Archive for Entertainment

Opera Diva Sings Highest Note in History

Opera singer Audrey Luna has broken a 130-year old Metropolitan Opera record by singing a high A note during her performance in The Exterminating Angel.

Luna is a Grammy-winning Soprano who plays Leticia in the show, which is based on the 1962 film by Luis Buñuel. After her feat, she interviewed with The Times and revealed:

“I’ve practiced up to a C above high C in the past, so I know it’s in me. But it’s just nothing I’ve performed on any stage before.”

Though it is possible that another singer has hit the note in the past, there is no known record of such an accomplishment.

Other divas have sung notes almost as high, such as a high A flat sung by Rachele Gilmore, the understudy for the role of Olympia in The Tales of Hoffman. She reached the note during her performance of “The Doll Song.” Luna has also hit the note in that very same role.

Pretty Woman Coming to Broadway

Pretty Woman is coming to Broadway next fall. The film, released in 1990, was an international hit, grossing $463 million. Starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the story captures an unexpected romance between businessman Edward Lewis and a woman named Vivian.

The stage-adapted musical will be produced by Paula Wagner of The Heiress, with music and lyrics written by Canadian star Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. The show will be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, who has won Tony awards for his work on La Cage aux Folles and Kinky Boots.

The new musical will feature a book by the film’s director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Cast includes Tony-winner Steve Kazee of Once as Edward Lewis, and Samantha Barks as Vivian. Ms. Barks played Eponine in the film Les Miserables in 2012.

Get Ready for Summer Streets NYC 2017

Summer Streets NYC is one of the biggest, most exciting summer activities in New York, and the 2017 happening is expected to make a real splash. Planned for three consecutive Saturdays in August, this outdoor event will turn 7 miles into a pedestrian playground complete with walking tours, dog parks, art exhibits and misting stations.

Last year’s event boasted 300,000 visitors including local families and tourists. Activities are free of charge, and this year’s event will include a 270 foot waterslide, a water park shaped like a dishwasher, 165-foot long zip line, a rock climbing wall, fitness classes and more.

Check out last year’s Summer Streets NYC event:

 

Father’s Day in NYC

How did you celebrate Father’s Day last Sunday?  If you’re a dad did someone make a fuss of you and what about all those kids – young and old – did you recognize the amazing role your father has been playing in your life?

NYC certainly knew how to celebrate this most special day.  Featuring top steak restaurants such as Peter Luger (the beer-hall-style-eatery), Quality Meats (industrial theme park featuring meat-hook light fixtures, wooden butcher blocks, white tiles and exposed brick) and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (offering thick, juicy and flavorful steaks), there was certainly no shortage of options on where to take Dad for the special day.

And then there are father-son/daughter bonding trips in the area too.  Just think about how much fun you could have had if you went camping at Hither Hills State Park (just 2.5 hours by car), Fahnestock State Park (1 ¼ hours by car) and more.

If you didn’t celebrate dad earlier this week, take him out now for an adventure at New Jersey’s Cape May, or New York’s Cold Spring or even Freeport, the latter of where you can bond on the Captain Lou Fleet, the way fathers and kids have traditionally done so – over a fishing rod.

So even if you missed out, remember, make Father’s Day every day for your awesome dad!

The Dead Come Alive at Tompkins Square Park

Well, the Grateful Dead that is anyway.  On June 1, 2017 – marking exactly 50 years ago to the day – the Grateful Dead Tribute Band (Ice Petal Flowers) brought along some speakers and decorated the area with tapestries hung from the fence. It was June 1, 1967 that marked the start of a relationship between NYC and The Grateful Dead.  They played their very first (free) show at Tompkins Square Park.

So at the beginning of this month the music from that time came alive again.  Passersby checked out what was happening and then just stuck around because the band was great.  Official NYC Grateful Dead Family DJ Matt Lilly said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the quality of the music; they knew what they were doing.  They were clearly true fans.

The event lasted around four hours and was thoroughly enjoyed by fans young and old, putting out “good vibes and great music.”

Kids in New York City

With the summer fast approaching, what is on the calendars now for kids in the Big Apple?

