Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Sugartooth’s Holiday Market Dessert Tours Sweeten Visits to NYC

December 14, 2016
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Sugartooth begins its Holiday Market Dessert Tour at Herald Square to take in the windows at Macy’s © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Celebrate the season by indulging your sweet tooth on Sugartooth’s Holiday Market Dessert Tour, enjoying the best seasonal sweets and treats New York City has to offer.

The tour, an annual favorite, starts in Herald Square near Macy’s, whose holiday window displays are iconic symbols of the holiday season in the city. Learn about the history behind the store’s famous holiday window displays while sampling some of the area’s most delectable desserts.

Stopping at some of the lesser-known hidden gem bakeries in the NYC area, guests will experience the culinary traditions of a wide variety of countries, including France, Germany, and Belgium, as they taste hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies, and so much more! The tour concludes at the Union Square Holiday Market, the area’s most exciting holiday market for shopping and other holiday treats. An added bonus of taking the tour; guests get to skip the long lines at the culinary booths!

From the sweets to the imagery, this tour captures the magical essence of New York during the holiday season, making it the perfect festive activity for visitors and locals alike. “The holidays are all about spending time with the people most important to us. Our annual Sugartooth Holiday Market Dessert Tour provides a unique opportunity for friends and families to come together to enjoy the city’s sweetest festive treats and get into the holiday spirit,” said Sugartooth Tours co-owner Sarah Rolleston.

For those unable to make the tour, Sugartooth Tours’ gift certificates make a delectable stocking stuffer idea. Give a one of a kind culinary experience as a gift to your favorite foodie or sweet-tooth, by purchasing a gift certificate on the company’s website. Gift certificates are good for any tour and can be used year round.

Tickets are $50 and include all tastings. Gift certificates and tickets may be purchased on the company’s website http://www.sugartoothtours.com. This year’s holiday tour will be offered on Sundays at 2:00 pm from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and by request for groups of three or more on weekend afternoons from Thanksgiving to December 23rd. Please check the company’s website calendar for an updated schedule.

For more information on the Sugartooth Holiday Market Dessert Tour or Sugartooth Tours, visit www.sugartoothtours.com,  email info@sugartoothtours.com or call 917-856-67671.

 

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2017 Kids Night on Broadway Shows Announced; Tix on Sale Dec 6

November 28, 2016
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The 21st Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Tickets to participating shows will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 10:30am © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY– The Broadway League announced today the shows participating in the 21st Kids’ Night on Broadway, which will take place Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. Tickets to participating shows will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 10:30am.

Kids’ Night on Broadway® is an annual event where kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, activities, and more.

Participating 2017 shows to date (subject to change) include:

Aladdin, Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, A Bronx Tale, Cats, Chicago, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, In Transit, August Wilson’s Jitney, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, On Your Feet!, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock the Musical, Significant Other, Waitress, and Wicked.  

“Kids’ Night on Broadway is growing up,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “This year we have a range of participating shows that will appeal to kids, teens, and their parents. Other League programs including the National High School Musical Theatre Awards and our new website BwayZone.com reiterate our dedication to educating all ages about how live theatre can engage and inspire.”

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including post-show talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and more events still to be announced! Many Times Square area eateries will offer specials for Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket-holders, including free entrees for kids. Check  kidsnightonbroadway.com for participating restaurants.

Kids’ Night on Broadway will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event, on numerous dates throughout the year. Check kidsnightonbroadway.com for specific dates and locations.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY®, a program of The Broadway League, is presented by The New York Times and is sponsored by WABC-TV with additional support from Turnstyle and Westchester Family.

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Feel the Love Throughout New York City This Valentine’s Day Weekend

February 10, 2016
Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine's Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine’s Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Feel the love in New York City this Valentine’s Day. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, the City’s five boroughs will be filled with activities and events where residents and visitors can find their true love or cherish time with their loved ones.

“New York City is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From a date night under the stars of the Hayden Planetarium to romantic nature walks and chocolate tastings at Wave Hill in the Bronx, the heart of the five boroughs can be felt throughout the City.”

At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Heart of Hearts public art installation. The display features 12 golden mirrored hearts that create a kaleidoscopic effect, reflecting the fast pace action of Times Square. Those looking for the perfect spot to renew their vows can join hundreds of locals and visitors at Duffy Square for a vow renewal ceremony. When the sun goes down, a special midnight moment by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss will span across Times Square’s billboards for three minutes before midnight every night in February, presented in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. (timessquarenyc.org).

Theatergoers who are in town during Valentine’s Day weekend can take advantage of 2-for-1 tickets to some of New York City’s best shows during Off-Broadway Week. Featuring more than 30 productions, Off-Broadway Week makes seeing a production more accessible and affordable. To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Other Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the City include:

American Museum of Natural History: The stars of the Hayden Planetarium will illuminate on Valentine’s Day evening with a special Romance Under the Stars event. The museum invites couples for this unique date night, complete with an open bar cocktail hour, champagne, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet, followed by romance storytelling under the stars of the Planetarium. To purchase tickets, visit amnh.org.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts: Kids can create their own special valentine with arts and crafts on Saturday, February 13. There will be activities throughout the afternoon and plenty of fun for the entire family (bronxmuseum.org).

Brooklyn Museum: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, take the free Love and Lust in American Art tour, which includes a stop at the American Identities installation and the exciting Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland exhibition (brooklynmuseum.org).

Bronx Zoo: On Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach event will crawl back to life. Visitors can keep an eye out for more information about this year’s event at bronxzoo.com.

Brookfield Place: Purchase gifts for a special someone at Dry Bar, Cos Bar and many other fine shops at the new Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. When done shopping, take a romantic walk beneath the 650 color-changing lanterns in the Winter Garden atrium as part of the Luminaries lighting display, which has been extended through Monday, February 29. (artsbrookfield.com).

Carnegie Hall: Mitsuko Uchida will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano as they charm the audience with beautiful melodies of Mozart this Valentine’s Day. The blend of the heroic and humane makes Piano Concerto No. 25 one of Mozart’s most popular, and the andante movement’s tenderness will fill your heart with love. To purchase tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fifth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with DJs and more. For information on this free event, visit centralparknyc.org.

Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc., will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 13, kicking off at 10am in the West Village. The race will take place at Hudson River Park’s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.

Empire State Building: The world famous Empire State Building will host 14 lucky pre-selected couples on Valentine’s Day as they say “I Do” on the 86th floor observation deck. At night, the spectacular heartbeat light show illuminates the building with shades of red, pink and white. Visit esbnyc.com for more information.

