Volume 80, Number 50 | May 12 - 18, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Photo courtesy of AIDS Walk New York

A crowded field, comprised of those who care: AIDS Walk NY.


Photo by davidjmartin.com

Here we go ’round…again. See “Pier 62 Carousel.”


Photo by Jaqlin Medlock

Limbs as tree branches, bent…and broken? See “Wind and Tree.”


Just Do Art!

Last year, AIDS Walk New York — the world’s largest AIDS Walk — turned 25. This year, this annual walk continues to march on, for the benefit of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and other AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area. You can walk solo, or with a team. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by good vibes and good company. The 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) walk begins in Central Park at 10am (sign-in begins, 8:30am) on Sun., May 15. To participate, visit aidswalk.net or call 212-807-9255. Also visit gmhc.org.

Last year’s debut of the Pier 62 Carousel took the concept of going for a horsey ride and made it into an instant classic summertime activity. How did we ever do without it? Thankfully, the carousel is open once again — 11am-6pm weekdays, and 11am-7pm weekends. As of June 21, the hours of operation will be extended to 8:30pm. Tickets are $2 per ride. At Pier 62 (cross at W. 23 and W. 22nd Street).

Home to a prosperous merchant clan for almost 100 years, seven Tredwell family members died in what is now the Merchant’s House Museum. Shadowy silhouettes, music from an unplayable piano and face-to-face conversations between the living and the dead are standard practice here. Since 2007, paranormal investigator Dan Sturges and his team have been granted exclusive access to the Merchant’s House.

The lecture “Investigating Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” is your chance to hear about the most extraordinary aspects of Sturges Paranormal’s ongoing investigation (featuring photographic and audio evidence never before shared with the public). After a Q&A session, the evening concludes with a raffle drawing. The winner, and a guest, will accompany Sturges and his team on a future Merchant’s House paranormal investigation. Need another good reason to support MHM? This worthy nonprofit just celebrated its 75th year as a museum!

Sat., May 14, 7pm. At the Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth Street, btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Lecture tickets are $20. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or 3 for $10. To purchase, visit www.merchantshouse.org/ghosts. Also visit www.sturgesparanormal.com.

Check out this intriguing trio of upcoming events and you’ll know why we’re such big fans of the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum’s imaginative and insightful “Tenement Talks”— that long-running (free!) series of discussions, readings and presentations dedicated to illuminating NYC’s culture, history and people.

On May 17, at 6:30pm, David Goldfield (author of “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation”) discusses the state of NYC during the War Between the States. Find out how the 1863 draft riots, Irish immigration and the response to emancipation impacted the city and the nation. On May 18, 6:30, “My New American Life: A Novel” author Francine Prose reads from her satirical immigrant story that subtly takes stabs at the Balkans and Bush-Cheney America. On May 19, 6:30, The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding” author Sarah Burns (currently producing a documentary with Ken Burns, based on her book) deconstructs the one of NYC’s most notorious crimes and most shameful convictions — recalling the case of the Central Park Jogger and the five men who served full sentences before someone else confessed to the crime.

These free events take place at the Tenement Museum Shop (108 Orchard St. at Delancey). For info, call 212-982-8420. Visit www.tenement.org and tenement-museum.blogspot.com. For Twitter: twitter.com/tenementmuseum.

Abe Abraham’s new “movement study film” was inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon’s poem (“Wind and Tree”). Still photos from the film (like the one you see on this page) hint at human limbs used to convey the fate of twisting branches that, as the author describes, “are grinding madly together and together.” Whether it’s better to be a single tree undamaged from the wind or a swarm of intertwined branches that bend and break is purely in the eye of the beholder (check out the poem, see the film, then reach your own conclusion). Screenings take place Sun., May 15 at 6pm, 7pm & 8pm; and Mon., May 16 at 7pm & 8pm. At the Tribeca Screening Room (375 Greenwich St.). For tickets ($10), call 917-658-7384 or visit abanar.org.

The Village Light Opera Group (currently celebrating its 75th year) is promising a fresh look at Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” — by staging it with a 60-person cast, a full orchestra and a full-circle century-old journey that began in 1909 (when Molnar’s play “Liliom,” on which the 1943 musical is based, first stunned theater audiences). Set in a small fishing town in 19th century Maine, “Carousel” has many familiar songs (among them, “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”) that have been covered and crooned by countless singers. Those unfamiliar with the true source should see these tunes in their proper context. Spoiler alert: Carousel barker Billy Bigelow’s star-crossed romance with millworker Julie Jordan may require the use of tissues as a tear-wiping device. At The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University (3 Spruce St.). Fri., May 13, 8pm; Sat., May 14 at 2pm/8pm; Sun., May 15, 2pm; Fri., May 20 at 8pm; and Sat., May 21, 8pm. For tickets ($20, $35, $45), visit vlog.org. For group sales (10 or more), email VLOG at villagelightoperagroup@gmail.com.

