The Tribeca Edition
As with all things celebrity related, that venerable institution, Entertainment Tonight (ET), would say that the stars have come out in the city of New York this week -- even with all of the skyscraper lights! Yes, the Tribeca Film Festival -- the one started by Robert DeNiro in the wake of 9/11/2001 -- is back with a devotion to documentaries and slice-of-life American narratives.
When in New York, do as the New Yorkers, and check out the festival schedule, included in your friendly 5*Tcu guide to all things worthwhile. Yes, we have weeded out the uh, well, weeds, to introduce you to everything enjoyable. Also playing: 59E59's Brits Off Broadway festival in which London's West End comes to New York's East Side for the best in theatre, or um, theater. Finally, if you haven't seen the Islamic art on the wall on MoMA's Fifth Floor galleries -- those usually reserved for the most recognizable Western Art -- wander over on a lovely Sunday and have a look.
Also, just a reminder, while the newsletter is getting shorter, all the content of past weeks is now on www.5tcu.com! A small, small favor: if you like what I do here and if use these events, follow me on Twitter at BlindFolio, or on Facebook at The 5tcu or AM Brune.
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You can now hear Adrian three times per week to discuss American politics and culture on CapeTalk's Early Breakfast show
Panel Discussion w/ A.M. Homes, Rivka Galchen + Rick Moody to Celebrate the Paperback Launch of “Alice & Oliver” by Charles Bock: A deeply affecting novel, inspired from events in the author’s life, is a compassionate, wise, and humorous account of the tragedy of illness, and a reminder of the powerful medium of books as a way for sharing these important stories. Powerhouse@the Archway, 28 Adams Street, Brooklyn, 20 April, 7pm, RSVP@powerHouseArena.com
Murder Mystery & Reception @ Haunted Mount Vernon Hotel Museum: Join New York Adventure Club for a murder mystery experience at the historic Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, once a 19th-century country escape for New Yorkers living in the crowded city at the southern tip of Manhattan. In this fictional mystery game, loosely based on an actual newspaper account, an unidentified skeleton has been discovered at the Mount Vernon Hotel, and you will explore the Museum by candlelight and collect clues in each room to unravel the mystery and solve the case. Afterward, enjoy a wine & cheese reception. Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 21 April, 7:30pm, from $25.
The Meeting with Justin Sayre: The monthly gathering of the International Order of Sodomites, the centuries-old organization which sets the mythic Gay Agenda, presents audacious humor and trailblazing political discourse in an acclaimed comedy/variety show. Previous shows have paid tribute to singers such as Dolly Parton and Diana Ross; films like “Valley of the Dolls” and “Beaches”; and actresses such as Bea Arthur and Molly Ringwald. Time Out New York has called The Meeting a cult hit among a young, festive and culturally aware crowd. This months meeing features guests Cole Escola from “Difficult People”, Nadia Quinn of “Summer & Eve”and comedian John Early. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 23 April, 9:30 pm, from $20.
TNREditorTalks & Book Signing with Michael Eric Dyson: Tears We Cannot Stop: Join New Republic editor Eric Bates and Michael Eric Dyson, author, Georgetown professor and New Republic contributing editor, in conversation about Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America—Dyson's urgent, heartfelt, and eloquent new book on race relations in the United States. Complementary beverages will be available generously sponsored by the New Republic, as well as free tote bags. HousingWorks Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby Street, 24 April, 7pm, Free.
Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus: Eileen Myles’s new memoir, Afterglow, is about Rosie, her beloved pitbull and running mate in the 1992 Presidential campaign. “Since the publication of her first book, Myles has been offering audiences fleshy, candid slices of her consciousness and life,” wrote Chris Kraus. Kraus’s new book is a biography of Kathy Acker. She is best known for the novel I Love Dick – “one of the most exhilarating books of the last century” wrote Myles. “When I Love Dick came into existence, a new kind of female life did, too.” 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd and Lexington, 24 April, 7:30pm, from $22.
