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New York Stage and Film Commits $100,000 In Direct Support To Artists



New York Stage and Film, considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” has committed $100,000 to their new NEXUS Initiative that brings together 20 multi- hyphenate artists to explore the question “where does story exist at the intersection of stage and film?” Through this inaugural program, NYSAF will offer direct support to these artists – each participant receives $5,000 and will take part in a series of conversations focused on the needs of new and expanded forms of storytelling that resonate with our time.

In order to increase access to the program and respond to the ideas of a broad range of storytellers, these 20 participants were recommended by 14 leading artists of stage and film for their accomplishments in exploring new forms of storytelling. The leading artists selection committee includes Ayad Akhtar, César Alvarez, Luis Castro, Elsie Choi, Marcus Gardley, Zach Helm, Beth Henley, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Patricia McGregor, Lila Neugebauer, Madeline Sayat, Shelby Stone, Regina Taylor, and Chay Yew.

“Bringing artists together in community is a guiding principle for New York Stage and Film and the motivation behind Nexus,” said Artistic Director Chris Burney. “We wanted NYSAF to be able to engage artists in an entirely new way, so NEXUS provides them direct financial support and also a forum to chart new ways to make and share stories. We are thrilled that so many inspiring creative thinkers from across the country will be a part of it – and we look forward to building even newer, more flexible processes for their work.”

Board President Barbara Manocherian added, “NYSAF’s response to the pandemic has been to continue its practice of putting artists first, and to support their work in new, flexible, and meaningful ways. NEXUS is a perfect example of that. We are so grateful to everyone participating, for the leading artists that made recommendations, and to NYSAF’s Board of Directors, who wholeheartedly endorsed this exciting investment in new work.”


GARRETT ALLEN (they/them) is a Black, queer interdisciplinary artist and director working primarily in performance, video, and installation. Their work navigates the recent, dramatic changes in the ways we consume, perceive, process, identify, and, ultimately, empathize. They create pieces that are urgent, emotionally vulnerable, unapologetic, and visceral; aiming to combat spectator (and general worldly) passivity by collaboratively creating sensorial and actively engaging experiences. Their recent projects include body100 with collaborator Nazareth Hassan (Prelude Festival), co-creating BLK MLK (blackmilk) with poet Kyle Lopez (Spectrum NYC), directing …When The World Is No Longer: by Dante Green (Ars Nova ANTFEST, Polyphone Festival), and devising/creating We Were All Rooting For You (Flamboyan). Their video and performance art works have been exhibited at The Invisible Dog, School of Visual Arts NYC, Harvard, Knockdown Center, Signal Gallery, The Deep End, and You Are Here. They are the co-founder of LEGACY: A Black Queer Production Collective. They are currently pursuing their MFA in Directing at Yale School of Drama. 

ACE ANDERSON works as a professional actor, graphic designer, and photographer. He is a member of the outstanding league of elite Dallas actors known as the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Tony Award-winning Dallas Theater Center. He is a 2013 alum of Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Acting from Meadows School of The Arts. After working at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as the lead Graphic designer for a couple of years, he started his own brand design & development company called The Striped Heart. His primary goal is to build a blockbuster film acting career to create an influential platform to revolutionize the way humans tell stories.

BRITTANY BLAND is a storyteller who has dedicated her life to the proliferation of empathy. As a projection designer for the stage, she has designed for theater, dance, and opera. Her work as a video artist often explores the ideas of legacy, memory, and empathy. Originally from Atlanta GA, she holds a BA in Technical Theater and Production from Catawba College and MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama. Her recent design credits include Cuttin Up (Classical Theater of Harlem), Rage (Quinnipiac University), Florencia en el Amazonas (Shubert Theater), Alice (Yale University Theater), Black History Museum (Here Arts Center), Twelfth Night (Yale Repertory Theater).

ELISA BOCANEGRA is an actor and producer who has now added directing to her credits. She is the founder of HERO Theatre in Los Angeles. She was a TCG Leadership U grant recipient which provided her the opportunity to be part of the Leadership Team at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. Her directing credits include TROY, where she teamed up with homeless shelters around Los Angeles to raise awareness of the crisis. Other directing credits include The Floating Island Plays by Eduardo Machado and a new project called Nuestro Planeta, which focuses on educating Latinx audiences about environmental justice within the Americas. As an actor, she has performed at many theatres including The Goodman Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Center Theatre Group, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her film debut was in the Sundance Film Festival winner, Girlfight.

