Christopher Lloyd will play pro-Mussolini propagandist Ezra Pound.
By Sabina Mollot
Peter Cooper Village resident Kathleen Butler, a co-founder of a theater production company called Triumvirate Artists, will be directing a limited run of “Pound,” a new play starring Christopher Lloyd.
The play, by Sean O’Leary, focuses on the American poet Ezra Pound, who made propaganda radio posts for Mussolini during World War II and was eventually charged with treason. Found to be too mentally unfit to stand trial, Pound then spent 13 years at the St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in a ward for the criminally insane.
The play imagines what his final two months there would have been like when Pound, who had basically ruled the institution where he had been given many privileges, suddenly finds himself in despair and in isolation. He then undergoes some very extreme forms of “treatment” at the hands of Mary Polley, a young psychiatrist. Polley’s methods involve inflicting extreme guilt on Pound, by then 73 years old, for his actions.
“One of the things that comes up often at the heart of this play is that words can make a difference,” said Butler. “Words can kill. Words can have dire consequences, even when you don’t realize it.”
Emily Ruderman, member of theater troupe that benefits charities (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
When Stuy Town resident Emily Ruderman made a shift in her career away from the arts, it happened to coincide with the beginning of her involvement in a Manhattan theater troupe, giving her a new creative outlet.
Ruderman, who used to work for nonprofit Roundabout Theatre and later Nickelodeon, started as a project manager at the advertising agency Grey about five months ago, and became a member of the Blue Hill Troupe about a month before starting her new job.
The all-volunteer troupe is based uptown and produces a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and a Broadway musical every year, as well as a concert, to benefit various charities throughout the city. The organization focuses on one charity each year and this year is partnering with Rocking the Boat, a Bronx-based nonprofit that teaches high school students about science and math through boatbuilding and sailing programs.
The spring show for the company is “City of Angels.” It premiered on April 21 and will have its final two shows this coming weekend at El Teatro of El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem.
Re: Letter, “Hillary pilloried for not being perfect,” T&V, Nov. 10
I’ll never understand why people with strong opinions are not strong enough to sign their names to their letters.
For example, a “Name Withheld” writer confidently states: “I am proud to vote for Hillary Clinton who is intelligent, competent and completely qualified,” but is not proud enough of her views to sign her name. She states that Bernie Sanders “ran on a platform of grandiose ideas that he did not have a hope of getting through Congress.”
How does she know this? Did Bernie tell her, “Hey, Name Withheld, I know these ideas of mine don’t have a prayer for success, but when you run for public office, you gotta say something?” And did she tell Bernie he is “not qualified to head the Executive Office,” to which he replied, “Who is?” Although being a mayor or governor might offer some experience, I doubt that anything prepares one for being the president of the USA. What were Obama’s qualifications? Or W’s? Or (are you sitting down down?) Trump’s?
After trashing Bernie, Name Withheld defends Hillary by writing that voters “struggle to see a woman in office. They find reasons to attack her over not very much. Misogyny, unfortunately, is still alive and well.” But maybe it’s not Hillary’s gender that voters find troubling, but rather the appearance of years of dishonesty and corruption.
I can’t speak for others who find Hill and Bill so untrustworthy there’s not enough space in T&V to list their reasons, but I did vote for a woman. Her name rhymes with Hill. She heads The Green Party and because I want a third party, independent of the two giants in America, I voted for Jill Stein. Stein’s platform was almost identical to Bernie’s.
And maybe she lost like Bernie because she didn’t have a hope for success either. But I do. We have the knowledge and the ability to clean up all the mess we have created in our society. We just need the will.
John Cappelletti, ST
Editor’s note: At Town & Village, we agree that signed letters have more credibility than anonymous ones. However, in this case, it was the editor’s mistake to sign the author’s letter as “Name withheld,” when in fact, she hadn’t made a request to remain anonymous. The author of the letter is Harriet Gottfried, a retired librarian living in Stuyvesant Town. We regret the error.
