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!
The other day I found myself at Sardi’s, surrounded by theatrical veterans telling showbiz tales (and should you want to hear them, you can buy Broadway producer Julian Schlossberg’s new book, Try Not to Hold it Against Me). While my first thought was “LOL my long grift pretending to be a reporter is really working”, my second thought was about the process we all go through of collecting our own New York stories, showbiz or otherwise.
Whether it’s the time you came face to face with a real life, actual Rat King (only click this link if you are brave) in Tompkins Square Park, had frozen Gatorade repeatedly thrown in your face at the NYC Half Marathon volunteer stand or danced the Macarena with Bobby Moynihan in a dive bar at 1am, you have your own memoir-worthy New York stories (and if you would like more details on any of the above, let’s get drinks lol).
Get out there and make a memory!!!!!
Where do you go in New York that you know will make for a good story?
🎭 creative correspondence
I’m a big Sarah Ruhl fan (no, it’s not just because her name is Sarah with an “h” but it doesn’t hurt!!!!) so I’m really pumped to go see Letters From Max at Signature Theatre beginning Tuesday February 7. The world premiere adaptation of Ruhl’s novel by the same name, the play explores the “letters and poems passed between herself and her former student Max Ritvo, as he candidly discusses terminal illness and tests poetry’s capacity to put to words what otherwise feels ineffable.”
📺 motown and more
In honor of Black History Month, The Paley Center is hosting A Salute to Black Achievements in Music on Television now through Sunday February 26. Stop by to check out a detailed retrospective of the legacy of Black musicians on America’s cultural television landscape, with panels, exclusive artifacts and costume displays and screenings of Seven Lively Arts: The Sound of Jazz; Chuck Berry: Brown Eyed Handsome Man; VH1 Rock Docs: Soul Train The Hippest Trip in America; TCB Motown Special; Video Music Box; Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever; and Beyoncé – I Am…Yours.
🎨 pump up the JAM
Make sure to take a trip to the exhibit Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces at MoMa, showing now through Saturday February 18, where you can view artists featured in the gallery and laboratory founded by Linda Goode Bryant as “a place where Black art flourished and debate was cultivated” from 1974-1986.
🎨 art is alive!!
Head over to the Carlton Fine Arts gallery for their Black History Month exhibition Art is Dead showing now through Tuesday February 28 featuring artist Vincent Peters (known as ÆTHELSTAN), whose collection is inspired by conversations with Cuban artists imprisoned for making work without the government’s permission. The showing is a collaboration with nonprofit Decree349R, an organization whose mission is to counter the censorious Cuban law. The gallery is also holding a special event (date TBD, stay tuned!) hosted by art collector and Law and Order SVU MVP Ice T!!!!!
🎨 honoring seneca village
Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at the Met showing now commemorates Seneca Village, a Black landowner’s community that was demolished by the city to build Central Park. “Powered by Afrofuturism — a transdisciplinary creative mode that centers Black imagination, excellence, and self-determination — this construction is only one proposition for what might have been, had Seneca Village been allowed to thrive into the present and beyond.”
🎭 a bright new samuel d hunter play
If you’ve been tuning into this little newsletter from the beginning, A) you’re a real one and B) you know that I couldn’t stop talking about how much I loved Samuel D Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God at Signature Theatre. Hunter’s newest work, A Bright New Boise, is a dark comedy which depicts “a Boise Hobby Lobby thrown into chaos by the arrival of a new employee sorting through a tragic past” — which is intriguing, to say the least!!!!
🎶 why not!!
If you missed out on the chance to catch the incredible John-Andrew Morrison in the Tony Award-winning A Strange Loop, fear not — he’s playing 54 Below in a revue called No…Maybe…Why Not February 3 and 4, where he explores the ups and downs of love with tunes from Broadway and beyond!
🎶 cue the violins
Adding to my many er, experimental artistic endeavors, I once pretended to be an experienced violinist to get a part in a high school play. I was so bad, you guys! Anyway you should go see some kids who actually practiced at the Juilliard Orchestra Concert Saturday February 4, where the talented ensemble will play Dawson, Prokofiev and Debussy, and not the scratchy chicken sounds that I once made.
🎭 don’t tell mom the babysitter’s…
“Ashling is every busy parent’s dream: a professional nanny with experience and a warm, sunny attitude. But from the moment Mary hires her to look after her young children, things start to feel just a little…off.” This logline already makes me nervous and yet intrigued to see Lucy playing now through Saturday February 25 at the Minetta Lane Theater. Hire a babysitter (???) and go!!
🛍 love is all you need
Celebrate the season of Valentine at the Queer Love Art Market Bash this Saturday February 4 hosted by Queer Athena at Wonderloft Studios, where you can pick up artisan gifts from queer makers, enjoy complimentary food and drink, get a flash tattoo and play ice breaker games!
🛍 shop with love
Keep your Valentine’s day shopping streak going and support the Valentine’s Day Migrant Market at the Recirculation pop-up Saturday February 4, 11 and 12 where you can purchase art, food and gifts by migrant makers. And if you stop by on the 4th, enjoy the book launch of Lissette Norman and Kianny N Antigua children’s book Plátanos Go with Everything/Los plátanos van con todo!
🛍 brooklyn museum market
Rounding out our weekend shopping trip is the Brooklyn Museum First Saturday Pop-Up Market Saturday February 4 where you can buy items from independent artists and the Urban Outfitters’ Black History Month collections from Ron Bass, Riveriswild, Oswin Benjamin, Electric Circus and more!
🍚 story of a grain
Join Chef JJ Johnson of FIELDTRIP, New York Times Food reporter Priya Krishna, Chef Oscar Lorenzzi of Harlem’s Contento restaurant (owned by HK local Yannick Benjamin!!), farmer and educator Anisha Rathod and James Gonzalez, co-owner of Puerto Rican Harlem eatery La Fonda at the Museum of the City of New York’s Rice Stories Thursday February 9 as they discuss the culinary ties of rice to the area’s diasporic cultures. Bonus: the ticket includes a rice bowl and a glass of sake!
🍿 btw is goofy a dog??
Deep dark confession: for years my fellow musical theater people have obsessed over A Goofy Movie and…I really don’t know it?? I think I maybe watched it once, but I’ve pretended to know it well for years lol??? But people who know it, know it. And they’re gathering at A Drinking Game NYC Presents A Goofy Movie at The Bell House Saturday February 11. Maybe I should go so I can stop living a lie.
🛍 sweatah weathah
Y’all I have basically given up on outfit creativity and am wearing a sweater every single day until it’s time for my jean jacket/leather jacket rotation. So I was excited to see The 260 Sample Sale is hosting a CASHMERE EVENT now through Sunday February 5 where you can pick up goods from Amicale Cashmere, Sofia Cashmere, Bruno Magli, Vince and Hickey Freeman. Grab me an extra sweater!!!!!!
🔥 Hot tip
Next up in our long-running series Things to Do That Aren’t Scrolling the Horrors of the Internet is the Brooklyn Craft Company, where you can take glass etching, macrame, knitting and crochet workshops. My friend Teej said that the crochet portrait workshop was really fun and doable even for those of us who are not born seamstresses. Let’s go!!!
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
Loved Everything Everywhere All At Once? Check out the filmmaker’s previous weird and wonderful work, Swiss Army Man, screening at Lincoln Center Saturday February 4
Catch Talib Kweli at Blue Note Jazz Club Tuesday February 7
Head to Hip Hop: Conscious, Unconscious at Fotografiska New York
Bushwick’s Got Talent is February 8 at House of Yes
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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