Gotham Archery: Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Cupid at Brooklyn’s Gotham Archery during Valentine’s Day weekend. After a brief intro class, archers can test their skills on one of the 30 shooting lanes and enjoy some friendly competition. To book a class, visit got-archery.com.

Historic Richmond Town: Take a step back in time, tour village homes from the 1690s to 1860s and see images of valentines from the General Store’s collection at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town on Saturday, February 6. Participate in the Victorian Valentine Workshop, where guests will learn about Victorian scraps, paper lace and decoupage to create their own valentine (historicrichmondtown.org).

Hornblower New York Cruises: This Valentine’s Day, sail aboard a love boat with one of several Hornblower New York cruises. From a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to a two-hour happy hour mixer aboard the Aboard Alive After Five cruise, a cruise around the City’s skyline makes for an unforgettable evening. To book, visit hornblowernewyork.com.

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The sound of jazz will fill the air as Jazz at Lincoln Center offers three musical jazz performances through Valentine’s Day weekend. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant will put on a Valentine’s Day–inspired performance that will have you feeling the love. Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100 will treat you to jazz hits that will satisfy both nostalgic and contemporary tastes. In addition, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole will share Songs for Lovers, a great way to end a date night. To purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Love Sculpture: While exploring the sights of Midtown Manhattan, take a photo in front of the Love Sculpture. Originally designed by American artist Robert Indiana as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the sculpture sits on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and is the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo. For those looking for hope in the new year, not too far away is the Hope Sculpture on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street.

Museum Hack: Couples can join Museum Hack for a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a guide will reveal stories of love, relationships, fertility and ancient longing. Book a tour at museumhack.com.

Museum of the Moving Image: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening several films throughout the day including Inside Out and Burden of Dreams. Families can also check out the family workshop and learn what goes into designing their favorite characters. For screening schedules, visit movingimage.us.

National Lighthouse Museum: All lighthouse lovers are invited to Staten Island on Saturday, February 6, for a beautiful evening of Valentine cabaret. Special signature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are all part of a night to remember. To register, go to lighthousemuseum.org.

New York Botanical Garden: Between chocolate tastings and exploring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors to the Bronx are in for an immersive treat on Valentine’s Day. Walk through beautiful tropical rain forests of the conservatory, have a special love poem written and listen to music under the palm dome. Champagne, beer and wine will also be available for purchase (nybg.org).

New York Public Library: On Thursday, February 11, the New York Public Library will present Shakespeare, Love and Spring at Lincoln Center. This free performance is on a first come, first serve basis and features skits and songs of women in love, doomed love and universal love (nypl.org).

NYC Candy Stores: Sweeten your visit to New York with gifts from around the City. At M&M’s World Times Square, create customized M&M’s candies with your own image and personal message for special someone. Also stock up on jelly beans, gummies, chocolates and apparel at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan. Voilà Chocolat invites chocolate lovers to dip their own chocolate-covered strawberries, top off their own artisanal truffles and create personalized chocolate bars with love messages on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry and Sally met in When Harry Met Sally. To book a tour, go to onlocationtours.com.

One World Observatory: With breathtaking 360-degree views, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, can be the perfect place for a memorable night. The Date Night package includes admission for two, two glasses of prosecco and chocolate truffles. To purchase tickets, visit oneworldobservatory.com or call 800-416-7192.

Queens Botanical Garden: For an unusual yet fun Valentine’s Day weekend event, the Queens Botanical Garden invites bird lovers to their 19th Annual Bird Counting Event. The event will include a nature walk, scavenger hunt and bird spotting along the way. To register for this free event, visit queensbotanical.org.

Rainbow Room: Atop Rockefeller Center, the beautiful Rainbow Room will be open for brunch and dinner, with live music from Vince Giorando & The Nighthawks and Nightingale Jazz Band, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Gigacup oysters, truffled boulangere potatoes and roasted salsify are just some of the delicious offerings to be found. To book a table, go to rainbowroom.com.

Staten Island Museum: Painter Sarah Yuster will share insights into her dreamy and romantic works of art depicting the lush landscapes and streets of Staten Island at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor on Saturday, February 13; wine will be served. To register, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

St. George Theatre: On Saturday, February 13, the St. George Theatre in Staten Island will host its exclusive Murder Mystery Dinner Show: Crime and Pun-ishment. Couples are invited to wear their best pin-striped suits and flapper dresses as a pair of undercover feds and jilted lovers make an appearance at this fun speakeasy. Book a table at stgeorgetheatre.com.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: For those ready to pop the question, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is offering three VIP packages as part of its Engagement on Ice program. All packages include exclusive ice time and a celebratory romantic glide as the crowd cheers. Couples can also choose their favorite song to play and enjoy a celebratory champagne toast for an unforgettable proposal. For more information, visit the rinkatrockcenter.com.

Top of the Rock: As part of the 2016 Winter Starlight Music Series, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will host a special Valentine’s Day concert with a live performance from Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. Guests will be immersed in 360-degree views of the City as they enjoy food and beverage available for purchase from The Sea Grill. To purchase tickets, visit topoftherocknyc.com; concert is free with price of admission.

Wave Hill: The intimate winter gardens of Wave Hill in the Bronx are a perfect backdrop for spending time with someone you love on Valentine’s Day. Adults can enjoy a decadent chocolate and wine tasting, where they can learn about how the chocolates were made from a premier chocolate maker. Families can enjoy a nature walk through the gardens, spot heart-shaped leaves and create a special keepsake to take home (wavehill.org).

Your Love, Our Musical: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue will host Your Love, Our Musical on Valentine’s Day, where comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman will interview a real couple and create an improvised musical about the couple’s love story. Tickets to this fun celebration of love can be purchased online at littlefieldnyc.com.

In addition to these events, there are several Valentine’s Day and romantic-themed hotel packages throughout the City:

Hotel Packages 

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island: For a quiet getaway that is close to all the action, the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island have several offerings as part of their “Eat. Stay. Love” package during Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a three-course dinner at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret or a lavish gourmet brunch buffet, complete with romantic piano music. Overnight accommodations are also available and includes in-room champagne and a breakfast buffet. For reservations, go to lorenzodining.com or call 718-477-2400.

Loews Regency New York: For the perfect girls’ night, the Loews Regency New York on the Upper East Side is offering a Girls’ Night In package, complete with a $200 food and beverage credit, monogrammed bathrobes and slippers, an in-room movie and accommodations in a grand or luxury suite. Spa treatments at the Julien Farel Salon are also available for an additional cost. To book the package, visit loewshotels.com or call 212-759-4100.

