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Arts Watch: The Week Ahead

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Tom Murrin "Alien Comic" photo Jim Moore
Tom Murrin “Alien Comic.” photo Jim Moore

There are a number of interesting events and openings this week, so I thought I would highlight a few of them:

Performance art luminary Tom Murrin, a.k.a. the “Alien Comic,” may have left this earth, but his spirit remains.  On Thursday, Dixon Place presents The First Annual 
Tom Murrin Performance Award, 
”The Tommy,” to the performance company Animals.The Tommy” will be awarded annually to emerging artists who “embody the same generous artistic spirit, creative resourcefulness, and exuberance that Tom brought in his work.”  Hallelujah! If there are artists out there creating work as genuine and creative as Tom did, I applaud them all — and this award.  The evening features performance from James Godwin, Julie Atlas Muz, Pat Olesko and Jo Andres.

Front Row: Chinese American Designers courtesy mocanyc.com
Front Row: Chinese American Designers via mocanyc.com

The Museum of Chinese in America is opening its exhibition, Front Row: Chinese American Designers.  It’s free for the public on Friday evening, from 6-8pm.  Front Row traces and celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers who decided to make their marks in New York. The list is quite impressive. Designers such as Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Vera Wang and Vivienne Tam, emerged on the fashion scene here in the 80s, just as the city was figuring out how to transform from being a “garment center” into one of the fashion capitals of the world.  These women certainly helped with that.

Vít Horejš courtesy  czechmarionettes.org
Vít Horejš Phot via

Vít Horejš brings his troupe of Czechoslovakian antique marionettes to life in Katcha and the Devil and Other Czech Tales with Strings at La MaMa on Sunday, for special family-friendly showing at 11am.  If you’ve never seen these century old hand-carved wooden puppets before, they’re worth a look–whether you’re a kid or not. Horejš has a special way of bringing these marionettes to life through his master puppetry, to tell favorite Czech stories he learned as a child in his home town, Prague. Katcha and the Devil tells the tale of a shepherd who outwits the devil who is pursued by a dance-loving shrew.

Gerard Edery. Photo courtesy eldridgestreet.org
Gerard Edery. Photo via eldridgestreet.org

The world is uniting through music at the Museum at Eldridge Street on Sunday, thanks to the Gerard Edery Ensemble’s Treasures of Sephardic Song. This special program features secular and liturgical songs from Medieval Spain to the present played on instruments with names like the erhu, cajon and oud. This is your chance to travel to far away lands, like Ancient Persia, Greece, Portugal, the Balkans and Syria, to experience music that runs deep in the veins.

The First Annual
 Tom Murrin Performance Award
 “The Tommy” / Dixon Place / 161A Chrystie Street / Thursday, April 25, 9pm / Free

Front Row: Chinese American Designers / Museum of Chinese in America / 215 Centre Street / Friday, April 26, 6-8 pm / Free

Katcha and the Devil and Other Czech Tales with Strings / The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre / La MaMa / 74 A East 4th Street / Saturday, April 27, 11am / $10 per family, no family turned away

Treasures of Sephardic Song 
with the Gerard Edery Ensemble / Museum at Eldridge Street / Sunday, April 28, 3pm / $20 adults; $15 students and seniors

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