Is there nothing it can’t do? On Craigslist, you can find a roommate, a used couch, volunteer opportunities, a hot date and…murder. That’s a fact that Brenda Cullerton knows very well. Her debut crime novel — “The Craigslist Murders” — find murderous heroine Charlotte Wolfe (avenger of the poor and workingman/woman) out of a job out for blood. Cullerton reads from the book, and signs your copy, on Wed., May 18, 7pm. At Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers (44 Greenwich Ave. btw. 6th and 7th Aves., at the foot of Charles St.). For info, call 212-243-0440 or visit crimepays.com.

When St. Nicholas Church organizes a flea market, they trim all the fat (outside vendors, food tables, raffle tickets) and delivers a classic event that’s about nothing more than pouring over tables upon tables of parishioner-donated housewares, toys, jewelry, home decorations and more. The treasure hunt beings at 10am and lasts until 4pm; on Sat., May 14. At St. Nicholas Church (E. 10th St., at Avenue A).

Choreographer/Dancer Nai-Ni Chen’s company, whose performance style incorporates elements of American modern dance with the aesthetics of Asian art, presents “Dragons on the Wall.” The work features a commissioned score by Joan La Barbara. Inspired by Chinese calligraphy and named after that mythical symbol of great power and energy, “Dragons” unites all the abovementioned elements with poetry by Bei Dao. Too high concept for you? Hardly. Chen and company know how to take a full plate of influences and mix it up in a manner that’s pleasant to look at and easy to digest. May 13-15 at 7:30pm (Sat./Sun, also at 2pm). At Dance Theater Workshop (219 W. 19th St.). For tickets ($25; $15 students/seniors), call 212-924-0077 or visit dancetheaterworkshop.org. Also visit nainichen.org.

You know the Bistro Awards, that yearly ceremony honoring standout achievements in cabaret-type entertainment? Well, they don’t just give them away. They give them out, yes — but to get one you’ve gotta be playing in the deep end NYC’s crowded talent pool. One of our favorites, Faye Lane, recently made the cut when she won a Bistro Award for Musical Comedy. Before that, Lane’s “Beauty Shop Stories” won the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival’s “Overall Excellence Award for a Solo Show.” That show, which has enjoyed a nice long run at the Soho Playhouse, recently extended through May.

Quirky and personable, like its author/performer, “Beauty Shop Stories” puts a sweet and inspiring spin on the old tale of a misfit kid who grew up in a small town dreaming of a fabulous life in the big city — then got her wish in an unexpected but satisfying way. Lane, who’s been a resident of the legendary Chelsea Hotel for over 20 years, is well on her way to becoming a bit of a legend herself. Her story, told in a saucy Texas twang and peppered with musical numbers that walk the line between sweet and sour, should not be missed. “Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories” is performed every Sunday in May, 5pm, at the Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam St., btw. 6th Ave. & Varick). For tickets ($30), call 212-691-1555 or visit sohoplayhouse.com. Visit www.fayelane.com and beautyshopstories.com. Friend Faye on Facebook and get a fabulous discount ($18.50, using code FAYEB at the Playhouse website or at the box office).

J-techno pop legend Hikashu and fashion/pop icon Tomoe Shinohara land in our fair city for a one-night-only live appearance — and promise to deliver a high-energy show infused with rock, pop and new wave sounds. To mark this special occasion, Japan Society transforms its traditionally “seated” auditorium into a non-seated club-like setting where attendees can move freely to the music. Half of all ticket sales will go to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (see japansociety.org/earthquake). Did we mention that Kawaii — fashionably flamboyant Japanese singer, actress and TV personality — will be there too? She will! Fri., May 13, 7:30pm. At Japan Society (333 E. 47th St.). For tickets ($25), Call 212-715-1258 or purchase at the door. For info, call 212-832-1155 or visit japansociety.org.

Diamonds, pearls, fancy duds and fist-sized wads of sweet green cash will be proudly paraded around by any billionaire who dares attend “The Billionaires Costume Ball.” Hosted by Rev. Billy and the Church of Earthalujah, it pays tribute to the visionary satirists who swelled the ranks of Billionaires For Bush (and now fight the good fight as “Billionaires for Wealthcare”). Founder Andrew Boyd will be on hand to accept Rev. Billy’s canonization of his group (for practicing “activism at its most fun and effective”). You can get in on the fun, too — by showing up as a member of the swanky, privileged class who gets a hoot out of dressing to the nines and lording it over the little people! Sun., May 15, 7:30pm at Theatre 80 Saint Marks Place (at 1st Ave.). Tickets are $10, but those lacking the cash will not be turned away. For info, visit revbilly.com/events/billionares.

Teatro SEA, New York’s Latino Children’s Theatre, celebrates its 25th anniversary (and the opening of a new performance space) with “Viva Pinocho! A Mexican Pinocchio!” In this bilingual show, the classic folktale is retold from the perspective of Pinocho — a young Mexican immigrant who embarks on a journey to understand himself, his Latino heritage and his new home in the United States. Through May 28. The celebration continues with other works from their repertory, including “Martina, The Little Roach” (May 16-19); “The Dropouts” (May 23-27); and “Ricitos and the Three Bears” (May 31 and June 1-3). At the new Teatro SEA (107 Suffolk St. btw. Delancey & Rivington). For schedule and tickets ($18 for adults, $15 for children), call 212-529-1545 or visit teatrosea.org. -- Jhaneel Lockhart

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