NICHOLE CANUSO is a choreographer and performer experimenting with the participation of audience bodies and personal narratives through a cross-pollination of artistic mediums. Canuso is dedicated to ensemble-generated processes, aiming to create connections across distances and life experiences. She believes in the power of collective action and the importance of intimate exchange. Canuso founded Nichole Canuso Dance Company in 2004 and is currently a faculty member of the MFA program at The University of the Arts / Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training (APT). Support for her work includes The National Endowment for the Arts, The Knight Foundation, a Bessie Shoenberg First Light Commission, The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and National Dance Projects/New England Foundation for the Arts. Presentations of her work include New York Live Arts (NYC), American Repertory Theater (MA), Los Angeles Performance Practive (CA), The International Festival for Art and Ideas (CT), Onésimo Festival (Guadalajara, Mexico) and artistic residency support includes Maggie Allessee National Center for Choreography (FL), MacDowell (NH), Millay (NY), NCCAkron (OH), Dance OMI (NY), The Orchard Project (NY) and BiLateral Residency (Budapest, Hungary). She is a 2017 Pew fellow.

SAM CHANSE’s plays include Monument, or Four Sisters (A Sloth Play); Trigger; Fruiting Bodies; and What You Are Now. A resident playwright at New Dramatists and a Lark Venturous Fellow (Trigger), her work has been developed with the Lark, the Civilians, Ars Nova, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NAATCO, Cherry Lane, Leviathan Lab, and Ma-Yi, and is published by Kaya Press (Lydia’s Funeral Video) and TCG (The Kilroys List). A past fellow with Cherry Lane Mentor Project (The Opportunities of Extinction) and Playwrights Realm (The Other Instinct), she has also received residencies at MacDowell, Sundance Theatre Institute, Djerassi, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. She’s a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and an alum of Ars Nova’s Play Group, the Civilians’ R&D Group, and the Lark’s New York Stage & Film Vassar Retreat. She currently writes on ABC’s “The Good Doctor”, and has taught writing and playwriting at Columbia University, NYU, University of Rochester, and elsewhere. For some years, she served as artistic director of Kearny Street Workshop.

SHAYOK MISHA CHOWDHURY is a writer, director, and many-tentacled maker. He is the creator of Vichitra, an experiment in queer South Asian imagination; recent episodes premiered at The Bushwick Starr, Ars Nova, and HERE Arts Center, where Misha is a Resident Artist. Currently a Project Number One Artist at Soho Rep, Misha is an alumnus of The Public’s Devised Theater Working Group, Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova’s Makers Lab, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, and residencies at BRIC, The Drama League, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Recent: MukhAgni (Under the Radar); How the White Girl Got Her Spots and Other 90s Trivia (Joe’s Pub). Upcoming: a new collaboration with Aleshea Harris (New York Theatre Workshop); Rheology (HERE Arts Center). In progress: SPEECH with Lightning Rod Special; Antioch Mass with Troy Anthony. A NYFA/NYSCA, Fulbright and Kundiman fellow, Misha has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere.

KRISTIANA RAE COLÓN is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow, creator of #BlackSexMatters, co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective, and OpenTV Screenwriting Fellow. Her play Tilikum was nominated for seven 2019 non-equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, and won three, including Best New Play. In 2017, she was awarded Best Black Playwright by The Black Mall. Past works include good friday (New Manifest ATX – 2020, The Flea Theater NYC – 2019, Oracle Productions – 2016), Tilikum (world premiere Sideshow Theater, 2018 Outstanding New Play at ALTA Awards), Octagon (world premiere Arcola Theatre, London, 2015; American premiere Jackalope Theatre, 2016), but i cd only whisper (world premiere Arcola Theatre, London, 2012; American premiere The Flea, New York, 2016). In 2013, she toured the UK for two months with her collection of poems promised instruments, winner of the inaugural Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize and published by Northwestern University Press. Kristiana is an alum of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit where she developed her play florissant & canfield, which debuted at University of Illinois-Chicago in February 2018. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam”. Kristiana’s writing, producing, and organizing work to radically reimagine power structures, our complicity in them, and visions for liberation. Kristiana’s current work explores Afrofuturist drama as a catalyst for social change. 

GISELLE DURAND (she/her) is an emerging theatre and film director who utilizes storytelling to explore the truth and vulnerability of human connection. Set to graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Theatre Arts and emphases in Directing, Political Science, and Philosophy, Giselle recently closed Love by Kate Cortesi as the first student to direct a mainstage production for the LMU College of Communications and Fine Arts. Serving as Producing Director and Creative Director of Events for the Del Rey Players over two seasons, she focuses on the vibrancy of creative leadership through direction, design, and executive strategy. Other notable credits include the first workshop of Downstairs Neighbor written by Beth Henley (2020); The Nerd (2020); The Wolves (AD, 2019); LAUGH (ASM, 2018); Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party (2017), and The Miss Firecracker Contest (2016). Having experimented with different faculties of theatre and film, she relishes in versatility and rawness, creating art that challenges societal norms and encourages understanding. 

