Lupe Serrano, a former prima ballerina with American Ballet Theater died on Monday in Syosset, N.Y. at age 92. A petite powerhouse, Ms. Serrano dazzled audiences with virtuosic technique, steely strength and an exuberant stage personality. She excelled in classical and modern choreography during her 18 years with American Ballet Theater , which she joined as a principal dancer in 1953. American audiences had rarely seen a female dancer achieve the soaring jumps, fleet footwork and swift turns that Ms. Serrano executed with aplomb.
By Walter Rutledge
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) begins its summer New York season June 13 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Before we discuss the upcoming season, it would be remiss of me not to discuss one important event during the prior fall season. A season marked by many ABT firsts, making it truly a season of diversity.
On October 23, 2021, dance history was quietly made at the Saturday matinee of American Ballet Theater. Calvin Royal lll became the company’s first African American principal dancer to perform the lead role of Albrecht in Giselle. The production exuded with the extravagance befitting American Ballet Theatre, the grandeur of the David H Koch Theater, and Mr. Royal’s augural New York City performance. He was complemented by sumptuous sets, live music, focused staging and a stellar cast.
Cassandra Trenary in the title role of Giselle danced with a spirited conviction. We all were sitting in the front seats of her roller-coaster ride from exuberance to madness, death, and finally her transformation into a fearless and virtuous spirit. Patrick Frenette‘s Hilarion embodied the jealous spurled “let’s just be friends” suitor. And Susan Jones portrayed Berthe, Giselle’s mother, with both compassion and matriarchal protectiveness.
Giselle is my favorite romantic ballet. Although the story is set in the Rhineland in the 1500’s the ballet is a perfect example of 19th century French romanticism. Like many of its literary contemporaries such as Manon Lescaut, Madame Bovary, and les Demoiselles Camelias the heroine’s death absolved her of past transgressions. It also gave these heroines a virtue not obtained in their lifetimes- almost a deification.
In Giselle, a simple, lovestruck, peasant girl is courted by a nobleman pretending to be a peasant. The charming Count Albrecht of Sileca seduces the young girl. And when the ruse was exposed, the deception is more than frail Giselle can withstand and she dies.
Giselle is a true romantic story ballet. Here the mastery of “steps” is just the prerequisite to be considered for the role. This ballet is a theatrical production, a storytelling ballet that requires artists. Artists who can transcend the roles and make us believe we too are in an enchanted hinterland.
Someone of Albrecht’s entitled noble status believes he had the right to deceive these simple villagers to gain their trust. He seduces and deflowers a young maiden for sport and moves on. The precision of his plan suggests this is not his first peasant mascarade, nor his first peasant maiden seduction.
When Royal entered from the autumnal forest, he exuded an innate and natural elan.’ His swagger, confidence, and charming yet overt flirtations betrayed his guise as a humble village newcomer to the omniscient balletomanes. Regardless, we all were enthralled, seduced, and eventually betrayed.
This is a quality I first observed years earlier. Royal, then a member of ABT ll, performed the role of Prince Siegfried in the Black Swan Pas de Deux at the Joyce Theater on a split bill with Ailey ll. Even then, Royal danced in pure light, a quality you can’t teach, a quality that delineates a great dancer from an important and gifted artiste’.
What really struck me not what he did, but what he didn’t have to do. In this pas de deux the male danseur, is supportive and therefore invisible. The danseur should become just the setting around a perfect jewel. That evening Royal was a platinum setting.
Flash. forward to November 2021. It was evident Royal’s radiant pure light has become a mature focus beam of pure artistry. Choreographer Marius Petipa designed an ingenious second act plot twist. The perfect example of role and class reversal; and female empowerment through deification.
A remorseful Albrecht visits Giselle’s grave. Deep in the forest, cloaked in the amenity of darkness. The Count encounters the Willis; undead women, who died untouched, and now seeks revenge on men. Giselle saves the now powerless Albrecht from their bloodlust and redeems her soul. In hindsight, I wonder if the Willis plight was their purgatory and Giselle’s forgiveness of Albrecht her penance.
