Just Do Art! Oct. 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society L-R: Anthony Bellov, Roberta Alessandra, Jane Elizabeth Rady and Dayle Vander Sande are scary talented — and in concert, on Oct. 18.

Photo courtesy of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society
L-R: Anthony Bellov, Roberta Alessandra, Jane Elizabeth Rady and Dayle Vander Sande are scary talented — and in concert, on Oct. 18.

CHANT MACABRE: SONGS FROM THE CRYPT
It’s no wonder ghosts, ghouls and goblins haunt so much of mid-19th century music. A high mortality rate meant death was always lurking nearby — and when the time came for internment, a somber procession would ferry the coffin from parlor to graveyard.

The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society (BSESS) dares you to return with them, to those chilling days of yesteryear. “Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt” finds the frighteningly talented foursome in concert, offering a bewitching program of meticulously exhumed, rarely performed work by Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Loewe and Mussorgsky. Authentic period bonus: “Chant Macabre” takes place in the stunning Greek revival parlor of Merchant’s House Museum — an 1832 row house in which dozens of visitors have reported encounters with deceased Tredwell family members, servants and caretakers. The BSESS’s vocal pyrotechnics, spirited theatrics and Victorian aesthetic just might attract some of the long-gone tenants. Such sightings aren’t guaranteed with admission, of course — although musical events in the house have, in the past, brought out the dead.

At merchantshouse.org, you’ll find information on many other paranormal-themed October events — including certified psychic medium and paranormal researcher Cathy Towle’s “Reading the Rooms: A Psychic Talks with the Tredwells” (Oct. 24). Find out why Merchant’s has been dubbed “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” by going on a Candlelight Ghost Tour (Oct. 25, 26, 28-30). You’ll hear gripping tales of inexplicable occurrences, while standing in the very rooms in which they took place.

“Chant Macabre” happens on Fri., Oct. 18, at 7:30pm. At the Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Admission: $25 (MHM members, $15). Limited seats — reservations strongly encouraged. Call 212-777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org/calendar. Follow: facebook.com/merchantshouse and, on Twitter: @merchantshouse. Regular Museum hours, during which you can take a self-guided tour of the house, are 12-5pm, Thurs.-Mon. (admission is $10 general, $5 for students/seniors).

Photo by Stephen Sorokoff Two, at 54 Below: Charles Busch (R) and Tom Judson are “Ridin’ High.”

Photo by Stephen Sorokoff
Two, at 54 Below: Charles Busch (R) and Tom Judson are “Ridin’ High.”

CHARLES BUSCH: RIDIN’ HIGH
The Lady in Question has declared her upcoming run at 54 Below to be a boa-free zone. Otherwise, anything goes — including we’re assured, “laughter, music, tears and sequins.” That, filtered through the sassy lips and ample pipes of Tony-nominated play wright and drag legend Charles Busch, makes “Ridin’ High” a must-see for lovers of tall tales, tough gals and tunes from the American Songbook.

Armed with more zingers than a chorus boy can shake his stick at, Busch will dish on certain actresses he’s known and tell anecdotes about his long career. He’ll also be doing a parody of 1940s film noirs and a new monologue for Miriam Passman — the inspiration for his Broadway play, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” Songs from the camp icon, whose approach is far more affectionate than ironic, include an Irving Berlin number, a Sinatra classic and a few choices likely inspired by recent time spent taking his act on the road (“Route 66,” “Kansas City”). Accompanist Tom Judson, who toured with Busch, tickles the ivories.

Always sweet and only bitter when it serves the punchline, Busch is, nonetheless, more than a little salty — so leave the kids at home for this one. But parents of budding little divas with a sense of the absurd would do well to scoop up tickets for the Oct. 27, 1:30pm Tribeca Performing Arts Center’s presentation of “Bunnicula.” Co-written by Busch, it’s a musical stage adaptation of the best-selling children’s book series about a family who adopts an orphaned rabbit with vampire-like leanings. For info: tribecapac.org/children.

“Ridin’ High” happens Thurs., Oct. 17, 24 & Nov. 7, 14. At 54 Below (254 W. 54th St., btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.). Doors open at 8:45pm, show at 9:30pm. Cover Charge: $35-45. Food/Beverage minimum: $25.  Tickets on the day of performance, after 4pm, available only by calling 646-476-3551. For reservations, visit 54below.com. Also visit charlesbusch.com.

Image courtesy of the artist and Hudson Guild Gallery Eve Le Ber’s “The Art Train” is on view through Nov. 5, as part of Hudson Guild’s “8 Women, 8 Singular Voices” exhibit.

