Tuesday, February 18, 2020

New York: THEATER BUZZ, 2020

Friendly Reminder: Off- and Off-Off Broadway shows have limited runs, so get tickets right away. [COVID-19 shut down theaters which, thankfully, have reopened.]
Queens Theatre
14 United Nations Ave. So., Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, NY; queenstheatre.org (Until March 22, 2020)
Written by Douglas Lyons; Directed by Zhailon Levingston; Starring: Jennifer Fouche (Baneatta), Ebony Marshall-Oliver (Beverly), Aigner Mizzelle (La'trice), Josh Adam Ramos (Kenny), Brendan Ellis (Logan), Alana Raquel Bowers (Simone), Ashanti J'Aria (Brianna), Robert G. McKay (Reginald).

It's definitely worth schelpping to Queens for this wonderful show. Douglas Lyons has written some fierce roles for this terrific ensemble of talented actors. Here, you are part of the church congregation as a family gathers for the funeral of their patriarch, Pastor Bernard. Feathers fly and emotions flail as secrets come out of the closet and family members throw shade, love, and prayer at their problems and each other. But there's nothing a little forgiveness and chicken & biscuits can't heal. You'll fall in love with each and every family/cast member.
[Note: It's easy to get to the Queens Theatre by public transportation. Take the #7 to Mets-Willets Point (or 111th St during subway construction), then the theater's van.]

En Garde Arts (Until March 28, 2020--get tks to see an online version)
Fandango, En Garde Arts (photo: Maria Baranova)

This heartfelt and heart-wrenching show dramatizes the story of several undocumented immigrants to the US whose only crime is the desire for a better life. (A fandango is a community celebration with music and dance.) Instead of doing the whole run in one theater, En Garde Arts is taking the show to every NYC borough: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx & Staten Island. Check when it's coming to your 'hood!

These venues, with affordable ticket prices and varied programming, give you the opportunity to take a chance on something new and interesting without breaking the bank.
Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 West 37th St; bacnyc.org
 Patricia Guerrero
  (photo: Courtesy BAC)

BAC is the brainchild of the magnificent dancer/performer Mikhail Baryshnikov. Envisioned as a creative space to support multi-disciplinary artists from around the world, BAC presents contemporary, innovative work at affordable prices. Now celebrating its' 15th anniversary season with a compelling mix of international dance, theater, and music presentations. On tap is work from a Chilean theater collective, a Flamenco dancer, a Russian vocal ensemble, and a Cuban early-music group. Explore the world through this season's exciting programming.

Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Avenue (at 25th St); www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac
(photo: Courtesy BPAC)
During each season, BPAC presents over 30 innovative, cultural programs including classical music, opera, jazz, theater, dance, film, and discussion that reflect the diversity of American culture and the confluence of art and social justice. The aim is to showcase new work in an intimate setting and to engage the general public and Baruch students (who come from 130 different countries). BPAC is the New York home of: the Alexander String Quartet, the Aaron & Freda Silberman Concert Series, the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Concert Series, and the Joel Segall Great Works Reading Series. Check out all of this season's programming.

Theater for the New City
155 First Ave; http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net

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.

The Sheen Center
18 Bleecker St; https://www.sheencenter.org
Darcy James Argue jazz
(photo: Courtesy Sheen Ctr)

Each season, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture presents more than 75 events including theatre, music, film, and discussion. The programming seeks to engage and challenge the audience intellectually, artistically, and spiritually.

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