El C. Leonardo, Oscar Muñoz, Benvenuto Chavajay, Christian Cravo, Roberto Juárez, Fernando Salicrup, Rafael Tufiño, and more.


Jonatha Brooke gets personal in poignant one-woman show, MY MOTHER HAS 4 NOSES

Jonatha Brooke gets personal in poignant one-woman show, MY MOTHER HAS 4 NOSES

The Duke on 42nd St.
229 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Thursday - Sunday through May 4, $55 - $75

Three and a half years ago, singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke put her career on hold as she cared for her mother, a poet and clown who had contracted Alzheimer’s. She has turned that experience into an album and a poignant new one-woman show, My Mother Has 4 Noses, which her failing mother encouraged her to write. “Almost daily she would say, ‘Boolie [my nickname], that’s good!’” Brooke explains on the show’s website. “‘Are you getting this down? We should make a play out of it!!’” Brooke, who has released such records as 10 Cent Wings, Steady Pull, and Careful What You Wish For, adds, “My Mother Has 4 Noses is my story, but it’s everyone’s story.” Among the songs Brooke wrote for the show are “My Misery,” “Superhero,” “Scars,” “Time,” “How Far You’d Go for Love,” and “What Was I Thinking?” all of which you can sample here.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Directed by Jeremy Cohen, My Mother Has 4 Noses is running at the Duke on 42nd St. through May 4, and twi-ny has four pairs of tickets to give away for free for performances through March 30. (Saturday matinees in March will be followed by a talk back with Brooke and various specialists on dementia and caregiving.) Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite play or movie about a mother and daughter to by Monday, March 17, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; four winners will be selected at random.


VISITORS (Godfrey Reggio, 2013)
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.
Opens Friday, January 24

In their Qatsi trilogy — 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, 1988’s Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, and 2002’s Naqoyqatsi: Life as War — director and producer Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass gave audiences unique audiovisual experiences of the modern world, combining slow motion with time-lapse photography and avoiding any dialogue, resulting in often mind-blowing scenes of life around the globe. Reggio, Glass, and Naqoyqatsi editor Jon Kane have collaborated again, this time on Visitors, a meditative examination of individual identity in technology-driven society. The wordless work, which features seventy-four shots in eighty-seven minutes, was filmed by Trish Govoni, Graham Berry, and Tom Lowe; Glass’s score is performed by Bruckner Orchestra Linz and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

“These films are not predicated on a narration in a traditional sense, meaning coming from literature. They come out of a form where the texture, the form, is the language of the film,” the New Orleans-born Reggio, a former monk, toldVisitors official presenter Steven Soderbergh in a recent interview. “We see the world through language. I know that. That’s why these films have no language. The reason for that is not for lack of love of language, it’s because at least from my limited point of view our language no longer describes the world in which we live. . . . So these films are not so much to entertain you as to watermark the audience, so I wanted to offer them something where they could reflect afterwards. These films are not aimed at the head or the cerebellum. They’re not aimed at making sense. They’re aimed at your solar plexus. They are a visceral form of cinema.”

In conjunction with the theatrical release of Visitors, the Museum of Arts and Design is hosting ”Life with Technology: The Cinema of Godfrey Reggio,” a complete retrospective through March 14 of Reggio’s shorts and full-length films in addition to a masterclass he and some of his collaborators will give on January 23.


twi-ny readers can win tickets to see VISITORS opening weekend at the Landmark Sunshine

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Visitors opens January 24 at the Landmark Sunshine, and twi-ny has two pairs of tickets to give away for free to the 7:00 screenings on January 24 and 25, both of which will be followed by a Q&A with Godfrey Reggio and Jon Kane. Just send your name, daytime phone number, preferred screening, and favorite Godfrey Reggio film to by Thursday, January 23, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; two winners will be selected at random for each screening.


David Zwirner
525 West 19th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday - Saturday through December 21, free, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (line stops around 4:00)
infinity room slideshows

