Wed

6/28

Thu

6/29

Fri

6/30

Sat

7/1

Sun

7/2

Mon

7/3

Tue

7/4

Today

Wed

6/28

Dance

Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects: The Brain Piece

Photo: Christopher Duggan

Seventy-two spectators at a time will experience Jody Oberfelder’s The Brain Piece, second in a series that began in 2013 with 4Chambers, a study of the human heart. A cast of fifteen performers and collaborators leads attendees through backstage labyrinths and confronts them one-on-one in the lobby and the theater; a clever film by Oberfelder and Eric Siegel, Dance of the Neurons, demonstrates the ways nuggets of information travel around in our craniums. Set designers Juergen Riehm, Penelope Phy, and Tina Kindermann, and lighting designer Kate Bashore, create the frame for the work, which also has a scent consultant; six composers and two sound designers contribute to the mix, along with a bevy of neuroscientists. Be ready to climb stairs, wander hallways, and have “a heightened subjective experience of the brain.”

Elizabeth Zimmer

Art

Calder: Constellations

It is odd today to think of a time when mobile existed only as an adjective, but it wasn’t until 1931, when Marcel Duchamp christened Alexander Calder’s unorthodox hanging sculptures as “mobiles,” that the term came to life as a noun. For another week you can walk through the Pace Gallery and see it transformed into a galaxy of the colorful biomorphic forms, all created during and just after the Second World War, a time of great personal unrest for Calder. (Many of his close friends were overseas, including the painter Joan Miró; a sister exhibit, “Miró: Constellations,” featuring works by that artist created during the same era, closed some weeks ago.) The war forced Calder to experiment with wood rather than his usual muse, sheet metal, a medium that was obviously in shortage at the time. The experiment paid off: The mobiles gathered here, some suspended and others mounted to the wall, have a kinetic, starry energy to them.

—Sarah Edwards

Film

Duel in the Sun

Some years after constructing the mammoth Gone With the Wind (1939), producer David O. Selznick tried to best himself by erecting this bewildering cinematic shrine to his second wife, Jennifer Jones. The bloated result, Duel in the Sun (1946), envisions a scorching western setting to match the wild passions of its protagonist, a mestiza named Pearl (Jones). The central narrative places Pearl in a lust triangle with a modern-day Cain and Abel, played respectively by slithering Gregory Peck and haughty Joseph Cotten. While credited to King Vidor (one of a half-dozen directors who worked on the production), this is Selznick’s picture, featuring the best and the worst of his bombastic Hollywood pomposity. The key remains Jones, who gives the film its spunky humor and pierced intensity, amplifying the Freudian undertones all the way to its mountainous climax between a girl and a gun.

—Peter Labuza

Film

Nitehawk Shorts Festival Selects

There’s not much of a thematic coherence to the Nitehawk Shorts Festival Selects program — a collection of seven short films running at 91 minutes total — except that every single one of them is worth your attention. A conscious effort to highlight diverse voices both on and off the screen leaves no two shorts feeling like a repeat of each other; standouts include last year’s Jury winner Vegas, a charming documentary about a gay country singer called These Cocksucking Tears, and a smoky comedy that’s best when watched completely uninitiated. Shorts are an important medium for rising new voices in film, yet they still remain somewhat inaccessible. Nitehawk’s curation of these seven noteworthy works should help get more eyeballs on these projects — because even little movies deserve the big screen.

—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim

Film

A Vision of Resistance: Peter Nestler

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “A Vision of Resistance: Peter Nestler” is that that rare repertory pleasure: the presentation of works by a major artist whose output is likely to be news to even the most hardened of metropolitan cinephiles. Documentarian Nestler’s films may seem like straightforward educational efforts, part of West Germany’s postwar rehabilitation project — How is glass made (How to Make Glass [Manually], 1970, 24 minutes)? How has life changed in the industrial Ruhr region (Mülheim [Ruhr], 1964, 14 minutes)? What is the history of the Jewish community in Frankfurt (Die Judengasse, 1988, 43 minutes)? — but through Nestler’s crystalline direction and precision editing, each question becomes a dialectical inquiry, an object lesson in cinematic materialism. If you admire Humphrey Jennings, Henri Storck, Joris Ivens, Straub-Huillet, Alexander Kluge, Roberto Rossellini, Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, Harun Farocki, José Luis Guerín, Thomas Heise, or Kirsten Johnson, then Nestler is your guy.

