Archive for the ‘arts and entertainment’ Category

Holidays at the NY Philharmonic

December 3, 2022

The NY Phil’s Holiday Brass players (photo by Jennifer Taylor)

The New York Philharmonic announces programming for Holidays at NY Phil, December 13–23, 2022.

Handel’s Messiah, Presented by Gary W. Parr 
December 13–17, 2022

The NY Phil holiday tradition returns as the Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah. Masaaki Suzuki conducts the Philharmonic and soprano Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenor Leif Aruhn-Solén, baritone Jonathon Adams, and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus.

Holiday Brass
December 16–17, 2022

The NY Phil annual tradition returns with former Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith as host, conductor, and trumpet. These family-friendly concerts (for ages four and older) bring the power and joy of brass to holiday favorites, classics by Holst and Bizet, and a world premiere of a piece by Ricardo Mollá.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets In Concert
December 20–23, 2022

These concerts feature Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets projected in high definition while the NY Phil performs John Williams’s original score, conducted by Justin Freer. Part of The Art of the Score.

All concerts will take place at the Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall.

For more information on Holidays at NY Phil, click here.

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New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Present HMS Pinafore Dec 30-31, Jan 7-8

December 2, 2022
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players cast of H.M.S. Pinafore, performing at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College Dec. 30-31, 2022 and Jan. 7-8, 2023 (photo by William Reynolds)

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP) 48th season continues December 30-31, 2022 and January 7 -8, 2023 with the mounting of a Gilbert & Sullivan staple, H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues). 

“I always voted at my party’s call and I never thought of thinking for myself at all.”  This line sounds like something out of last week’s Washington Post, but no, it’s front and center in a satirical patter song from the Gilbert & Sullivan classic H.M.S. Pinafore – proving once again how relevant this timeless send up of personal and institutional excess remains.  All Gilbert & Sullivan works make us laugh at ourselves in entertaining, endearing, and relatable fashion, but none more succinctly than H.M.S. Pinafore.

As the first rollicking hit of the G&S collaboration, H.M.S. Pinafore charted a new course for modern musical theater and its lampooning of overblown nationalism, party politics, class distinction, and classic melodrama still rings true, while Sullivan’s quasi nautical score is equally clever at parodying the classics.  It’s little wonder that the NYGASP production includes a few ad lib references to relevant contemporary matters while staying true to the enduring values and traditions of the original.

The cast includes patter man James Mills as party loyal Sir Joseph Porter of the above mentioned quote, David Auxier as Captain Corcoran who’s “never, never sick at sea”, soprano Michelle Seipel as his beautiful but conflicted daughter Josephine, Angela Christine Smith as the “plump and pleasing” peddler lady Little Buttercup, Cameron Smith as romantic and noble sailor Ralph Rackstraw, Victoria Devany as the annoying leader of Sir Joseph’s “sisters and his cousins and his aunts”, Lance Olds as the voice of the ugly truth seaman Dick Deadeye, Matthew Wages as the stalwart Boatswain Bill Bobstay, and David Wannen as the ship’s Carpenter. 

The ensemble of Sailors and First Lord’s Sisters, Cousins and Aunts include: Caitlin Borek, Brooke Collins, Michael Connolly, Michael Galante, Hannah Holmes, Sarah Hutchison, Claire Leyden, David Macaluso, Daniel Z. Miller, Logan Pitts, Chris-Ian Sanchez, Nathan Seldin, Laura Sudduth, and Laurelyn Watson-Chase. Founder and Artistic Director Albert Bergeret shares the conductor’s podium with Associate Conductor Joseph Rubin.

Performances schedule: 

December 30, 2022 at 2:00pm* & 7:30pm 

December 31, 2022 at 2:00pm 

January 7, 2023 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm  

January 8, 2023 at 3:00pm 

*Special Family Matinee, Bring Your Grandparents! All persons 40 years of age and under are eligible to purchase any available seat for $30.

Tickets begin at $30. For more information and to purchase visit: www.nygasp.org/.

See: RUSH TO SEE THE NEW YORK GILBERT & SULLIVAN PLAYERS’ ‘MIKADO,’ SHOWPIECE OF ITS 45TH SEASON

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First-Time Filmmaker Marvin Samel Discusses the Making of ‘iMordecai’ at Gold Coast International Film Festival

October 19, 2022
Gold Coast International Film Festival director Caroline Sorokoff hosts Q&A with first-time filmmaker Marvin Samel about making ‘”Mordecai,’”an uplifting, heart-warming and frequently comic movie based on his family © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

