Are You Going to the 2018 New York Musical Festival?

Pedro J Torres Musical Festival 2018

The center of New York City’s theater district is home to a major organization in the musical industry. The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) is a festival that promotes musical theater, and is aimed at enhancing the vitality of musical theater every year, keeping theater alive and well. The New York Musical Festival has been in existence for over a decade and continually introduces new content to all attendees in NYC. According to NYMF, over the course of the festival, over 400 shows have premiered. This has led to the introduction of more than 8,000 artists to over 300,000 audience members. In 2013, the New York Musical Festival received a Drama Desk Award, a sign of the festival’s significance to the world of musical theater.

The Festival Details

For the 2018 New York Musical Festival, varying passes are offered. These passes offer the ability to not only book tickets in advance of the general public but also offer pass holders the chance to enter the theater before individual tickets holders. There are three levels of passes, ranging from $124-$559.

1.) Pass – $124

This is an individual pass. It provides a combination of one lanyard and pass in addition to four tickets and one invitation to the opening night celebration of the festival.

2.) Pass Plus – $297

With up to a combination of two passes and two lanyards, this pass is great for couples or friends. It provides ten tickets, two invitations to the opening night celebration of the festival, and exclusive access to all readings for two people.

3.) Pass Premium – $559

The pass premium features a combination of up to four passes and lanyards, making it great for small groups. Up to twenty tickets are included with the pass in addition to four invitations to the opening night celebration of the festival. Additionally, the premium includes exclusive access to all readings for four people and four invitations to the closing night celebration.

These passes are not necessary for entrance to the 2018 New York Musical Festival, but give holders additional benefits in addition to discounts off of the festival tickets.

Involvement

Outside of the musical festival itself, the NYMF participates in and hosts a variety of community programs. One of their most notable programs is the Next Link Project, which trains musical theater writers and provides mentorship for the writers.

The New York Musical Festival is one of, if not, the largest annual musical theater events in the United States. Past performances have proved fruitful for many performers at the festival, as multiple performers have gone to perform on Broadway, nationally, and globally.

Musicals to Attend on Broadway This Spring

Pedro J Torres Spring Musicals 2018

Broadway, the pinnacle of performance art, is the absolute best place to see a live musical. Millions of people annually flock to Broadway, the infamous street in NYC home to some of the best musicals known to man. Broadway has established the names of countless legendary works, actors, actresses, musicians, and singers. Attending a Broadway show is a popular task on bucket lists around the world. If you’re ready to check that item off of your bucket list, you’re in luck. This spring holds some of the best performances you won’t want to miss.

Once on This Island

This bittersweet musical is based on both Romeo and Juliet, with twist inspired by The Little Mermaid. Once on This Island, Stephen Flaherty’s original fairytale first premiered in the 1990’s and went on to earn critical acclaim on Broadway. The story itself takes place in Haiti, during a time of segregation. A young girl is washed away by a flood, but the gods of the island save her. Through this musical the audience is captivated as she learns she may have a destiny after all.

The Book of Mormon

From the hilarious creators of television masterpiece, South Park, The Book of Mormon is perhaps Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s most daring work yet. The musical centers around two Mormon missionaries and is definitely not for those easily offended. The Book of Mormon has earned four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, and a Grammy, surprisingly enough. Prepare for controversial, cynical, brilliant comedy!

Dear Evan Hansen

Following the Second Stage theatre, this is a six-time Tony-winning, comic musical. This thought-provoking production has received only raving reviews. This is a tale about how lies can travel through communities and the repercussions of such. Set in a high-anxiety high school setting, where students who are desperate for any form of recognition from peers, Dear Evan Hansen takes a dark spiral. It touches on several concepts such as suicide, depression, and anxiety.

Springsteen on Broadway

Simply put, this is a show put on by none other than The Boss himself. Bringing a new life to the stage, Springsteen is a Broadway show not to miss. This is a show that tells the story of Bruce Springsteen, from the beginning to current date. This show, provided by the man, himself, displays how his activism and passion has proven a relevant force in music for the last 40 years.

The Best Musical Performances in NYC that Happened During the Holidays

Pedro J Torres Musical Performances in NYC

When the holiday season hits New York City, most people tend to associate it with perennial events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Another thing that makes spending a holiday in New York even more special is the large number of holiday musical performances in just about every style of music imaginable. Below is a compiled list of some of the best performances that happened during the 2017-2018 holiday season.

