Arts Watch: What To Do in February


Image: Anri Sala, Ravel Ravel, 2013 (detail). Two-channel HD video and sixteen-channel sound installation, color; 20:45 min. © Anri Sala. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery; and Hauser & Wirth

There’s a lot going on across the Lower East Side in February. Here are some highlights from our arts calendar:

Weds., Feb. 3 – “Anri Sala: Answer Me” opens at the New Museum: Albanian artist and international star Anri Sala brings his extensive multichannel audio and video installations to the New Museum for his first major U.S. exhibition. The installations unfold across three floors, creating a “symphonic experience” specific to the museum.

Through April 10th // Wed. – Sun. 11a – 6p (9p on Thurs.) // $16/$10 students // 235 Bowery (below Stanton Street)

Thurs., Feb. 4 – SLUT, The Play at Dixon Place: Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney, founders of The Arts Effect, bring the All-Girl Theater Company to Dixon Place for the first major New York run of their most recent performance piece, SLUT, The Play.

Inspired by the lives of its 14-18 year-old cast members, SLUT The Play follows the journey of Joey Del Marco, a 16-year-old girl who is sexually assaulted by three friends during a night out. Through Joey’s story and those of young people in her community, witness the impact of rape culture and the importance of being heard. Each performance is followed by a Q&A with the cast and creators.

Through February 27, Thursdays at 7p and Saturdays at 2p  // $30, $15 for Middle and High School students, $20 for College Students // 161A Chrystie St. (between Delancey & Rivington St.)

Fri., Feb. 5 – 41st Annual Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Dance Concert and Powwow at Theater for the New City: Experience dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions. Highlights will include storytelling by Matoka Eagle (Santo Domingo, Tewa), a Hoop Dance by Marie Ponce (Cherokee), an Eagle Dance from the Hopi Tribe by Ciaran Little Eagle (Mayan), and much more.

Through Feb. 14 // Fri. and Sat. at 8p, Sat. and Sun. at 3p // $10, $1 matinee for children // 10155 First Ave. (at E. 10th St.)

Weds., Feb. 10 – Lady Rizo: 5th Annual Nina Simone Tribute at Joe’s Pub:

She’s sung with with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and recorded with Moby, but now the bawdy chanteuse with an elegant voice for the ages returns (along with top NYC artists) to pay homage to “The High Priestess of Soul,” Ms. Nina Simone.  Special guests to be announced.

Also Thurs., Feb. 11 // 7p // $30 // 425 Lafayette St.

Weds., Feb. 10 – Ezra Furman at the Bowery Ballroom: Singer-songwriter, genderqueer, devout Jew Ezra Furman is gaining traction with his third solo album, ‘Perpetual Motion People.’ After a whirlwind European tour with his band, The Boyfriends, the genre-busting rock n’ roller brings his always surprising live show to NYC.

Also in the lineup: Nude Beach and Writer // 9p // $15 // 6 Delancey St.

Thurs., Feb. 11 – Target Margin Theater’s DRUNKEN WITH WHAT: A Study of Morning Becomes Electra By Eugene O’Neill at Abrons Arts Center:  The experimental company launches a two-season exploration of Eugene O’Neill’s epic trilogy, asking the questions, “Genius, blowhard, giant of the imagination, ham-fisted avatar of pseudo-psychology, geographer of the human spirit, was he drunk on art or just drunk?”

Through Feb. 27 // 8p // $30 // 466 Grand St. (at Pitt St.)

Sun., Feb. 14 – 17th Annual Chinese Lunar New Year Parade and Festival: Ring in the Year of the Monkey with the confettied display of dancing dragons, mythical Chinese royalty and booming floats parading their way through the streets of Chinatown.  It starts on Mott and Canal and heads down to Chatham Square, over on East Broadway towards the Manhattan Bridge, and ends on Eldridge and Forsyth Streets towards Grand Street, next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

1 p.m. // FREE

Sat., Feb. 20 – Lunar New Year Family Festival at MOCA: Celebrate Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts with zodiac themed arts & crafts, festive music and dance performances, teaching artist demonstrations, storytelling  and more.

11a – 4p // $10 // 215 Centre St.

Sun., Feb. 21 – In Conversation: Jewish New York at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Author Paul Kaplan leads a roundtable discussion on the sights, sounds and tastes of Jewish New York, with a focus on the cultural, culinary and historic treasures of the Lower East Side.  Panelists include local author and filmmaker Laurie Gwen Shapiro and Bryna Wasserman, Executive Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

Co-sponsored by the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy // 2p // FREE // 12 Eldridge St.

Arts Watch: What To Do in January (and the End of December)

Improve Everywhere's "International No Pants Subway Ride" takes place on January 10th this year.

Improve Everywhere’s “International No Pants Subway Ride” takes place on January 10th this year.

Here are the highlighted events happening in January (and the end of December) from our current print magazine issue.


Fri. 25 – Family Concert – Klez for Kids at The Museum at Eldridge Street: Sing, dance and learn Yiddish at the museum’s annual family concert. Clarinetist Greg Wall and his band, Klezmerfest, lead the audience on a musical tour of Eastern European Jewish culture ending with a joyful audience-enacted shtetl wedding.

12 Eldridge St., $12 adults; $8 students/seniors; children under 3 free, 11 a.m.

Sat. 26 – Sandra Bernhard – Feel the Bernhard at Joe’s Pub: Toast to the New Year with the sharp witted and raucous comedian (and former Roseanne star) Sandra Bernhard. Her latest show, titled in tribute to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, promises to be a night of outrageous hilarity and insight served up especially for the 99%.

