fourth arts block

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'You See It All': The Wedding Mansion That Played Host to Warhol's 'Male Parade'

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Theatrical reappropriation in the second-floor theater. (Photo courtesy of Michelangelo Alasa.)

Theatrical reappropriation in the second-floor theater. (Photo courtesy of Michelangelo Alasa.)

As soon as Michelangelo Alasa heard that the theater on the second floor of 62 East 4th Street was up for rent, he grabbed a crowbar and moved toward the stairs. He swung open wooden doors on his way; his feet hit cracked, uneven white tile that on other occasions he’d stopped to admire. He made it to the stairs and began a slow, certain descent to the next floor. The marble stairway walls had been painted over since before his time, a murky indefinite color offensive mainly due to what it covered. It was 1996, and the time had come to liberate the remnants of the storied century-old theater and reclaim its striking heritage.
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From ‘The Witch’ to La MaMa: How Radical Art Tumbled into the East Village

UntitledAll week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The raucous audience inside Turn Hall grew increasingly impatient for the curtain’s rise. Police had just arrived at 66-68 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue, to subdue the swelling mob at the door, those unfortunate souls without a ticket to see America’s first Yiddish play.

The spectators had paid a whopping five dollars for seats normally valued at 50 cents in 1882. Such was the excitement surrounding the sold-out performance of Koldunye, or The Witch. A production conceived of by the 13-year-old sweatshop worker named Boris Thomashefsky, the play brought professional Yiddish theater stateside, says historian Nahma Sandrow. But the real-life drama that night trumped the work of playwright Abraham Goldfaden: the leading lady had disappeared.
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Forget Papal Canonizations, Here Are the Heroes and Heroines of the LES

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Sure, there’ll be some downtowners in the running at Monday’s James Beard Foundation Awards (Hearth, Christina Tosi, wd-50, David Chang). But they aren’t the only locals getting big upped: as part of Lower East Side History Month, some folks who are decidedly not celebrity chefs are getting some recognition.
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Walks, Talks, and Chalk: 80 Things to Do During Lower East Side History Month

Logo color_12-15The organizers of the first annual Lower East Side History Month have announced next month’s lineup, featuring over 80 events organized by over 60 cultural and community groups based in the LES, East Village, Chinatown and Little Italy. The month-long celebration of downtown lore kicks off May 3, when various sites will have been chalked up with neighborhood trivia and poetry (passersby will be encouraged to add their own) and continues May 4 with a picnic at Pier 42, featuring salsa dancing and gypsy swing. An LES Heroes award — which is exactly what it sounds like — will also be announced. Here, courtesy of Fourth Arts Block, is the lineup, starting with the Real Estate Show events we told you about earlier.
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Art Is in the Air: FAB! Festival Tomorrow, Art in Odd Places Next Month

FAB! Festival, 2012. (Photo: Tim Schreier)

The installation of Chris Burden’s on the facade of the New Museum isn’t the only bit of public art livening up in the neighborhood. Two of the East Village’s beloved culture carnivals are back, starting with the FAB! Festival tomorrow.
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Mark Your Calendar For These Two Outdoor Arts Festivals in the East Village

2012's FAB! Festival. (Photo: Whitney Browne)

2012′s FAB! Festival. (Photo: Whitney Browne)

The East Village’s cultural institutions are taking it to the streets again, as the details of two big outdoor arts festivals were announced today.

Theater for the New City is preparing to kick off its annual Summer Street Theater Tour, which has been bringing free outdoor theater to low-income communities since the 1970s. This year they’ll be hitting up neighborhoods in all five boroughs, including Bed-Stuy, the South Bronx, Jackson Heights, Coney Island, Harlem, West New Brighton, and the East Village.
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