Pop music fans were glad to see Mariah Carey come to the Beacon Theater for the third year in a row from November 27 to December 5 where she performed a Christmas-themed concert than includes one of her signature hits, “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

On December 9, the legendary Apollo theater, which is known for its weekly amateur hour, threw a family-friendly party for the “Apollo Stars of Tomorrow,” all of whom are under 18. Meanwhile, December 10 held a classical music aficionados thrilled to the sound of Sergei Prokofiev’s immortal Peter and the Wolf as performed by the Ensemble Signal under conductor Brad Lubman. Isaac Mizrahi narrated the timeless story while the choreography of John Heigenbotham made it an evening to remember.

Rock fans danced to the sounds of Yo La Tengo and their Hanukkah residency at the Bowery Ballroom on the Lower East Side which played through December 19. The legendary R&B singer Darlene Love performed a Christmas concert at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill from December 21 to 23. Other acts that performed in New York City this holiday season include LCD Soundsystem, Landlady, Dave Harrington, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mark Kozelek & Kevin Corrigan.

For those who fear they’ve missed the show, no worries here. Some performances are ongoing through January.

Jazz lovers can go to the Blue Note to enjoy the 12th annual holiday residency of world famous jazz-funk trumpet player Chris Botti, which is ongoing until January 7, 2018.

Another legendary theater, Radio City Music Hall, is still holding its annual Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. While the theater and the Christmas show full of singing, dancing, and elaborate sets and costumes have been around for decades, this year’s show offers immersive state-of-the-art technological upgrades beyond anything before, including an 8K LED wall and digital projections that cover all eight proscenium arches. The show started November 10 and runs until January 8.

 

Spotlight: BAM Local Collective

Pedro J Torres Local Collective Spotlight

Located in the most densely populated area of New York and secluded by the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers, Manhattan is known has the heart of the “Big Apple”. From the highest skyscraper down to Central Park, Manhattan is booming with life, culture, music, and more. However, Manhattan isn’t the only bustling borough of New York City.

Heading over to the west side of Long Island, Brooklyn is iconically known for the Brooklyn Bridge that connects to Manhattan. Inside the heart of Brooklyn sits the BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building– home to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music presented it’s first performance in 1861, having Brooklyn feel like home ever since. However, what makes Brooklyn feel most comfortable to BAM is it’s dedicated partners.  This spotlight features the BAM Local Collective that come together in the city that never sleeps.

 

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea was founded in 2008 and grown into one of the top attractions that New York City has to offer, and ranked as one of the best flea markets in the world. Brooklyn Flea is a free flea market open to the public and a must-do experience when visiting New York.

Every Saturday and Sunday in Soho, Brooklyn Flea has over 60 vendors indoors that sell items anywhere from designer to vintage, to handmade and more. Although it’s closed for the season, Brooklyn Flea also has a location in DUMBO that remains open on Sundays April through October.

 

Catbird

Taking a jewelry-box to storefront level, Catbird is a classic piece of New York. With all of the jewelry made in their Brooklyn studio, Catbird is a true gem of the city. All stones are conflict free while the materials are all ethically sourced. Believing in local manufacturing, Catbird truly believes in the importance of community in their neighborhood.

 

Douglas Elliman Real Estate

As the largest brokerage in New York, Douglas Elliman Real Estate was established in 1911. Although this business spans much farther beyond Brooklyn, it’s clear that Douglas Elliman Real Estate invests in their locations. BAM is proud to have the #1 real estate firm as their partner.

 

The Greene Grape

Not just one, but 4 businesses partner together to create the Green Grape. Together, these businesses have one shared mission of providing quality goods and services made with integrity, skill, and pride. The Green Grape has 4 locations on Fulton Street.

 

Luke’s

Serving fresh seafood in the city of New York, Luke’s Lobster is an East Village restaurant. They take pride in sustainability, traceability, and community.  With high-quality and sustainable seafood, you know you’re going to get a great meal here!

 

Madiba Restaurant

With South-African roots, Madiba brings a different culture of cooking straight to the tables of New York. This restaurant is dedicated to bringing traditional styles of South African cooking to all guests that visit.

 

Pratt

One of the finest higher education programs in the country, the Pratt is an institution with three locations in the state of New York. Educating undergraduates and graduates for their careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences, Pratt is a highly recognized institution.

 

Save Mor Digital Print

One of the print shops in downtown Manhattan, Save Mor Digital Print is a small business that believes in the bigger important of community and giving back. From working with charities and sponsorships, Save Mor has been serving the Brooklyn community since 1981.  

