LoftOpera never shies away from its edgy adaptations. In its upcoming production of Rossini’s Otello—based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name—the challenge lies not in an overt modernization but in the score’s groundbreaking and complex music, and in the fact that this opera has not been produced in New York in more than 40 years. Loft’s reimagining of the classic tale of otherizing and political upheaval—themes still grappled with today—will play at LightSpace Studios (1115 Flushing Avenue) from March 16–27. We had the chance to speak to four-time Loft director John de los Santos and conductor Sean Kelly, a specialist in the bel canto technique.
GP: How have rehearsals been going?
JdlS: It’s an incredibly challenging piece but I’m very lucky to have Sean, the cast, and the incredible musicians, so it’s been going well.
SK: No one has sung this opera before, so it’s new for everyone, which is exciting. The Otello (Bernard Holcomb) we’ve technically been working with since September/October to prepare musically for the role.
GP: Rossini’s Otello has not been seen in New York in decades. Why this piece now?
JdlS: The last piece Sean and I did for Loft was Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and we had a great success with that, so it’s great to be working on one of his tragedies. This piece was an evolvement for him in his music as he was trying out some new things and really trying to push his audiences to accept and deal with topics that were pretty controversial in this period. Everybody’s familiar with the Verdi version of Otello and this one’s 70 years older. I think this version is superior; there are several things he does better than Verdi. Continue reading →
The other day, I gave a talk on the Irish history of Greenpoint, and a long-time Greenpointer offered me a new twist on a famous old Greenpoint legend.
Before diving into the story, lets get acquainted with the story’s protagonists. The legendary scandalista Eva Tanguay was a Vaudeville legend who came to perform at the B.F. Keith’s Theater at Manhattan Avenue and Calyer Street sometime around the turn of the century. Notorious as the “I Don’t Care Girl”—the title of her signature song—Tanguay established herself as the queen of Vaudeville in 1901 with the New York City premiere of her controversial show “My Lady.” The Lady Gaga of her day, Tanguay was brazen, impudent, and shameless in the eyes of the Prudish. Some of her hit songs like “It’s All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It” and “Go As Far As You Like” boldly suggested illicit pleasures. She wore a shockingly revealing dress made entirely of pennies and filled her act with racy double entendres. Greenpoint’s Mae West, who later became equally notorious, was an early admirer who later incorporated many elements of Tanguay’s act into her own suggestive performances. Continue reading →
When “I can’t feel my face,” refers to the walk from the subway instead of Drake’s oeuvre, you know the deep freeze of mid-January has descended. It’s hard to find entertainment that justifies donning a puffy coat and wrapping up like a woolen burrito. But no one can Netflix and chill forever. If you’re like me and you’ve logged at least ten hours of couch time binging “Making a Murderer” this month, it’s time to get out of the house.
Luckily, a group of nightlife veterans are eliminating the guesswork and serving up the perfect night out, right here in Greenpoint. “Nightcap Riot: Mombucha” is one part concert, one part immersive theater, one part kombucha brewing tutorial, with a dash of comedy, and plenty of kombucha-infused cocktails. The resulting two and a half hours go down smoothly. It’s fresh, different and way more interesting than spending winter downing pints at the same old bar.Continue reading →
Though Greenpoint’s industrial history gets dredged up on the regular, it’s less often that we talk about its former status as a thriving hub of theatre and vaudeville. Today, the world is still a stage, but these illustrations done for the New Yorker are beautiful and surprising.
Is Yelp! holding a mirror to racist attitudes toward gentrification? A study compared restaurant reviews in the two rapidly changing neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Bed-Stuy, and it seems as though “ethnic charm” means something different depending on where you’re brunching.
The blowback from the NuHart rave was apparently not enough to stop Jack Daniels from relishing the noise complaints it generated last week on Huron Street. Looks kind of fun though — not going to lie.
Here they come! Greenpoint’s priciest condos! The building comes complete with its own regal-sounding condo tower name: The Gibraltar. Hopefully it will come to represent the “limit to the known world” of escalating real estate prices.
Sylvia Plath isn’t what you’d call a good time gal. Her writing is a glimpse into the mind of a very brilliant woman dealing with severe mental anguish. Plath’s focus on death and suicide can be gruesome, but her writing is gorgeous and nuanced, too. Asylos Theater Company is drawing on Plath’s complicated canon for its newest immersive show, Out of the Ash, playing at Glasshouse(246 Union Ave.) in Williamsburg on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00 pm.