The Marmara Park Avenue: One of Manhattan’s newest hotels, the Marmara Park Avenue invites couples to book their Suite Hearts package on Valentine’s Day weekend. The package includes a drink at the OneOne-Four Bar & Lounge, a carriage ride around Central Park, a special hammam treatment for two in the authentic Turkish hammam and complementary early check in and late check out. To book, visit park.marmaranyc.com or call 212-603-9000.

The New York EDITION: Celebrate the month of love in style with the New York EDITION’s Suite Surrender package, which includes overnight accommodations, a premium bottle of rosé, a white rose petal turndown service and room service breakfast for two. To book a room, visit editionhotels.com/new-york or call 212-413-4200.

Peninsula New York: Romance is in the air during Valentine’s Day weekend at The Peninsula New York. The hotel’s Lucky in Love package includes accommodations in a deluxe king room, one dozen roses, a bottle of champagne and daily breakfast or brunch for two. Upon arrival, guests will receive a red envelope that could contain a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free dessert, a champagne toast at the rooftop bar and lounge and more. Go to newyork.peninsula.com or call 212-956-2888 to learn more.

Royalton New York: Couples can warm up by the fireplace and book a special Royalton Fireplace hotel package. The package features a choice of scented fireplace wood including oak, pecan, maple, hickory apple or limited-edition Burn Baby Burn Cherry Wood in the room’s fireplace. In addition, couples can enjoy cherry-chipotle braised short rib, a specially made cocktail named “My Cherry Amore,” a selection of desserts and more. To book, visit royaltonhotel.com or call 212-869-4400.

Sheraton New York Times Square: For the ultimate and memorable New York luxury experience, book a Penthouse Escape Package at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Relax in their two-level, 3,500 square-foot Penthouse Suite on the 45th floor overlooking Times Square and Central Park, complete with bottomless premium wine tastings, an in-suite gourmet cooking session and more. To book, visit sheratonnewyork.com or call 212-581-1000.

The Westin New York Grand Central: Just a short stroll from Bryant Park in Manhattan, the Westin New York Grand Central is offering a romantic getaway for couples with their Presidential Suite package. The package includes a split of prosecco, a personal guided Manhattan run, late checkout and accommodations in the 1,035-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 40th floor, complete with sweeping views of the skyline and a Jacuzzi tub. To reserve, call 212-490-8900 or visitwestinnewyorkgrandcentral.com and enter code PRSPKG.

For other great Valentine’s Day weekend events, visit nycgo.com/valentinesday.

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NYC Restaurant Week 2016 is Largest Ever; Book Your Table Now

January 7, 2016
NYC Hols 112815_20151128_109e2 Dave-Eric

The largest NYC Restaurant Week ever takes place Jan. 18-Feb. 5, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

While taking advantage NYC Broadway Week, also take advantage of NYC Restaurant Week, January 18 through February 5. Diners can book at one of the 372 participating restaurants throughout the City’s five boroughs. For menus, photos and reservations, visit nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

This winter’s iteration, the largest NYC Restaurant Week ever, features 41 new participants: ABC Cocina, ABC Kitchen, Adalya, Almayass, Bocca Di Bacco Theater District, Bocelli Ristorante, Brioso Ristorante, Carol’s Cafe, Cherche Midi, Claudette, Da Noi in downtown Staten Island and in Midtown Manhattan, Distilled, Dos Caminos Times Square, The Fillmore Room, French Louie, Hanjan, Hearth, Khe-Yo, La Sirene, London Lennie’s, Madiba Brooklyn, Mamo Restaurant, Manducatis Rustica, Mario’s Restaurant, MP Taverna in Astoria and Brooklyn, Noreetuh, Ocean Prime, Osteria Morini, Paul’s on Times Square, Pig and Khao, Rosa Mexicano in Tribeca, Sessanta Ristorante, Sutton Inn, Tao Downtown, Tasca Chino, Tommy Bahama, Trattoria L’Incontro, Vivaldi and Zenkichi.

NYC Restaurant Week welcomes back notable restaurants and longstanding participants: ‘21’ Club, Café Boulud, The Cecil, Craftbar, ilili, Nobu, Red Cat, The Sea Grill and Tribeca Grill.

“With more participating restaurants than ever, the success of NYC Restaurant Week over the years is in the numbers,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “As the program continues to grow, attracting new and noteworthy restaurants in all five boroughs, we are thrilled to welcome diners to experience the City’s best cuisine at a more affordable price.”

NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2016 by the numbers:

  • 3 course prix-fixe lunches for $25*
  • 3 course prix-fixe dinners for $38*
  • Record-setting 372 participating restaurants
  • 34 cuisines
  • 41 new restaurants and 331 returning restaurants
  • 5 boroughs, 41 neighborhoods
  • 19 days (January 18–February 5)
  • More than 25,000 posts on Instagram using #NYCRestaurantWeek

“New York City’s restaurant community is dynamic, with great food being served in every borough, representing virtually every international cuisine,” said Tracy Nieporent, chairman of NYC & Company’s Restaurant Committee. “Dining is important to New Yorkers and our guests, and NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2016 inspires us to offer the quality, variety, and hospitality that makes New York City the restaurant capital of the world.”

Again, this winter, American Express® Card Members have an exclusive offer to enroll any eligible American Express Card, use their Card to spend $25 or more at any participating restaurant and get a $5 statement credit up to four times. To learn more and enroll in this offer with an eligible American Express Card, visit americanexpress.com/nycrestaurantweek.

NYC Restaurant Week is also featured as part of Unlock NYC, During NYC Restaurant Week, the Unlock NYC site, nycgo.com/unlock, will feature editorial content highlighting NYC Restaurant Week insights and tips.

See also: NYC Broadway Week Two-for-One Tickets Now on Sale for 27 Shows, Jan 19-Feb 5

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NYC Broadway Week Two-for-One Tickets Now on Sale for 27 Shows, Jan 19-Feb 5

January 7, 2016
The cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" takes a well-deserved curtain call. Fiddler is one of 27 shows participating in NYC Broadway Week, Jan. 19-Feb. 5, where you can purchase two-for-one tickets © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The cast of “Fiddler on the Roof” takes a well-deserved curtain call. Fiddler is one of 27 shows participating in NYC Broadway Week, Jan. 19-Feb. 5, where you can purchase two-for-one tickets © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tickets have just gone on sale for NYC Broadway Week where you can purchase two-for-one tickets to 27 of Broadway’s top shows at nycgo.com/broadwayweek for performances January 19–February 5.

