Summer is finally here! Yes Friday June 21 is the summer solstice; the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. Its New York Dance Week Festival so people are shaking up the entire five boroughs. And films honoring ballet and opera icons share greatest and on Broadway we learn about the Secret Life of Bees. Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps, guaranteed to keep you Out and About.
Mary T. Smith- I We Our at the Shrine 179 E Broadway, New York City through Sunday July 28. Vibrant paintings are on offer in this exhibit devoted to the work of Mary T. Smith (1904–1995), a self-taught artist from Mississippi who first made her work during the 1970s after she retired from her job as a domestic servant and cook. Painting on plywood and corrugated metal, Smith created portraits and Biblical scenes, installing them outdoors in “yard shows” typical of African-American outsider artists in the Deep South. Smith favored bold colors, limning animals and figurative subjects with broad brushstrokes that she also used to spell out religious messages and other texts. The result was a kind of vernacular Expressionism that appears strikingly contemporary.
Soto: Vibrations, 1950–1960 At Hauser & Wirth 32 E 69th St New York through July 26 Known simply as Soto, Jesús Rafael Soto (1923–2005) was a Venezuela sculptor and painter who settled in Paris in 1951 and became a leading figure in the postwar revival of geometric abstraction on the Continent. He also played a seminal role in the subsequent development of Op and Kinetic art. Soto’s early work built upon the style of Mondrian, but he eventually became interested in artistic experiments with transparent materials—such as Marcel Duchamp’s motorized sculpture, Rotary Glass Plates—and began to paint stripes and other shapes on stacked sections of Plexiglas for varying optical effects. Examples of both approaches—as well as others are included in the pocket survey spanning Soto’s first decade in Europe.
In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson – An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend through June 28 at the Museum of the City of New York. In 1947 Jackie Robinson made history when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American in Major League Baseball. In honor of the centennial of Robinson’s birth, In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson features some 30 images of Robinson and the Dodgers taken for Look magazine. Along with these stunning black-and-white images from the Museum’s collection, many never before seen, the exhibition features memorabilia and rare footage of the Robinson family, as well as the published magazines, which provide a window into the media’s portrayal of this groundbreaking figure through the lens of the day’s popular picture press.
The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, at the age of forty-two, cast a classicizing eye on subjects both conventional (calla lilies) and controversial (the underground S & M scene). As his muse and friend Patti Smith has written, “He will be condemned and adored. His excesses damned or romanticized. In the end, truth will be found in his work, the corporeal body of the artist.” The Guggenheim opens its yearlong two-part exhibition “Implicit Tensions: Robert Mapplethorpe Now.”
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything: The Jewish Museum (1109 5th Ave at 92nd St New York) April 12 – September 8, 2019. A world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter who inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists, Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was an extraordinary poet of the imperfection of the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. Featuring 12 artists and 18 musicians from 10 countries, this exhibition offers a deep and rich exploration of the beloved global icon through the lens of contemporary art.
Alicja Kwade, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through October 27, a Polish artist who lives and works in Berlin is this year’s recipient of The Met’s annual commission to create an installation for the museum’s roof garden. These projects are perennial crowd-pleasers, as they add a touch of artistic enhancement to the rooftop’s spectacular views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. Kwade’s approach seems tailor-made for the site, as it usually entails minimalist sculptural ensembles made of glass, stone and metal—materials that give her efforts a luxurious gloss. Kwade often plays perceptual tricks on the viewer as part of her overall interest in deconstructing the philosophical and scientific teachings we rely on to make sense of the world. At The Met, she reaches for the cosmos with a pair of pieces that evoke the Solar System.
Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ever since Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922, people have been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian treasures. The Met recently acquired one such object—a gold-leafed covered coffin for a High Priest from Egypt’s Ptolemaic period. It’s on display, along with 70 other Egyptian artifacts from the Met’s collection.
NYC Dance Week Festival from Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:00am through Sat, Jun 22, 10:00pm at various studios throughout the five boroughs. Dance enthusiasts are invited to participate in 10 days of free dance, fitness and wellness classes at noted studios in the boroughs of New York City. Check the website www.nycdanceweek.org for class offers.
