Arts & Culture

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NYC’s Closest Drive-In Reopens Tonight, and Advance Tickets Are Sold Out All Weekend

Drive-in movie theaters were briefly a light in the darkness when conventional theaters started closing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. But when we checked in with them two months ago, many of the drive-ins mentioned in the Times and other outlets were subsequently forced to close by ever more stringent shutdown regulations. With states now reopening, outdoor theaters like the Starlight, in Atlanta, are up and running again, and our favorite New York-area drive-in, the Warwick, is finally about to join their ranks. More →

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Seen the Doc About the World’s Wackiest Quarantine? 11 More Amazing Things About Biosphere 2

(Still from Spaceship Earth courtesy of Neon)

If you thought sitting around your apartment for two months was an ordeal, try sealing yourself indoors for two years, without even being able to leave for food because you’re supposed to be growing all of your own. That was precisely what eight men and women set out to do in 1991, when they entered Biosphere 2. The futuristic greenhouse was built across three acres of the Arizona desert by an ambitious and eccentric collective of dreamers who fell somewhere between a hippie commune and a Martian colony. More →

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Frankie Cosmos, Drag King Channel Surfing, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

The Cake Night Show
Wednesday, May 13 on Twitch, 10 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

Since quarantine began, it could be argued that drag queens didn’t get any less visible. After all, if you’re usually going out during Friday’s episode of Drag Race and are now stuck at home, you might as well tune in. But of course, queens aren’t the only type of drag performer out there. There are drag kings, and drag performers who constantly blur the lines of gender. They may not have a mainstream TV show, but they’re doing work that deserves to be seen. Tonight, collective The Cake Boys takes to streaming platform Twitch to give you a show that has drag, yes, but so much more. Structured as an absurd channel-surfing experience, you’ll get peeks of all kinds of creativity, from wacky fitness videos to what very well may be a Satanic version of Bob Ross. Oh, and there’ll be commercials, but not the kinds you’re used to.

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Haring on the Side of Caution: Downtown Artists and Dealers (and Their Bartenders) Persevere

Art dealer Irv Ortega (right) outside the shuttered C.J. Yao Gallery in Soho while he finalized the sale of an original Keith Haring piece.

Downtown Manhattan’s galleries and bars have started to hum again after almost two months of silence brought on by coronavirus. With most artists working from home while their dealers operate on the internet and the bars that serve them surviving on to-go drinks, the scene is figuring out its new normal along with the rest of the city. Last week I caught up with some of the people still working behind it. More →

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Virtual Performance Picks: New Music and Create-Your-Own Cult

THURSDAY

Max Vernon (image courtesy of Everyman Agency)

New Songs Now In Your Living Room
Thursday, May 7 at Rattlestick on YouTube, 8 pm: FREE

These days, everything happens in your living room. Or your kitchen, or your bedroom, or maybe your balcony, if you’re lucky enough to have something like that. On Thursdays, you can welcome the dulcet tones of new music to your living room, thanks to Rattlestick’s new virtual series. They’re spotlighting local songwriters and theater composers, who will be performing new material and discussing their artistic processes, so you can see the sausage and how it’s made. Yes, that’s an unsettling metaphor, but so be it. This week, composers Max Vernon and Rona Siddiqui get their turn in the virtual spotlight. 

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Welcome to the Age of the Online Street Fair

With warm weather rescuing the city from the claws of winter, you might be tempted to stroll through a weekend street market. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hester Street Fair won’t be filling Seward Park with food vendors, jewelers, artisans, designers, and indie entrepreneurs as usual. Instead, the beloved weekend fair is going virtual, and pitching its tents on the internet. More →

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Improvised Tarot, A Theatrical Saga on Zoom, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

The cast of the 2013 production of Regular Singing, written and directed by Richard Nelson, the final play of The Apple Family Plays at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

What Do We Need To Talk About?
Wednesday, April 29 at The Public Theater on YouTube, 7:30 pm: FREE

We’re used to movies having sequels for years on end, but when it comes to live performance, this practice is much rarer. It’s far from nonexistent, though—just ask Richard Nelson. The playwright’s epic Apple Family saga (formally known as the Rhinebeck Panorama) has stretched for a literal decade, and has always been performed at The Public Theater. Obviously things are different now, but the story continues nonetheless. Nelson wrote this latest play very recently while quarantined in Rhinebeck, and of course, it takes place over Zoom instead of over the dinner table. And if you’re new to this tale, Nelson’s previous Rhinebeck plays are available to stream for free, so you can get all caught up.

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