To describe the new film “iMordecai” as being about an 80-something year old man confronting the intimidating new technology of the i-phone is to miss what it is really about: it is about resiliency, survival, life and living and relationships, which manages to be uplifting and even comic, despite dealing with such weighty issues as the Holocaust and Alzheimer’s. The making of the film by a first-time filmmaker, Marvin Samel, who has written a superb screenplay and as director elicits Oscar-worthy performances from Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane and Sean Astin, is itself worthy of a film.

 iMordecai is heartwarming movie based on the director’s own life features Oscar-worthy performances from Emmy-winning actor Judd Hirsch as Mordecai Samels and Academy Award-nominated actress Carol Kane (Hester Street) as his wife, Fela,  Holocaust survivors living in a Miami condo. When Mordecai takes the leap of getting an iPhone, the device opens him up to novel experiences and adventures, rekindling in him the youth he lost. It is an uplifting movie that manages comedy even when confronting such weighty issues as the Holocaust, survival, and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

What is most commendable is how the first-time film director-screenwriter Marvin Samel manages to create characters you care about, a plot that moves along at good pace, keeping you interested in the resolution, and seemingly outrageous situations without becoming cliché – and the answer is, because it is all so based in truth – even the ring that Sean Astin, who plays Marvin, wears is the same ring as the one Marvin is wearing when he comes to the Gold Coast International Film Festival for a Q&A after the screening, the first in the New York region.

Samel reflects how he was born in Brooklyn, to Mordecai and Fela Samel, not only immigrants, but Holocaust Survivors. His childhood, he says, was filled with the colorful and oftentimes comedic conflicts (actually, between Mordecai calling his son a screw-up and Marvin calling his father a jinx, the conflicts are more than comedic). In 1995, fueled by his passion for premium cigars, Marvin founded Drew Estate as a kiosk in the World Trade Center Mall, which grew to become one of the world’s largest premium cigar companies. But the movie focuses on 2014, when his company was hanging by a thread and he was trying to negotiate a sale.

After the sale of his company, he founded FeMor Productions, and at the same time, learned his mother had Alzheimer’s. In order to cope with his mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Marvin
began compiling the colorful stories of his family’s past. He began to see the stories as a film, and after his frustration writing the screenplay, collaborated with seasoned screenplay writer Rudy Gaines.

Marvin currently resides in Boca Raton, FL with his wife, Netta, and his twin daughters, Talia and Ariella.

What is real and what is fictionalized? The surprise answer is some of the most outrageous comic situations were real. The fictionalized elements work so successfully in moving story along, weaving the various story-lines together, keeping you interested – especially because you care about the characters – in how it will resolve.

But how did the neophyte first-time filmmaker even begin to get such glitterati to do his film?

Samel, who currently resides in Boca Raton, FL with his wife, Netta, and his twin daughters, Talia and Ariella, came to the Gold Coast International Film Festival’s New York region premiere of “iMordecai” to participate in a Q&A about making the film with Festival Director Caroline Sarnoff. Here are notes from the conversation.

How in the world did you get the idea to be filmmaker?

I was a cigarmaker – I started a kiosk in World Trade Center mall, I had a factory in Nicaragua, grew my business to becoming one of largest cigar companies in world – my father mortgaged his home, 1995, not when he was 85 years old –when we were in big trouble just starting and I almost lost my business and they almost lost their home. But he wasn’t as magnanimous as in the movie; he was really pissed.

I sold the company in 2014 – my wife was pregnant during the sale and gave birth to our twin daughters in 2015. It should have been the happiest time, but a month later, my mother was officially diagnosed with Alzheimers. For the year leading up to diagnosis, my pregnant wife on bed rest with twins, me running around trying to sell business, I would stop by  and say,
Dad, something is wrong with mom.  “What ya talking about, she’s brick made from stone.” Her diagnosis sent me into depression.

I had no intention of making film. I was a lover of film – great acting, writing – I loved going to movies. I lived in Manhattan, went to Astor Place theater, art houses, to see film. I never had any intention of making a movie.

How do you go from that to get Judd Hirsch, Carol Kaine, fantastic actors- were they huge cigar fans?

When I started writing stories – my father as a plumber and a painter – I took a step back, forget about them being my parents, my family, and realized there was a cinematic feel to these characters.

Samel says how he studied other movies – Good Will Hunting, Almost Famous.

I analyzed how many characters- started trying to write myself. This shit is hard – I had no idea what I was doing. I got stuck – sequencing, scenes, how many acts, what to keep/not.  After a long search, met Rudy Gaines, a well known Hollywood ghost writer- has Oscar nominated script he wrote (not allowed to say which ones). He worked his ass off with me – we did this together- I gave him the writing credit.

So then, I had a script, like a million others. A long time passed, a mutual friend introduced to Dahlia Heyman, Italian award winner for best screen play – who agreed to be producer; she brought Alan Bain, Executive Producer.

