Volume 79, Number 01 | June 10 - 16, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

The A-List

By Scott Stiffler


Photo by Michele Brody
Tea, sympthy, and oral histoy

This performance art and site-specific installation project by mixed media artist Michele Brody explores the ceremonies, traditions and values surrounding tea. Brody invites you to step into her tea cart (parked across from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s Visitor Center). Once host and guest begin to sip, the pleasant libation encourages confession and conversation. After you’ve shared family stories as well as memories and experiences dealing with tea (which are being recorded), Brody will transcribe excerpts from the session onto paper tea bags that have been steeped in tea leaves — creating a visual memory of the shared experience. The stories will be strung on a structure made of copper pipes installed on an early 20th century pushcart — located in the windows of 97 Orchard Street for all to see. Brody’s tea cart, at 108 Orchard Street, will be open from 4:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. on June 11 and 25 and July 9 and 23 (rain dates the following Thursday, if necessary; call 212-982-8420 or visit www.tenement.org for details).


Setting up for the ARC record sale

The ARChive of Contemporary Music (a not-for-profit archive, music library and research center) collects, preserves and provides information on the popular music of all cultures throughout the world. Their over three million sound recordings makes them the largest popular music collection on Earth. Thursday, June 11, from 6:00p.m. to 9:00p.m., ARC members can attend a pre-sale party and enjoy early bird shopping. Not an ARC member yet? Just show up and join. The rest of we civilians, though, are hardly shut out from finding deals and steals. The regular sale happens June 13 through June 21, daily, from 11:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. Expect to find tons of Broadway recordings (most for a buck), Jazz LPs, world music, punk, DVDs and an “Astroturf Yardsale” of 50s kitchen stuff and clothing. At 54 White Street (3 blocks South of Canal between Church & Broadway; call 212-226-6967 or visit http://www.arcmusic.org. 


Photo by Kit Kittle
Christine Ebersole

Merely announcing a benefit for your good cause isn’t always enough to get people out of the house and into the seats. Fortunately, Greenwich House Music School’s fundraising event has the benefit of four charismatic NYC cabaret legends who embody the spirit of excellence the school seeks to instill in its pupils. That their musical selections pay tribute to one of the American Songbook’s most cerebral, celebratory, melancholy lyricist/composers doesn’t hurt either. “Come Rain or Come Shine: Celebrating the Songs of Johnny Mercer” features performances from Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, Christine Ebersole and Billy Stritch. If your only recent exposure to roof-raising vocals is American Idol, come see how the real pros nail a song and kill the audience. Proceeds benefit the school’s music education programs and will assist with vital facility upgrades. 7:30p.m., Monday, June 15, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street. Tickets are $100 or $75; $250 gets you the show plus admission to a post-event champagne reception with the artists. To purchase, call (212) 991-0003, ext. 403. or online at Purchase online at www.greenwichhouse.org/rainorshine. 


Photo by Ken Howard
Pianist David Oei performing with the Festival Chamber Ensemble

No spring chicken but not yet ready for social security, the Washington Square Music Festival remains healthy, strong and vital as it celebrates its 51st season. The final concert of that season sees Musical Director Lutz Rath playing The Devil in Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale”—an adaptation of a 1918 theatrical parable in which a soldier trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. Also on the bill: David Oei performs Brahms’ Piano Trio in C Major, opus 87; also, soprano Lucia Hyunju Song performs Schubert’s “Shepherd on the Rock.” June 19; 8:30p.m.; Free; seating is first-come, first-served. At St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church (371 Sixth Avenue). Call 212-252-3621 or visit www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org.   


Photo by Richard Greene
George Drance as Aesclepius and Denise Greber as Panacea

Who says there are no new tales to tell? To find one, La MaMa E.T.C. went considerably far back in time to come up with “the first play to tell the story of the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing.” Conceived, written and directed by the legendary Ellen Stewart, “AESCLEPIUS” tells how the son of sun god Apollo and mortal maiden Coronis transcends to his rightful place in the heavens because of his great work in medicine. As achievements go, it’s not like he won American Idol — but give Aesclepius a break; he was working in a less enlightened era. May 28 through June 14 (7:30p.m., Thursday through Sunday) at La MaMa E.T.C. Annex; 66 East 4th Street). Tickets are $25 ($20 students/seniors). To reserve, call 212-475-7710 or online at www.lamama.org. 

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