“With Broadway being one of the most iconic NYC experiences, we are thrilled to offer theatergoers the opportunity to experience the excitement of Broadway at half the price,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization. “From family-friendly shows to laugh-out-loud productions to Broadway classics, there is something for everyone to enjoy at a terrific value.”

Shows participating in NYC Broadway Week Winter 2016 (subject to availability; blackout dates may apply):

  • Aladdin
  • Allegiance
  • An American in Paris
  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
  • Chicago The Musical
  • China Doll
  • The Color Purple
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Finding Neverland
  • Fun Home
  • The Humans
  • Jersey Boys
  • The King and I
  • Kinky Boots
  • Les Miserables
  • The Lion King
  • Matilda the Musical
  • Misery
  • Noises Off
  • On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan
  • Our Mother’s Brief Affair
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • School of Rock
  • Something Rotten!
  • A View from the Bridge
  • Wicked

Theatergoers also can enter the Official NYC Broadway Week Sweepstakes, powered by Audience Rewards, for the opportunity to win dinner at Ocean Prime and tickets to a Broadway show of their choice for the winner and five friends.

“Seeing a Broadway show during Broadway Week is a gift to yourself!” says Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “Throughout the year, Broadway theaters are filled with a diverse selection of new and classic musicals and plays; and during Broadway Week’s 2-for-1 program, savvy theatre fans can treat themselves to twice as many shows.”

“Broadway Week gives more New Yorkers and visitors the chance to experience live theatre. We are excited to partner again with NYC & Company in offering this opportunity,” said Acting Commissioner Luis Castro, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “Broadway Week opens the door for fans from across the five boroughs and around the globe to experience the enormous creative energy and talent on display in our City’s iconic theatre corridor.”

NYC Broadway Week is featured as part of Unlock NYC, NYC & Company’s new year-round seasonal campaign utilizing the tagline “Find a Winter Less Ordinary.” You can discover fun facts behind some of Broadway Week’s best shows at nycgo.com/unlock.

Since its launch in January 2011, NYC Broadway Week has cumulatively sold 712,532 tickets, generating $47.4 million in revenue for Broadway. NYC Broadway Week is produced by NYC & Company in partnership with American Express, Amtrak®, Audience Rewards, The Broadway League, NBC 4 New York, New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Telecharge and Ticketmaster, and with support from AARP.

See also: NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2016

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New-York Historical Society: Toys, Trains, SuperHeroes

December 15, 2015
New York City

New-York Historical Society, the oldest museum in NYC, offers fascinating exhibits © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

One of the most fascinating museums in New York City is the New-York Historical Society. Here are highlights of the current exhibits:

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection, through February 28, 2016
This holiday season, the New-York Historical Society  transforms into a magical wonderland with a dynamic installation from its renowned Jerni Collection of model trains, scenic elements, and toys from a bygone era. Featuring several treasures exhibited for the first time since New-York Historical acquired the collection, Holiday Express unfolds over a broad swath of the first floor and continues throughout the lower-level DiMenna Children’s History Museum. With the aid of theatrical lighting, an ambient audio “soundscape,” and other visual effects, visitors are engaged in an all-new and captivating holiday experience. Organized by New-York Historical’s Mike Thornton, Assistant Curator of Material Culture.

Superheroes in Gotham through February 21, 2016
Superheroes are a part of our daily lives, engaging our imaginations on the pages of comic books, on television, and movie screens, as well as across the Broadway stage and in the virtual world of gaming. Since their introduction in the late 1930s, superheroes have been societal role models, inspirational, and enviable. Based on mythological archetypes, they navigate the twists and turns of modern life. Through comic books, original drawings, posters, video clips, costumes, early merchandise, and props, Superheroes in Gotham tells the story of comic book superheroes in New York City; the leap of comic book superheroes from print to radio, to television, and ultimately to film; the role of fandom, including the yearly mega-event known as New York Comic Con; and how superheroes continue to inspire the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters in New York City. Organized by New-York Historical’s Debra Schmidt Bach, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, and Nina Nazionale, Director of Library Operations.

Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York through April 17, 2016
The New-York Historical Society celebrates New York’s central role in the digital revolution, highlighting the pioneering work and technological innovations that have transformed daily life. Silicon City presents New York as a technological hub where the intersection of commerce and innovation gave rise to the first computers and tech companies. Featuring more than 300 artifacts from the late-1800s through the 1980s, Silicon City will include early computers and telecommunications hardware, archival materials, photographs, digital artworks, and interactive experiences that immerse visitors in the decades-long evolution of technology. Organized by New-York Historical’s Chief Curator Stephen Edidin with assistance from Research Associate Cristian Panaite.

Maestà: Gaddi’s Triptych Reunited through March 20, 2016
After conservation and exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum and at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the New-York Historical Society’s Madonna and Child Enthroned with Ten Saints: Maestà is back on Central Park West. Painted circa 1330–34 by Taddeo Gaddi, the major disciple of Giotto, this panel was originally the central section of a triptych with two shutters (sportelli). Following new research the Maestà will be exhibited with the two double-sided wings from a private collection that have been linked to it. One features the artist’s amazing solar eclipse (Gaddi was temporarily blinded by one). Its frame will also be reconstructed and its conservation highlighted. In addition, this exhibition will showcase other 14th- and early 15th-century Italian panels donated to N-YHS in 1867 by Thomas Jefferson Bryan, a pioneering New York collector of Italian “primitives,” (i.e., painters before Raphael). Organized by Roberta J.M. Olson, Curator of Drawings, New-York Historical Society.

Picasso’s Le Tricorne, Ongoing
The show positions Picasso’s curtain in a dialogue with other New-York Historical Society objects, including paintings from the European tradition that provide background to the artist’s work as well as to the traditions against which the revolutionary artist rebelled. Other thematic threads pivot around dance subjects and explore roughly contemporary American paintings, sculpture, posters, and watercolors. Among the works included are examples by William Adolphe Bouguereau, Will H. Bradley, Philippe de Champaigne, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Childe Hassam, Malvina Hoffman, Ricardo de Madrazo y Garreta, Elie Nadelman, Edward Penfield, Maurice Prendergast, John Sloan, and Adriaen van Utrecht.  Organized by Roberta J.M. Olson, Curator of Drawings, New-York Historical Society.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

The Story: A Reporter’s Journey
Judith Miller, Bret Stephens
Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 6:30 pm
$34 (Members $20)
In an intimate conversation, Judith Miller turns her reporting skills on herself and her career, discussing her early years at The New York Times, her controversial work regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and the decisions she made during the Scooter Libby investigation.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 6:30 pm
$34 (Members $20)
Since her introduction in 1941, Wonder Woman has remained the most popular female superhero of all time, but the history behind her creation has remained largely unknown. American History Book Prize winner Jill Lepore uncovers the origin of one of the world’s most iconic superheroes and how it holds within it a fascinating family story, as well as a crucial connection to 20th-century feminism.