They brought in a top casting director who set up a meeting with Judd Hirsch at Nick’s Pizza at 91st and 1st (I paid $20 to get the back room). Pepperoni pie and a couple of drinks later he said, “So who’s directing.” “I am.” “You? What have you directed?”

I had never been on a film set but I know these characters. He wasn’t sure.

I said, “Judd are you in or out?” He said “Let me think.”

I said [in a scene reminiscent of the movie dialogue] “Sorry Judd, this is a one-time offer.” I am not brave or tough, but my mother didn’t have much time. I didn’t care it was Judd Hirsch – he could have been God. I said, “Give me an answer now, I’ve got to keep moving”. Finally, he shook my hand, then said, “Who are you thinking for Fela?” I said, Carol Kaine. “I love it.”

He called Carol by the time he was out the door. That was it, I had a movie to make. We shot the film four months later, but unfortunately my mom passed a month after our meeting.

My mother died three months before filming. I tried everything in my power to get it done first, but as first-time filmmaker, everything takes awhile.

“iMordecai” filmmaker Marvin Samel at the Gold Coast International Film Festival© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Samel described the conversation he had with his father when he told him he was writing a movie about him.

“Who the hell will watch movie about an old Jew. You will lose your money, you’re still turning money into shit.” [Another line that is used in the movie dialogue.]

Even when we were filming he didn’t understand – the plumber and painter scene. We filmed in 3 locations. My dad showed up to the location where Judd was at a comedy store. My dad doesn’t understand there’s another half. I got into creative difference with Judd – as all actors-directors do – we’re in a little argument. In the back of the set, I hear my father, ‘Oh Marvin’s fucking the thing up.’ In front of cast and crew! Everyone started laughing.  Meta I told dad he can’t say that on the set. He was on the set every single day.

How much real vs fiction? Is the leaking car real?

That was real. My dad’s car was broken into so he put plastic in place of the window so nobody would break in. So when he moved to Florida – monsoons  would fill the car with water. So he pulled out the carpet, and cut a hole with a plug to let out the water. Funny stories- but they weren’t funny when they happened.

[Apparently the scene of his father using a power drill in his condo bathroom was true.]

What stories didn’t make into the film? How much on cutting room floor?

I could fill a series with stories.

A pipe breaks. Throughout the night he’s fixing the broken pipe –he’s 86.  He went downstairs and broke into the utility room – this is a 300-aparment building –  andshut off main water line. The sun is coming up on Sunday morning – no water. So the next morning everyone says where’s the water?  My father goes down, turns the water back on. The entire place erupted in cheers, Mordecai! He’s still doing this. Now 86. [A version of this is in the movie.]

There are other real elements in the movie – Marvin’s twin daughters, now 7 ½ years old now, have a fleeting cameo when they were four;  the cigar company characters “were my frenemies –– all real cigar makers in the world today.”

But a key character, the young woman who gives Mordecai lessons on the i-phone and then unlocks his interest in  trying new things and drives  the plot – is actually a composite. But Marvin says, the premise has its basis in fact -his father did takei-phone lessons that Apple offered – but so many that the company changed its policy on account of Mordecai.

It’s a love letter to my family, to the cigar industry, to Miami – and to New York.

Even though the film is shot in Miami, it has a New York sensibility –the characters are all New Yorkers, via Poland, Siberia, Israel. My formative years were spent in New York – I dropped a number of Easter eggs- the mural they paint – I thought about what Mordecai would paint – he knows the Twin Towers – that was my love letter to New York –to paint the towers, what we all have in common.

In fact, he says, it was 9/11 that was the impetus for Mordecai getting an i-phone to begin with.

“iMordecai” filmmaker Marvin Samel at the Gold Coast International Film Festival© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Samel has been making the film-festival circuit – it was the audience award winner at the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

My father came to the Miami Jewish film festival – outdoors, 700 people with COVID. He got a standing ovation. Last week, he came to Woodstock Film Festival. There were no hotels, so we were Airbnb roommates for the first time since I was 17 years old (when I left to attend Oneonta state).It was great, but a lot – I’m exhausted after 3 days with Mordecai.

How do you plan going forward with film?

I’m on the festival circuit now – traveling – was in Arizona, Prescott Arizona film festival –my opening line there, ‘Hello gentiles.’ We won best director and audience award. On to 8 more festivals.

Long range: February 4 will be the theatrical premiere in 50 theaters in south Florida – individual theater premieres – like concert tour – where me and a cast member will appear at each theater’s first screening. If we do well in south Florida and have all the 55 and over communities behind us , we will be on to New York. We hope to be out in 2023.

