Cultural Calendar: March and April
Cultural Calendar: March and April
By Commentator Arts & Culture
Some Nights, Fun.’s second studio album, was released February 21, following 2009’s Aim and Ignite. The indie-pop New York City based band leaped to fame when Glee covered their hit single, “We are Young,” featuring JanelleMonáe. The song quickly topped charts. In the title track “Some Nights,” Nate Reuss sings “I was never one to believe the hype.” For this album, believe the hype—the upbeat, almost bubbly music, combated with sombre lyrics is worth a listen. Ournameisfun.com, $9.99. The band went on tour March 23, and will be on the road through June 17.
Death of a Salesman opened March 12. The Broadway show is a new production of an age old play about family, death, and the American dream. The play is directed by Mike Nichols and stars Academy Award winning Philip Seymour Hoffman. Based on Arthur Miller’s script, the production attempts to stay true to the play’s original 1949 set and design. And The Village Voice calls it “a picture—refracted, distorted, personalized—of a specific time with painful parallels to ours.” Through June 2, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street New York, NY 10036, $99.45.
The famed anonymous, feminist activist group, The Guerilla Girls, will be performing at The Brooklyn Museum. They’ll be presenting their work throughout the years in fighting discrimination against women in the art world. The Girls will also perform activities from their latest book, The Guerrilla Girls’ Art Museum Activity Book, which they will be signing after the show. But don’t expect to discover their identities; the Girls will be dressed as gorillas. March 29, 7PM, The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11238, $12 and March 31 5PM, Printed Matter, Inc. 195 Tenth Avenue New York, NY 10011, Free.
The Second Annual Brooklyn Springtime Guitar Show is your place to buy, sell, and trade anything guitar or guitar related, from picks to sheet music. Enjoy bowling, food, and drink. April 1, 11AM, All ages, 21+ after 6PM, Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211, Free.
Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest is a remake of an old classic. The New American Haggadah, published March 5, is his collaborative project with Nathan Englander and other writers such as Lemony Snicket in retelling the Passover story. The illustrations by Oded Ezer are entirely based on the text, and illuminate the words themselves. In case you missed the recent film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, this book should bring the Passover themes louder and closer to home. This Sunday, catch both Foer and Englander presenting their book at B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side. Book available at amazon.com, $17.86. Event on April 1, 6:30PM, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, 270 West 89th Street, New York, NY, 10024. Free.
The Magnetic Fields have been playing their synthpop tunes since 1991, and with the release of the three part album 69 Love Songs in 1999, the band achieved acclaim. For 69 Love Songs, they collaborated with Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket. Now they join in concert with DeVotchKa, the Russian, steampunk band renowned for their production of the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. Pre-concert recommended tracks: “I Think I Need a New Heart” and “Andrew in Drag” (Magnetic Fields); “How it Ends” and “Queen of the Surface Streets” (DeVotchKa). April 3 and April 4, 7PM, The Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway New York, NY 10023, $35-40.
You might remember The Used from your high school music days. The band that categorizes themselves as “Gross Pop” returns to the states for an acoustic show and signing at Vintage Vinyl in New Jersey. The emo-hardcore rock band formed over ten years ago, overcoming homelessness substance addiction to create music. They go on tour this spring to promote their fifth album, Vulnerable, which lead singer Bert McCrackin dedicates to “The Outcasts, The Misfits, The Misunderstood, and the ones who have always dared to be themselves.” Pre-concert recommended tracks: “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “I Come Alive.” Wednesday, April 4, 7PM, Vintage Vinyl Records, 51 Lafayette Rd. Fords, NJ, 08863, $13.99.
Be sure to also check out Wednesday Night Slam Open Mike where the most talented slam poets from across the city (and world) gather to ignite the stage with impassioned words. Prepare to leave inspired, if you can bear leaving at all. April 11, 9 PM, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009, $7.
Hit So Hard, a documentary about the openly lesbian Patty Schemel, explores her drug addiction leading to her near suicide. Schemel was the drummer of the alternative rock band Hole in the mid 90s, during the height of grunge music. The film traces her upbringing in Seattle to her rise to fame on the cover of Rolling Stone and her friendship with Kurt Cobain. The film is unapologetic in its approach and holds nothing back. It’s bound to hit you hard. April 13, Cinema Village, 22 East 12thStreet, NewYork, NY 10003, $8.
Curious to hear a less familiar point of view? The Nuyorican Poets Cafe presents From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again, where contemporary Gazan poets will immerse the audience into Gaza’s history of occupation, blockade and war. Poets include Fatenah al Ghorrah, author of five poetry books including, The Sea is Still Behind Us; Adania Shibli, co-editor of “Narrating Gaza,” an online forum; and Soumaya Al Sousi, author of four collective poetry books, most recently, Idea, Void, White. You’ve never heard it like this before. April 25, 7 PM Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009, $10-$15.
Next time you’re strolling down Fifth Avenue, stop by 50 Books/50 Covers, an exhibit that showcases the best design in books and book covers from 2010. The interactive exhibit also allows you to agree or disagree with statements next to bookshelves by shelving red books (agree) or black books (disagree). In the back of the gallery, define the word “book” on a chalkboard or erase someone else’s definition. Participate online at whatthebook.org. Through April 27, AIGA National Design Center, 164 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, Free.
They advertise themselves as a “legendary hotel,” “Shakespeare’s fallen hero” and a “film noir shadow of suspense.” And if you have yet to see Sleep No More, it’s about time you did. Or should we say experience. This interactive play is like a make-your-own-plot novel, allowing the viewer to explore an old hotel and follow their own plot line. Performances last as long as you choose. Everyone emerges with a different story. Through April 28. Must be 16 or older to enter, McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001, $75.
Cindy Sherman, recognized as one contemporary art’s greatest photographers, uses herself as a model in all of her work. From clowns to history portraits, Sherman disguises herself repeatedly, drawing on her drawers full of wigs, makeup, and fake noses. More than 170 photographs will be on display from Sherman’s work since the 1970s. Lectures and gallery talks will be held throughout April. Through June 11, 11 West 53 Street New York, NY 10019, $14.
The recently kashered Bravo Pizza gave J2 a run for its money. With the new “Jerusalem Cafe” shoved to 36th between 5th and 5th, Bravo, at 37th and Broadway, is emerging as Broadway’s premier kosher pizza restaurant. Serving a wide assortment of beer and pizza, it’s so good, it still tastes treif. Be prepared, though, because this isn’t cheap pizza. Open 10AM-11PM daily. Bravo Pizza, 1369 Broadway New York, NY 10018. Starting at $4.25 per slice.
Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is now showing at The Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit includes videos, collages, subway drawings, sketchbooks, news clippings and never before seen artwork from Haring’s time in New York City. And don’t miss the collages he created from cutting up his own writing. Haring’s graphic and often political work is simplistic, yet powerful and iconic. Through July 8, The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11238, $8.