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Kyle Scatliffe, Nicholas Barasch. All photos by Joan Marcus.

Kyle Scatliffe and Nicholas Barasch All photos by Joan Marcus.

Presented by New York City Center Encores!

Big River Encores

Stephen Lee Anderson, Nicholas Barasch, Patrice Covington, Andrew Cristi, Wayne Duvall, Mike Evariste, Charlie Franklin, Annie Golden, Katherine A. Guy, Megan Masako Haley, Adrianna Hicks, Zachary Infante, Gizel Jimenez, Andrew Kruep, John-Michael Lyles, Cass Morgan, Tom Nelis, David Pittu, Horace V. Rogers, Kyle Scatliffe, Christopher Sieber, and Lauren Worsham

One of the joys of the New York City Center Encores! series is the opportunity to see shows that I had missed seeing on the Broadway stage. And last night was no exception. Big River, a musical with a book by William Hauptman and music and lyrics by Roger Miller, feels like it was written many moons ago. It has an old nostalgic sound and flair to it that caused me to be quite surprised by its conception date. The show was first produced on Broadway in 1985 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre after first playing at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA and The La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego in 1984.  The 1985 premiere ran for a total of 1,005 performances, and went on to win 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical, book, score, and direction (Des McAnuff), with a cast that included Tony winner Ron Richardson, Rene Auberjonois, and John Goodman. (As you can tell, besides being a theatre addict, I am also a theatre history junkie as well.) There was also a well-received revival brought to Broadway by the same theatre company that staged the wonderful Spring Awakening last season, a company that features both deaf and hearing actors performing together.  In that show, which was also honored with a Tony Award, a character, Mark Twain (Daniel H. Jenkins) was added providing the voice of Huck who was portrayed by a deaf actor, Tyrone Giordano.

(L to R) Nicholas Barasch, Gizel Jimenez, Lauren Worsham, Megan Masako Haley

(L to R) Nicholas Barasch, Gizel Jimenez, Lauren Worsham, and Megan Masako Haley

The Encores! production of Big River feels as twangy and bluegrass as can be, filled with melodic moments of beauty and history. It starts out floating on the charm and winning character of Huck Finn, played with the perfect balance of fire and freckles by the golden voiced Nicholas Barasch ().  The story is simple at first. An adventurous journey by this infamous teenage boy, stealing himself away from morality and conventionalism accompanied by a runaway slave, Jim (a superbly voiced Kyle Scatliffe ). I must admit that I never read any of these tales of teenage mischief that resides in Mark Twain’s 1884 classic, the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ and the earlier ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ (1876). I think it never made it onto the reading list in my Canadian school so the story was as fresh as the Mississippi River air. Centered on the young Huckleberry Finn, I can imagine that this musical only works if the lead can carry this show on his broad shoulders.  And Barasch is just the young man for it.  Just as he was in the gorgeous She Loves Me last year at the Roundabout Studio 54 Theatre, his charm and smile easily convinces us to jump on board that raft, and gladly set sail down the Big River with him and Scatliffe (most recently playing Harpo in The Color Purple). Barasch’s numerous songs, especially the beautiful duet with Scatliffe, “River in the Rain”, the rousing “Muddy Water”, and the gorgeous “Leavin’s Not the Only Way to Go” with the added lovely voiced Lauren Worsham (Tony nominated for originating the role, Phoebe in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) leaves us thrilled to have come along for the ride.