Gold Coast International Film Festival

The Gold Coast International Film and Arts Fest taking place through October 25 also features:

THE LOST KING, Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins stars in this heartwarming, inspirational true story of amateur historian Philippa Langley’s quest to find the long-lost remains of Richard III from Oscar nominee Stephen Frears. Official Selection of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

KARAOKE, nominated for 14 Israeli Ophir Awards (the Israeli equivalent of the Academy Awards). A bittersweet drama/comedy about a middle-class suburban couple in their 60s who are drawn to their new neighbor, a charismatic bachelor who has karaoke evenings at his apartment.

• LOVE, CHARLIE, a fascinating documentary about culinary bad-boy/superstar Charlie Trotter who had it all: an eponymous restaurant, worshipful global respect for his revolutionary innovations, books, film cameos, fame, wealth. Was hyper-driven self-destruction inevitable? (Monday 10/24 at 7:00pm, Manhasset Cinemas);

FAREWELL MR. HAFFMAN, Legendary French actor Daniel Auteuil stars as the owner and gifted jeweler of a humble shop in Paris in this gripping film, a cinematic adaptation of an award-winning play. This period drama of life in Vichy France in 1941 is a transfixing humanist portrait of survival and resistance, as well as the tragic consequences of complicity and collaboration.

• HARD SHELL, SOFT SHELL, a dramedy about love, class, and finding oneself that tells the story of a handsome 20-something oyster farmer who plunges into depression after a botched proposal to his actress girlfriend. To win her back, he turns to his old friends for advice. Filmed on location in the beautiful southern port city of Sète, France.

• THE JUSTICE OF BUNNY KINGEssie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) star in this compassionate drama about a mother suffering at the hands of a system stacked against her as she attempts to win her kids back from foster care.

The festival is also presenting a special advance screening of the highly anticipated new film My Policeman, starring Harry Styles. While not a Festival film eligible for awards, this highly anticipated screening is being presented before the film arrives in theaters. The star-studded cast of My Policeman was recently presented with the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival TIFF TRIBUTE AWARD FOR PERFORMANCE.

The 2022 GCIFF also features a selection of over 40 short films presented free to the public.

In early 2023, the festival will present the Burton Moss Hollywood Golden Era Award to Hollywood legend William Holden at an event that will feature film screenings and interviews with friends and family of Mr. Holden, including his companion Stefanie Powers who will accept the award on his behalf. Information regarding this year’s films and events, and tickets is available at www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org and www.goldcoastarts.org.

Gold Coast Arts is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving the Long Island and greater New York community for over 25 years, dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Since its founding in 1995, more than100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds have taken advantage of its wide selection of classes in many different media and forms from art to dance, live performances including Comedy Festival, musical programs and year-round film festivals; workshops, and art exhibits.

Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021 (entrance from the Maple Avenue parking lot), 516-829-2570, www.goldcoastarts.org.

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© 2022 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Visit instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near and instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/ Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

‘Storytelling Through Art’ with Children’s Book Author Roxie Munro at Gold Coast Arts

October 18, 2022
Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro at the opening of her exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” with curator Jude Amsel, gallery director of the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, NY. The exhibit is on view through early 2023 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visitors to the Gold Coast Arts, in Great Neck, Long Island, were treated to a book-signing with the eminent children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro, at the October 16 opening of an exhibit of her exquisite art, “Storytelling Through Art,” on view through early 2023.

Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro signs books at the opening of her exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Munro will be giving presentations and art workshops to visiting school groups during the exhibition, which was curated by Jude Amsel, Gold Coast Arts Gallery Director.

Munro has created more than 45 nonfiction STEM/STEAM and concept books for children, many that incorporate “gamification” – interactive games – to encourage reading, learning and engagement.

Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro at the opening of her exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, NY. The exhibit is on view through early 2023 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Her latest book, “ABCity,” is an amazing alphabet book that integrates the letters into fantastical cityscapes. It integrates a maze, a seek-n-find game and giant fold-out, two-sided poster.

Original art from Roxie Munro’s latest book, “ABCity”featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The exhibit showcases her art from other prominent books, including the entire ABCity alphabet, plus many featuring the natural world from her books, “Anteaters, Bats &Boas: The Amazon Rainforest from the Forest Floor to the Treetops”; “Dive In; Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size”; “Rodent Rascals: From Tiny to Tremendous, 21 Clever Creatures at their Actual Size.” A really interesting puzzle-style book introduces children to the different genres of art, in “Masterpiece Mix,” where she actually reproduces in miniature some of the most famous works of art.

Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro guides a young reader through her book, “Masterpiece Mix,” at the opening of her exhibit“Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

She also makes available many fun free activities, including mazes,  coloring sheets from her books; Activity and Students Guides; sets of bookmarks; how-to-draw videos at the For Kids Page at her website (https://www.roxiemunro.com/kids-parents-teachers.html).