No one knows lines like we New Yorkers do. We line up for burgers, advance movie screenings, new sneaker releases, free Shakespeare in the park. When we see a line, our first thought is to find out what it’s for because it might be something really cool. We particularly pride ourselves on getting on lines to see such lofty, high-culture things as art, and the biggest such line these days is for “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven,” Yayoi Kusama’s dazzling exhibition at David Zwirner in Chelsea. (See below to find out how one lucky twi-ny reader and a guest can get a chance to skip the line to see two of Kusama’s spectacular infinity rooms without having to wait.) Kusama’s first show at Zwirner occupies all three spaces of the Nineteenth St. location, consisting of twenty-seven new paintings, two immersive installations, and a video projection. The canvases, all nearly six feet by six feet square, feature a bright, bold color palette laid out in playful, childlike geometric shapes and patterns, with smiling faces and floating eyes, profiles, green landscapes, blue rivers, and obsessive accumulations of small dots, all coming together in ritualistic compositions that are instantly happy-making, which is Kusama’s intent. “As I’m getting closer to death, I’m still full of big hope that we all have the power to spread the love and peace, and I can do so with my work,” the wheelchair-bound Kusama said through a translator at a press conference held at the gallery the day before the opening. “If you can be happy through my artwork, there’s nothing more joyous than that.” Many of the paintings’ titles have that same positive energy, from “Everything About My Love” and “Praying for Peace in the World” to “Brilliance of Life” and “All the Love Overflowing,” bringing much happiness to the viewer.

“Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, and acrylic balls, 2013 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Now eighty-four, Kusama lives by choice in a psychiatric facility in Japan, and as she makes clear in the title of the exhibit as well as in some of the names of some of the new works, her ultimate fate awaits. While walking around her tantalizingly gorgeous “Love Is Calling” Mirrored Infinity Room, a wondrous forest of light-up spotted leglike rubber and acrylic objects that change colors, she can be heard reciting, in Japanese, the love poem “Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears,” which begins, “When the time comes around for people to encounter the end of their life / having put on years, death seems to be quietly approaching / It was not supposed to be my style to be frightened, but I am / In the shadows of my loved one’s footprints, distress revisits me at the dead of the night refreshing my memories / Being in love with and longing for you, I have locked myself up in this ‘castle of shed tears.’” The serious words play off the scintillating delight of wandering through the room, which extends ad infinitum in all directions. The exhibit is highlighted by her latest Infinity Room: “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” which, like “Fireflies on the Water” in her otherwise underwhelming 2012 Whitney retrospective, puts visitors at the center of a vast, unending universe filled with LED lights sparkling on the water and across the galaxies, playing with the mind as it lifts the spirits, evoking life, death, and the afterlife on three physical planes.

“Manhattan Suicide Addict,” still (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Still from “Manhattan Suicide Addict,” video projection and mirrors, 2010-present (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

After waiting as much as three hours or more, visitors are allowed forty-five seconds in “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” and approximately twice that in “Love Is Calling,” which can fit about eight to ten people at a time. There is no wait to see the paintings or the short music video Manhattan Suicide Addict, in which Kusama sings such lines as “Swallow antidepressants and it will be gone” and “Amidst the agony of flowers, the present never ends,” the single projection being reflected off to the right and the left in an endless succession of Kusamas singing in front of her art. But despite all the mentions of death, “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven” is primarily about life and love, peace and hope, and it is certainly the most happy-making art exhibit in town right now.

SKIP THE LINE! The wait to see “Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” and “Love Is Calling” is currently estimated to be between one and three hours, and it is likely to only grow longer as the exhibition reaches its closing date of December 21. But twi-ny can offer one lucky couple special access to the two remarkable rooms without having to wait on line. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite Yayoi Kusama work of art to by Tuesday, December 10, at 5:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; one winner will be selected at random.



St. Luke’s Theater
308 West 46th St.
October 14 - December 31 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday), $39.50 - $79.50

Ah, those beautiful disaster flicks of the 1970s. With the country emerging from Vietnam and getting ready for Reaganism, Hollywood turned to star-studded epics loaded with death and destruction, on ground, sea, and air, with such classic fare as The Poseidon Adventure (Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine), Airport 1975 (Charlton Heston, Linda Blair, George Kennedy, Karen Black, Helen Reddy), The Towering Inferno (Steve McQeen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, O. J. Simpson), and Earthquake (Heston, Kennedy, Victoria Principal, Lorne Greene, Ava Gardner, Richard Roundtree, in Sensurround!), among a slew of other minor league efforts. With the country going down the tubes, the time is right to revisit those halcyon days, and Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie…Musical! does just that, riffing on those popular movies along with period songs, including such unforgettable 1970s hits as Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally),” Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood,” and ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down.” Written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, directed by Plotnick, and choreographed by Denis Jones, Disaster! originally ran at the Triad in early 2012 and is now back for an encore engagement at St. Luke’s Theatre, with a cool cast that features the ubiquitous Mary Testa, Tom Riis Farrell, Michele Ragusa, Jennifer Simard, and Rudetsky.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Disaster! begins previews October 14 prior to a November 4 opening, and twi-ny has four pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and all-time-favorite disaster movie to by Friday, October 11, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; four winners will be selected at random.