Christopher Sieber, David Pittu

Christopher Sieber and David Pittu

Everyone they encounter from the moment they escape from St. Petersburg, Missouri, and on that journey down the Mississippi River are equally as well voiced and lovingly portrayed.  The wonderful harmonies of “You Oughta Be Here With Me” by Lauren Worsham, Gizel Jimenez, and Megan Masako Haley are soul enriching. It is also marvelous to see Annie Golden (who I loved so much in the film version of Hair, and on Netflix in Orange is the New Black) playing the holier than thou Miss Watson, along side the sweet Widow Douglas (Cass Morgan; Memphis) and company in the fun and festive opening number, “Do Ya Wanna Go To Heaven?”. The two less than holier than thou, the con-men, the ‘King’ (David Pittu) and the ‘Duke’ (Christopher Sieber) that Huck and Jim meet as they float down the river are fabulously funny and inventive.  I did love the muddled use of Shakespearean text by Sieber. The writing and the delivery of his soliloquy is hilarious and very inventive, and the fun vaudevillian flair of the song “When the Sun Goes Down in the South” made me smile, but their shtick does tend to wear thin after a while.

Epitomized by these two schemers, this story is also filled with references to slavery and freedom. At points throughout the show, the discomfort of the racist words spoken can be felt throughout the New York City Center audience. There are some odd moments within this musical when the African American cast members are ushered out to sing some magnificent gospel numbers for what seems no reason at all within the story line other than the thinnest of threads.  As wonderful as these numbers are; ‘How Blest We Are’ sung spectacularly by Katherine A. Guy and company and the wonderful ‘The Crossing’ by Patrice Covington, a more modern telling of this tale may have found a stronger way to bind these moments to the plot and the structure.

Kyle Scatliffe

Kyle Scatliffe (R)

Act II has a very different feeling than the straightforward journey of Act I. The twists and turns are as rapid as the ever-changing mood of the songs and scenes. Tom Sawyer, by an overly exuberant Charlie Franklin (The Book of Mormon), adds a level of hokey play that sometimes feels surprisingly incongruent to what’s happening around him and the others. Huck and Tom while discussing a scheme to help free Jim from being locked up and chained inside a shed, is surprisingly light and silly (I blame Hauptman’s book here). It is followed abruptly by a powerful song of yearning for freedom and equality by Jim, ‘Free at Last’, majestically sung by Scatliffe.  This moment is also another example of the utilitarian use of a line of black gospel singers to fill out the sound.  Filing on and off the stage in a line, the action feels clumsy in its staging as the procession feels condescending to these gifted performers, shifting them all to minor players, before the story swings quickly back to the two boys, Huck and Tom and their madcap adventures.

David Pittu, Nicholas Barsasch, Christopher Sieber, Kyle Scatliffe

(L to R) David Pittu, Nicholas Barsasch, Christopher Sieber, Kyle Scatliffe

It’s a surprise to be honest, as the show feels much more old fashioned in its story and in it’s telling (director: Lear deBessonet). I doubt this story would be told in the same manner and style if written today, as it was in the 80’s. That doesn’t say it is without charm, as it is overflowing with talent and spectacular musical moments, but the weakness lies in the book, not the music or lyrics. The book attempts to address racism and slavery, and it does in many thoughtful ways, but seems to minimize Jim’s role in comparison to the teenage boys. Reconfigured today, Jim’s story would perhaps gain more depth and agency. In some ways, I feel like I’m tip toeing around this, but it was hard to deny the discomfort at moments in the telling of this story. Musically, the score is spectacularly handled by the Encores! Orchestra (music director: Rob Berman; original orchestrations: Steven Margoshes, Danny Troob) and the true joy in spending time with Huck and Jim on the Mississippi River is the country and bluegrass songs of Big River. In that respect, there is strength and vitality. I’d happily float down the river with this crew any day.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

 

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Book Reviews

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

GORDON OH GORDON — (from The Guardian) In the 1960’s and 70’s, no serious rock fan viewed the drummer Jim Gordon with anything but awe. By the 80’s, none of them viewed him with anything but contempt, a 180-degree turn that led to his virtual erasure from the culture. Even four decades later, when the veteran music journalist Joel Selvin first tried to sell publishers on a book meant to tell Gordon’s story with nuance and depth, they balked. “They would debate it for months and then say, ‘Nope, can’t do it,’” Selvin said. “It was almost impossible for them because of what he had done.”