Program organizers Alex Nguyen, Dusty Brown, Arlene Harrison and Rev. Dr. Tom Pike (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
An old furnace room in St. George’s Church on East 16th Street in the past year has become gathering place for New Yorkers to experience the arts on a budget. Known as the Cave, the space has played host to jazz concerts, literary readings and plays, and until recently the programming operated parallel to each other but separately. But the three organizers have now come together to create the Olmsted Salon with the combined goal of getting the community more involved in the arts.
“That’s the core of the program,” said Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, which has been working with organizers Alex Nguyen, Dusty Brown and Maria Bowler. “There are underserved populations and we want to connect people through art, culture and conversation.”
Una Aya Osato will play every member of a college rugby team in “With You.” a new comedic play she also wrote for the upcoming FRIGID Festival. (Photo by Anna Barsan)
By Sabina Mollot
As she has for the past six years, Una Aya Osato, a Stuyvesant Town resident who’s an actor, writer, theater producer and burlesque dancer, is giving New Yorkers a reason to leave their apartments this snow-filled month.
She’ll be participating in the FRIGID Festival, an annual smorgasbord of alternative theater that’s now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
This year’s event will include 30 productions at two East Village venues, one of which is “With You,” a one-woman show written and performed by Osato.
This play, which Osato has described as a “queer rom-com,” focuses on a college rugby team with women and trans-people as members, and it’s actually semi-autobiographical. Osato had attended Wesleyan University, which she said was a pretty progressive place. “Especially in the rugby community,” which was full of artists and LGBT students. That would include Osato, although she prefers the term “queer” over gay.
The following local Halloween events start this weekend:
GREENWICH VILLAGE CHILDREN’S PARADE—NYU and Community Board 2 present the 25th annual Children’s Halloween Parade, the city’s largest free children’s event on Halloween Day, October 31. Parents and children aged 3-12 are invited to gather at the Washington Square Arch by 1 p.m. Children and families will march around Washington Square Park. After the parade, free trick-or-treat bags, games and rides await the children on LaGuardia Place. The event finishes at 4 p.m. The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street.
FAIR FOR KIDS IN STUY TOWN—Stuyvesant Town will hold a “Halloween Spooktacular” event on the Oval on Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m. There will be a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, live music, face painting, crafts, candy and more for residents and their guests.
CARNIVAL AT LITTLE MISSIONARY—Little Missionary’s Day Nursery pre-school will hold a haunted Halloween party on October 31 from noon-4 p.m. at St. Marks Church and the Bowery, at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. There will be a haunted house, puppet show, music, games, cotton candy, hot dogs, face painting, scavenger hunts, creepy stories with Thea Taube and food and drinks. No entry fee, but tickets need to be purchased for food and activities. The music, puppet show and story time will be free.
PARADE FOR PETS NEAR STUY TOWN—Cauz for Pawz thrift shop will be holding its first Halloween parade for pets on Sunday, October 25 from 1-3 p.m. The pets will walk a red carpet and be voted on. The venue is the store’s new location at 333 First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. For more information, call (212) 684-7299.
DOG PARADE AT TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK—On Saturday, October 24 from noon-3 p.m., the annual Halloween parade for dogs will take place at Tompkins Square Park. There will be tons of prizes for dogs in costumes at this event, which will be held in the dog run, East 9th Street between Avenues A and B. There will also be local rescue adoptions. Rain date is Sunday.
PARTY FOR KIDS AT WATERSIDE—All resident Waterside children are invited to attend the annual Halloween party on Sat., Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Waterside Swim & Health Club, 35 Waterside Plaza and outside on the plaza, weather permitting. The event will feature face painting, a photo booth, a costume contest, a spooktacular number of games and activities and lots and lots of treats. Admission is free and open to resident children of Waterside Plaza. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
COSTUME BALL & PERFORMANCES FOR ADULTS—Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at E. 10th St., presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Saturday, October 31. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap. Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. These will include Hot Lavender Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band. The Johnson Theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public. Inside, there is theater all evening. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment will start at 3:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets, Burlesque and Hellsouls. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade,” as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Reservations are strongly recommended. For tickets ($20, costume or formal wear required) or more information, call (212) 254-1109 or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum presents the tour, “Irish Outsiders,” in the restored home of an Irish-Catholic immigrant family. (Photo courtesy of Tenement Museum)
By Sabina Mollot
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on Tuesday, March 17, and for those looking for a way to celebrate the day when everyone’s Irish (that doesn’t necessarily involve pounding down pints of Guinness), Town & Village has you covered. Read on for information on some local events celebrating Irish culture and/or St. Patrick on Tuesday and throughout the week.