Original art from Roxie Munro’s books are featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Original art from Roxie Munro’s books are featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Original art from Roxie Munro’s books are featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Munro’s books have been translated into French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese. She also creates oils, watercolors, prints, and drawings, primarily cityscapes, which are exhibited widely in the US in galleries and museums and are held in numerous private, public, and corporate collections. Fourteen of her paintings have been published as covers of The New Yorker magazine.

Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro at the opening of her exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” with Gold Coast Arts Center founder and director Regina Gil. The exhibit is on view through early 2023 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Born in Texas, and raised in southern Maryland, Roxie studied at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), earned a BFA in Painting from the University of Hawaii, attended graduate school at Ohio University (Athens), and received a Yaddo Fellowship in Painting. She has been a working artist all her life. Clients included CBS, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. She also lectures in museums, schools, libraries, conferences, and teaches workshops. (More information at www.roxiemunro.com).

Original art from Roxie Munro’s books are featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Original art from Roxie Munro’s books are featured in the exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro at the opening of her exhibit, “Storytelling Through Art” at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, NY. The exhibit is on view through early 2023 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Family Art Day

The author booksigning and exhibition opening was held in conjunction with a Family Film and Arts Day at Gold Coast Arts.

Children could take part in activities including: a demonstration by world-renowned graffiti artist Zimad; mask decorating; and a free showing of the ‘best of : Family Shorts, films from past Gold Coast International Film Festivals, as part of the ongoing Gold Coast International Film Festival.

The Blue Bus Project organizes a craft activity at Family Film and Arts Day at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Pumpkin painting at Family Film and Arts Day at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
Showing off mask-making prowess at Family Film and Arts Day at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

In addition, children could take part in special workshops ($20 per child for an all-access pass): a glass painting workshop, a pumpkin painting workshop, and a crafts project organized by The Blue Bus Project, a colorful, fully equipped alternative art space that travels into neighborhoods to host hands-on projects that enable children to explore their creativity.

World-renowned graffiti artist Zimad gives a demonstration at Family Film and Arts Day at the Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Gold Coast Arts is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving the Long Island and greater New York community for over 25 years, dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Since its founding in 1995, more than 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds have taken advantage of its wide selection of classes in many different media and forms from art to dance, live performances including Comedy Festival, musical programs and year-round film festivals; workshops, and art exhibits.

Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021 (entrance from the Maple Avenue parking lot), 516-829-2570, www.goldcoastarts.org.

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© 2022 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Visit instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near and instagram.com/bigbackpacktraveler/ Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Broadway Theater Tickets Back on Sale for Performances Beginning Sept 14

May 7, 2021
Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity.

The announcement builds upon the reopening of performing arts and live entertainment venues at limited capacities last month and further sets the stage for Broadway shows to return to theaters throughout the fall. 

“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employees countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”

Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “On behalf of the nearly 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway – on stage, backstage, and throughout the city and state – we are immensely gratified by the support of Governor Cuomo today. Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world. Today’s green light by the Governor to put our shows on sale now for the fall is vital to our success. Broadway is the beating heart of NYC tourism and we can’t wait for the day soon when our hearts will beat before a live joyful audience.”

The State will continue to work closely with Broadway industry partners to plan for the safe, successful return of this world-class cultural experience.  As public health conditions and the State’s guidance for performing arts and live entertainment changes, Broadway stakeholders will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols, such as face coverings, health screening, enhanced air filtration and ventilation, and rigorous cleaning and disinfection. 

The availability of advance sale tickets and marketing for shows begins the months-long process of reopening to full capacity, building momentum to sustain many long and successful Broadway runs.  The Governor, Department of Health, Empire State Development, and State agency partners join with the industry in their commitment to creating safe and heathy environments for audiences, performers, and employees to enjoy, perform, and work.  If performances need to be postponed due to the public health conditions, theaters have planned to offer customer-friendly refunds and exchange policies. 

To support the performance industry in New York City, the FY 2022 enacted budget included $1 billion in Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance, which includes the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program which provides up to $100 million in tax credits to jump start the industry and revitalize tourism in New York City. Under this program, productions which have their first performance scheduled through December 2022 are eligible for a 25 percent credit on eligible costs. 

Prior to the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week.  Broadway supports nearly 97,000 local jobs and contributes about $14.7 billion every year to the New York City economy.