In 1983, he entered his mother’s house and began to attack her with a hammer, crashing it into her skull four times before grabbing a knife and stabbing her repeatedly, the final time with such force it pinned her to the floor. Soon after her resulting death, Gordon was arrested, charged and convicted of murder, and spent the next four decades in prison, before dying this past March at 77. Over the years, several prominent articles have been published that tried to trace the outlines of Gordon’s story, ascribing his heinous act to an diagnosed case of schizophrenia that forced him to hear voices and experience hallucinations. Yet only in Selvin’s new book, Drums & Demons, does the reader get a feel for the full horror of his disease and the mess it made of his mind. “In one of his hallucinations, he thought he was in a jail cell that was on fire,” Selvin said. “To me, that was a metaphor for Jim’s whole life. For him, life was a jail cell that was always on fire.”

Despite the chaos that created, both for Gordon, and increasingly, for those around him, Selvin aimed to tell his story with empathy. Only after the drummer’s death was, he able to finally convince a publisher to go along. “The guy got so little compassion,” he said. “I wanted readers to know just how impossible Jim’s life was and how brave he was in battling the disease.”

At the same time, the author meant to “restore Jim’s peerless legacy. Who has done more to put his mark on our music than Jim Gordon?” Selvin said. “What a playlist he was on!”

Just tracing the surface of Gordon’s contributions reveals more than 100 classic songs powered by his invention and finesse. In his early studio work, he appeared on an entire chart’s worth of pop hits, by acts like the Beach Boys, Ike & Tina Turner, the Byrds and Glen Campbell. By the 70’s, he became a key member of pivotal rock bands, including Delaney & Bonnie, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Derek and the Dominos and Traffic. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of California, Gordon became entranced by the power of the beat from childhood. He played in bands by puberty and, by 17, helped flesh out demos for the publishing arm of Liberty Records. That same year, he joined the Everly Brothers on a tour of England and, afterwards, became part of the storied Wrecking Crew, a loose collection of studio musicians who played on a dizzying range of 60’s hits. “Back then, there were loads of great studio drummers,” said Lenny Waronker, a legendary producer and record executive whose career started in the same west coast studio milieu of the 60’s. “Jim was able to plow through that. All the other musicians were amazed by him.”

Gordon’s role on those storied sessions extended way beyond the simple task of keeping time. “He wasn’t just a backbeat guy,” Selvin said. “He was a fully musical drummer who embedded his playing into the core of the composition.”

For instance: in the 70’s hit, Grazing in the Grass, by the Friends of Distinction, Gordon’s drum elaborated the song. “Even though there was a chart in which every note was written out for him, he added a Latin boogaloo feel that exploded the whole record,” Selvin said.

The fills and intonations he added to Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain contoured the melody and directed the listener’s ear to the record’s subtler touches. “Jim orchestrated that entire song from the drum stool,” Selvin said. In Maria Muldaur’s number one smash Midnight at the Oasis, he added a key samba groove, while in Steely Dan’s Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, the tricky beat he devised deepened the song’s debt to jazz. In doing so, “Jim became an important part of the hit-making process,” Selvin said.

Mark Lindsay, frontman of the hit group Paul Revere & the Raiders, immediately noticed Gordon’s gift after he was hired to drum on their song The Great Airplane Strike. “He was doing this polyrhythmic thing with a kick, a snare and a high hat, accented by tom-toms,” Lindsay said. “He changed the song up so much that I wound up rewriting half of my lyrics to fit was he was doing! Jim became the conductor of the track.”

Waronker recognized the same level of creativity on Sundown, a song he produced for Gordon Lightfoot that became a number one hit. “His drum part made the song move in its own way,” he said. “It’s a specific rhythm that Jimmy picked up from Gordon’s guitar. It became one of the most important parts of the song.”

In the 70’s, Gordon expanded his range to work with rock’n’roll’s most cutting-edge bands on the road. “When you listen to his live work with Mad Dogs & Englishmen or Derek and the Dominos, he’s unleashed,” Selvin said. “The ideas just flow from him.”