Aurelien Bory And Compagie 111 at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House June 20 through 22, 7:30pm. Bory, a circus artist, returns to Brooklyn with “Espæce,” inspired by the work of the French writer Georges Perec — specifically “Species of Spaces,” his essay collection. The title combines two French words, espèce and espace (“species” and “space”), and is related to Perec’s belief that “to live is to pass from one space to another while doing your very best not to bump yourself.” In the piece, three acrobat-dancers, joined by the actor Olivier Martin Salvan and the opera singer Claire Lefilliâtre, attempt to move and scale a large black wall; as Bory sees it, this action reveals their humanity.
River to River Festival Tuesday June 18 through Saturday June 29 at various locations. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s free, wide-flung celebration of the arts has many exciting offerings in 2019. Pam Tanowitz’s Time is forever dividing itself toward innumerable futures (June 18, 19), performed outdoors in Battery Park City, features New York City Ballet étoile Sara Mearns, who has also co-conceived the piece. Other participating artists include NIC Kay (June 20), Jennifer Monson (June 23, 26, 28) and Sarah Michelson (June 24, 26). Yoko Ono contributes two installations, and Black Gotham Experience (June 25) offers walking tours elucidating the history of urban slavery in the 17th century.
The Jamaica Dance Festival 2019 presented by A Better Jamaica is an outdoor festival that takes place on four consecutive Saturdays in Rufus King Park beginning Saturday, June 1: 7pm.
Saturday, June 1st (Evening 1 of 4) – American Bolero Dance Company + Tango For All + Bhdos: The Second Company Of Ballet Hispánico
Saturday, June 8th (Evening 2 of 4) – Matthew Westerby Dance Company + Jamal Jackson Dance Company + Jeremy Mcqueen’s Black Iris Project + Obremski/Works
Saturday, June 15th (Evening 3 of 4) – Harlem Stage E-Moves – Harlem Stage E-Moves On Tour: It’s Showtime Nyc! + Sun & Cein + Soul Steps + Tweetboogie + Drew Dollaz + Long Arms
Saturday, June 22nd (Evening 4 of 4) – Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute + White Wave Rising Young Soon Kim Dance Company + Parul Shah Dance Company
Contemporary Dance in Bryant Park on Fridays 6pm thru July 20. Welcome the weekend in style at this series of free Friday-evening shows in Bryant Park, curated by Tiffany Rea-Fisher.
June 22 at 6pm
Eryc Taylor Dance
Harlem School of the Arts
June 29 at 6pm
Mindy Dancin Jackson
NOW Dance Project
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company
July 6 at 6pm
Jennifer Muller/The Works
Tiffany Mills Company
Steps on Broadway Summer Study NYC Theater/Jazz Intensive
July 13 at 6pm
Tina Croll + Company
Kate Weare Company
Kinetic Cabaret Productions
Bryn Cohn + Artists
Diva Dance Studio
July 20 at 6pm
Gabrielle Lamb’s Pigeonwing Dance
Earl Mosely Institute of the Arts
American Ballet Theater 2019 Spring Season, May 13–July 6, 2019, at Metropolitan Opera House: New Work Premiere of by Alexei Ratmansky and Company Premieres of Deuce Coupe by Twyla Tharp and Jane Eyre by Cathy Marston to Highlight ABT’s Also Roberto Bolle to give farewell performance with ABT on June 20 and Brooklyn Mack to Appear as Guest Artist.
NUREYEV at the Film Forum through June 20 A documentary on the brilliant Russian ballet dancer that includes previously unseen archival footage has an exclusive two-week theatrical engagement. Ralph Fiennes’s The White Crow, a recently released drama of Rudolf Nureyev’s life, leading to his 1961 defection to the West, hints at the artistry of this legendary star — widely considered the greatest classical dancer of his generation. This documentary goes further, serving up a truly profound experience of the man’s extraordinary technique, Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning (1991) at the Film Forum 290 West Houston Street through June 27. The 80s seen through the eyes of NYC’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene, an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies, to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza. Made by Livingston over seven years, Paris is Burning premiered at Film Forum in 1991 for a blockbuster 6-month run.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco: Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. Now playing
Pavarotti: Ron Howard’s ebullient documentary salutes the operatic legend Luciano Pavarotti for the genius he was, and the simple man he (maybe) was. Featuring never-before-seen footage, concert performances and intimate interviews, filmmaker Howard examines the life and career of famed opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Now playing
The Rolling Stones at MetLife Stadium from Thursday, June 13 through Monday, June 17. The world’s grayest…er, greatest rock & roll band is back to get its rocks off with its first stateside shows since 2015. The reason to hit the road is, well, because they still can. The group’s most recent album is 2016’s covers collection Blue & Lonesome, and they seem to have fun adding a few blues numbers into their set of rock & roll smashes. Expect some harp-shredding solos by Mick, as well as the strutting and shimmying you’ve come to know and love.