On Friday, March 13 from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., the Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, presents the “Spirit of the Irish Candlelight Ghost Tour.” On this candlelit tour, guests will learn the history of the house where eight people died, and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from those who actually experienced them. Many of the most peculiar occurrences have been related to the Tredwells’ Irish servants, and so this special tour will include the 4th floor servants’ quarters. The New York Times has called the Merchant’s House “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House.” Admission is $25, $15 for museum members. For more information, call (212) 777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org.
Concertina player Noel Hill will perform on Friday as part of NYU’s “Blarney Star Concert Series.”
On Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m., New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House presents “The Blarney Star Concert Series” with Noel Hill and Martin O’Connell. Concertina player Noel Hill, of County Clare, is known for revolutionizing the sound of the little hexagonal-ended squeezebox, bringing to it a repertoire and chordal accompaniment style borrowed from the uilleann piping tradition. For this show, he’ll perform with Martin O’Connell, a younger Kerry native who’ll play the two-row button box accordion.
Free admission to NYU students and faculty with a valid ID card. For non-members, a $15 donation at the door for the Blarney Star Concert Series is requested. Tickets are available at the door only; no reservations will be accepted. For more information, call (212) 998-3950.
On Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, March 15 at noon, Big Onion Tours presents a guided walk through the former “Little Ireland” district of the Lower East Side, between City Hall and Houston Street. This family friendly tour will explain why St. Patrick’s Day is more popular here than in Ireland. Stops could include: the founding site of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Al Smith’s home, the Five Points, the first Catholic church in the city, and sites associated with Tammany Hall, Thomas Addis Emmet, and many others. The group will meet directly in front of St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for full-time students with ID and seniors 65 and up. Paying in advance is suggested at www.bigonion.com.
On Sunday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m., the Merchant’s House Museum presents the “St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants.” This tour will invite participants to climb the house’s narrow staircase to the newly restored fourth-floor servants’ quarters and see where the Tredwells’ four Irish servants lived and did some of their work. The tour will explain why it would have been impossible to run a home like the Merchant’s House without them.
Admission is $10, $5 students and seniors, free for children under 12. Reservations not required. For more information, call (212) 777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org.
On Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m., the Church of the Epiphany at East 22nd Street and Second Avenue presents a free concert with Epiphany’s Adult Choir and guest instrumentalists. The program will include Irish and St. Patrick’s Day related hymns from the chorus with more Irish and Irish-inspired music in a variety of genres from guest professional singers and instrumentalists, including drummers, flutists and harp players.
Stuyvesant Town fitness instructor Tim Haft will present two holiday themed classes (followed by happy hour drinking at Otto’s Shrunken Head for those looking to balance holiday debauchery with something healthy).
Haft will offer his weekly Punk Rope class on Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street. Admission is $12. His new MoshFit class, offered weekly at Otto’s Shrunken Head, 538 East 14th Street, will take place on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:15-7 p.m. Admission is pay-what-you-wish with a suggested amount of $12. Both classes will be followed by happy hour at Otto’s with drafts and well drinks priced at $4 (Monday from 8:30-11 p.m., Tuesday until 8 p.m.) For more information, visit punkrope.com/mosh-fit.
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard Street, is offering a tour of the restored home of the Moore family, Irish-Catholic immigrants who started a new life in Kleindeutschland (now the East Village). The tour reveals how this family dealt with being “outsiders” at 97 Orchard, and how the Irish more broadly created a strong sense of American Irish identity through the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This “Irish Outsiders” tour, which is recommended for ages 12 and up, is actually offered daily a few times a day. On Tuesday, March 17, it’s given at 12:15, 3:15, 3:45, 4:15 and 4:45 p.m. For schedules on other days throughout the week, call (877) 975-3786 or visit www.tenement.org. Booking tours online is recommended since some tours sell out. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors.
