They say there are eight million stories in New York City. Some of the best ones are told at monthly Moth storytelling events. Moth slams are held at various venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. At the start of slams, would-be storytellers put their names in a hat. If you're one of the 10 called, you get five minutes to share your take on the night's themes from memory. (Previous themes include Transformation and Revenge). The stories start at 7:30 and slams always sell out and have limited seating. Get in line early for a good spot.
I'm a recovering musical theater junkie, but even the cool kids love a good Stephen Sondheim musical. On July 21 at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell, not only can you watch the classic New York City musical "West Side Story," you can sing and dance in it, too. Choreographer Lawrence Goldhuber will teach the crowd some moves and song lyrics will be displayed on a giant outdoor screen. The show starts at 8 pm, but you can get stake out a spot starting at 7 pm. Get ready to rumble!
This is a gem. My daughter and I have spent many delightful Saturday afternoons in this brilliant little theatre. Originally built by by Oscar Hammerstein it's an enchanting space off of Time Square, on 42nd. The shows are eclectic, funny, informative, and cultural courtesy of traveling companies from all over the world, including the UK. A must see for anyone visiting with children!
Free plays with a high standard of acting talent seeking exposure and discovery, great atmosphere and the chance to see future and current stars pitting their skills against the bardic benchmark.
Delacorte Theatre in Central Park
PS122 is the centre of experimental performance (dance, theatre, live art, etc) in New York City. It has been a hub of interesting work for over 30 years.
Sometimes the work is fantastic and sometimes it is not so good - but the low ticket price makes it worth the risk. Their biannual festival, Avant-Garde-Arama is an experience worth the risk.
It is on 1st Avenue and 9th Street in the East Village. You can get their via the L train to 1st avenue, the 6 train to Astor, the R train to 8th Street, or the F to 2nd Avenue.
This is a brand new theatre opening October 25, 2007 in beautiful Newark, NJ, just over the bridge from New York City.
Thur 10/25 & Fri 10/26 features My Chemical Romance opening for Bon Jovi. Check this out for a night of music enjoyment.
Tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com.
165 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Of all the New York cliches, the funniest for me is the way people talk, or tawk. It's not just what New Yorkers say, it's how they say it, and where. I heard a man in deep conversation with his therapist on his cell phone in the middle of Times Square, and a woman on the metro discussing her orgasms in a way that would make most Tube travellers blush. And what's great is that nobody bats an eyelid. They're all too busy tawking.
This is why story slams hosted by The Moth are such a good find. They let New Yorkers do what they do best: tell their stories publicly, loudly and competitively. They happen on an open-mic basis every two weeks in venues around town - I saw mine at the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe in the Lower East Side. Each event has a theme and stories are judged by a panel, with winners going on to compete on one of the twice yearly Grand Slams.
The Moth draw on a diverse pool of talent to host the events - actors, authors, former presidential speech writers - and the storytellers themselves are razor sharp. As a night out it's funny, sad, brash, gentle and totally unscripted.
The Moth organisation has a wider purpose of running outreach programmes for marginalised people in New York City. Through workshops they encourage participants to shape their life experiences into well-crafted stories, which are then performed on stage. Their website states that part of their mission is to "satisfy our vital need for connection by celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience". I guess the same could be said for New York City itself.
You can find out more about The Moth at www.themoth.org/
This is theatre just for children, but parents will love it, too. Great for those who may be still too young for Broadway manners. This troupe takes stories, written by children, and sets them to words and music. Very talented group, full of imagination and fun.
Shows on Saturday only.
The Drama Bookshop on 40th Street & 8th Ave, near the major shows; shows are on Saturday only; www.storypirates.com
On in December, I loved this production of the Nutcracker. The scenery was good and our seats were in the front rows. This is a 'must see' if you like ballet. Go the whole hog and buy a programme too to take home! Magical. Tickets on sale from September time.
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