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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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Bret Easton Ellis Thinks It’s ‘Delicious’ to Trigger Millennials, So Why Does He Want a Safe Space?

When Bret Easton Ellis strode into a Midtown auditorium for his TimesTalk last night, I was almost surprised to hear the enthusiastic applause. After all, his just-published first collection of essays, White, has provoked reviews with headlines like “Bret Easton Ellis’s Non-Fiction Is Lazy, Boring” and “Bret Easton Ellis’s Book ‘White’ and Why You Don’t Need to Read It.” Add to that, a New Yorker interview about Trump that was so awkward that a friend forwarded it to me with an “Oof.” For a moment, it seemed like the author of American Psycho—the writer who “was canceled before cancelling was a thing,” as fellow provocateur Bari Weiss recently put it— was about to truly be canceled in much the same way his most famous novel was ditched by its original publisher.

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As L Hell Begins, Some Aren’t On Board With the MTA’s Plan For Buses

(Photo: InSapphoWeTrust via WikiCommons)

With a slowdown of the L line beginning April 26, Manhattan residents are protesting the MTA’s plan to cut around 17 stops from the bus line that runs across 14th Street and through Alphabet City.

The proposed plan would turn the M14 A/D bus, which crosses 14th and runs up and down Avenues A and D, into a Select Bus Service (SBS) line. Certain local stops will be gone as soon as June or July, with every other stop in the Lower East Side being eliminated.  

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Performance Picks: Memes, 4/20 Fun, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Caveat / Facebook)

Internet Explorers
Thursday, April 18 at Caveat, 9 pm: $10 advance, $12 doors

If you don’t have your eye glued constantly to social media, you might’ve missed that Instagram’s meme-makers have started to non-ironically unionize. It’s undeniable memes are a bigger deal than ever, so it only makes sense there’ll be a live comedy show about them tonight at Caveat, as part of Mark Vigeant’s recurring Internet Explorers show. As tonight is all about memes, Vigilant will be hosting online comic artist Branson Reese and a trio of journalists who report on all things internet (The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz, who wrote the aforementioned meme article, plus Buzzfeed’s Katie Notoupoulos and The New York Times’s Amanda Hess). There’ll also be a game of “meme Shark Tank,” where a group of comedians will try to out-meme each other. More →

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Art This Week: LA Comes to NYC and Questions of the Body

(image via Lesley Heller Gallery / Facebook)

Phantom Paradise
Opening Wednesday, April 17 at Lesley Heller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 19.

Delano Dunn’s work is colorful and busy; it draws you in and demands you stay a while, in order to soak up all the shades and shapes and details on view. The LA-based artist’s collages, paintings, and mixed-media creations aren’t just nice to look at, they also pack an emotional punch—each piece of art is one part of a patchwork quilt of memories Dunn recounts from experiencing the 1992 LA riots, which occurred in the midst of his childhood. Birds, protestors, flames, cops, and streaks of neon colors help tell a story of chaos that’s abstract and visceral. More →

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Experience Persian Immersion at This Iranian Film, Music, and Theater Fest

If you thought Persepolis was the only work of Iranian culture to make waves in recent years, Emruz Festival is hoping to change that. Happening over two long weekends, April 19-21 and 26-28, at the Spectrum performance space in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the inaugural festival will consist of musical performances, theater productions, and short films by independent Iranian artists living inside and outside of the United States.

Emruz means “today” in Farsi, and the festival’s organizers are interested in asking “What are we today, right now?” and “What is happening with us as immigrants in this country?” said theater director/choreographer Shadi Ghaheri. She and Iranian composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh wanted to interrogate the role of the artist in addressing these contemporary issues of identity.

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Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival: Neoliberal Disaster or Neo-Fascist Catastrophe?

(Photo via @luciuswok on Twitter)

Everyone in the train car looked up in comic bewilderment as the E train glided past the platform of Roosevelt Island Station. “Due to police activity, the E train will not stop at this station,” the conductor announced. Confused and in a futile, panicked hurry, the passengers rushed out at the next stop to beat the growing crowd to the opposite platform; they would try again. It was already 3:36pm, and the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival was well underway.

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Natural History Museum Catches Heat as ‘Trump of the Tropics’ Is Honored

(Photo: J.M. Luijt)

Drama gripped Museum Mile this month with heightened debates about the Sackler family’s contributions to the Met, Guggenheim…and the opioid epidemic. This weekend, the American Museum of Natural History made controversial news of its own when it was discovered that the museum had rented space to a nonprofit planning to honor Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed “The Trump of the Tropics,” with its Person of the Year Award.

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