Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre
2031 Fifth Ave. between 125th & 126th Sts.
October 19-21 previews, $20
October 23 - November 20, $35-$40 ($25 with code RISE through November 13)
The National Black Theatre’s forty-eighth season, whose theme is “In Pursuit of Black Joy,” gets under way this month with the world premiere of Harrison David Rivers’s Sweet, a story of two sisters whose relationship is tested when their mother passes away suddenly and a neighbor returns home from college. The coming-of-age tale, set in rural Kansas, stars Maechi Aharanwa (An Octoroon, Macbeth) as Retha Baker, Renika Williams (Antigone, Race) as Nina Baker, and Tré Davis (Zooman and the Sign, Carnaval) as George. Curator, performance artist, and producer Raelle Myrick-Hodges, a cofounder of Philadelphia’s Azuka Theatre, will be making her New York City directorial debut. “The 1960s conjure images of young Black voices emerging as leaders in our social consciousness, daring to live the lives they imagined,” Obie-winning NBT director of theatre arts Jonathan McCrory said in a statement. “Sweet offers a glimpse of an alternative perspective on Black lifestyle in the Midwest during that time period, of Black youth also in pursuit of joy against all odds.” The scenic design is by Matt McAdon, with lighting by Xavier Pierce, sound by Justin Hicks, and costumes by Ari Fulton.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Sweet begins previews October 19 and opens October 23 at the National Black Theatre, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play or movie that has the word “sweet” in the title to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 14, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.
New York City Center
131 West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 10, 11:00 am
Festival runs September 26 - October 8, $15
One of the hottest tickets of the season is always the annual Fall for Dance Festival at City Center, ten days of performances by twenty-one companies from around the world, each show a mere fifteen bucks. This year’s lineup includes some of our faves, with performances by STREB Extreme Action, Grupo Corpo, and Alvin Ailey along with works choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Frederick Ashton, and Wayne McGregor and a dance lesson led by recently retired Ailey stalwart Renee Robinson. Most evenings will be preceded by free dance lessons by members of one of that night’s performing companies, open to all ticket holders; more advanced dancers can sign up for master classes ($15) with Cie Accrorap on October 1 at 12 noon and with Wendy Whelan on October 8 at noon. Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 10, at 11:00 am, so don’t waste any time if you want to see any of the below programs, because these events sell out ridiculously fast.
Monday, September 26 and Tuesday, September 27, 8:00
STREB Extreme Action, world premiere of Airslice, choreographed by Elizabeth Streb (preshow dance lessons September 26 at 6:45)
Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory, world premiere of Spring, choreographed by Dada Masilo
American Ballet Theatre, Monotones II, choreographed by Frederick Ashton
Farruquito, New York premiere of Mi Soledad (Solea), choreographed by Farruquito (preshow dance lessons September 27 at 6:45)
Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29, 8:00
Richard Alston Dance Company with Montclair State University Vocal Accord, New York premiere of Rejoice in the Lamb, choreographed by Richard Alston
Aszure Barton & Artists, Awáa, choreographed by Aszure Barton (preshow dance lessons September 28-29 at 6:45)
Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson, U.S. premiere of The Ballad of Mack and Ginny, choreographed by Arthur Pita
Grupo Corpo, New York premiere of Suíte Branca, choreographed by Cassi Abranches
Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 8:00
CCN de la Rochelle / Cie Accrorap, U.S. premiere of Opus 14, choreographed by Kader Attou
Ayodele Casel, While I Have the Floor, choreographed by Ayodele Casel
Hong Kong Ballet, U.S. premiere of Shape of Glow, choreographed by Jorma Elo
Bangarra Dance Theatre, U.S. premiere of Spirit, choreographed by Stephen Page & Djakapurra Munyarryun (preshow dance lessons September 30 at 6:45)
Wednesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 6, 8:00
Jessica Lang Dance, New York premiere of Tesseracts of Time, choreographed by Jessica Lang
Royal Ballet Flanders, U.S premiere of Fall, choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cry, choreographed by Alvin Ailey (preshow dance lessons by Renee Robinson October 5 at 6:45)
Alina Cojocaru, Friedemann Vogel, choreographed by Johan Kobborg
The Sarasota Ballet, Marguerite and Armand, choreographed by Frederick Ashton
Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 8:00
Shantala Shivalingappa, Shiva Tarangam, choreographed by Shantala Shivalingappa
Nederlands Dans Theater, U.S. premiere of Woke up Blind, choreographed by Marco Goecke
Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, world premiere, choreographed by Wayne McGregor
Cloud Gate 2, U.S. premiere of Beckoning, choreographed by Cheng Tsung-Lung (preshow dance lessons October 7 at 6:45)
A PERSISTENT MEMORY
The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row
410 West 42nd St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Previews begin May 27, opening June 1, runs through June 18, $49.50 ($29.50 with code TRBI29)
A 2009 Scientific American article explained that “remarkable recall power, researchers believe, is a big part of how elephants survive.” Playwright Jackob G. Hofmann (The Speed Date, Tracking Gertrude Treadwell) makes recollection and elephants central issues in his latest work, The Persistence of Memory, having its world premiere at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row later this month. The play travels from New York City to Uganda, following the exploits of David Huntington as his memories start disappearing and his past begins to haunt him at the same time “a mysterious phenomenon is plaguing the world’s elephant population.” The ninety-minute play is directed by Jessi D. Hill and stars Drew Ledbetter as David, Ariel Estrada as Kasem, Claire Warden as Carly, Lisa Bostnar as Marie, and Richard Prioleau as Elijah, with scenic design by Parris Bradley, costumes by Valerie Joyce, and lighting by Greg Solomon. For further information about elephants, the play’s official website includes links to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the African Wildlife Foundation, the Elephant Sanctuary, the Performing Animal Welfare Society, the Wildlife Conservation Network, the World Wildlife Fund, and the wildLIFE Project.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: A Persistent Memory begins previews May 27 and opens June 1 at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play or movie that involves elephants to email@example.com by Friday, May 20, at 12 noon to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.
