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


Femme Fatale party is one of the highlights of NYC Pride festivities

Femme Fatale party is one of the highlights of NYC Pride festivities

Multiple locations
June 17-30, free - $300 and more

This year’s pride festivities honor the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, which set the Gay Pride movement in motion in full force. There are some new events, while the March itself has changed its route, so pay close attention to the locations listed below. As always, the ticketed events and VIP treatment are selling out fast, so you better act quickly if you want to shake it up at some pretty wild gatherings. Also be on the lookout for the World Mural Project in all five boroughs and the Quilt Initiative, which displays portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in numerous places.

Monday, June 17
NewFest OutCinema, screening of Adam (Rhys Ernst, 2019), followed by a a Q&A with Ernst and members of the cast and a party, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St., $30-$100, 7:00

Tuesday, June 18
NewFest OutCinema, screening of Invisible Women: The Story of Two Forgotten Revolutionaries (Alice Smith, 2019) and Deep in Vogue (Amy Watson & Dennis Keighron-Foster, 2019), followed by a a Q&A with the filmmakers, moderated by Twiggy Pucci Garçon, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St., $30-$100, 7:00

Wednesday, June 19
NewFest OutCinema, screening of Wig (Chris Moukarbel, 2019), followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, Lady Bunny, and others, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St., $30-$100, 7:00

Friday, June 21
Family Movie Night, screening of Coco (Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina, 2017), with field games and live entertainment, hosted by Miss Richfield 1981, Pier 45, Hudson River Park, free ($50 for VIP blanket seating), 6:30

PrideMarch will celebrate fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall

PrideMarch will celebrate fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall this year

Saturday, June 22
CosPlay & Pride, sunset cruise with Aja and others, hosted by Petra Fried, Pier 40, Hudson River Park, 353 West St., $45, 6:00

Sunday, June 23
Pride Luminaries Brunch, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge, 485 7th Ave., $85, 11:00 am

Monday, June 24
Tuesday, June 25

Human Rights Conference, with Raquel Willis, Janet Mock, and Tracey “Africa” Norman, New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, $30-$50, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday, June 25
GameChangers, panel discussion, Q&A, and reception with George Takei, Trace Lysette, Leyna Bloom, and others, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St., $15-$35, 6:00

Wednesday, June 26
WorldPride Opening Ceremony, benefiting Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE, with Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Chaka Khan, Ciara, Daya, Todrick Hall, and others, Barclays Center, $45-$226, 7:00

Friday, June 28
Savor Pride, food-driven fundraiser, with dishes by chefs Renee Blackman, Julia Turshen, Alex Koones, Manuel González Charles, Lazarus Lynch, and more, God’s Love We Deliver, 166 Sixth Ave. at Spring St., $80-$125, 5:30

Rally: Stonewall 50 Commemoration, performers and speakers to be announced, Christopher St. & Waverly Pl., free, 6:00

PrideFest street fair immediately follows the March

Twenty-sixth annual PrideFest street fair takes place on June 30 on Fourth Ave.

Saturday, June 29
Youth Pride, for LGBTQIA+ and ally teens, with Ava Max, DJ Nhandi, Deetranada, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar from Pose, and more, SummerStage, Central Park, free, noon - 6:00 pm

VIP Rooftop Party, with DJs GRIND, Toy Armada, Ben Baker, and Kitty Glitter and more, the Park, 118 10th Ave., $100-$150, 2:00 - 10:00 pm

Teaze, with bklyn boihood, TRUUU, Set It Off, Rose Gold, Yellow Jackets Collective, and more, the DL, 95 Delancey St., $40-$80, 5:00 – midnight

Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30

Pride Island, with Grace Jones, Teyana Taylor, Pabllo Vittar, and more, Pier 97, Hudson River Park at Fifty-Ninth St. & West Side Highway, 2:00 - 10:00

Sunday, June 30
PrideFest, twenty-sixth annual street fair with music, food, merchandise, and more, featuring live performances by Lauren Jauregui, the Veronicas, Melanie C & Sink the Pink, and others, hosted by E. J. Johnson, Fourth Ave. between Union Square and Astor Pl., free, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

The March, with grand marshals Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Monica Helms, the Trevor Project, Gay Liberation Front, and members of the cast of Pose, Lavender Line from Twenty-Sixth St. & Fifth Ave., downtown to Washington Square Park and Stonewall National Monument, and back up to Twenty-Third St. & Seventh Ave., free, 12 noon