The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton
William E. Leuchtenburg, Douglas Brinkley
Saturday, January 16, 2016, 9:30 am to 11:00 am
$44 (Members $32)
From the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 to Bill Clinton’s last night in office in January 2001, the American presidency—and the nation, as a whole—experienced a tremendous growth in power and influence. Celebrated presidential historian William E. Leuchtenburg chronicles the presidents of the past century, highlighting their moments of high drama and triumph.

Leaders in War: Charles de Gaulle
Andrew Roberts
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 6:30 pm
$38 (Members $24)
In June 1940, General Charles de Gaulle showed that sublime heroism was possible even during the chaos surrounding the Fall of France. Andrew Roberts discusses de Gaulle’s leadership, showing how his response to that catastrophe was always admired by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, even while they clashed with his rebarbative personality.

America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve
Roger Lowenstein, Byron R. Wien
Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 6:30 pm
$34 (Members $20)
In 1913, after a series of disastrous financial panics shook the nation, Congress was persuaded to approve the landmark Federal Reserve Act. Renowned financial author Roger Lowenstein reveals the rich history and key players behind the drama-filled creation of America’s central bank, which ultimately enabled the young country to become a global financial powerhouse.

Sherman’s “Other” March: Burning the Carolinas
John F. Marszalek, James M. McPherson, Harold Holzer
Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 6:30 pm
$38 (Members $24)
After making Georgia “howl” by marching his army from Atlanta to the sea, Union General William T. Sherman led an even more destructive march—through the Carolinas. Join three eminent historians as they explore Sherman’s devastating follow-up campaign to break Confederate resistance and end the Civil War.

Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. It is located across 77th Street from the Museum of Natural History.

New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400, www.nyhistory.org

The Ride: Holiday Edition Immerses Riders in Holiday Lights of New York City

December 2, 2015

NYC-TheRide Xmas

THE RIDE: HOLIDAY EDITION has become a key ingredient of the holiday magic of New York City and become one of the season’s most popular family events.

The electric wizardry of New York’s Holiday brilliance is only eclipsed by the stars in the winter skies and the sparks of joy from within THE HOLIDAY’S RIDE’S toasty warm Motor Coaches as they carry their audiences around the city aglow with the glorious celestial lights of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza.

Created, written and directed by Richard Humphrey, the HOLIDAY RIDE will dazzle its riders with a custom designed exterior wrap, a vibrant 4.2 mile route highlighting the finest of New York’s breathtaking Holiday decorations and locations, new content, new seasonal videos, a dedicated soundtrack, a commissioned score, additional cast members and especially choreographed performance events.

The 4th Year HOLIDAY RIDE (November 12 – January 3) is now on sale at both the 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue Box Offices; last Season’s ticket-buying hysteria prompted many added performances as they garnered more rave reviews and their fifth TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Award, which was followed immediately with the coveted induction into the TripAdvisor® HALL OF FAME.

THE RIDE: HOLIDAY EDITION’s award-winning Creative Team includes Richard Humphrey ( Executive Producer & Mise-en-Scene), Leslie Meisel (Additional Scripting), Daryl Embry (Additional Scripting & Staging Supervision), Michael Stanek (Choreography), Patrick Noth (Opening Music), Ryan O’Gara (Lighting Design), Brendan Bekowies (Sound Design), Roger Acosta (Videos) and Joe Morgan (Videos).

See:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaYvMl7AlQ0

See also:

Holidays in New York City: Where to find the best festivities in 5 boros and slideshow

Winter wonders of the world, Peanuts highlight NYC Xmas holiday walking tour and slideshow

 

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New York City’s 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade Themed ‘Shine a Light’

October 28, 2015
The 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City, the largest public Halloween event in the world, kicks off at 7 pm © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City, the largest public Halloween event in the world, kicks off at 7 pm © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The theme for the 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade, which kicks off at 7 pm on Saturday, October 31, is “Shine a Light! In times of darkness, we bring the Light!”  There will be a special Grand Marshall Float in the Parade this year featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World from Dos Equis.
Official Village Halloween Parade Puppeteers, featuring master puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, have created the Shine a Light theme, featuring dancing chandeliers and Light Masters offering small lights to the crowds.

This year’s parade will also feature several large contingents paying tribute to the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition:.

Look for the Day of the Dead commemoration float from the Las Calacas Festival from San Miguel, Mexico.  “This is a serious endeavor involving well-known artists who have a story to tell paying tribute to those creatures and humans who died this past year.”

Joining Las Calacas will be 100 teens from the Casita Maria Center in the South Bronx also exhibiting Day of the Dead costumes and puppets.  It is their first time at the Parade.

Also, the Mexican Tourism Board has sent us 30 beautiful Day of the Dead Catrinas in full costume and make-up for the march!

The Parade steps off promptly at 7 p.m. from Spring Street and 6th Avenue in Greenvich Village and makes it way up 6th Avenue to about 28th Street.

The hastag for the night is #ny1boo.

See highlights from the 2014 New York City Halloween Parade

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Inaugural ‘Lincoln Center Global Exchange’ Evening Performance to be Live Streamed, Sept. 18

September 15, 2015

68th United Nations General Assembly convenes in NYC.

United Nations General Assembly, NYC: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced the program for an evening of live performances that will close the inaugural Lincoln Center Global Exchange.The Global Exchange — taking place just before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly — is an initiative that seeks to advance the relevance and centrality of art, across sectors and geographies, and inspire investment in culture worldwide. © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced the program for an evening of live performances that will close the inaugural Lincoln Center Global Exchange.The Global Exchange — taking place just before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly — is an initiative that seeks to advance the relevance and centrality of art, across sectors and geographies, and inspire investment in culture worldwide.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced the program for an evening of live performances that will close the inaugural Lincoln Center Global Exchange, the first annual convening of 250 international thought leaders and change agents from business, government, education, media, science and the arts to take place on Lincoln Center’s campus in New York City on September 18.

The day-long summit will explore how art and culture can be even more effective in fostering healthy citizens, vibrant cities and strong communities worldwide, and will culminate with an evening of performance in which some of the world’s greatest contemporary artists—actors, choreographers, dancers, musicians—invite us all to join them on an exceptional journey. Curated by Sir Jonathan Mills, the evening performance will be streamed live for the public from Alice Tully Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST at lincolncenter.org, as well as on the respective websites of Founding Sponsor First Republic Bank, and partners The Atlantic and WNET.

