Just Do Art, December 30, 2013
TWENTIETH ANNUAL ALTERNATIVE NEW YEAR’S DAY SPOKEN WORD AND PERFORMANCE EXTRAVAGANZA
The Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Work and Performance Extravaganza sure does get around. In years past, the annual multi-media showcase for culturally diverse poets, musicians, performers and artists has taken place at the Knitting Factory (now in Brooklyn), Bowery Poetry Club (swallowed up by Duane Park) and Dixon Place (still thriving on Chrystie St.), But no matter how much times change, the dependable January 1 event refuses to fade away — or budge. “Twenty years and we are still burning,” say the organizers, who made this year’s theme (Estrellas En El Fuego, or Stars in the Fire) a nod to their unyielding presence in the neighborhood. “We are still burning,” they note, “burning words, sounds, noise — bringing our spirits to the stage. We are all stars. We will not be incinerated nor eclipsed.”
This year, in addition to the 150+ performers, a slideshow will feature hundreds of visual artists whose work can be seen at the Sideshow Nation — the annual group show held at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg. Attendees are encouraged to show up after purging their bookshelves of paperbacks (which will be donated to Books Through Bars, which distributes them to incarcerated people). Already booked for stage time: Miguel Algarin, Jennifer Blowdryer, Hattie Gossett, Diane Hernandez, Samuel Jablon, Richard Kostelanetz, Jane Lecroy, Nancy Merdcado, Myrna Nieves, Esoteric Structure, Robert Gibbons will join many other accomplished writers and artists — including, perhaps, you (through signing up for the Open Mic).
Free. Wed., Jan. 1, from 2pm to Midnight. At the Nuyorican Poets Café (236 E. Third St., btw. Aves. B & C). For info, call 212-780-9386 or visit nuyorican.org.
MOMIX PRESENTS “reMIX”
Just under decade after he co-founded Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, Moses Pendleton formed MOMIX — and struck gold a second time, when his own company rapidly secured an international reputation for conceptually dynamic, often illusionistic choreography. Three decades later, big daddy Pendleton is still mining gems from the same mother lode of invention that inspired him to transform dancers into desert flora and fauna, magically float them surreal extraterrestrial terrains, strap them into snow skis for a downhill pas de deux and hurl them through the air like baseballs. This current show at the Joyce — dubbed “reMIX,” is a mixed program of the most popular, surreal and gravity-defying pieces in the company’s vast repertoire (including “Orbit,” “Lunar Sea,” “Opus Cactus” and “Botanica”).
Through Jan. 5: Tues. & Wed. at 7:30pm, Thurs./Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 2pm & 8pm, Sun. at 2pm & 7:30pm. At the Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). For tickets ($10-59), call 212-242-0800 or visit joyce.org. For info, visit momix.com.
THE SEVENTH ANNUAL NYC CHARLES BUKOWSKI MEMORIAL READING
Held on the first Friday of the new year since 2008, this year’s Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading will feature performances of Bukowski poems and tales. Monologist/actor Mike Daisey, playwrights Richard Vetere and Michael Puzzo as well as poets Angelo Verga and Puma Perl and Three Rooms Press co-directors Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges will explore Bukowski’s works with respect to their place in contemporary culture. What would he think of ObamaCare, iPhones and Smart drugs? “So much seems to have changed since his time,” say the organizers from Three Rooms Press — who note that the body of work produced by this “champion of the outsider” still resonates, “revealing the core of what it is to be human — sans electronics — counting on nothing, but ready to win, be it with horses, women or writing.” Rare videos of Bukowski, plus giveaways of Buk books, CDs, DVDs and other prizes will highlight the event.
Fri., Jan. 3, at 6pm (doors open at 5:45pm). At the Cornelia St. Café (29 Cornelia St., btw. W. Fourth & Bleecker Sts.). Admission is $12, which includes one free drink. For info, call 212-989-9313 or visit corneliastreetcafe.com. Also visit threeroomspress.com.
“SHELL-SHOCKED NUT” — AN ADAPTATION OF “THE NUTCRACKER”
When Superstorm Sandy hit, the East Village Dance Project’s Avenue C Studio (btw. Fourth & Fifth Sts.) was not flooded — but the organization’s home base facility lost heat and electricity, and the neighborhood was in chaos. Inspired by requests from some of the young dancers to learn material from the “Nutcracker,” Artistic Director Martha Tornay conceived “The Shell-Shocked Nut.” This production reworks the familiar story, music and choreography from the “Nutcracker,” for a uniquely Avenue C-style creation. Built on the theme of stress and recovery, the two main characters — a war vet and an elementary school student — take the audience through familiar streets and locations near Tompkins Square Park.
Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Clare Farris, Duke Ellington, Steve Wonder, David Lowery and The Ramones is danced to by 25 professionals and an equal amount of East Village Dance Project youth performers as well as guest artists (including Ellen Maddow, Brian Glover and Alice Klugherz). The choreographers include Tornay and Victoria Roberts-Wierzbowski (from the Dance Project), Dante Brown (Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance), Hilary McDaniel-Douglas (Project in Motion) and Naomi Goldberg-Haas (Dances For A Variable Population).
Fri., Jan. 3, at 7pm and Sat./Sun., Jan. 4/5 at 3pm. At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4th St., btw. Second Ave. & Bowery). For tickets ($20, $15 for students, seniors and children 12 and under), call 212-475-7710 or visit lamama.org.
Amore Opera’s holiday season double bill that has more sights, sounds and action than a three-ring…well, you know. Come for “Pagliacci,” Leoncavallo’s famous tale of jealousy, deception and revenge — and stay for “The Circus Princess,” Kálmán’s rarely produced musical romp. Gregory Ortega conducts. Nathan Hull directs. The New Year’s Eve Dinner & Gala performance promises a memorable night on the town for couples, while the Dec. 27, 28 & Jan. 4 production of Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel” is custom-made for families. Coming up in 2014, the Amore Opera Company presents “Madama Butterfly,” and their Opera Academy presents “The Mikado.”
The double bill of “Pagliacci” and “The Circus Princess” plays through Jan. 5, at the Connelly Theatre (220 E. Fourth St., btw. Aves. A & B). The theatre is wheelchair accessible, and special areas can be reserved for wheelchair viewing. Email email@example.com for more info. To order tickets ($40) and see the performance schedule, visit amoreopera.org or call 866-811-4111.