—Michael Sicinski

Theater

The Artificial Jungle

The last play written by master of high camp Charles Ludlam before his death in 1987 was this noir satire involving a dull pet-shop owner, his bored wife, a dangerous drifter, and an ominous piranha tank. Beyond mere spoofery, Ludlam’s works stand out for the range and sophistication of their references (Double Indemnity bumps up against Zola’s Thérése Raquin) and the playwright’s strict adherence to the conventions of melodrama, even as he pushes them to absurd extremes. To mark the fifty-year anniversary of the founding of Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, his partner and collaborator Everett Quinton (who played the drifter in the original production) is directing a revival of The Artificial Jungle for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, a company that employs actors with disabilities as well as able-bodied performers.

—Zac Thompson

Film

Bad Lieutenant

Although perhaps overshadowed in the popular imagination by Werner Herzog’s berserk 2009 New Orleans–set version (starring a typically unhinged Nicolas Cage), Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992) nevertheless stands as a smoldering and singular character study. Its central figure is a corrupt New York cop (Harvey Keitel, at his best) who abuses his power to gamble, fuck, drink, and shoot up. When a nun in Spanish Harlem is raped, something kicks loose in his blinkered brain and, although he’s “done so many bad things” (his words), he sets out to avenge her in his own way. Bad Lieutenants narrative is pure pulp, but the movie itself is so much more than that; Ferrara represents an individual’s delirium within a quasi-social-realist framework of a rotting city, creating a work of palpable anguish. The film follows in the path of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) and prefigures Gaspar Noé’s I Stand Alone (1998) — a holy trinity of works about broken, lonely, imbalanced men roaming cityscapes.

—Tanner Tafelski

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Dance

Dans(c)e

The portmanteau-creating parentheses in his ensemble’s name reference the fact that Dylan Crossman, a veteran of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour and a star performer in Sally Silvers’s recent Tenderizer, grew up in the South of France and studied in London. His four-year-old troupe looks at identity issues in human behavior, in a fifty-minute world premiere, Here We Are, which investigates “intimacy and interpersonal connection within a formalist context,” with a nod to the social encounters experienced during moments of political upheaval and oppression. Performers in Here We Are include Jason Collins,
Una Ludviksen, Sherah Shipman, and Brandon Washington, as well as the choreographer. French artist and scenographer Hubert Lafore, whose work centers on relational patterns, collaborates on the visual landscape, and electronic composer Jesse Stiles creates the sound score.

Dance

Dylan Crossman Dans(c)e: Here We Are

The portmanteau-creating parentheses in his ensemble’s name reference the fact that Dylan Crossman, a veteran of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour and a star performer in Sally Silvers’s recent Tenderizer, grew up in the south of France and studied in London. HIs four-year-old troupe looks at identity issues in human behavior, in a fifty-minute world premiere, Here We Are, which investigates “intimacy and interpersonal connection within a formalist context,” with a nod to the social encounters experienced during moments of political upheaval and oppression. Performers in Here We Are include Jason Collins, Una Ludviksen, Sherah Shipman, and Brandon Washington, as well as the choreographer. French artist and scenographer Hubert Lafore, whose work centers on relational patterns, collaborates on the visual landscape, and electronic composer Jesse Stiles creates the sound score.

Elizabeth Zimmer

Thu

6/29

Music

Lila Downs

Photo: Marcela Taboada

Oaxacan-born singer-songwriter Lila Downs specializes in dramatic transformations that highlight and explore the feminine archetypes of Latin American culture. With the help of synchronized art, film, and photography, the former road-tripping Deadhead oscillates between a bevy of registers: deeply emotive mariachi, social-realist protest singing, shamanic healing, indie-rock belting, tender bolero crooning. On her new Salón Lágrimas y Deseo, Downs mounts a feminist attack on machocentric banda horn ensembles, pays a devastatingly beautiful tribute to Seventies Chicana activists Las Adelitas de Aztlán, and jerks the tears out of José Alfredo Jiménez’s ranchera classic “Un Mundo Raro.” Come early for Tucson’s excellent Orkesta Mendoza, a revved-up ranchera outfit fronted by Sergio Mendoza alongside the group’s secret weapon: dapper silver fox Salvador Duran.