JENNIFER GIBBS is a playwright, performer, and screenwriter whose stories bridge platforms. Her work has been described as “a feast for the senses” (Time Out New York). Currently she’s collaborating on an audio-text-photography digital publication of her solo play Immortality, forthcoming from Massachusetts Review Working Titles. Jennifer’s two multiplatform series, Riot Mom and Trainhoppers, unfold across television, audio, and live landscapes (in development at social impact studio 13Exp). She recently completed a prose manuscript, O/Mother, which gives voice to the experience of serial grief (excerpted in Massachusetts Review Quarterly). She’s also developing a television series, Heartland, about our national divide. Jennifer’s plays have been presented at theaters including HERE Arts Center (HARP Artist Residency Production), the National Theater of Norway/International Ibsen Festival, Old Vic New Voices London, FringeNYC (Fringe Overall Excellence Award), Theater 167, Cherry Lane, LAByrinth, Williamstown, New Georges, and Joe’s Pub. Jennifer has received grants from the Rockefeller & Doris Duke Foundation MAP Fund and LMCC Swing Space, and a Collaboration Award from Women in the Arts & Media Coalition. She’s an Affiliated Artist at Theatre 167 and New Georges. Raised by back-to-the-land artists who taught her to drive a backhoe and brew her own kefir, Jennifer holds a BA from Harvard and an MA from NYU.

ALEEM HOSSAIN is a filmmaker, emerging media creator, and professor. He is half-South Asian (his father is a Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh) and half-white (his mother hails from a New England Roman Catholic family) and this multi-racial background shapes his creative work. He wrote and directed After We Leave, a sci-fi feature film that won Best Film at Sci-Fi London. It was released theatrically in 2020 and is now streaming Amazon. Film Threat called it “a shining example of indie filmmaking at its finest.” His short film, The Thin Orange Line, premiered at Beyond Fest and mashes up the cop film genre with a (Bollywood-esque) dancing orange bear. In collaboration with Google, Harmony Labs, and Screenwriters Colony, he created No Easy Answers, a VR anti-bullying project. Aleem was selected for the initial Facebook/Oculus VR Launchpad program, where he began developing his VR docu-series, I Never Told You. Aleem is the Assistant Professor of Digital Storytelling at Occidental College.

KIMILLE HOWARD is a New York based director, deviser, writer and filmmaker. She’s an Assistant Stage Director at the Metropolitan Opera and recently worked on the new production of Porgy and Bess. She’s the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Lucille Lortel Theatre’s NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship. Select directing credits include: In The Open by Mona Monsour (WCSU), Soil Beneath by Chesney Snow (Primary Stages/59E59), $#!thole Country Clapback by Pascale Armand (Loading Dock Theatre), The Fellowship Plays (Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation), and Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau (TheatreSquared). Her work has also been seen at EST, Cherry Lane Theatre, NBT, The Circle in the Square Theatre Circle Series, The Flea, The Lark, JAGFest, and NYU among others. Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Assistant Director). Recent Fellowships: New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship and the Manhattan Theatre Club Jonathan Alper Directing Fellowship.

JOANNA CASTLE MILLER is a playwright, producer, and satirist whose work has appeared on NBC and PBS as well as in Time, The Hill, and Funny or Die. Plays include Sh@med (Kilroys List, Jewish Plays Project), around and around and around the static sun (McNerney Prize finalist), The Storehouse, and Fox News the Musical. Short plays include The World’s Next Tooth Fairy Is Marci Peterson, The Being Heard Academy and Parasite. Joanna’s work has been developed and produced by We the Women Collective, The Jewish Plays Project, New York University, and The Valdez Theatre Conference, and her monologues have been published by Applause Books, McSweeney’s, and The Belladonna. She is currently under commission by We the Women Collective. Film/TV: Keep This Far Apart, Ash, Sorta My Thing, Christmas in Zoom Village, and Red, White, and Dad. Joanna is the founder and executive producer of Wait Don’t Leave Productions, which develops film and theatre projects related to historical memory.

TARA MOSES (she/her) is a citizen of Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Mvskoke, director, award-winning playwright, Producing Artistic Director of telatúlsa, co-founder and Executive Producer of #BINGE, and co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. As a playwright, her completed works include Sections, He’eo’o (Winner of the 2019 Native Storytellers Contest), Quantum (2020 and 2021 Finalist for the National Playwrights Conference), Bound (2019 Native American New Play Festival Winner), Hamlet: El Príncipe de Denmark, Don Juan, Arbeka, and Patchwork. She is a Cultural Capital Fellow with First Peoples Fund (2020); Invited Playwright with HBMG Foundation’s National Winter Playwrights Retreat (2020); fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute (2018/19); an observer with the SDC Foundation (18/19); fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute (18/19); member of DirectorsLabChicago (2018); member of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center (2017); Alum of the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship at Arena Stage (2015-2017); recipient of the Thomas C. Fichandler Award (2016); associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; and Dramatists Guild member. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Tulsa and is expected to attend Brown University/Trinity Rep as an M.F.A. Candidate in Directing in the fall of 2021.