Royal is convincingly transformed from patrician to prisoner. The powerless mortal pleas for mercy are denied by the Willis’ Queen, Marta (Stephanie Petersen); but it is Giselle who fearlessly intercedes. Her former earthly love for him and her stoic selflessness reprieves Albrecht. Royal masterfully completes Petipa’s plot twist as the curtain falls. In these final moments Royal expresses the sadness and angst of losing Giselle. Through his remorse we sadly realize that the player (Albrecht) has played himself. Bravo!
Although act two was also visually stunning I was not pleased with moments of the second act lighting. The upstage lighting at times seemed dark and muddy. And shades of deep blue do not always compliment darker skin tones. Thankfully the light defused spotlights with the soft edges avoided most of the problem. I’m sure this light plot was designed long before a Calvin Royal III was in contention for the role, fortunately this is a minor adjustment.
The other point of visual ambiguity was the lighting for the dawn scene. The light seemed to rise from the east, west, north, and south making it visually and geographically confusing. It was especially disappointing when the side lighting (north and south) spilled onto the Willis costumes.
Royal’s fifteen-year journey from scholarship student to ABT principal danseur has been a dancer’s dream come true. In the company’s eighty-three-year history Royal is only the second principal of African descent and the first one in over twenty-three years. In the summer New York City season (June 13th thru July 19th) Royal will perform the roles of Espada in Don Quixote, Chaereas in the New York premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Of Love and Rage and in Alonzo King’s quintet Single Eye (also a world premiere) One of his most anticipated performances will be Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake. A role he was scheduled to perform in the 2020 summer season opposite Misty Copeland (Odette/Odell), but that historic performance (two African Americans dancing both lead roles) was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Royal has truly broken one of ballets’ glass ceilings. During his two-year tenure as principal, Royal has become a role model; inspiring young classically trained male dancers of color to follow their dreams. We the public see his success as only the beginning, and expect the wheels of progress to move faster, giving more aspiring dancers of color a chance to live their dreams.
Giselle tells the tragic, romantic story of a beautiful young peasant girl who falls for the flirtations of the deceitful and disguised nobleman Albrecht. When the ruse is revealed, the fragile Giselle dies of heartbreak, and Albrecht must face the otherworldly consequences of his careless seduction. This 1977 American Ballet Theater televised production of Giselle was headed by Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Martine van Hamel.
In 2015, Dancer Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Fast forward to 2021, and she has been on Time magazine’s 100 list and one Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” Now, the New York Times bestselling author and trailblazer is releasing a new book, “Black Ballerinas.” The illustrated nonfiction collection celebrates dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage. Continue reading
Hallelujah choreographed and performed by American Ballet Theater soloist Calvin Royal III, directed by Andrii Didyk. Continue reading
Hallelujah choreographed and performed by American Ballet Theater soloist Calvin Royal III, directed by Andrii Didyk. Continue reading
The weather is starting to feel a lot like Summer- the perfect week to celebrate Pride NYC. There’s a variety show in Harlem, and a river cruise to view Sunday fireworks. A 30th birthday celebration in bed-Stuy and opera icons share greatest and on Broadway gets stung by 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.
at W New York – Times Square, 1567 Broadway, New York on June 27, 7pm. A series of conversations celebrating diversity, inclusion, freedom of spirit and self-expression where LGBTQ+ thought leaders can feel empowered to inspire each other, raise awareness on critical issues and debate of-the-moment topics impacting the LGBTQ+ community. With multiple events held around the world and throughout the year, W Hotels is proud to provide an exciting and inclusive space that embraces big ideas and strong opinions that push culture and conversation to bold new places.
Sweet T Harlem: Happy Hour Just Got A Little Sweeter at Harlem Nights, 2361 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard, New York on Friday, June 28, 6am– 9am. Hollywood actor, producer, and entrepreneur Rodney Chester brings his variety show to New York during NYC Pride. The show includes comedy, drag, poetry, singing and live DJ. There is a $25 admission fee and drink specials until 10pm.
Savor Pride at God’s Love We Deliver 166 6th Avenue on Friday, June 28, 6 – 10pm. NYC Pride & God’s Love We Deliver are bringing back this one-of-a-kind immersive culinary fundraiser. Bringing together LGBTQIA+ and ally chefs to craft a special menu with epicurean delights. Set outdoors on the terraces of God’s Love We Deliver’s headquarters, our chefs will cook up varied menu items while providing in-depth cooking demonstrations, discussions, and delightful tastings. Come mix, mingle and nosh with friends and kick off the weekend in style. Proceeds will benefit NYC Pride and God’s Love We Deliver.