—Richard Gehr

Comics

Mark Fertig: Take That Adolf!

It’s one of the most indelible images of Golden Age comic books: Captain America socking Adolf Hitler in the jaw on the cover of Captain America Comics #1 — cover-dated March 1941, months before America officially entered the Second World War. As Susquehanna University professor Mark Fertig discusses in his new book, Take That Adolf!: Fighting Comics Books of the Second World War, superheroes like Cap and Wonder Woman became models of patriotism and even helped pave the way for the war’s entry into the public conversation. At this Society of Illustrators lecture, Fertig will unpack superheroes’ role during that turbulent period, the vibrant wish-fulfillment of their exciting battles, and also the propaganda and racism that could be found on those wartime comics pages.

Rob Staeger

Food & Drink

Rums of the World

It’s been decided: We take rum seriously now. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not one of the most purely fun spirits to drink and learn about, thanks to its fascinating, pirate-populated backstory. That’s why the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will be bringing together a panel of some of the most knowledgeable people working with the spirit to discuss it from a variety from angles. Bartenders and rum brand ambassadors Shannon Mustipher and Dani DeLuna will be on hand with Real McCoy rum CEO Bailey Pryor and Ministry of Rum founder Ed Hamilton. You’ll learn about the history, production, and use of the spirit, and get guided through a tasting of the bottles you don’t usually see on bar shelves. It’s the smart way to start the season of tiki.

—Alicia Kennedy

Film

Print Screen: Yuri Herrera and The Long Goodbye

The latest in the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Print Screen” series — which pairs contemporary writers with films that have informed their work — sets a screening of Robert Altman’s beloved 1973 neo-noir The Long Goodbye alongside a discussion with the Mexican novelist Yuri Herrera, author of the acclaimed Signs Preceding the End of the World (2015) and his newly translated debut novel, Kingdom Cons. Altman’s film transposes the action of Chandler’s most melancholic novel to a lurid Seventies SoCal, and the character of Philip Marlowe into the drowsy, taciturn form of Elliott Gould. This makes for an interesting analogue to Herrera’s novels: Like Chandler, Herrera has crafted a distinctive neologistic language and a darkly surrealist nightworld that’s instantly iconic, just slightly askew from our own. As with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond’s floating, sun-dazzled images in Altman’s film, Herrera’s seductive style follows his novels’ wanderers, migrants, or would-be gumshoes as they criss-cross the hazy landscapes straddling the U.S.–Mexico border.

—Leo Goldsmith

Science

Real/Fake Science: An Interactive Experiment Salon

It’s easy to scoff at the flimflam of yesteryear: 1912’s Piltdown Man, the 1947 film of an alien autopsy, or even the 1999 “discovery” of the archaeoraptor, which was ultimately revealed to be two unrelated fossils glued together. Yet that hodge-podge skeleton was good enough to fool National Geographic before the imaginary beast was eventually outed. The question is: Are you sharp enough to spot a hoax when you hear it? Join Atlas Obscura at Union Hall in Brooklyn for this experimental salon, as six presenters (some scientists, some charlatans) offer evidence of scientific breakthroughs — a few of them bogus. Can you sift through the alternative facts and discern which studies are the genuine article?

Rob Staeger

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Dance

Dans(c)e

The portmanteau-creating parentheses in his ensemble’s name reference the fact that Dylan Crossman, a veteran of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour and a star performer in Sally Silvers’s recent Tenderizer, grew up in the South of France and studied in London. His four-year-old troupe looks at identity issues in human behavior, in a fifty-minute world premiere, Here We Are, which investigates “intimacy and interpersonal connection within a formalist context,” with a nod to the social encounters experienced during moments of political upheaval and oppression. Performers in Here We Are include Jason Collins,
Una Ludviksen, Sherah Shipman, and Brandon Washington, as well as the choreographer. French artist and scenographer Hubert Lafore, whose work centers on relational patterns, collaborates on the visual landscape, and electronic composer Jesse Stiles creates the sound score.