ERLINA ORTIZ is a Dominican-American playwright, performer, and theatre maker from Reading, PA based in Philadelphia. Her heartfelt and timely plays on gentrification, domestic violence, and cultural preservation have been presented with Power Street Theatre where she is proud to be Co-Artistic Director and Resident Playwright. In 2018 Her play Las Mujeres received The Bonaly Award for Creation of Community Joy and in Spring 2019 her play Morir Sonyando was nominated for six Barrymore Awards including Outstanding New Play. Erlina has received the Amtrak Writer’s residency, the Signal Fire Outpost Residency, in 2019 she gave the Keynote Address at the Delaware Writer’s Conference on the importance of nurturing your artistic community. Erlina is a recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Grant and she has taught playwriting with the University of the Arts, Power Street Theatre, and Blue Stoop phl.

MASON ALEXANDER PARK is a writer/performer best known as the first trans actor to play Hedwig in the Broadway National Tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Mason can be seen as Gren in the upcoming Netflix live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop and Amazon’s Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina. They can also be found in the film Before You Know It, and such TV shows as “Broadway or Bust” and “Becoming and Artist” on PBS, or “iCarly” and “Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures” on Nickelodeon. Mason was featured in the podcast musical “Loveville High” as the series’ Bowie obsessed genderqueer high schooler, Jendrix. Most recently, they starred as the Emcee in the Olney Theatre Center’s critically acclaimed production of Cabaret (for which they earned a Helen Hayes Award for Best Leading Performer in a Musical) and starred in the Pulitzer Prize winning play I Am My Own Wife at the Long Wharf Theatre.

PHANÉSIA PHAREL is a Haitian-American playwright who is currently focusing on the divine metaphysical dilemma of Black and Latinx girlhood. Generally, her plays span revolutions, islands, and Afro-Futurism. Her first play, Penelope, was selected as one of four in the nation to be workshopped at the International Thespian Festival and was subsequently published in Dramatics magazine and by Samuel French. One of her favorites, Shovel Me Away, was produced at Micro Theater Miami and received the Best Of The Best 2016 award. Her monologue, My Kid, My Life, appears in the 2015 City Theatre anthology. Her play And Other Dreams We Had was a finalist for the City Theatre National Short Playwriting award. She attends Barnard College of Columbia University where she recently won the Brandt Playwriting award and the Helen Prince Memorial Prize for excellence in dramatic composition. She is currently an Artist in Residence for New York Stage and Film, just completed the National Young Playwright Residency for the Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

JUSTEN ROSS is a black queer artist born, raised, and currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Actor, poet, choreographer, and musician are few of many roles that this ambitious soul takes on. This jack of all trades is dedicated to his unique power of storytelling in an effort to liberate the hearts of jurors around the globe. Ross is specifically passionate about inspiring black and brown youth to feel safe in living a life of unapologetic expression. He is currently in the final year of his acting training at The Theatre School at Depaul University where he received the honor of being a Princess Grace Scholarship Award nominee. Appearances include productions at the Alliance Theatre and August Wilson Theatre: Start Down by Eleanor Burgess, Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCranney, National August Wilson Monologue Competition Finalist. His constant drive to improve has followed him all the way to Chicago where he founded the Black Artists of Today, an organization dedicated to emphasizing black voices within a conservatory environment.

GABRIELA SANCHEZ, Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Power Street Theatre, has created a Womxn of Color- led multicultural theatre collective with fellow artists, culturally producing, directing and starring in several powerful new plays in the heart of el barrio. A Philadelphia native, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Temple University. Her former leadership roles include, Director of Education at Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Cultural Enrichment and Facility Manager at Taller Puertorriqueño and six years in residence at the Department of Recreation with Conflict Resolution Theater. She’s worked with Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Theatre Horizon, Arden Theatre, and more as a teaching artist. In 2020, Gabriela received a Citation from Council of the City of Philadelphia for her dedicated work to the theatrical production. Gabriela is a proud recipient of the Phenomenal Women’s Award (2020), Leeway Art and Change Grant (2016, 2019), GALAEI David Acosta Revolutionary Award (2017), Knight Foundation Emerging City Champions Fellowship (2018) and keynote speaker with Quiara Alegría Hudes at the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference and 2019 TCG Conference.

VERA STARBARD, T’set Kwei, is a Tlingit and Dena’ina writer and editor. She is Playwright-in-Residence at Perseverance Theatre through the Andrew W. Mellon National Playwright Residency Program and Editor of First Alaskans Magazine. Vera is also a writer for the PBS Kids children’s program “Molly of Denali,” which won a Peabody Award in 2020. She has won numerous local, statewide and national individual writing and editing awards, including the Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award and Alaska Literary Award. Vera currently serves on the KTOO Board of Directors, HowlRound Theatre Commons Advisory Council, and Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference Board, as well as serving as a founding member of Alaska Native playwright group Dark Winter Productions. Her full-length play Our Voices Will Be Heard premiered at Perseverance Theatre in 2016. It was then published in the textbook “Contemporary Plays by Women of Color” in 2017 and turned into a one-hour radio adaptation that aired nationwide in 2018.

