When the Indie Collaborative held its all-faiths holiday show at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, I fulfilled my desire to attend a seasonal live show before the year’s end. On Dec. 8, 2021, from 7-8:30 pm, the show featured more than 20 award-winning Indie Collaborative artists presenting their music. Meant for all ages and faiths, it celebrated the diversity of our seasonal celebrations. Produced by co-founders Eileen Sherman and Grant Maloy Smith — with Smith emceeing — the eclectic cast included jazz trumpeters, former Stomp performers, stars of stage and a lively ukulele aficionado.
Founded in 2015, The Indie Collaborative has become a vehicle for independent musicians and industry professionals (actors, poets, writers, dancers, make-up artists, producers, photographers) to connect with others in the creative arts. It puts on several kinds of events, from showcases to curated shows produced with members. There are chapter meetings and social events for its membership which includes over 2,000 collaborators from around the globe. Membership is free. There are only two requirements — be an industry professional and be dedicated to excellence in the arts.
The jazz community had a significant presence at this all-ages interfaith musical salute to Diwali, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year. Jazz musicians Alex Otey, Nicole Zuraitis, Syreeta Thompson, Lucy Kalantari, Charu Suri, and The Levels were all part of a great cast of performers on the Bruno Walter stage.
Women musicians were a large part of the show as well. Jazz bandleader, recording artist Zuraitis is the premiere vocalist of the world-famous Birdland Big Band and for Dan Pugach Nonet, who were Grammy-nominated for their arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” She assembled an all-star female ensemble to record her project “Generations of Her: Women Songwriters and Lyricists of the Last 100 Years” while working on her sixth album as a leader.
Trumpet Lady Thompson is a Billboard Number 1 Album Topper with an upcoming documentary, “Blow Yo Horn”. She kicked off the event by displaying a vigorous demonstration of her instrumental mastery. Uke master Kalantari is a two-time Grammy Award Winner in Children’s music category with a new album, “What Kind of World” coming out with her group The Jazz Cats. Her rousing performance was full of energy and engaged the audience with an energetic sing-along.
In addition, multi-award-winning classical pianist and world music artist, Charu Sur performed a challenging composition combining jazz with ragas from her native India.
Also on stage were popular New York cabaret and soap opera actress Grace Garland as well as award-winning classical flutist and symphonic performer Joanne Lazzaro, Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize winner. Then add featured Broadway violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Drama Desk Winner and one of “Broadway’s Best” Rachel York and IDEA Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award winning performer and producer Yocontalie and you have an amazing set.
Internationally acclaimed hip-hop, R&B, jazz, Latin, and Afrobeat group Levels combine two cast members of Stomp, an American Idol finalist, and two Italian music virtuosos to yield one energetic and stimulating performance. Then there was Billboard Top 10 American Roots recording artist Smith who brought in an emotional and touching rendition of two songs including “On This Day” and ““Christmas Eve in Times Square USA”.
The show’s grand finale brought everyone together as the entire cast on-stage performed a Smith classic “We’ll Stay Together” with lyrics in the program for audience sing-along. All told, the concert displayed an amazing array of talents and good work from Indie Collaborative members. What a way to close out a complicated year.
December 8, 2021
Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center
111 Amsterdam Avenue (between 64th-65th St.)
Produced by Eileen Sherman and Grant Maloy SmithEmcee: Grant Maloy Smith
Company XIV’s Seven Sins Is Back
There is even more temptation as Company XIV’s popular Seven Sins, announces their Fall schedule of performances, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting September 7. The final shows will be on Saturday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 31 ushering in grand Halloween festivities with a party to end parties!
Under the masterful hand of creator and director Austin McCormick, the cast is headed by pop star LEXXE and includes Robyn Adele Anderson, Donna Carnow, Chrissy Carpenter, Lola Carter, Erin Dillon, Alisa Mae, Alex Frankel, Hannah Gill, Syrena, Meg Iwama, Nicholas Katen, Brandon Looney, Nolan, Clairisa Patton, Scott Schneider, Chanel Stone, Marcos Antonio Vasquez. The creative team includes McCormick (Creator, Director, and Choreographer), Zane Pihlstrȍm (Costume and Scenic Design), LEXXE (Original Music), Sarah Cimino (Makeup Design), Brian Tovar (Lighting Design), Julian Evans (Sound Design) and Bryan Gonzales (Wig Design).