Nightly through New Year’s Eve, 25 Lafayette St. 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on NYE), $65 – $200.

Tues. 29 – John Zorn’s End of the Year Improv Week at The Stone: Stop by the annual end-of-the- year benefit at The Stone featuring some of the top improvisers in New York. This year the lineup features John Zorn’s acclaimed Bagatelles Series, which premiers some of the 250 new tunes written by Zorn this past spring. He appears each night with a different lineup of creative musicians.  All proceeds go to help pay the rent.

Through Jan. 3, Ave. C at Second Street, 8 p.m., $20.


Weds. 6 – The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Festival at Dixon Place: Catch New York’s longest-running short comedy film festival. Stars like Stephen Colbert, Dan Harmon, Aziz Ansari, Lena Dunham and Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer showed their films (pre-fame) at past Iron Mule screenings. The festival is hosted by filmmaker Jay Stern and filmmaker/comedian Victor Varnado.

7:30 p.m., $12 adv./$15 door, 161A Chrystie St.

Thurs. 7 – American Realness at Abrons Arts Center: The cutting edge dance and theater festival returns for it’s 7th season. This year’s lineup includes off-site engagements at MoMA PS1 and Gibney Dance Center and features two world premieres, six U.S. premieres, three New York premieres, and six engagements of sixty-two performances of seventeen productions over eleven days.

Through Jan. 17, 466 Grand St., showtimes, ticket prices and locations vary, visit for more info.

Sun. 10 – The International No Pants Subway Ride: Join thousands of New Yorkers in continuing the funny tradition on subway cars all across Gotham. Donning winter clothes, minus their pants, the straphangers share the same goal: to confuse bystanders and bring a smile to everyone’s face. The event had only 150 participants in its first year, but now the prank is an international sensation with (as of last year) over 25 countries involved.

Visit for details.

Tues. 12 – The Hundred Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey at Tenement Talks: Investigative journalist Dawn Anahid MacKeen spent over a decade writing the story of her grandfather’s escape from the deadly mass deportation of Armenians during World War I and traveled to Turkey and Syria, using her grandfather’s newly discovered journals as a guide, to reconstruct his journey to the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire. Part reportage, part memoir, the book alternates between Stepan’s tale of resilience and Dawn’s own journey, giving us a rare eyewitness account of the twentieth century’s first large-scale genocide. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian joins MacKeen in conversation.

103 Orchard St., 6:30 p.m., free.

Thurs. 14 – Punk Magazine 40th Anniversary Exhibition Opening at Howl! Happening: Check out this tribute to John Holmstrom and some of his brilliant collaborators at an exhibition that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the publication of Punk magazine. On view are classic artworks, early issues documenting the NYC punk scene and new work by contributing artists.

Through Jan. 30th, 6 E. 1st. St., Opening on Jan. 14 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., gallery hours Weds. – Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free.

Sat. 16 – Michael Kliën, Excavation Site – Martha Graham U.S.A. at the New Museum: As part of the COIL 2016 festival, a multigenerational group of performers from the Martha Graham Dance Company’s past, present, and future explore their relationships to Graham and the underlying “movement forces” that bind them to one another, to Graham, and to the Company. Developed in collaboration with dramaturge Steve Valk, who adds a complementary discursive component to the piece, that will unfold alongside the performance in an adjacent studio. Audiences will be invited to explore the work for any length of time and will be encouraged to move freely between the two spaces.

This one-time-only dance event takes place off-site at the Martha Graham Studio Theater, 55 Bethune St, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., $20.


Arts Watch: What To Do in October

"The Sisters”:  Joey Arias and Julie Atlas Muz who play Alice and Irene Lewisohn at Abrons Arts Center through Oct. 31st. Photo by Steven Menendez Photography.

“The Sisters”: Joey Arias and Julie Atlas Muz who play Alice and Irene Lewisohn in Basil Twit’s “Sisters’ Follies” at Abrons Arts Center through Oct. 31st. Photo by Steven Menendez Photography.

Here are the highlighted Lower East Side events from our October events calendar, out this week in the latest edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

Thurs. 1 – Basil Twist – Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds at Abrons Arts Center: Acclaimed director and puppeteer Basil Twist celebrates the Abrons Playhouse Centennial with a commissioned ghost story featuring downtown icons Joey Arias (Arias With a Twist, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook) and Julie Atlas Muz (Beauty and the Beast). The “spooktacular musical extravaganza” revives the founders of the Playhouse, Alice and Irene Lewisohn, and their legacy of producing avant-garde performances and dance from 1915–28, as they return to haunt the theater 100 years later.

Through Oct. 31 at 466 Grand St., 8 p.m. / 5 p.m. on Sundays, preview week October 1–7 $45, Weekdays $55, Weekends $65.

Weds. 7 – Nightmare Horror Show at Clemente Soto Velez: Psycho Clan, the artistic team behind Nightmare Haunted House, will forgo designing its unique brand of theatrical haunted house for a twelfth season and present the inaugural Nightmare Horror Show: New York’s Most Terrifying Theater Festival, featuring eight new mini-horror productions.Children under 10 are not admitted, and parents are strongly cautioned about bringing children under 16.

Through Oct. 31, 107 Suffolk St., $25.

Thurs. 8 – Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee at MOCATALKS: To complement MOCA’s current show, Chinese Style: Rediscovering the Architecture of Poy Gum Lee (1923-1968). architectural Historian and preservationist Kerri Culhane illuminates Lee’s significant influence on the architectural aesthetics in Chinatown.

