09/10/12 - 0 Comments
BAM Next Wave Festival Celebrates its 30th Season
The BAM Next Wave Festival began it’s 30th season last Wednesday and we couldn’t be more excited to book our tickets. This year’s lineup most definitely has all of the avant-garde omph that we’ve come to expect from BAM’s cultural festivities, with an inspiring array of performances that are sure to keep us busy from now until January 19. That’s over four months of film, theater, dance, music, opera, visual arts, literature and comedy for those of you who don’t have your calendars handy—plenty of time to stop in and get your fall and winter culture fix.
To ensure you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff, we’ve picked a few of our favorite events that are more than worthy of your attention. We promise you won’t find a better excuse to make your way over to Brooklyn than these shows, lectures and glamorous galas.
From September 12 to December 2, BAM transforms its Peter Jay Sharp Building into one of the city’s chicest galleries for the 11th annual Next Wave Art show. Expect a ton of artsy goodness from some of Brooklyn’s most promising artists, including José Parlá, Daniel Arsham, Tatiana Berg, Denise Kupferschmidt, Rachel Owens, David Scanavino and Kim Westfall—all for the price of, well, zero dollars.
That’s right, the Next Wave Art show is free and open to the public, leaving you absolutely no excuse to skip out on the event. If you’re free this Wednesday evening, we strongly suggest—on second thought, insist—you stop by the exhibit’s opening (also free) at 6 pm onwards for a chance to mingle with fellow art lovers and enjoy a complementary cocktail. Who knows? You might even get the chance to talk with some of the participating artists, because they have definitely been known to make appearances at past BAM art events.
This year, BAM is trying something new during their Next Wave Festival by teaming up with Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore to present Unbound, a literary extravaganza (September 18 to November 20). Think of it as a festival within a festival—a mese en abyme, if you will (excuse our fancy French literary phrase). If you were expecting some serious discussions on the nature of great literature, Unbound is sure to please. We, on the other hand, are dying to attend an event of a more lighthearted nature—the November 20 Gary Shteyngart Roast.
Just in case you haven’t heard of him (although we’re pretty positive that you have because, honestly, who hasn’t read his work?), Gary Shteyngart is the award-winning author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story. To help him celebrate the 10th anniversary of his first novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, BAM and Unbound have brought in some of Shteyngart’s closest colleagues (Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney and Sloane Crosley, to name a few) to present a Friars Club-esque roast. Too often, good literature is taken too seriously. This year, BAM lovingly works to remedy the problem.
As always, this year’s BAM Next Wave Festival will be filled with plenty of chances to get out in the evening and dress to the nines. They will also, however, have some pretty cool (and free) low key festivities, including the BAM Fisher Block Party on September 22. Expect food, games, crafts, tours and a bunch of exciting outdoor performances to round out the afternoon.
Okay, so the specifics: this year’s BAM Fisher Block Party will be hosted by W. Kamau Bell and DJ Idlemind “The Appropriate Agent.” Performers include Shine and the Moonbeams, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Stars Band, Aabaraki and Alice Smith—four really excellent reasons to make your way over to BAM and Fisher Street.
Okay, as we all know, BAM actually stands for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Over the years, they’ve played host to some absolutely amazing operas, dramas and dance performances, and this year’s Next Wave Festival is no exception. Naturally, they’ve got a ton of shows going on in each of the categories, but here’s what we’re really looking forward to.
Theater: Trojan Women (After Euripides)—November 28 to December 2—is a very modern adaptation of Euripides’ classic tale of the Trojan war. Only, this time, we women take the center stage. The show explores “the universal struggle to move forward in the face of tragic, crippling loss,” according to the performance’s website. And, having watched Troy (mostly because of the young and sweaty appearance of Brad Pitt) a thousand times, we can’t wait to see this epic tale told from a more feminine perspective.
Opera: Einstein on the Beach (September 14 to September 23) is one of the few live opera performances to take place at this year’s Next Wave Festival (although cinematic renditions of a bunch of worthy classics will be shown throughout). The original 1976 performance was a collaboration between Philip Glass and Robert Wilson and, this year, to help celebrate the Next Wave Festival and BAM’s 150th anniversary, BAM is reviving the show that can only be described as “a hypnotic tableau.”
Dance: American Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker (December 7 to December 16) is, perhaps, the show we’re most excited for. Honestly, how could any respectable performing arts school not do a rendition of The Nutcracker around Christmas? Even if you’ve seen the show before, we promise you’ve never seen the holiday classic done like this. As The New York Times put it, “American Ballet Theatre has a production like no other, made with complete theatrical authority from first to last. I’m impatient to see it again.”
Date nights are essential, but who says you have to stick to dinner and a movie? This fall, why not crank up the class and go see an opera, laugh with one of America’s bestselling authors or enjoy an evening of Brooklyn’s best art? We promise that an evening at BAM will not disappoint.