Irish Repertory Theatre is currently running the show “Da,” at the theater’s temporary space at DR2 Theatre. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)
Irish Repertory Theatre, which stages works by Irish and Irish-American playwrights, is currently running the show “Da,” at the theater’s temporary space at DR2 Theatre, 101 E. 15th St., through April 5. “Da” runs eight times each week, including on St. Patrick’s Day, with Tuesday performances at 7 p.m.
In this play by Hugh Leonard, a man named Charlie returns to his childhood home in Dublin in 1968 after his father’s funeral only to find the stubborn patriarch’s ghost unwilling to leave the house. Immediately, Charlie and his father (his “da”) start bickering as they did in life. Town & Village theater critic Peter Von Mayrhauser recently called the banter “wildly funny,” noting that “playwright Leonard has a great ear for Irish blarney.” Director is Charlotte Moore. Tickets are $70 and can be bought online at irishrep.org or by calling (212) 727-2737.
Nude literary salon “Naked Girls Reading” will present works by Irish authors. (Photo by Angela McConnell)
Horse Trade Theater Group presents “Naked Girls Reading: The Emerald Isle,” on Wednesday, March 18 at from 8-10 p.m. at Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Pl. “Naked Girls Reading” is a monthly literary salon featuring readings by local burlesque performers and others who strip down to nothing.
This month, readers will share literature, history, musings and more by and about Ireland’s greatest authors: classics by Oscar Wilde and James Joyce; selections from contemporary authors; traditional folk tales and stories; and musings on the demon Drink by authors from Ireland and beyond.
Host Nasty Canasta will be joined by Evelyn Vinyl, Nina La Voix and Stormy Leather for this in-the-buff celebration, which they’ve promised will not involve green beer or foam leprechaun hats. Cover is $25 (two for $40). For tickets, visit www.horsetrade.info/under-st-marks.
Thrift shops on East 23rd Street, like City Opera (pictured) are having holiday gift sales. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
While some may have gotten holiday shopping out of the way with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Town & Village has put together a guide for those who are looking to shop local for their gifts and offer some ideas for more unconventional presents.
Many neighborhood restaurants offer gift cards that provide more of an experience rather than a tangible present. First Avenue’s Petite Abeille offers gift certificates for $15 and $20 that can be combined. SPiN, the Susan Sarandon-owned bar on East 23rd Street, offers gift cards with any amount that can be used for food or drink, as well as for games of ping pong. Nearby wine shops include Cork and the newly-opened Rouge and Blanc, both on First Avenue. Both shops also have an extensive collection of wines from various regions as well as spirits.
Rouge and Blanc manager Dean Barak said that the shop will be having promotions on champagne, cava and prosecco in the weeks leading up to the New Year. The store, which offers free delivery, also offers a 10 percent discount for all Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents who show their ID. For all other customers, the wines are 10 percent off of four bottles, 15 percent off of eight bottles and 21 percent off of 12 bottles.
Jill Pratzon, a Stuyvesant Town resident and art restorer, also has a business that would not typically provide conventional holiday gifts, but she does have options for those who want to give the loved one a gift of renewing a damaged or aging painting. She said that while even smaller jobs take about a month to complete, meaning that a painting would not be ready for gifting before Christmas, she could provide free consultations and treatment proposals for art owners who can bring their paintings into her studio at 122 West 26th Street.
Other local businesses that offer experiences rather than new consumer goods are some of the yoga studios in the neighborhood. Kim Stetz, owner of Savasana Station on Avenue B, is having a December Special with “12 Days of Yoga,” offering gift certificates with 12 classes for $60. The certificate activates with the first class attended and it expires a year after purchase. They can be purchased at savasanastation.com/gift-certificates. Reflections Center for Conscious Living and Yoga at 227 East 24th Street offers flexible gift cards that can be purchased with a specific amount that can be applied as credit or to be used for specific classes or class packages. The studio offers various yoga classes to pick from, as well as stretching classes and meditation.