215 Centre Street, 6:30 p.m., $12

Tues. 13 – CMJ Music Marathon 2015: This below-the-radar festival is celebrating 35 years of live shows featuring new music. Each fall, thousands of artists, music fans and industry insiders descend on the city for live shows, exclusive parties, conference events, seminars and mixers, all in the hopes of being discovered and discovering new music.

Through Oct. 17, many LES venues are participating; see individual websites for specific show schedules and cover charges.

Sat. 17 – 13th Annual Open House New York Weekend: America’s largest architecture and design event offers free tours of some of the city’s most intriguing spaces that you might not ordinarily be able to access. Highlights in the neighborhood include tours of the Henry Street Settlement’s historic headquarters, the Eldridge Street Synagogue and highly designed private residences curated by Interior Design magazine.

Also Sunday, Oct. 18, free, but some sites require reservations, visit for details.

Sat. 17- The Lowline Lab Exhibition Opening at Essex Market: The Lowline team is showcasing the proposed design and technology they hope to use to build an underground park in an abandoned trolley station below Delancey Street. Solar technology installed on the roof of the building will create a live green space supported by remotely directed natural sunlight. Programming for the lab includes weekend tours, student activities and a monthly speaking series featuring inspiring thinkers and doers who are using science technology to improve the world.

140 Essex St., public hours vary, free.

Thurs. 22 – Andy Statman Trio at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Dubbed “a musician’s musician” by The New York Times, premier clarinetist (and mandolinist) Andy Statman and his longtime partners, Larry Eagle (percussion) and Jim Whitney (bass), perform their trademark blend of American roots, personal prayerful Hasidic music, klezmer and avant-garde jazz at the museum.

12 Eldridge St., 7 p.m., $30 advance / $45 door.

Sat. 24 – 25th Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade: Dress up the pooch and enter to win over $4,000 worth of prizes, including an iPad Mini for Best in Show, in this all-out event that has come to rival the official Village Halloween parade. Grateful Greyhounds, Bideawee, Friends of Animal Rescue and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will also be on hand with canines that need loving homes. Runway competition begins at noon.

Tompkins Square Park, noon to 3 p.m., free.

Arts Watch: What To Do in April

A photo from "Echos of the Borscht Belt" by Marisa Scheinfeld, who will be participating in the Tenement Musuem's panel, "The Stories of Ruins," on April 29th.

A photo from “Echos of the Borscht Belt” by Marisa Scheinfeld, who will be participating in the Tenement Musuem’s panel, “The Stories of Ruins,” on April 29th.

Here are the highlighted events from our April events calendar, coming out in the latest edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine this week:

Tues. 7 – Passover Nosh and Stroll at the Museum at Eldridge Street:

Trace the tasty route of turn-of-the-century immigrants as they prepared for the holiday and journey into the kishkes of the old Jewish Lower East Side. Visit (and nosh at) the historic landmarks of the neighborhood that shed light on holiday customs, food and history.

Through Wednesday, March 8 // 12 Eldridge St. // 2 p.m. // RSVP required // $25.

Weds. 8 – Arca at Bowery Ballroom:

After recent collaborations with Kanye West on Yeezus and Bjork  on her latest album, Vulnicura, 24-year-old, Venezuelan-born electronic producer and dj Arca, a.k.a. Alejandro Ghersi, is finally ready to share his debut album, Xen. His music, as well as his videos made with artist and longtime collaborator Jesse Kanda, is challenging, boundary pushing, darkly electronic and undefinable, always offering an exciting glimpse into the future.

6 Delancey St. // 8:00 p.m. // $25

Thurs. 9 – Katie Workum’s “Black Lakes” at Danspace Project:

Catch an improvised evening of dance with Bessie-nominated Eleanor Smith, Weena Pauly and Workum. In “Black Lakes” Workum upends traditional performance expectations of dancer and audience, turning away from theatrical choreography in favor of new ways of creating and seeing. The three performers move in and out of solos, unison and duets contained within a set structure, and the content of every performance will be created anew each night.

Through April 11 // 131 E. 10th St. (at St. Mark’s Church) //  8:00p.m. // $20.

Fri. 10 – Andy Warhol’s 15 (Color Me, Warhol) at Dixon Place:

Check in on choreographer/performer Raja Feather Kelly’s ongoing obsession with Andy Warhol in this interpretation of the iconic musical A Chorus Line as Warhol would have imagined it. Fifteen dancers bring to life Warhol’s ideas, philosophy and iconic visuals through Kelly’s radical yet accessible dance-theater style.

Fridays and Saturdays in April // 161A Chrystie St. // 7:00 p.m. // $16 in advance/$20 door.

Weds. 15 – Tribeca Film Festival 2015:

Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro and friends as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the festival kicks off its 14th year of independent film screenings. The lineup includes 97 feature films and 60 shorts from around the world along with numerous panels and festivities throughout lower Manhattan.

This year’s Tribeca Talks series features big-name one-on-one conversations with George Lucas, Stephen Colbert, Courtney Love and Harvey Weinstein, to name a few. The Tribeca Talks: After the Movie series will also include a session on Inside Amy Schumer with Ms. Schumer and others from that Comedy Central series on April 19; and a screening of Good Will Hunting, followed by a discussion with the director Gus Van Sant, on April 22.

LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, the highly anticipated world premiere of the first full-fledged documentary about Saturday Night Live, will open the festival.

Through April 26. Visit for tickets, venues and the full schedule.

Weds. 22 – Forever at New York Theatre Workshop:

Award-winning playwright and solo performer Dael Orlandersmith (Monster, The Gimmick) brings her searing memoir to NYTW in an exploration of the family we are born into and the family we choose. Drawing on her own pilgrimage to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris—the final resting place of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison—she finds unexpected grace in grappling with the legacy a daughter she inherits from her mother.