Femme Fatale, women’s party with DJs Kittens, Mary Mac, Bonnie Beats, Nikki Lions, and Lena, the Park, 118 10th Ave., $40-$65, 4:00 - midnight

Siren, with Mindy Jones, DJ Whitney Day, DJ Tatiana-Denver, and DJ MO-NYC, hosted by Crissa Ace and Kiyomi Valentine, Watermark, Pier 15, 78 South St., $45 – $275, 9:00 pm - 4:00 am

WorldPride Closing Ceremony, with live performances by Melissa Etheridge, Jake Shears, MNEK, The Prom, Deborah Cox, and more, hosted by Margaret Cho, Times Square, free, 7:00


(photo by Carol Rosegg)

Irishman battles Irishman in Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars (photo by Carol Rosegg)

Irish Repertory Theatre, Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
132 West 22nd St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Through June 22, $50-$70

The Irish Rep concludes its outstanding “O’Casey Cycle” with the third play in Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy, The Plough and the Stars. The controversial 1926 work, the follow-up to 1923’s The Shadow of a Gunman and 1924’s Juno and the Paycock, the semiautobiographical The Plough and the Stars is the earliest of the stories, taking place in 1915-16 around the Easter Rising, when the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army battled the British army and Dublin Fusiliers, Catholics against Protestants in a violent rebellion. Charlie Corcoran’s immersive set, which extends up the sides of the theater and down the hall, changes from a tenement apartment to a pub and the street outside as a close-knit collection of intriguing characters prepare for a fight.

The play begins in November 1915 in the living room of Jack Clitheroe (Adam Petherbridge), a bricklayer, and his wife, Nora (Clare O’Malley), an elegant woman who wants more out of life; he’s a bit disappointed as well, dismayed that he had been passed over for a promotion to captain in the ICA. Carpenter Fluther Good (Michael Mellamphy) is attempting to get rid of the squeak in the front door as nosy charwoman Mrs. Grogan (Úna Clancy) accepts a package for Nora and opens it to find a fancy hat. “Such notions of upper-osity she’s getting’,” she declares. “Oh, swank, what!” Nora comes home to find her uncle, the daffy Peter Flynn (Robert Langdon Lloyd), and Fluther having words with the Young Covey (James Russell), a wisecracking atheist and socialist who enjoys riling people with his progressive beliefs.

(photo by Carol Rosegg)

Nora (Clare O’Malley) begs her husband, Jack (Adam Petherbridge), not to join the fight in conclusion of Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy (photo by Carol Rosegg)

Fruit vendor and Protestant loyalist Bessie Burgess (Maryann Plunkett) stops by to heap disdain on Nora, calling her a “little over-dressed trollope.” After everyone else leaves, Capt. Brennan (John Keating) arrives to tell Jack that he is the new commander of the eighth battalion of the ICA and must lead a reconnaissance attack, which upsets Nora, who wants him to stay home with her. Jack storms out with Capt. Brennan, and a distraught Nora is then visited by Mollser (Meg Hennessy), Mrs. Gogan’s sickly fifteen-year-old daughter who dreams of having the life Nora does. “I often envy you, Mrs. Clitheroe, seein’ th’ health you have, an’ th’ lovely place you have here, an’ wondherin’ if I’ll ever be sthrong enough to be keepin’ a home together for a man,” Mollser says. As a regiment passes by on its way to the front, Bessie sticks her head in to condemn the soldiers. It’s a brilliant first act, firmly establishing the characters, mixing in humor with dread as darkness awaits. “Is there anybody goin’, Mrs. Clitheroe, with a titther o’ sense?” Mollser asks.

The next three acts build on that extensive framework, with the addition of prostitute Rosie Redmond (Sarah Street), a barman (Harry Smith), a woman from Rathmines (Terry Donnelly) who is terrified of what is going on outside, and Jack’s flag-waving compatriots Lt. Langon (Ed Malone) and Sgt. Tinley (Smith). Director Charlotte Moore, the cofounder of the Irish Rep with Ciarán O’Reilly, knows the play well; she previously helmed the company’s 1988 production, its first show ever, as well as its 1997 revival. In honor of the Irish Rep’s thirtieth anniversary season, O’Reilly again is the voice of the speaker, as he was in 1988, spouting rhetoric to the assembled masses based on the words of Irish activist Padraig Pearse. The cast, most of whom also appear in The Shadow of a Gunman and Juno and the Paycock, is exemplary, creating a wholly believable fictional world.