Dance

Dans(c)e

The portmanteau-creating parentheses in his ensemble’s name reference the fact that Dylan Crossman, a veteran of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour and a star performer in Sally Silvers’s recent Tenderizer, grew up in the South of France and studied in London. His four-year-old troupe looks at identity issues in human behavior, in a fifty-minute world premiere, Here We Are, which investigates “intimacy and interpersonal connection within a formalist context,” with a nod to the social encounters experienced during moments of political upheaval and oppression. Performers in Here We Are include Jason Collins,
Una Ludviksen, Sherah Shipman, and Brandon Washington, as well as the choreographer. French artist and scenographer Hubert Lafore, whose work centers on relational patterns, collaborates on the visual landscape, and electronic composer Jesse Stiles creates the sound score.

Fri

6/30

Music

Daniel Bachman

Photo: Courtesy Facebook

Guitar virtuoso Daniel Bachman makes good winter music, spare and thoughtful, but let’s be honest — the raw, twangy blister of his finger-picking is also summer as hell. At 27, Bachman, who hails from Fredericksburg, Virginia (the same hometown of the late, great guitarist Jack Rose), has quietly emerged as one of the heavyweights on the American Primitivism music scene. 2015 saw the release of the lush River, and last year brought his self-titled record, which was a little more zoomed-out, with a little more drone; if River was the potluck, then Daniel Bachman was the slow panorama over the food after the party, once the yard has emptied and the thunder starts rolling in. Heard in-person, Bachman’s acoustics roil, rush, and then wash right over you. Will Stratton and Daryl Rahn open his Baby’s set.

—Sarah Edwards

Film

The Song of Bernadette

Before the era of independent film producers, or the critical era of sub-rosa political upheaval depicted in the Coens’ Hail, Caesar!, religious-themed movies were just another genre for the mill  albeit one fishing for praise and legitimacy from evangelicals, who were thought to turn up their noses at sinful photoplays. Movies like The Song of Bernadette (1943) were built and distributed by folks who would today make Captain America sequels, not God’s Not Dead 2. Based on the 1941 docu-fictional novel about Saint Bernadette, a Lourdes youth who professed visions of the Virgin Mary, the film bears evidence of Gregg Toland’s influence on cinematography with habitual use of deep-focus and low-angle shots. In rare quiet moments, the movie resembles several similar Bresson milieus; elsewhere, it’s somewhat anathema to the Mouchette auteur: declamatory and broad, a secular overture without piety’s intuition.

—Jaime N. Christley

Music

Early Riser

Once pigeonholed by power chords and testosterone, punk rock spreads an increasingly wide umbrella in 2017. Early Riser — a Brooklyn four-piece consisting of acoustic guitar, electric bass, cello, and drums — is one of the more earnest punk bands to come out of New York City in recent years. Channeling folk-punk outfits like Defiance Ohio and the early-Aughts Against Me!, Early Riser’s Kiri Oliver and Heidi Vanderlee craft sincere, vocally driven anthems fit for sweaty sing-alongs. Celebrating the release of their debut album, Currents, out on Brooklyn’s Anchorless Records, Early Riser bring their rollicking, introspective brand of punk to the Gateway on June 30. Catch them in a dingy Bed-Stuy bar before they blow up.

—Jackson Connor

Talks

The Woman Question

It’s a good thing women can vote, but with turnout in November at an abysmal twenty-year low, and with 53 percent of white women voting for Trump, it seems the suffragettes weren’t enough to save us from our current national nightmare. This Friday, join professor of American history and women’s studies Jamie Warren as she discusses what the suffragettes did well, but also what they failed at — namely, what sort of racist and classist ideas were built into the movement? And how can we learn from them today? (Because we all need to learn — not just that 53 percent!) So, before crackin’ open a cold one with the boys this Independence Day, have a beer with the gals and ask, Are we really free when there’s continued racist and classist voter suppression impacting women despite the achievements of women’s suffrage in the twentieth century? Drinks provided by Sixpoint Brewery and Maison Cubi.

