Volume 80, Number 31 | January 5 — 12, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Carolyn Ratcliffe

Old School: The old PS 64. See “First Annual Let’s Save the East Village/LES.”

Just Do Art!

Compiled by Scott Stiffler

Way back when visions of sugarplums were still dancing in our heads — and a certain jolly fellow was loading up his sleigh — the busy elves at Fourth Arts Block (FAB) were soft-launching and pre-testing their nifty new caffeine-infused gathering place. The FAB Cafe & East Village Visitors Center will be a welcome addition to that dense, dynamic stretch of 4th Street that’s home to more artsy endeavors than most other places (possibly any other place) in town. Just in time to get you through the next cold and cruel months, FAB Cafe is poised to become a much-loved gathering place for getting pre-show infusions of MUD Truck coffee or post-performance sugar rushes to help extend that natural high coming from just having seen something at, say, WOW Café Theatre or La MaMa E.T.C. or Teatro Circulo or Horse Trade Theater Group or Rod Rodgers Dance School or Duo Multicultural Arts Center — and the list goes on and on and on.

But FAB Cafe isn’t just for locals. It also fills the void by providing the area with a Visitors Center. A concierge (Tues. through Fri., 1-6pm) will help tourists and locals wanting to know more about their neighborhood or learn about the history of the East Village. The Cafe will also serve as a way to get hooked up with FAB Tix (a 2-for-1 ticket program).

The Grand Opening happens on Wed., Jan. 12, 6-8pm, at the FAB Cafe (75 E. 4th St. btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). It features performances by FAB Cafe baristas, an exhibit from Harumi Ori made from her signature orange mesh, and free samples of MUD coffee and Ceci Cela pastries for all. Regular Cafe hours: 7am-8pm weekdays and 9am-8pm on weekends. Visit fabnyc.org.

While many businesses have shuttered — and more than one gun-shy entrepreneur has resisted the urge to take a risk in the midst of a still-stressed economy — The East Village Dance Project (EVDP), in partnership with GOH Productions, is opening Avenue C Studio.  It will be the only dance facility east of 2nd Ave., and will be the new permanent home of the EVDP Youth Program (which has been running in studios all over the neighborhood for the last 14 years) as well as home base to the recently-formed East Village Dance Project Jr. Company.

The Open House celebration happens Sun., Jan. 9, 1-5pm (accompanied by performances at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM by East Village Dance Project Jr. Company (55 Ave. C, near E. 4th St.). For a full schedule of offerings, visit eastvillagedanceproject.com.

Ten years away from the terrible twos and one year away from its teens, you’d think “No Name and A Bag O’ Chips” would be languishing in that awkward tween stage — but, no. In fact, this funky-assed they-should-be-stars-studded comedy/variety show is going very strong (as is their house band, The Summer Replacements). Show them some love, have some laughs, and get that famous free bag of mini chips — when you attend their next show. Fri., Jan. 14, 7pm, at Otto’s Shrunken Head (538 E. 14th St. btw. Aves. A & B). No cover, no minimum. For info, call 212-228-2240 or visit www.nonamenyc.com.

Is your solemn holiday vow to be a better person already starting to show signs of cracking? If so, this “revolting, worthless art opening from the intergalactic dirtbag SUCKLORD wants to help you on your merry way. “The SUCKADELIC Art Toy Universe” is a retrospective gallery exhibition from SUCKLORD — who, thank you very much, happens to be one of the most respected and influential figures in the art toy movement. We know that mainly because the press release said so. That release goes on to promise, only half-jokingly we fear, to “waste precious Boo-Hooray gallery wall space” with “intentionally confusing, misleading, disappointing and really funny limited edition parodies of action figures.” Full of vinegar and piss — with just enough room left in the bag for a healthy sense of satire, rage and pop culture cannibalism — the sucky output of this self-proclaimed Lord is sure to be one of 2011’s biggest wastes of time and space (once that still-chubby Baby New Year has morphed into a frail, rail-thin bitter old man at the end of his days).

Now for some utterly useless background on this highly pointless event: Boo-Hooray is a pop-up/parasite gallery curated by (mostly) Johan Kugelberg that, once in a while, shows up in New York or Tokyo or London or Paris or Stockholm or Mayberry or Hooterville. This exhibition marks the first time the entire SUCKADELIC catalogue will be exhibited in one place. For the duration of the exhibit, a SUCKADELIC SUCK-SHOPPE pop-up store will be open. Original artwork, sculptures, silk-screens and paintings will be for sale.

Opening party: Tues., Jan. 11, 6pm. Closing party: Sun., Jan. 23, 3pm. Open daily from 11am-6pm. At Boo-Hooray gallery (521 W. 23rd St.). Not that he’ll answer, but you can email the artist at sucklord@suckadelic.com. Lots of spare time and no friends? Fill the void by visiting boo-hooray.com/suckadelic and suckadelic.com. Meet the SUCKLORD: boo-hooray.com/suckadelic/meet-the-sucklord. Facebook: facebook.com/boohooray. Twitter: twitter.com/boo_hooray. YouTube: youtube.com/boohooray.

Brooklyn-based theater company Ripe Time has come up with a high concept whose time is right (ripe?). “Shape Shifting: Veteran Voices” is a salon-style event featuring prominent theater-makers whose work responds to war — specifically, to ways dramatic works can approach the plight of the veteran returning home. The event is part of Ripe Time’s Shape Shifting series, which explores the art and craft of adaptation and how works from the past can create a bridge to politics or cultural issues of our time. As for that signature Ripe Time style, it’s a hybrid of dance and theater.

