The lack of women-led, produced, and directed theater productions and companies is a well-known phenomena both in the theater world and beyond. Michole Biancosino, the co-founder and artistic director of the Project Y Theatre Company, decided to address this disparity by hosting an entirely female-produced festival, starting on June 9 and continuing in July. The first annual Women in Theater Festival will be held in various locations throughout the city, including Under St. Mark’s in the East Village and ART/NY Studios in Brooklyn, and has become a passion project for Biancosino.
What’s being billed as a “16 hour fully immersive, internationally inspired” music and visual art event is coming to a yet-to-be disclosed location near the Jefferson stop, joining Northside and Out in the Streets on the growing list of festivals happening in and around Bushwick this summer. Variance, however, is situated somewhere between Brooklyn’s answer to SXSW and the super-local chill fest known for bringing DIY regulars out of their usual dank, cavernous confines and onto the grassy grounds of Onderdonk House.
Next week, Northside Festival promises to bring the already music-saturated borough of Brooklyn to the brink of complete and total music-ocalypse. Now in its eighth year, the festival brings together some of hippest bands that oh-so-hip North Brooklyn has to offer with shows across several venues in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Choosing which of the 400 musical acts to see and which of the 38 venues to go to is a daunting task. So to help you decide where to focus your time, energy and discerning ears over the course of six days (June 6-12), we’ve put together a list of the top ten shows.
The Minds Behind Superjail! and Wonder Showzen Are Making Their Dream / Nightmare Feature, Adventures of Drunky
When it comes to feature-length films, much of the time fans of adult cartoons are SOL. Thanks to party-pooping producers and geezer film execs, the art form has essentially been ghettoized, forced into late-night TV slots, chopped up into web series, and largely excluded from the big screen. Instead, animated children’s movies have all the fun, with production companies popping out spin-offs and trilogies like there’s no tomorrow, while their aggressive marketing campaigns and box office dominance succeed in driving many of us close to insanity. You didn’t have to be anywhere near a movie theater to be completely, utterly inundated with shrapnel from the $593 million Minions propaganda blitz. (This writer isn’t kidding at all when she recalls, with horror, having run into a guy selling Minion dolls in the Andes. Shudder.)
“I need to get into a women’s prison. I need to get into another men’s prison. Maybe I can get into two women’s prisons, or three more men’s prisons,” Fury Young said, punching his open hand with his fist emphatically. “I don’t know, but I want to try and at least get into one more of each.”
I realized the Bushwick-based prison reform activist wasn’t really directing this statement toward me– instead he was drilling himself about what remains left of his enormously ambitious passion project. For years, Young has been at work on Die Jim Crow– an effort that, so far, has taken him to a State Prison in Ohio and to neighborhoods in New York City and Philadelphia with particularly high incarceration rates. Along the way, he has recorded and collaborated with musicians who, at one time or another, have spent time behind bars or are currently locked up. “It’s the first anti-prison album recorded in prison,” he explained.
Maison Premiere has been the Belle of the Brooklyn Ball since it opened in 2011– the Williamsburg oyster bar is perpetually brimming with enraptured guests and hovering, perspiring would-bes waiting for a seat at the horseshoe bar. Earlier this month, their off-the-chain booze operation earned them the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bar Program.” I mean, where else can you find a classy, non-diabetes-forming answer to the tiki trend, an unrivaled selection of absinthe drips, and a $20 martini that looks worthy of Macaulay Culkin’s character in a sorely needed Richie Rich Redux?
BAMcinemaFest, the summer series that last year celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kids, is back with some equally exciting offerings this year, and tickets go on sale tomorrow. If you thought the Anthony Weiner documentary would be hands-down the best Weiner movie of the year, note that it’ll have some competition when Todd Solondz’s long-awaited Welcome to the Dollhouse follow-up, Wiener-Dog, screens at BAM on June 17.
When I first locked eyes with The Teen Age, I wrote that once the band’s music “gets stuck in your head, you’re screwed.” And truly, the Brooklyn band’s concoction of vibey, stoned doo-wop, cut with surf-rock and steeped in pop, hasn’t left my innards since. Theirs is the kind of pop music that seeps into your bones, made up of individual ditties that, after your first dose, can cause foot spasms and whistle symphonies for months on end.
In March we sounded the word that a spanking new Equinox is in the cards for the Whole Foods territory on North 4th Street and Bedford, likely opening in October. That whole building is so full of chains, what with Levi’s, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, a Citibank, and a WeWork, it’s pretty much Brooklyn’s answer to an average suburban strip mall. It’s no surprise Equinox would want to get in on the free-flowing $$ from health-conscious folks with cash to burn (perhaps tapping their day away over a laptop at WeWork?).
Perhaps your idea of a night out at Greenpoint’s Bar Matchless includes drunkenly windmill punching your way through the crowd, loudly sighing when you realize that literally every seat in the house is taken, then dodging skeevy dudes who try to buy your drinks, and having to resort to physically batting them away when they throw money at the bartender anyway, apparently having misinterpreted your “shove off” through the loud din of god-knows-what kind of music to mean “let’s shove” (or maybe you’re one of those skeevy fellows– in which case, uh, sorry).
If all this sounds scary-familiar, then maybe it’s time you see another side of Matchless. Actually, there’s no better time than the present (i.e. tonight, at 8 pm) to get your foot in the door on a night when that foot is much less likely to get groped.
Plenty of upscale diners have hit the food scene as of late– for one, there’s Juno, the Bushwick restaurant that John Barclay (founding dude at Bossa Nova Civic Club) recently pulled out of– and there was even a short-lived spot called Amancay’s Diner that was, well, a bit more of a downscale kind of place, with a spin-the-bottle setup and an owner who was better known for throwing jello-wrestling parties than his food.
But Hail Mary– a new Greenpoint restaurant that opened on Wednesday night in the former home of 68 and then subsequently (briefly too) Hook & Cleaver which was run by Chopped chef Diane DiMeo– is pushing the diner concept even further with their avant-garde take on the American everyman classic.
It’s forecast to rain all weekend (boo), but today the weather gods are giving us a pretty tantalizing taste of the summer vibes around the corner. And we all know what that means: soaking up drinks, drinks, and more draaanks galore.
The Passport Program is a not-too-shabby way to make your summer imbibing a little bit cheaper, especially if your #goals this summer include expanding your cocktail repertoire and hitting new bars on the drink scene.