—Julia Irion Martins

 

Music

Monk on Guitars

Great Thelonious Monk guitar albums — such as Elliott Sharp’s spidery Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!, Peter Bernstein’s authoritative Monk, and even Mike Neer’s twanging Steelonious — are rarer than you might think. That’s because, when it comes to Monk, you want to hear someone developing the song, not just working the changes. So expect “Monk on Guitars,” a benefit for the Greenwich House Music School presented by Bradley Bambarger’s indispensable Sound It Out jazz concert series, to deliver crepuscular melodic adventures aplenty from some formidable, innovative, and often unpredictable players. The participating guitarists, piloted by bandleader Rez Abbasi, include Nels Cline, Julian Lage, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, Liberty Ellman, Steve Cardenas, Anders Nilsson, and Mike Baggetta. They’ll be supported by bassists Stephan Crump, Jerome Harris, and Chris Lightcap, along with drummers Colin Stranahan, Richie Barshay, and Mark Whitfield Jr.

—Richard Gehr

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Dance

Dans(c)e

The portmanteau-creating parentheses in his ensemble’s name reference the fact that Dylan Crossman, a veteran of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour and a star performer in Sally Silvers’s recent Tenderizer, grew up in the South of France and studied in London. His four-year-old troupe looks at identity issues in human behavior, in a fifty-minute world premiere, Here We Are, which investigates “intimacy and interpersonal connection within a formalist context,” with a nod to the social encounters experienced during moments of political upheaval and oppression. Performers in Here We Are include Jason Collins,
Una Ludviksen, Sherah Shipman, and Brandon Washington, as well as the choreographer. French artist and scenographer Hubert Lafore, whose work centers on relational patterns, collaborates on the visual landscape, and electronic composer Jesse Stiles creates the sound score.

Music

Riverside

The band Riverside invented itself to celebrate the music of Jimmy Giuffre, a wily composer who did things with small ensembles that others weren’t doing. You know, an innovator. But trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassist Steve Swallow, and the Doxas brothers Chet (reeds) and Jim (drums) have moved on. Now they’re saluting Carla Bley, who Giuffre covered and Swallow lives with. She’s a wily composer who has done things with large ensembles that others haven’t done. You know, a marvel. The group illustrates its agility while delighting us with whimsy on The New National Anthem, which bundles three Bley jewels and unpacks a handful of originals that walk in her shadow. Freebop started somewhere, and as the foursome puts its improv expertise in gear at this two-night stint, its coordinates may be revealed.

—Jim Macnie

Sat

7/1

Film

Fern Silva

Photo: Fern Silva, The Watchmen, 2017 / Courtesy the artist

Fern Silva’s work — the subject of the latest entry in the New Museum’s ongoing “Screens Series” initiative — is marked by bewildering collisions that suggest, at once, unfolding mysteries, exotic adventures, and terrifying cataclysms. Combining a casually observational style of 16mm filmmaking with an intuitive sense of assemblage, Silva stages uncanny juxtapositions of the organic and the artificial. The Watchmen (2017) pieces together an ecstatic sci-fi narrative from images of abandoned prison-panopticons, Chicago hotdog stands, and jailhouse sequences seamlessly metabolized from films like The Blues Brothers (1980). Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder (2017) documents the Catskills, upending Hudson River School conventions of the painterly landscape with weird injections of horror, microportraiture, and Prince. Throughout, Silva’s careful attention to detail creates enveloping audiovisual experiences, notably in his hypnotic work with sound — combining pop songs, ambient noise, and ghostly abstractions. In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails (2010) jumps from a sampled voiceover from a Transformers sequel to Detroit techno to field recordings to samba, intercutting images of barely clothed Carnival revelers in Bahia, cosmic Hollywood CGI, and baby turtles scurrying toward the ocean.

—Leo Goldsmith

 

Beach

Riis Bazaar Beach Pass

We’re approaching the heart of summer, and if you need an added incentive to get to the beach before Labor Day, here’s a good deal that’s going on all season long. You get two beers or glasses of wine; a cheeseburger and fries or a veggie dog and fries from Ed & Bev’s; and, for an extra $7, a beach chair for a little extra-comfy lounging. Plus, the deal provides a 10 percent discount on a ticket for the Rockaway Beach Bus — an option that may be appealing given the recent hiccups surrounding the city’s new ferry service from Wall Street to Rockaway. However you get there, after a couple of drinks and a bite, you’ll certainly be ready for a dip in the refreshing ocean, which is, of course, complimentary. Check the website for information on live music and other special events.

