The Eight-Day Week
Sure, you have access to Netflix, Roku and countless other ways to access movies from the convenience of your couch. But that doesn’t take away the magic of kicking back in a theater with fellow film lovers. BAM’s Vengeance is Hers is a celebration of “cinema’s most unforgettable heroines and anti-heroines,” curated by Nellie Killian and Thomas Beard and running through Feb. 18. Today, check out the classics Nine to Five, starring funny lady trifecta Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, and She-Devil, starring Meryl Streep, Roseanne Barr and Ed Begley Jr. (directed by Susan Seidelman of Desperately Seeking Susan fame.)
Tucker Reed is sweet on Brooklyn—big time. A resident of Prospect Heights who enjoys frequenting the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Reed is a champion of the city’s most populous borough. He is a ball of energy as he talks about all of the work the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has done with him as president for the past two years, from supporting the technology sector with the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition to establishing Downtown Brooklyn as New York City’s college town. About a year after Commercial Observer conducted the Sit-Down interview with Mr. Tucker, we wanted to check in and see how the nonprofit has been doing with the reinvention of Downtown Brooklyn.
Karen Brooks Hopkins, who has helmed the Brooklyn Academy of Music since 1999, announced that she will step down in June 2015. During her tenure, Ms. Hopkins launched the BAM endowment with former BAM President and Executive Producer Harvey Lichtenstein, which grew to $90 million in 11 years. She expanded and renovated BAM’s campus and facilities, built a board of 65 trustees, developed partnerships with cultural forces including the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Barclays Center, the National Book Foundation, New York City Opera, Sundance Institute and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The Eight-Day Week
The so-called J.D. Salinger of indie rock was at a loss for words.
After taking the stage and making it through the start of “The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One,” (“When you were young…”) Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum paused, regained his composure and began again. Later, he admitted to getting choked up in front of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House during the first of the band’s three sold out shows there.
At the Movies
Head on over to Fort Greene for BAM’s 28th annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—Come Share the Dream. Renowned activist Angela Davis will deliver the keynote address.
Cobble Hill Cinemas, formerly known as the Lido and then as the Rio, feels a little bit like every movie theater you have ever been to. The air is slightly hazy with buttered popcorn dust, framed covers of old Photoplays jostle for attention with advertisements for dopey new rom-coms and a bank of gumball machines stands against one wall.
Cobble Hill is neither a multiplex nor a movie palace; the lobby is gussied up with gold paint, art deco plasterwork and rococo clouds, but its proportions are so small that patrons must wait on the sidewalk if they arrive more than 15 minutes before a show’s scheduled start time. There is a homespun quality to the place, its walls adorned with slightly clumsy murals of Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx. It seems, in other words, like a memory, like the kind of place that must have closed down a decade or two (or three) ago.
“Put your dancing shoes on!” Casita Maria chairwoman Jacqueline Weld Drake exclaimed to Shindigger last Monday. With Fashion Week a blurry recent memory, New York’s movers and shakers and socialites quickly turned their attention to the autumnal premieres, galas and openings.
As John Turturro approached the head table, the president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Karen Brooks Hopkins, rose from her seat. “I present to you the consul general of Sicily,” she said in jest, introducing the actor to her tablemates, a group that included South African Consul General George Monyemangene, his wife, Louise Monyemangene, and Mr. Turturro’s better half, Katherine Borowitz.
It was a frigid night, smack in the middle of the city’s latest cold snap. Inside the grand foyer of the Peter Jay Sharp Building, however, the atmosphere was warm and bubbly. Many had braved the elements for BAM’s 2013 Theater Benefit, an evening honoring renowned British theater and film director Peter Brook and celebrating the U.S. premiere of his latest (quite beautiful) production, The Suit.
It's a dog's life
Last month, more than 700 tuxedoed and ball-gowned revelers gathered in the Museum of Natural History’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life for the annual S.L.E. Lupus Foundation gala. As the attendees feasted on black American caviar, Margaret Dowd, the foundation’s executive director, was marveling at something else: the size of the crowd.
The foundation had not seen so many people at its annual gala since 2007. “It’s been very tough the last few years, and we had to cut expenses drastically,” she said. “In 2009, many of our donors said, ‘Our portfolios were really harmed and we have to cut our donations, but we’ll be back.’ And they did come back. This year has been much, much better.”
The benefit raised $2.5 million—a significant jump from the $2.2 million raised at last year’s. Things have not returned to the 2007 level, when the gala’s $3.2 million haul set a national record, which has yet to be topped, for lupus research funds collected at a single event, but the foundation is on track to raise 10 to 12 percent more this year than the previous one. Ms. Dowd added that the nonprofit’s spring luncheon saw such a dramatic spike in attendance this year—a 30 percent increase—that next year they plan to hold it in the Plaza.
Author Gary Shteyngart’s dachshund wrote to BAM to express his canine concern about his owner at the upcoming Gary Shtenygart Roast, a “Friar’s Club style” roast where Mr. Shtenygart’s friends will take shots at the writer to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook.
“Last night, while my favorite human Gary Shteyngart was dripping gherkin juice and pickled cod balls onto his green polyester shirt, I noticed a tear trickling down his face,” wrote Felix the dachsund, in remarkably similar prose to his human owner. “I peered over his slumped shoulder and saw on the interwebs that in a couple weeks, some famous people are gathering at BAM to make fun of him.”