The Irish Repertory Theatre, temporarily putting on plays at the Daryl Roth Theatre, offers gift certificates for shows. (Photo courtesy of Irish Repertory Theatre)
Gift givers looking for something to wrap up for theater-lovers can get gift certificates to a couple of different neighborhood institutions. The Irish Repertory Theatre, which is currently holding performances at the Daryl Roth 2 at 103 East 15th Street while its West 22nd Street location is renovated, offers gift certificates that are good for two tickets for any show. Because the holiday shows are popular, the certificates can’t be used to reserve tickets to a specific show at the time it is purchased, but can be used to purchase tickets for later shows, depending on availability. Gift certificates can be bought by going to irishrep.org and going to the tickets section. Memberships for the theater can also be gifted but those looking to gift a membership may want to call the theater to ask about it specifically rather than buying a gift certificate on the website.
Another nearby theater company with a slightly different focus is the Peoples Improv Theater, which offers classes and various improv shows. Gift certificates are available in any amount and can be purchased for a specific class or just as credit that can be used for any class. They don’t have gift certificates available that can be used for tickets to see shows but they have a handful of holiday-themed shows throughout the month, including “The PIT Factor New Years Eve Edition” on December 30, “Dean Martin Christmas Pitacular” on December 20 and “This is Why You’re Single” on December 9, 16 and 23.
For lovers of vintage and second-hand clothing, not to mention shoppers who love a bargain, East 23rd Street’s thrift shop row can be a goldmine of affordable gifts. Non-profit animal organization Cauz for Pawz is gearing up for the holidays with sales throughout the store every day this month. Owner Cathryn Duhigg said that the sales will vary from 10 to 20 percent off on different items, varying the sales every day. For example, winter coats were 30 percent off on Tuesday and gloves/hat sets might be on sale in the future.
“We try to do a lot of sales on winter clothing because it’s still very hard for a lot of people,” Duhigg said. “It’s time to help as many people as possible.”
Some of the weekend sales at the store will focus on the non-clothing items, with various stands featuring home goods and various accessories, including headphones, perfume sets and smartphone cases. The store’s basement also has complete dining sets and a rack towards the back of the store with featured holiday accessories, which Duhigg noticed was already disheveled from shoppers picking through for holiday bargains.
The nearby City Opera Thrift Store has antique furniture, as well as cheap books, glasses, plates, vases and other housewares. Manager Diego Medina said that some of their more popular items are the artwork and international items like textiles. As for their clothing, the store is having a “Black and White” event next Wednesday, December 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. where black and white clothing items will be featured for those looking for something to wear to this season’s holiday parties.
(Pictured L-R) Elizabeth Barkan, Elena Shadrina and Charles Battersby as Eco-Witches in a skit for Theater for the New City’s Village Halloween Ball (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)
Halloween is coming up, and while one could always head to a nightclub or the parade that evening there are other things for adults to do. Read on for details of a few local events.
Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour—In the days leading up to Halloween (every evening at 7:30 p.m. until the 31st of October) Ghosts of New York presents “Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village.” Participants will go in search of the spirits of Eleanor Roosevelt and her pet dog Fala, Aaron Burr, the ghosts of the New York University Library and of Washington Square Arch, and, of course, several Edgar Allan Poe sites.
Meeting place is 85 West Third Street, one block south of Washington Square Park between Thompson and Sullivan Streets, Greenwich Village in Manhattan opposite Fire Patrol Station no. 2. Tours are $20 for adults, $15 students and seniors. For more information or to book the tour, visit www.ghostsofny.com.
Ghosts of the East Village Tour—Ghosts of New York presents “Peter Stuyvesant and His Ghostly Friends of the East Village” tour on October 31 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Participants will go in search of Peter Stuyvesant’s ghostly friends such as Edgar Allan Poe, August Belmont, Joe Papp, Washington Irving, Tredwell sisters of the Merchant House Museum, Samuel Clemens, Harry Houdini, and many others in the East Village.
This tour departs from the lion sculpture in Abe Lebewohl Park in front of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, northwest corner of Second Avenue and 135 East Tenth Street. Tours are wheel-chair accessible, 90 minutes in duration, and approximately a mile in length. The cost is $20 for adults, $15 students and seniors. For more information, visit www.ghostsofny.com or call (646) 493-7092.
