The A-List

Compiled by sarah norris



Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

George Arce, 1959 (Oil on canvas)


Widely regarded as one of the most important American painters of the twentieth century, Alice Neel (1900-1984) bucked the American avant-garde trend of the 1940s and 50s. Dubbing herself a “collector of souls,” Neel created unique portraits of downtrodden neighbors, poets, lovers and strangers. Two concurrent exhibitions focus on a selection of figurative paintings, ranging in date from the late 1940s to the early 1980s. Alice Neel: Selected Works can be seen at David Zwirner (533 West 19th Street). Alice Neel: Nudes of the 1930s can be found at Zwirner & Wirth (32 East 69th Street). May 14 – June 20. For more information, call 212-727-2070 or www.davidzwirner.com.

Musical Theater

Photo by Tom Johnson 

Will song & dance cast a golden glow on these gals?


Fans of Bea Arthur still hit hard from her recent passing, take heart — to the rescue come four guys who dare to portray the “Golden Girls” we’ve come to love. Fun, frothy and unauthorized, “Thank You For Being a Friend: The Musical” is a sassy theatrical tribute to the sitcom whose repeats keep the WE and Hallmark channels relevant. With original music, parodies of Broadway songs and zippy choreography, these gals go where our much-loved sitcom friends never dared. Let’s just hope they’ve created a worthy tribute; or the show’s rabid fans will let their dissatisfaction be known with pitchforks and torches. May 24th through July 12th, Sundays, 8:00p.m. at The Kraine Theater; 85 East 4th Street (btwn. 2nd & 3rd Aves). $20. To purchase tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit SpinCycleNYC.com.


Photo by Nic Musolino  

John Gardner, left, as Saul Kimmer and Edward Chin-Lyn as Lee


The next time you sublet your NYC apartment, make sure to ask whether the temporary tenants plan to stage an Asian-American production of “True West” while you’re gone. That’s the lesson learned from Curious Frog Theatre Company, who invite you to their East Village sublet for this unique take on Sam Shepard’s perennial tale of two warring brothers. Odds are the audience and cast will see the play’s themes take on a heightened intensity — thanks to the crowded confines of this tiny common living space. Tues-Sun, through May 31, 7:30p.m. at 181 Avenue B, (btwn. 11th & 12th). $25 tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/63066. Wednesday shows are $10, cash-only, if you bring a loaf of regular-sized bread. For more information on Curious Frog, www.curiousfrog.org.


Photo by Max Ruby 

Flamenco dancers take to the stage


Now in its 14th year, the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts marks a fitting start to outdoor summer events in NYC. The eclectic, free, three-day arts festival puts a welcome accent on downtown talent — featuring over 100 performing arts organizations, local and international celebrities,  independent artists, poets, puppeteers, filmmakers and others. It’ll cost you nothing to see jazz legend David Amram, talk show legend Joe Franklin and a bevy of handpicked young talent destined for legend status themselves. See them now and years from now, say “I saw them when.” Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24; in and around Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue). For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.



Photo by BA Faiella 

Barbara Maier, at home in Chelsea

Depression Brunch

In-demand 74-year-old voice coach and long-time Chelsea resident Barbara Maier gets her due with a ongoing series at Joe’s Pub. Maier counts the Broadway cast of “Passing Strange” and Deborah Harry among her provocative and loyal clientele. Now, she’s producing a new series of “Depression Brunches” at Joe’s Pub. The inaugural production’s theme is “Idol Idle Idyll Worship — Sacred and Profane.” Expect dynamic performances from Tammy Faye Starlight, trans singer/pianist Our Lady J and Tony nominee Justin Bond. To help cut costs, audience members are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch (but order Joe’s Pub booze). Noon, May 31, at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street (btwn. Astor & E. 4th St.). $15 cover, $12 minimum. Call 212-967-7555 or www.joespub.com.