Monday, January 15, 2018

New York: Off-Broadway Buzz, January 2018

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY) 
You may want to stay snuggled up on the couch during this cold snap, but these shows are a great incentive to bundle up and head out. Friendly Reminder: Off- and Off-Off Broadway shows have limited runs, so get tickets right away.

For Tweens, Teens & Adults

The Duke (229 West 42nd St) Until Jan 21, 2018; For ages 12 & up;  

Conceived by Ping Chong; Written & directed by Sara Zatz & Kirya Traber in collaboration with the cast. Cast: Edwin Aguila, Monica Victoria Tatacoya Castañeda, Andrea "Syl" Egerton, Mohammad Murtaza, De-Andra Pryce, Porscha Polkahantis Rippy & Rafael Rosario

This extraordinary presentation will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you care. For UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS is a celebration of humanity's diversity and how we are all more similar than different. 
GENERATION NYZ is the story of seven amazing young adults who could have easily fallen through the cracks of life. Born into poverty, hopelessness, neglect, and confusion, each one of them--through a combination of personal perseverance, the kindness of strangers (teachers and mentors), and a splash of luck--saw a vision of what could be for themselves and forged ahead to actualize that dream.
The cast represents the “gorgeous mosaic" of New York celebrating their heritage--Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, South Asian, European--and the neighborhoods they grew up in: the South Bronx, West Harlem, Far Rockaway, Queens, and East New York, Brooklyn. This show is so dope, woke and cool, it should be extended. And, hopefully, filmed to be shown in every school and college across the country to give all kids who are dazed-and-confused an infusion of hope. The New Victory Theater and Ping Chong + Company are two organizations that are always doing way-cool stuff.

For Adults & Sophisticated Teens

Theater for the New City (155 First Ave) Until Jan 28, 2018;  

Isaac Miller (anchorman Evan Fury) & David O. Friedman (Trump)
photo: Glenna Freedman PR
Book & lyrics by Tom Attea; Music by Arthur Abrams; Directed by Mark Marcante. Starring: Isaac Miller, Alexandra Schwartz, Matt Gorsky, Juan Villegas, David O. Friedman, David F. Slone, Esq., Gabrielle Sarrubbo, Robert Homeyer, Justin Rodriguez & Kate McMorran
The premise of this new musical comedy is that a top newscaster is so affected by having to cover the current erratic President on a daily basis that his life starts to unravel. While it's a fun, upbeat romp, the pretentious dialog is a drawback, making it sound more like a 1940s' British, drawing-room farce than a contemporary comedy. But, if you too are having nightmares that this man--who shouldn't even be on the White House lawn--is in the Oval, you'll get a kick out of the show. And, the anchorman, Evan Fury, is played by newcomer Isaac Miller who is so terrific, I see Tonys® in his future! Catch him now before he hits the big time.
It's also a good excuse to discover the Theater for the New City. TNC produces a plethora of new American plays, including several by emerging playwrights and minority writers from around the world. With affordable ticket prices, the goal is to develop theater audiences and inspire minority creatives by engaging the community in the theater and at its many free Festivals. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

10+ Artsy & Cool Reasons To Visit Cleveland, Ohio

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Terminal Tower (photo: Lisa Chamberlain)

Often thought of as an old, industrial city, Cleveland is getting its' groove on. Cool new hotels have opened, the restaurant scene is booming, dormant neighborhoods have come back to life, and a bunch of airlines are adding new, affordable routes to town. The city is right on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.
All this makes for an incredibly, enjoyable stay. Plus, the locals are some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet!

Hear everything from great rock and jazz in music clubs around town to the world-renowned symphony orchestra; in addition, there's marvelous theater.
(photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1100 East 9th St.; - Why is this museum here? Cleveland's famed radio disc jockey, Alan Freed, is credited with inventing the term, "Rock and Roll." Music fans prepare to have your mind blown by the extraordinary collection of rock music memorabilia. There are also concerts and special events. Plan to spend several hours here, if not the whole day (there's a cafe, so you can stop and recharge)!
Nighttown Jazz Club (12387 Cedar Rd; - Between the delicious food and the top-notch musicians, Nighttown is a not-to-be-missed entertainment experience. Hear greats such as the Count Basie Orchestra, John Legend, Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder or fab local musicians on the rise.
(photo: Nighttown)

Cleveland Orchestra ( - Delight in their classical repertoire, plus collaborations with pop and jazz singers, and other creative programming.
Playhouse Square ( - Enjoy some great entertainment in the second-largest theater district in the country (10 stages within beautifully-renovated historic buildings). See touring Broadway shows, concerts, comedy, opera, dance, and children’s fare.

Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood is a treasure trove of more than 20 cultural venues including: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Severance Hall (where the Cleveland Orchestra plays).
All are worth a visit, but be sure to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art ( - a lovely art collection in a stunning building. Have lunch is the atrium cafe. Admission is free!
(photo: Cleveland Museum of Art)

78th Street Studios (1300 W. 78th St.; - Located in a sprawling, funky, former warehouse in the Gordon Square Arts District, 78th Street Studios has a cool collection of galleries and artists' studios. On THIRD FRIDAYS, there's a lively Open House. Check out: HEDGE Gallery, Sandy Miller Pottery, Tregoning & Co. And, local artist Gloria Plevin.
FRONT ( - In 2018, art impresario Fred Bidwell will put Cleveland--and the state of Ohio--on the "art map" with the launch of FRONT International, an exciting, contemporary art triennial.

Gloria Plevin, Inky Contemplating Green Asparagus  
A handful of top-notch, local chefs started the current, hot restaurant scene. Locals love Lola Bistro ( by Iron Chef and James Beard Award-winner Michael Symon. Clevelanders flock to The Greenhouse Tavern ( one of James Beard Award-winner Jonathon Sawyer's eateries. And, one of the latest dining spots by chef/restaurateur Zack Bruell is in the Flats East Bank entertainment district, Alley Cat Oyster Bar ( - the cuisine is surf & turf with great views of the Cuyahoga River and super-friendly waiters.

Heinen's Salad Bar
But, you can have a great meal at almost any spot in town such as Zaytoon (1150 Huron Rd; serving the most delicious Lebanese specialties or even at the salad bar in Heinen's Downtown Grocery Store (900 Euclid Ave; The building, the former 1908 Cleveland Trust bank, is amazing as is the Garfield Building, former National City Bank, that now houses the swanky, new Marble Room Steak & Raw Bar (623 Euclid Ave; To discover even more groovy places to dine, request a handy-dandy Cleveland Dining Guide or view it online.

West Side Market (1979 West 25th St.; - Built in 1912, you usually only see great, indoor markets like this in European cities, with 100+ booths selling fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and ethnic delicacies, it's a mouth-watering adventure. And, lots of cute little eateries have opened up in the neighborhood, so do some culinary exploring.

(photo: Marble Room)
Have a Brewski - There are more than 30 breweries in the greater Cleveland area. Head out on your own craft-beer experience or hop on the Cleveland Brew Bus.

Terminal Tower - Observation Deck (Open: April-Nov; Sat & Sun, 12-4pm. Tks: $5; - Start your visit to Cleveland with a panoramic view of the city, lakefront, etc. from the Tower's 42nd floor. Then, head out to explore below!
East 4th St (photo: Lola Bistro)
There's a lively scene on East 4th Street ( with a plethora of shops, bars and restaurants. The Flats East Bank ( district on the Cuyahoga River has become a dining and entertainment mecca. Beyond the Downtown area, there's lots of artsy and cool things going on in various neighborhoods. Check out Shaker Square (, Collinwood (, and Little Italy ( with all its' Italian eateries.
There's so much to discover in Cleveland that these suggestions just scratch the surface!

Fun Fact: Lots of cool people came from Cleveland such as:
Paul Newman
actors/comedians - Paul Newman, Halle Berry, Terrance Howard, Bob Hope, Drew Carey; athletes - too many Hall of Famers to name; musicians - Joe Walsh, Tracy Chapman, Henry Mancini, Kid Cudi & may other rappers; writers - Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison; and millionaire John D. Rockefeller.

Making Your Trip EasierCLE App - Download this essential visitor's tool for iPhones & Android.

Where To Stay:
Hyatt, The Arcade
A number of new hotels have opened up Downtown in cool, historic buildings, to name a few: 
Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown in the former Beaux Arts-style Board of Education building.
Kimpton Schofield Hotel in the former Euclid Ninth Tower designed by architect Levi Schofield in 1902.
Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade, the first indoor shopping center in America opened in 1890.
For something thoroughly modern, try the Hilton Cleveland Downtown (100 Lakeside Ave. East; - it's a convention hotel but with lots of charm: stunning local artwork, a very helpful staff, a nice pool, great views, and lots of dining options.
The Beatles, Chance Foreman, Hilton
Or, go local through Airbnb, rent a place to stay from a local poet in Shaker Square or from famed chef Michael Symon in the Tremont neighborhood.