New York Stage and Film (Christopher Burney, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Johanna Pfaelzer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater, film and television. Since 1985, New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The New York Times wrote that the Powerhouse Season is a “formidable breeding ground for new work,” and dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to Powerhouse and NYSAF, including the Tony Award winners HamiltonHadestownSide Man and The Humans; Broadway productions such as American IdiotHead Over HeelsJunkBright Star and Diana; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as Doubt, The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. www.newyorkstageandfilm.orgpage6image40038592

Magda Katz has been in the entertainment world for most of her life as a child actress, assistant to the head publicist of Avco Embassy Pictures, theatrical print agent. She went on to manage the show business career of her 2 children for over 15 years. For the last five years Magda has been filming and editing video trailers of live performances as well as celebrity interviews. Broadway After Dark was the first website to feature her video trailers. She contributed in creating a star studded 90th birthday party for Mickey Rooney at Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel. Her video trailers have a large international following. Videos are featured on All of Magda’s videos can be viewed at


The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

FAMILY’S A BITCH-THE END OF SUCCESSION — Sunday’s finale of Succession (HBO) was a mixed bag. I’ll be honest: At first I thought the finale was totally underwhelming, but after some additional thought and reading some other excellent reviews, I’ve come to the point where I now believe it was, pure and simple, how it had to end.

Greg didn’t win the crown; Tom did, but only as a puppet master for the notorious Swede Alec Matsson. One terrific take on the show said that there were never really any heroes; just a family fighting for control and only really fighting with each other.
If you followed this season closely, you knew full well that none of the siblings could really do anything near what Logan Roy did. In the episode where he chastised them all by proclaiming you are not serious people- you – it should have immediately tipped you off that an outsider, yes Tom, would get the crown.
Roman melted down at the funeral; Shiv changed sides so often you never really knew where her loyalties lay and Kendall had him own set of issues. Also, the fact that he killed someone in Season 1 came into play again.
Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote this one (With Open Eyes) and it was as strong, while being a bit confusing, as everything he’s done. Truth be told, he was right to end it now as some of the themes kept repeating. Sure Brian Cox was not in the last few, but his presence still loomed large. Face it, none of the siblings could have done what he did.
Funnily enough, in the next-to-final scene with the three siblings, Kendall said that his father told him years ago, at The Candy Kitchen, that he would inherit the whole shebang. The Candy Kitchen does exits in Bridgehampton, New York and actually is a fine, fine establishment. I bet they’ll be packed this week!
The last scene of he show was a dejected Kendall wandering near the water with Logan’s bodyguard Colin. I wondered, as did many others, whether he’d off himself. He didn’t.
Is there room for a sequel or spin-off? Of course. Tom is the prefect puppet master for Matsson. There definitely is more intrigue to come. Brilliant writing and acting. I can’t see any of the actors ever equaling what they did on this show. Bravo!
SHORT TAKES — Talk about promotion! Q1043’s latest one involves a golden shovel! Sounds like something out of Willy Wonka! … Micky Dolenz jets off to London today for the weekend’s James Burtonevent with Van Morrison; John Oates; Brian May; and more. We’ll have details next column … Eric Clapton’s London-tribute for the recently departed Jeff Beck was just excellent.

Joss Stone

None more so than Joss Stone on “I Put A Spell On You.” What a voice. I’m amazed she’s not bigger; very Janis Joplin.

Gary Clark

Also, Gary Clark delivered a blistering, amazing performance on Stevie Wonder’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” No question that he’s the next guitar-wizard. Here they both are: and  …

The Flash

I watched all 9 seasons of the CW’s The Flash and the first 5 were pretty terrific. The remaining ones got poorer and poorer as the original cast disappeared one by one. Grant Gustin, The Flash, was there the whole time, but their finale last week was terribly confusing – save for a song by Tony Award winner Jesse L. Martin (for Rent) – a key member of the original cast. The last two seasons had a myriad of costumed villains, some from the comic, some not, but just wildly messed up. The CW was sold to Nexstar last year and big changes are in their future. Sad … and, CNN is reporting that Universal Music is close to snapping up the rights to the Queen-catalog for $1 billion-plus. Good for them.


Disney had it previously, but Queen’s music is more popular than ever before. It’s a real shame Freddie is not her to share in it. If you wondered the record for the biggest previously was for Bruce Springsteen’s catalog at $500 million.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — William Schill; Crimshaw; Joel Diamond; Katherine Clarke; Terry Jastrow; Anthony Pomes; Barry Fisch; Mark Bego; Dave Sholin; Les Bider; Lush Ice; Steve Walter; Peter Abraham; Jack Cunningham; Randy Alexander; Howard Bloom; Ken Dashow; Norena Barbella; Angela Tarantino; and BELLA!
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Midnight Moment: The Doors: Lizard Kings



From June 1–30, 2023 | Nightly 11:57pm – 12am metallic crystal-ridged lizards prowl and skitter across the screens of Times Square in The Doors: Lizard Kings by Zach Blas. Featuring five fantastical computer-generated creatures choreographed across 63 distinct channels, June’s Midnight Moment stems from Blas’s 2019 immersive media installation The Doors, a work exploring psychedelia, drug use, artificial intelligence, and Silicon Valley’s connections to California counterculture from the 1960s.