Ariana Grande at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, June 20, 7:30pm. Between the tragic Manchester Arena bombing, the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the very public end of her brief engagement to SNL star Pete Davidson, the past year has been a rough one for Ariana Grande. But amid the turmoil, the singer released Sweetner, her most impressive collection of songs to date, filled with empowering anthems and soaring R&B ballads (not to mention the inescapable single “God is a Woman”).
Brownstone Jazz Festival and Fish Fry Concert Series Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22 at 107 Macon St, Brooklyn. Step back in time to the golden age of Bed-Stuy jazz with an intimate 4-hour concert and fish fry at a restored 19th-century brownstone in a historic neighborhood. Enjoy jazz without amplifiers and noisy clubs, and experience the unmediated music up-close and personal. Watch a remarkable performance, tuck into a generous buffet of southern-style fried fish, then sing, play or just listen during a fun open mic session. Take New York jazz back to its roots and experience an unforgettable evening in the city.
A2IM Indie Week 2019 from Monday, Jun 17, 9am through Thursday, Jun 20, 3pm at the New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, New York. The Independent music community will come together from June 17-20 in New York City for A2IM’s Indie Week. A2IM Indie Week is a four-day international conference and networking event aimed at maximizing the global impact of Independent music. Indie Week includes keynotes, panels, receptions, exclusive networking sessions, and much more.
The Secret Life of Bees at the Atlantic Theater Company 336 W 20th Street, New York. A new musical, adapted from Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling 2001 novel, with a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Susan Birkenhead (Jelly’s Last Jam). But The Secret Life of Bees turns out to be all buzz and no sting. Set in the Deep South in 1964, the show centers on a teenage girl, Lily (an excellent Elizabeth Teeter), who flees her abusive home with her maid, Rosaleen (Saycon Sengbloh), to seek refuge at an apiary run by black women.
Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theater, Central Park now through June 23. Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) directs an African-American cast in Shakespeare in the Park’s first 2019 offering: a modern-dress account of the Bard’s tart-tongued rom-com about two too-witty longtime enemies whose friends plot to get them together. Grantham Coleman and Danielle Brooks portray the squabbling main couple; Chuck Cooper is the elder statesman, Hubert Point-Du Jour is the villain and Lateefah Holder is the hopelessly moronic constable.
Glenda Jackson as King Lear is in her own world as the maddening monarch of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The production at the Cort Theater runs through July 7, 2019.
Ain’t Too Proud follows The Temptations’ journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Through friendship and betrayal amid the civil unrest that tore America apart, their moving and personal story still resonates five decades later.
Choir Boy, the Broadway premiere of Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney acclaimed drama at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, centers on the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, which for a half a century has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?
FrankieFridays is Brooklyn’s best kept house music secret! The party takes place every Friday at The Happiness Lounge, 1458 St. Johns Place (bet. Utica Avenue and Rochester Avenue). The party rocks the best dance classics and soulful house music masterfully mixed by New York City’s own DJ Frankie Paradise. The predominantly mature gay crowd are there to get down, and create a warm inviting atmosphere for all. Reasonably prices drinks and a small admission price (feels more like a donation) of $5 before midnight and $10 after makes this the don’t miss Friday night dance party.
Iyanla Vanzant: Acts of Faith Remix Tour, Wednesday, June 19th, 8pm at Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, NY. Fresh off the success of her 2018 Get Over It! Tour, Iyanla Vanzant, celebrated spiritual teacher, New York Times best-selling author, legendary speaker, and Emmy Award-winning television personality, known for her riveting work as the host of Iyanla Fix My Life on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), returns to the stage in 2019 with her Acts of Faith Remix Tour. This landmark inspirational and interactive event celebrates the updated 25th-anniversary edition of this internationally acclaimed bestseller. The beloved life coach to millions will lead audiences of all hues through the transformative work that unites the humanity in all of us.
We look forward to seeing you Out and About