Theater for the New City Costume Ball and performances—Theater for the New City presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Friday, October 31 at TNC, 155 First Avenue at 10th Street. The event takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.
Hot Lavendar Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band, will perform at The Johnson Theater. The theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Holiday dishes are contributed by neighboring East Village restaurants. There will be performance artists, songwriters, poets and variety artists including Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Evan Laurence, Arthur Abrams, Norman Savitt, Richard West, Ellen Steier, Dawoud Kringle (sitar) and Gary Heidt.
Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public and a gift from TNC to its neighborhood. Inside, there is theater all evening. The lobby will be divided into rooms featuring rooms for astrology/numerology readings. Phyllis Yampolsky will throw the I-Ching.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment, free to the public, will start at 4:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Reservations are strongly recommended. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink. For tickets, call (212) 254-1109 or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
By now, most theater buffs in New York City are familiar with “The New York International Fringe Festival,” the mega-festival of plays put on by over 200 companies in 16 days each summer for the past 18 years. However, what’s less known is that there’s also “Fringe Jr.,” a selection of plays in the festival that are geared towards kids. Each show is around an hour and put on by local as well as overseas companies.
The Fringe Jr. show “Vagabond$”
The venue this year for Fringe Jr., which kicked off August 8 and will run through August 24, is the 14th Street Y. There are four plays to choose from, each one suitable for families with kids ages 5-12, and tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for kids.
This is the second time Fringe is showing children’s plays exclusively at the Y’s LABA theater.
Previously, Fringe Jr. plays had been shown at more than one venue each year.
“The 14th Street Y has been a very good friend to us,” said Ben Cohen, an associate producer for Fringe’s community and social marketing. The venue, he said, was ideal due to the fact there are already other activities for kids going on, making it convenient for parents who want to introduce their kids to theater.
“All of us at Fringe definitely feel that theater is so important for kids,” Cohen said. “I know it had an impact on me growing up.”
This year, there were over 1,000 applications for Fringe Festival plays, although the Fringe Jr. plays have a separate application process. But like with the other plays, Fringe looks for stories that are “current, present and topical.”
Tickets to “La Soiree,” now running at the Union Square Theatre, will be $20 through 20at20. (Photo by Max Gordon)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
As part of an annual promotion, a number of local theaters will be participating in the Off-Broadway Alliance’s 20at20 ticket promotion starting next week. For 20 days, starting next Tuesday on January 21 through Sunday, February 9, various off-Broadway show tickets will be offered for $20.
Tickets for the shows will be available 20 minutes before curtain and can be purchased with cash, with a limit of one ticket per person. Four local theaters will be offering shows participating this year, including Classic Stage Company at 36 East 13th Street, 13th Street Repertory Theater at 50 West 13th Street, Union Square Theatre at 100 East 17th Street and the Irish Repertory Theatre at 132 West 22nd Street. A full list of the participating theaters is available at 20at20.com and includes a number of venues and shows farther uptown.
Each local theater has one show participating in the program. “A Man’s A Man,” showing at the Classic Stage Company, is based on a Bertolt Brecht play about a dockworker who is enlisted in the armed forces. The participating show at the Irish Repertory Theatre is “Juno and the Paycock,” a comedy about the chaos in 1924 Dublin after the Irish Civil War. “The Accidental Pervert,” in its fourth year off-Broadway, is playing at the 13th Street Repertory Theater and tells the story of a boy’s journey into manhood after he finds his father’s X-rated videotapes hidden in a closet. “La Soirée” at the Union Square Theatre is a live entertainment show that is a combination of cabaret, circus sideshow and new burlesque.
The promotion has been successful for local theaters in the past, especially in attracting new patrons who have never gone to the venues for a show. Edith O’Hara, artistic director and founder of the 13th Street Repertory Theater, said that they have participated in the promotion for the past few years and it’s always been popular.
Irish Repertory Theatre marketing director Jessica Layman said that the theater has participated in the program every time in the past four years and has helped the venue bring in new customers.
“On average, we generally have five to 10 patrons using the 20at20 promotion per performance,” Layman said. “About 75 percent of them are people who have never been to Irish Rep.”