During the first week of the premiere of The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1926, there were protesters and demonstrators angry with O’Casey’s treatment of Irish nationalism and religion, leading to a riot in which actor Barry Fitzgerald punched out a man who had climbed onstage, knocking him into the orchestra pit. “You have disgraced yourselves again,” senator and Abbey director W. B. Yeats said to the crowd. “Is this going to be an ever-recurring celebration of the arrival of Irish genius?” The 2019 iteration of the play might not pack the same kind of wallop, but it is a potent portrayal of civil strife and the power religious and political disagreement has to tear apart friends and neighbors, something we know all too well given the current climate in America.


(photo by Nisa Ojalvo)

Ernesto Pujol’s The Listeners invites attendees to speak for as long as they want to an artist at Federal Hall (photo by Nisa Ojalvo)

Multiple downtown locations
June 18-29, free

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s eighteenth annual River to River Festival comprises a host of exciting downtown events, from dance and immersive art to film and interactive performance. Running June 18-29, the festival is free, but many events require advance RSVP. “Our contemporary reality is rushed, and nowhere is this more apparent than in New York—the city that keeps moving,” curator and LMCC executive director of artistic programs Lili Chopra said in a statement. “There is always somewhere to go, something to see and more to achieve, creating a frenetic energy that makes this city fabulous and exhausting in equal parts. Increasingly, external stimulation seems to be stifling internal introspection as we anxiously charge forward blinkered to our surroundings and, in this digital age, hardened towards the very people that make up our physical community. In response to this, the River to River Festival addresses the experience of the individual within the urban setting by making space for balance.”

Among the artists participating in this year’s iteration are Yoko Ono, Sarah Michelson, Ernesto Pujol, Pam Tanowitz, Kamau Ware, Jennifer Monson, Carol Becker & Mark Epstein, and NIC Kay, at such locations as the Oculus, Federal Hall, Rockefeller Park, the Seaport District, the African Burial Ground National Monument, and the East River Esplanade. You can take a walking tour through the black experience, reveal your innermost desires to a stranger, meet with emerging artists in a studio setting, and add your thoughts to a refugee boat.

Tuesday, June 18
Saturday, June 29

Yoko Ono: Add Color (Refugee Boat) (1960/2019), interactive installation, 203 Front St., Seaport District, noon –8:00

Yoko Ono: The Reflection Project, instructional text works by Yoko Ono at such locations as 28 Liberty, the Fulton Transit Center, the Oculus at the WTC Transportation Hub, and the Seaport District

Elia Alba: The Supper Club, NYC DOT Art Display Cases on Water St. and Maiden Ln. and Gouverneur Ln. between Water & Front Sts.

Ezra Wube: Fulton Flow, Fulton Transit Center

Tuesday, June 18
Pam Tanowitz: Time is forever dividing itself toward innumerable futures, with live music by composer and vocalist Ted Hearne, guitarist Taylor Levine, and Rachel Drehmann, Daniel Salera, Kate Sheeran, and Colin Weyman on French horns, costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and sound design by Garth MacAleavey, performed by Sara Mearns, Taylor Stanley, Reid Bartelme, Jason Collins, Zachary Gonder, Victor Lozano and Melissa Toogood, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, 7:45

Wednesday, June 19
Pam Tanowitz: Time is forever dividing itself toward innumerable futures, with live music by composer and vocalist Ted Hearne, guitarist Taylor Levine, and Rachel Drehmann, Daniel Salera, Kate Sheeran, and Colin Weyman on French horns, costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and sound design by Garth MacAleavey, performed by Sara Mearns, Taylor Stanley, Reid Bartelme, Jason Collins, Zachary Gonder, Victor Lozano and Melissa Toogood, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, 7:45

(photo by Sarah-ji Rhee)

NIC Kay’s pushit!! is a site-responsive meditation walk through Lower Manhattan (photo by Sarah-ji Rhee)

