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September 16th, 2013

BEAT Festival: Immersive Art All Over Brooklyn

After last year's successful inaugural season the BEAT Festival's second season focuses on site-specific and immersive theatrical experiences in unusual and non-theatrical settings.

BEAT stands for Brooklyn Emerging Artists Theater but the BEAT roster includes a whole lot more than emerging artists with seasoned and accomplished artists like Ping Chong, Lemon Andersen, Brave New World Repertory and others. But there are lesser known groups as well like LeeSaar and the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure.

This past Sunday night at Congregation Beth Elohim, Brave New World Repertory Theater presented a reading of reflections by those involved with the CBE Feeds initiative, which has been serving food to victims of Hurricane Sandy for the past year and intends to continue.

Also at Beth Elohim, on September 21 they will presenting Ping Chong's Brooklyn 1963, about events connected with civil rights and the fight for freedom in Brooklyn.

There's a whole lot more to the festival, including a performance on Saturday, September 21 of the "striking, sexy and assertive choreography" of LeeSaar, a dance company established in Israel in 2000 by  Lee Sher and  Saar Harari.

For more information go here. 

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July 24th, 2012

Wilco Tonight at Celebrate Brooklyn

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July 19th, 2012

Machel Montano: Spirit of Trinidad Carnival at Celebrate Brooklyn

On Friday, July 20, Machel Montano brings the wild and steamy spirit of Trinidad Carnival to Celebrate Brooklyn's bandshell in Prospect Park. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Born in 1974 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Montano's career began in 1982 at age seven; at age nine he formed his band, Pranasonic Express. His 1985 debut album Too Young to Soca was an instant hit and at the age of 12, he was the winner of the Caribbean Song Festival

The night begins with an opening set by the socially conscious Creole singer-songwriter Bélo, who has been called Haiti’s musical ambassador to the world.

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July 10th, 2012

Greta Gertler and the Universal Thump at Barbes

Greta Gertler sends me press releases from time to time and I read them. At first I read them because of the last name that we share. Her's, however, is spelled without the annoying—and distinctive—h as in Ghertler.

Now I read her press releases because I know how very talented she is.

Gertler will be  performing with her band, The Universal Thump at Barbes in Park Slope on Thursday, July 26. They will be joined onstage by special guests Alec Spiegelman & Kristin Slipp (Cuddle Magic) and Byron Isaacs (Ollabelle).

The Universal Thump performed an acclaimed "All Things Must Pass" benefit concert/recording project on the anniversary of the release of that incredible record with special guest Rick Moody, Missy Higgins, Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), John Wesley Harding and many others.

Read my ecstatic review of that show here: Here's an excerpt:

"Only in Brooklyn could a super group of stellar musicians calling themselves The Universal Thump come together to recreate the Phil Spector-style wall of sound that enhanced George Harrison’s 1970 All Things Must Pass.

"Only in Brooklyn could this dizzying array of vocalists and instrumentalists, perform the entire, yes, the entire three-album set.  In the process they brought down the house not once but numerous times during the three-hour show at The Bell House last night, November 29th, the 10th anniversary of Harrison’s death from cancer and just days away from the albums release date in 1970."

At Barbes, the band will preview songs from their forthcoming eponymous double orchestral whale-pop album, to be released in the US on October 2, 2012.


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December 10th, 2010

OTBKB Weekend List: Hello Friday!

I can just taste the weekend. There's tons to do as always plus there's all that holiday shopping we need to do. Tonight you could check out Danya Kurtz and Keren Ann at The Bell House. On Saturday The Alphabet Lounge Band is playing at  Zora Space, that very happening cafe and performance space on 4th Avenue.  Click on read more to see the whole list with all the details you really need like  time, date, location and links.

Holiday Shopping

December 11 & 12, 15-23 at the Brooklyn Flea: Gifted, a holiday market. One-stop shopping for everyone on your list at One Hanson Place.

December 11 & 12 and every weekend at the Maker's Market: Shop at an indoor, artisan market located at The Old American Can Factory in Park Slope/Gowanus. It is a 'destination' market offering visitors a changing, diverse group  of Makers who exhibit and sell their wares of enduring design, high-quality materials, and artisanal fabrication.


Through December 30: Serious Whimsey: A Collection of Inevitable Objects opens atLittlefield, a music club located at 622 Degraw Street between Fourth and Third Avenuesin the Park Slope/Gowanus neighborhood. The artists in the show are:  Gail Rothschild, Justin Gignac, Kit WarrenLisanne McTernan, Mark DiBattista, Stephanie Homa, and Sztuka Fabryka at


This weekend at BAM: Social Network, 127 Hours, Tiny Furniture, Love and Other Drugs

This weekend at the Pavilion: Unstoppable, Burlesque, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Love and Other Drugs, The Tourist, Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas.


