<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usSat, 25 Mar 2017 22:08:34 -0400Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:08:34 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dunkin' Donuts Says Goodbye to Coffee Coolatta, But ...]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:17:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-118817089.jpg

Dunkin' Donuts says it is getting rid of the popular coffee Coolatta, but plans to replace it with a new frozen drink.

According to the company, the Coolatta will be replaced this year by its new Frozen Dunkin' Coffee, which it says provides "a more authentic" coffee-drinking experience.

The Coolatta has been around since 1994.

Here's the full statement from Chris Fuqua, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Global Consumer Insights & Product Innovation for Dunkin’ Donuts:

"Dunkin' Donuts is expanding its coffee menu with the addition of new Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee by summer 2017. The new frozen coffee beverage, inspired by iced coffee, is crafted using blenders that we rolled into Dunkin' Donuts restaurants nationally in 2015. Dunkin' Frozen Coffee is made using a special extract that contains Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee, blended with ice and dairy for a smooth, coffee-forward flavor, and can be customized to meet a guest's taste preferences. Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee will offer our guests a more authentic, energizing coffee drinking experience compared to the Coffee Coolatta. The Coffee Coolatta will be retired when Frozen Dunkin' Coffee joins our existing frozen beverages, including Fruit Smoothies, Frozen Dunkaccino, Frozen Vanilla Chai, Hot Chocolate-Frozen and Coolatta beverages."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Miss Saigon' Whirls Back into Manhattan]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:13:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SaigonMain.jpg

The revival of Boublil and Schönberg’s sweeping musical “Miss Saigon” features two strong lead actors—one appealingly seedy, the other capable and tenacious. As when the musical first helicoptered onto Broadway in 1991, the famous hardware-heavy set deserves star billing, too.

“Miss Saigon” is a retelling of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” relocated to the end of the Vietnam War. The story tracks the tragic romance between an American G.I. (Alistair Brammer) and a virgin-ish bargirl (Eva Noblezada), whose fortunes are dictated by the resourceful “Engineer” (Jon Jon Briones).

The original production is remembered both for its innovative production design, which allowed a life-sized helicopter to “evacuate” G.I.s from the Saigon embassy, and a blistering controversy over the hiring of its lead actor, which many argued at the time was racially insensitive.

The “Miss Saigon” revival opening tonight at the Broadway Theatre, the same venue where it originally ran, arrives without a casting brouhaha, but with a similarly elaborate staging, which at times vies for attention with the talented cast. Is there a Tony category for Best Appearance by a Luxury Sedan Emitting Pheromones? Can there be?

Briones, who was an ensemble member in the original London cast, has played the Engineer in productions around the world and fully inhabits his character, a resourceful pimp eager to make his way to America. Briones is the focal point of this “Miss,” part-character and part-narrator, emceeing his way across Asia with gyrating hips and snarky asides.

The 11 o’clock number, “The American Dream,” gives the actor ample opportunity to showcase his talent, as he struts around a procession of satin-clad chorus members, finally climbing atop the hood of a Cadillac that has emerged from the gaping maw of a distorted Statue of Liberty, while hailing the power of the dollar.

A Trump punchline smack in the middle of this ode to America is distracting, though it was certainly a crowd-pleaser.

Noblezada is effective as Kim, a resilient showgirl forced upon G.I. Chris at the Engineer’s sleazy “Dreamland” sex parlor. Our sympathies for this Kim are consistently drawn out: We yearn for her to escape Saigon on the last flight out, and we’re won over by her maternal chemistry with the son she has had with Chris, unbeknownst to him.

Those elements of the production are ultimately more compelling than the scenes Noblezada shares with Brammer, who is fine as the naive and impetuous U.S. Marine, though as directed by Laurence Connor (“School of Rock” and the most recent “Les Miz”) is a bit too one-note and given to operatic gestures for my taste.

Devin Ilaw is appropriately sinister as Thuy, Kim’s cousin, who was long ago promised her hand in marriage and has become an officer in the North Vietnamese Army. Katie Rose Clarke is stalwart and forgiving as Ellen, who married Chris after he returned to the States and accepts his emotional baggage.

The second-act curtain raiser, “Bui Doi" (the musical is credited with popularizing the term for Amerasian children abandoned in Vietnam) is buoyed by video images of some of those kids, and it’s led confidently by Nicholas Christopher, as one of Chris’s fellow Marines.

The helicopter scene remains phenomenal. The chopper is loud, with a threatening rotor that forces gusts into the first rows of the orchestra. Other set pieces wow as well: The “Morning of the Dragon,” in the first act, boasts the giant golden head of Ho Chi Minh.

My issues with “Miss Saigon” aren’t deal-breakers: the heavy-handed orchestrations (Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg are also the creators of “Les Misérables”) sometimes unintentionally subvert the presence of the actors. And the initial bond between Kim and Chris isn’t sketched out enough, lessening the finale’s impact.

“Miss Saigon,” through Jan. 13, 2018 at the Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. Tickets: $39-$165. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[Target Goes Photoshop-Free in New Swimsuit Campaign]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:10:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/032217+target+swim+campaign.jpg

This Summer, retail giant Target is going bold and embracing every body in its new swimsuit campaign.

The company launched #TargetSwim which celebrates positive body image and features real women of different body types. But, what makes this campaign even more special is that the photos of the models are not photoshopped.

The models show off their authentic selves while rocking bikinis and swimsuits. Dancer Megan Batoon, pro skateboarder Lizzie Armanto, model and body activist Denise Bidot and TV host and model Kamie Crawford flaunt their curvy bodies.

“Target shows women of all shapes, sizes and colors looking beautiful and confident in themselves and their swimsuits and that resonates with women everywhere,” Crawford said. “Confidence is contagious!”

People on social media are praising Target for the photoshop-free campaign, many calling the move perfect, great and inspiring.

<![CDATA[See It: Bon Jovi’s Ex-SoHo Penthouse Hits Market for $38M]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:27:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bon+jovi+brown+harris.jpg A penthouse that used to belong to rocker Jon Bon Jovi is back on the market for a whopping $38 million. Take a look inside.

Photo Credit: Brown Harris Stevens]]>
<![CDATA[7 Drive-In Movie Theaters in the Tri-State Area]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:33:08 -0400 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*160/hydeparkdriveinheyitspalac.PNG Why sit in a cold movie theater when you can enjoy a warm spring or summer night at a retro drive-in?

Photo Credit: Instagram User @heyitspalac]]>
<![CDATA['The Fantasticks' Off-Broadway Run Is Ending … Again]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:00:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/197*120/newfant12.jpg

"The Fantasticks" has been entertaining audiences off-Broadway for 57 years, but the long-running musical will make one final bow at the Jerry Orbach Theatre this spring, closing on June 4.

In its place will come a new play, "The Crusade of Connor Stephens," set to begin previews June 17.

Featuring music by Harvey Schmidt and book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones, "The Fantasticks" has had a, well, fantastic run — holding the title as the world's longest-running musical.

Originally opening in 1960, "The Fantasticks" ran consecutively until 2002 — when it played its final performance at the Sullivan Street Playhouse after 17,162 performances.

A revival of the musical opened in 2006. Currently running, it will have played 4,390 performances at the time of closing.

That production nearly closed in 2015, the 55th anniversary of the show, but two donors helped keep the show afloat.

“Over the past few weeks, two longtime fans of the show called yelling at me for not letting them know the show was closing,” producer Catherine Russell said in a statement at that time, Playbill.com reported. “Each offered financial help to keep the show running in NYC. I initially declined the offers, but after much thought and consideration, I've decided to accept their generous offers that will help keep 'The Fantasticks' alive."

"I was surprised and moved to see the enormous outpouring of emotion and attention the closing announcement received," she continued. "People called the box office crying and telling stories about the first time they saw the show. I didn’t realize how many people love the show and feel like it’s an important part of their lives. 'The Fantasticks' truly is a treasured and iconic piece of NYC that should live on."

In total over its 57 years off-Broadway, "The Fantasticks" will have played 21,552 performances in New York City.

A modern twist on "Romeo and Juliet," "The Fantasticks" tells the story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then grow apart, driven by their desire to experience the world.

For tickets and more information, visit www.FantasticksOnBroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo]]>
<![CDATA[Dairy Queen, Rita's Celebrate Spring With Freebies]]> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:50:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/4941944171.jpg

What better way to celebrate the start of spring than with ice cream or Italian ice?