Thursday, June 20
Tribeca Art + Culture Night, with AIM—Bronx Museum of the Arts, Anita Rogers Gallery, apexart, Barney Savage Gallery, BM Franklin, Cheryl Hazan, Church Street School for Music and Art, Double Knot, Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York Academy of Art, Pearl River Mart, Postmasters Gallery, R & Company, SAPAR Contemporary, Shirley Fiterman Art Center, Soho Photo Gallery, the Drawing Center, the Untitled Space, Twenty First Gallery / White Space, White Street Studio, and Y2K group, 6:00 – 9:00

NIC Kay: pushit!!, site-responsive moving performance from Albert Capsouto Park at Varick & Laight Sts. to the African Burial Ground National Monument, 7:00

Friday, June 21
Workspace Artists-in-Residence: Open Studios, with Golnar Adili, Jennifer Bartlett, Eliza Bent, Keisha Bush, André Daughtry, Jonathan González, Zac Hacmon, Terrance James Jr., NIC Kay, Ying Liu, Asif Mian, Kenneth Pietrobono, Orlando Tirado, and Zhiyuan Yang, LMCC’s Workspace Studios, 101 Greenwich St., fifteenth floor, 6:00 – 9:00

Saturday, June 22
Workspace Artists-in-Residence: Open Studios, with Golnar Adili, Jennifer Bartlett, Eliza Bent, Keisha Bush, André Daughtry, Jonathan González, Zac Hacmon, Terrance James Jr., NIC Kay, Ying Liu, Asif Mian, Kenneth Pietrobono, Orlando Tirado, and Zhiyuan Yang, LMCC’s Workspace Studios, 101 Greenwich St., fifteenth floor, 1:00 – 8:00

Sunday, June 23
Jennifer Monson: ditch, with music and sound by Jeff Kolar, costumes by Susan Becker, and dancers Evie Allison, Madeline Mellinger, and Kaitlin Fox, Pier 35, East River Esplanade by Rutgers Slip, sunrise

iLANDing: Researching Urban Ecologies with Movement Based Scores, workshop with Jennifer Monson, Pier 35, East River Esplanade by Rutgers Slip, 11:00

Monday, June 24
Ernesto Pujol: The Listening School, Anderson Contemporary in the Atrium at 180 Maiden Ln. and the Plaza at 88 Pine St., 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Sarah Michelson: june2019:/\, location revealed with RSVP, 1:30, 4:00, 7:00

Tuesday, June 25
Ernesto Pujol: The Listening School, Liberty Park, 155 Cedar St., and South Oculus Plaza, Church & Greenwich Sts. at Dey St., 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Night at the Museums, free admission to the African Burial Ground National Monument, China Institute, Federal Hall National Memorial, Fraunces Tavern Museum, Lower Manhattan Tours, Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Archives at New York City, National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution, National September 11 Memorial Museum, NYC Municipal Archives Visitor Center, 9/11 Tribute Museum, Poets House, the Skyscraper Museum, and the South Street Seaport Museum, 4:00 – 8:00

Black Gotham Experience: Sarah’s Fire, walking tour and story about black rebellion of 1712, 192 Front St., 4:00, 5:00, 6:00

Black Gotham Experience: Talk with BGX Creator and Artist Kamau Ware, 192 Front St., 8:00

Yoko Ono, Add Color (Refugee Boat) 1960/2016. Installation view: Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2016

Yoko Ono, Add Color (Refugee Boat), 1960/2016, installation view: Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2016

Wednesday, June 26
Ernesto Pujol: The Listening School, 28 Liberty: Fosun Plaza, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Sarah Michelson: june2019:/\, location revealed with RSVP, 1:30, 4:00

Jennifer Monson: ditch, with music and sound by Jeff Kolar, costumes by Susan Becker, and dancers Evie Allison, Madeline Mellinger, and Kaitlin Fox, Melville Gallery, South Street Seaport Museum, 7:00

Thursday, June 27
The Agitated Now: A Lecture Performance by Mark Epstein + Carol Becker, Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., 7:00

Ernesto Pujol: The Listeners, Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., 9:00

Friday, June 28
Jennifer Monson: ditch, with music and sound by Jeff Kolar, costumes by Susan Becker, and dancers Evie Allison, Madeline Mellinger, and Kaitlin Fox, Melville Gallery, South Street Seaport Museum, 7:00