Performances by Youssou N’Dour, Gustavo Dudamel and the Orquesta de Camara de la Sinfónica Nacional Infantil de Venezuela, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Akram Khan Company, Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker, Jessica Lang Dance, artists from The Juilliard School, David Broza and the Polyphony Quartet, and the Charleston-based Lowcountry Voices will celebrate the inaugural convening of international leaders in education, government, business, science, media, and the arts.

The Global Exchange — taking place just before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly — is an initiative that seeks to advance the relevance and centrality of art, across sectors and geographies, and inspire investment in culture worldwide. Countries represented in the evening program include Bosnia, Brazil, Britain, China, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Réunion Island, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, and Venezuela, as well as from the United States.

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Community Players Join Pros for Free Public Works Musical Adaptation of Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ at Central Park’s Delacorte, Sept 4-7

August 26, 2015
Actors take well deserved bows at the Public Theater's triumphal performance of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," the second offering of the summer's free Shakespeare-in-the-Park series at Central Park's Delacorte Theater © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Actors take well deserved bows at the Public Theater’s triumphal performance of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline,” the second offering of the summer’s free Shakespeare-in-the-Park series at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Public Theater is offering free performances for the community-based Public Works production of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY, conceived and directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet, with music, lyrics and book by Todd Almond, beginning Friday, September 4. This original musical adaption, in which community players join professionals, will run for four nights only through Sunday, September 7 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Free tickets will be distributed, two per person, at noon on the day of the show at the Delacorte Theater and via the Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.publictheater.org.

The show features professional actors along with over 200 community members, sharing the stage. The event also features a gospel choir; a dance troupe; Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana II; a marching band; the New York Youth Symphony; and TADA! Youth Theater.

Now in its third year, Public Works annually creates ambitious works of participatory theater in partnership with community organizations from all five boroughs of New York City. This year the grand trilogy continues with Obie Award-winning director Lear deBessonet and lyricist/composer Todd Almond, the team behind the acclaimed Public Works productions of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, creating a breathtaking new musical adaptation, THE ODYSSEY. Inspired by the historical pageantry movement of the early 1900s—known for blending mass spectacle with community engagement—this latest work in deBessonet and Almond’s three-part cycle reimagines the Greek epic with Public Works’ signature blend of professional actors, community members and special guests. Man-eating Cyclops, a sorceress that turns sailors to beasts, and the deadly sweet song of the Sirens explode onto the stage with spectacular dance numbers in this joyful, larger-than-life musical about finding your way home—no matter where fate may lead you. This adaptation of THE ODYSSEY, conceived and directed by deBessonet, first premiered at The Old Globe in San Diego in 2011.

THE ODYSSEY features equity actors Todd Almond (Singer); Brandon Victor Dixon (Odysseus); Andy Grotelueschen (Cyclops); Karen Olivo (Penelope); and Lucas Caleb Rooney (Antinous); along with cameo group performances by The Bobby Lewis Ensemble; The D.R.E.A.M. Ring; Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana II; The Marching Cobras; The New York Youth Symphony; TADA! Youth Theater and NYC bikers from Old Bones, N.Y.C. Fire Riders, and MLC Crew Riding Club.

The five Public Works community partner organizations are Children’s Aid Society (Manhattan); DreamYard Project (Bronx); Fortune Society (Queens); Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn); and Domestic Workers United (all boroughs, including Staten Island).

“Amid the glory and celebration of Fun Home and Hamilton, Public Works remains at the heart of The Public Theater’s mission,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “For the last two summers, Lear deBessonet and Todd Almond have given us euphoric, magical re-workings of Shakespeare’s late romances. This year, they are reaching back to the first great Western writer, Homer. Their version of The Odyssey is a thrilling and visionary journey home, for Odysseus and for us.”

“Public Works invites us to radically re-think how we make theater and who has a stake in the work we do,” said Public Works Director Lear deBessonet. “Exploring the genre of civic pageantry has given Todd and me a chance to collaborate with literally hundreds of New Yorkers in bringing these beautiful epics to life, and I couldn’t be more proud to celebrate three years of immersive community work with The Odyssey.”

DeBessonet is the recent recipient of two prestigious awards in 2015: the Doris Duke Impact Award, part of the Doris Duke foundation’s 10-year initiative to empower, invest and celebrate artists; and the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, presented at the Theatre Communications Group conference in June, which recognizes an individual or organization whose work reflects and promotes the ingenuity and artistic integrity prized by Peter Zeisler, late executive director of TCG. The honorees exemplify pioneering practices in theatre, are dedicated to the freedom of expression and are unafraid of taking risks for the advancement of the art form.

THE ODYSSEY features scenic and lighting design by Justin Townsend; costume design by Paul Carey; sound design by Acme Sound Partners; wig and make-up design by Dave Bova; and choreography by Lorin Latarro.

Tickets to THE ODYSSEY are free, continuing The Public Theater’s long-standing tradition of free programming and community engagement. Since the opening of the Delacorte in 1962, more than five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at The Public’s Central Park venue. Free tickets will be distributed, two per person, at 12:00 p.m. on the day of the show at the Delacorte Theater. Free tickets will also be available via the Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.publictheater.org on the day of the performance. You may become a Summer Supporter for a $75 tax-deductible donation and receive a reserved seat to the event. For information and to donate, call 212-967-7555.

The Public Theater, founded nearly 60 years ago by Joe Papp as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham), has been an advocate for theater as an essential cultural force and forum for dialogue about issues of the day. As the only theater in New York producing Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental works in equal measure, The Public continues its long tradition of engaging a wide range of audiences and artists. Public Works exemplifies The Public’s long-standing commitment to community engagement that is at the core of the theater’s mission. It is animated by the idea that theater is a place of possibility, where the boundaries that separate us from each other in the rest of life can fall away

Lead support for Public Works is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, New York City Theater Subdistrict Council, The Tow Foundation, and The Stavros Niarchos Foundation.  Additional support is provided by the New York Community Trust, New York State Regional Economic Development Council, David Rockefeller Fund, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP. Special thanks to The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation’s leadership support for The Public’s year-round access and engagement programming.

Public Works Units Professionals with Community Members

PUBLIC WORKS is an ongoing initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. PUBLIC WORKS deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well. Working deeply with partner organizations in all five boroughs, PUBLIC WORKS invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops, take classes, attend performances at The Public, and, most importantly, to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater.