Through May 31 // 79 East 4th St. // showtimes vary, $75.

Sat. 25 – Hester Street Fair – Opening Weekend:

Known as a launching pad for independent businesses and artists, HSF could almost be considered a small-business “incubator.” Offering up an always interesting assortment of local purveyors selling artisanal food, vintage clothing, jewelry, crafts, home goods and more, the fair kicks off its sixth season.

At Essex and Hester St. // Saturdays // 11a.m.– 6 p.m.

Weds. 29 – The Stories of Ruins at Tenement Talks:

In a visual appreciation of ruins Andrew Dolkart, director of Columbia’s historic preservation program, Katherine Malone-France, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Christopher Payne, photographer of North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City and photographer Marisa Scheinfeld, who documented abandoned resorts of the Borscht Belt in the Catskills gather to discuss the significance of these spaces.

103 Orchard St. // 6:30 p.m. // free.

Arts Watch: What To Do in November

Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead will perform songs from their ninth album, Barragán at Bowery Ballroom on Nov. 25th and 26th.

Here are the highlighted events from our October events calendar, first published in the latest edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine:

Thurs. 6 – Netta Yerushalmy’s Helga and the Three Sailors at Danspace Project: Catch the world premiere of a new piece by New York choreographer Netta Yerushalmy who focuses on presenting the sensation of things as they are perceived, not as they are known. She is joined in performance by dancers Marc Crousillat, Amanda Kmett’Pendry and Sarah Lifson.

Through Nov. 8, 131 E. 10th St., 8 p.m., $20.

Thurs. 6 – AUNTSforcamera Opening Event at New Museum: Join in with your own camera as 15 guest artists create a live exhibit, offering a selection of short, long and durational performances arranged and coupled in different unrehearsed combinations. The event coincides with the opening night party for the AUNTSforcamera exhibition at Trouw in Amsterdam and will be livestreamed into the dance/art/club space there. Visitors are encouraged to film the performances via a camera set up with 360-degree perspective in the middle of the museum.

235 Bowery, 5 p.m., $6.

Fri. 14 – The Places You’ll Go at Dixon Place: Two existential postmen suddenly find there is something missing in this original new comedy from writer, director and actress Hila Ben Gera, who takes a lighthearted look at success and self-determination. And mail.

Also Sat., Nov. 15 and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 and 22, all at 7:30 p.m., 161A Chrystie St., $17 advance/$20 door.

Weds. 19 – The Invisible Hand at New York Theatre Workshop: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) makes his NYTW debut with a play that follows Nick Bright, an American stockbroker, into a terrifying world of kidnapping and torture in a remote region of Pakistan. The piece takes a chilling and complex look at how far we will go to save ourselves and the ramifications of our individual actions.

Through Jan. 4, 79 E. Fourth St., $75 non-members, showtimes vary.

Sat. 22 – Hodworks’ Dawn at Abrons Arts Center: The Budapest-based company’s U.S. premiere of a daring piece of “radical research” by Hungarian choreographer Adrienn Hódin in which the naked human body takes center stage, representing an “animal character” of the body as something that is stifled and taboo in today’s world.

Also Sunday, Nov. 23. 7:30 p.m., $20, 466 Grand St.

Sun. 23 – Annual Boutique Flea Market at the Co-op Village NORC: The Educational Alliance hosts a market featuring handmade knitwear, toys, purses, candles, jewelry, used books and a raffle with prizes that include local gift cards. Proceeds benefit the Educational Alliance’s Co-op Village NORC, a unique program for older adults living in the Lower East Side co-ops.

477 FDR Drive (at Grand Street), Community Room M, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sun. 23 – The Great Turkey Scavenger Hunt at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Bring the family and make turkey-shaped challah, holiday art and go on the hunt. As a “preservation detective,” you will follow a trail of century-old clues, look for a hidden turkey and discover how this historic synagogue tells its own Thanksgiving tale.

12 Eldridge St., 11 a.m., $15/family.

Tue. 25 – Blonde Redhead at The Bowery Ballroom: Two decades in, the weird yet dreamy New York-based trio of Kazu Makino and twin Italian brothers Amedeo and Simon Pace have just completed their ninth album, Barragán. Though the album is haunted by the romantic split between Makino and Amedeo Pace, most notably on the exes’ spare, bewitching duet, “Seven Two,” they continue to shake things up by paring down their post-Sonic Youth, art-punk, shoegaze, noise rock sounds from their past and presenting something new.

Also Weds., Nov. 26, 6 Delancey St., 8 p.m., $25.   

Fri. 28 – The Annual Post-Thanksgiving Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour: Bring your out-of-town guests on a tour combining the history of the diverse Lower East Side with a series of small food samplings, or noshing stops, from local shops and markets representing the Dominican, Jewish, Italian and Chinese communities of the neighborhood.

Meet at the southwest corner of Delancey and Essex streets, in front of the Chase bank, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., reservations required, $25 includes food samples.

Arts Watch: What To Do in July

Shakespeare in the Parkinglot gears up for it's final season of the Bard's classics performed in the lot on Broome Street.

Shakespeare in the Parkinglot gears up for it’s final season of the Bard’s classics performed in the lot on Broome Street.

Some highlights from our July events calendar, first published in the latest edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

Arts Watch: What To Do in June

Arts Watch: What To Do in May

Chalk LES will help kick off LES History Month with a a three day community-engagement project to celebrate the history of the LES. People can chalk LES sidewalks as a way to share memories, history, and images of the Lower East Side throughout the neighborhood on May 2, 3, and 4th.