—Mary Bakija

Food & Drink

Independence Day Celebration

Get a taste — literally — of how Independence Day was celebrated when Congress declared it a national holiday in 1870. Historic Richmond Town is older than that, first established in 1856 as the Staten Island Historical Society, but that same Victorian-era history is on display today, and they’re busting out the sweetest aspects for this event. Look for a pie-baking demonstration and then help chip ice to churn old-fashioned ice cream, each with opportunities to taste-test the hard work. Kids can craft pinwheels and join a parade, and everyone of all ages can reflect on the state of our nation— past and present — during a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence.

—Mary Bakija

 

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Music

Riverside

The band Riverside invented itself to celebrate the music of Jimmy Giuffre, a wily composer who did things with small ensembles that others weren’t doing. You know, an innovator. But trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassist Steve Swallow, and the Doxas brothers Chet (reeds) and Jim (drums) have moved on. Now they’re saluting Carla Bley, who Giuffre covered and Swallow lives with. She’s a wily composer who has done things with large ensembles that others haven’t done. You know, a marvel. The group illustrates its agility while delighting us with whimsy on The New National Anthem, which bundles three Bley jewels and unpacks a handful of originals that walk in her shadow. Freebop started somewhere, and as the foursome puts its improv expertise in gear at this two-night stint, its coordinates may be revealed.

—Jim Macnie

Sun

7/2

Theater

J & K: 1965

Photo: Bill Eppridge

In 1965, Life photographer Bill Eppridge took a series of photographs of two heroin addicts in New York City: John and Karen. The photos and accompanying article by John Mills shocked American readers from the era, who were confronted by the heroin epidemic, possibly for the first time; it quickly became the inspiration for the gritty 1971 film, Panic in Needle Park, starring Al Pacino. Now Live in Theater looks to those photos again in J & K: 1965, an interactive endeavor about the lives behind those images and the love story of John and Karen. Set in outdoor locations on the Lower East Side, the play has the audience taking on the roles of friends, family members, and other addicts; the company wants attendees to join in on the struggle of these troubled characters, and perhaps experience something like the shock of those initial, impressionable Life readers.

—Nicole Serratore

Theater

Julius Caesar

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took on unruly cultural relevance this summer with the controversy surrounding the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. If that brouhaha got you curious about how a four-hundred-year-old play can still shake people up, you may want to have a look at another provocative staging of Caesar happening this season. Shedding an explicit focus on contemporary politics, the company Pocket Universe has set the Bard’s tale in an all-girl high school. Conceived by Alyssa May Gold and directed by Katie Young, this production, with an all-female cast, wants to look at Shakespeare’s themes of power, betrayal, and friendship through the eyes of teenage girls. Eager to present a story that would leave the Bechdel test in its dust, this adaptation provides a window into the distinct psychological pressures created in a circle of ambitious young women.

-Nicole Serratore

Music

Get Ur Freak On: A Celebration of Missy Elliott

Brooklyn rapper and spoken-word artist Latasha Alcindor brings the living history of Missy Elliott to Le Poisson Rouge for a commemoration of the emcee’s everlasting contributions to hip-hop. Missy’s status as an elder stateswoman of the genre is transcendent of time — her relevancy reigns anew with every fresh infectious tune and Afro-futuristic visual she releases year after year. A rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, and record producer, Missy has cemented a legacy that will continue to thrive through its timeless vault of hits and collaborations. Following on the heels of the release of her latest album, Teen Nite at Empire — a coalescence of Caribbean flair and gritty New York lyricism, laced with tough truths and fresh fun — Latasha Alcindor will prove an apt act and worthy contemporary to pay tribute to the legend.

—Ivie Ani

Mon

7/3

Art

Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897

Photo: Jean Delville's The Death of Orpheus (detail), 1893 / © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels / Photo: © Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium, Brussels: J. Geleyns-Ro scan

There is much we don’t know about the original Rosicrucians: Who were they? When did the sect originate? Were their philosophies a hoax? Why was their cross quite so rosy? Real or ersatz, Rosicrucian manifestos and claims to esoteric knowledge proved attractive and influential to artists and thinkers. This Guggenheim exhibit honors a select group, Parisians who contributed symbolist art to an annual show and international artists influenced by their mysterious, metaphoric work. In addition to the forty works of art displayed, a musical component, including pieces from the likes of Erik Satie, will underscore the paintings.