Dairy Queen is giving away free ice cream cones Monday to celebrate the first day of spring. 

Customers can stop at any participating location to get a small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on the top. The ice cream chain is also asking for donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals during its free cone day.

If ice cream isn't your thing, Rita's Italian Ice is also kicking off the first day of spring with an Italian ice giveaway — a tradition that has been going on for over 20 years.

Click here to find the nearest location.

And next month, Ben & Jerry's will be giving away ice cream on its Free Cone Day on April 4. Find the nearest franchise here.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[First Look at Victoria Beckham's New Collection for Target]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:19:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/vb+target+thumb.jpg Victoria Beckham's clothing line for the masses arrives next month and fans of the designer are getting their first look at what to expect.

Photo Credit: Target]]>
<![CDATA[Erin Go Bragh or Nah? Take Our St. Patrick's Day Quiz]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 16:47:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/163797890-irish-river-dye-green.jpg

If you're planning to don green on this Friday
And want luck of the Irish coming your way
See if you're a real whiz
In our St. Paddy's news quiz
Ten and out of 10 and we'll partay

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[DeVito Goes Big in Broadway Debut ]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:53:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ThePriceMain.jpg

“The Price,” now at the American Airlines Theatre, is an infrequently produced Arthur Miller drama with its focus on a New York City cop nearing age 50 and contemplating retirement.

Mark Ruffalo is Victor Franz, the play’s emotional center, who is worried he lacks the fortitude for a career switch after years on the force. Amusingly, Ruffalo co-stars here alongside TV icon Danny DeVito, who at 72—speaking of job changes—happens to be making his Broadway debut.

Joining those heavyweights in Roundabout’s atmospheric production are Tony Shalhoub, who lately has done wonderful work in Lincoln Center productions such as “Act One,” and Jessica Hecht, the soulful stage vet recently seen as Golde in Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Our setting for “The Price” is autumn, 1968. Victor has asked wheezy Jewish appraiser Gregory Solomon to his abandoned family home, to see what value there may be in the dusty furnishings. There’s urgency, because the building in which the attic apartment is located will be torn down in days.

Victor and Gregory start negotiating a price for the possessions, but are interrupted by Victor’s estranged sibling, Walter (Shalhoub). The brothers haven’t spoken in years; the reasons tie into a family sacrifice Victor made during the Depression—that’s the double entendre in Miller’s title: Everything has its price.

Ruffalo is earthy and resigned as the dedicated civil servant who’s long walked a monotonous beat in the Rockaways. He’s no pushover, but he believes Solomon is giving him a fair shake. His is an even-keeled and sad performance, without histrionics.

Ah, but you want histrionics?

DeVito, as a streetwise and mentally spry old man, is obviously tickled to be on this stage. Like Victor, Solomon is at a career crossroads. The goods he might acquire from the Franz family estate could reignite his own professional prospects. But his authenticity and honesty are doubted by both Walter and Esther (Hecht), Victor’s wife.

DeVito’s performance bursts with comic energy, notably when he decides in the midst of negotiations to pull a hardboiled egg from his briefcase, cracking it open with his cane. The succeeding minutes of propulsive spittle could well be marketed as Theatrical Lipitor. Do you want an egg? I do not ever again want to see an egg.

Shalhoub’s motivations as Walter are the murkiest. He arrives, lordly and full of grand gestures, prepared to let Victor keep whatever proceeds he might have some claim to—hail, the return of the accomplished doctor! But Walter is soon off speaking of his own hardships, a divorce and an institutionalization. He turns spiteful.

Hecht, too, takes us on a journey. As Victor’s defeated wife, she’s hidden the shame that her husband couldn’t provide for her the way she desired, and she sees this potential windfall as a chance to move up in class status. I was prepared to write Esther off as a gold-digger, but a simple gesture involving her husband’s uniform made me reevaluate assumptions.

Derek McClane’s set is a surreal panorama of urban water towers and shrouded armoires.

I can see why “The Price” isn’t staged as frequently as the Miller classics. The second act spins into an exhausting cyclone of old slights and misunderstandings to justify the silences between siblings. Director Terry Kinney does his best to keep things reeled in, but some of the interaction between the brothers borders on tedious.

“The Price” is best described as dyspeptic. If you’re looking for a hero or a villain, it’s an irresolvable conundrum—you can find evidence that it’s any of the four. That said, in the hands of a quartet as skilled as this, what we’re left remembering finally is not Miller’s art, but something of a master class in great performing.

“The Price,” through May 7 at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. Tickets: $69-$169. Call 212-719-1300.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[MTA Reminds of St. Pat's Day Alcohol Ban, Service Changes]]> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:43:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/irish2puppet110309701.jpg

As thousands of revelers plan to descend on New York City for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue Friday, the MTA wants to remind people to keep the bubbly at home -- or at least off the trains. 

MTA police will enforce a ban on alcoholic beverages on Metro-North and LIRR trains on Friday through 5 a.m. Saturday, the agency said. (On the LIRR, alcohol is always banned between midnight and 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings.) 

Any alcoholic beverages found by the MTA police will be confiscated.

Service changes are also in effect. See details below.

LIRR and Metro-North

The LIRR will operate six extra westbound trains on Friday morning, arriving at Penn Station between 9:27 a.m. and 11:19 a.m. Train departure times are listed in special timetables for the Babylon, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches. Visit mta.info for details. The information will also be available through the LIRR Train Time app. 

The LIRR will operate 10 extra eastbound trains departing Penn Station between 1:50 p.m. and 3:49 p.m. Train departure times listed in current timetables as specials marked in black as “Holiday Eve” trains on the Babylon Branch (four extra trains), Port Jefferson Branch (three extra trains), Port Washington Branch (one extra train), Far Rockaway Branch (one extra train), and Ronkonkoma Branch (one extra train). 

Metro-North will operate an extra train that will depart from Poughkeepsie at 7:52 a.m. and stop at New Hamburg at 8:02 a.m. and Beacon at 8:10 a.m. before running express to Harlem-125th Street and arriving at Grand Central Terminal at 9:32 a.m.

New York City Subway 

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, some staircases at the 77 St 6 line station may be designated as entry/exit only on both the uptown and downtown platforms due to crowd control. 

New York City Buses 

The following NYC Transit and MTA Bus routes will be detoured in the area along the parade route between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M31, M42, M50, M55, M57, M66, M72, M79, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, Q32 and most Staten Island Express buses. 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels urges parade-goers to take mass transit. As always, motorists should never get behind the wheel of a car if they’ve been drinking, the MTA says. Throughout the day, there will be increased vigilance at all MTA crossings to combat drunk driving. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[St. Patrick's Day Food & Drink Specials in NYC, NJ]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:32:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/stpatricksdayparty.jpg

St. Patrick's day is Friday and everyone is gearing up for the festive holiday. Whether you are heading to the St. Patrick's Day Parade or just looking to revel in the festivities at a local bar, here is a look at some great St. Patrick's Day deals in New York and New Jersey. 

New York

Code Lounge Bar is hosting a St. Patrick's Day party. The nigh'st festivities include free hookah for ladies until 1 p.m., according to their Facebook page, $8 pickleback shots and $5 mixed drinks for all. The event is free admission.

Turtle Bay is offering a $15 "Green Eggs and Hammered" brunch. Admission to the event includes a traditional Irish brunch and two drinks of your choice. They are serving up $3 Guinness, $4 Jameson shots and  $5 Irish car bombs. The first 100 people to inside get a free Jager shot.

Calico Jack's Cantina is also hosting an irresitable brunch special. Tickets to their "Kegs and Eggs" breakfast is $25. They will also have an open bar from 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Monarch Rooftop will also be serving drink specials on St. Patrick's Day. Doors open at 5 p.m. Diners can expect deals on Jameson, pickleback shots and Irish car bombs. Monarch Rooftop is offering complimentary shots for ladies wearing green.

Madison Tavern is serving 2 for 1 drinks, $6 draft beers and $8 Jameson shots from 12-6 p.m. The party doesn't end until 11 p.m.

The Irish Pub has a wide range of foods to munch on from pizza and sliders to salads and Irish classics. Taste their green beer and snag their drink specials throughout the day. Click here to stay updated on their drink specials. 

New Jersey

Hoboken St Patrick's Day Pub Crawl 2017 will be filled with lucky deals. Tickets to the bar crawl include drink specials, which include $3 draft beers, $4 domestic bottles $5 well drinks and more. 