For more information, visit the Broadway League, the industry’s trade association: www.broadway.org/

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Long Island’s Gold Coast Arts Center Offers Rich Selection of Outdoors, Virtual Programs

April 25, 2021
On a recent Sunday afternoon under bright sunny skies, Gold Coast Arts students were treated to a fun Graffiti Art workshop led by one of New York’s most renowned graffiti artists, Zimad, and art instructor Jude Amsel. Students learned various techniques and created their own graffiti art from these sold out sessions, held outdoors © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Gold Coast Arts is offering a rich schedule of in-person classes and one-day outdoor workshops at the Arts Center at Great Neck Plaza, Long Island.  Adults, families and students of all ages can choose from a variety of disciplines in Art & Technology, Dance, Theater, Chess and more. Virtual options are also available to engage with Gold Coast Arts from home as well as private lessons, pop-up classes and parties specially designed and organized.

Several of the upcoming workshops are ideal for mother’s day gifts. For example:

OUTDOOR FAMILY CERAMICS WORKSHOP: Celebrate Earth Day and Mother’s Day with us! Let the whole family join in on the FUN! Parents, grandparents & kids of all ages are welcome to decorate a beautiful vase using techniques such as stamping, printing and stenciling. We’ll provide a complimentary flower to make it the perfect gift. For all ages. Sunday, May 2 – 12:00-1:00PM

OUTDOOR FAMILY GRAFFITI CERAMICS WORKSHOP: Fire up your creativity! Don’t miss GCAC’s popular one-day ceramic workshops. In this session families will decorate their own plate with graffiti art! For all ages. Sunday, May 2 – 1:30-2:30PM

FLASHBACK FRIDAY OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT – May 7: Gold Coast International Film Festival kicks off its outdoor movie series with a drive-in screening of FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, starting Matthew Broderick. This 1980’s classic hit is the perfect start to Mother’s Day weekend. GCIFF is also partnering with local restaurants to offer special take-out “Drive-In” specials that audiences attending the movie can take advantage of.  Several of Gold Coast’s non-profit community partners will be celebrated at this event including Landmark on Main Street, PW Hearts and Sid Jacobson JCC. Sponsors of this special event include The Bristal, Neiman Marcus, New Country Lexus of Great Neck and the Town of North Hempstead. More information about this event can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org/flashback-drive-in.

THE PRINCIPLES OF FICTIONAL WRITING – May 16: Meet critically-acclaimed author Sandra Kitt and celebrate the release of her new novel WINNER TAKES ALL with this exclusive workshop for adults.  Whether you are a serious writer or write as a hobby, Ms. Kitt will host a lively roundtable discussion on what writing entails, from concept to published novel.  A complimentary autographed copy of her new novel is included with the workshop. Read more about Sandra Kitt and the workshop by visiting www.goldcoastarts.org/book-talk/

On a recent Sunday afternoon under bright sunny skies, students were treated to a fun Graffiti Art workshop led by one of New York’s most renowned graffiti artist, Zimad.  Students learned various techniques and created one-of-a-kind graffiti art from these sold out sessions. 

There’s still time to register for May and June workshops including painting for teens and adults focusing on landscapes and the artist Gustav Klimt, as well as two family ceramic workshops that celebrates Earth Day and Mother’s Day by making beautiful vases and graffiti art plates.  Yoga classes are also available indoors and lucky participants take home a complimentary yoga mat, courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Garden City.  

For Summer 2021, Gold Coast Arts brings back the ever-popular in-person camp for ages 6-14, starting on June 28.  Learn from experts in their field in programs such as Cartooning, Musical Theatre, Dance and more.  There’s also virtual camp in Coding and Chess offered the week of August 23.  In-person Art and Dance classes are available for kids and evening classes offered just for adults focuses on Ceramics and Painting.  Classes are small for individualized attention as well as for the safety and well-being of visitors and staff.

STUDENT ART SHOW has just opened. Gold Coast Arts celebrates the work of their talented students ages 4-17 with a special art show inside the gallery of the Arts Center. The exhibit is open to the public at a reduced capacity or by appointment only. 

The Gold Coast Arts Center, located at 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, Long Island (entrance from Maple Avenue parking lot), is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving the Long Island and greater New York community for over 20 years and dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Since its founding in 1995, over 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds have taken advantage of classes, live performances, programs, workshops, films and art exhibits.

For information on the School for the Arts and all Gold Coast Arts programs visit www.goldcoastarts.org or call 516-829-2570.

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NYS Greenlights Reopening of Performing Arts, Entertainment Venues

April 7, 2021
Bright lights of Broadway can shine again, as New York State allows reopening of performing arts and entertainment venues with capacity controls and health protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Venues Will Be Able to Host Up to 100 People Indoors or Up to 200 People Outdoors; With Testing or Immunization, Up to 150 People Indoors or Up to 500 People Outdoors

Social Distancing, Face Coverings and Strict Health Protocols Required

Excelsior Pass Now Available for New Yorkers to Show Proof of Vaccination or Recent Negative COVID-19 Test to Attend Venues; Interested New Yorkers Can Use Excelsior Pass and Learn More Here; Interested Businesses Can Learn More Here

New State Guidance Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that performing arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity beginning today. Venues can host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing, face coverings, health screening and other health protocols will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance, which is available here.