Join as Adam and Eve and prepare to take a bite out of your apple while watching this mystical dreamscape inspired by the fall of man and the seven deadly sins. Baroque burlesque beauties, lush design and inspired cocktails await you in one of the company’s most lavish and glittering productions to date.
“We have big plans for Théâtre XIV next year,” teases McCormick, “so this may be the last opportunity to plumb the depths of hell with us at Seven Sins for a while. “ Seven Sins incorporates everything you would want in a decadent evening of evening of awe, merriment, fun and sin! Are you ready to repent?
Single tickets prices are from $95.00 to $225.00. Théâtre XIV by Company XIV is located at 383 Troutman Street, Brooklyn, NY (Bushwick), an easy and quick trip from Manhattan on the L Train to Jefferson Street station. For information and tickets go to www.companyxiv.com
Founded in 2006 by classically trained, nightlife impresario Austin McCormick, Company XIV produces the most spectacular burlesque performances in New York City. High and lowbrow entertainment intermix with lavish design to deliver sensual, decadent extravaganzas inspired by the court of Louis XIV. With concurrent productions of Cocktail Magique—a variety show of intoxicating illusions at a luxurious new venue around the corner from Théâtre XIV— and Seven Sins, there has never been more glitter on offer in Bushwick!
Events For September
Hot time summer in the city. What is cool and what is happening is what this column is about. Get ready Labor Day starts the fall season. The US Open continues, it is the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The Feast of San Gennaro, the Curtain Up Broadway Festival continues in the Theatre District!, The Armory Show, New York Fashion Week and lots of art make NYC an exciting place to be.
Until 9/3: Shakespeare in the Park The Tempest at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
Until 9/15 The Malibu Barbie Café, at 19 Fulton Street at the South Street Seaport. Each reservation includes your choice of entree and side item, full access to the Barbie Cafe experience and a 90-minute table reservation. Early bird pricing ranges from $22-$30 for kids and $39-$49 for adults depending on the date and time. You can buy additional drinks, dessert and food.
Until 10/3 Earth Poetica, for free in the lobby of 3 World Trade Center.
9/1: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Langston in Harlem 7pm
9/ 2 – 4 and 9/9 – 10: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is in Greenwich Village. The exhibit features a wide range of artwork from local and international artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more.
9/1 – 3: Electric Zoo or EDM Festival. Held at Randall’s Island Park. The festival has become an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit, featuring a wide range of artists both top name and underground.
9/4: West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
9/2 – 3: The Hester Street Fair at the Seaport at Pier 17 (89 South Street). This outdoor market features handmade jewelry, candles, vintage clothing, and more.
9/ 7 – 13: New York Fashion Week
9/7: Bryant Park Picnic Performances American Symphony Orchestra with Leon Botstein.
9/8 – 10: The Armory Show annual art show that showcases contemporary and modern art.At The Jarvis Center. The exhibition features more than 270 galleries from all over the world.
9/8: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Romeo and Juliet 7pm
9/9: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Gaye Su Akyol (U.S. debut) 7pm
9/8 – 10: PHOTOFAIRS NEW YORK is all about contemporary art, mainly photo-based and digital artworks. This year, exhibitors from more than 20 cities around the world will present their art.
9/9: At 10am the Labor Day Parade. It steps off from Fifth Avenue and 44th Street.
9/11: A Tribute in Lights. This marks the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Expect events, vigils, memorials, and tribute runs as well.
9/14: Bryant Park Picnic Performances 40th Anniversary Celebration of Harlem Stage 7pm
9/14: Celebrate Dinner in White/Le Dîner en Blanc. The exact location and date will only be announced shortly before the start.
9/14 – 17: Broadway Week. Discounted Broadway tickets means for every ticket you purchase, you get another one for FREE!
