Friday, February 29, 2008

Frozen Grand Central Stunt

This wacko video on YouTube has been floating around for a while, and I couldn't resist having it on this site too. Weird, wonderful, whimsical New York. Brought to you by the art-on-the-spot Improv Everywhere.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dave Hill Blows Your Mind, Like, Wide Open

Dave Hill is some kinda wonderfully weird. A mashup of Andy Kaufman, lounge lizard and frat boy metrosexual, this comedic genius is just this side of certifiable. Seeing his show The Dave Hill Explosion at the UCB Theater at 307 26th St. (home to the Upright Citizens Brigade) was true NYC art on the edge. While I was disappointed that the promised hornets did not make an appearance (yeah, I read his blog) it was made up for by fab guests Amy Sedaris and Bob Mould. Throw in a wrestling match with a midget and creepy sidekick Phil and you've got all kinds of fun goings on onstage.

His twisted take on a talk show uncovered truths never before revealed in the history of man. Like, who knew pioneer punker Mould composed the theme to The Daily Show? Who knew Sedaris could spit beans out of her mouth, making them resemble knocked-out teeth? (0kay, so that one we already knew about, but to see it live was just delicious).

Bonus: Seriously, David Hill has some major buzz going and is on the cusp of becoming a major pop culture phenom. Catch him now while you still can. Besides, at $5 a ticket, this is the best comedy bargain around.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

'Looking Up' Risks Love Without a Net

For a unique bit of superb, twisted storytelling of high flying love between an engaging aerialist and a star-struck bartender, look toward Looking Up, playing until March 2nd at the Theater for the New City at 155 First Ave. Written and performed by the multitalented Carla Cantrelle, and featuring tantalizing trapeze acts, this fast-paced tumble of a theatrical dialogue explores the budding relationship between Wendy, a circus artist falling to earth, and Jack, a burnt out bartender in need of a lifeline.

Sure, this premise is ripe for corny metaphorical zingers, one liners and a kick of circus kitsch. But lucky for us playwright Cantrelle neatly balances the cutsie premise of love on the high wire with insightful commentary on the fears, foibles and downright pain inherent in budding love. With just the right dollop of cynicism, she doles out life observations available only to those whose job is risking death every day.

With a powerhouse performer with tricks up her sleeves such as Cantrelle, it takes a strong and steady leading man not to get tangled up in her nets. But Bryant Mason endears as the charming, conflicted bartender-with-a-heart-of-gold. So palpable is his vulnerable, love-without-a-net Lothario that we root for his risktaking and eventual climb to heights formerly unthinkable.

Kudos also go to the creative team, with top notch direction by Giovanna Sardelli. In a limited engagement, don't miss this intimate yet dynamo show with a unique twist-get tix at TheaterMania or by calling 212-352-3101.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Westminster Dog Show Worth Woofing About

Its the greatest dog show on earth. The Westminster Dog Show, taking place Feb. 11-12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, is the premier gathering of top breeds from across the nation. The area around the Garden is overrun with magnificant doggies looking chic and red-carpet ready.

Adding spice to this year's event is the fact that my friend Kathy's adorable pup Calvin is half-brother to pre-show favorite Uno, a beagle who is causing alot of buzz. Despite being a popular breed, no beagle has won the Best in Show prize in the show's history. But one look at the super-precious Uno (whose official name is Park Me in First) will get your tail wagging.

New York City knows how to keep these elite canines happy, with special "poop stations" set up in the Hotel Pennsylvania (where many of the contestants stay) and high end, gourmet dog treats galore. As for show tickets, there is reserved seating (running $60 on upupup), general admission for $40, and a children's pass for $20. The show runs 8am-11pm each day, and if you can't make it in person watch live coverage of the group competitions on the USA Network. And if you just want to get in the doggone mood, check out this slide show or a personal favorite, The Daily Puppy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Tuesday: How Do You Vote In This Town, Anyway?

Since moving from Washington DC almost a year ago, I've not given politics alot of thought. Its been refreshing to be in a town where culture and moolah reign supreme, rather than congressional shenanigans. But it was exciting to be in NYC on Tuesday for the primary, with all the passionate campaigners flambouyantly drumming up support for their gal or guy. But don't be like me and (accidentally) not register in the state until it is too late. I'm currently undecided, but I still feel guilty (kinda-sorta) for not casting my ballot.

So, to help others avoid such peril, below are some links for getting your civic duty on and being prepared for future votes:
Board of Elections: Info on all things political in the city.
Voter Registration Form: Fill it out. Send it in. Get ready to vote.
Poll Site Locator: Find out where you vote in advance, so you don't get lost.
NYC Voter Assistance Commission: I don't really know what they do, but cool info nonetheless. Apparently, 2008 is Voter Awareness Year. Who knew?
League of Women Voters: A friend pointed this important group out to me, and in this election year in particular, it is an essential resource.

The general presidential election is Tuesday, November 4, so get ready to do your patriotic duty and get out and vote!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fashion Week: Where Hemlines Meet Headlines

Now that the Giants have won the Superbowl, we can get back to the real entertainment spectacle going on in NYC right now. That is right, I am talkin' about Fashion Week Fall 2008, taking place Feb. 1-8. You know, the time of year when all the fashionistas get decked out in five inch heels (not an exaggeration), leopard print stockings and microminis and head on down to Bryant Park. It is not uncommon to see toothpick thin models running across 6th Avenue dressed in outfits that are fine art in and of themselves. A visual feast of high end couture, physically impossible beauty and downright freak-show spectacle, Fashion Week is a celebration of creativity of the sewn variety.

You have to be someone to get inside the tents, but anyone can walk by and gawk at the impeccibly decked-out-and-about beauties and designers flustered and rushing to their next gig. Who might you see? Zac Posen, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg and Heidi Klum. Current buzz is all about the swiftly-shrinking miniskirt going higher higher higher. We will see, but fact is that all clothing trends, no matter how trecherous, get their start here.