 

Sincerely Tommy

On the cutting edge of today’s small business industry, Sincerely Tommy is a concept store based in Brooklyn selling emerging women’s fashion and lifestyle items. From local brands to items from around the world, Sincerely Tommy is a unique shop in the city.

 

BAM’s 2017 Next Wave Festival Preview

Pedro J Torres Next Wave Festival

Beginning on September 14th and continuing through December 16th, 2017, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will present the  2017 Next Wave Festival. With a total of 31 performances in dance, music, opera, theater, physical theater, and last but not least, performance engagements, BAM has a great lineup waiting for you.

Although this will only highlight some of the performances, you can view the full line up on BAM’s website, and also subscribe or even purchase tickets to performances you’d like to see.

 

Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring | Dance, September 14-24, 2017

Kicking off the Next Wave Festival is Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring. Back in 1984. Tanztheater Wuppertal debuted in New York with two performances, works of Pina Bausch which then became a historic double bill. This September, Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring restages those performances.

Cafe Muller is an autobiography performance featuring a sleepwalking woman with her arms outstretched as she staggers through a dark restaurant.

The Rite of Spring features a dark, dirt covered stage as 32 total dancers portray fear and desire.

 

My Lai | Music, September 27-30, 2017

Closing out the month of September for the Next Wave Music Festival is the musical performance– My Lai. This Kronos Quartet seeks to portray a pivotal moment in human kind’s perspective on war. In South Vietnam, a US Army Pilot by the name of Hugh Thompson, Jr. made a moment in history when he nose-dived his helicopter into the carnage in a grave attempt to stop a civilian massacre. Composer Jonathan Berger combines Southeast Asian instruments and heartfelt passion to retell this story through song.

 

Crossing | Opera, October 3-8, 2017

Matthew Aucoin is the composer, writer, and conductor of Crossing, an opera that will open the month of October for the Next Wave Music Festival. Using inspiration from a diary kept during volunteering from a Civil War nurse, Aucoin takes Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” to define “us”. This opera captures the heartbreak of two men and their threat to each other, but also their country.

 

Buffer | Performance Art, November 1-4, 2017

Xavier Cha brings us the new-age art performance of Buffer, a performance dance that will alter the perspective between browsing windows and real life. This intimate dialogue between a man and woman showcases a deep conversation on just how the digital world consumes lifestyles on a daily basis and alters our reality of relationships.

 

Bangsokol: A Requim for Cambodia | Music, December 15-16, 2017

To close out BAM’s 2017 Next Wave Festival, Bangsokol: A Requim for Cambodia is an astonishing performance. As Survivors of the Khmer Rouge, Him Sophy (composer) and Rithy Panh (filmmaker) attempt to bring dignity back to the dead of their country through this musical ritual. After nearly two million souls were lost and forgotten, this musical performance aims to mourn the lives of the lost.

 


BAM’s full schedule for 2017 Next Wave Festival is jam-packed with amazing performances unlike any other. You can follow along social media with BAM and the festival through #BAMNextWave

 

From Classical to Cutting Edge: You Can Attend the BAM Members Mingle

Pedro J Torres Members Mingle BAM

If you’re fan of performing arts on the cutting edge of today’s culture then you’re no stranger to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Opening its doors for the first time in 1861, BAM has become a critical location for it’s local community of performances making it one of the leaders in urban art culture. Focusing on both an international and local community based demand, BAM provides an environment of rich aesthetics and history for each and every audience.

 

It’s no question why BAM draws in such a large crowd- with over 775,000 people annually. In addition to attending BAM has membership program. If you love attending outstanding performances, then a membership is something to highly consider. BAM offers many perks to their members and have now created an event for you to meet like minded people. If you’re already a member, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming event at BAM’s Members Mingle.

 

When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.


Where: BAM Fisher Rooftop Terrace

 

Anyone with a membership is eligible to attend- no RSVP required for a complimentary pre-show reception. In addition to free attendance, there is also complimentary wine and snacks for this social. You can stop by before a showing or performance. Even if you don’t plan to attend the performance, you can simply join in for a time to meet others with twin passions to your own.

 

When you sign up for a BAM membership, you instantly reap the rewards.

 

Cinema Benefits:

  • Access to special screening tickets before anyone else
  • 50% off two movie tickets
  • $5 off two tickets to special screenings

 

Live Performance Benefits:

  • Access to special screening tickets before anyone else
  • 50% off two movie tickets
  • $5 off two tickets to special screenings
  • 50% same day tickets for two
  • 20-30% subscription discount
  • Waived ticket handling fees

 

The pricing for memberships starts at $85 with a senior discount of $65. The pricing packaging then extends to 5 tiers with more benefits added on each level you go up. Finally, the ultimate package is the Patron Package that provides exclusive rewards of best seating tickets, personalized tickets and exclusive events.