WEDNESDAY 5/8 * Let’s Build A Garden For Greenpoint @ Diamond Bar (43 Franklin St) 7-10pm, FREE, Join the 61 Franklin St Garden for a fundraiser to build a community garden, bring donations – including tools, 20% of the bar sales donated, RSVP ♫ YVLTRS / Black Salad / Del Guapo @ Big Snow (89 Varet St) 8pm, $7, RSVP
* Brooklyn Brewery Night @ Barcade (388 Union Ave) Starting at 4pm, Celebrate Brooklyn Brewery’s 25th Birthday with a very special tap lineup, RSVP ♦ Q and Y: A Brief Comedy About Death@ Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave) 8pm, $8, Play written and directed by Theresa Buchheister, after/during the show you can drink, get haircuts, buy records, look at art, hang out in the garden, make out in the corner!RSVP ♫ Height / Eze Jackson / Handjob Academy / Zebra Baby @ Death by Audio (49 S.2nd St) 8pm, $7, More Info
♦ Greenpoint Gallery Night[email protected] Galleries, 6-9pm, FREE, As art fairs bustle away at opposite ends of the East River, over a dozen galleries open their doors, After party 9pm at Coco 66, RSVP, download map HERE ♦ Portals: A Series @ The One Well (165 Greenpoint Ave), 7-10pm, FREE, The One Well & HollyBear present a collection of mixed media works for your viewing pleasure, More Info ☺An Evening of Music & Comedy @ Death by Audio (49 S.2nd St) 8pm, $10, Comedians Chris Gethard & Dave Hill, music by Shellshag / Swearin’ / Black Wine, RSVP ♫ Heaven / Tennis System / Nightmare Air / Dead Leaf Echo @ Union Pool (484 Union) 8pm, $8, RSVP
SATURDAY 5/11 *Greenpoint Earth Day 2013 Festival @ McCarren Park (766 Lorimer St) 11am-5pm, FREE, Recycle your electronic waste, eco-friendly and educational displays, health & wellness tips & demos, arts & crafts, children’s activities, live music, More Info • Vegan Shop Up @ Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan St) Noon-6pm, FREE, Vegan Shop-Up is NYC’s only all vegan pop-up market featuring the best small businesses around, More Info • Public Walk Up Paddling @ Broadway Stages Boatyard (49 Ash St) Noon-4:30pm, FREE, Short Canoe & Kayak paddles in Creek, More Info ♦ 2013 Arts Happening Series: A Guest In The Cavern @ Northside Town Hall (132 Wythe Ave) 6-10pm, FREE, A multi-media installation by Jesse Gelaznik, featuring video art by Rachel Blackwell, Dirty Churches will perform Music for Mirrors, RSVP • 5 Boros Basketball Fundraiser @American Legion 1771 (519 Leonard St) 7-11pm, $30, Great food, Live entertainment and dancing plus raffles! More Info ♫ Twin Sister / Empress Of / RElyse @ Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave) 8pm, $10, RSVP ♫ Charlie Nieland / Oh Halo / Hard Plastic Buttons @ Bar Matchless (577 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $8, RSVP ♥ Collateral Glamage @ Legion (790 Metropolitan) 9-4am, FREE, favorite local bands and dj’s for this monthly all night dance party, rock and roll, cheap drinks! RSVP
SUNDAY 5/12 • Roots 66 @ Coco66 (66 Greenpoint Ave) 4-11pm, DJs Autovac & Subtexture will be spinning Roots, Rockers and Rocksteady, happy hour until 8pm, RSVP • Greenpointers Terrarium Class with Claire @ Diamond Bar (43 Franklin St) 5-7pm, $50, all supplies are provided to make a gorgeous terrarium to take home, plus a Sly Fox beer! Buy Tix ♫Marissa Nadler/Guy Blakeslee/Jozef van Wissem @Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) 8pm, $12, RSVP
MONDAY 5/13 •Bad Movie Brooklyn presents They Live @ Berry Park (4 Berry St) 8pm, FREE, a fun, totally kickass John Carpenter flick packed with social commentary that’s just as relevant today as it was in 1988, RSVP ☺Broken Comedy @ Bar Matchless (577 Manhattan Ave) 8:30pm, FREE, Tevor Noah / George Gordon / Danny Kallas / Rob O’Reilly, More Info
TUESDAY 5/14 * Bootleg Cinema – The Great Silence w/live set by Morricone Youth @ Brooklyn Rod & Gun (59 Kent Ave) 8pm, One of the best and most unusual spaghetti Westerns ever made accompanied by a live musical performance, RSVP
* Greenpointers’ Pick ♫ Music ♥ Pheremones likely ♦ Art Event ☺ Comedy Event # Foodie Event
On Monday, December 3rd, 2012 at 8pm The Brick (579 Metropolitan Ave) is hosting a one-night-only benefit performance to aid the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, featuring contributed scenes from acclaimed Off-Broadway companies celebrating NYC. Brooklyn Brewery beer. Donations at the door.
Beginning Thursday 12/29 through Sunday 12/2Billy & Company present A Dream Play at The End (13 Greenpoint Ave). The company’s mission is to produce more creative and inclusive theater programming in North Brooklyn through innovative collaboration. A Dream Play, by August Strindberg and directed by Kate Murray, tells the story of a young girl’s reality through the associative narrative of a dream. Set in a hazy Appalachian fog of indiscernible time and place, Billy & Co’s rendering is told through quickly shifting scenes with video installation, fiddle, and movement.
The more witty the DIY aesthetic of Overturn Theatre’s interactive installation Waiting for Godot grew, the more charming the production became.
The venue [email protected], a restored medical ward at the edge of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border, has a history just creepy enough to be interesting without being frightening. The random foliage, trap doors and pop-up bartenders all added to the experience. Continue reading →