At New York’s Central Park Zoo from May 13-27, the Drawing Center put on Saturday workshops engaging kids with all sorts of art materials to engage in a half hour science and drawing program.  Presented together with the current exhibition, ‘Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions,’ Wildlife Theater Troupe artists guide participants on the program.

Kids can also go to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to enjoy an exhibition featuring Tattfoo Tan’s art.  In an interactive manner, kids are then able to gather up things needed for camping trips, put them in their backpacks, learn to tie knots and tell stories around a fake campfire.  As well, each Saturday different workshops are held, such as the Trail Blazers coming to help the youngsters engage in floral creations, enjoy nature through their senses and partake in an orienteering scavenger hunt. Then there is the map-reading journey leading to Brower Park where the children can get help pitching a tent.

And let’s not forget about all the regular attractions New York holds for kids, such as the Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri and the Astoria Park Pool to name but a few.

Martin Meets Manhattan

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York-based artist Martin Roth came back with a new exhibit, entitled, I cultivated a piece of land in Midtown Manhattan nurtured by tweets.

Roth, born in Austria, has provided visitors a Zen sanctuary, enabling them to descend into the subterranean gallery and thereafter emerge into a simulated forest clearing.  He does this through a room that is made to feel like a forest with trees covering all the walls and seven tons of soil supporting 200+ lavender plants under fluorescent light.

But what makes it quite unique is the fact that its sources are none other than…Tweets. The way it works is the grow lights on top of the lavender plants escalate in conjunction with the tweets of powerful public opinion shapers.  While the statements are re-tweeted with greater frequency, the lights become brighter, turning the lavender plants into a kind of index of the political cultural climate.

Martin has definitely bought something quite manifest to Manhattan.

Manhattan Moods: From Veggie to Meatloaf

What is there to do and eat in Manhattan these days? From veggie to carnivore it seems like there’s everything…and a lot of it. Here we take a review of just a couple of exciting additions to the scene.

On 22nd of this month, the Manhattan Friendship Garden is hosting a “Veggie Bowl” at the Laraway Lanes (1009 Laraway Rd. New Lenox) for lunch. Tickets for the 1pm event are $20 for ages 16 and over, $10 from ages 7-15 and children 6 go for free. As well as the food there is bowling, raffles and family-friendly fun and any monies raised will go toward the Manhattan Friendship Garden. With the funds, fresh vegetables will be grown for this year and next for those in need via local pantries and group homes. So as well as heat-healthy veggie delights, the yummy delicious will feel good for one’s emotional heart too.

But for those more carnivore lovers, there is something just as exciting. With specialty items from chef Michael White from his Nicoletta restaurant, the debut menu in Queens features a jumbo mozzarella stick wrapped with pepperoni, breaded and fried, served with a side of marinara sauce, plus “classica” and Calabrese stromboli rollups. The chicken Parmesan on a sesame roll is totally yummy too. Prices range from $9.50 to $14.

Likewise, Eddie Huang has his jumbo mozzarella stick served at Big Mozz with a hand-breaded and -seasoned, served with house-made sauce, for a similar price of $10. He is bringing inspiration from his Bauhaus menu, and is also offering a braised Berkshire pork belly inside a cloud-like bao bun, with a relish, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar and cilantro topping.

And not to miss out on dessert there is Kristen Tomlan’s Greenwhich Village Shop with her cookie-dough-flavored offerings in the following flavors: sugar cookie, chocolate chip and cake batter.

Clearly it is unlikely that Manhattaners will go hungry this spring.

Things to do in NYC

For those who find themselves in the New York City area and want to take in the area’s landscape and major monuments, this video is good place to start.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Midtown Manhattan just encountered its 256th annual parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks ago.  The Upper East Side was transformed into bagpipe-playing, crazy-hat-wearing, drinking, flag-wearing, celebration of everything green…aka Irish.

The Parade was packed with excited spectators, alongside the more famous revelers, James O’Neill (NYPD Commissioner) and Mayor Bill de Blasio. And of course, East Village’s McSorley’s Old Ale House (NYC’s most famous and oldest Irish tavern) conducted a roaring trade.

So how come so many New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? In 1845, New York witnessed a slew of immigrants from Ireland. They came to escape their country’s potato famine. They didn’t have much when they came and thus many settled in poverty-stricken Five Points, neighboring Little Italy and Chinatown.