 

Current members are beyond excited for the opportunity to sip, snack, and chat over their love of performing arts and modern day showings. Whether you prefer classical, or cutting edge, the BAM membership mingle is a network of opportunities for any member planning to attend.

 

BAMcinemaFest 2017

In its ninth consecutive year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is hosting its annual BAMcinemaFest from June 14th until June 25th. The festival will feature the best American independent films, including features, documentaries, and shorts.

Emerging artists from the New York area have the chance to present their work on a platform right in their hometown. Directors of shorts have their opportunity to showcase their feature length films, and new artists can enter the stage by showing off their short films.

Films in the Spotlight for this years’ festival include: Gemini, an LA-set murder mystery from director Aaron Katz; En el Septimo Dia, a funny view on life in New York as an undocumented Mexican immigrant from acclaimed director Jim McKay; Landline, a film directed by Gillian Robespierre about the troubling story of Manhattan-based sisters discover that their father is cheating on their mother; A Ghost Story, a take on the classic story of a ghost coming back to the home in which he lived stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara; Golden Exits, an uneasy comedy from director Alex Ross Perry.

This dominant independent film festival is an event that you are not going to want to miss. Listed below is the complete list of films that are being shown as well as their set time. For ticket information and full details of each of the films, please visit, http://www.bam.org/programs/2017/bamcinemafest.

 

Wednesday, June 14th

7:30 pm: Gemini

 

Thursday, June 15th

7 pm: The Force

9:30 pm: Signature Move

 

Friday, June 16th

7 pm: The Incredible Jessica Jones

9:30 pm: The Strange Ones

 

Saturday, June 17th

1:30 pm: Princess Cyd

4:15 pm: Columbus

7 pm: Where is Kyra?

7:30 pm: Landline

9:45 pm: Bitch

 

Sunday June 18th

1:30 pm: Dina

4:15 pm: Wind River

5:30 pm: En el Séptimo Día (centerpiece)

7 pm: I Am Another You

9:30 pm: Dear Renzo

                  Educators

                  Men

                  All Good Things

 

Monday, June 19th

7 pm: Whose Streets?

9:45 pm: Snowy Bing Bongs

                 Hardware

                 Lance Lizardi

 

Tuesday, June 20th

7 pm: Common Carrier

9:30 pm: Walking Out

 

Wednesday, June 21st

6:45 pm: Big Sick

9:45 pm: Most Beautiful Island

                  Innards

 

Thursday, June 22nd

7:30 pm: A Ghost Story

7 pm: Marjorie Prime

            Our Song

 

Friday, June 23rd

7 pm: Ingrid Goes West

           Harvest

9:45 pm: Lemon

 

Saturday, June 24th

2 pm: Escapes

4:45 pm: The Work

                 Have No Fear

7:30 pm: Golden Exits

FilmAfrica 2017

For the past forty years, the DanceAfrica festival has been held in New York City. The festival celebrates the different types of dances performed by members of the African Diaspora. A dancer named Chuck Davis founded DanceAfrica in 1977. This year the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts a special DanceAfrica event titled The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond. In addition to the performance, BAM will also screen a series of films from May 26 to May 29, 2017, as part of FilmAfrica 2017. BAM describes the film series as highlighting “the best narrative and documentary films from across Africa and beyond, with a special focus on Guinea” (Source). Below are some of the films that will be shown during the series.

Price of Love

Price of Love was directed by Hermon Hailay and released in 2015. The film takes place in Ethiopia. It follows the story of Teddy, a taxi driver, whose taxi car is stolen after he attempts to break up a fight between a prostitute and her boyfriend. Teddy and the prostitute search for the car together and learn about themselves and love in the process.

Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It

Fans of the film Purple Rain will immediately recognize some similarities between Prince’s film and Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It. Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It takes place in Niger and focuses on Tuareg musicians. There is no word for purple in the Tuareg language, hence the title of the film. Mdou Moctar, a local musician, stars in the film. Many aspects of the film had to be changed due to the actors’ Muslim background, so no kissing or hugging. However, the film still captures the excitement of live music—just in a different setting.

Martha & Niki

Martha & Niki is a documentary that focuses on the first women to ever win Juste Debout, a dance contest held in Paris that highlights different types of street dance. Below you can watch the trailer for the film:

Martha & Niki – Official Trailer from Tora Martens on Vimeo.