Image courtesy of the artist and Hudson Guild Gallery
Eve Le Ber’s “The Art Train” is on view through Nov. 5, as part of Hudson Guild’s “8 Women, 8 Singular Voices” exhibit.

MOMENTUM: 8 WOMEN, 8 SINGULAR VOICES
Hudon Guild’s recent series of events celebrating the achievements of women in the arts continues, with this exhibit featuring work by eight women — Kitt Barnes, Elena Brady, Denise Corley, Chris Costan, Theresa Ellerbrok, Eve Le Ber, Elke Solomon and Veronica Tyson-Strait — whose careers continue to have the kind of forward-moving momentum which results from drive and commitment to ongoing experimentation and productivity.

Free. On display through Nov. 5, at the Hudson Guild Gallery (441 W. 26th St., btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Viewing Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am-7pm & Sat., 1-4pm. For more info, visit hudsonguild.org.

Photo by Scotto Mycklebust Visit Adrienne Leban’s studio (at 278 W. 25th St.) during the High Line Open Studios art walk.

Photo by Scotto Mycklebust
Visit Adrienne Leban’s studio (at 278 W. 25th St.) during the High Line Open Studios art walk.

Art Walk Invites You Behind Closed Doors
As sprawling and visually appealing as the elevated park its name invokes, “High Line Open Studios” is a self-guided tour of work spaces normally open by appointment only — allowing visitors to gain unique insights into the creative process through a dialogue that strips away the layers between artist and enthusiast.

From 6-8pm on Fri., Oct. 18 and from 12-6pm on Sat./Sun., Oct. 19-20. The free self-guided tour begins at the West Chelsea Arts Building (508-526 W. 26th St., btw. 10th &11th Aves.). Preview participating artist at highlineopenstudios.org.

Photo by Chris Kreussling Rev. John Magisano, pastoral counselor for Chelsea Community Church, at 2012’s Blessing of Animals.

Photo by Chris Kreussling
Rev. John Magisano, pastoral counselor for Chelsea Community Church, at 2012’s Blessing of Animals.

‘PAWS’ FOR PRAYER: BLESSING OF AMINALS
Beasts of all species and denominations, and their bipedal roommates, are welcome at Chelsea Community Church’s Blessing of Animals. The 14th installment of this popular annual event gets a cabaret twist this time around — as tenor Otto Walberg, the longtime lay leader for the service, sings a new song: “I Was Thinking.” Award-winning cabaret artist Carolyn Montgomery-Forant wrote the lyrics and the music. CCC’s Music Director Jeff Cubeta (also a noted cabaret performer) will accompany Walberg on piano. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether that will inspire some doggie dancing in the aisles — but at least when the plate is passed, there won’t be a two-bone minimum (admission is free, voluntary collection taken).

Sun., Oct. 20, at noon. At St. Peter’s (346 W. 20 St., btw. Eighth and Ninth Aves.). People of all faiths, and of uncertain faith, are welcome to commune with their fellow man — while giving their pets a bit of alone time — when the nondenominational, lay-led Chelsea Community Church meets every Sun. at 12 noon, at St. Peter’s. For more info, visit chelseachurch.org.

Photo courtesy of Carmen Mesink RMA instructor Carmen Mesink shows you how it’s done.

Photo courtesy of Carmen Mesink
RMA instructor Carmen Mesink shows you how it’s done.

RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART: FALL CLASSES 
The Rubin Museum of Art has added yet another layer to the mind-expanding, soul-nourishing experience that comes from immersing one’s self in their outstanding collection of Chinese, Indian, Afghan, Bhutanese, Mongolian, Nepalese, Pakistani and Tibetan art. Housed in the former home of Barney’s, the RMA has always been a place where visitors can actively engage with the traditions and cultures of the Himalayas. Two years ago, they began to offer Adult Education classes whose themes were tied to current exhibits — allowing a deeply personal take-away for the senses (in the most literal of senses). Experienced artist-instructors guide participants in small class settings that take place after hours in museum galleries and designated art studio spaces. “The Buddha of Ultimate Healing” is a Thangka-Making workshop in which you will learn how to draw and paint The Medicine Buddha (drawing, Oct. 11-13; painting, Oct. 18-20). No experience is necessary. On Wed., from Nov. 6-20 and Dec. 4, “Writing along the Himalayas” encourages you to discover how works of art inspire writing — through intimate encounters with artwork in the galleries.

At the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For info on class times and rates, visit rmanyc.org.

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