Chalk LES will help kick off LES History Month with a a three day community-engagement project to celebrate the history of the LES. People can chalk LES sidewalks as a way to share memories, history, and images of the Lower East Side throughout the neighborhood on May 2, 3, and 4th.

Here’s our list of noteworthy events happening on the Lower East Side this month:

Sat. 3 – First Saturdays For Families: What is a Neighborhood? Bring the family and join New Museum educators for a special event organized in conjunction with Lower East Side History Month. The workshop explores what constitutes a neighborhood through discussions with guests, interactive drawing and collage-making.

235 Bowery // 10 a.m. // free.

Sun. 4 – Lower East Side History Month: More than 50 cultural and community groups are collaborating to launch the first annual Lower East Side History Month, a celebration of the diverse history of the neighborhood. Dozens of public events, exhibits, tours and interactive opportunities will take place at more than 30 sites. The celebration aims to connect the present to the past, exploring how history can inform and inspire the future. Special kickoff activities include a community picnic at Pier 42 with performances and activities for all ages on Sunday, May 4; plus Chalk LES, an interactive project that encourages anyone and everyone to share memories and images of the Lower East Side on the city’s pavements.

Tues. 6 – Claudia Triozzi: Boomerang or The Return to the Self at Abrons Arts Center: Triozzi investigates the idea of the self on stage, focusing primarily on feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown by asking questions about theater in a series of interviews. The event is part of DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas taking place around the city May 1 to May 18 (

The Abrons event runs through May 8 // 466 Grand St. // 7:30 p.m., $15.

Thurs. 8 – Cutlog at The Clemente Soto Velez Center: Jumping in to the fray of the NYC art fair season for its second year, this underground French import features more than 50 galleries and curators presenting art, installations, performances, talks and films in a creative, architecturally designed show that takes over much of the winding interior of the center.

Through May 11 // 107 Suffolk St. // Thursday 6:00 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday through Sunday noon – midnight // $15.

Fri. 9 – NADA at Pier 36: The third edition of the New Art Dealers Association’s NYC fair pops up for three days featuring high-end rising talent and exquisite new art from around the globe. This year’s fair includes more than 85 exhibitors, live music, food trucks and cocktails on the waterfront.

Through May 11 // Pier 36, 299 South St. // Friday 2 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. // free.

Sun. 11 – Yiddishe Mamas Mother’s Day Walking Tour at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Start a new family tradition this Mother’s Day and discover your roots. Follow in the footsteps of beloved balabustas, freethinking feminists and turn-of-the-century working girls, then indulge in homemade rugelach, bagels and coffee. All food served is kosher.

12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // RSVP required, $25.

Thurs. 15 – Making Space for Downtown Dreams at University Settlement: The settlement house fundraiser presents a showcase of emerging talent from their local youth organizations, celebrating transformational change ignited by the arts in the LES community. Higher-tiered tickets include an exclusive after-party in a landmarked synagogue, now the studio of artist Hale Gurland.

184 Eldridge St.// 6:30 p.m., //$75 – $175.

Fri. 23 – Rickie Lee Jones at Joe’s Pub: The rock legend and two-time Grammy winner returns for a preview of an upcoming album of new work, her first in over a decade. Known for her amazing, confessional live performances, be prepared to hear a mix of rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul and jazz standards.Jones’ latest album, The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper, is a collection of covers reimagining the music of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Neil Young and more.

425 Lafayette St. // 9:30 p.m. // $60.

Sat. 24 – Governor’s Island Opening Day: For the first time, the car-free island will be open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September. Enjoy 30 new acres of park, free bike mornings during the week and a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational programming–not to mention hammocks!

The ferry leaves hourly from the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., // 10 a.m.-7 p.m. // free.


Mon. 2 - The Grand Street Cooperatives – A look at the Past, Present and Future at the new Manny Cantor Center: Join The Lo-Down for a lively panel discussion centered around the Grand Street Co-ops. Moderated by Editor-in-Chief Ed Litvak, special guests will discuss the unique history of the co-ops, how the community has changed and what lies ahead for these diverse residents. Beer, kosher wine and snacks provided.

197 E. Broadway // 7 p.m. // free.

Add your own events and find more local activities, updated daily, on our Calendar here.

Arts Watch: What to do in April

Ethan Lipton And His Orchestra return to Joe's Pub on Wednesday, April 9th to play "a regular band show."

Ethan Lipton And His Orchestra return to Joe’s Pub on Wednesday, April 9th to play “a regular band show.”

Here’s our list of highlighted events happening on the Lower East Side this month.

Fri. 4 – “The Real Estate Show” at James Fuentes Gallery: Fuentes revisits a seminal exhibition which took place in 1979-80 in an abandoned city-owned building at 123 Delancey St. Organized by a group of artists and activists, the exhibition aimed to deal with what they saw as a real estate crisis in New York City for the non-wealthy. See the full story here.

Through April 27 // 55 Delancey St. // additional sites at Cuchifritos in Essex Market, 120 Essex St., (April 19-May 11) and ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St. (April 9-­May 8) // free.

Sun. 6 – Passover Nosh and Stroll at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Trace the route of turn-of-the-century immigrants as they prepared for the holiday and journey into the kishkes of the old Jewish Lower East Side. Visit Streit’s Matzos, The Pickle Guys and other shops that shed light on Passover customs, foods and history of a century ago.

12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. // RSVP required // $25.

Weds. 9 – Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra at Joe’s Pub: The self-described “old-timey songwriter and playwright” and his band return to Joe’s Pub for a “regular band show” after touring internationally with their hit show, “No Place to Go.” Lipton’s witty, working-man lyrics stem from his modern-day experience as a “perma-lancer” in New York City before the economy crashed. Supported by his band’s addictive blend of jazz/folk/alternative music, the group raises cabaret storytelling to new levels.