9/14: New York City’s largest festival of cuisine, culture and community is back for the third time! Uptown Night Market will take place in West Harlem.
Unique and tasty foods from around the globe are offered by numerous food vendors. This festival is a MUST for all food lovers!
9/14 – 24: The Feast of San Gennaro, held in Little Italy. Parades, live music and food, glorious food.
9/16: Annual German-American Steuben Parade Fifth Avenue to 86th Street.
9/17: Smithsonian Museum Day. Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 17, 2022, for two people.
9/30: Morningside Lights awe-inspiring handmade lanterns. This year’s event, is titled “The Open Book,” with more than 50 community-built lanterns depicting great books. The route begins in Morningside Park at 116th Street and Morningside Avenue at 8pm, arriving on Columbia University campus around 8:45pm.
Artists Announced For PAC NYC Grand Opening
Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) Executive Director Khady Kamaraand Artistic Director Bill Rauch announced today additional opening events and performances to celebrate the September 19 grand opening of the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
Opening this fall is “Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson,” a contemporary American restaurant at the core of this new cultural anchor of Lower Manhattan. Designed by Rockwell Group, Metropolis will offer a warm and welcoming dining and lounge experience, including a bar and outdoor terrace, throughout PAC NYC’s lobby level. The menu draws inspiration from the diversity of the five boroughs defined by generations of immigrants and honors the convergence of cultures throughout the great city of New York.
The PAC NYC opening will also include three free events for the community: Open House: Arts Community Day(Sept. 27), Open House: Neighborhood Day (Sept. 28) and Open House: Five Borough Family Day (Sept. 30).
Expanding on PAC NYC’s music program, a new series, Downtown Sessions, will present intimate concerts with Tony Award winning artists LaChanze (Oct 1), Ben Platt (Oct 7) and the previously announced Brian Stokes Mitchell (Oct. 5). Citicard members and PAC NYC members will have early access to tickets.
PAC NYC’s inaugural artistic season will begin with Refuge: A Concert Series to Welcome the World (Sept. 19-23), a five-evening, Pay-What-You-Wish event featuring a vibrant mix of acclaimed musicians from around the globe curated around the theme of refuge. Global star José Feliciano and Armo (both Sept 23) have recently joined the concert series that features artists such as Common, Laurie Anderson, Michelle Zauner, Shoshana Bean, Angélique Kidjo, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and many more.
On September 13, 2023, PAC NYC will inaugurate the building during a ribbon cutting and civic dedication ceremony with Mike Bloomberg, chair of the Perelman Performing Arts Center board of directors, PAC NYC leadership, elected officials, artists and other invited guests.
Family & Lobby Programming
Additional programming, including family performances, programming collaborations and free performances in the lobby on the Vartan and Clare Gregorian Stage, will be announced in the coming months.
Tickets & PAC NYC Individual Memberships
Starting July 25, PAC NYC members and Citi cardmembers can purchase tickets to the Downtown Sessions concerts with LaChanze and Ben Platt, through an exclusive presale. Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 28.
All performances are located at PAC NYC at 251 Fulton Street.
The public can sign up for important updates from PAC NYC at PACNYC.org/sign-up.
Citi is the official card and a proud sponsor of PAC NYC.
PAC NYC is grateful for the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies
PAC NYC is committed to providing an enjoyable and inclusive experience for all patrons and ensuring that all audiences have access to our programs and performances. PAC NYC meets or exceeds the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Entrance at PAC NYC is sponsored by Citi. For more information on accessibility, please visit PACNYC.org/accessibility.
PAC NYC is a dynamic new home for the arts, serving audiences and the creative sector through flexible venues enabling the facility to embrace wide-ranging artistic programs. The inaugural year will feature commissions, world premieres, co-productions, and collaborative work across theater, dance, music, opera, film and more. The vision for PAC NYC began when then Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his team worked to ensure the plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site included a performing arts center.