Slimy, glowing, and covered with mineral elements modeled after nickeline and tungsten, each of the five rendered reptiles takes on distinct personalities derived from AI neural networks trained on a constellation of sources, including Aldous Huxley’s 1954 novel The Doors of Perception and the 1960s California psychedelic rock band The Doors. Blas modeled the creatures after the prehistoric Barbaturex morrisoni, a now extinct lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, a play on Morrison’s epithet “The Lizard King” and a prominent symbol of psychedelic liberation in the 1960s. As the lizards move through black mirrored passageways, Blas sees them as traveling in time between the psychedelic culture of the past and the present.

The Doors: Lizard Kings also nods to the contemporary psychedelic trends of microdosing LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as taking nootropics. Blas suggests that this new drug culture, popularized in the tech industry, re-engineers psychedelic experience to optimize labor, promising to “unlock” doors of the mind for workers  to labor faster and more efficiently. The Doors: Lizard Kings proposes a new generation of Barbaturex morrisoni, computational symbols for a 21st century psychedelia predicated on worker productivity, smart drugs, and AI hallucinations.

Film Credits
Zach Blas, The Doors: Lizard Kings 2019 / 2023
Originally commissioned by Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany; de Young Museum, San Francisco, US; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

  • Computer Graphics Supervisor: Harry Sanderson
  • Animation: Mikkel Aabenhuus Sørensen
  • Animation Assistant: Yan Eltovsky
  • Modeling and Visual Effects: Dayne Kolk
  • Simulation Assistant: Aslak Kjølås-Sæverud
  • Compositing: Felix Lee
  • Video Editor: Martin Gajc
  • Project Manager: Talia Golland
  • Project Assistant: Audrey Amman

Sound Credits
The original presentation of The Doors featured an aural accompaniment that oscillates between abstract soundscapes and poetry spoken in AI generated voice resembling Jim Morrison’s.

  • Machine Learning Engineers (video and poetry):  Ashwin D’Cruz and Christopher Tegho
  • Machine Learning Engineers (voice and music): Sam Parke-Wolfe and Cameron Thomas
  • Musicians: xin and Aya Sinclair
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Tom Sedgwick
  • Mix Engineer: Ben Hurd

Zach Blas (b. Point Pleasant, West Virginia) is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans moving image, computation, theory, performance, and science fiction. Blas engages the materiality of computational technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, predictive policing, airport security, the Internet. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at venues internationally, including the 12th Berlin Biennale, Walker Art Center, Tate Modern, British Art Show 9, 12th Gwangju Biennale, de Young Museum, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ICA London, Van Abbemuseum, e-flux, ZKM Center for Art and Media, and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work is in the collections of Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Blas’s practice has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, ArtReview, BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

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The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

LASSO’S MOM CITY — I believe that the best ever episode of Ted Lasso was dropped this week, entitled Mom City. It started off innocently enough with Ted leaving for work and walking right past his mother! He realized it and turned back to her. Turns out she had been in London for a week and was just now seeing Ted.

Ted introduced her to just about everyone and she immediately bonded with the team as well as Leslie and Rebecca. As Ted watched he realized that good-time feeling she generated (and he did too) with everyone held back a devastating fact: that Ted’s dad committed suicide.
They eventually resolved their issues, but Ted’s mom said she was there for a far more specific reason; that his son Henry was missing him. It immediately set up perhaps the last-ever episode of the show next week.
Elsewhere, Jaime dealt with his own family issues. Re-connecting with his mother and step-father. Keeley and Roy joined him and found themselves at one point alone in Jaime’s childhood room and at one point spied posters of themselves from years back. It was, quite possibly, the funniest moment ever in the series.

Harry Nilsson

Also, Harry Nilsson’s “Puppy Song” was a key musical moment in the EP. Harry, we love you!

All resolved, the show ended abruptly as Ted was going to tell Rebecca some news.
Many have said that in this third season, the show had lost it’s way a bit. In this episode, it was all pulled together quite beautifully. All I can say is, what a great show. It will be missed for sure.

Joel Diamond

SHORT TAKES — The #1 iTunes song currently is Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” Much deserved … Producer Joel Diamond used to live at 220 Central Park South in NYC. His building was torn down and re-built. It is now part of what they call Billionaire’s Road. WSJ-reporter Katherine Clarke’s new book is about just that.. Via Random House, Billionaire’s Row is out on June 13 …

Sasha Prendes

We dropped the name of new Latino-artist Sasha Prendes last time; we just saw a teaser clip for her new video “Shake This.” Check it out here: … Micky Dolenz headlined at this week’s Abbey Road On The River and delivered his usual high-octane performance.

