It’s hard to believe that the 2014 edition of the Ecstatic Music Festival is nearly over. I suppose it’s because I haven’t been able to get to most of the shows in the festival, which kicked off Jan. 31 and ends this Saturday, March 29.
Two shows remain this year: Wednesday’s bill featuring So Percussion and Buke & Gase, and Saturday’s program with Man Forever and William Basinski. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are a reasonable $25, but if you attend both shows, you can get in for $20 apiece. Click here to buy tickets online, or visit the Merkin Concert Hall box office at 129 West 67th Street in Manhattan.
Her extremely personal theater work, often presented as slightly bizarre, dreamy (sometimes verging on nightmarish) faux autobiography, has won increasingly wide acceptance. Aside from being the darling of St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, she’s put on her shows at other leading venues such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
There’s still time to grab tickets to see Stew, the Tony Award-winning creator of Broadway’s wildest ride, “Passing Strange,” in the cabaret setting of Manhattan’s 54 Below on Friday or Saturday night.
Stew’s work speaks for itself. He’s created a great deal of thoughtful, memorable, and provocative songs for theater, with “Passing Strange” and other shows, and for clubs as a solo performer and with his band, The Negro Problem.
He’s been a favorite of mine for 15 years. His “New Stew Review” promises a preview of upcoming shows, along with old favorites. If experience is any guide, he’ll offer plenty of surprises.
A trip to 54 Below, in the cellar of Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, Manhattan, can be a bit pricey. But Stew is worth it. Tickets for his shows, which start at 8 p.m., are $40-55, plus a $25 per person minimum. But use the code PUBLIC54 to get a reasonable discount.
There was a lot to celebrate at Symphony Space in Manhattan on Monday night.
First, it was the reason everybody was there: a musical tribute to Kurt Weill’s longest-running Broadway show, One Touch of Venus, with an amazing orchestra and a fabulous array of singers.
First, it was the 70th anniversary of the snappy show — down to the day!
Second, it turned out to be the eve of the release of the decade-delayed Jay Records cast recording of the full show, which features quite a few of the singers from the Symphony Space performance — including a transcendent Melissa Errico (who noted “I’m wearing same dress I word 20 years ago … after three kids,” referring to her star turn in the lead role of the 1996 Encores! revival), the always- welcome Ron Raines, and the smooth-voiced Brent Barrett. (It’s available now on iTunes, with a CD release to follow at an unspecified date.)
Third, the chief dancer from the original production, Sono Osato— whose work we got to see in a wonderful collage of moving and still images at the top of the show — was in the audience and took the spotlight for a hearty round of applause. Continue reading →
Heidi Rodewald and Stew, creators of Broadway’s Passing Strange, are presenting a Brooklyn house party in November to share their works in progress.
Creators of Passing Strange and collaborators in The Negro Problem join the inaugural season at BRIC House
BRIC (Brooklyn Information and Culture), the organization behind the great Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series, is opening the BRIC Arts | Media House to provide a permanent stage for new and established artists to explore their work.
They’re the people behind Broadway’s Passing Strange and the core members of the band The Negro Problem.
In two performances in November, the pair will unveil a show that includes pieces of several projects they have in development, including three musicals, a video-art work, two song-cycles and poems and songs that likely will show up on their next record in some form.
I saw the premiere
performance of the new Encores!
Off-Center reading of The Cradle Will Rock at New York
City Center on Wednesday night. I didn’t spend a lot of time
analyzing casting decisions or reading up on this production. I
knew Anika Noni Rose, Raúl Esparza and Danny
Burstein were in key roles, but aside from that,
avoided reading about it. It was an effort to preserve an element of surprise. And
given that I’ve been spending som much time at Maxwell’s and other
rock events, there really wasn’t time. So what a pleasant
surprise when the curtain opened and there, front and
center, was Eisa Davis. It seemed
almost too perfect that an actor with a radical heritage (she’s a
niece of activist Angela
Davis, a relationship Eisa explored in her
play Angela’s Mixtape) performing in a show
about union-busting and based on the timeless us-versus-them theme.
(Many theatergoers were introduced to Eisa through the Tony
Award-winning musical Passing
Photo from Stew’s Facebook announcement of the upcoming gig at Barbès.
There was a moment or two of confusion Thursday morning when Stew,the singer-songwriter and Tony winner for the book of Passing Strange posted on Facebook that he and his band, The Negro Problem, would be appearing two weeks from now at “our beloved Barbès” and included the date of Oct. 25.
If the predicted nightmare blizzard doesn’t bring New York City to a screeching halt on Friday, you should be at Barbès in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to catch a surprisingly un-publicized gig by Stew & The Negro Problem.
We have no idea what exactly what Jihae was trying to do when she made a musical with playwright John Patrick Shanley out of her Fire Burning Rain album a couple of years back.
When we saw it at (Le) Poisson Rouge in 2010, we were thoroughly entertained by its A Midsummer Night’s Dream-like characters and just as thoroughly puzzled by its inscrutable plot.
But it certainly was ambitious. That’s a word that seems to apply to just about everything Jihae (birth name Jihae Kim) does.
Jihae in an Eileen Fisher ad.
You may know her better as the lanky, dark-haired model for Eileen Fisher’s clothing. She’s been featured in Fisher ads for years, and is the most recognizable non-supermodel we can think of.
Tonight she’s back to music. She has an album coming out in the spring, featuring collaborations with her wide circle of friends, including the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. But who knows what she’ll be performing at the Mercury Lounge for an early show tonight. She’s made three albums and one EP in her career, so she’s got plenty of material to draw from.
This could well be one of most unusual shows you’ve ever seen at the Mercury.
Or it could turn out to be a classic girl-with-guitar gig.
If the rehearsal pictures are any indication, she will have a string section on stage for at least part of the show.
While we wouldn’t count on Stewart making this show, you never know who might show up — whether someone from the fashion world or from her wide circle of musical and theatrical friends.
“Rehearsal for next Tues show at Mercury Lounge (Credit: jihaemusic on Instagram)
It’s an early show, with doors at 6:30 and the music scheduled for 7:30, with the Doorbells as her opening act. Tickets are just $12. Snap them up online or at the door. You’re in for a real adventure.