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There’s a lot to squeeze in over the next couple of months such as movies and picnics in the park, rooftop bars, opera and music soaring and some terrific summer concerts. See Oscar-nominated actors perform Shakespeare, celebrate the warm weather and a lot of the fun is absolutely free of charge.

June

7/1-15: Midsummer Night Swing begins with a lesson in swing, tango, salsa, etc., followed by a live band in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.

7/1 – 16: Watch recent hit movies from China, Japan, and South Korea at the New York Asian Film Festival at Lincoln Center and SVA Theatre.

7/1 – 9/20: Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at parks all over Manhattan.

7/1 – 10/22: Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so arrive early.

7/3 – 16: French Restaurant Week includes special deals priced from $18 to $180 on the days between America’s Independence Day and France’s Bastille Day.

Yankees

7/3 – 31: Watch the Yankees play from a suite-level indoor seat with sweeping views, high-definition TV, and pub food & drinks for sale in the 1893 Club in center field.

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

7/4: Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular lights up the sky above the East River at 9:20 p.m. Free.

7/4: Watch qualified champion eaters compete in the world famous Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, plus music and entertainment. Free.

7/ 5 – 8/16: American Folk Art Museum offers concerts Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m. Free.

7/6 – 8/10: Bring a blanket to watch popular shows on and off Broadway perform their biggest hits Thursday afternoons at Broadway in Bryant Park. Free

7/8 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Arab-American & North African Cultural Street Festival has music, food, and vendors on Great Jones Street (from Broadway to Lafayette). Free.

7/8 – 15: See public performances or take classes at Tap City.

7/9: Celebrate our French allies on Bastille Day by eating crêpes and éclairs, tasting wine and cheese, watching mimes and cancan dancers, and visiting the kids’ corner, on E 60th Street (from Lexington to 5th Avenue). Free.

7/9 – 30: Attend four weekly jazz and classical music concerts at Summergarden in the sculpture garden of the Museum of, Modern Art. Limited seating. Free. Concerts will be July 9, 16, 23, and 30 but are not yet on their website.

7/10 – 10/8: NY Summerfest. See new plays and musicals by talented new comers at the Hudson Theatre Guild. 441 West 26th Street.

7/10 – 23: Fresh Fruit Festival features 40 works of gay and lesbian theater, dance, film, music, and visual art at The Wild Project Theater.

7/10 – 30: Enjoy extraordinary opera, music, dance, and theater that showcases contemporary artistic viewpoints at Lincoln Center Festival in and near Lincoln Center.

7/10 – Aug. 14: Hear authors read, ask them questions, and get your book signed at Books Beneath the Bridge outdoors at Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Summer Movies

7/11 – 8/8: See free movies outdoors at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Arrive early.

July 11 – Good Morning, Vietnam

July 18 – Anchorman

July 25 – Cocktail

August 1 – The Martian

August 8 – Back to the Future

7/11 – 8/13: Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Get free tickets to A Midsummer Night’s Dream by joining a lottery or waiting in line.

7/14 – 16: New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) showcases innovative electronic music and video art at National Sawdust.

7/14 – 20: Enjoy new and old Scary Movies at Lincoln Center, and a vampire-themed costume party opening night.

7/15(4 to 9 p.m.): Tour de Fat is “a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs” with Fat Tire beer and music by “The Naked and Famous” at Pier 36. Children 12 and younger are free.

7/15: City of Water Day celebrates the waterfront with boat tours, live music, family activities, games, and food vendors at Governors Island and elsewhere. Free.

7/18 – 27: Hear world-class jazz artists (including soulful singers, piano partners, and dueling drummers) at 92nd Street Y Jazz in July Festival.

7/20 (6 to 9 p.m.): Enjoy craft beer with food from local restaurants at Good Beer at 28 Liberty Street.

7/21 – 22: Play fun games outdoors at Come Out & Play in Dumbo on Friday and Governors Island on Saturday. Free.

7/23: Expect a big turnout at Jamaican Jerk Festival, which offers Caribbean food and Jamaican music at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens.

7/24 – 8/18: Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week, not on Saturdays.

