Walking through anything in New York City’s Times Square–whether the Sephora or Toys R Us Stores; the line at TKTS or the pedestrian mall–has a larger-than-life, slightly carnival-ish, sideshow feel.
So the Discovery Times Square Exposition on West 44th street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue; 866-987-9692) fits right in.
The exhibits there are larger, splashier and somehow more brazen than anything you’d find at another New York museum. Witness “Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition,” which runs through Feb. 28. Experience the ship’s maiden voyage! Take on the identity of a Titanic passenger! (Without the unfortunate end result.)
No, you won’t be getting that at the Guggenheim. You can also experience a recreation of the ship’s grand staircase and, to be fair, actually see artifacts from the ship (hence the name.) The objects recovered from the ocean floor include china, jewelry, clothing and documents.
While you’re there, you can also check out “Leonardo Da Vinci’s Workshop,” running through March 14. Gaze at full-scale models of some of his inventions, such as a self-propelled cart and a robot knight (chivalrous and high-tech.) Participate in a family workshop (there’s one today at 1 PM) and come up with your own invention. Or simply play with the touch screens that allow visitors to transform sketches into 3D models.
Coming in April: “King Tut: Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” It opens on April 23. Ten galleries will showcase 130 artifacts, including some of the possessions from Tut’s tomb.
Bigger, larger-than-life, more over-the-top? Where else but Times Square?
You can get a preview of the upcoming Broadway musical American Idiot tonight during the broadcast of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony when the show’s cast perform along with band Green Day. The rock musical, which premiered last year at California’s Berkeley Rep, is based on Green Day’s acclaimed album American Idiot as well as its recent release, 21st Century Breakdown. The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS at 8pm Eastern standard time.
Out with the old, in with the new: In New York City as well as across the country, Toys R Us is spearheading an initiative so parents and caregivers can trade in potentially unsafe, old, and used baby products as part of “The Great Trade In” event. Items that can be traded in include used car seats, strollers, play yards, high chairs, toddler beds, and cribs. (Many of these items are old and still in circulation, but should not actually be used or passed on to someone else.)
In exchange for turning in these products, consumers will receive a 25 percent savings on certain new baby items.
The program began yesterday, and continues through Feb. 20.
During the first trade-in event, in Sept. 2009, tens of thousands of items were brought in; used car seats were the number one item brought to stores–as well as the number one item purchased.
In New York, the place to head, of course, is the Toys R Us in Times Square. (1514 Broadway at 44th Street; 1-800-TOYSRUS). In addition to ridding yourself of those baby products that have been sitting in the attic, kids can partake of the giant Ferris wheel; walk-in Barbie Dream house; and the “R Zone,” a 5500-square megalopolis of the newest in electronic games, DVDs, and other tech gizmos. Customers can play on giant plasma screens (and those over 30 are guaranteed to walk out with unsteady balance and buzzing in your ears, not to mention your brains, so be forewarned.)
Oh yes, watch out for the 5-ton, 20-foot-high, 34-foot long animatronic dinosaur inspired by “Jurassic Park.”
If you weren’t unsteady on your feet after the Ferris Wheel and the game room, you will be after an encounter with him.
It’s a big week for Museum goings-on in New York City, what with paintings being accidentally ripped (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); and preparations for the Biennial (The Whitney Museum of American Art). Over at The International Center of Photography (ICP), four new shows open today (January 29).
Fist off, there’s ”Twilight Vision: Surrealism, Photography and Paris.” More than 150 photos, films, books, and periodicals have been brought together to show how photographic images were used to create both real and imaginary images of Paris. Man Ray, Ilse Bing, and Dora Maar all have works in the show.
In “Miroslav Tichy,” the exhibition highlights the work of the reclusive Czech photographer, known for his cardboard cameras and haunting images of women and landscapes. (In addition to photographs, a number of his homemade cameras are on view.)
“Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place” explores the idea of “place” and memory through black-and white photos. Works of the Montreal photographer include both the photos of male pinups that he sold in the 1950s, as well as his photographs of his home city.
Finally, 31 vintage prints of the work of famed photographer Eugene Atget are on display in “Atget, Archivist of Paris.” All the images have been taken from the museum’s permanent collection.