Rally Stonewall 50 Commemoration at Christopher Street and Waverly Place on Friday, June 28, 6- 9pm. NYC Pride is taking the Rally back into the streets! LGBTQIA+ rights and human rights are under attack by the current political environment. Join community activists, organizers, politicians, and more for this unprecedented moment in our history. Take a stand, show up in force, and make your voice heard in this re-imagined Rally experience. This is a free event!
Youth & Family- Youth Pride at SummerStage, Central Park, 5th Avenue at 69th Street on Saturday, June 29, 12noon- 6pm. This event is free and open to the public under 21, but registration is required. There is a $10 registration fee for individuals 21+.You can also catch Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar from the hit show POSE at Youth Pride.
Pride Island at Hudson River Park’s Pier 97, 59th St. & West Side Highway, Saturday, June 29 from 2- 10pm and Sunday, June 30 from 2 – 10:30pm. NYC Pride is thrilled to announce its talent announcement with the legendary Saturday headliner Grace Jones, along with Teyana Taylor, Pabllo Vittar, and more for Pride Island 2019. Pride Island, the multi-day live musical event featuring dazzling performances, will take place from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Pier 97 in New York City. Rounding out Saturday night, is Afro-Latina pop sensation, Amara La Negra, along with popular NYC DJ, Johnny Dynell, who will bring his infectious and inclusive style to the stage. On Pride Island Sunday, Abel and Morabito will take the lead, with Abel spinning classic dancefloor hits and Morabito turning out progressive, tech house influenced sounds. None other than Madonna will perform a couple songs to help close out WorldPride | Stonewall 50.
The Pride March on Sunday, June 30, noon. The March is a celebration of our lives and our community. In 2018, we were joined by over 550 unique marching contingents, representing a vast array of non-profits, community organizations, corporate sponsors, small businesses, political candidates and activists! With over 100 floats making the trek along the route, last year’s March was one of the largest and most exciting in history. The Grand Marshalls are three Pose cast members Dominique Jackson (Elektra), Indya Moore (Angel), and MJ Rodriguez (Blanca).
Pride Fireworks Cruise abroad the Timeless leaving from Pier 36 New York, 299 South Street, New York on Sunday, June 30, from 6pm- 10pm. The best way to see the 2019 Pride Fireworks show is on a party boat with panoramic views of the NYC skyline. Aboard the Timeless, enjoy refreshing cocktails at our Premium Open Bar, dance to the top hits spun by our live DJ, and sightsee the New York City Skyline on our open decks.
PrideFest is a NYC block party—but with way more sequins that takes place Sunday, June 30 at various locations throughout the city beginning at 12noon. In addition to enjoying the usual street-fair fare—tube socks, hilarious T-shirts, greasy treats—you can pick up information about public health, collect swag from corporate sponsors and catch sick performances by rapper Princess Nokia, singer Lauren Jauregui, twin songstresses The Veronicas and Spice Girl Melanie C & Sink The Pink.
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.
Dance Of The Village Elders at R.A.I.N. Nereid Neighborhood Senior Center present The Many Favors Of Dance. A dance and fitness performance at the R.A.I.N. Nereid Center 720 Nereid Avenue, Bronx on Thursday June 27, 11am. The free to the public performance is audience interactive and refreshments will be served.
The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center will present their last program in spring 2019, PEEKS a showcase of works in progress on Friday June 28, 7:30pm at Brooklyn Ballet Studio 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn. The series will offer works by three emerging dancemakers Hip Hop artist James “Floats” Fable, contemporary creator Nijawwon Matthews and Afro- Caribbean choreographer Prince Jamain Victor. Q&A with the artists and a reception will immediately follow.
Multicultural Messages Through Dance will take place at the Canvas Institute, 150 Victory Blvd. Staten Island on Sunday, June 30 from 5:30- 7pm. The event will showcase performances that underscore the importance of dance as an artistic discipline often used to explain and maintain the importance of history, tradition, heritage and culture. This diverse program features traditional and contemporary cultural expressions from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and India. The featured performers are contemporary Indian dancer/choreographer Anjoli Chadha, Afro-Caribbean dancer/choreographer Jamain Victor, and Afro-Brazilian capoeira/dancer Sabina Ciari. This free program culminates with a panel discussion for the audience, followed by a reception.