7/25 – 8/20: Attend concerts, operas, late-night recitals, and world premieres at Mostly Mozart Festival, performed by the festival orchestra and special guests at Lincoln Center.

7/26 – 8/5: The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) screens films by and about Asians and Asian Americans at 4 venues in NYC, Astoria, and Flushing.

7/26 – 8/13: Out of Doors is three weeks of world-class music, dance, and spoken word in the plazas of Lincoln Center if dry. Free.

7/27 – 30: Animation Block Party exhibits all genres of independent, professional, and student animation at Rooftop Films & BAMcinématek in Brooklyn.

7/29 – 30: New York City Poetry Festival has 250 poets reading poems on stage, with food trucks parked nearby in Nolan Park on Governors Island. Directions. Free.

7/30 – 8/26: Harlem Week is a month-long celebration of local culture and history that includes performances, tributes, films, fashion, a children’s festival, sports events, a 5K, and a street fair. Most events are free.

7/31 – 8/2: Explore the ways games can improve lives at Games for Change, which features talks, workshops, a game arcade, vendors, and awards at Parsons the New School for Design.

August

8/5, 12, 19: The city closes seven miles of Park Avenue and Lafayette Street to cars so you can play, run, walk, dance, and bike carefree during Summer Streets. Expect food, entertainment, and activities. Free.

8/5 – 10/1: Travel one hour north to 16th century England to see knights joust, mingle with costumed minstrels, shop in an artisan market, play games, and watch shows at New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park.

The Giglio Feast of Saint Antonio

8/10 – 13: The Giglio Feast of Saint Antonio celebrates Italian food, culture, religion, and tradition. On Sunday, a platform holding a 12-piece band and 80-foot statue is carried through the streets of East Harlem. Free.

8/12: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest offers “a curated selection of 60+ craft beer and wines, along with food vendors, live music and entertainment” at 1368 Fulton Street.

8/12 – 13: Watch 170 dragon-boat teams compete on Meadows Lake, and enjoy music, dance, martial arts, folk art, and Chinese food at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Free.

8/13 – 19 (7 to 9 p.m.): Battery Dance Festival features evening performances by local and international dancers outdoors at Robert F. Wagner Junior Park, moving indoors Aug. 19 to Schimmel Center for the Arts. Free.

8/19: Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ pairs great American blues and roots musicians with great local musicians with great local barbecue for sale at Pier 97. No pets. Free.

8/19 – 20: Play NYC is a weekend of playing games and taking classes about game development at Terminal 5.

8/19 – 20 (12 to 10 p.m.): The Margarita March includes eight tequila drinks in different bars.

8/20: India Day Parade begins at E 38th St. and goes down Madison Avenue to food booths and cultural programs at E. 27th Street, which close at 6 p.m. Free.

8/24 – 27: Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has films and concerts in honor of jazz legend Charlie Parker. Free.

8/25 – 9/4: Metropolitan Opera shows onscreen in Lincoln Center Plaza at Summer HD Festival. Free.

8/ 26 (7 to 10 p.m.) Eight award-winning East Coast dance crews battle to win $5,000 at B-Boy Royale in NYU Skirball Center.

8/26: Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day begins with a free festival of games and tennis activities outdoors, followed by a ticketed show and concert in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Us Open

8/26 – 27: Kids Food Fest encourages healthy eating for kids of all ages with food tastings, cooking demos, hands-on activities, special guests, and family-focused entertainment. Free.

8/26 – 27: Wear a flapper costume and dance to the Dreamland Orchestra at Jazz Age Lawn Party, which includes a Charleston dance contest, dance lessons, food, 1920s cars, croquet, and a kidland on Governor’s Island.

8/27 – 9/17: See 26 new and innovative works, including comedy, dance, drama, music, poetry, and puppetry, during Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City.

8/28 – 9/10: Watch the world’s best players compete under the open sky at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.

8/ 31 – 9/ 3: New York International Salsa Congress has workshops, performances, live concerts, and competitions at New York Marriott

Undated:

Ecofest: has exhibits about alternative energy and the environment, green vehicles, food, and entertainment on Broadway at 43rd. Free.

See popular films at Central Park Conservancy Film Festival. Bring a picnic and blanket for the lawn, but no chairs, glass bottles, or alcohol. Free.