Getting There:
Major carriers such as American, Delta, and United all have non-stop flights to Cleveland. Starting May 2018, Icelandair and WOW Air will fly to Cleveland from 20 European cities, connecting through Reykjavik, Iceland. So, you'll have no excuse to stay home; head to CLE today!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beyond Art: Great Entertainment at 10 Top New York City Museums

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Breaking the Waves, Works & Process,
The Gugg
In museums all over town, there's lots more happening than the exhibits on the walls: Music, Dance & Family Fun. New York City museums have become de facto performing arts centers with exciting events, often thematically tied into what's on view. Here's a small sampling to get you started:
The Guggenheim
1071 Fifth Ave (at 88th St);
Throughout the year, there are several top-notch, special events, so be sure to check the Performance calendarWorks & Process: In an intimate theater space, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this performing arts series gives you the opportunity to see new works by some of the most acclaimed, international creators and performers in the world.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fuentidueña Chapel, Cloisters

1000 Firth Ave (at 82nd St);
There is always something cultural happening at the museum from concerts to lectures to site-specific performances. 
MetLiveArts: This series offers interesting performances, commissions, and world premieres in the museum's theater. Site-specific events are set in unique gallery spaces throughout the museum.
The Met Cloisters - Concerts
In the beautiful, medieval Cloisters' museum in Fort Tyron Park, concerts are held in the splendid, 12th-century Fuentidueña Chapel, with wonderful acoustics. (Concert tickets include free, same-day museum admission.)

The Jewish Museum
Don Byron Band, Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Ave (at 92nd St);
The museum offers an amazing range of cultural programs from interesting discussions with artists and curators (AM at the JM), to talks by contemporary authors and thinkers, concerts, and other performances and workshops inspired by exhibitions on view.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave (at 103rd St);
This museum, devoted to New York City history, presents fascinating events and talks illuminating New York's past and imagining the city's future. Check out the Stories & Events calendar.

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Ave (at 104th St);
The museum focuses on Latino arts and culture. Its' bilingual programs, festivals, and special events celebrate the 
rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean and Latin America. Get ready to party! 

Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17 St;
Jazz, Rubin

The museum, dedicated to the culture of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions, is also a wonderful place to see international films, hear great jazz, and be inspired by interesting talks and performances. The museum is open late on Fridays, so in addition to soaking up the culture, be sure to stop by the Café Serai/K2 Lounge; it's a neighborhood hot spot. 
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place;
While not as well known as The Jewish Museum, MJH, located downtown by Battery Park, presents a broad tapestry of Jewish life in the 20th and 21st centuries—before, during, and after the Holocaust. Hence, the engrossing programs include discussions, films, plays, and concerts that highlight the richness of Jewish culture and ideas. (There's also an Andy Goldsworthy stone garden really worth seeing and great views of the Statue of Liberty.)

99 Gansevoort St;
Terrace, Whitney
In a downtown area, recently made hip by the fabulous High Line walkway, 20th- and 21st-century American art is celebrated in the museum's new building abuzz with activity. The Whitney Biennial is one of the museum's signature events, along with an exciting, eclectic mix of performances and talks on a regular basis that are tied into current exhibits. Best feature: The "art terraces" on every level with stunning views of New York and the Hudson River. 

American Museum of Natural History
Sleepover, AMNH

Central Park West at 79th St;
The museum is a treasure trove of discoveries for kids as well as adults. While you might know about all the wonderful activities for children, did you know that adults can also do "A Night at the Museum" sleepover, enjoy cocktails and conversation at the after-hours SciCafe evenings, and participate in family-fun cultural events, themed to tie-in with current exhibits? There's a lot more going on here than dinosaur bones!

Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Bang Group, BMA

200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn;
In addition to way-cool exhibits, BMA offers a variety of interesting events for adults, teens, and kids. These include talks, performances, films, and workshops that enhance the museum’s current exhibits and permanent collection. Every month, there's also free First Saturdays which usually feature music, dancing and a film, plus museum admission.

Editor's Note: Some of these wonderful, special museum events are free with admission, others require a separate ticket and/or booking in advance. Be sure to check the museum's website. And, when you enter any museum, be sure to read the signs ("suggested" admission means pay any amount not the $20+ listed). Also, many museums have free or "pay what you wish" evenings starting at around 5pm. The Metropolitan Museum is "pay what you wish" at all times; the ticket includes same-day admission to The Met Cloisters & The Met Breuer.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Germany: 10+ Artsy & Cool Reasons To Visit Muenster & Kassel

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Prinzipalmarkt, Münster
Münster (aka Muenster) and Kassel, in Germany's Westphalia region, offer culture lovers ample reasons to visit.
Two Top Art Celebrations