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.
10 Hairy Legs, June 27 through 29 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, New York. Randy James’s all-male repertory group flashes its hirsute limbs in world premieres by Larry Keigwin and Adam Barruch, as well as Stephen Petronio’s duet Bud and Yin Yue’s So It Goes, which was created for the company in 2018.
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.
Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning (1991) at the Film Forum 290 West Houston Street. 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. Held over starting June 28.
Drag Brunch & the Queen: The Decades before Paris Is Burning and Rupaul’s Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant introduced competitive drag to the world, along with LGBT icon and activist Flawless Sabrina. Watch for Andy Warhol one of the pageant’s judge. Opens June 28
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am at the Film Forum 209 West Houston St. West of 6th Ave. an artful and uplifting documentary on the life and works of the legendary storyteller and Nobel prize-winner. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (The Black List, Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart), a friend of Toni Morrison’s for over 35 years, the film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. 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
NUREYEV: at the Film Forum 209 West Houston St. West of 6th Ave. A documentary on the brilliant Russian ballet dancer that includes previously unseen archival footage has an exclusive two-week theatrical engagement. The film follows Nureyev’s life chronologically, from birth on a Trans-Siberian train to his early struggles to study dance, to his years at the Kirov (now the Mariinsky) Ballet. After bursting onto the international stage in Paris, he made a life-changing decision to leap into the arms of the French airport police rather than return to the USSR. His partnership with the great British prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn followed; footage of them performing Romeo and Juliet and Giselle are among the highlights of the film. In the years that followed, he danced principally with The Royal Ballet and, beginning in 1983, became Director of the Paris Opera Ballet where he was also chief choreographer. Held over starting June 28.
Sean Jones: Dizzy Spellz Dizzy’s Club (at Frederick P. Rose Hall 10 Columbus Circle) on June 27, 28, and 29, for two shows daily at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, New York Trumpeter Jones uses the story of bullfrog-cheeked horn star Dizzy Gillespie to explore the complexities of black life in this Afrofuturist music-dance piece, created with choreographer, tap dancer and singer Brinae Ali.
Music at the City Winery, 155 Varick Street, New York from June 27- July 9, 8pm.New York’s City Winery, is a truly unique facility, combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food and wine classes and fine dining. The brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the hugely successful Knitting Factory, City Winery is a vibrant, interactive space where folks can not only listen to great music, but also make their own wine, indulging their passion for quality cuisine, art and friendship.
Brownstone Jazz Festival and Fish Fry Concert Series Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 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.
Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show comes to The Garden on June 28 (7pm) & 29 (1pm & 7pm)! The Man. The Music. The Show. will feature Hugh Jackman performing hit songs from “The Greatest Showman,” “Les Misérables” and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra. As successful on stage in front of live crowds as he is on film, Jackman has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the blockbuster “X-Men” franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time.
Minton’s Playhouse Sunday Jazzy Brunch, 206 West 118th Street at 12noon to 4pm with music by Luisito Quintero. Patron can enjoy food from both la carte and prix fixe menus.
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?
Dave Chappelle On Broadway July 9 through July 20 at the Lunt Fontaine Theater: Dave Chappelle is making his Broadway debut this July as he heads to the Lunt Fontanne Theatre for five nights only! As one of the world’s most successful comedians, Dave Chappelle is accredited as the inspiration to many of the globe’s biggest stars. Much to the delight of his fans, Chapelle returned to the fray with a bang, after a short hiatus, in 2017 when he released four comedy specials on Netflix!
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.
Spike Lee’s Block Party on June 30 at from noon to 7 p.m. on the same stretch of Stuyvesant Avenue, between Lexington and Quincy, where the movie was filmed. Spike Lee will be hosting a block party for the 30th anniversary of his 1989 film, Do The Right Thing on June 30. The celebration will take place June 30 on the block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn where much of the film was shot, Lee said, noting that Stuyvesant Ave. between Lexington and Quincy has since been re-named Do the Right Thing Way. The event will be free and open to the public.
We look forward to seeing you Out and About
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. Continue reading
Sunny days just makes New Yorkers even more festive. We have a dance tribute in Queens, a film on an Opera icon and Jumping Jack Flash in New Jersey. Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps, guaranteed to keep you Out and About. Continue reading