Ask Me Another: A rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music, host Ophira Eisenberg invites in-studio guests and listeners alike to stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones, and enjoy witty banter and guitar riffs from house musician Jonathan Coulton. What you'll hear resembles the casual intimacy of game night at a friend's house: one where scores are forgotten in favor of hilarious gaffes. Ask Me Another is a co-production of NPR and WNYC. This week’s guest: Tank and the Bangas. The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, 24 April, 7:30pm, from $20.
Tokyo Idols (Stranger than Fiction): “Idols” has fast become a phenomenon in Japan as girl bands and pop music permeate Japanese life. Tokyo Idols – an eye-opening film gets at the heart of a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality and internet popularity. Stranger Than Fiction is a Tuesday night documentary series that presents an eclectic mix of documentaries followed by discussions with the filmmakers and post-show receptions. Stranger than Fiction, IFC Center, 323 6th Ave, West Village, 25 April, 7pm, from $17.
Elif Batuman with Mary Karr on Playing the Fool: Elif Batuman’s first novel, The Idiot, is as much a story of self-invention as it is one of self-discovery. Dramatizing life on the cusp between child- and adulthood, she cleverly takes her book’s title from Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose own Idiot, Prince Myshkin, is “a perfect child, and even quite pathetic.” Batuman’s main character, Selin, travels from her first year at Harvard to Paris and the Hungarian countryside, where, much as it proves for Myshkin, circumstances in these new places are beyond what anticipation or experience have prepared her to handle. Wachenheim Trustees Room, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, NYPL, 42nd Street at 5th Avenue, 25 April, 7pm, $25.
We the People Live – 100 Days of Trump: Your favorite Slate podcasters welcome #WeThePeople LIVE, the smash political show, to the Panoply Network in this one-night-only podstravaganza. It’s a launch! It’s a panel! It’s the 100th day of your beautiful new president! Pant-wearing Aussie broadcaster Josh Zepps joins: David Plotz of the Slate Political Gabfest; Mike Pesca of The Gist; and a cast of other dazzling chatterers to chew on, and digest trump’s first 100 days. The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, 25 April, from $8.
Employee of the Month: Ever wonder what it’s like to have a dreamy job? Comedian Catie Lazarus did too, so she created an utterly addictive, candid, fun talk show about work. Come see why The New York Times calls Employee of the Month “beloved”. Guests this month: TK. Plus freestyle rap and music from EotM’s houseband, live illustrations from Michael Arthur, video magic and drinks! Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 28 April, 7pm, $20 at door.
The Lucky One: Following the fractious relationship between two adult brothers who have lived very different experiences of success, tensions boil over in a combustible confrontation that makes them question their familial ties and their own lives. A.A.Milne may be best-known for his iconic stories about Winnie The Pooh, but this was his true passion. Beckett, 410 West 42nd Street, through 18 May, from $69.
Rebel in the Soul: Dr. Noel Browne was elected to the Irish Parliament in the general election of 1948. Handsome, intense, arrogant, and unpredictable, he was only 33 years of age, with few political skills but a burning ambition to rid Ireland of the scourge of tuberculosis which had wiped out most of his family. He quickly found himself at odds with the “Man of Destiny,” party leader and ex-Irish Republican Army chief, Sean McBride, and the ruthless Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid. Irish Reperatory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street, through 21 May, from $50.
Derren Brown – Secret: Be part of the startling world of mind-reading, suggestion and psychological illusion at the hands of UK phenomenon, Derren Brown. This spellbinding theatrical experience challenges us – in the most jaw-dropping way – to take a closer look at the stories and beliefs that guide our lives. Atlantic Theater Company, 336 West 20th Street, through 4 June, from $65.
Happy Days: Academy Award winner Dianne plays Winnie in Samuel Beckett‘s masterpiece Happy Days. Buried up to her waist and sinking into the earth, Winnie is considered modern drama’s pinnacle female role, an endlessly fascinating spirit of buoyant resourcefulness and unassuming grace in the face of inevitable oblivion. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this extraordinary Happy Days, originated at Yale Repertory Theatre. Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, through 28 May, from $85.