Friday, December 10 (doors open at 7:30 PM) at the Bell House: Danya Kurtz and Keren Ann Zeidel. I heard Kurtz perform at the All Things Must Pass tribute at the Bell House a couple of weeks ago and she's wonderful. Keren Ann is a singer-songwriter-composer- producer and engineer based largely in Paris, Tel-Aviv and New York. She has lived and recorded in France and New York for many years though she retains her Dutch and Israeli citizenship.

Saturday, December 11, at 8PM at Zora Space: The Alphabet Lounge Band, co-founded in 1999 by Roy Nathanson and Deidre Rodman, is unique for its mix of free improv and charted material, originals and standards, lively banter and poignant moments. NO one leaves a show without smiling-a lot!

The Hard Nut at BAM

December 10-19 at BAM: To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Mark Morris Dance Group reprises its irreverent and much loved The Hard Nut, a retro-modern take on the holiday favorite The Nutcracker. Morris’ rendition—which has won Ovation TV’s Battle of the Nutcrackers contest for three years running—transplants the story from the decorous 1890s to the swinging 1970s, a freewheeling era realized with panache and wit. Inspired by the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous score, and the comic book art of Charles Burns, Morris captures the beauty and tenderness of this classic while infusing it with supreme musicality and raucous humor.


Through December 12 at St. Ann’s Warehouse: Knee High Theater’s Red Shoes: “No little girl who sees the Kneehigh Theater’s adaptation of “The Red Shoes” (not that any little girl should) will leave with sweet dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. This imaginative, so-ugly-it’s-beautiful production, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn through Dec. 12, is more likely to inspire nightmares involving severed body parts, public humiliation and concentration camps.” Ben Brantley in the NY Times.

Through December 19 at the Gallery Players in Park Slope: Dancing at Lughnasa Brian Friel’s haunting and beautiful Irish masterpiece opens December 4 under the direction of Heather Siobhan Curran.

On The Horizon: Snowflake Celebration

Thursday, December 16, 2010: Day 2 of the 4th Annual Snowflake Celebration on 7th Avenue is a "No Sales Tax Xmas" event." Shop Local  for an evening of merriment, late night shopping & community spirit!

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November 23rd, 2010

The Universal Thump to Perform All Things Must Pass in Its Entirety

After sobbing through last night's American Masters' documentary Lennon NYC, timed for the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death, I'm ready for some George Harrison

Coming to The Bell House on November 29th at 8PM, there's a 40th anniversary celebration of of All Things Must Pass, the former Beatles' first solo (triple) album, released on November 27th, 1970.

Interestingly, it was the best-selling album of any solo Beatle and was co-produced by Harrison and the legendary Phil Spector (who later worked with John Lennon on Rock 'n Roll).

The album displays Harrison's spiritual side "My Sweet Lord," as well as  "Behind That Locked Door" to 'wall-of-sound' wonders such as "What is Life?"

Out of love for the album, The Universal Thump, a Brooklyn-based orchestral pop collective, led by singer-songwriter-pianist, Greta Gertler and Adam B Gold will perform "All Things Must Pass" in its entirety with a 15-piece, expanded 'wall-of-sound' mode including: 2 drummers, 2 bass players, strings, horns, guitarists, keyboardists and more with the guest vocalists listed above.

P.S. Greta Gertler shares my maiden name (minus the H). Yay for G(h)ertlers!

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November 9th, 2010

Simone Dinnerstein to Host Concert to Benefit School in Need

By now you're probably aware of the Neighborhood Classics series organized by acclaimed SONY classical artist,  Simone Dinnerstein, a win-win for classical and new music enthusiasts in Park Slope, as well as a worthy fundraiser for PS 321.

Well, she's taken that idea on the road and is organizing high caliber musicians to help other NYC schools.

PS 142 Amalia Castro School on the Lower East Side is one of those schools.  Their music department was recently cut due to recent fiscal cutbacks.

Simone Dinnerstein, friends and colleagues wanted to do something about that! That's why they organized this Sunday special concert.

On Sunday November 14 at 4:00 PM the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) will perform a concert featuring music associated with New York’s Downtown new music scene, including works by Philip Glass, Phil Kline, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Nico Muhly.

Known for their work with the Wordless Music Series as well as indie music icons such as Grizzly Bear, ACME’s dedication to cutting-edge contemporary literature extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. Time Out New York calls them “one of New York’s brightest new music indie-bands.” ACME has performed at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, the Noguchi Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Flea Theater, and Columbia University's Miller Theatre, among others.

Neighborhood Classics was founded by pianist Simone Dinnerstein in 2009 to create bonds on the local level between neighborhoods and musicians. These one-hour, family-friendly performances are hosted by Simone and feature musicians she has admired and collaborated with during her career.  The concerts are open to the public and raise funds to benefit the schools’ students.

Musicians performing donate their performances to the program, and the concerts are organized and administered by PTA volunteers and faculty members.

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