Wicked Wolf Tavern is the perfect place to celebrate both St. Patrick's Day and March Madness. There will be $3 Guinness, Sam Adams drafts and Coors Light, $6 Irish car bombs and 25-cent wings.  

Mills has happy hour every Friday from 4-8 p.m. Specials include $2 off all drafts, $4 well drinks and $6 Stoli drinks.

Green Rock is cooking up $7 lunch specials from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and $1 domestic mugs from 5-8 p.m.

<![CDATA[A Punkish 'Joan of Arc' at The Public ]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:04:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/JoanOfArcMain.jpg

“Joan of Arc,” now at The Public Theater, seems to start with aspirations to be another “Hamilton,” but by the end, it’s more of a missed opportunity. I had higher hopes for the world premiere rock musical by David Byrne, directed by his “Here Lies Love” collaborator Alex Timbers.

This time, the duo deliver a linear retelling of the brief life of the famous 15th century French heroine, who would eventually be sainted. Byrne’s sung-through score is occasionally anthemic, with touches of Christian rock. It’s generically upbeat and, at the same time, frequently overwrought.

The silver lining here is Jo Lampert, as the beautifully androgynous title character. Timbers has also hired a dozen men as the self-serving French and Anglo figures who impacted Joan’s life. The scruffy gaggle of them, in Clint Ramos’s leather, chain metal and vinyl-esque robes, lend a regrettably campy vibe to the affair.

But let’s back up.

“Joan of Arc” begins with a promise before the actors ever appear. On a flame-orange curtain are scrawled the words of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, having shut down testimony by Elizabeth Warren during the Jeff Sessions nomination hearings: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Makes you think you’re heading in one obvious direction, right? Well, you’re not.

Given the overtly political statement, I hoped that Byrne and Timbers were poised to construct a parallel between current events in America, and what happened to Joan, who tried to keep her loyalties to France, but was knocked down by the patriarchy of her time.

This seems like the right era for a musical about an independent woman asserting her place in the universe, never mind one who has inspired modern pop culture figures from Madonna to Arcade Fire. But this Joan isn’t the leader of women and men—she’s simply a leader among men, who are going to devour her.

There isn’t ever enough connective tissue between Byrne’s songs to make us care about the girl. There is no clear hero in the muddled antics of the French and the English, who cornily spin the poor teenager around like a pinwheel, trying to determine whether she is still “intact,” because only a virgin could claim to be god’s messenger.

That may hew toward the historically accurate, but in a production that establishes its tone off a controversial quote from a United States senator, the focus on men doesn’t wash. Joan is frequently asked by her tormentors: “Are you a boy? … Is it a girl?” I’m not sure that counts as the feminist bent I’d been counting on.

The messages repeated in Byrne’s lyrics are “Have faith. Be strong,” but they could just as well have replaced Joan with Gavroche, from “Les Miserables,” and accomplished the same thing.

Ramos’s costumes are interesting, especially the chain mail items designed for Lampert. His men, notably the duplicitous dauphin (Kyle Selig) and untrustworthy Bishop Cauchon (a bland Sean Allan Krill), too often look like conceptually attired extras from the cast of HBO’s “The Young Pope.”

In the end, what does it take to refocus “Joan of Arc”? An appearance by the only other woman in the cast, Mare Winningham, as Joan’s mother, who arrives in the final moments, 24 years after Joan’s death, delivering a touching plea for mercy for her child.

Why do we care about France or England, nations whose versions of “right” and “wrong” were so relative in this epoch? Why do we care that Joan claims to be doing God's work? Maybe these questions can be answered as “Joan of Arc” evolves, but for now, we just don’t have enough invested in her well-being to care.

“Joan of Arc,” through April 30 at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Tickets: Starting at $90. Call 212-967-7555.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

<![CDATA[First Look: Bette Midler in 'Hello, Dolly!']]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 22:47:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BetteMidlerHelloDollyFirstLook.jpg

Hello Bette!

Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner Bette Midler is returning to Broadway at the title character in the highly-anticipated revival of "Hello, Dolly!" — and the first shot of the 71-year-old actress in costume is finally here.

In a photo released on Tuesday, the day before preview performances begin, Midler can be seen in the iconic red gown and featured headdress made famous by Carol Channing in the original 1964 production, as a collection of ensemble members follow her in the background. 

The revivial, an adaptation of Thornton Wilder's 1957 play "The Matchmaker," will be the first mounting of Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's classic musical in over 20 years.

Performances begin March 15 at the Shubert Theatre, with an official opening set for April 20. Direction comes from Tony winner Jerry Zaks ("Sister Act"), and choreography from Tony winner Warren Carlyle ("She Loves Me").

Midler was last seen on Broadway in 2013's solo show "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers." She made her Broadway debut as Tzeitel in the original production of "Fiddler on the Roof" and later returned in concerts like "Bette Midler's Clams on a Half Shell Revue" and "Bette! Divine Madness." She earned her a special Tony Award in 1974 for the latter.

She'll be joined by four-time Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce (NBC's "Frasier"), who took home a Tony for his role in the 2007 musical "Curtains," and was nominated again for his work in 2013's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." He was last on Broadway as a director for the 2015 comedy "It Shoulda Been You."

The ticket is one of the hottest in town, breaking the record for the highest pre-performance advance sale in Broadway history. 

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway Offers Snow Day Discounts]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 17:16:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-653246762.jpg

The show must go on!

According to The Broadway League, evening performances of all Broadway shows will play as scheduled on Tuesday night. (Though some off-Broadway theaters like 59E59 and The Public Theatre have canceled their shows).

For those who don't yet have tickets to see a show, producers are offering deep discounts to fill their houses tonight.

At Sara Bareilles' "Waitress," patrons can purchase select seats at 40 percent off the usual price. The offer can be redeemed online at Ticketmaster.com using promo code FLY1, or at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre box office (256 W 47th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave.).

"Chicago" is offering select seats at 50 percent off — using promo code CHFLY218 at BroadwayOffers.com. The sale price is also available at the Ambassador Theatre box office (219 W 49th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave.).

"War Paint" — the new musical starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole as feuding beauty icons Helena Rubenstein or Elizabeth Aren — is offering select seats for $99 online at Ticketmaster.com with the code BEAUTY, or at the Nederlander Theatre box office (208 West 41st Street between Broadway and Eighth Ave.). The discount is available through Friday.

The acclaimed play "Significant Other" is offering a 40 percent discount online at Telecharge.com, with code SOTCX110, or at the Booth Theatre box office (222 West 45th Street between Broadway and Eighth Ave.).

If theater-goers are looking for something a little more lighthearted, the Olivier Award-winning comedy "The Play That Goes Wrong" has a $45 ticket deal for tickets in all sections. That can be purchased online at Telegcharge.com using promo code PYSNOW314, or at the Lyceum Theatre box office (149 West 45th Street between Broadway and Sixth Ave.).

More deals will likely be released through the day and same-day discount ticket deals are always available at the TKTS booth — which has locations in Times Square, Southstreet Seaport, Downtown Brooklyn and Lincoln Center.

The more brave might risk heading to the theater box office to check to see if sold-out shows like "Hamilton" have cancellations (as they often do).

As for ticket holders who cannot make it to their show Tuesday night, they should contact their point of purchase for exchange policies.

For updates throughout the day, visit Broadway.org.

Photo Credit: Kevin Hagen]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway Shows to Play Tuesday Night Despite Major Storm]]> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:14:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hamilton5.png

Storm or not, Broadway is open for business Tuesday night.

The Broadway League said all theatrical shows will conduct their scheduled evening performances, despite the nor'easter dropping snow and sleet across the region.

"As always, the safety and security of theatregoers is everyone's primary concern, so those who can’t get in to the city should contact their point of purchase for questions about exchange policies," the league's president, Charlotte St. Martin, said in a statement. 

There are 31 shows scheduled to play Tuesday night, according to the league's website. 

Separately, the Theatre Development Fund, which operates the TKTS discount ticket booths around the city, said all of those locations would be open as well and selling tickets at up to 50 percent off. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Come From Away' Proves a Dignified 9/11 Musical ]]> Sun, 12 Mar 2017 14:33:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ComeFromAwayMain.jpg

If I need an ugly cry about 9/11, Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” usually does the trick. Mostly, though, I avoid all artistic responses to the terror attacks, as a matter of self-defense. It’s far gentler to watch “Man On Wire,” the fanciful film about Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the towers, than to approach the topic head on.

