Photo by Gabrela Herman
From FAB! 2009: A dancer with Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance does her thing.
Please don’t call it a Fall Arts Preview
It’s more like an Autumn Roundup, OK
COMPILED BY SCOTT STIFFLER
When Jerry Lewis succumbs to telethon tears during the last verse of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — then everyone returns to work after that day that honors labor — you know it’s time to put the flip-flops away and make yourself presentable for autumn. There’s so much to do this fall, we couldn’t fit it all in one issue. So come back next week — but don’t tune out until you turn yourself on to what we’ve got this time around. Now get your calendar and pen so you can use the below guide to make a few plans — just please, don’t call it a Fall Arts Preview (we have our reasons).
FAB! FESTIVAL & BLOCK PARTY
Even by NYC standards, you’d be hard-pressed to find a place with as many innovative artistic endeavors than that dense little patch of earth on East 4th St. between Bowery & Second Ave. But don’t take our word for it. Seeing is believing — and Fourth Arts Block’s annual “FAB! Festival & Block Party” is a very good place to see a very large amount of artsy stuff. Throughout the day, multiple stages will feature dance, theater and music performances from Fourth St. artists-in-residence. Gourmet food vendors, installations, film screenings and hands-on activities also figure into the mix.
The list of presenters includes Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance, Downtown Art, Horse Trade Theater Group, La MaMa E.T.C., Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Performance Space 122 and WOW Cafe Theater. Vendors (at the Local Artisans Market) include Metropolis Soap Company, Miss Wit Designs, Moon Tide Dyers, popidiot, and Volta Organics. If you’re not completely exhausted by the end of the day, it’s probably because you didn’t show up in the first place — which would be a serious mistake. FREE. Sat., Sept. 25, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (on East 4th St. btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For more info, visit www.fabnyc.org.
UG! COMEDY SHOW (VERSION 3.0)
Every week, host Todd Montesi and featured partner in comedic crime Justin Murray perform the habit-forming service of presenting awesome comedians who like nothing better than to tell jokes in front of a cool and appreciative crowd. Do you have what it takes to sit in the audience and laugh? Will free admission and $3 draft/$4 well drink specials put you over the fence? How about the chance to see actual seen-on-TV comics share the same bill with soon-to-be-known up and comers? Tuesdays, 8 p.m. at Identity Bar & Lounge (511 E. 6th St., btw. Aves. A and B). No Cover, one-drink minimum. For info and reservations, call 212-995-8889.
DONNIE AND THE MONSTERS
Don’t take the kids to this sock puppet play — it’s strictly for adults. Pre-teen Donnie escapes a life short on friends but overflowing with bullies by immersing himself in a world of monsters, pirates and talking toilets. Beyond the seemingly childish plot lurks a show that’s concerned with how the issues we develop in childhood hurt or help us years later. At UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, btw. 1st Ave. and Ave. A). For tickets ($18), call 212-868-4444 or visit www.horseTRADE.info.
NerdNYC’s upcoming “Recess” event takes you “Back to Old School” with this nostalgic tip of the hat to1980s gaming (with a nod to modern games). Solve the Riddle of Steel with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, beat up supervillians, risk the wrath of Mr. T and hang with the Scooby gang. No prior gaming experience necessary. Patient but knowledgeable nerds will walk you through all the basics of tabletop roleplaying games and board/card games. Sat., Sept. 11, at 440 Studios. Meet at 3G, on the third floor of 440 Lafayette Street. Admission is $20. Visit www.nerdnyc.com.
Unlike needy Reality TV stars or faded celebrities, unpredictable artistic types are notorious for canceling or rescheduling in-store appearances. That’s why the people who book these things are extremely skittish about announcing big names too far in advance. Best, then, to keep checking websites, Twitter and Facebook. Anyone who’s ever shown up with a book or a CD or a limb they want signed — only to be turned away — will tell you to avoid bitter disappointment by calling ahead to make sure the event is still happening.
Two worthy destinations for comic book and science fiction fans are Forbidden Planet and St. Mark’s Comics. Forbidden Planet is located at 840 Broadway (at 13th St.). Call them at 212-473-1576 or visit www.fpnyc.com (where you can sign up for email alerts). Find out about the latest happenings at St. Mark’s Comics (11 St. Mark’s Place) by calling 212-598-9439 or visiting www.stmarkscomics.com. Their in-store events are announced via Twitter.
PARTNERS & CRIME MYSTERY booksellers
Sorry, viewers of Scooby-Doo and players of Clue — simply put, there’s no better medium than the printed page when it comes to immersing yourself in a good mystery. Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers exists for that very reason — offering every imaginable permutation of the genre that one could ask for. They’ve also got a great calendar of events to supplement the good stuff on the shelf.