425 Lafayette St. // 9 p.m. // $20.

Thurs. 10 – Richard Maxwell and New York City Players: Isolde at Abrons Arts Center: Theatrical heavyweight Maxwell’s latest play revolves around a famous actress who decides to build her dream house after her ability to retain her lines begins to slip away, but the project and her marriage become jeopardized by the award-winning architect she hires.

Through April 26 // 466 Grand St. // 8 p.m. // $25.

Mon. 14 – The Poet in New York at Bowery Arts + Science: This weekly event hosted and curated by Liz Peters and Nikhil Melnechuk features two special guest poets and 10 brave open mic poets competing to have their work published, with a live band backing up the readings.

Every Monday // 308 Bowery // 9 p.m. // $10.

Tues. 15 – Red Thread: The Prisoner and the Painter at Dixon Place: Painter Duston Spear created this short film based on the poetry of Judith Clark, a political activist and educator who has been an inmate at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Correctional Facility for over 30 years.

161A Chrystie St. // 7:30 p.m. // free.

Weds. 16 – The Tribeca Film Festival: Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the festival happily kicks off its 12th year of independent film screenings, panels and festivities throughout downtown.

Through April 27 // Visit for tickets, venues and the full schedule.

Mon. 28 – Jessica Lea Mayfield at Mercury Lounge: The 21-year-old neo-country singer-songwriter departs from her eloquently analytical love songs to play some new music from Make My Head Sing…, her just-released rock album. 217 E. Houston St., 7:30 p.m., $15.

Find more local events updated daily on our Calendar here.

Arts Watch: The Living Theatre Debuts New Work by Judith Malina at The Clemente


After leaving their home of seven years at 21 Clinton St., the Living Theatre has settled in to the nearby Clemente Soto Velez Center and kicked off their 67th season last night (yes, you read that right) with a brand new piece titled NO PLACE TO HIDE.  Written and directed by 87 year-old living legend (and co-founder of the company) Judith Malina, the show, presented in workshop format as a work-in-progress, takes on the idea of surveillance as a household topic, asking “about the how, why, and what of hiding, taking the (participatory) audience on a journey through the untold history of New York. Challenging political, philosophical, and moral spheres of concealment, the play questions the boundaries between the private and the public while blurring our sense of intimacy.”

The production is presented by executive producer Brad Burgess, with associate artistic directors Leah Bachar, Brad Burgess and Tom Walker. Go here for tickets.

Through March 29th // $15-$20 // 8:00 p.m. // The Flamboyan Theatre at The Clemente // 107 Suffolk Street.

Arts Watch: The American Human Beatbox Festival Returns to La MaMa


Turn off the drum machines and head to La MaMa where the Fourth Annual American Human Beatbox Festival kicks off tomorrow night.  A variety of beatbox performance styles and forms are showcased in this three-day event that includes an open mic, beat rhyme battles and vocal wars featuring some of the leading beatbox artists in America. There will be special appearances by 2013 Beatrhyme Battle and Vocal Wars Winners Kaila Mullady, Baba Israel and Yako 440. The festival is curated and hosted by Kid Lucky.

Through Sunday, March 16 // 74A E. Fourth St. // showtimes vary, $15 or two for $20/advance.

Check out our events calendar for details and more happenings.

Arts Watch: What To Do in March

Gary Shteyngart on the Lower East Side. Photo by Matthew Monteith.

Gary Shteyngart on the Lower East Side. He’ll be reading from his new memoir, “Little Failure,” at Tenement Talks on March 31st. Photo by Matthew Monteith.

Here are some highlighted events happening on the Lower East Side this month:

Sat. 1 – If Buildings Could Talk! at the Museum of Chinese in America: Bring the kids (best for ages 5 to 11) to explore an exhibition featuring photographs of Chinatown residences called “A Floating Population”; then create your very own small-scale 3D model of a living space in Chinatown.

215 Centre St. // 11 a.m. // free.

Sun. 2 – Aruán Ortiz Quartet at Abrons Arts Center: Critically acclaimed Cuban pianist and award-winning composer Ortiz comes to Abrons with his superb quartet, including Rashaan Carter on bass, Eric McPherson on drums and David Gilmore on guitar. Enjoy an afternoon of free-flowing improvisation inspired by a range of influences, from the impressionist colors of Maurice Ravel to the rhythms of Thelonious Monk. Part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert series.

466 Grand St. // 3 p.m. // free.

Thurs. 6 – Faye Driscoll’s Thank You for Coming at Danspace: Bessie Award-winning choreographer and director Driscoll uses her latest piece to continue exploring “how we experience ourselves in relation to other bodies, other stories and the spaces we all inhabit, as a company of performers, designers, supporters and audiences is built around a long-term creative endeavor.”

Through Saturday, March 15 // 131 E. 10th St. // 8 p.m. // $20/$15 members.

Fri. 7 – The Rocky Horror Opera Show at the New Museum: Guest music curator Cori Ellison kicks off a series of musical events delving into the possibilities of the operatic voice by placing it in nontraditional contexts. A quartet of singers performs operatic standards to live accompaniment while an audience of die-hard opera fans and the general public are encouraged to dress up, sing along, dance and throw toast do whatever they’re moved to do.

235 Bowery // 7 p.m. // $12.

Thurs. 13 – Fourth Annual American Human Beatbox Festival at La MaMa: A variety of beatbox performance styles and forms is showcased in this three-day event that includes an open mic, beat rhyme battles and vocal wars featuring some of the leading beatbox artists in America. Curated and hosted by Kid Lucky. Through Sunday, March 16, 74A E. Fourth St., showtimes vary, $15 or two for $20/advance.