The contemporary art fair documenta takes place every 5 years in Kassel (next one in 2022) and the Muenster Sculpture Project is organized every 10 years (next one in 2027, when both events will be on).
Muenster Sculpture Project ( is not held in a museum. Instead, fantastic sculptures are strategically-placed throughout the town. Learn about the sculptures with a knowledgeable guide on a tour--bike or walking. After each Project, Muenster selects a piece to add to their public art collection. 
documenta ( is a prestigious, contemporary art exhibition—like the Venice Biennale--held in Kassel. See them both in 2027! Trains linking Muenster and Kassel take about two hours.
Münster is a lovely, university town with cobblestone streets and charming, historic buildings and churches. Even when the Sculpture Project is not taking place, it’s worth a visit. As a university town, Muenster’s full of pubs, restaurants and year-round cultural events, not to mention some fascinating history as well as a lovely lakeside area, Lake Aasee

Nicole Eisenman, Sketch for a Fountain, 
Münster (photo: Henning Rogge)

Getting Around: Bike - Muenster is considered the "Bike Capital of Germany" with a truly-impressive network of bicycle paths throughout the town and beyond with lots of places to rent/park bikes. Münster AudioGuide: Wander around on your own and/or download this new, helpful App.
Try the Ale and Fare
In addition to lots of bicycles and plenty of history, Muenster's got great beer and grub: Brauerei Pinkus (Kreuzstrasse 4-10; - Be sure to sample some local beer at the bar/restaurant of Muenster’s oldest brewery (1816).
Altes Gasthaus Leve (Alter Steinweg 37; - Enjoy regional specialties at Muenster’s oldest restaurant (1607).
Prinzipalmarkt, Münster 
See the Historic Sights
Rathaus - Town Hall (Prinzipalmarkt 10; - Now designated a European Heritage site, in 1648, the Peace of Westphalia treaty was signed here, ending the Thirty Years War. It's open to the public to view the Friedenssaal (Hall of Peace). Prinzipalmarkt: The Rathaus is located on the Prinzipalmarkt, a nice pedestrian area where you can stroll, shop, or just relax at a cafe.
Churches: Muenster has so many beautiful churches in the Gothic, Romanesque, Classicism, and Baroque-style that their towers define the skyline. It was also here in Muenster that Cardinal Clemens von Galen preached against the Nazi regime, during that era. Be sure to visit: St. Paulus-Dom - St. Paul’s Cathedral (Domplatz 28; - This Gothic and Romanesque-style cathedral was originally built in the 8th century and restored in the 13th. St. Lamberti Kirche (Lambertikirchplaz 1; - Famous for the Anabaptist Rebellion of 1533-34 and as the church where von Galen gave his anti-Nazi sermons.

Thomas Schütte, Cherry Tree,
Münster (photo: Henning Rogge)
Art Stop: Kunstmuseum Pablo Picasso (Königsstrasse 1; - Germany's only Picasso museum features prints and more than 800 of his lithographs; it also mounts special exhibitions.
Day Trip: In the surrounding countryside of Münsterland, there are 100 magnificent castles to view. See them biking (on your own or on a bike tour) or driving.
Where To Stay: There's a wide selection of hotels in Muenster from the Stadthotel to the Hotel Feldmann. Many offer special Sculpture Project packages. In the countryside: Hotel Hof zur Linde; Hotel Schloss Wilkinghege
While the hoopla surrounding documenta only happens every five years, Kassel's lovely parks, palaces, and museums can be visited at any time. Another draw is the connection to the Grimm brothers and the famous Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Kassel is the "capital city" of the German Fairy Tale Route (which you can drive; see the map on the website).
Places To Discover
Grimmwelt - Grimm World (Weinbergstrasse 21; - Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, etc. These fairy tales, that have fascinated and frightened children for generations, were not written by the Grimm brothers. They were tradition folktales passed down through the ages, usually by word of mouth. The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm collected them to preserve them for future generations. The museum documents their life and work.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe ( - This impressive hillside park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the city’s main attractions. Some of the outstanding features include: Baroque grounds and English landscape gardens; a cascading, ornamental water display; a Hercules monument; the Wilhelmshöhe Palace and the Löwenburg Castle.
Where To Stay: There are several good hotel choices in Kassel, in addition to special, hotel-package deals during documenta. Or, you can just do a day trip from Muenster, about two hours by train.

Biking, Münsterland

Getting There: The easiest way to get to Muenster (then on to Kassel) is through Düsseldorf, a transit hub and another interesting German city to visit. Several airlines have direct flights to Düsseldorf from various US gateways: United, Lufthansa, etc., then catch a train right from the airport to Münster. Germany has an excellent train network between cities; you can even get your tickets before you leave through RailEurope or GoEuro, a great site that cost compares flight, train & bus options.