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READINGS: RIGHT HERE, WRITE NOW | “Why this? Why now?” Click on that icon on the home page of Asian and… — and you’ll get the backstory on why this collective of millennial theater artists (born between around 1980 and 2000) have dedicated themselves to creating new works that depict the true, and truly diverse, face of the Asian-American experience. Hint: It has something to do with a stat from the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (“Asian-Americans received only 3 percent of all available roles in the non-profit sector, and only 1.5 percent of all available roles on Broadway in the past five years.”). The latest Asian and… action to help remedy the situation, “Right Here, Write Now,” is a night of readings featuring work from NYC playwrights, performed by some of the city’s most talented actors.
Participants you should get to know: Playwrights Christine Toy Johnson, Lauren Yee, Dustin Chinn, Nandita Shenoy, Donaldo Prescod, Daniel Ho, christopher oscar peña, Kitty Chen, Angela Hanks, Marisa Marquez and Leah Nanako Winkler. Participating directors include Christopher Carter Sanderson, Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, and Brian Lee Huynh. Featured actors: Eugene Oh, Bonna Tek, Satomi Blair, Denise Rogers, Andrew Eisenman, Tony Vo, Josephine Huang, Bobby Foley, Holly Chou, Cleo Gray, Jaygee Macapugay, Diane Phelan and Briana Pozner.
Tues., May 15, 8pm, at Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce St., three blocks south of Christopher St., just west of Seventh Ave.). Suggested donation: $10. To reserve seats, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit asianand.com.
THEATER: THE BOWERY WARS, PART 2 | A story of blossoming love between a boy and a girl caught in the middle of a West Side turf war? That urban interpretation of “Romeo & Juliet” is so 1950s. It’s about time for a Downtown take on this oft-told tale that always seems to end with somebody ingesting poison, somebody getting stabby with a dagger and two gorgeous young corpses. But before that grim ending, there’s plenty of compelling words and deeds — and in this version, rock music composed by Michael Hickey and performed by a company of 25 teen actors and musicians. Writer and director Ryan Gilliam’s script takes the audience to multiple outdoor sites as they witness this blend of history and fiction set in 1903 (when the Lower East Side was the most densely populated place on the face of the earth). Against the backdrop of two rival gangs fighting for control of the lucrative Bowery entertainment district, a young Italian and a young Russian Jew fall in love. Bring a hanky.
Through Sun., May 20, Sat. & Sun., 3:15pm. All performances are outdoors. Act I is performed as a 45-minute walking tour, which starts at 120 E. 2nd St. and ends at 19 E. 3rd St. Act II, seated, takes place outdoors, at 19 E. 3rd St.). For tickets ($15, $10 for students/seniors), visit downtownart.org.
PHOTOGRAPHY: “HOLDOUTS” | Populated by photos of Mom & Pop storefronts, David Monderer’s installation at Soho Photo Gallery aims to replicate the hustle and bustle of urban living — including, perhaps, the sound of a Duane Reade truck spewing fumes as it makes a bulk delivery to a shiny new franchise location that’s displaced a decades-old, immigrant-owned pharmacy. “What might be gained in efficiency and convenience has unaccounted for social and cultural costs,” laments Monderer — who makes a case for his argument with poignant before and after photos of storefronts. Included: how Famous Ray’s morphed into Famous Roio’s Pizza. The original, whose ghost image remains on the signage and the awning, speaks volumes about how quickly (and irreversibly) times change.
Through Sat., June 2, at Soho Photo Gallery (15 White St., btw. W. Broadway & Sixth Ave.). Hours: Wed.-Sun., 1-6pm. For info, visit sohophoto.com.
AMORE OPERA PRESENTS: “LA TRAVIATA” | Amore Opera’s third season comes to a close, with “La Traviata.” Verdi’s timeless masterpiece, conducted by Gregory Ortega and staged by Nathan Hull (Amore’s artistic director) delivers tragic love in three acts — as famed French courtesan Violetta and her suitor, Alfredo Germont, risk everything to be together. This fully staged Amore production, with full orchestra, is presented in its original Italian. Also this spring, from Amore: a one-night-only encore of Figaro operas. “The Figaro Fest Gala” will be held on May 22.
“La Traviata” happens May 11-27, at the Connelly Theater (220 E. 4th St., btw. Avenues A & B). The 7:30pm performances take place Fri., May 11 and Sat., May 12 — then, Thurs.-Sat., May 17-19 and Wed.-Sat., May 23-26. The 2:30pm performances take place Sun., May 13, 20 & 27. For tickets ($40, $30 for students/seniors), call 866-811-4111 or visit amoreopera.org.