—Alexis Soloski

Art

Anish Kapoor: Descension

Anish Kapoor, to his enormous credit, is the rare contemporary artist who begins not with concepts, but with style. Whatever ideas emerge from his art come later, from the look of the thing, the way it feels and how it hits the senses. Although Kapoor tends toward a clean, spare, graceful style, there is often something overwhelming to his work. That’s certainly the case with “Descension,” an endless whirlpool that disappears into the earth, now installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Much of its power comes from the tremendous and ominous hum it generates, which most people will notice before they even lay eyes on it. If there is a drawback, it’s the location: Brooklyn Bridge Park is anodyne and clean, which blunts some of Kapoor’s force. Still, the installation introduces a dose of aesthetic anxiety into any visitor’s day, which alone is commendable.

—Pac Pobric

Art

The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin

Admirers of the philosopher Walter Benjamin have reason to celebrate this summer: His unfinished magnum opus, The Arcades Project, forms the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum that explores the stamp of his legacy across today’s visual-arts landscape. The Arcades Project analyzed modernity by focusing on the shopping passages of nineteenth-century Paris: labyrinthine avenues stretched between streets, roofed with iron and glass, lined with storefronts to attract passersby — all a bit reminiscent of modern-day Chelsea Market. The exhibition features an idiosyncratic collection of artists (such as Milena Bonilla, Voluspa Jarpa, Cindy Sherman, and Chris Burden), each of whose work appears as a response to one of the thematic sections, or “convolutes,” of Benjamin’s text. (Kenneth Goldsmith’s poetic annotations also make an appearance.) It’s a tiny exhibit, but you’ll want to take your time idling through these jam-packed rooms. Imitate Benjamin’s beloved figure of the flâneur — that leisurely saunterer of sidewalks, caught up in a reverie of browsing — and bring a turtle on a leash.

Joseph Cermatori

Tue

7/4

Food & Drink

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

Photo: Courtesy Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs / Facebook

For better or worse, this ten-minute competition has become one of the most iconic annual American sporting events. (Yes, sporting — it airs live on ESPN.) But on site, it’s a huge, messy, suspenseful party. Can reigning champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut beat his record-best seventy hot dogs from least year’s competition, thereby retaining the Mustard Belt? Will any competitors face the dreaded “reversal of fortune” (more commonly known as puking)? Live music and dancing starts the program; the women’s contest is at 11 a.m., the men’s at 12:30. If you manage to still have an appetite after the winners leave the stage, you can wait with the crowd at Nathan’s, or try the dogs at Feltman’s just down the street. Then you can spend all day at the beach, go for a dip in the surf, and chat with the regulars over beers at Ruby’s. After sunset, a fireworks show over the boardwalk is more intimate than the Macy’s version, and here you can follow the show with a teeth-clattering spin on the Cyclone, which stays open on the Fourth until midnight.

—Mary Bakija

 

Art

Eloise at the Museum

As we all know, Eloise lives at the Plaza, though it’s hard to imagine she’s a huge fan of the hotel’s condo conversion. But this summer, the children’s-book icon is relocating to the New-York Historical Society for an exhibition celebrating the collaboration between chanteuse-turned-author Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight. Unapologetically bratty and impossibly fabulous, Eloise will be displaying her paraphernalia, from manuscript pages to sketchbooks and photographs. If only the exhibit included an opportunity to order a roast beef bone and a single raisin from room service.

—Alexis Soloski

Art

Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

The Brazilian Neo-Concretist artists of the Sixties and Seventies had some talent in their ranks, but Lygia Pape was the best of them. Her paintings and constructions are elegant, never plain; simple, but never too easy to figure out — qualities sorely lacking in most geometric abstraction. She was best when she focused on seemingly simple problems, like how to mark the passing of days. Each section of her sprawling, 365-part installation Book of Time (included in this show) is made from a single slab of wood that Pape cut up, re-arranged, glued back together, and painted. The cumulative effect of these pieces, arranged across roughly four hundred square feet of wall space, is enormous: Here is an artist who understood repetition and difference.

—Pac Pobric