“Come From Away,” a dignified, often funny new musical opening tonight, evokes for me many of the same feelings as the Petit documentary: If “Man On Wire” lets us safely remember the towers with the buffer of decades, then “Come From Away” does the same, with the buffer of geography.

“Come From Away” is set 1,500 miles from Ground Zero, in Gander, Newfoundland, where “the plane people,” in this story’s parlance, were forced to cut short their journeys after the FAA shut down U.S. air space in the hours after the attacks.

Some 38 international flights with 6,500 people on board (also: cats, dogs and a pregnant chimp) spent hours on the overwhelmed tarmac of the local airport, while townspeople worked through a startling logistics crisis involving issues such as, though not limited to: meals, diapers, beds, pet food, translators and transportation.

The sudden arrivals doubled the town’s population. The planes, and the people, would remain grounded for 5 days.

While distinctly an ensemble piece, with each actor in multiple roles, the focus is never far from Jenn Colella’s Beverly, a pilot based on Beverley Bass, who was, as the Dallas Morning News observed in a 2011 profile, the first woman to make captain at American Airlines. Bass was grounded in Gander that day, like so many others.

Colella’s melodic solo, “Me and the Sky,” is a high point in a show where the songs are consistently interesting. “Welcome to the Rock,” the strong opening number, is kicked off with the fast rhythm of an Irish bodhrán and does a swell job establishing a specific location: “The farthest place you’ll get from Disneyland.”

Some of the characters are real; others are recognized to be composite sketches of the people whom writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein met during a 10th anniversary reunion in Newfoundland. Inevitably, many of the portrayals feel like stock characters—the blustery mayor, etc.—but the acting is excellent all around.

Among the “Come From Aways,” Q. Smith is memorable as the mother of a New York City firefighter, leaving messages for her son from borrowed cell phones until his voicemail is filled up. Astrid Van Wieren has warmth as Beulah, a community organizer who comforts her.

Other travelers include a gay couple, Kevin and Kevin (Chad Kimball, of “Memphis,” and Caesar Samayoa); and Nick (Lee Macdougall), an English oil engineer who falls for Diane (Sharon Wheatley), a Texas divorcee.

Rodney Hicks is particularly good as a jaded New Yorker (and African-American) who is directed by the (white) mayor of a nearby community to go into people’s backyards and “take their grills,” so the stranded travelers can have a cookout.

The well-executed scene sets up serious warm-fuzzies for Canada, as does, in truth, the entire 90-minute, intermissionless production. At the same time, we observe the genesis of an issue stirring us to this day, when a Muslim passenger (Samayoa, again) is singled out for a strip search before his flight is allowed to leave Gander.

There was discipline used here. There’s no footage of burning towers, crashing planes or falling bodies. “Come From Away” manages to find a spiritual angle to a horrific story, depicting the goodness in humanity while still allowing us room for the feelings of loneliness and fear that will always be connected to that time.

“Come From Away,” at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St. Tickets, on sale through Dec. 30, $47-$157. Call 212-239-6200

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[These 9 Irish Pubs Are Among the Highest Rated in NYC]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:32:32 -0400 here.]]> here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/mcsorleys.jpg These Irish pubs are some of the highest-rated in NYC.]]> <![CDATA[Starbucks Unveils Colorful Spring Coffee Cups]]> Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:34:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/522435114-starbucks-lawsuit.jpg

Spring is almost here, and Starbucks is getting into the spirit by unveiling spring coffee cups for the first time.

The colorful cups will be available at participating locations starting March 16. Each cup features a white dot with hand-drawn designs, including a sun and umbrella.

The cups will be available for just a few days. 

The coffee chain introduced its first holiday cup over 20 years ago. Over the years, Starbucks has also served cups celebrating fall and summer. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, file]]>
<![CDATA[Sally Field's Return to Broadway in 'Glass Menagerie']]> Thu, 09 Mar 2017 14:54:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Menagerie2Main.jpg

It hasn’t been long since our last outing with the beleaguered Wingfelds, of “The Glass Menagerie”—a surreal and ornate revival of the Tennessee Williams memory play appeared on Broadway less than four years ago.

Now, the sad St. Louis clan is back again, in a production starring Sally Field as its faded matriarch. This newest “Menagerie,” helmed by director Sam Gold (“Fun Home”) and now open at the Belasco Theatre, could not be more different from the one we last saw.

Gold’s staging is bare. There are no backdrops, and the set is composed of just a few shelves containing props, a dining table and a Victrola, which a well-grounded Laura (Madison Ferris) will cleverly use to stash the falsies she’s been saddled with by her overbearing mother before her ill-fated dinner with a “gentleman caller” (Finn Wittrock).

Our narrator, meanwhile, is older: Renowned Broadway director Joe Mantello (“The Humans,” “Wicked,” etc.) puts his acting hat back on to play Tom, the frustrated warehouse worker whose late-night comings and goings are a source of constant anxiety to Amanda, his mother.

The Wingfields have been deserted by the family patriarch, a telephone lineman who “fell in love with long distance.” Amanda tries to scrape by selling magazine subscriptions and with a bit of aid from Tom, who we know from the narratives bookending “Menagerie” has only stuck around out of affection for his younger sister.

Laura’s physical handicap tends to change from production to production of “Menagerie.” Ferris is an actress with muscular dystrophy making her Broadway debut. It’s unusual for audiences to see a Laura with a disability that’s more visible than what the script demands, and her entrance, with Field, establishes a distinctive tone.

Field, going first, drags an empty wheelchair up metal steps at the foot of the stage—bump-bump-bump. Ferris follows behind, methodically ascending the stairs on her rump. Throughout “Menagerie,” Ferris will scoot across the stage with an offbeat grace that nonetheless establishes her outsider status.

Field delivers a matter-of-fact Amanda, who reveals her deepest eccentricities in a twisted Cinderella-esque moment, tossing aside her burgundy terrycloth bathrobe to reveal the pink Barbie doll dress she’s donned to impress the night’s dinner guest.

The two-time Oscar winner, who last appeared on Broadway in 2002 (and previously took on her current role in a 2004 Kennedy Center staging) is not as misty as other Amandas we’ve met. Indeed, she is sharp and declarative in recounting for her kids the gentleman callers who paid her attention in years past.

It makes her later delusions all the more resonant.

Mantello, with his shock of salt and pepper hair, is a more manic Tom than the ruminative Zachary Quinto, his most recent stage predecessor. The Tom we see during the main section of the play is always the Tom of the “now,” who introduces the story.

It’s a viable way to approach the script, though at times during the main narrative it might leave you with the impression Laura is his niece, not his sister.

Ferris, in her Broadway debut, is excellent—“like a piece of translucent glass touched by light”—particularly during the climactic scene, in which she dares to show Wittrock’s charismatic Jim O’Connor the most cherished item in her menagerie. This Laura knows her limitations and accepts them, unlike anyone in her orbit.

The lighting is lowered slowly over the first minutes of the play, which runs just over 2 hours with no intermission. At times, a steady stream of rain falls against the black rear wall of the Belasco, accentuating the sense of despair permeating the 1944 drama.

Gold puts his stamp on “Menagerie” with both hyper-realistic elements and a minimalist set so barren it can only leave us to focus on the actors—the juxtaposition of styles makes this “Menagerie” as interesting as any I’ve seen.

“The Glass Menagerie,” through July 2 at the Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St. Tickets: $39-$149. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes]]>
<![CDATA[Everything You Need to Know About 2017 Tribeca Film Fest]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 14:09:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/219*120/indiefilmspic.jpg Here's your guide to the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free Pancakes! IHOP Celebrates National Pancake Day]]> Tue, 07 Mar 2017 11:10:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_298947245.jpg

Grab your fork and knife!

Tuesday is National Pancake Day at IHOP. Diners can enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at participating locations. In exchange, customers will be asked to consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network.

Since 2006, IHOP has raised over $24 million for community charities. This year's goal is to raise $3.5 million, according to the IHOP website.

Check here to look up the closest IHOP.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[New Revival of 'My Fair Lady' Coming]]> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:29:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-73516132.jpg

Lerner & Loewe's classic musical "My Fair Lady" will return to Broadway next spring for the first time in 25 years.

The musical, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," will begin previews at the Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater on March 22, 2018 — with an opening night set for April 19.