PUBLIC WORKS is founded on a 360° transformational experience of theater: making theater, seeing theater, discussing theater. The five community partner organizations that have worked with The Public for the first two years of PUBLIC WORKS have taken part in the full range of Public Theater programming, including Joe’s Pub, Shakespeare in the Park, Public Forum, and the Mobile Shakespeare Unit. Additionally the Public Works family gathers for monthly potluck dinners and ongoing intergenerational activities.

BROWNSVILLE RECREATION CENTER (Brooklyn) is a branch of the New York City Parks Department.  With extensive resources for youth and seniors, the center offers a vibrant space to tap into pursuits artistic and athletic alike. Over the course of three years partnering with Public Works, senior citizens participated in dance, theater, storytelling, and scene study classes led by Public Theater teaching artists. The group has performed featured dances in both The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale at the Delacorte Theater. The seniors also performed various pieces they’ve developed in classes many times at The Public Theater and the BRC. In the spring of 2015, the center hosted the first ever Public Works Palooza, featuring community performances from all the Public Works partner classes, including their own adaptation of Steel Magnolias. The Brownsville Recreation Center received the Mobile Shakespeare Unit tours of Richard III (Summer 2012), Much Ado About Nothing (Fall 2013), Pericles (Fall 2014), and Macbeth (Spring 2015).

THE CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY (Manhattan) helps children in poverty to succeed and thrive by providing comprehensive support and critical services to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. As part of Public Works, the Children’s Aid Society Chorus (a group of teenage girls led by Kelly Campbell) attended shows at Joe’s Pub, attended regular Public Theater performances, and received master classes in singing, songwriting, movement, and acting. The chorus performed various songs they’ve developed in classes many times at The Public Theater and other events.  In 2015, Public Works also partnered with the CAS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teen program, where deaf and hard of hearing youth studied the intersection of Shakespeare poetry and sign language. Their work culminated in a community performance of excerpts from Romeo and Juliet.

DREAMYARD PROJECT (Bronx) was recognized by President Obama with a 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The organization provides transformative arts education for youth in the Bronx through school-based and out-of-school programs and supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action. As part of Public Works, DreamYard youth participate in workshops and intensives in performing Shakespeare, and in generative movement led by artists from The Public, along with attending performances in The Public’s season. The parents of DreamYard students also participate in weekly Shakespeare scene study classes led by Public Theater artists. The group has studied, rehearsed and performed scenes from Hamlet and Julius Caesar. This group has performed excerpts from both plays multiple times at The Public Theater, the DreamYard Art Center, and other partner sites. The DreamYard Project received the Mobile Shakespeare Unit tours of Much Ado About Nothing (Fall 2013), Pericles (Fall 2014), and Macbeth (Spring 2015).

DOMESTIC WORKERS UNITED (all boroughs, including Staten Island) is a city-wide organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, organizing for power, respect, and fair labor standards, and to help build a movement to end exploitation and oppression for all. As part of Public Works, members have read and discussed dozens of plays in a monthly play reading and luncheon group. Plays have included Eurydice, For Colored Girls…, A Raisin in the Sun, Antigone, The House of Bernarda Alba, Mother Courage and Her Children, and many others. Members also attend regular performances at The Public.

FORTUNE SOCIETY (Queens) is a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization, founded in 1967, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration thus strengthening the fabric of their communities. Drawing upon the life experience of Fortune’s formerly incarcerated staff and clients, they offer a holistic, “one-stop” model which includes: alternatives to incarceration, counseling, career development, education, housing services, HIV/AIDS-case management, substance abuse treatment, family services, and lifetime aftercare, among other services. As part of Public Works, members participate in a full year of classes in playwriting, acting, improvisation, storytelling, clown, and production. The Fortune Tellers, the group that has emerged from these classes, has performed their original pieces many times at The Public Theater, the Fortune Society campuses, and other partner sites.  The Fortune Society received the Mobile Shakespeare Unit tours of Richard III (Summer 2012), Much Ado About Nothing (Fall 2013), Pericles (Fall 2014), and Macbeth (Spring 2015).

THE ODYSSEY COMPANY:

LEAR deBESSONET (Public Works Director/The Odyssey Director) directed the previous free Public Works productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest, and has created large-scale theatrical events pairing artistic excellence with community organizing in New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Kazakhstan. Her previous large-scale community projects include The Odyssey at the Old Globe (2011) and her site-specific Don Quixote, a collaboration with homeless shelter Broad Street Ministry and the punk-gypsy ensemble The Psalters (2009). Her additional recent work includes Good Person of Szechwan featuring Taylor Mac for The Foundry Theatre at LaMaMa and The Public Theater (Obie Award, Drama Desk nom., Lilly Award, Lortel Award for Best Revival). She has directed shows for City Center Encores! Off-Center, LCT3, the Old Globe, the Intiman, the Guthrie, Joe’s Pub, Women’s Project, Performance Space 122, 13p, and Clubbed Thumb. For Ten Thousand Things in Minneapolis, she has directed productions of My Fair Lady, As You Like It, and The Music Man that toured to prisons, community centers, and homeless shelters.  Recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award, TCG’s Peter Zeisler Award, the Meadow’s Prize, and LMCC’s Presidential Award for Artistic Excellence, she has also acted as a visiting professor at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts.

TODD ALMOND (Music, Lyrics, & Book, Singer in The Odyssey) is a composer, lyricist and playwright, whose recent collaborations with Lear deBessonet include the free Public Works productions of The Winter’s Tale, for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics and performed the role of Antigonus, and The Tempest, for which he also wrote the book, music, and lyrics and performed the role of Ariel at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Almond’s most recent musical Iowa, a collaboration with playwright Jenny Schwartz, received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons this past March. His musical Girlfriend (using new arrangements of Matthew Sweet’s eponymous cult album) will be produced at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles under the direction of Les Waters. He starred alongside Courtney Love in the rock opera Kansas City Choir Boy at the Prototype Festival, composed by Almond and directed by Kevin Newbury. Almond recently wrote the music for, and performed in, Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss at Playwrights Horizons. Almond’s other credits include a musical version of Sarah Ruhl’s Meloncholy Play, and music and lyrics for We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Almond was the music director/arranger for Laura Benanti’s acclaimed solo show at 54 Below (NYC); and for Sherie Rene Scott’s lauded Piece of Meat, also at 54 Below, and at the Hippodrome (London). Almond’s albums include “Mexico City” and his newly released “Memorial Day.”

