Just Do Art! Week of Jan. 23, 2013
AIRSWIMMING In 1920s England — for having borne illegitimate children — two women are held in a hospital for the criminally insane. Ignored by their families, they spend the next half-century coping with the isolation by adopting alter-egos which allow them to act out their fantasies. Based on a true story, the U.S. premiere of Charlotte Jones’ play reminds audiences “of the forgotten women of these generations in both Britain and Ireland.”
Through Feb. 3. Wed. & Sat. at 3pm & 8pm, Thurs. at 7pm Fri. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm. At The Irish Repertory Theatre Company’s W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre (132 W. 22nd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($45), call 212-727-2737 or visit irishreg.org.
MONK IN MOTION: THE NEXT FACE OF JAZZ There will never be another Monk — but this concert series serves as a showcase for the best of those young artists who are building on his legacy of precision and innovation. A partnership between BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the Thelonious Monk Institute, “Monk in Motion: The Next Face of Jazz” pays tribute to the three winners of the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition by giving them a stage to perform on and a chance to show New York audiences the breadth and depth of their talents. First up, it’s first place winner Jamison Ross — a 24-year-old drummer from Jacksonville, FL. Before the concert, Willard Jenkins moderates the panel discussion, “21st Century Drummer’s Roundtable” (with Carl Allen, Allison Miller and more). The series continues Feb. 16 with second runner-up Colin Stranahan (a 26-year-drummer from Denver, CO), and concludes March 2 with the runner-up: 28-year-old Richmond, CA native Justin Brown (another drummer!).
The concerts begin at 8:30pm on Sat., Feb. 2 & 16 and March 2 — preceded by the free panel or film screening at 7pm. In Theatre 2, at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (on the Borough of Manhattan Community College campus; 199 Chambers St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.).Concert tickets are $25 ($15 for students/seniors). For more info, visit tribecapac.org and monkinstitute.org.
NOT BY BREAD ALONE In addition to housing the world’s only professional deaf-blind acting company, Tel Aviv’s Nalaga’at Center is also home to the BlackOut Restaurant (which operates in complete darkness, with blind waiters) and the sign language-only Café Kapish (whose servers are deaf). Through February 3, NYU’s Skirball Center hosts the acting ensemble, the restaurant and the café — offering New York audiences a means by which to experience, contemplate and celebrate a unique convergence of “theater, passion and food.” In the U.S. premiere of “Not by Bread Alone,” 11 storytellers knead, form and bake bread while using a mix of reality and fantasy to convey their memories and dreams. Each new scene is announced by a drum beat, which the actors can neither see nor hear (but they can feel the vibration; a skill learned at Nalaga’at). At the end of the show, the bread they’ve baked is shared with the audience — an act of solidarity that underscores the play’s themes of overcoming challenges and our universal need to connect.
The show runs 80 minutes and is performed in Hebrew (and Hebrew sign language), with English subtitles. Jan. 26 & Feb. 2 at 6pm & 8:30pm; Jan. 27 & Feb. 3 at 3pm & 7pm; Jan. 23-24 & 29-31 at 8pm; Jan. 30 at 2pm. At the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place, at Washington Square South). For tickets to the show ($40-$75), visit nyuskirball.org or call 212-352-3101. For admission to BlackOut (which, for $200, includes food, beverage, tax, gratuity and a premium orchestra seat to “Not by Bread Alone”), call 212-488-1505.
THE SECOND ANNUAL MISS TWIN PEAKS PAGEANT By the time season one’s “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” murder mystery was resolved, ratings for the aggressively eccentric nighttime soap opera “Twin Peaks” had, well, peaked. That’s a shame, since season two took some very odd liberties with another iconic plot device. Jam packed with contestants driven by motivations both sinister and pure (and a killer lurking nearby), “Peaks” creators David Lynch and Mark Frost brought to the beauty pageant all the surreal panache they lavished on season one’s Log Lady, dancing midget, dream sequence giant, damn good pies and owls that were not what they seemed.
As the creative mind behind Downtown’s “The Pink Room: David Lynch Burlesque” performance series, Francine has tirelessly dedicated herself to celebrating and satirizing the Lynch canon (past shows have recontextualized “Blue Velvet,” “Wild At Heart,” and “Eraserhead” for longtime fans and virgin converts). Now, for the second year running, The Pink Room’s “Miss Twin Peaks Pageant” pays tribute to that dark season two excursion. Before the night is over, you’ll see Schäffer the Darklord rapping his original song “David Lynch Movie,” an audience participation challenge and burlesque performances by many of Twin Peaks’ fine citizens (including Audrey Horne, Shelly Johnson, Norma Jennings, crazy Nadine Hurley, Denise/Dennis Bryson and Wyndom Earle). Warning: Consuming one or all of the “Peaks”-themed specialty cocktails may result in strange dreams and waking nightmares.
Sat., Jan. 26. From 11pm to…late. At Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston St., at Attorney St.). Tickets are $15 in advance (brownpapertickets.com) or $20 at the door. This is a 21+ event, with a 2-drink minimum. For info, visit francineburlesque.com.