The A-List

By Scott Stiffler



There’s good news for those of us who think the Bard has nothing new to offer. Chicago’s Improvised Shakespeare Company is back for what will likely be their last area appearance in 2010. You supply the title for a play that has yet to be written, and they proceed to create it — Elizabethan style! It’s part of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s 12th annual Del Close Improv Marathon” — a July 30th through August 1st tribute to the godfather of improvisation. The sprawling event is so big it’ll require the combined spaces of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Hudson Guild Theatre, Urban Stages and F.I.T.’s Kate Murphy Amphitheater. See the ISC on Fri., July 30th, 7 p.m. at the FIT Kate Murphy Amphitheater and Sat., July 31st, 7:15 at the UCB Theatre. For details on how to purchase tickets ($12), visit www.delclosemarathoncom or www.ucbtheater.com. 



Jean Grillo goes from prominent Downtown personage to Midtown Girl when her play “Blow by Blow” debuts as part of the 11th Annual Midtown International Play Festival. Specifically, it’s part of the Festival’s annual Short Subjects Division. But why split hairs? All you need to know for sure is the play’s based on the life of Brit style icon Isabella Blow — the former editor of British Vogue and a genuine pop culture train wreck whose life story hasn’t become any less interesting since her death in 2007. Jen Forcino Directs. Sat., July 24th, 7 p.m. and Sun., July 25th, 1 p.m.; at the Jewel Box Theatre (312 W. 36th St.). For tickets ($15, $12 for students/seniors), visit www.midtownfestival.org or call 866-811-4111. 



The Art Bazaar champions unrepresented artists by giving them a place to show and sell their work — in legitimate venues throughout NYC (take that, sidewalk vendors!). “Midsummer Art Bazaar” takes place July 23rd through 25th at Lyons Wier Gallery (175 Seventh Ave. at W.20th St.). Should you wish to walk away with something, note that prices are set by the artists — who will be on hand to interact with the public and, hopefully, build a fan base that will pave the road that leads to financial independence. For daily hours and more details, visit www.lyonsweirgallery.com and www.artbazaar.tv.



August may be a slow news month, but the hot air is positively crackling with new and exciting arts projects. Contributing to the buzz is The Theatre Project—an artist-driven endeavor dedicated to the concept that an actor is an ever-evolving human being. They debut with their production of Sarah Kane’s “4.48 Psychosis.” A poetic contemplation of suicide, it’s the fifth (and last) play she wrote before committing suicide (in 1999) at the age of 28. July 29th, 30th, 31st, at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at The Red Room (85 E. 4th St.). Tickets ($25) can be purchased at the door. For info on this young, ambitious company, visit www.thetheatreproject.org.



More fun than watching paint dry (but every bit as time-consuming), Anthology Film Archive’s “Boring Masterpieces” series screens films whose running time far exceeds the normal — and challenges its audience to experience a meditative epiphany before they either go insane or fall asleep. Case in point: Andy Warhol’s 8-hour “Empire” shows at 1:30 p.m. on Sat., July 24th. Anthology assures us “Those who heroically endure the entire film will be awarded with a special prize.” One can only hope it’s a large packet of NoDoz, to be used for other flicks in the series (which plays July 24th, Aug. 7th-8th and Sept. 2nd). At Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave.). Call 212-505-5181 or visit www.anthologyfilmarchives.com.