Rooftop Films: The Sound of Silence (Michael Tyburski, 2019), preceded by live music and followed by a Q&A, New Design High School, 350 Grand St., 8:00

Saturday, June 29
WorldPride NYC: Drag Queen Story Hour, for families and kids, Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway, 11:00 am & 3:30 pm

WorldPride NYC: Workshop on the Street, with Amy, Jennifer, & Noah Khoshbin, for families and kids, Oculus Plaza, 1:30


Matt Cruz,  Lower East Side, 2016 (photo by Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times) / Breezy Point Surf Club, Queens, 2000 (photo by Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)

Matt Cruz, Lower East Side, 2016 (photo by Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times) / Breezy Point Surf Club, Queens, 2000 (photo by Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)

Who: David W. Dunlap, Fred R. Conrad, Chester Higgins Jr., Marilynn K. Yee
What: Book launch, talk, and signing, Only in New York: 500 Photos • 500 Moments (Rizzoli, May 2019, $39.95)
Where: Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway at 26th St., 212-759-2424
When: Monday, June 17, free, 6:00
Why:Only in New York highlights the threads that hold this city of contrasts together,” former New York Times Metro reporter and “Building Blocks” columnist David W. Dunlap writes in the introduction to Only in New York: 500 Photos • 500 Moments, the new book put together by the Newspaper of Record’s photography staff, consisting of five hundred color and black-and-white snapshots taken in the Big Apple, arranged in diptychs, going back more than a century. He continues, “Wordlessly, the pairings began telling stories of their own. They spoke across time. They described a city that exists on many planes simultaneously: energetic and brutal, compassionate and cruel, creative and desperate, eccentric and conformist, impatient and steady, exuberant and serene, tragic and funny, elegant and shabby, cosmopolitan and insular, crowded and lonely.”

only in new york

On June 17, Dunlap will be joined by photographers Fred R. Conrad, Chester Higgins Jr., and Marilynn K. Yee at the Rizzoli Bookstore to celebrate the release of the book, which features such inspired photographic pairings as the cast of Cats opposite a dog walker, the light of traffic around the Flatiron Building opposite fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge, Martin Scorsese opposite Frank Sinatra (both adjusting their coats), birdwatchers opposite a Civil Defense air raid drill (both involving binoculars), the 7 train opposite Mickey Mantle wearing his number 7 Yankees jersey, and the Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor opposite a space shuttle fly-by in Midtown. Among the photographers whose work is featured are Damon Winter, Neal Boenzi, Ruth Fremson, Vincent Laforet, Michelle Agins, Todd Heisler, Chang W. Lee, Barton Silverman, Sara Krulwich, Michelle Agins, and Tyler Hicks. The book also includes touching and humorous anecdotes, such as this gem: “R. Chester Redhead is waiting for the No. 1 bus on 86th Street and Madison Avenue. When it finally arrives, the woman in front of Mr. Redhead hands the driver a transfer. ‘Lady,’ he says, ‘this transfer is from yesterday.’ ‘That tells you how long I’ve been waiting for this bus,’ she replies.”


(photo by Joan Marcus)

Kenny Leon moves Much Ado About Nothing to modern-day Atlanta in Shakespeare in the Park adaptation (photo by Joan Marcus)

Central Park
Delacorte Theater
Tuesday - Sunday through June 22, free, 8:00

Danielle Brooks gives a powerhouse comedic performance as Beatrice in Kenny Leon’s jaunty, rollicking adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ever-charming romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, which opened Tuesday night at the Public’s open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park, where it continues through June 22. Leon has moved the proceedings to modern-day Atlanta, complete with cell phones, contemporary music, and an impressive car that pulls up at the back of Beowulf Boritt’s welcoming set — the large, grassy courtyard and four-story estate belonging to Gov. Leonato (Chuck Cooper), boasting a pair of red, white, and blue political banners declaring, “Abrams 2020,” referring to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (who recently was in the audience). The show opens with Beatrice singing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” soon joined by Leonato’s daughter, Hero (Margaret Odette), and her ladies-in-waiting, Ursula (Tiffany Denise Hobbs) and Margaret (Olivia Washington), singing “America the Beautiful,” a stark contrast highlighting the polarized state of our nation as the songs overlap. Following a brief protest march with signs condemning hate, the dapper Don Pedro (Billy Eugene Jones) arrives with his contingent after a military victory, including his close friend Count Claudio (Jeremie Harris), his guitar-strumming attendant, Balthasar (Daniel Croix Henderson), and the don’s brother, the bastard Don John (Hubert Point-Du Jour).

