Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!

Recently, a friend of mine sent me an article in The Atlantic entitled “Why People Can’t Stop Adding lol To Texts”. I wasn’t surprised to be the recipient (I am a prolific lol sprinkler — which I’m sure makes my high school English teachers very proud), but I was intrigued by the article’s thesis. Yes, lol can be employed as a way to convey laughter (sarcastic or sincere), but more than anything, its gain in popularity is a way of demonstrating humanity in our increasingly detached dystopian digital times. While I can’t take credit for coming up with such a well-thought out analysis or deftly articulating it in a fancy Atlantic article (lol), I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.

Two-plus years of isolation — confined to interaction with no one but our cellular overlords and the never-ending lack of nuance on Twitter — has left us desperate for a lol. We have lived out a real-time sociological experiment proving definitively that human interaction beats screen-time, every time. This isn’t a missive to blithely dismiss the horrors of your newsfeed or its real-world implications, but rather (I think) a survival tactic. We live in trying times, and while we can and must take the requisite necessary actions to impart change, we also need to regain our sense of humanity by, well, interacting with other humans. We need to lol, even if not literally. Even just a little bit.

Let’s step away from the screen together! See you IRL 🙂

🎭 somewhere that’s green
Listen, you truly haven’t lived until you’ve belted out Skid Row in your shower. But why not watch the pros do so at Broadway Sessions at the West Bank Cafe tonight, where cast members from Little Shop of Horrors (now playing at the Westside Theatre) pay homage to the cult musical classic and share backstage banter with host Ben Cameron. I got the chance to check out a show earlier this year and they’re always a good time. Don’t feed the plants!!

🎶 a long long time ago
I may not remember algebra (sorry, Dad) but I do still know almost every lyric to Don McLean’s American Pie. Catch his 50th anniversary concert at the Town Hall this Saturday  celebrating a half-century of the seminal rock classic before the levee runs dry-yyy.

American Pie Don McLean

🎭 a beautiful islander
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Pluff, executive director of brand-new in-the-round Off-Broadway venue Playhouse 46 at St Luke’s. Be sure to snag a ticket to their inaugural production, the much-acclaimed Edinburgh Festival transfer Islander running now through June 13! We hear it’s an innovative, soul-warming piece of theater which is probably what we need a lot more of in our current moment?!

👯‍♀️ pirouette picnic 
I also got the chance to catch up with the excellent team at Bryant Park, who are producing a top-notch, completely free season of outdoor performances every weekend through September. Dance Performance at Bryant Park. Stop by this weekend to check out dance showings from AThomasProject and Ephrat Asherie Dance (Friday) and Ariel Rivka Dance and The Missing Element (Saturday), each at 7pm. And should you forget your picnic blanket, Bryant Park has free seating to borrow! 

all i wanna do is 🚲The Hell’s Kitchen Pride Ride is back, meeting up this Sunday at Trek Bicycle on 10th Avenue between W46th and W47th street for a local celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, complete  with free snacks, drinks, and swag

🕺 disco al fresco
Vinyl Nights at Bella Abzug Park are back! Shake the week away Friday night to tunes from DJ Misbehavior and Kenny Parker from a totally reasonable 6-9pm — you can make it to yoga on Saturday! Balance!

Far Header

🥯 everything (bagel) everywhere all at once
You can get me to attend almost any event by also promising the appearance of bagels — the siren song of the circular carb is just that strong. If you too are a bagel fanatic, and better yet, if you love a New York classic bagel/cream cheese/lox combo, then you should hightail it over to the Bagels, Shmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish book signing at Acme Smoked Fish in Greenpoint this Friday. Author Cathy Barrow will be signing copies of her bagel-forward cookbook, which you can preorder at a discount along with Acme’s signature Fish Friday specials. Save me an everything plz!!!

Fish Fridays

🎬 the origin of love
Governors Island has joined in on the free film festival fun, kicking off a series of evening screenings this Friday with John Cameron Mitchell’s boundary-breaking 2001 work, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Don’t forget your Hedwig(wig) on the ferry! 

🎶 it’s just emotion taking me over 
When I was a moody twenty-something I liked to listen to Bon Iver’s Skinny Love on my sad little iPod while walking the rainy streets of New York City. Now I’m a moody thirty-something and if I could, I would also listen to Skinny Love on my sad little iPod, but it died in 2016. Or, I could head over to Forest Hills Stadium this Friday where Bon Iver is playing a concert to moody people of all ages. Let’s m%&*$*$@ing emote!!!

🎶 raise your voice
Founded in 1993 to raise funds in the AIDS crisis and since expanded to promote social justice causes citywide, The Empire City Men’s Chorus sing a tribute to iterations of the divine feminine from Hindu, Buddhist, Celtic, and Judeo-Christian musical traditions in their summer series, Kinfolk Divine this weekend. Hit reply to snag a pair of free tickets to see the show!! 

🎭 i am not just endorsing this because another sarah wrote it
Featuring a star-studded cast and creative team to bring Sarah Silverman’s memoir to musical life, The Bedwetter at Atlantic Theater Company has been getting great word-of-mouth and looks ripe for a Broadway transfer. Inside sources (aka me, I called the box office) heard that limited tickets, both direct and through the TodayTix lottery are still available! 

🎶 i am not just endorsing this because i love judy garland
Asked as a young child who my idol was, I confidently answered, “Judy Garland!”, decidedly sealing a reputation for choosing the uh, rough road through showbiz and/or life. Anyway! While I desperately wish that Ms. Garland was still with us, for now, Rufus Wainwright has got us covered with his show, Rufus does Judy: From When You’re Smiling to San Francisco at City Winery this Sunday. Special guests include full-on legends Laura Benanti, Sharon D Clarke, Molly Ringwald, and Lorna Luft (aka Judy Garland’s daughter!!) to forget your troubles, come on, get happy!!

❓Quick Question
What is the best, cheapest, sit-down restaurant in the neighborhood (for those of us that just paid rent lol)?

🔥Hot Tip
If you’re a dancer or a mover or a theatre-fiend, you know LaDuca Shoes. Handcrafted Italian leather of the highest quality, they’re the standard for Broadway dancers and beyond. And while nonpareil craftsmanship does come with a higher price tag, starting this Sunday, LaDuca puts all (!!) of their many styles on sale online and in-store beginning this Sunday (in-store sales begin Tuesday). Snag discounts on your favorite all-season styles or a commemorative limited-edition pair — we have our eyes on The Cyn (named after dancer Cynthia Onrubia)!

⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
Melissa Etheridge is also playing City Winery tonight and tomorrow night 

The Hudson Yards Equinox pool is now offering IV-drips for your hangover recovery (or… just drink Gatorade like the rest of us plebs 🙄)

The Queens Pride Fair — the second oldest pride parade in the city! —  is this Saturday in Jackson Heights 

The Grand Bazaar is having a handmade artisan’s festival this Sunday! Buy me tchotchkes!!

Have a wonderful first weekend of PRIDE — and if you are riding or walking along the Hudson River, check out this billboard (thanks to reader Mary Jane for the photo!).

📝 That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (sarah@w42st.com)

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