All exhibitions run though May 9. ICP, which is located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, can be reached by calling 212 857-0000. The museum also offers a broad spectrum of classes, lectures and workshops.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have teamed up with Avenue Q co-composer/co-lyricist Bobby Lopez to create a new musical, which it has been announced will be presented at the New York Theatre Workshop in downtown New York City this summer. The details given by NYTW were scant, but it appears that the show (presumably a comedy) will play in August and September. Parker and Stone are not new to the musical genre, having created the South Park movie musical and the cult film Cannibal the Musical (which has subsequently had several stage productions).
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Million Dollar Quartet Discount Ticket Code on Broadway in New York City
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One of the great art world events opens in about six weeks in New York City: The Whitney Biennial comes to town on Feb. 25 and runs through May 30.
The 75th Biennial will feature 55 artists, as opposed to 82 in 2008.
The show is always known as much for the controversy it provokes as the survey of American Art it undertakes. This year, artists include Lorraine O’Grady, a performance artist who worked as an intelligence analyst for the government; Aki Sasamoto, whose performance art will take place in the galleries next to her sculptures, which incorporate objects from everyday life; and Suzan Frecon, whose work hangs in New York’s MOMA and who is known for her large paintings of geometric designs.
Video installations, which used to be scattered throughout the building, will now largely be offered on a single floor.
For the first time, women outnumber men.
And if you can’t wait until mid-Feb., in preparation for the event, a show that opened mid-Jan. at the Museum focuses on past artists who have been included in the Biennial. Entitled, “Collecting Biennials,” it focuses on a mix of artists, including some big names like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
You can also go to the Museum’s website (wnitney.org) to watch a series of brief videos about the preparation for the event, focusing on artists and curators, as well as the installation and preparation of a number of the works.
The Whitney Museum is at 945 Madison Avenue; call 212 570-7721 for more information.
Walking under an ugly piece of scaffolding, or “sidewalk shed,” is as much a part of many New Yorkers’ days as the morning subway ride or the line at the bank. But now, in an effort to make those dark, creepy, ramshackle enclosures less, well, dark, creepy and ramshackle, a new design is set to be unveiled.
The sheds are designed, ostensibly, to protect walkers from being hit by runaway debris while a building is being renovated or repaired. They’re found on both residential and commercial properties.
An international design competition was held to determine a new design: The winner was Young-Hwan Choi, a first-year architecture student at the University of Pennsylvania.
The design, entitled “Urban Umbrella,” will have customizable, transparent roofs. A UV-stabilized film could be used for the application of either different colors or a variety of art work; in other words, the roofs would become the basis for public art projects.
Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement saying that although the city changes, the sheds themselves have not. (Wouldn’t faster, more efficient work also be a solution, to get rid of the sheds faster? But we digress.)
A prototype should be up this summer. Supposedly more than 6000 sheds exist in New York City–this works out to more than one million linear feet. (You’re welcome for doing the math.)
So keep your eyes open—but your head covered–when you approach a sidewalk shed in upcoming months.
The Tony Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage will have a second interesting cast shake-up on March 2. Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill) and Dylan Baker (recently on Broadway in Mauritius and David Mamet’s November) will play one of the two couples in this play about parents who meet following a fight between their two children. Also joining the cast is Janet McTeer (Broadway’s Mary Stuart), who was in the original London cast, and re-joining this Broadway cast is Jeff Daniels – except, in a little twist, he will be playing the role previously played by James Gandolfini instead. The current cast of the show – Ken Stott, Jimmy Smits, Annie Potts, and Christine Lahti – will finish their time with God of Carnage on February 28.
In this tragic drama by Arthur Miller, a hard-working Brooklyn man finds that his developing obsession with his wife’s niece leads to his downfall.
Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson (in her Broadway debut) star as Eddie Carbone and the orphaned niece that Eddie and his wife have raised in this excellent revival, and both give award-worthy performances. They are supported by an equally fine cast, including Jessica Hecht as Eddie’s wife, Morgan Spector and Corey Stoll as the illegal immigrant relatives whose arrival at the Carbone household sets the tragedy in motion, and Michael Cristofer as the neighborhood lawyer who narrates the tale. They just don’t make plays like this anymore, and Miller’s writing is so good that he invests these working class characters’ 1950s Brooklyn-based story with all the poetry and drama of a great Greek tragedy.