Cider cookout: Ciderfeast includes unlimited cider samples from a dozen producers, grilled meat, tacos, vegetarian options, and live music at SolarOne for age 21+.

FanFest offers free games, food, live music, and lines for free player autographs on Mulberry St. (from Broome to Canal). Free.

 

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Dance

Get Scottish and Join in The Celebrations With The Tartan Day Parade

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NY has been celebrating Scotlands heritage and culture with Tartan Week. This festival runs till the 7th with the Tartan Day Parade, which is held on Saturday, April 6 from 2-4pm on Sixth Avenue between 44th and 55th St.

Before the parade you can get Kilt Fittings with Geoffrey Tailor and 21st Century Kilts. Appointments required. Email howie@21stcenturykilts.com to schedule.

On April 6 @ 10:00 am11:00 am Kick-off Parade Day with the Kirkin o’ the Tartan service and pre-parade brunch. The service is a pan-denominational Christian blessing of the tartans of the clans, celebrating Scotland and Scots in America. A time-honored free event for the entire family. The Service will be followed by the pre-parade brunch. Afterwards, all are welcome to march. The Brick Presbyterian Church 1140 Park Avenue.

From 10:30 am12:45 pm Pipes and Drums on the Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park Fountain Terrace. Hear the sound of some of our leading Pipe Bands as they prepare for the 26th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade. This event is free for all to enjoy.

 NYC Tartan Day Parade, 6th Avenue 6th Avenue. The 26th annual NYC Tartan Day Parade on Saturday, April 6, 2024 – NYC’s biggest annual display of Scottish culture.For over 25 years, NYC Tartan Week has been celebrating Scottish-American heritage by providing meaningful connections through the celebration of Scottish heritage in NYC.
 NYC Tartan Week Sunday Brunch at The Tailor Public House 505 8th Avenue. Join the New York Caledonian Club on the final day of NYC Tartan Week 2024 for their annual Sunday Scottish fry!

This year’s parade will be led by Scottish actor of Mission: Impossible fame, Dougray Scott. The NYC Tartan Day Parade is the largest annual Scottish gathering in NYC. See 3,000 bagpipers, Highland dancers, clans, and Scottish dogs march up Sixth Avenue in this free celebration.

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Dance

The Boy Band Project Brings a Great Show and Brings Back Nostalgia Of a Simpler Time

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Having interviewed The Boy Band Project, I went to see their show at City Winery, where they have a residency. I had heard they were good, but was happily surprised at how good. The Boy Band Project transports you back to a time when the boy band phenomenon dominated pop culture. For 90 minutes you get unsurpassed vocals, synchronized choreography, and chart-topping hits by NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and more of the popular guy groups from the ‘90s.

Each boy band memeber is an archetype with founder, producer and choreographer Travis Nesbitt as “The Boy Next Door”

Travis Nesbitt

Chris Messina as “The Sporty One”

Chris Messina

Jason JP Johnson as “The Sensitive One”

Jason JP Johnson

Jason JP Johnson

and Jesse Corbin as “The Bad Boy”

Jesse Corbin

They all give their heart and soul with tongue-in-cheek humor, flawless harmonies, high octane moves, bulging muscles, tight ends and Broadway caliber talent. These boys will have you remembering a time when life was all so much simpler.

Expect to hear NSYNC’s “Tearin Up My Heart”, “This I Promise You,” and of course “Bye Bye Bye”, Backstreet Boys’s “Everybody,” “I Want It that Way,” “Quit Playing Games” and “All I Have to Give”,  New Kids on the Block’s “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step,” BBMak’s “Back Here”, Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life”

The vocals were stellar, but what really makes this show is the choreography, which uses jumps, spins, turns, kicks, back bends, pelvic grinds, crotch attention and lying and crawling all over tables with wildly applauding fans of all genres, ages and genders.

Never having been into this craze, if I had known how hot and sensual it was, I would have paid more attention.

The Boys will be back at City Winery, 25 11th Avenue (Pier 57),  April 20 and 27, May 11 and 25, June 15 and 29th.