(photo by Joan Marcus)

Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) gossips with her besties in Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park (photo by Joan Marcus)

Claudio immediately falls for Hero while Beatrice, Leonato’s niece, and Benedick (Grantham Coleman), a lord who fought alongside Don Pedro, throw sharp barbs at each other, neither in the market for a spouse. (The first time Beatrice says his name, she emphasizes the last syllable.) But Don John, who is no Don Juan, has decided that since he is miserable, no one else is to be happy, so he calls upon his henchmen, Borachio (Jaime Lincoln Smith) and Conrade (Khiry Walker), to stir up trouble and cast would-be lovers against one another. “I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace,” Don Pedro says. “Though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking. In the meantime, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.” Mistaken identity, misunderstandings, a masquerade ball, spying, lying, and private letters all come into play in one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies.

Tony nominee Brooks (The Color Purple, Orange Is the New Black) is phenomenal as Beatrice, taking full advantage of her size, her vocal talents, and her expert timing. She moves and grooves across the stage, reciting her lines with an easygoing, conversational flow and rhythm, an innate sense of humor, and a magical command of the language that breathes new life into the Bard’s words. “I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? For indeed I promised to eat all of his killing,” she proclaims early on. It’s all Coleman (Buzzer) can do to not get swept up in the hurricane that is Brooks; on the rainy night I went, he even took a hard spill on the wet ground, wiping out on his back but getting up quickly, able to joke about the nasty fall. (It reminded me of a special moment I saw in the previous Shakespeare in the Park production of the play five years ago, when John Glover, as Leonato, pulled off an unforgettable, far less dangerous maneuver after a storm.)

(photo by Joan Marcus)

Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman) explore a love-hate relationship in Bard romantic comedy (photo by Joan Marcus)

Tony winner and longtime Atlanta resident Leon (American Son, A Raisin in the Sun) has the women take charge in this version, the men relegated to the back seat in the all-person-of-color cast. He even has a woman, Lateefah Holder, portray Constable Dogberry, although her shtick becomes too repetitive (but is very funny at first). Among the males, the always dependable Cooper (Choir Boy, The Piano Lesson) stands out, steady and forthright, while Odette (The Convent, Sign Me) is a sweetly innocent Hero. The fresh choreography is by Camille A. Brown, with snappy costumes by Emilio Sosa and original music by Jason Michael Webb. But at the center of it all is Brooks, who is in full command as a Beatrice for the ages.

(In addition to waiting on line at the Delacorte and the Public to get free tickets, you can also enter the daily virtual ticketing lottery online here. The play is almost never canceled because of bad weather, so going on a rainy day is a great idea, as a lot of seats become available due to no-shows.)


(photo by Joan Marcus)

Joe Keller (Tracy Letts) and his son Chris (Benjamin Walker) face off in Roundabout revival of All My Sons (photo by Joan Marcus)

American Airlines Theatre
227 West 42nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave.
Tuesday - Sunday through June 30, $99-$352

In Jack O’Brien’s poignant Roundabout revival of Arthur Miller’s breakthrough play, All My Sons, an all-American family is caged in a psychological, metaphorical jail as their world falls apart over the course of a hot August day in 1947. The story takes place in the comfortable Midwest suburban backyard of the home of Joe and Kate Keller (Tracy Letts and Annette Bening), where the consequences of WWII are building in intensity, turning their house into a prison of their own making. Their oldest son, Larry, a pilot in the war, has been missing for three years. While Joe, a sturdy, self-made factory owner, and Larry’s younger brother, Chris (Benjamin Walker), an idealist who also fought in the war, have accepted Larry’s death, Kate refuses to believe he is gone, insisting that he is alive and will be back any minute. Chris has invited Larry’s former girlfriend and their childhood neighbor, Ann Deever (Francesca Carpanini), to visit them so he can propose to her; Joe tries to talk him out of it, telling him that it would destroy Kate. Ann’s brother, George (Hampton Fluker), is also on his way to the Kellers’ house after speaking with his father, Steve, who is in prison; Steve, Joe’s former business partner, was locked up for a crime that Joe might know a lot more about than he’s admitting.