Our Trojan War: The Aquila Theatre and American combat veterans of the Warrior Chorus collaborate on a unique theatrical experience, setting epic scenes from Homer, Greek drama and literature alongside compelling questions on modern democracy. What does democracy mean? What kind of democracy do we want to live in? How do we preserve and protect the democracy we have? Join Aquila Theatre for this urgent and compelling production. BAM Fisher Theatre, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, through 23 April, from $45.
Brits off Broadway Festival: Now in its 13th year, Brits Off Broadway continues to be the highlight of the spring theater season, introducing bold new artists and new British theater to adventurous New York audiences.The Roundabout: The Kettlewells are a dysfunctional family. Richard is an old Etonian whose business ventures are failing. Over a crowded weekend, his daughter Pamela, whom he hardly knows, returns from Russia, a passionate communist; his ex-wife and mistress both turn up; and his butler has a big win at the races. The Roundabout is funny, highly perceptive look at an England in the 1930s, when it looked as if the social order might be changing. 59E59, 59 East 59th Street, through 28 May, from $75.
Soujourners & Her Portmanteau: Two plays. In Sojourners, a young, pregnant Abasiama struggles with the responsibilities of her arranged marriage as her husband becomes seduced by 1970s American culture. Intent on finishing her university studies so that she can return to Nigeria, Abasiama weighs her dreams and obligations as she attempts to move forward. Decades later, the full impact of her decision erupts when Abasiama’s family is reunited in Her Portmanteau, as Nigerian traditions clash with the realities of American life. New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, through 4 June, from $29.
Venus: Traveling from her home in southern Africa for what she hoped would be a better life, Saartjie Baartman became an unfortunate star on the 19th Century London freak show circuit. This Obie Award-winning play gives vibrant life to the story of Baartman’s journey to London, her rise to fame as the “Hottentot Venus,” and her eventual relationship with a French scientist.
Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca: Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca, whose vitality, energy and passion have won accolades around the world, returns for a special limited engagement filled with spectacular dancing, cathartic song, and virtuosic guitar. Noche Flamenca maintains the essence, purity and integrity of one of the world's most complex and mysterious art forms. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 17-27 April, from $35.
Der Rosenkavalier: The dream cast of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Elīna Garanča as Octavian star in Strauss’s grandest opera. In his new production, Robert Carsen, the director behind the Met’s recent Falstaff, places the action at the end of the Habsburg Empire, underscoring thof class and conflict against a rich backdrop of gilt and red damask, in a staging that also stars Günther Groissböck as Baron Ochs. Sebastian Weigle conducts the sparklingly perfect score. Metropolitan Opera, 30 Lincoln Center, 13 April to 13 May 2017, from $25.
Making Space – Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction: Making Space shines a spotlight on the stunning achievements of women artists between the end of World War II (1945) and the start of the Feminist movement (around 1968). In the postwar era, abstraction dominated artistic practice, as many artists sought an international language that might transcend national and regional narratives—and for women artists, additionally, those relating to gender. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 11 West 53rd Street, through 13 August, from $25.
Fifth Floor Galleries: In response to the executive order by President Trump in February banning immigrants from seven muslim-majority countries to the U.S., MoMA has re-hung a swath of its permanent Western collection with pieces by Siah Armajani, Marcos Grigorian, Tala Madani, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Shirana Shahbazi, Parviz Tanavoli, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi and the late Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. It’s still hanging. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 11 West 53rd Street, through 13 August, from $25.
Keltie Ferris: Keltie Ferris is known for her mostly large-scale canvases covered with layers of spray paint and hand-painted geometric fields. In her ongoing series of body prints, Ferris uses her own body like a brush, covering it with natural oils and pigments and pressing it against a canvas, to literalize the relationship of an artists’ identity to the work that he or she produces. Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 1018 Madison Ave. at 78th, through 6 May, Free.