Named for businessman, philanthropist and benefactor Ronald O. Perelman, the Perelman Performing Arts Center is a 138-foot-tall, cube-shaped building with radically flexible capabilities designed by the architecture firm REX, led by founding principal Joshua Ramus. REX’s design, created in collaboration with executive architect Davis Brody Bond, theater consultant Charcoalblue and acoustician Threshold Acoustics, is conceived for an artistic program that will have vast and varied needs to serve New York’s extraordinarily diverse arts community. The building is wrapped in nearly 5,000 half-inch thick marble tiles which have been book matched to create a symmetrical pattern, that is identical on all four sides of the building. The marble façade allows light to radiate in during the day and glow out during the evening. David Rockwell and his architecture and design firm Rockwell Group designed the interior of the lobby and restaurant with a dynamic, glowing ceiling visible from the street to create an inviting entry experience. The lobby’s restaurant, Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson, along with the bar and outdoor terrace, offers a new gathering space for the Lower Manhattan community.
The 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival
Inside the United Ukrainian Ballet Premiere of Giselle
With Alexei Ratmansky’s West Coast premiere of a new Giselle, dance became political, as it was performed by the United Ukrainian Ballet at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, in Costa Mesa. “Hope is what the United Ukrainian Ballet is all about.’ declared the choreographer, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made these dancers refugees, but it also brought them together. They found strength to create something beautiful out of their pain. Tonight, you will feel their strength, their honesty, their pride, and their determination.”
The evening was a benefit for BlueCheck Ukraine; the organization created by Liev Schreiber, to vet, verify, and fund Ukrainian-led frontline organizations providing humanitarian aid to victims of the Russian invasion. The evening was made possible by Elizabeth Segerstrom, Ratmansky’s longtime friend and major supporter of his work at the American Ballet Theater and through the Henry T. and Elizabeth Segerstrom Foundation. Mrs. Segerstrom attended the evening surrounded by friends and hosted a reception following the opening night.
Born in Leningrad, Ratmansky’s father is Ukrainian and his mother Russian. He was raised in Kyiv, where much of his family still lives. So, for him, the conflict is personal.
Elizabeth Segerstrom offers these words, “Despite insurmountable obstacles, these dancers, who have all been displaced because of this tragic conflict, have remarkably come together to create a world-class company which demonstrates the transcendent power of the arts. This evening is dedicated not only to these dancers and their spirit but also to you, whose presence tonight demonstrates your commitment to the cause.”
A star-studded audience, including Cheryl Burke, Veronika Dash, Mario Lopez, Nigel Lythgoe, Gleb Savchenko, and Montana Tucker as well as Los Angeles Ballet’s Artistic Director Melissa Barak and Chair Jennifer Bellah Maguire, joined the Artistic Director and Founder of UUB, Igone de Jongh, who said, “Tonight is an historic occasion, made possible by the Henry T. and Elizabeth Segerstrom Foundation through her tremendous generosity and humanitarian spirit. Elizabeth has brought us here to this magnificent theater, to share with you the transformative power of the arts.”
ABT’s Christine Shevchenko starred the title role on opening night, with a cast that also included Alexis Tutunnique, Elizaveta Gogidze, Oleksii Kniazkov, Iryna Zhalovska, and Denys Nedak with the Pacific Symphony under the baton of Gavriel Heine. Ratmansky explained, “This Giselle is an interpretation of one of the greatest romantic ballets in the classical repertoire. The end is surprising. Traditionally, the hero is left alone with his pain. Our ending gives hope.”
After the final curtain for Giselle, and rounds of standing ovations, UUB returned to the stage with Ukrainian flags as Pacific Symphony played the Ukrainian National Anthem. When the curtain rose again, Ukrainian soldier Oleksander Budko Teren took the stage performing Airlift, choreographed by Emma Evelein. Both his legs have been amputated after a tragic war incident. Now fitted for prosthetics in the US (thanks to the Revived Soldiers Ukraine Foundation). UUB invited him to attend their performance in Washington and he fell in love with the company. UUB dancers surrounded Teren as the emotional crowd at Segerstrom Center for the Arts rose to their feet again when the curtain fell the final time.
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