BLOOD AT THE ROOT
National Black Theatre
2031 Fifth Ave. between 125th & 126th Sts.
Previews April 20-22, $15; April 23 - May 8, $25; May 9-15, $35
In 2006, six black students at Jena High School in Central Louisiana were arrested after a fight with a white student, shortly after nooses were hung from a tree in the school courtyard, leading to a nationwide discussion of racial injustice in America. Inspired by the events surrounding the Jena Six, playwright Dominique Morisseau wrote Blood at the Root, which will make its New York City premiere at the National Black Theatre in Harlem from April 20 to May 15. The play, which incorporates music, dance, and poetry, is directed by Steve Broadnax and features Stori Ayers, Brandon Carter, Allison Jaye, Tyler Reilly, Kenzie Ross, and Christian Thompson. Morisseau, who is also an actress, has previously written Sunset Baby, Follow Me to Nellie’s, and the “Detroit Projects” trilogy, which consists of Detroit ’67, Paradise Blue, and Skeleton Crew, which returns to the Atlantic next month.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Blood at the Root begins previews April 20 and opens April 23 at the National Black Theatre, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite play that addresses racism to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, April 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.
LEONARD NIMOY’S VINCENT
Theatre at St. Clement’s
423 West 46th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Wednesday - Sunday through June 5, $59-$89
Leonard Nimoy lived long and prospered before passing away last February at the age of eighty-three, leaving behind a legacy that includes two children, two marriages of more than twenty years, major roles on and off Broadway (Equus, Fiddler on the Roof, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), and this little television and movie franchise known as Star Trek. But one of his most important personal projects was a one-man show called Vincent, which he adapted from Phillip Stephens’s Van Gogh and toured in beginning in 1981. In the play, Vincent’s younger brother, Theo, talks about life with his older sibling, an artist whose talent and innovation was only recognized after his death. The thoroughly researched text is based on hundreds of letters between the brothers; Nimoy also traveled to Arles, Saint-Rémy, and Auvers while preparing the show. The play is now being revived by the Starry Night Theatre Co. starting April 1 at the Theatre at St. Clement’s. Company artistic director James Briggs plays Theo, with Dr. Brant Pope directing. “Last week when we buried my brother, there was so much I wanted to say, I couldn’t do it,” Theo says at the start. “You see, I simply couldn’t speak. I didn’t express myself. It’s been a burden on my soul . . . what I wanted to say and I couldn’t . . . what I needed to say, what you need to hear. So I thank you for this second opportunity.”
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Vincent begins previews April 1 and opens April 7 at Theatre at St. Clement’s, and twi-ny has three pairs of tickets to give away for free. Just send your name, daytime phone number, and favorite van Gogh painting to email@example.com by Wednesday, March 30, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; three winners will be selected at random.
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
Saturday, January 30, $25-$100 (includes gallery admission)
Exhibit continues Wednesday - Sunday through January 31, $6-$12
The Museum of the Moving Image is celebrating the last weekend of its “How Cats Took Over the Internet” exhibit with an ASPCA Mobile Adoption Event and a special appearance by feline superstar Lil BUB on January 30. From 1:00 to 5:00 right outside the museum, the ASPCA will have lots of cats for people to take home with them. At 2:00 ($25), the polydactyl perma-kitten, who was born with osteopetrosis, and her dude, Mike Bridavsky, will share “The Story of Lil BUB,” then stick around for a Q&A. That will be followed at 4:00 ($100, includes 2:00 talk) with a meet-and-greet fundraiser where you’ll get to pet the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet, take a photo with her, and receive a personalized art print and a signed photo print. All proceeds benefit special-needs pets via Lil BUB’s Big Fund at the ASPCA. You know you want to go. So what are you waiting for? Cuteness overload awaits.
You can binge-watch a TV series, so why not a play? Mac Rogers’s (Viral, Asymmetric) sci-fi epic, the Honeycomb Trilogy, is back in New York for a return engagement, promising that “it’ll be about 20% more awesome than last time.” The original unfolded in three installments over six months in 2012, but now you can follow the Cooke family battle alien invasion and try to save the human race over the course of a week, or in one day, at the Gym at Judson. Advance Man, which won a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Premiere Production, is being performed by itself October 13, 23, and 29 and November 3 and 13, Blast Radius on October 15, 20, and 30 and November 5 and 10, and Sovereign October 16, 22, and 27 and November 6 and 12. But on Saturdays and Sundays during the run, you can catch all three plays back-to-back-to back, at 2:00, 5:00, and 8:30.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: The Honeycomb Trilogy is running October 13 through November 14 at the Gym at Judson, and twi-ny has one pair of tickets to give away for all three shows to one lucky person. Just send your name, phone number, and favorite sci-fi binge-watching experience to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, October 15, at 3:00 to be eligible. All entrants must be twenty-one years of age or older; one winner will be selected at random.