At the same time, the voices that were roiling inside his head began to find disturbing external expression. In an infamous incident on the Mad Dogs tour, he hauled off and punched his then girlfriend, the singer Rita Coolidge, in the head. “Here was a guy who was noted for being gentle, smiling and laid back,” Selvin said. “But that was just the mask he wore.”

Some people were already beginning to see through it. “[The singer] Claudia Lennear said she always wondered about that smile,” Selvin said. “It was too simple. She felt he was hiding behind it.”

“Jim had such genius,” Lindsay said, “but I sensed there might be something lurking behind the curtain.”

To Selvin, Gordon’s talent can’t be separated from his torment. “The level of intuition that Jim displayed

in his playing requires a certain electro-chemical makeup,” he said. “His highly personal style had to come from the same place in the brain that produced his schizophrenia.”

At the same time, the focus and power involved in playing drums gave Gordon a refuge from the cyclone of thoughts whipping through his head. “The combination of the resonance of the drums and the rhythmic entertainment of the groove produces a hypnotic feeling that can lift you out,” Selvin said. “Nothing calms a schizophrenic faster than a Walkman and a pair of headphones. For Jim, the drums provided a place where the voices couldn’t follow.”

Strangely enough, the herculean amount of recreational drugs Gordon took at the time also had a calming effect. “You would think that the massive amounts of cocaine he did would make things worse,” Selvin said. “But I talked to psychiatrists who said that it would normalize his dopamine levels. He was doing blow to feel normal.”

Similarly, the crazy rock’n’roll lifestyle of the 70’s, which Gordon exemplified, served as a cover for his increasingly aberrant actions. “The rock scene of the time was nearly indistinguishable from psychotic behavior,” Selvin said with a rueful laugh. “Jim just blended into the background.”

It helped that, at the time, he was still soaring creatively. In 1973, Gordon devised a pair of drum patterns that proved crucial to the development of two separate genres. His work on the Hues Corporation’s smash Rock the Boat, with its high-hat syncopations and danceable beat, helped patent the rhythms of disco. Similarly, his extended break on the song Apache, paired with the congas of King Errisson, became a foundational pattern in hip-hop that was later sampled ad infinitum. “When Kool Herc found Jim’s long drum break on Apache, he discovered that he could make it bound from one turntable to another forever,” Selvin said. “He was driving crowds nuts with that sound.”

By late in 1973, however, Gordon’s beat, and sanity, were beginning to seriously waver. He viciously attacked his wife Renee Armand, cracking several ribs in the process, ending their marriage. His work with the would-be country-rock super group Souther-Hilman-Furay Band grew so erratic they had to sack him. While he managed to keep it together in the studio for a few more years, by 1978 Gordon proved too unreliable to be employed.

In a reporting coup, Selvin acquired research that helped fill in Gordon’s inner life during that pivotal time. He found two women who, in the late 80’s, had gained the drummer’s cooperation for a book that never got off the ground. The notes they took gave Selvin access to jail house interviews with Gordon along with his medical records and related court documents. (Selvin sent several written requests to interview Gordon himself but they went answered.) Regardless, the research he acquired from the women allowed him to put the reader deep inside the musician’s roiling mind.

The voices Gordon heard shamed him so deeply, he rarely told anyone about them, which contributed to him never getting a proper diagnosis. His mother, one of his closest witnesses, believed that drinking and drugs were his problem rather than a symptom of something far more corrosive. While Gordon began to imagine that many people were torturing him at the time, the main voice in his head was his mother’s. “Because Jim’s father was a practicing alcoholic, his mother became the sub rosa leader of the household,” Selvin said. “That’s why she became the major figure in this panoply of voices hectoring him.”

As a result, it was her voice that he felt the most urgent need to silence. Once details of the subsequent murder came out, some observers who knew Gordon in his high functioning days were floored. “When I knew him, he was a tremendously nice person,” Waronker said. “He was the all-American boy.”