Fri. 14 – Hobo Grunt Cycle at Dixon Place: Forging empathic links between wounded soldiers and rescued fighting dogs, performer Kevin Augustine premieres his tribe’s latest work alongside a foam-rubber cast of life-sized pit bulls, disabled American veterans and a cadre of competing circus clowns, exposing the postwar legacy of soldiers while raising questions about peace and healing in our daily lives.

Also Saturday, March 15 // 161A Chrystie St. // 7 p.m. // $16.

Thurs. 20 – The War on Drugs at Bowery Ballroom: Still playing some of the best “road-trip music” around, frontman Adam Granduciel and his indie band from Philadelphia are back on tour with their new album Lost in the Dream, the followup to their highly regarded 2011 record, Slave Ambient.

6 Delancey St. // 9 p.m. // $20.

Sun. 23 -Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon at Bowery Arts + Science: JP Howard curates this showcase, which kicks off the salon’s spring 2014 series at Bowery Poetry for Women’s History Month and celebrates a “sacred space” for women’s voices.

308 Bowery // 3:30 p.m. // $10.

Mon. 31 – Little Failure at Tenement Talks: Former LES resident and award-winning author Gary Shteyngart returns to the neighborhood with a humorous yet poignant new memoir about his American immigrant experience. Growing up in Queens after moving with his parents from Leningrad, Shteyngart describes his journey toward becoming a writer against his parents’ wishes and the battle to survive public school as a “misfit” Soviet Jew in America, a country once viewed as the enemy. He is joined at the Tenement Museum by his friend, Suketu Mehta, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author.

103 Orchard St. // 6:30 p.m. // free.

‘Home Invasion’ Brings a Whole New Meaning to Dinner and a Movie

Fritz Donnelly and Co. watch "i like you" in two strangers' apartment.

Fritz Donnelly and Co. watch “i like you” in two strangers’ apartment.

by Mark Anderson

If you ask, many people are not ready to screen an unknown feature film (in this case, ‘i like you’) in their homes with complete strangers right at this very moment. Even if you provide the screen, the sound system and popcorn.

“It’s a lot to ask, but hey, we bring the party!” says Fritz Donnelly the artist, filmmaker, and personality behind the ‘Home Invasion’ concept.

On an East Village street corner last Friday night, Fritz and a small band of ticket-holding event attendees asked the world to watch a movie with them, just so long as it was at someone else’s place.

“It’s a friendly invasion. We’re very polite. We take off our shoes,” assured Eyal, an attendee and native New Yorker.

A lot of passersby on the street were curious about the movie, applauded the ‘home invasion’ effort, appreciated the audacity, laughed at the humor, were bewildered, weren’t sure — but few were ready to go through with it.

“This screen could be showing a movie… to you… right now… in your house!” Fritz cried, unscrolling a vintage portable projection screen.

Home Invasion

For some, another time was better, or they didn’t live nearby, or they didn’t know anything about ‘i like you,’ Fritz’s first narrative feature, a ‘quirky surreal romantic comedy’ shot in the neighborhood, funded on Kickstarter, made on donated time and equipment, and starring Fritz and Christina. And for some, they were just walking by and wanted to keep walking.

For some, but not for all.

A nail salon, a Mexican restaurant, and a pair of single girls living in a studio apartment all said ‘yes.’ And three hours and two screenings later, everybody was smiling.

'i like you' Home Invasion

“I have confidence in people. Still, I’m kind of amazed it worked,” said Fritz between screenings. “In the beginning it was kind of like hitch-hiking: humbling and you have no idea who will stop, or how much longer you’ll be on the side of the road.

“I really respect the people who did this with me,” he continued.

The ‘Home Invasion’ attendees bought tickets online at–his and his wife Christina’s ‘interactive performance art’ presence–met on the appointed street corner and jumped right in.

“Everyone became a full part of the effort, talking to strangers, following a guy with big hair to a birthday party that seemed promising, initiating dialogue, explaining the movie based on looking at the DVD cover, even heating popcorn and leveling the projector.”

The group was carrying everything you need to screen a movie, an LCD projector, a portable screen from the super 8 movie era, even a sound system with BOSE speakers; oh — and an extension cord. The whole setup worked as long as there was one free three-pronged outlet.

'i like you' Home Invasion

“I saw the screen and I thought, awesome.” Remarked a man who suddenly joined the group with his partner, Emily. They couldn’t host the screening but she made two calls to friends hoping to find a host apartment, and when that didn’t pan out, they accompanied the group on the adventure. “I’m an A/V tech so I understand what it’s like to lug one of those screens around. Respect.”

“I’ve been to some of his events before,” said Robert, an attendee dressed in jeans and a sports jacket. “He encourages me to feel uncomfortable, to push the boundaries, but he’s there with you.  Sticking through it is totally rewarding. Definitely a memorable experience.”

“There’s a political dimension to the whole thing too,” Fritz claims. “Like where would someone spontaneously share their art on a Friday night in the East Village or LES in 2014? How can you show things to people who are outside your circle of friends, or outside any circle you travel in? We did that tonight,” commented Fritz. “There are many great cultural institutions but they require planning and process and have specific audiences.”

A common reaction from some passersby was to point out other venues nearby that would welcome a screening event with some advance notice.  But for Fritz the immediacy and the intimacy were just as important.

“It was fun to go out there and see how open (or not) people were,” explained Lauren, another attendee.  “It involved a little bit of risk-taking by everyone, and I think anything that involves a risk is always fulfilling in some way, even if it’s just trying to watch a movie.”