While no stars have been announced for the production, a director has: Barlett Sher, the visionary behind LCT's Tony-winning revivals of "The King & I" and "South Pacific."

"My Fair Lady" tells the story of a linguistics expert named Henry Higgins, who sets out to transform a cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle into a proper, dignified woman. The score contains some of musical theatre's most popular songs — including "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Wouldn’t It Be Loverly," "On the Street Where You Live," "The Rain in Spain" and "I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

The show originally opened on Broadway in 1956, in a production that starred Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins. It took home 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical and a prize for Harrison before closing in 1962 after 2717 performances.

Harrison would reprise his role as Higgins for the 1964 film, opposite Audrey Hepburn as Doolittle. That film took home 8 Oscars — including Best Picture and, yes, another acting trophy for Harrison. It's one of only 10 movie musicals ever to win Best Picture, the last being 2002's "Chicago." 

The 2018 revival will be the fourth time "My Fair Lady" has bowed on Broadway. Most recently, the musical had a 1993 production starring Richard Chamberlain and Melissa Errico.

Lincoln Center previously staged a revival of the show in 2007 as a one-weekend-only fundraiser – led by Kelsey Grammer and Kelli O’Hara.

Photo Credit: Peter Kramer]]>
<![CDATA[The King: Iconic Greenwich Village Chess Shop Perseveres]]> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/talking-to-kids_cropped.jpg

The Chess Forum is steeped in history. The shop's yellowing walls are cluttered with framed photos of grand masters and the owner proudly displays vintage sets, including a civil war chess set with pieces representing the Union and Confederate armies.

"This belongs in the Museum of Natural History," Imad Khachan, 52, said of his Greenwich Village business. "This is a dinosaur. But the appeal of it is that it's a dinosaur."

For more than two decades, New York's chess community has come to the shop to do battle, discuss strategy, and talk politics and art. But as shifting demographics, online sales, and rent and commercial tax hikes change the landscape of Greenwich Village, iconic businesses like the Chess Forum are finding it increasingly difficult to bank on nostalgia alone.

"There are so many young people residing [in] and visiting Greenwich Village," said Maria Diaz, executive director of the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.

As the neighborhood gets younger and more affluent, the character of the small business community has shifted and modernized. More than 50 percent of the population in Greenwich Village is now between 18 and 44, and 10 percent between 18 and 24, Diaz said. The young residents are inclined to do much of their shopping online.

Diaz also noted that as rents in the neighborhood increase, the owners of ground floor retail spaces are searching for a new market ceiling for leased space. High-profit businesses are eager to take on a brick-and-mortar presence in lucrative retail corridors to drive sales online.

"Internet sales allow larger businesses to buy more expensive storefronts where the goal is not to produce a net profit, but to promote sales for an online store," Diaz said.

Up against online gaming and sales for years, Khachan attributes the Chess Forum’s perseverance to customer loyalty and divine intervention.

"I have to say that I'm surprised that it lasted, or we're still here," he said. "In the mid-90s I thought, 'Okay, by 2000 we should be out.'"

"But the minute you doubt, you sink," he added.

Khachan is no stranger to persistence under pressure. In the 1990s he found himself applying the rules of chess to his livelihood when it was under a more conventional threat. After an ownership agreement between Khachan and a former business mentor fell to pieces, Khachan opened the Chess Forum directly across the street from his former partner's shop, The Chess Shop. His move triggered what, in New York chess circles, is still known as the Civil War on Thompson Street.

"Sometimes attack is the best defense," Khachan said of his decision.

His move tore New York's tight-knit chess community in two. A ceasefire eventually settled in, with each shop courting its own customers and suppliers. His business rival closed in 2012, but the feud taught Khachan a lesson as strong as any he learned on the board.

"Like any chess game it's the thinking ahead that keeps you one step ahead of the guy who's shooting after you and not hitting you," he said. "You have to keep moving."

Those were the good old days before Amazon, online gaming, and a gentrified neighborhood, Khachan said.

On a recent Saturday, the Chess Forum was packed with tourists and regulars alike. Longtime patron Donald Campbell was locked in competition with his friend Kevin Hilly, both of whom have come to play here for years.

"It's really a last refuge in the city for me," Campbell said. "There used to be a lot of places where you could go have a nice afternoon and it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. Those places have all disappeared it seems, or most of them."

Despite the increasing odds against holdout businesses like the Chess Forum, Khachan remains optimistic. His favorite chess piece is still the pawn. With hard work and the ability to outsmart the competition, he said, it can be the most important piece on the board.

"He can be a knight, a bishop, a queen or a rook," he said. "His choice."

Photo Credit: Russ Marhull
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<![CDATA[Papaya King Selling 32-Cent Hot Dogs to Celebrate 85 Years]]> Fri, 03 Mar 2017 19:54:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/176*120/800px-Papaya-King.jpg

Loosen your belt buckles, New York--Papaya King is selling hot dogs for a steal this weekend.

The frankfurter flogger is dropping its hot dogs and papaya drinks to just 32 cents Friday and Saturday to celebrate its 85th birthday.

That means you could get two hot dogs and a drink for just 96 cents.

A classic dog normally sells for about $3.00.

The New York fast food chain started on the corner of 86th Street and Third Avenue on the Upper East Side in 1932. 

Papaya King said the dirt-cheap dogs would be available between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at its Brooklyn and East 86th Street locations.

The offer was also available at its Las Vegas store.

Photo Credit: John Capone]]>
<![CDATA[Swoon-Worthy 'Significant Other' Is Better With Age]]> Thu, 02 Mar 2017 20:32:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SignificantMain.jpg

College friends step into the murky world of urban dating in “Significant Other,” an endearing romantic comedy by playwright Joshua Harmon that debuted Off-Broadway nearly two years ago. “S.O.” finds a second life at The Booth Theatre this season, with most of the original cast revisiting their former roles.

Harmon (“Bad Jews”) employs humor geared to millennials and moments particular to the wobbly lives of twenty-somethings—but his story, about how relationships change as we grow older, is universal.

At the center of “S.O.” is Jordan Berman (Gideon Glick), a gay, neurotic 29-year-old on the Upper West Side. His trio of besties are Laura (Lindsay Mendez), Kiki (Sas Goldberg) and Vanessa (Rebecca Naomi Jones). Jones is the sole new addition to the central quartet since the 2015 Roundabout production.

Also in the picture are Jordan’s ailing grandmother, Helene (multiple Oscar, Tony and Emmy nominee Barbara Barrie), and a couple of male utility players in multiple roles, which over time I’ve come to think of as “office beefcake” or “doofus fiancé.”

Jordan believes strongly in his friendships, and his tightest is with Laura. They’ve named the future children they’ll have if neither finds love with a more suitable partner, and they’ve come up with the perfect song for their wedding: “Because You Loved Me!” they both squeal, dripping with irony, in the romantic comedy’s first scene.

Glick (“Spring Awakening”) has fully realized his character, who is unsure, in a familiar way, if he’ll ever find an appropriate mate. His comic chops are put to fine use in a drawn-out scene where, late one lonely night, Jordan tries to rationalize sending a far-too-long e-mail to his office crush. One word for this performance? Relatable.

Mendez, the “Wicked” and “Dogfight” vet, keeps Laura grounded and full-of-heart, while letting us also glimpse the character’s countercultural and misanthropic sides.

With a nod to “Will & Grace,” Goldberg’s over-the-top Kiki is the Karen Walker of the bunch, delivering bon mots and generally telling it like it is. Jones is very good as a pessimist who admits at her own wedding that she has spent more time imagining her funeral.

For support, Jordan phones his grandmother, who is suffering from the early stages of dementia and who shares her darkest thoughts with her grandson. In Barrie’s irreverent performance is proof of how “S.O.” has improved with age. She and Glick share a bond that’s on display each time she asks him: “How’s your social life?”

Barrie’s earning deserved accolades for this role, and it’s because of her unsaccharine performance.

Raw emotional exchanges between the actors are explosive in the second act, where the story finds a climax at Laura’s wedding. There, all of Jordan’s anger and insecurities come out: “There are actually a lot of really good people in this world who never find someone, and I could be one of those people. … Then what happens to me?”

These actors have had time to steep in their roles, something we see manifest in silly, spastic, surprisingly well-choreographed dance sequences at assorted bachelorette parties. The piece ends in a sincere fashion, leaving most of Jordan’s questions about the future unanswered—as they may tend to be when you’re 29.