All video and pictures by Magda Katz

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Dance

Illinoise: A Joyous Dance of Yearning, Loss, and Acceptance

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A theatre/dance production based on Sufjan Stevens‘ 2015 album has opened up at the Park Avenue Armory and plays through March 23. Making this music come excitingly alive is director, choreographer and co-writer, Justin Peck, along with co-writer Jackie Sibblies Drury with phenomenal musical direction and supervision from Nathan Koci, music arrangements and orchestration by Timo Andres, sound design by Garth MacAleavey.

As you enter the theatre, you notice the upside-down pine trees and realize nothing is the way we will perceive it. Perched on top of a graffiti-covered wall, above the stage are an eclectic mix of instrumentalists, who double as vocalists, along with three exceptional singers (keyboardist Elijah Lyons and electric guitarists Shara Nova and Tasha Viets-VanLear) whom I cannot say enough about. Their smokey vocals’ raspy qualities are otherworldly. The scenic design by Adam Rigg and lighting design by Brandon Stirling Baker, let us know where we are and where we are going. This is a tale of yearning, loss, and acceptance.

There is no dialogue, so the language is the dance and the lyrics and the rhythms of the songs.

The story follows Henry (Ricky Ubeda), who leaves his boyfriend Douglas (Ahmad Simmons) in the middle of the night and ends up. in what looks like a writers retreat with a camp fire. At the bonfire, those who are there share their stories.

Byron Tittle and Robbie Fairchild Photo Stephanie Berger

As the group gets ready “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” we get with two notably winning performances. First of jazz by Rachel Lockhart and the Byron Tittle taps to perfection and almost steals a show that hasn’t;t even truly begun.

In “Jacksonville” Jo (Jeannette Delgado), comes face-to-face with Christopher Columbus, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Falwell, and others, as she battles the undead. The masks by Julian Crouch were haunting.

Next was another haunting piece entitled “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.,” danced by Alejandro Vargas and cast. The lyrics will have you quietly wondering what is behind people’s eyes. “And in my best behavior/I am really just like him/Look beneath the floor boards/For the secrets I have hid.”

Then “The Man of Metropolis” had the brilliant Robbie Fairchild as Clark Kent i.e, Superman. Clark and the entire ensemble had shirts with the famous “S,” flapping in the breeze.

Ricky Ubeda, and Ben Cook Photo Stephanie Berger

Finally, Henry tells his story “Decatur.” Here we meet his best friends Carl (Ben Cook) and Shelby (Gaby Diaz). Henry is secretly in love with Carl but Carl loves Shelby. Henry and Carl go on a road trip from Chicago to New York until Carl finds out she has bone cancer and they dance a duet to “Casimir Pulaski Day”. The choreography is so effective at communicating the devastation as Shelby eventually fades. Peck’s ability to transform movement into language is heartbreaking and joyous from moment to moment.

Ricky Ubeda, and Ben Cook Photo Stephanie Berger

Carl is tormented with suicidal thoughts until he leaps into darkness.

Henry learns of his friend’s death, and we are back at the beginning as Henry is leaving for the campfire.  As the other participants console Henry his boyfriend, Douglas, appears and joins the group. At that point everyone celebrates the beauty of life.

Also dancing were Kara Chan, Christine Flores, Rachel Lockhart, Zachary Gonder and Craig Salstein.

Illinoise is 90 minutes if truly remarkable music, dance and storytelling. I highly recommend trying to see it, if you get the chance.

Sufjan released a fantastic new album, Javelin, in October.

 Illinoise: Park Ave Armory, 67 and Park, through March 23

Updated news:  Illinoise is moving to Broadway on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 2PM at the St. James Theatre. This will be a strictly limited engagement through Saturday, August 10, 2024

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Cabaret

You Didn’t Have To Drag Me To Drag Me to Joanne’s Where Drag Queens Strut Their Stuff

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Drag Me to Joanne’s has beautiful Drag Queens performing for just the cost of dinner, drinks and tips. Located in Joanne Trattoria, (70 West 68th. This is the family-owned restaurant by Lady Gaga’s parents Joe and Cynthia Germanotta. The space is like a old Italian neighborhood hangout with pictures on the wall.

The bar is right there as you enter.