James Burton

He leaves for England this week for the James Burton & Friends/One Night Only event June 4 at London’s Palladium … Terry Jastrow interviewed by Brad Balfour for his podcast this week …

Finally caught A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks and enjoyed it immensely. Hanks did a movie, with Steven Spielberg in 2004 called The Terminal, which was fantastic. This movie reminded me of that; a tremendously nuanced performance by Hanks as a peculiar man who found trouble with almost everyone and everything after the death of wife. He describes his life and wife in one great line: My life was in black and white and she was the color. Based on the film A Man Called Ove and with a sensational screenplay by David Magee and directed by Marc Forster, I just loved it …

Whoopi Goldberg

ENDQUOTE: Via Deadline: The View’s Whoopi Goldberg Claims ‘American Idol’ Led To The Downfall of Society. Ouch! Check it out here: … Happy Bday Buddy Blanch and Bobby Shaw!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jodi Ritzen; Rich Dart; Daryl Easlea; Ali Hawthorne; Adrianba Kaegi; Wayne Avers; John Billings; Jane Blunkell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Chris Gilman; Zach Martin; Anthony Noto; Anthony Pomes; Rhonda Shore; Howard Bloom; Robert Funaro; Michael Jensen; Bob Merlis; Roy Trakin; Evan Evanston; and CHIP!
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Films In June



There is the upcoming superhero movies (including upcoming Marvel movies) to look forward to.

6/2: The Boogeyman with Chris Messina, Sophaie Thatcher. A horror-thriller from the mind of best-selling author Stephen King, which opens June 2, 2023, in theaters nationwide. High school student Sadie Harper and her younger sister Sawyer are reeling from the recent death of their mother and aren’t getting much support from their father, Will, a therapist who is dealing with his own pain. When a desperate patient unexpectedly shows up at their home seeking help, he leaves behind a terrifying supernatural entity that preys on families and feeds on the suffering of its victims.

6/2: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse with Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld Miles Morales. Return for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning Spider-Verse saga, Spider-Man™: Across the Spider-Verse. After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. But when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must redefine what it means to be a hero so he can save the people he loves most.

6/9: Flamin’ Hot (Hulu Release) with Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez. The inspiring true story of Richard Montañez (Jesse Garcia), the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global pop culture phenomenon

6/9: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts with Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback. Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured moviegoers around the world, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduce a whole new faction of Transformers – the Maximals – to join them as allies in the existing battle for earth. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. and starring Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, the film arrives in theatres June 9, 2023.

6/16: The Blackening with Antoinette Robertson, Dewayne Perkins. The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realize this ain’t no motherf****** game. Directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Barbershop) and screenplay and screen story by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, Harlem) & Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), The Blackening skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?

6/16: Elemental with Mamoudou Athie, Leah Lewis. Transport to an extraordinary place called Element City, where a host of elements live and work. The trailer showcases each element—air, earth, water and fire—and what sets them apart according to Ember, a quick-witted and fiery woman who’s always stayed close to home in Firetown. In “Elemental,” which opens in theaters on June 16, she finally ventures out of her comfort zone to explore this spectacular world born from the imaginations of Pixar’s filmmakers and specifically crafted for the big-screen experience. Element City is inspired by big cities around the globe and embraces theorized contributions from each elemental community—from giant pine-tree-like buildings and waterfall skyscrapers to a tornado-shaped arena called Cyclone Stadium.

6/16: Extraction 2 (Netflix Release) with Chris Hemsworth, Tinatin Dalakishvili. This is a sequel to the first film that was based on the graphic novel ‘Ciudad’ by Ande Parks, from a story by Ande Parks, Joe Russo & Anthony Russo, with illustrations by Fernando León González. EXTRACTION 2 is produced by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca, Chris Hemsworth, Patrick Newall and Sam Hargrave, with Angela Russo-Otstot, Jake Aust, Benjamin Grayson, Steven Scavelli, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely as executive producers.

6/16: The Flash with Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton. Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe? “The Flash” ensemble also includes rising star Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon (“Bullet Train,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”), Ron Livingston (“Loudermilk,” “The Conjuring”), Maribel Verdú (“Elite,” “Y tu mamá también”), Kiersey Clemons (“Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” “Sweetheart”), Antje Traue (“King of Ravens,” “Man of Steel”) and Michael Keaton (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Batman”).

6/23: Asteroid City with Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie. Taking place in a fictional American desert town circa 1955. Synopsis: The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

6/23: No Hard Feelings with Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Feldman, Laura Benanti, Natalie Morales and Matthew Broderick. Maddie (Lawrence) thinks she’s found the answer to her financial troubles when she discovers an intriguing job listing: wealthy helicopter parents looking for someone to “date” their introverted 19-year-old son, Percy, and bring him out of his shell before he leaves for college. But awkward Percy proves to be more of a challenge than she expected, and time is running out. She has one summer to make him a man or lose it all.

6/30: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny with Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Harrison Ford returns as the legendary hero archaeologist in the highly anticipated fifth installment of the iconic “Indiana Jones” franchise, which is directed by James Mangold (“Ford v Ferrari,” “Logan”). Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), John Rhys-Davies (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Shaunette Renee Wilson (“Black Panther”), Thomas Kretschmann (“Das Boot”), Toby Jones (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Boyd Holbrook (“Logan”), Oliver Richters (“Black Widow”), Ethann Isidore (“Mortel”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”). Directed by James Mangold, the film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel, with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas serving as executive producers. John Williams, who has scored each Indy adventure since the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, is once again composing the score.