“Significant Other,” at The Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St. Tickets starting at $49, on sale through July 2. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Tribeca Film Festival Reveals 2017 Feature Lineup]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:59:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/181*120/Taxi_passes_TFF_Open_Ceremony_Red_Carpet_01-300dpi.jpg

The Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday announced its feature film lineup, which organizers say brings the most selective and focused festival slate to date.

The announcement includes 82 of the 98 feature-length films in this year's festival, which will include movies from 28 countries. Thirty-seven filmmakers will make their debuts, and 20 directors retur with new films.

“In the current climate, both in the literal and political sense, it is more important than ever to elevate stories about the moments we are going through as a nation and as global citizens,” Paula Weinstein, executive vice president of Tribeca Enterprises, said in a statement.

The Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 19 to 30.

Here are the details on the films announced Thursday: 

U.S. Narrative Competition

Aardvark, directed and written by Brian Shoaf. (USA) - World Premiere. While battling her own anxieties, therapist Emily Milburton (Jenny Slate) spends her time listening to other people’s problems. Her professional and personal worlds collide when Emily’s newest patient, Josh Norman (Zachary Quinto), walks through her door. Mentally ill and experiencing hallucinations, Josh harbors complex feelings for his estranged brother, Craig (Jon Hamm). Things begin to get interesting when Emily falls for Craig. With Sheila Vand, Tonya Pinkins, Marin Ireland.

Abundant Acreage Available, directed and written by Angus MacLachlan. (USA) - World Premiere. Still reeling over the recent death of their father, siblings Jesse (Terry Kinney) and Tracy (Amy Ryan) are attempting to settle into their new lives in his absence. Their simple existence is unexpectedly disrupted by the sudden arrival of three mysterious brothers, camping on their land and possessing a surprising connection to their family farm. With Max Gail, Francis Guinan, Steve Coulter.

Blame, directed and written by Quinn Shephard. (USA) - World Premiere. Abigail (Quinn Shephard) is an outcast who seeks solace in fantasy worlds. When high school drama teacher Jeremy (Chris Messina) casts her in Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible,’ Abigail's confidence blooms. But soon her relationship with Jeremy begins to move beyond innocent flirtation, and it in turn fuels a vengeful jealousy that quickly spirals out of control and brings about a chain of events that draws parallels to Salem. With Nadia Alexander, Tate Donovan, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Tessa Albertson.

The Endless, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, written by Justin Benson. (USA) - World Premiere. Years after escaping a cult as teenagers, brothers Aaron and Justin return to their former home after receiving a mysterious message. While Aaron is quickly drawn back into the fold, Justin remains uneasy. However, neither can deny it when strange events begin happening that seem to mirror the cult’s unusual axioms. Following their Tribeca breakout, Resolution, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead direct and star in another intensely original genre hybrid. With Tate Ellington, Callie Hernandez, James Jordan, Lew Temple.

Flower, directed by Max Winkler, written by Alex McAulay, Max Winkler, Matt Spicer. (USA) - World Premiere. Rebellious and quick-witted, 17-year-old firecracker Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch) kills time with her friends gawking at older men in bowling alleys and sexually scheming guys out of their money. However, her biggest scheme is still to come when her mother asks her boyfriend and his troubled, fresh-out-of-rehab son to move in with them in this biting dark comedy. With Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Tim Heidecker, Joey Morgan, Dylan Gelula.

Keep the Change, directed and written by Rachel Israel. (USA) - World Premiere. In a support group for adults living with autism, David—a smooth talker struggling to hide his disability—meets a woman with similar learning challenges, and they quickly forge an intimate bond. Starring a cast of nonprofessional actors on the autism spectrum, Keep the Change details an underrepresented community with authenticity, optimism and humor. With Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Nicky Gottlieb, Will Deaver, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman.

Love After Love, directed by Russell Harbaugh, written by Russell Harbaugh, Eric Mendelsohn. (USA) - World Premiere. The world of a mother and her two adult sons feels emotionally untethered following the death of their family’s patriarch. Andie MacDowell, Chris O’Dowd, and James Adomian deliver searing performances in this absorbing story of a family losing and regaining their equilibrium in the wake of loss. With Juliet Rylance, Dree Hemingway, Gareth Williams.

One Percent More Humid, directed and written by Liz W. Garcia. (USA) - World Premiere. Catherine (Julia Garner) and Iris (Juno Temple) are childhood friends home from college for a hot New England summer. As they attempt to enjoy parties and skinny-dipping and the usual vacation hijinks, a shared trauma in their past becomes increasingly difficult to suppress. As the wedge between the friends grows, they each pursue forbidden affairs to cope. With Alessandro Nivola, Maggie Siff, Philip Ettinger, Mamoudou Athie.

Saturday Church, directed and written by Damon Cardasis. (USA) - World Premiere. 14-year-old Ulysses is a shy and effeminate teen being raised in the Bronx by his strict Aunt Rose. He finds escape in a rich fantasy life of music and dance, and soon with a vibrant transgender youth community called Saturday Church. Damon Cardasis’ directorial debut is a rousing celebration of one boy’s search for his identity. With Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia. 

Thirst Street, directed by Nathan Silver, written by Nathan Silver, C. Mason Wells. (USA, France) - World Premiere. There’s a fine line between lust and obsession—and for flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge), that line is often difficult to see. Grieving over a lover’s suicide, Gina loses her grip on reality after falling for a suave Parisian bartender. Tribeca alum Nathan Silver (Actor Martinez) takes cues from ‘70s Euro erotic psychodramas in this gorgeously retro and piercingly intimate look at one-sided love. With Damien Bonnard, Esther Garrel, Lola Bessis, Jacques Nolot, Françoise Lebrun. In English, French with subtitles.

International Narrative Competition

The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung), directed and written by Petra Volpe. (Switzerland) - International Premiere. Political leaders in Switzerland cited ‘Divine Order’ as the reason why women still did not have the right to vote as late as 1970. Director Petra Volpe explores this surprising history through the story of Nora, a quiet housewife from a quaint village searching for the fierce suffragette leader inside her. With Marie Leuenberger, Max Simonischek, Rachel Braunschweig, Sibylle Brunner, Marta Zoffoli, Bettina Sucky. In Swiss-German with subtitles.

Holy Air (Hawa Moqaddas), directed and written by Shady Srour. (Israel) - World Premiere. Desperate to care for his pregnant wife and ailing father, Adam (writer/director Shady Srour) embarks on his latest, riskiest business venture: selling bottled holy air. A sharp comedy set in modern-day Nazareth, Holy Air examines the complicated emotions that go into living as a modern, progressive, Christian family on the world’s most spiritual ground. With Laëtitia Eïdo, Shmulik Calderon, Tareq Copti, Dalia Okal, Bian Anteer. In Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian with subtitles.

Ice Mother (Bába z ledu), directed and written by Bohdan Sláma. (Czech Republic, Slovakia, France) - International Premiere. Hana lives alone in a big villa with only weekly visits from her two belligerent sons and their families to look forward to. While on a stroll with her grandson one day, she rescues Brona, an elderly ice swimmer with a hen for a best friend, from drowning. This encounter invigorates Hana, introducing her to a new hobby and unexpected romance. With Zuzana Kronerová, Pavel Nový, Daniel Vízek, Václav Neužil. In Czech with subtitles.

King of Peking, directed and written by Sam Voutas. (China, USA, Australia) - World Premiere. Big Wong and his son Little Wong are traveling film projectionists, screening Hollywood movies for local villagers. Faced with losing custody of his son, Big Wong starts making and selling illegal bootleg DVDs out of the old movie theater where he works, despite Little Wong’s objections. More than a father-son story, King of Peking is a love letter to cinema. With Zhao Jun, Wang Naixun, Han Qing, Si Chao, Geng Bowen, Yi Long. In Mandarin with subtitles.

Newton, directed by Amit V Masurkar, written by Mayank Tewari, Amit V Masurka. (India) - North American Premiere. India, the world’s largest democracy, is preparing for an election—and with more than 800 million voters, this is a logistical puzzle of epic proportions. With disarming charm, this film probes the nature of democracy as Newton, a young, idealistic office worker, becomes the torch bearer for political fairness when he volunteers to head up a polling station in the deepest jungle for 76 remote voters. With Rajkummar Rao, Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav. In Hindi with subtitles.

