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!
A few years ago, I ran into an old classmate at a bus station in my home state. After the requisite wow-it’s-been-way-too-longs and so-good-to-see-yous, she kindly remarked that she enjoyed following my “glamorous and exciting NYC life” to which I said something self-deprecating while internally calculating how unglamorous my life really was. Sure, I had a good first-run in my carefree college years (yes, I was a very annoying Tisch student) and financially injudicious early 20s, but at this point, nearly 10 years into my tenure as a New Yorker, I spent the majority of my time careening from day job to day job, cobbling together the cash for rent and considering my late Friday solo trips to Trader Joe’s a luxurious night out. And besides, how glamorous could I be? I was waiting for the $15 bus. But I digress.
I vowed then and there to find more ways to actually enjoy our fair city — expensive and all-consuming and maddening as she may be. After all, I could go to Trader Joe’s (almost) anywhere. And while yes, sometimes my days still consist of working and then watching Netflix, I’ve found that if you look hard enough, you can find something to do in this city for almost any mood and budget you’re working with (rent is due on the 1st, friends!!).
And while the last few years have been, suffice to say, challenging in terms of going out and trying new things, we find ourselves at an unfamiliar crossroads where experiencing life outside your apartment is, indeed, possible. So let’s meet up for happy hour drinks or a free concert in the park or vintage shopping on Driggs Avenue or a dollar(ish) slice or an expensive martini or a basement comedy show or a new piece from the New York City Ballet or a rooftop date or eating Mister Softee on a stoop or taking the ferry to Governors Island or —
Let’s go places! Let’s see people! New York is alive and so are we!
And before we jump into it — if you know of something fun happening, let me know! If you are organizing something fun, let me know! If you think what I recommended isn’t fun, keep it to yourself! Just kidding, let me know! We’re all internet friends here!!
Your yearning-to-be-more-glamorous New Yorker, Sarah
🎭 Pondering the meaning of life? Me 2
Run, don’t walk to Signature Theatre and see A Case For the Existence of God running through May 29. This humorous, heartbreaking, harrowing yet hopeful two-person drama is a piece that has never felt more relevant to our own harrowing yet hopeful times. It’s performed with potency and thoughtful care by actors (and college roommates!!) Will Brill and Kyle Beltran. See it and I guarantee you’ll be thinking about it for days — I did!!
🎭 Speaking of dream teams
This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Tony Valdovinos, real-life inspiration for ¡Americano!, the brand-new musical now playing at New World Stages, and the leading actor who portrays his life story, Broadway veteran Sean Ewing. Head over to W50th Street to check out the show that notable audience members like Lin-Manuel Miranda 👀 are raving about!!
💐 Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking
If your floral design skills are limited to occasionally buying bodega flowers that you never water, why not get some inspiration from the experts at the Museum of Arts and Design’s Flower Craft series showing now. Featuring displays from a rotating cast of expert floral design artists, plus studio workshops, head to MAD this weekend to learn from LA-based designer Kristen Alpaugh, who was also recently a contestant on HBO’s competition series Full Bloom.
🎭 I am a recovering actor
Confession: There are some truly mortifying Facebook photos of a moon-faced 18-year old me beaming at a gracious Jonathan Groff at the stage door of the original Spring Awakening. I’m sorry, Jonathan Groff. Which Way to the Stage at MCC Theater, running through June 5 is for the fan and aspiring artist in all of us, detailing the trials and tribulations of two friends trying to make it in showbiz and get Idina Menzel’s autograph. This show is getting major buzz (and not just from fellow theatre nerds). Why not catch it in case it doesn’t transfer?? See you at the stage door…
Combining Chekhov’s classic tale of aristocratic ennui, contemporary Zoom-style-drama, and a robotic dog, The Orchard opening May 31 at Baryshnikov Arts Center has more than enough reasons to check it out. But wait, there’s more!! MB himself will be appearing in the production, spanning a 43-year age gap between his two characters. Tune in!!
🍸 I want to drink with strangers
As someone who slogged it out in the New York dating scene for a decade, I know it’s f$#@*%$ rough out there. Why not make things easier by setting up dates at a place where you’ll have a good time, no matter what? Suggest a cocktail on Friday at Darling, the brand-new rooftop bar at the luxurious Central Park adjacent Park Lane Hotel with breathtaking views of the park. It looks like the kind of place where you should go on a date. And if it doesn’t work out, why not come back the next night to debrief with your friends?
🎭 A show to restore your faith in love
Another hyperlocal cultural gem is the Theatre at St Clement’s, currently hosting the touring production of André and Dorine by Spain-based Kulunka Teatro through May 29. Let’s get this out of the way — the story of an elderly couple dealing with Alzheimer’s, André and Dorine is very, very sad. That being said, it’s a moving story handled with care, enhanced through the three-person company’s incredible mask, puppet, and movement work that makes it wholly worth seeing.
🍷 More notes of floral
If you’re looking for a seasonal escape without hoofing it to the Hudson Valley or braving the LIE, head to the New York Botanical Garden this weekend for a locally-focused wine tasting at their Spring Uncorked event. While you’re there, check out their Farmer’s Market preview, listen to live music, and make new friends by playing lawn games. A few glasses of rosé really evens the Jenga playing field.
🎭 A memory play that gives Streetcar a run for its money
Tucked away on a quiet block on the Park Slope/Gowanus border is the world premiere of Ebru Nihan Celkan’s WILL YOU COME WITH ME?, the haunting, poetic, story of queer love amidst political turmoil in 2018 Istanbul. Directed with immersive, multimedia impact by Keenan Tyler Oliphant (Hadestown, Oratorio for Living Things) with thoughtful performances by Layla Khoshnoudi and Maribel Martinez, this innovative piece is worth catching!!
🌕 those summer nights
There’s something magical about a warm summer evening, wandering the streets with a snack in hand (and now, thanks to our state legislature, a cocktail in hand!!). Head downtown tomorrow (Friday) to Think!Chinatown’s first series of seasonal markets, featuring local food vendors and performances from Soh Daiko, the Japanese drumming ensemble and DJ YiuYiu in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
🖼 Elon Musk’s (?) Twitter is rotting my brain, I need culture
Our fearless leader recently stopped by Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure, now showing in Chelsea at the Starrett Lehigh Building. The posthumous retrospective curated by Basquiat’s family features never-before-seen pieces and exclusive perspectives into the life and works of the legendary neo-expressionist artist.
🎤 In case you missed the remix
Maybe you’ve heard that our Lord and Savior Patti LuPone deliciously dressed down an anti-masking patron at Company last week? Did you know that Patti (are we on a first name basis? idk Patti don’t kill me), Katrina Lenk, and Company director Marianne Elliot are giving a talkback after a screening of the PBS documentary Keeping Company with Sondheim at the 92nd Street Y next Monday? If I were you, I’d high-tail it there and be on your best behavior. Everybody rise!!!
❓ Quick Question
What is your go-to dinner spot when you want to impress out-of-towners with your erudite New York style but also are not a millionaire?? Reply here and THANK YOU!!
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
Former SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata added a late show to her Bell House set this Saturday
All of your Bway faves are singing the 11 o’clock numbers they wouldn’t usually get to at Broadway Backwards this Monday
Cycle out your IKEA dresser from 2005 and check out the NYC Home Decor and Accessories Bazaar on the Upper West Side on Sunday
There’s a dance parade running from Union Square to Tompkins Square Park this Saturday! A 5-6-7-8!!
📝 That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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