“New York’s beloved arts and entertainment venues have been hard hit by the public health guidance we’ve implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, and after a long and difficult period, I am glad to see them reopen their doors to New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Attendees will need to follow strict guidance to keep themselves and others safe, but they’ll now be able to watch world-class performances and take part in our state’s thriving arts and culture scene once again. I encourage New Yorkers to get tested before attending events and to use Excelsior Pass to show venues that they’ve been vaccinated or tested before entering performance spaces.”

On March 26, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass – a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.

Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more here; interested businesses can opt in and learn more here.

On February 20, the Governor announced the launch of NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances that will revitalize the spirits of New Yorkers with the energy of live performances and will jumpstart the state’s live entertainment industry. During the run of the festival, NY PopsUp will grow in its scale, volume of performances, and geographical footprint. Follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram for the latest. More information is available here.

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Weddings, Baseball, Arts and Entertainment Resume in New York State

March 19, 2021
Wedding receptions and catered events can resume statewide in New York State, following the state’s strict health and safety protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Wedding receptions and catered events can resume statewide in New York. All venues hosting weddings and catered events must follow the State’s strict health and safety protocols, including the following requirements:

  • Venues are restricted to 50% capacity, with no more than 150 attendees per event
  • All attendees must have proof of recent negative test result or proof of immunization prior to the event
  • Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing
  • Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
  • Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed in designated areas

Detailed guidance for in-person and catered events is available here.

“New Yorkers have remained resilient throughout this entire pandemic, and the numbers show how effective our behavior has been in stopping the spread of this virus,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”As the state’s positivity and hospitalization numbers continue to decline and we ramp up vaccinations, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and we can focus on safely reopening different sectors of our economy without compromising the progress we’ve made. Weddings and catered events will now be allowed to resume across the state, with strict protocols in place to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. This is great news – but we must continue with the practices that we know work to defeat this virus once and for all.”

The reopening of wedding receptions and other catered events builds on the Governor’s recent measures to further re-open the economy amid a steady decline in New York’s COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates.

Effective March 19th, New York City indoor dining expanded to 50 percent capacity and the rest of New York State increased to 75 percent capacity for indoor dining.

The MTA has partially restored overnight service on the New York City Subway.

On February 14th, the Governor issued an Executive Order extending closing times to 11 p.m. statewide for restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls and any other location with an SLA license.

The Governor also announced beginning April 2, event, arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors.” And Citifield which is the home base for the Mets and Yankee Stadium will be able to welcome fans at 20 percent capacity.

New York’s Major League Baseball teams, the New York Mets and New York Yankees, can resume play with spectators in the stadiums, beginning April 1. Professional sports in large outdoor stadiums that hold 10,000 people or more will be allowed to reopen at 20 percent capacity. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening. The New York State Department of Health will re-evaluate the testing and vaccination entry requirements in May, and if the public health situation continues to improve, they may be discontinued in mid-May. Vaccinations will continue to be administered at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field during the MLB season.

Building on the recent reopening of large professional sports arenas, the Governor also announced that smaller, regional sports venues that hold 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors can also reopen, beginning April 1. Initial capacity will be limited to 10 percent indoors and 20 percent outdoors. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

Governor Cuomo also announced that large outdoor performing arts venues, including stadiums, that hold more than 2,500 people can reopen at 20 percent capacity, beginning April 1. Venue capacity will continue to increase as the public health situation improves with more New Yorkers receiving vaccinations and fewer COVID-19 cases in the community. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

To re-open professional sports with spectators at large outdoor stadiums, each venue must adhere to strict health and safety protocols, including:

  • Obtain NYS DOH approval for ALL venues and events
  • Institute a 20 percent capacity limit
  • Ensure spectators and public-facing event staff present proof of a recentnegative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination prior to the event
  • Mandate face coverings, social distancing, and temperature checks for all those in attendance
  • Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating
  • Collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts
  • Meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards for any indoor areas
  • Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all State-issued guidance

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Cape May MAC’s 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Goes Virtual But Holiday Tours of Physick Estate Continue

December 12, 2020
Cape May’s Candlelight House Tour will be virtual this year, but other traditional tours and events go on (photo courtesy Cape May MAC)

CAPE MAY, NJ –Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) announces its 2020 Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour is available for purchase to experience virtually this year, but other Cape May traditional holiday programs, focused around the historic Emlen Physick Estate, continue daily.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols this year, Cape May MAC made the difficult decision that these annual holiday tours, usually offered on three nights in December, must be cancelled in 2020. Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours have been a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century. Cape May MAC launched this tour in 1973 and ever since it has been a highlight of the Christmas season in Cape May, America’s only National Historic Landmark City. Thousands of people on three nights in December travel to more than a dozen homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels, stepping across the thresholds to take in interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. It is one of Cape May MAC’s largest fund-raisers.