This leads to the first dinning room which is where I was sat.

This was my table

The second room is a little wider and holds big parties.

Not only will you find hearty, soul warming food, but high kicks, flirty dance moves and double jumping splits that will amaze.

I had Mom’s Lemon Artichoke Chicken ($35.95), which easily could have been shared.

My guest had the Pasta w/ White Truffle Alfredo (33.95) which was flavorful and satisfying.

Jupiter Genesis

Right now on Wednesdays there are two performances. The first starts at 5:30pm and the second performance starts at 7:30pm. Drag Me to Joanne’s entertains the diners for tips. The shows are about 1 hour and a 1/2 with each performer doing two sets. The show is hosted by the double jointed, balletic and welcoming Jupiter Genesis. Jupiter made her Broadway debut at 12 in the Broadway revival of Godspell with the “Godspell cast of 2032.” Her welcoming persona got the whole room going and feeling that they were in for something special. Her songs “Mambo Italiano” and Lady Gaga’s “Yoü And I,” Right after the first set there is a Gaga trivia contest where the winners take home a gift bag of prizes.

Essence

Every Wednesday you will find two new artists who are just as amazing. For my performers, I was given the highly animated and expressive Essence, who wormed her body like an exotic snake, and the gorgeous fashionista Jazmine. Each one was a star in her own right. Flexible, flirty, with moves that take real dancers to perform.

Jazmine

You can see all 3 perform here.

The show was packed out and I can see why. Where else in New York can you get dinner and a show for just the price of dinner, drinks and tips?

I went on a rainy night and was miserable before I walked in, but left satisfied and happily entertained.

Drag Me To Joanne’s plays every Wednesday, with two performance, 5:30pm and  7:30pm. This is a great place to have a birthday party, bachelorette party and definitely a place to celebrate pride.

Drag Me to Joanne’s at Joanne Trattoria,(70 West 68th.

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Dance

Auditions Are Open For Kristin Chenoweth Broadway Boot Camp

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An open casting call for students currently in grades 8-12 will take place now through March 15, via video audition submissions for the ninth annual Kristin Chenoweth Broadway Boot Camp, to be held in person at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This year Ms. Chenoweth and her team of A-list Broadway professionals will collaborate with the students, offering insight into the world of performing arts for aspiring entertainers.

“Last year auditions from all over the world poured in from incredible students who are looking to expand their performing arts talents with some of the most renowned theatrical experts from across the nation,” said Kim Vento, director of the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center. “Each year, the camp just gets bigger and better, and this year will be no exception. I encourage anyone who has a heart for musical theatre to apply.”

Auditions must be submitted through the virtual application link by 5:00 PM CST on March 15, 2024.  Students who are currently in grades 8-12 (2023-2024 school year) are eligible to audition. A limited number of slots are available and the cost to attend the camp is $1100. Students must prepare 2 one-minute vocal musical theatre pieces, a dance combination, as well as a one-minute dramatic monologue for the audition. A performance resume and headshot are also required.

“Ms. Chenoweth has a heart for arts in education, as cemented with the formation of the Kristin Chenoweth Arts & Education Fund,” said Vento, Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center director.“For this camp, we will create a unique opportunity for many high school students to further their creative arts aspirations with these amazing industry professionals.”

Camp will take place July 17-27, 2024, at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center. During the camp, students will participate in a variety of hands-on activities including acting, dance, staging, singing and will experience incredible team-building opportunities. The week will end with an amazing student-faculty performance called the Kristi Awards.

“I just can’t wait to announce who will be directing our camp, as well as our faculty and some exciting surprises in store for all campers this year,” said Chenoweth. “My most important mission in this life is to inspire–always inspire. And I can promise you that is what we are going to do once again at camp this summer. We are going to inspire ourselves, inspire each other, and inspire others to be better.”

Last year’s camp saw students from five countries and 21 states, learning all about musical theatre while interacting with Broadway professionals powerful small group sessions.

The application will be available online at www.kcbbc.camp and must be submitted by 5:00 PM, March 15, 2024. Information is also available for scholarship opportunities and a link for donors to sponsor a student.  For more information, visit the website or call 918-259-5723.

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