Paris According To Moussa

In recent years immigration has become an increasingly controversial topic in France. Paris According To Moussa follows an immigrant named Moussa on his trip to Paris. He visits the city in order to purchase a water pump but faces some difficulties along the way. Although the film has some humorous moments, it is also touching. The United Nations gave the film the Human Rights award.

Learn More About Wesley Snipes

Earlier this month the Brooklyn Academy of Music highlighted the work of Wesley Snipes. The star of the Blade film trilogy, Wesley Trent Snipes was born in 1962. His martial arts training has been evident in each of his action films like Demolition Man, Passenger 57 and U.S. Marshals. The profile of this film actor and producer is definitely worth reading.

Points Of Interest

He debuted with a supporting role in the movie Wildcats in the year 1986, and there are more than 50 Wesley Snipes movies today. He was one of the most successful actors in the 1990’s. During the same time, he co-founded a security firm for VIPs along with his brother. He also founded a film company called Amen-Ra.

Wesley Snipes was convicted on the charges of a misdemeanor because he failed to file income tax returns. His prison sentence began in 2010 and ended in 2013. In response to the accusation by the Internal Revenue Services, he wrote a letter in 2006 and claimed himself as a “non-resident alien.”

During the September 11 attacks his apartment was destroyed, but fortunately, he wasn’t home at the time.

Some Facts About His Personal Life

Wesley Snipes was born to Wesley Sr. and Marian Snipes (Maryann) and was raised in the Bronx, New York along with his sister Bridget Snipes.

He has 5 children, 1 with his ex-wife April Snipes, to whom he was married for 5 years from 1985 to 1990.  With his second wife, Nakyung ‘Nikki’ Park (married in 20013), he has 4 children, Iset Jua-T, Alaafia Jehu-T, Alimayu Moa-T and Akhenaten Kihwa-T Snipes.

He began practicing Islam in 1978 and stopped in 1988. However, he has declared himself to be appreciative of Islam by stating that the religion gave him self-dignity.

Accomplishments

  • In Shotokan Karate, Wesley snipes has a 5th dan black belt.
  • He has earned a 2nd dan black belt in Hapdiko.
  • In 1991, he was nominated for the Best Villain award at the MTV Movie Award.
  • SUNY Purchase College awarded him an honorary doctorate.
  • Blade (1998 film) was a huge commercial success.

The Audience Point Of View

The Wesley Snipes Blade film series remains one of the best-loved movies of this actor. However, his roles in the films New Jack City, Mo’ Better Blues, and One Night Stand are also generally well appreciated.

He has not been seen in the movies too much recently. However, he has 2 movies lined up for 2017.

A Tribute to Harvey Lichtenstein

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) had its first performance in 1861 and has been located in the same building since 1908. BAM is a performing arts center that features various artists and types of performances, helping out the local community while also connecting with the international world of theatre and art. Decades ago, BAM wasn’t what it is today, but that all changed when Harvey Lichtenstein got involved with it.

Harvey Lichtenstein became the executive director of BAM in 1967 and remained in this position for over 30 years. BAM experienced a revolution during his tenure and became what it is today. In 1999, Harvey stepped down as executive director, but he had forever changed BAM into an incredible institution. Unfortunately, on February 11th of this year, Harvey Lichtenstein passed away at the age of 87.

How he got involved

In his 20s, he was inspired to study dance and performed in several companies. When it was no longer financially and personally feasible to continue performing, he often worked and fundraised for music venues, staying connected to his passion. When Harvey was offered the position as executive director of BAM, the academy was not in good shape and he figured he might as well give it a try, even though the theatre had little money and the neighborhood around it was not doing well.

What he did

For some, Harvey was “the most innovative, influential performing arts administrator in New York history.” He helped revitalize Brooklyn and turned BAM into a top center for musical performances and talent. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Harvey was able to seriously put BAM on the map. That’s when BAM began their Next Wave Festival, featuring progressive up-and-coming artists. Though there were failures when trying to recreate BAM, Harvey ultimately left behind a huge success story.

What he leaves behind

To this day, BAM is an incredible cultural and musical center. Even with a new director for nearly the last two decades, Harvey’s legacy lives on and allows the center to be what it is today. Even after he retired, Harvey worked on the BAM Local Development Corporation (now known as Downtown Brooklyn Partnership), which helped the area surrounding BAM to cultivate their own music centers and other vital arts centers, such as libraries. BAM continues to influence the community around it and provide incredibly opportunities for young and unknown talent.