Selvin’s book describes what led up to the murder in granular detail, but he doesn’t write much about Gordon’s subsequent decades in prison because, he said, he found it undramatic. Often keeping to himself, Gordon became a virtual zombie due to the anti-psychotic drugs the prison pumped him with. Rare as Gordon’s particular case was, one key reason Selvin said he wrote his book was to let readers know how common various forms of schizophrenia are. “To me, the single most astonishing fact of the research I did was that schizophrenia affects one in 100 people,” he said. “Let that sink in: Multiple sclerosis affects one in 10,000! We see these people out in the street, hearing voices all the time. Their world is totally frightening. And I have nothing but compassion for them. Unfortunately, society doesn’t.”

The other key reason Selvin wrote Drums & Demons, he said, was to restore Jim Gordon to the popular music world. “He’s gone,” he said, “and he needs to come back.”

Drums & Demons: The Tragic Journey of Jim Gordon is out on 27 February.

SHORT TAKES —New bio on the Bee Gees by music-wiz Bob Stanley. The group, one of my all-time favorites, were huge, but in many ways never got the respect they deserved. Many people don’t realize that Robert Stigwood, who masterminded them to the top, used to work for Brian Epstein.I’m eagerly waiting for this one. From Pegasus BooksWe watched Anatomy of a Fall and loved it. Its long, but fascinating and intense. A French legal drama, directed by Justine Triet from a screenplay she co-wrote with Arthur Harari. A great cast, especially Milo Machado-Graner, as the boy Daniel …

I watched the opening SNL monologue, with host Shane Gillis -who was fired from the cast for some racial slurs-. A sort of Adam Sandler-wanna be, I didn’t find him funny in the least. He actually reminded me of a low-rent Louis C.K. -remember him?

Lorne Michaels

I don’t know why Lorne Michaels would even want him back, except for some splashy ink – which wasn’t terribly kind. This appears to be Michael’s next-to-last year on the show and he’s clearly choosing to go out quietly. No more gas in the engine I fear …

AppleTV+ has a new show Constellation with Noomi Rapace. Stunningly done; reminds me of Gravity from a few years back … And, Happy Bday Paul Undersinger and George Harrison!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — William Schill; Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Derek Taylor; Charles Comer; Howard Bloom; Mark Bego; Phil Goldstein; Tropique Records; Marsha Stern; Beth Wernick; Marion Perkins; Les Schwartz; Liz Rosenberg; Bob Merlis; Obi Steinman; Andrew Sandoval; Warren Lawrence; Jodi Ritzen; Jeremy Long; and CHIP!

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Bonnie Comley Nothing To Wear

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Bonnie Comley stepped into the art world last night. She and ChaShaMa presented a piece called “Nothing To Wear”, at 340 East 64th Street, which is an interactive installation, a thought provoking look at fast fashion and body image. This provocative look at our relationship with our clothing choices as it pertains to our self image, fast fashion and textile waste, challenges the fashion industry to create an alternative to current business models and the global appetite for consumption. “Nothing to Wear”, asks viewers to question dress codes like the current policing of women in political office, facilitates self-reflection on biases regarding our own clothing and the community around us as uniform, self-expression, or just protection from the elements of weather.

Also involved were Sarah DeMarino – Co-Producer/Director, Leah Lane – Soundscape Monologue Writer and Jasper Isaac Johns the Exhibit Designer.

Sarah DeMarino and Dallas Bernstein

At the opening and on certain dates Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein perform monologues that coincide with the project. These mini playlets were insightful and thought provoking.

Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein

In attendance were:

Anita Durst and fashion designer Shani Grosz

Cooper Lawrence, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Errol Rappaport, Bonnie Comley, Quinn Lemley, Suzanna Bowling, Shani Grosz and Merrie Davis

Anita Durst and Bonnie Comley

Danielle Price, Bonnie Comley and Andrina Wekontash Smith

Guest and Bonnie Comley

Guest and Bonnie Comley

Alyssa Ritch Frel and Bonnie Comley

Guests

Bonnie Comley and guests

Riki Kane Larmire

Bonnie is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer. She has, also, won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. She was recently re-elected as the Board President of The Drama League. She is a full member of The Broadway League and the Audience Engagement and Education Committee. Comley has produced over 40 films, winning five Telly Awards and one W3 Award. She is also the founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, the world’s premier online streaming platform delivering over 300 premium live productions to theatre fans globally. The theatre community has honored Comley for her philanthropic work; she is the recipient of The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award.

Stewart F Lane and Bonnie Comley

ChaShaMa helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. Currently, they present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities. They have awarded 11 million dollars worth of real estate to artists and have subsidizes another 300 with work spaces. They provide over 215 free art classes and have supported over 75 businesses with free space

To see Nothing to Wear click here

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New-York Historical Society Celebrates Women’s History Month

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Throughout Women’s History Month, the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), will showcase women’s stories through exhibitions, installations, and public programming.

On International Women’s Day, renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick and New-York Historical’s Chief Curator Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto will be in conversation over a live, free Zoom discussing WalkingStick’s exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, on view at New-York Historical through April 14. Other exhibitions and displays on view throughout March include Women’s Work, an exhibition that demonstrates how “women’s work” defies categorization; Women Who Preserved New York City which explores how Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places; and Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis Stars, which turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. On March 3, the ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.”

Additional details follow:A Conversation with Kay WalkingStickFeaturing: Kay WalkingStick, Wendy Nālani E. IkemotoFriday, March 8, 6 – 7 pm ETFree | Presented live on ZoomCelebrate International Women’s Day with this online event featuring renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with New-York Historical’s Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto. WalkingStick is the focus of our acclaimed exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, which places her work in a fascinating dialogue with 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and explores the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history. They’ll discuss WalkingStick’s remarkable career, her recent invitation to the Venice Biennale, and her decades of work reimagining and reframing the American landscape.Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River SchoolOn view through April 14Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School places landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. This artistic dialogue showcases the ways in which WalkingStick’s work both connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land. The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history.Women’s WorkOn view through July 7Presented by the Center for Women’s History, Women’s Workshowcases approximately 45 objects from New-York Historical’s own Museum and Library collections to demonstrate how “women’s work” defies categorization. The items range from a 19th-century mahogany cradle to a 20th-century doctor’s dissection kit to a pinback button with the message “Shirley Chisholm for President.” The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that women’s work has been essential to American society and is inherently political: Women’s work is everywhere.

Women Who Preserved New York CityOn view through June 9This installation explores how three women—Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard—galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places. Each subverted gendered expectations that limited them to the domestic realm and instead led campaigns to protect the historic cityscape.Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis StarsOn view through June 23Our installation turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. King and Tinling had a tremendous influence on the visibility of women on the tennis court. King’s tenacity and commitment for equal rights, together with Tinling’s bold designs, challenged conventions about what women can do, emphasizing that women can be simultaneously powerful, strong, and feminine.

On and Off the Clock: Reconsidering Women’s WorkSunday, March 3, 12—5 pm ET$4; Free for Women’s History Council MembersThe ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.” Across three linked panels, we probe what “care” means, who does the work of caring, and what services get pushed to the margins by our current social policy framework. The conference will culminate with a keynote conversation on reproductive care. Reception to follow.

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Events for March

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St. Patrick’s Day, Women’s History Month, a Harlem Renaissance exhibit at the Met with160 works by Black artists. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature,at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9. The Orchid show continues until 4/21 at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald.

3/1 -3: The Vienna Philharmonic one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, takes center stage at Carnegie Hall.

3/3 -5: Coffee Fest NY Javits.

3/3 -5: International Beauty Show Javits.