LORIN LATARRO (Choreography) choreographed Broadway’s Waiting For Godot with Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, Ira Glass’s This American Life at BAM for Michael Mayer and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Peter and The Wolf at BAM, Beaches the Musical (Drury Lane), Jasper In Deadland, and Encore’s Fanny. Broadway’s Curious Incident…, American Idiot and The Met Opera’s Rigoletto (Associate to Michael Mayer and Steven Hoggett), Cy Coleman’s The Best Is Yet To Come (Drama Desk Award), Hands On A Hard Body (Associate to Sergio Trujillo). Latarro is an Artistic Associate for Robyn Goodman at Bucks County Playhouse and has starred in 14 Broadway shows.

BRANDON VICTOR DIXON (Odysseus) originated the role of Berry Gordy in Broadway’s Motown the Musical and has also appeared in The Color Purple, earning a Tony Award nomination. His additional credits include The Scottsboro Boys, both Off-Broadway and West End; Cotton Club Parade at New York City Center; Rent; and Far From Heaven. He has appeared in film and on television in The Warrior and the Savior; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”; “One Life to Live”; and “The Good Wife.”

ANDY GROTELUESCHEN (Cyclops) has been seen on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac and in the Fiasco Theater’s The Two Gentlemen of VeronaMeasure for MeasureInto the Woods (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination); Twelfth Night; and Cymbeline. His New York and regional credits include work at Theatre for a New Audience, New Victory, The Guthrie Theater, The Acting Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theater among others. His film and television credits include Geezer, Still on the Road, Tumorhead, “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” and “The Knick.” He is a graduate of the Brown/Trinity M.F.A. Acting Program, and a Fiasco Theater company member.

KAREN OLIVO (Penelope) has appeared on Broadway in West Side Story (Tony Award), In the Heights, Brooklyn, and Rent. Her Off-Broadway credits include Murder Ballad; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; In the Heights; and Miracle Brothers. She has appeared in film and on television in Holiday Spin; Generation Um…; Shanghai Hotel; The New Twenty; “Harry’s Law”; “The Good Wife”; “Law & Order: SVU”; and “Criminal Minds.”

LUCAS CALEB ROONEY (Antinous) has appeared at The Public Theater in The Mobile Shakespeare Unit’s Much Ado About Nothing; Measure for Measure; All’s Well That Ends Well; and Yellowface. His Broadway credits include Golden Boy, The Country Girl, and Henry IV. His additional Off-Broadway credits include Regrets, The Orphans’ Home Cycle, and an oak tree. His film and television credits include The Magic of Belle Isle, “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Person of Interest.”

CAMEO APPEARANCES:

THE BOBBY LEWIS ENSEMBLE is a group of singers based out of The New Light Baptist Church in Harlem. The Senior Pastor of that church, Bobby Lewis, is the group’s founder and director. The Bobby Lewis Ensemble has been singing together almost 20 years in churches, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, youth shelters, street fairs, and much more. They have traveled the world singing everything from Gospel to recently performing their “Soulful Beatles Celebration” in Harlem. They have toured Taiwan and annually tour Spain, performing their incredible Gospel show to packed audiences. They love performing all styles of music from Southern gospel, to the great classics, to beautiful patriotic medleys, to Negro Spirituals, to contemporary gospel, and more. They recently performed with Norm Lewis at Lincoln Center in his cabaret, Who Am I, and have recorded three CD projects including “It Cometh from the Lord,” “Live in New York City,” and “Christmas in July.”

THE D.R.E.A.M. RING (DANCE RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME) strives to provide quality competitions that honor the culture of the Brooklyn community, encourages artistic and character development, provides youth with a safe environment to express their artistry, ensures a wealth of opportunities such as performing in schools and teaching in after school programs, displays the young artist and their talents through social media marketing and branding through artists reels, dance videos, performances, and helps young artists gain the skills needed to build careers in the dance industry. The team-oriented company’s purpose is to gain global popularity by exposing audiences to the various styles of street dance and inspiring them to embrace and join their distinctive aesthetic and cultural dance competition company, “THE D.R.E.A.M. RING.”

FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA II is one of America’s premier Spanish dance companies, dedicated to the belief that the universal spirit of flamenco, a multicultural art form, has the power to build bridges between cultures. Their mission includes raising public awareness of flamenco as an integral part of Hispanic heritage, creating and presenting new works and nurturing the next generations of flamenco artists.  Founded in 1983, the company tours extensively nationwide, and serves New York audiences with an annual home season. Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana II is known for its innovative performances, community programs (including an annual “Flamenco in the Boros” tour which brings free performances to new audiences) and high-quality arts education projects in public schools. Flamenco Vivo also operates the Center for Flamenco Arts, one of only two NYC dance studios dedicated to the specific requirements of flamenco, and produces the NYS Flamenco Certamen, a competition for pre-professional dancers.

THE MARCHING COBRAS is New York’s most exciting youth non-profit organization and has performed for the NFL Superbowl 48, and in the Oscar-winning 2015 movie, Birdman starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone. The Marching Cobras perform in many parades in many cities and feature the beautiful Sapphire Danceline. The Marching Cobras is offered to all communities in New York City and is currently a year-round program. This summer they will take part in the 2015 Steve Harvey Awards in Atlanta, GA. The program open to ages 10 and up. For more information, visit www.marchingcobrasny.org.

THE NEW YORK YOUTH SYMPHONY is the most awarded youth program of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, tuition-free educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Through its commissioning program, First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 100 works from young composers since 1984. The careers of world-renowned conductors, musicians, and composers have been assisted by their experiences with the New York Youth Symphony. Former music directors and program alumni include Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, David Alan, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Marin Alsop, Gary Levinson, Michael Tiscione, Lawrence Dutton, Kenneth Mirkin, Joel Smirnoff, and Pedro Diaz among many others.

TADA! YOUTH THEATER. Celebrating 30 years, TADA! – the first youth theater to win a Drama Desk Award – is one of NYC’s leading producers of high-quality musical theater productions performed by NYC’s talented kids and teens for family audiences; as well as Arts Education residencies, classes and camps. TADA! has produced 79 mainstage musicals for over 150,000 audience members, and has reached 750,000 kids in arts education and theater programs in and out of school. TADA!’s programs – which reach 30,000 people annually – provide a safe and creative place for kids and teens to grow emotionally, intellectually and socially through musical theater. At the heart of TADA! is the Resident Youth Ensemble Program, a unique, completely free, pre-professional program, which annually serves 80 talented children aged 8-18 from all different backgrounds. Once accepted, members receive free training and perform in all of TADA!’s mainstage productions and special events.

THE PUBLIC THEATER 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day.  Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a new initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, including Public Lab; and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions.

The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new restaurant lounge, The Library, designed by the Rockwell Group. www.publictheater.org.

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