“Can I see the jail now?” Bert (alternately played by Alexander Bello or Monte Green) asks Joe, who has made the eager young boy a detective to keep watch over the community. “Seein’ the jail ain’t allowed, Bert. You know that,” Joe says. “Aw, I betcha there isn’t even a jail. I don’t see any bars on the cellar windows,” Bert responds. “Bert, on my word of honor, there’s a jail in the basement,” Joe assures him. It’s not long before Joe’s word of honor is under question, as is the American dream itself.

(photo by Joan Marcus)

George Deever (Hampton Fluker) has some critical thoughts to share with the Keller clan in Arthur Miller Broadway revival (photo by Joan Marcus)

All My Sons, which won a Best Author Tony for its Broadway debut (directed by Elia Kazan and starring Ed Begley, Beth Miller, Arthur Kennedy, and Karl Malden) and was named Best Revival forty years later (with Richard Kiley, Joyce Ebert, Jamey Sheridan, and Jayne Atkinson), isn’t a bit creaky despite being more than seventy years old. The central issue it deals with — the devastating impact war can have on families — is an unfortunately universal, timeless one. “Well, that’s what a war does,” Joe tells neighbors Frank and Lydia Lubey (Nehal Joshi and Jenni Barber). “I had two sons, now I got one. It changed all the tallies. In my day when you had sons it was an honor. Today a doctor could make a million dollars if he could figure out a way to bring a boy into the world without a trigger finger.”

(photo by Joan Marcus)

Chris (Benjamin Walker) wants to marry Ann (Francesca Carpanini) against his parents’ wishes (photo by Joan Marcus)

Three-time Tony winner O’Brien (Hairspray, The Hard Problem), who directed a 1987 television adaptation that featured James Whitmore, Aidan Quinn, Michael Learned, and Joan Allen, also focuses on rampant postwar consumerism and profiteering; the key plot point evokes the recent controversy over the safety of the Boeing 737 Max. “Money. Money-money-money-money. You say it long enough it doesn’t mean anything,” explains Dr. Jim Bayliss (Michael Hayden), who lives in the Deevers’ old house and complains of his wife’s (Chinasa Ogbuagu) insistence that he make more cash. Award-winning playwright and actor Letts (Mary Page Marlowe, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is sublime as Joe, a robust man who is willing to do anything to protect his family, while Bening (Coastal Disturbances, King Lear) is haunting as Kate, who appears to be a shadow of a woman, seemingly existing solely for Larry and living in a fog. The couple is trapped in their home, unable to escape the lies they’ve surrounded themselves with; Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, American Psycho) is bold and strong as Chris, the only one who can actually leave the premises as he considers a life somewhere else. Each of the three acts (with one intermission) begins with a projection of the Keller house on a translucent scrim, slowly rising to reveal Douglas W. Schmidt’s set as if a jail door opening. “It’s bad when a man always sees the bars in front of him. Jim thinks he’s in jail all the time,” Sue tells Ann. O’Brien knows his subject matter and directs with a sure hand and the confidence that comes with understanding the responsibility of helming a Great American Play, one that feels that it hasn’t aged a bit after all these decades.


Jan Tilley (photo by twi-ny/mdr) Jan Tilley will play her heart out at June 14 tribute show at the Cutting Room (photo by twi-ny/mdr)[/caption]

The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.
Friday, June 14, $20-$25, 9:00

Back in March, rock & roll guitarist and singer Jan Tilley closed her Time Capsule 1970s/’80s Tribute show at the Cutting Room with a sizzling cover of Heart’s “Barracuda.” It was merely a taste of what’s to come, as Tilley, the cofounder of the Rude Girls and an early portrayer of Krzysztof in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, returns to the Cutting Room on June 14 with “Tell-Tale Heart,” an evening dedicated to the music of the Wilson sisters.

jan tilley heart

Katia Floreska, Ki Ki Hawkins, and Shannon Conley will alternate the Ann parts, with Jan performing as Nancy. The band consists of bassist Carl Limbacher, guitarist Stephen Flakus, pianist Paul Leschen, and drummer Joe DiBella. Be prepared to, well, sing your heart out with Tilley, a consummate rocker who puts on a helluva show, marching across the stage and into the audience, wearing her heart on her sleeve.