Nobody's Watching (Nadie Nos Mira), directed by Julia Solomonoff, written by Julia Solomonoff, Christina Lazaridi. (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Spain) - World Premiere. After giving up a successful soap opera career in his native Argentina for a chance to make it in New York, Nico finds himself staying afloat with odd jobs bartending and babysitting. In a moving depiction of the vibrant city, Nobody's Watching questions who is watching and how we adjust ourselves accordingly. With Guillermo Pfening, Rafael Ferro, Paola Baldion, Elena Roger, Cristina Morrison, Kerri Sohn, Marco Antonio Caponi. In English, Spanish with subtitles.

November, directed and written by Rainer Sarnet. (Estonia) - International Premiere. Dive into the cold, snowy landscape of 19th-century Estonia, where werewolves and spirits roam free, and Jesus co-exists with kratts, the farmers’ mythological helpers made of tools and bones. Farmer girl Liina’s doomed romance with local boy Hans is at the center of director Rainer Sarnet’s pagan, black and white world, where the characters search for meaning in their surroundings and ponder the existence of the soul. With Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa, Dieter Laser. In Estonian with subtitles.

Sambá, directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas, written by Ettore D'Alessandro, Carolina Encarnacion. (Dominican Republic) - World Premiere. Cisco has his back against the ropes. After spending 15 years in an American jail, he’s returned to the Dominican Republic yet is unable to get a job, a problem compounded by his mother’s ailing health and his younger brother’s delinquent habits. To make money, he’s resorted to illegal street fighting. But Cisco finds a possible salvation in Nichi, an Italian ex-boxer who sees dollar signs in Cisco’s gritty fighting skills. With Algenis Pérez Soto, Ettore D'Alessandro, Laura Gómez, Ricardo A. Toribio. In Spanish with subtitles.

Son of Sofia (O Gios tis Sofias), directed and written by Elina Psykou. (Bulgaria, France, Greece) - World Premiere. Set during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, 11-year-old Misha is travelling from Russia to live with his mother in Athens in the home of an elderly Greek man she works for. When he learns this man is actually his new father, Misha runs away but doesn’t have the stomach for life on the streets. Returning to his new home, he clings to the stories he grew up with, melding them with reality to create a dark urban fairytale. With Viktor Khomut, Valery Tcheplanowa, Thanasis Papageorgiou, Artemis Havalits, Christos Stergioglou, Iro Maltezou. In Greek, Russian with subtitles.

Tom of Finland, directed by Dome Karukoski, written by Aleksi Bardy. (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany) - International Premiere. This is the true story of cult artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, and the events that influenced his iconic homoerotic drawings. From Finnish army uniforms to motorcycle leathers, Tom finds inspiration in his European post-war surroundings, even as conservative Finland is not quite ready for his transgressive work. Eventually Tom and his art make their way to dazzling Los Angeles in time for the sexual revolution and its aftermath. With Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Werner Daehn, Jessica Grabowsky. In Finnish with subtitles.

World Documentary Competition

Bobbi Jene, directed by Elvira Lind, written by Elvira Lind, Adam Nielsen. (Denmark, Israel, USA) - World Premiere. In her moving and cinematic documentary, Elvira Lind follows American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith as she makes the decision of a lifetime. Bobbi returns to the U.S., leaving behind a loving boyfriend and a successful 10-year run as a star dancer of the famous Israeli dance company Batsheva. Lind intimately portrays Bobbi’s rigorous creative process as she starts fresh in San Francisco, while still working to maintain a long-distance relationship.

Copwatch, directed by Camilla Hall. (USA) - World Premiere. In 1990, a California citizen journalist began recording police interactions with the public. A one-man operation, he titled his work “Copwatch.” Now, decades later, the initiative has expanded to cities around the country, including New York, where Ramsey Orta filmed Eric Garner’s fatal arrest. In her feature film debut, director Camilla Hall crafts an intriguing and timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who seek to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, directed by David France, written by David France, Mark Blane. (USA) - World Premiere. Featuring never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews, Academy Award nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague) follows a new investigation into the mysterious death of self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson. Credited as one of the courageous black transgender activists who instigated the Stonewall Riots of 1969, thereby spearheading the modern gay civil rights movement.

The Departure, directed by Lana Wilson. (USA) - World Premiere. Lana Wilson follows up her award-winning film, After Tiller, with this profile of Ittetsu Nemoto, a Buddhist priest renowned for saving the lives of countless suicidal people. But Nemoto, suffering from heart disease and supporting his wife and young son, risks his life carrying the heavy emotional load to support those who no longer want to live. When saving others takes such a toll, can he find the resiliency to save himself? In Japanese with subtitles. 

No Man's Land, directed by David Byars. (USA) - World Premiere. “We are patriots,” utters one of the characters in David Byars’ detailed, on-the-ground account of the standoff between ranchers occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and federal authorities. That statement—believed to be true by the armed occupiers—underlines the film, which unspools in measured pace and slowly unpacks its loaded meaning.

The Reagan Show, directed by Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill, written by Josh Alexander, Pacho Velez. (USA) - World Premiere. Constructed entirely through 1980s network news and videotapes created by the Reagan administration itself, Velez and Pettengill’s prescient documentary presents Ronald Reagan as the first made-for-TV president—a man whose experience as a performer and public relations expert made him a unique match for an emerging modern political landscape, and for his chief rival: charismatic Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

A River Below, directed by Mark Grieco. (Colombia, USA) - World Premiere. Deep in the Amazon, a renowned marine biologist and a reality TV star are each working to save the indigenous pink river dolphin from being hunted to extinction. When a scandal erupts, ethical questions are raised as murky as the waters of the Amazon River. Mark Grieco’s (Marmato) surprising documentary digs into the ethics of activism in the modern media age. In English, Portuguese, Spanish with subtitles. Earth Day Screening.

The Sensitives, directed by Drew Xanthopoulos. (USA) - World Premiere. Meet the Sensitives, people who are debilitatingly sensitive to modern life—electricity, chemicals, you name it. Their symptoms and coping mechanisms might vary, but they all face the unusual and heartbreaking choice of either living in dangerous and uncertain conditions with their loved ones, or in physical and technological isolation. Director Drew Xanthopoulos captures their lives in cinematic verite style.

Shadowman, directed and written by Oren Jacoby. (USA) - World Premiere. In the early 1980s, Richard Hambleton was New York City’s precursor to Banksy, a rogue street artist whose silhouette paintings haunted the sides of Manhattan buildings. Like so many other geniuses of his time, he fell victim to drug addiction, even as his work continued to rise in both demand and value. Shadowman doubles as both a time capsule of a forgotten New York City era, and a redemption story.

A Suitable Girl, directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana. (USA, India) - World Premiere. Dipti, Amrita, Ritu and Seema are all young, modern women in India looking to get married—some desperately, some reluctantly. A Suitable Girl follows them over the course of four years as they juggle family, career and friends, intimately capturing their thoughts on arranged marriage, giving them a voice, and offering a unique perspective into the nuances of this institution. In English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi with subtitles.

True Conviction, directed by Jamie Meltzer, written by Jamie Meltzer, Jeff Gilbert. (USA) - World Premiere. There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by three exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them, who look to free innocent people from behind bars. True Conviction follows these change-makers with no small task in front of them as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, work to support one another, and try and fix the criminal justice system.

When God Sleeps, directed and written by Till Schauder. (USA, Germany) - World Premiere. “My songs didn’t make me famous. The fatwa did.” And so we embark on the journey of rapper Shahin Najafi, whose bold style and transgressive lyrics put him in the crosshairs of religious clerics in his native Iran. When God Sleeps tells the story of this tireless artist-activist against the backdrop of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the European right-wing backlash against Middle Eastern refugees. In English, Farsi, German with subtitles.


Supported by The Lincoln Motor Company

The Boy Downstairs, directed and written by Sophie Brooks. (USA) - World Premiere. Zosia Mamet exhibits winsome charm as Diana, navigating the rite of passage of every single New Yorker: the search for an apartment. She seemingly finds a jewel of a home until realizing her downstairs neighbor is her ex whose heart she broke. Like a true New Yorker, she keeps the apartment. With Matthew Shear, Deirdre O'Connell, Sarah Ramos, Diana Irvine.

Buster's Mal Heart, directed and written by Sarah Adina Smith. (USA) - New York Premiere. A fugitive hotly pursued by rangers reviews the pathway to his present circumstances and finds conflicting stories. A spellbinding Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) brings impressive range to Sarah Adina Smith’s sophomore feature: a twisting, mind-bending thriller in which the typical rules don’t apply, least of all to a man who cannot be certain of anything he’s done. With DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter, Lin Shaye. A Well Go USA release.