“This year, it was decided to create a video that will bring the joy and excitement of these Cape May Christmas tours directly into people’s homes, to continue this tradition unbroken. With enthusiastic participation from Cape May innkeepers, B&B owners and homeowners, planning began this summer and production is nearly complete.”

“Of course, we look forward to when we can offer these self-guided tours in person once again, but we could not have Christmas in Cape May without them in 2020,” said Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine.

For the first time, the tour will be entirely virtual, via a video available for purchase through Vimeo On Demand ($30). Featured are 10 Cape May homes, B&Bs and inns decorated for the holidays including interviews with owners and innkeepers. Participating properties include: The John B. McCreary House (“The Abbey”), Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, The Bedford Inn, The Cherry House, The Emlen Physick Estate, Franklin at 721, The Henry Sawyer Inn, The Mainstay Inn, The Mason Cottage and The Mission Inn.

The Trailer is available to watch online here;

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/capemaychristmastour.

Guests may purchase the video directly anytime via the link. The video will then be made available to purchasers automatically to watch after its release on Monday, Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

This presentation is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance. Proceeds benefit Cape May MAC, a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors since 1970. Cape May MAC membership is open to all. Visit capemaymac.org/support/membership to learn more.

While the candlelight tour is virtual, the rest of Cape May’s traditional holiday tours are taking place daily:

The Emlen Physick Estate is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) for holiday tours. Designed by American architect Frank Furness, the Physick House is Cape May’s Victorian House Museum. Its restoration began Cape May’s 50-year renaissance that continues to this day.

New in 2020! Winter Wonderwalk this season at the Physick Estate.

Open-air trolley tours are offered throughout this holiday season in Cape May. Bring a blanket!

Vintage restaurant is open during the holidays with heated, outdoor dining under the patio tent on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, for both brunch and dinner.

An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit features a huge indoor Christmas Tree and a Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection. There is free admission to this popular annual display.

For information about Cape May MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals and special events, visit capemaymac.org. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at capemaylodging.com. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information on the city’s COVID-19 response, please visit capemaystrong.org.

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Gold Coast Arts Center’s Dance, Theater, Art, Vocal & Robotics Classes Now Being Offered Online

April 17, 2020

Advanced art student Uma Tseyang of Great Neck pondering the pandemic through her artwork. The painting in progress shows an older man in despair not having enough food with “Andy Warhol style” empty cans in the background. (Photo by Gold Coast Arts)

LONG ISLAND, NY —Gold Coast Arts, a multi-arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach, has successfully converted almost all its classes to online access using Zoom, an online chat and videoconferencing service. A list of all arts classes, along with interesting film screenings, virtual art exhibits, and other arts-related programs, can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

“Dance, theater, art, vocal, and robotics classes have all been adapted to our new virtual world and are aimed at students of all ages,” explained Ellen Schiff, Director of School for the Arts, Gold Coast Arts. “The arts have always been a great way to express and visualize what is going on, and we’re happy to be able to continue that during these challenging times.”

Teachers from each department have developed new, exciting programs customized for their class. For example, students in the Advanced Art class are working on a relevant project commenting on their feeling about the pandemic. “Students were eager to brainstorm ideas for their finished pieces and present to the class,” Schiff added. 

The feedback from the students has been incredible, too, according to Ms. Schiff. “Thank you for hosting the class during this difficult time,” said one student who is taking an Intermediate Art course, “It felt like a wonderful moment of normality.” An Advanced Art Level II student who has the COVID-19 virus explained, “I have a mild case of the virus, but knowing I would be making art pulled me out of bed.”

There is a new exciting offering for students of all levels. Private lessons in dance, acting, chess, voice, guitar, cello, and piano are taught virtually by Gold Coast’s renowned teachers.

Gold Coast Arts students and instructors, many of whom are public school teachers, have adapted easily to online technologies because it is the same as what’s used for their schoolwork during the pandemic.  Our dedicated dance division is finding creative ways to continue their classes for example; ballet students train and do their warm-up exercises at home using a chair instead of the traditional barre typically found in the dance studio.

Robotics instructor Kayla Ho developed a virtual program which enables the students to create 3D  robots which continues to challenge her students.

For more information about the online arts classes, and other great programming visit www.goldcoastarts.org.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) multi-arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. For a quarter-century, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the Long Island region. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts “Partners in Education” program and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.goldcoastarts.org.

 

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