“They’re going against the trend of the neighborhood getting more and more expensive, and less bohemian,” said Emily on why she joined the ‘Home Invasion’ coming off the street. “This is the kind of thing that people imagine happened in New York once upon a time.”

'i like you' Home Invasion

So how did it happen just a few nights ago?

“We decided we would go out and find something fun to do that didn’t involve alcohol for a change,” explained Mariah, one of the pair who invited the ‘Home Invaders’ into her and her roommate Phoebe’s apartment. “We stopped outside this restaurant where there was a projection and people inside, and it seemed like something out of the ordinary was going on. ‘Go inside and ask,’ said this guy who was standing there too. Then he walked off. Odd, but we did. We really owe this amazing night to the encouragement of a random stranger!”

'i like you' Home Invasion

“And who can say no to sparkly pants,” chimed in Phoebe, referring to Fritz’s ice-capade-like leggings and purple sequined bolero.

“The movie itself was super sweet,” commented Lauren. “Quirky and romantic … A modern day NY artists’ love story! Loved the whole experience of bringing real people into experiencing a fictional movie that stars real people. There’s something really cool and meta happening here…can’t quite put it into words…”

'i like you' Home Invasion

As a result of doing this event a lot of people have offered to show the movie in their homes, their gardens, on their roofs, and the staff at Oaxaca, the Mexican restaurant, encouraged the ‘Home Invaders’ to come back anytime.

The next scheduled screening of ‘i like you’ will take place with the theme of “Robe and/or Undergarments” at the Manhattan Inn on Sunday, March 2nd at 5pm.

“What better way to watch a movie than in a robe and slippers or better yet, your underwear!” Rolyn co-owner of the Manhattan Inn assures us that the heat in the screening room will be cranked all the way up.

Go here for the next showing of ‘i like you.’
Go here for more events from Fritz and HiChristina.
To host or be involved with the next ‘Home Invasion’ email:

Arts Watch: What To Do in February

Losers Lounge

Members of The Losers Lounge, will present their Lou Reed tribute series of concerts at Joe’s Pub Feb. 6-8, 2014.

Here’s the monthly roundup of local events featured in our magazine:

Tues. 4 – Pig Iron Theatre Company Presents Twelfth Night at Abrons Arts Center: Pig Iron Theatre Company’s raucous, spirited Twelfth Night breathes new life into the Bard’s classic, creating an exhilarating version replete with practical jokes, gender confusion and mistaken identity. Directed by Dan Rothenberg.

Through Feb. 23 // 466 Grand St. // showtimes vary // $30-$40.

Thurs. 6 – The Losers Lounge Tribute to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground at Joe’s Pub: This ongoing “Tribute Project” has been charming (and alarming) New Yorkers since 1993. Started by session keyboardist Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs, The Ramones, Ryan Adams) and Psycho-Cabaret singer Nick Danger, their often-irreverent performances attract musicians of all stripes and genres who join in and offer their take on the music of the evening. Their bimonthly performances have included tributes to everyone from ABBA to Neil Diamond to David Bowie and The Zombies. This month they are honoring one of the greats. Expect fabulous and famous guest artists to show up and join in.

Through Sat., Feb. 8 // 425 Lafayette St. // show times vary // $25.

Fri. 7 – The Mystery of Pearl Street at Dixon Place: Set in the mysterious Blue Room, playwright, performer and journalist Toni Schlesinger pursues the unsolved real-life story of two artists who disappeared in 1997 from their 19th century loft near the East River on one of the oldest streets in Manhattan.

161A Chrystie St. // Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 22 // 7:30 p.m. // $16 adv./$20 door.

Tues. 11 – Seth Herzog’s SWEET at the Slipper Room: Self-proclaimed comedian, writer, food-eater, funny face-maker and break dancer Seth Herzog continues his long-running weekly stand-up comedy extravaganza. Performers like Kroll, Justin Long and Tiff Stevenson (UK) often stop by.

167 Orchard St. // 9 p.m. // $7, 21+over.

Wed. 19 – Rugelach Making Workshop at the Museum at Eldridge Street: Learn how to make rugelach, the traditional Jewish pastry, with a range of tasty fillings, including cinnamon, fruit and chocolate.  All ingredients are kosher.

12 Eldridge St. // 11 a.m. // RSVP required // $20 adults.

 Wed. 19 – Nina Persson at Mercury Lounge:  One of Sweden’s biggest pop stars over the past decade returns to the stage after a lengthy break due to a cancer diagnosis. The former lead singer of The Cardigans has gone solo for her new album, Animal Heart, her first major release since 2009′s Colonia with A Camp, her side-project with husband Nathan Larson and guitarist Niclas Fris.

217 E. Houston St. // 7:30 p.m. // $20.

Thurs. 20 – Vanessa Anspaugh’s We Were an Island at Danspace: Choreographer and performer Vanessa Anspaugh debuts her new work exploring territories of togetherness and meditates on the illusory nature of islands, asking whether the way to know absence is to find new land.

Through Sat., Feb. 22 // 131 E. 10th St. // 8 p.m. // $20 General/$15 Danspace members.

Sun. 23 – Sing, Yell, Tell: A Panel on Voice at the New Museum: Join in a public panel bringing together experts to discuss the notion of voice, from technical concerns to political potential to affective possibilities. This is the beginning of the New Museum’s Season-long exploration of VOICE, ranging from the relationships between vocal performers and engaged audiences to voice as agency in political work.

235 Bowery // 3:00 p.m. // $8.

A Few Ideas For the Christmas Holiday on the Lower East Side

Looking for something to do during the holiday? Here are a few suggestions.