On Sept. 4 (shows at 6p.m. and 8p.m.), “W-WOW Mystery Radio Plays” takes you back to the days of 19402/1950s radio mysteries—with a cast of characters who recreate the actual scripts and commercials. This time up, it’s Richard Diamond in “The Black Doll Case” and Bulldog Drummond in “Help Wanted.” This series often sells out, so call 212-462-3027 for reservations. On Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., Caryl Ferey will read from, and sign, the novel “Zulu” — an ultraviolent tale of South Africa (winner of the French Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel of 2008). On Sept. 28 at 7 p.m., Hilary Davidson signs “Damage Done” and Joelle Charbonneau signs “Skating Around the Law.” At 44 Greenwich Ave. (btw. 6th and 7th Aves.). Call 212-243-0440 or visit www.crimepays.com.
Bluestockings isn’t just a bookstore. It’s also a fair trade café and activist center. What that boils down to is a place where the books on the shelf and the people in the aisles have something to say about socially progressive issues. At every in-store event, the hat is always passed (suggested donation, $5) — but you’ll never be scowled at or turned away if you come with empty pockets and a good attitude. On Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., Lucy Jane Bledsoe reads from “The Big Bang Symphony” — which concerns an Antarctica-based galley cook, a climate change geologist and a composer. On Sept. 11 at 7 p.m., “Community and Resistance” is a discussion led by Jordan Flaherty (editor of Left Turn Magazine). On Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., Kim Kelly reads from “L.E.S. Love Eloquence & Stars” — her newly-published young adult novel set in the Lower East Side. The next night, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., Bo Brown (former George Jackson Brigade member) reads from “Creating a Movement with Teeth.” Bluestockings is located at 172 Allen St. (btw. Stanton & Rivington). Call 212-777-6028 or visit www.bluestockings.com. Open daily (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.).
Being Bernie Cohen’s leather soles must be a thankless task. Come September, they’re being asked to trek far and wide though Manhattan and elsewhere — stopping, along the way, for some little-known tidbits about some much-seen sights. On Sept. 5 at 2pm, join Bernie and his well-traveled feet for a West Village tour. “Bohemia Along the Hudson” reveals the backstories of St. Lukes Chapel, The Archives Bldg, White Horse Tavern and the High Line (meet at Hudson and Grove Sts.). On Sept. 12 at 2pm, “Visas, Views and History” lets you take in the sights and sounds to be had while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (meet in front of the fountain in Manhattan’s City Hall Park.
On Sept. 25 at 2pm, explore what’s going on under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. “DUMBO Brooklyn” occurs on the same day as the annual “Art Under the Bridge Festival” held once each year. Enjoy the fest after you’ve learned all about Romanesque Architecture and Gair City (meet outside the York Street Train Station, corner of York and Jay St.). On Sept. 26 at 2pm, “The Meatpacking District” tour goes from guts to gourmet to glamour — as you tour The Highline, Chelsea Market, Hogs and Heifers Motorcycle Bar and the Gansevort Hotel (meet at Hudson and 14th St.). Each tour costs $15 per person (no reservations needed). For info, call 718-655-1883.
The Scholastic Store
Take some of the sting off your kid’s back to school woes with a trip to a gigantic bookstore that has much more to offer than Harry Potter memorabilia (although it’s got plenty of that!).
Every Saturday in September at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities are designed to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and moving. On Sept. 4, kids ages 3 and up can add their own jokes to the store’s LOL wall (after story time with the book “How Do Dinosaurs Laugh Out Loud?”). On Sept. 11, “It’s Time for Tea!” is an event for ages 4 and up. Soho’s coolest kids-only tea party features story time with the new book “Angel Cat Sugar Tea Party.” Sept. 18, the 5+ set celebrates the 9th annual collection of the most unbelievable facts, acts and oddities — with readings from “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” and a mystery visitation from one of the Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium oddities. Sept. 25, dog lovers ages 4 and up can have their photo taken with Clifford the Big Red Dog and enjoy a reading of the new rhyming book “Smooch Your Pooch.” A few weeks later, on Oct. 30, The Annual Halloween Costume Parade is a free all-ages event starting inside the store then making its way from Mercer Street to Broadway.
The Scholastic Store is located at 557 Broadway (btw. Prince & Spring Streets). Regular store hours are Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm, and Sun, 11am-6pm. For info about store events, call 212-343-6166. Visit www.scholastic.com.
FILMS FROM THE 2010 FLAHERTY SEMINAR
Anthology Film Archives gives a good name to film geekdom, the pursuit of scholarly knowledge and the good times to be had from sitting in a darkened room staring at a screen.
Case in point: “The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar” is named after Robert Flaherty (1884-1951) — considered by scholars and geeks alike to be the father of the American documentary. Decades before Reality TV gave a bad name to the pursuit of following everyday people around with a camera, he was doing just that — and doing it exceedingly well. On Sept. 13, “Flaherty NYC” kicks off its third season at Anthology with a program of films from the June 2010 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. The series will continue on the second Monday of every month. The screening of a film will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker(s) and a guest moderator.
This month’s installment features short films by Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida. They’ll both be there for a post-screening discussion with Penny Lane. Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m. at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave.). Call 212-505-5181 or visit www.anthologyfilmarchives.org and www.flahertyseminar.org.