3/6 – 10: The New Colossus Festival provides a platform for new artists, including international bands making their NYC debuts. The festival will take place across multiple venues mostly spread throughout the Lower East Side and the East Village, including Bowery Electric, Mercury Lounge, Berlin, Heaven Can Wait, and others. This year’s artists include Cucamaras (UK), Ducks LTD (Canada), Heffner (US), Holiday Ghosts (UK), Hotel Lux (UK), Housewife (Canada), and more. You can check out the full lineup and schedule of events here.

3/8: International Women’s Day 

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown

3/1 -17: The Annual Flamenco Festival with 22 performances across 13 different venues all over the city.

3/1 -17: The New York International Children’s Film FestivalHappy St. Patricks Day
3/17: Join in on the 263rd celebration of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. The parade kicks off at 11am, moving along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 82nd Street. This year’s grand marshal, Maggie Timoney, president and CEO of Heineken USA, is only the fifth woman to lead the parade since its inception.

3/20 -24: Affordable Art Fair with over 400 living artists to discover you are sure to find your next perfect artwork.

3/23 – 11/: JAPAN Fes, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. This is the largest Japanese food festival in the world, with over 1,000 vendors.

The Macy Flower Show

3/24 – 4/7: The Annual Macy’s Flower Show created in partnership with Dior.

3/26 – 10/2: Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission.

3/29 – 4/7: The International Auto Show at the Javitts.

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Cabaret

Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For March

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Brave the rain and head out to the clubs for they abound in entertainment galore. Here are our top picks.

92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 3/ 2 – 4: Soul Picnic: The Songs and Legacy of Laura Nyro; 3/ 11: Cabaret Conversations Sally Mayes and 3/18: The Ally: Josh Radnor and Playwright Itamar Moses in Conversation Co-presented with The Public Theater.

 

Karen Mason

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawksand 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; 3/11: It’s De-Lovely: Jeff Harnar Sings Cole Porter and 3/25: Karen Mason In “Just In Styne: Karen Sings Jule”.

 

Orfeh

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 2/1-3: Through 3/2: Jennifer Holliday; 3/3 – 4: Mallory Portnoy and Nick Blaemire; 3/5 – 20: Hamilton Leithauser and 3/21 -23: Orfeh.

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown; 3/20: of Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan; 3/23: Meow, Meow and  3/27: Standard Time with Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 3/10: Klea Blackhurst; 3/11: Mark MacKillop and 3/16: Randy Edelman.

Klea Blackhurst

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 3/3: Marcus Simone & Tracy Stark and 3/16: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Ann Hampton Callaway

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 3/8 – 10: Ann Hampton Callaway and 3/21; Songbook Sundays Rodgers and Hammerstein.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 3/1: The Leading Lady Club: A Celebration of Women on Broadway and Beyond; 3/2 – 3 : Alysha Umphress: 15 Stories; 3/4: Songs From Women At The Table; 3/6: Hugh Panaro: Man Without A Mask; 3/8- 9: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 3/15 – 16: Melba Moore: From Broadway, With Love; 3/19: 54 Celebrates The Marquis Theatre, feat. Kate Baldwin, John Bolton, & more!; 3/20 – 21 and 23: Leslie Uggams; 3/22: My First Sondheim; 3/24: A Gentleman’s Guide 10th Anniversary Celebration, feat. Lauren Worsham & more!; 3/25: The Wicked Stage: Songs About Show Business, Hosted by Christine Pedi;  3/26 – 27:  Nicole Henry: Decades of Diva; 3/28: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene and 3/29 – 30: Andrea McArdle: Confessions of a Broadway Baby.

Andrea McArdle

Andrea McArdle Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 3/4: Figaro a New Musical; 3/22: An Acoustic Evening with Sondheim & Melissa Melissa Errico; 3/23: Nic and Desi: 3/23: Joshua Turchin Composers In The Green Room 42 and 3/24: Reeve Carney.

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St.

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 3/2,3, 9,10, 16, 17, 23,24, 30 and 31: Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch.The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 3/16: Stay Golden – The Golden Girls Drag Tribute!The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 3/4: RuPaul The House Of Hidden Meanings

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