Among the “Veteran Voices” artists: Bryan Doerries — whose “Theater of War” has toured military bases nationwide; MacArthur Fellowship winner Sarah Ruhl; and KJ Sanchez & Emily Ackerman of The Civilians (who both have brothers that have served in combat zones overseas). Each writer will have a cast of actors performing an excerpt of his/her work. Following each excerpt will be a conversation moderated by Alicia Anstead (Editor-in-Chief of Arts Presenters “Inside Arts Magazine” and writer for the Harvard Arts Blog). Mon., Jan. 10, 7pm at New York Theatre Workshop (79 E. 4th St. btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Suggested donation: $15. Reservations Required. Call 718-622-3650. Visit ripetime.org.

The “Let’s Save the East Village/Lower East Side — Neighbors and Friends Meet and Greet” is a free event co-sponsored by the Theater for the New City, Art Loisaida Foundation and LESPI. Its mission: preserve the East Village/Lower East Side’s remaining historic streetscapes, where historic buildings are quickly being demolished or insensitively altered in an unrelenting tide of development. Helping that harsh reality go down? Free light refreshments — and lots of images of the LES and the East Village (as well as a current art exhibit featuring works by 25 artists on the subject of Preservation). Don’t think it’s going to be a downer, though. As long as there are works of art amidst all the talk about what we’ve lost, the evening won’t be a total loss. Tues., Jan. 11, 6-8pm at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. btw. 9th &10th Sts.). Visit lespi-ny.oreg and theaterforthenew city.net.

Every Sunday, the Klezmer Brunch Series pairs top tier musicians with top tier lox and bagels (10am-2pm, with music from 11-noon and 1pm-2pm). $10 music fee. At 155 Varick St. at Vandam. Call 212-608-0555 or, for a full schedule of events, visit citywinery.com. UPCOMING: “Women Fully Clothed” features an all-star cast of four renowned Canadian sketch comedy artists, riffing on career matters, family dynamics, and other assorted absurd topics. It’s written & performed by Robin Duke (SNL and SCTV), Jayne Eastwood (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Chicago), Kathryn Greenwood (Whose Line Is It Anyway) and Teresa Pavlinek (History Bites and The Jane Show). Sun., Jan. 9, at 7pm. For tickets ($25), call 212-608-05. Visit womenfullyclothed.com.

On the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, Gloria Gaynor (whose classic anthem “I Will Survive” has been adopted by anyone who’s ever had an obstacle to overcome) lends the spirit of that song — and her pipes — to this benefit concert. The event is organized by Brooklyn-based nonprofit Community2Community (C2C) — a service organization whose focus is helping to build self-sufficient communities. Their goal, on this occasion, is to raise $50,000 to fund the building of the Piton Vallue Water Center (which will provide clean, potable drinking water to the entire village).

WBLS/WLIB radio personality Liz Black hosts. Gloria Gaynor headlines, with performances by artists including Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence Dance Company; Haitian DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and The Earthman Experience; Barbara King; Mecca; Haitian Mass Choir; Curtis Haywood; C3YC; Boots; and Thurston Daniel. There will also be vignettes spotlighting Haiti’s culture and history — with a focus on the C2C Haiti Restoration & Transformation Project.

Wed., Jan. 12, 8pm (doors open at 7pm), at the Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St.). For tickets ($65, $75, $85), 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. Visit community2community.info.

This collaboration between actors and musicians from London’s Pants on Fire theatre company time-warps Roman poet Ovid’s epic tales of heroics, love, gods and monsters to 1940s wartime Britain. Songs, dance, puppetry and film are used to tell the darkly comic story — in which Cupid is an evacuee with a catapult; Narcissus is a Hollywood Matinee Idol drooling over his screen image; and an Andrews Sisters chorus provides harmony amid cosmic chaos. Gasmasks, gramophones and an acting style reminiscent of that found in British films of the 1940s conspire to provide a fun-packed exploration of man’s relationship with nature.

Through Sun., Jan. 30 at The Flea Theater (41 White St. btw. Broadway & Church, 3 blocks south of Canal). Tues.-Fri. at 7pm; Sat. at 3pm & 7pm; Sun. at 5pm. For tickets, ($42.50) call 212-352-3101 or visit theflea.org. Also visit pantsonfiretheatre.com.

If you’re tired of winter already, and/or want to make good on that morning of January 1st vow to make the world a better place if your higher power makes that splitting headache go away, the Arbor Day Foundation wants to help you help yourself — and the planet. How? By getting a jump on Arbor Day, 2011 (April 29). Just join the Foundation now — and before the prime planting period (Feb. 1 through May 31), you’ll receive two white flowering dogwoods, two flowering crabapples, two Washington hawthorns, two American redbuds and two golden rain trees. The trees (with pink, yellow and white colors) “are perfect for large and small spaces, and will provide food and habitat for songbirds” — so says John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. The 6-12 inch trees will arrive at your doorstep with planting instructions. To get your trees, all you have to do is join the ADF.  Members will also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication — and The Tree Book, which includes info about tree planting and care. Just send a $10 contribution to “Ten Free Flowering Trees,” Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE, 68410 — by Jan. 31. You can also join online, at www.arborday.org/january.

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