For the Benefit of…

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For the benefit of Housing Works: The Portland Cello Project.

Fundraisers for friends in need

Some celebrated masters of music’s most moody, contemplative instrument are combining forces to raise funds for one of NYC’s most worthy causes. Housing Works provides housing, healthcare, job training and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. Their Downtown Bookstore Cafe regularly hosts a variety of imaginative and entertaining special events — and on June 25, it’s the site of a benefit concert from The Portland Cello Project. The indie orchestra with a cult following is known for its unpredictable and unconventional playlist. You’re as likely to see an improvised version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” as you are a centuries-old classical selection.

Mon., June 25, 8pm (doors open 7:30pm), at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Houston & Prince Sts.). Tickets ($15; guarantees admission but not seating) are on sale now at For more info, call 212-334-3324. All ticket sales benefit the Housing Works mission of fighting to end AIDS and homelessness.


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L to R: Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society members Dayle Vander Sande, Jane Elizabeth Rady and Anthony Bellov serenade you, Midsummer style, for the benefit of Merchant’s House Museum.

For quite some time, we’ve been thoroughly enchanted — and exceedingly entertained — by the soaring voices and highly theatrical performance style of The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. Now comes word that they’ve received a grant from the prestigious Puffin Foundation. Like the once-endangered bird it’s named for, Puffin’s mission to “ensure that the arts not merely survive, but flourish at all levels of our society” dovetails nicely into the BSESS’s upcoming project. “A Midsummer Serenade: Light and Breezy Airs to Greet the Solstice” is the name of a June 21 concert whose proceeds will be channeled directly into the Defense Fund of the Merchant’s House Museum. The money’s already been earmarked to engage a structural engineer who will help ensure the Museum is not damaged or destroyed by construction that may occur in the lot next door. As readers of The Villager know, the danger is real. So help BSESS help Merchant’s House by attending this evening of “songs of nature and sprites in both familiar and undeservedly forgotten period music.” An added period bonus: The concert takes place in the Merchant’s House Museum’s beautiful Greek revival double parlors.

Thurs., June 21, 7pm,  at Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. 4th St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Reservations required. For tickets ($20, $10 for MHM members, seniors & students), call 212-777-1089 or visit Regular Museum Hours: Thurs.-Mon., 12-5pm. Admission is $10, $5 for students/seniors.

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Linda Lavin, in “The Lyons,” will host the Vinyard Theatre’s June 21 benefit.

“The Vineyard is just a wonderful theater company,” says Linda Lavin. “I pretty much say ‘yes’ to whatever they ask me to do…as long as it’s not reprehensible to me.” True to her word, Lavin recently accepted a very non-reprehensible offer from the Vineyard Theatre.

Currently slaying them as an indomitable matriarch who won’t let the imminent death of her husband prevent her from redecorating the living room, Lavin’s upcoming one-shot lunchtime gig has her doing a solid for the theater that premiered Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons,” and helped propel the witty, acerbic play to its current Broadway run.

Uncompromising, tough as nails and lovable despite her, well, reprehensible behavior, Lavin’s performance as Rita Lyons should have won her the Tony. That’s our sour grapes, not hers. She’s too classy to complain. Case in point? Lavin will host the Emerging Artists Luncheon — at which playwright Erika Sheffer will receive Vineyard Theatre’s 5th annual Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. That residency-based award comes with a cash prize and artistic development support over the 2012-13 season. Sheffer isn’t the only one who will emerge from the event a winner. Proceeds will benefit The Vineyard’s artistic and education programs.

Thurs., June 21, 12-2pm, at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). For info, and to purchase tickets, contact Veronica Bainbridge at 212-353-3366, x242 or email at For info on “The Lyons” (highly recommended), visit Also visit

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