Sarah McEneaney: Sarah McEneaney’s autobiographical subject matter presents an unpretentious approach to rendering people, places and things with vibrant, meticulous and detailed brushwork characteristic of the egg tempera medium in which she often paints. Her paintings are an invitation into the story of a life lived. Tibor De Nagy Gallery, 724 Fifth Ave., through 20 May, Free.
Tribeca Film Festival: A cultural event for the new age of storytelling that brings together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences, the film festival celebrates the power of storytelling in a variety of forms. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators, curates innovative experiences through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances. Frank Serpico: As an NYPD officer in the late 60s and early 70s, Frank Serpico blew the whistle on the corruption and payoffs running rampant in the department, was shot in the face during a drug arrest, and most famously became the subject of Sidney Lumet’s classic film Serpico. Forty-plus years later, Serpico talks about his Southern Italian roots and upbringing, his time as an undercover officer, and his post-NYPD life in Europe and ultimately upstate New York. LA92: Few images are seared into the American consciousness like the beating of Rodney King at the hands of four white Los Angeles police officers and the riots after the officers’ acquittal in the spring of 1992. Twenty-five years after the verdict, Academy Award®-winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (Undefeated) draw on archival news images and unseen footage to craft an in-depth portrait of those riots and the tempestuous relationship between Los Angeles’s African American community and those charged with protecting it. The Reagan Show: A Republican president takes office at the height of his Hollywood-powered, camera-ready fame. He governs with lenses constantly flashing, and claims that he’s just the public face in front of real policy-makers and dangerous global threats. Comprised entirely of archival footage taken during those pre-reality-television years, The Reagan Show is a highly entertaining and informative look at how Ronald Reagan redefined the look and feel of what it means to be the POTUS.
Risk: Cornered in a tiny building for half a decade, Julian Assange is undeterred even as the legal jeopardy he faces threatens to undermine the organization he leads and fracture the movement he inspired. Capturing this story with unprecedented access, Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) finds herself caught between the motives and contradictions of Assange and his inner circle. IFC, 323 6th Ave., west Village, from $15.
Long Strange Trip: An epic look at The Grateful Dead that was a sensation at this year's Sundance Film Festival, this documentary draws from an incredible trove of stills, film footage, audio recordings and rare live tracks, much of which has never been seen or heard before. Film time: Four hours with intermission. IFC, 323 6th Ave., West Village, from $25.
Down in Shadowland: A hauntingly beautiful hybrid of the documentary form made over the course of eight years and motivated by a fascination with the secret lives of people on the subway. The roving yet unobtrusive camera mingles with the denizens of this subterranean microcosm, discovering a poetic truth. IFC, 323 6th Ave., west Village, from $15.
Be Right Back: A decade in the making, this playful documentary offers a rare glimpse into the mind of Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, one of the contemporary art world’s most provocative (and expensive) artists. His sculptures and installations, characterized by ironic humor, flagrant irreverence for institutions, taxidermy, and even outright theft have sparked a worldwide conversation about the increasing commodification of art objects. Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village, from $15.
Citizen Jane: Citizen Jane is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, Upper West Side, from $15
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies): The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli's small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. There’s only one problem: Olli is falling in love. Angelika, 18 W Houston Street, West Village, from $15.
Behind the White Glasses: The story of Lina Wertmüller's life and career. First woman in the world to receive a nomination for the Academy Award as best director for her masterpiece Seven beauty (Pasqualino Settebellezze, 1975). Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village, from $15.
Finding Oscar: A forensic scientist and a dedicated prosecutor seek justice for the massacre of a boy's family during the Guatemalan civil war. Angelika, 18 W Houston Street, West Village, from $15.
Graduation: Romeo Aldea is a seemingly honest doctor who regrets having settled in his native Romania and channels his ambitions for a better life into his teenage daughter, Eliza, who's just one exam away from securing a scholarship to a prestigious British university. But when Eliza is attacked on the eve of her test, Romeo takes matters into his own hands to ensure her success. Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes. Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, Upper West Side, from $15.