6/30: Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken with Lana Candor, Toni Collette. DreamWorks Animation dives into the turbulent waters of high school with a hilarious, heartfelt action comedy about a shy teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed.

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Events in June



Gay Pride, Bryant Park Picnic Performances, Movie Nights, Lincoln Center Summer for the City (Midsummer Night Swing), Juneteenth, New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Tribeca Film Festival, Free Outdoor Concerts, Museum Mile Festival, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and that’s just the beginning!

Until September 29 every summer in Times Square, NYC, TSQ LIVE showcases hundreds of artists, performers and cultural producers and this summer 80 free events hosting over a dozen incredible New York-based institutions and collectives, including Pioneer Works, NEW INC, Children’s Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ailey Extension, New York Live Arts, OTA Entertainment, Soul Summit, Rash Bar, and Elsewhere.

6/1: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park New York City Opera: La Bohème

6/2: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Jazzmobile: The Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra

6/2: Billy Joel @ MSG

6/3-4: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit atUniversity Place, starting at East 13th Street and continuing south along the east side of Washington Square Park to West 3rd Street.

6/7 until September: Little Island  Tony and Grammy Award winners in The Glade, late night djs, drag bingo, and dance parties in The Play Ground, weekly artmaking activities for all ages and Teen Night every Friday.

6/7 – 18: Tribeca Film Festival will take place movie theatres, rooftops and various venues throughout NYC, such as the new Pier 57, Beacon Theatre, the Angelika. The premiere of Let the Canary Sing with a performance by Cyndi Lauper or The Closing Gala: A Bronx Tale, followed by a conversation with director and star Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal, and writer and co-star Chazz Palminteri.

6/8 – 8/6: Shakespeare in the Park Hamlet 

6/8: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Contemporary Dance: Robin Dunn, The Lite

6/9: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Contemporary Dance: Dance Heginbotham, Jennifer Muller/The Works

6/9 – 11: @ Citi Field Governors Ball Music Festival – The contemporary music festival for music lovers by music lovers. With 60+ artists of all genres across 4 stages, there is something for everyone, including delicious restaurants, food trucks and menus.

6/9 – 18: River to River Festival The festival takes place in a variety of public venues that canvas all of Downtown New York – from Chambers Street down to the southern tip of Manhattan and across the island from river to river.

6/11: National Puerto Rican Day Parade Fifth Avenue, 44th to 79th Street

6/12: Bryant Park Movie Nights  Almost Famous (2000)

6:13: Museum Mile Festival on Fifth Avenue from 84th Street to 109th Street: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Neue Galerie New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; The Jewish Museum; Museum of the City of New York; El Museo del Barrio; and The Africa Center.

6/14 – August: Dancing Under the Stars (formerly Midsummer Night Swing), free outdoor movies, dancing, singing, readings, celebrations, flamingos, disco ball, poetry, Mozart, concerts, crafts, Juneteenth and much more!

6/15: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Contemporary Dance: Terk Lewis + Kayla Farrish

6/16: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Contemporary Dance: Soles of Duende + Josh Johnson

6/17-25: Gay Pride The Rally, The March & Pride Island. The 2023 theme is “Strength in Solidarity” and Christina Aguilera is headlining NYC Pride Island on Sunday, June 25th at Brooklyn Army Terminal. The festivities begin with Family Night and the Rally and culminate with PrideFest & The March. Other events include Pride Island and the annual Dance on the Pier, following the parade wrapping up Pride Week in a grand fireworks display.

6/16 – 18: Juneteenth is a celebration of June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, which declared the ending of slavery in the USA. The three day Juneteenth in NYC festival kicks off Friday with a virtual summit, Friday night is the Celebration of Black Kings, Saturday is Festival Community Day and the festival culminates Sunday with a Parade, Fashion Show, Food trucks Field Day and more. Monday, June 19th, is a national holiday, with government, banks and post offices closed. More Info: Junteenth NY

There are dozens more Juneteenth celebrations throughout all 5 Boroughs, including BBQs, the NYC Parks Department, Seneca Village, Broadway, Lincoln Center, concerts, shows, theater and more.

6/17: The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is the nation’s largest art parade where 3,000+ participants dress in hand-made costumes.

6/ 19: Bryant Park Movie Nights Amistad (1997)

6/23: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Emerging Music Festival: Psymon Spine, THUS LOVE, Katy Kirby

6/24: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Emerging Music Festival: Ky Vöss, Seramic, Miss Grit, Dead Tooth

6/26: Bryant Park Movie Nights Mean Girls (2004)

6/30: Picnic Performances @ Bryant Park Jalopy Theatre: Michael Daves Quartet ft. Tony Trishka, Yacouba Sissoko, Terrell King

6/30: Intrepid Museum Summer Movie SeriesPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl




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