Just Do Art!

compiled by Scott Stiffler


Steinway Hall and Third Street Music School Settlement’s recently established partnership has yielded a new Piano Ensemble Program in which children and adults can experience the joys of group music making. Ensemble participants are grouped by skill level and receive expert coaching from Third Street’s distinguished faculty as they explore music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras (in addition jazz and popular music). The program also features Master Classes, workshops and a public performance at Steinway Hall at the end of each semester. Adults meet Tuesdays at Steinway Hall (for children, Saturdays). For info or to register, call 212-777-3240 x30 or visit www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org.



Literate kids and cupcake enthusiasts of all ages mingle at the space shared by Books of Wonder and Cupcake Café. The Café has sweet stuff all day, every day (they’ve got some of the best icing in town) — while the bookstore has story time Sundays at Noon (appropriate for ages 3-7). If you’re a kid, or have one to occupy on a lazy weekend, there’s simply nothing better than being able to enjoy a story followed by a massive sugar rush. Life is good! Books of Wonder is located at 18 W. 18th St. Call 212-989-3270 or visit www.booksofwonder.com. Cupcake Café, at the same address, can be reached at 212-465-1530 (visit www.cupcakecafe.com).


On the scene since 2004, the New York Musical Theater Festival has presented 232 musicals — 60 of which have had productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and “elsewhere.” This year’s fest has 27 full productions. Here are a few that seem more than promising: “Above Hell’s Kitchen” sees a tortured rock musician undergoing therapy in an attempt to reign in his wandering eye before his compulsive sexual conquests overwhelm his creative drive. “Fellowship!” is a parody of all things Tolkien — featuring barefooted hobbits dancing to an 80s power ballad score. “Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly Deaf Musical” is the autobiographical booty-shaking tale of a guy determined to not let his progressive deafness steal away his songs. “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” sees Claire discovering her sexuality while rediscovering her faith. “Nighttime Traffic” follows three characters through a world of altered perceptions, thanks to a mind-altering pill that slows time. “Things As They Are” is an epic portrait of Dorothea Lange — the photographer behind the iconic Depression Era image “Migrant Mother.” At various midtown locations, through Oct. 17. For single tickets ($20) and package deals, call 212-352-3101 or visit the. Access the schedule of full productions, readings and special events at www.nymf.org.


The sixth annual installment of Art in Odd Places explores the term “Chance” — by featuring works (and acts) of art in unexpected locations. By doing so, AiOP hopes to broaden our outlook on art, city dwelling and social conventions. Festival partners include Open House New York (OHNY), Pratt Manhattan Gallery, TheaterLab, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and The Wooster Collective. Through Oct. 10, along 14th St from Ave. C to the Hudson River. For info, visit www.artinoddplaces.org.