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Exploring China’s Jewish Community and More Art This Week

(image via Museum at Eldridge Street / Facebook)

Harbin, China | Past/Present
Opening Tuesday, April 30 at Museum at Eldridge Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 4.

The Museum at Eldridge Street exists at the intersection of Manhattan neighborhoods with diverse cultural histories, and has always tried to honor that with events like their annual Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival spotlighting Jewish, Chinese, and Puerto Rican foods and traditions. The museum’s latest exhibition has the same spirit, but takes viewers to a small city in northeast China called Harbin, where a community of Jewish immigrants flourished in the late 1890’s. The exhibition traces this community’s presence in Harbin over the decades alongside works by contemporary artist Steven Lane, who has worked in Harbin’s synagogues and often utilizes Chinese archival material in his work.

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An Abortion Musical That Leans Into The Weird

Brenson Thomas, Brett Ashley Robinson, Alice Yorke, Jaime Maseda, Katie Gould, Scott R Sheppard, and Lee Minora in THE APPOINTMENT (Photo: Oona Curley)

A popular tactic for those in support of abortion access is emphasizing that when a fetus is aborted, it is more akin to a small clump of cells than anything already living. But The Appointment, Alice Yorke and Lightning Rod Special’s musical about the American abortion debate now running at New York Theater Workshop Next Door, leans in the other direction. The show’s ensemble consists of a group of fetuses, complete with swinging umbilical cords, that couldn’t be more alive.

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Other Music Documentary Reveals the Noble Gatefold Path

(Photo: Rob Hatch-Miller)

If you’ve ever picked out an Einstürzende Neubauten album and headed to the front counter in mortal trepidation of not being able to keep up your end of the conversation with the checkout clerk, Other Music will give you some serious PTSD. The hotly anticipated documentary, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last week and screens again Sunday, takes us right back into the beloved indie record store’s cramped aisles for a bittersweet look at its final days.  

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Trixie Mattel of “Drag Race: All Stars” Invites Us Into Her Dreamworld with New Doc


Trixie Mattel (From Moving Parts)

About halfway through Moving Parts, the documentary about her life that premiered at Tribeca on Thursday, Trixie Mattel looks right at the camera from under her paint-relocated eyelids and says, “The more you get to fabricate the life you live, the happier you are.” That’s an apt mantra for the 29-year-old country musician/comedian/drag megastar of the small (and now silver) screen: Trixie has willfully fashioned her stardom into existence, has manufactured an entire pink-plastic empire for herself. She’s harnessed what she calls “delusional confidence,” to propel her career out from the gay bars of Milwaukee and into America’s hearts.

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Performance Picks: Anime Burlesque, Weed-Friendly Variety, and Warholian Theater

(Image via Vylette Tendency / Facebook)

WEDNESDAY

High Concepts: A 420 Variety Show

Wednesday, April 24 at Casa Delgado, 8 pm: $10 

Yes, 420 was last week, but maybe you had to work, or maybe you just can’t get enough of herb-centric events. Whatever you’re feeling, know that tonight you can experience yet another high-minded live performance experience. Drag and burlesque performers Vylette Tendency and Doll Body’s High Concepts variety show features burlesque acts, games, and a raffle to benefit Drug Policy Alliance. The intimate, speakeasy-style event embraces the fact that it’s a late 4/20 show, which admittedly does feel on brand for those who often partake of the herb, as scatterbrained-ness is always a possibility.

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50 Years After Stonewall, Art Show Honors Diversity of the Queer Rights Movement

(Photos: Cecilia Nowell)

Documentary footage from the 20th-anniversary commemoration of the Stonewall Uprisings plays at the entrance to the Grey Art Gallery. On screen, activists laud the riots sparked by Marsha P. Johnson from the stage, while protestors boo loudly from the sidelines. Under a large sign welcoming visitors to “Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989,” the video, produced by ACT UP’s guerilla video collective DIVA TV, sets the tone for an exhibit that explores how much has, and has not, changed for the queer community 50 years after the Stonewall Riots.

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A Collective Hub in Ridgewood Wants to Realign Your Gaze Away From the Abyss

(Photos courtesy of Woodbine)

On a typical weekend morning in Ridgewood, young families spill out of brunches at Julia’s and Norma’s and friends gather to work or catch up at Topos Bookstore. It’s a scene much like any other neighborhood in Queens: the elevated train rattles overhead and groups wander from coffee shop to bodega, to bookstore and wine bar.

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A Truly Theatrical Experience at Hudson Yards’ New Art Space, The Shed

(Photos: Amanda Feinman)

The Shed’s glossy lobby is mere feet from dusty Eleventh Avenue, but atmospheric light years away. When I walked through its glass doors on Wednesday night, I thought first about the luxury-home-meets-AI-laboratory in Ex Machina, where Oscar Isaac both lives lavishly and builds humanoid robots for a creepy corporation.

New York’s new multi-arts space on the Hudson is a futuristic-looking glass structure with a retractable roof and an enormous escalator that spirals up and down its eight-level spine. Making your way up to the theater space on the sixth floor is not unlike heading to the top levels of the Union Square multiplex, if that multiplex were magnificent in a mod, Hudson Yards way. If, as you wound your way up to see the fiftieth Transformers movie, you were in a transformer, and the river was glittering in every line of sight.

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