Chuck, directed by Philippe Falardeau, written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl. (USA) - US Premiere. Chuck is the true story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series Rocky—a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. Wepner suffered numerous losses, knockouts, and broken noses in his ten years in the ring, and lived an epic life of drugs, booze, and wild women outside of it. With Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport. An IFC Films release.

The Clapper, directed and written by Dito Montiel. (USA) - World Premiere. Ed Helms stars as Eddie Krumble, a professional audience member who gains unwanted notoriety when a late-night talk show turns his life into a national obsession, threatening his budding relationship with gas station attendant Judy (Amanda Seyfried). Directed by Dito Montiel (Boulevard, Tribeca ‘14), The Clapper is a heartfelt comedy featuring Tracy Morgan, Adam Levine, Russell Peters, PJ Byrne, and appearances from Rob Gronkowski, Mark Cuban and the late Alan Thicke.

Dabka, directed and written by Bryan Buckley. (USA) - World Premiere. When rookie journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) has an inspiring chance encounter with his idol (Al Pacino), he uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Barkhad Abdi), he attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, only to find himself quickly in over his head. Based on the true story of one reporter’s risk-taking adventure that ultimately brought the world an unprecedented first-person account of the pirates of Somalia. With Melanie Griffith. In English, Somali with subtitles.

The Dinner, directed and written by Oren Moverman. (USA) - North American Premiere. Two brothers, congressman Stan and caustic former teacher Paul, are locked in sibling rivalry and are forced to come head to head over a dinner with their wives. As the two couples (Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan and Rebecca Hall) sit down to dine, their dark family secrets are drudged on to the table along with the main course, in this adaptation of the Herman Koch bestseller. With Chloe Sevigny. An Orchard release.

Literally, Right Before Aaron, directed and written by Ryan Eggold. (USA) - World Premiere. Still reeling from his breakup with college sweetheart Allison (Cobie Smulders), Adam's (Justin Long) world is thrown into further chaos when he’s surprisingly invited to attend her wedding. Over a surreal weekend, he stumbles through a nightmarish rehearsal dinner and drinks his way through the reception as he thinks back on where it all went wrong with the one that got away. Ryan Eggold directs this refreshingly unconventional romantic comedy. With John Cho, Luis Guzman, Kristen Schaal, Leah Thompson, Ryan Hansen.

The Lovers, directed and written by Azazel Jacobs. (USA) - World Premiere. Years into a dispassionate marriage, a long-married couple, both seriously involved with other people, resolve to call it quits. To their surprise, their decision reignites a dormant spark that leads to an impulsive affair. Broadway legend Tracy Letts and the always-luminous Debra Winger shine in writer/director Azazel Jacob’s (Terri) latest. With Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Melora Walters, Aiden Gillen, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula. An A24 release.

Manifesto, directed and written by Julian Rosefeldt. (Germany) - New York Premiere. All current art is fake. Nothing is original. These are some of the statements exposed in artist Julian Rosefeldt's stunning piece. Starring Cate Blanchett, we witness a series of vignettes which draw upon artist manifestos that question the true nature of art. A chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms in each segment like never before. A FilmRise Release.

Permission, directed and written by Brian Crano. (USA) - World Premiere. Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens) are the definition of long-term monogamy, and with great careers, an impending marriage, and a potential new home, things couldn’t be better. But after a close friend’s joke about her non-existent sexual experience hits too close to home, Anna proposes to Will an experiment to broaden their horizons without sabotaging their relationship: to try an open relationship—together. With Gina Gershon, Francois Arnaud, Morgan Spector, David Joseph Craig, Jason Sudeikis.

Rock'n Roll, directed by Guillaume Canet, written by Guillaume Canet, Rodolphe Lauga, Philippe Lefebvre. (France) - International Premiere. Real-life couple Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard play themselves in this satirical comedy about a couple dealing with aging in the limelight. After Guillaume gets told by a co-star that he’s just not that cool anymore, he goes to increasingly extreme lengths to prove her wrong, putting his happy domestic life to the test. With Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Lefebvre, Camille Rowe, Yvan Attal. In French with subtitles.

Sweet Virginia, directed by Jamie Dagg, written by The China Brothers. (USA) - World Premiere. Jon Bernthal, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogen Poots, Odessa Young, and a spectacular Christopher Abbott star in this gritty neo-Western with echoes of the early Coen Brothers: a burglary-homicide rattles the residents of a small Alaska town. Jamie Dagg’s sophomore feature is a haunting drama about the predator in each of us, and the prices we pay to start over.

Take Me, directed by Pat Healy, written by Mike Makowsky. (USA) - World Premiere. Ray is in the boutique simulated abduction business. It’s an understandably threadbare market, so he jumps at the chance when a mysterious call contracts him for a weekend kidnapping with a handsome payday at the end. But the job isn't all that it seems. A black comedy that threads the needle between crime thriller and slapstick farce, Take Me is as twisty as it is funny. With Taylor Schilling, Pat Healy, Alycia Delmore, Jim O'Heir.

Thumper, directed and written by Jordan Ross. (USA) - World Premiere. This suspenseful crime drama follows Kat Carter (Eliza Taylor), the troubled new girl in a school harboring a deep secret. When she attracts the attention of the volatile gang leader Wyatt (a menacing Pablo Schreiber), Kat’s own hidden secrets threaten to put her life in danger. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga, the film features raw supporting turns from Lena Headey, Daniel Webber, Ben Feldman, and Grant Harvey.

The Trip to Spain, directed by Michael Winterbottom. (U.K.) - World Premiere. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite with director Michael Winterbottom for another chapter in their hilarious road trip series. This time taking their wit and appetites on a tour through picturesque Spain’s finest fine dining, Coogan and Brydon trade celebrity impressions and witty banter over paella and gazpacho, their comic observations on fame and friendship as dry as the finest Spanish wine. With Marta Barrio, Claire Keelan, Margo Stilley. An IFC Films release.


Supported by The Lincoln Motor Company

ACORN and the Firestorm, directed and written by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard. (USA) - World Premiere. For 40 years, the community-organizing group ACORN advocated for America’s poorest communities, while its detractors accused it of promoting government waste and the worst of liberal policies. Riding high on the momentum of Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008, ACORN was at its social zenith when a hidden-camera video sparked a national scandal and brought it all crashing down. 

AlphaGo, directed by Greg Kohs, (USA) - World Premiere. With simple rules but a near-infinite number of possible outcomes, the ancient Chinese board game Go has long been considered the holy grail of artificial intelligence. Director Greg Kohs' absorbing documentary chronicles Google's DeepMind team as it takes on one of the world's top Go players in a weeklong tournament, pitting man against machine in a competition that reveals as much about the workings of the human mind as it does the future of AI. In English, Korean with subtitles.

Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World, directed and written by Barry Avrich. (Canada) - World Premiere. Barry Avrich’s in-depth and eye-opening documentary pulls back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes dealings revolving around the contemporary art world. Reputable artists, critics, auctioneers and collectors demystify the often illusive and complex relationship between art and commerce in this film, which features extraordinary access to industry players.

ELIÁN, directed by Tim Golden, Ross McDonnell. (USA) - World Premiere. Thanksgiving, 1999: Two fishermen on the Florida Straits find a young Cuban boy, Elián González, floating alone in an inner tube. Their discovery evolves into a custody battle between Elián’s Cuban father and his Miami-located relatives that brings the conflict between Cuba and the U.S. to the forefront. Eighteen years later, ELIÁN, executive produced by Alex Gibney, gives the now grown-up Elián the chance to tell his own side of the story. In English, Spanish with subtitles.

Frank Serpico, directed and written by Antonino D'Ambrosio. (USA) - World Premiere. With unprecedented access to a notoriously reclusive subject, Antonino D’Ambrosio creates a powerful portrait of Frank Serpico, the former NYPD officer who in the 1970s blew the whistle on the corruption and payoffs running rampant in the department. The true story that inspired Sidney Lumet’s American crime classic that bears his name. 

Get Me Roger Stone, directed and written by Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme. (USA) - World Premiere. With his bespoke suits and collection of Nixon memorabilia, political firebrand and noted eccentric Roger Stone has been a fixture of Republican politics since the 1970s, yet at the same time has always been an outsider. Despite its success, his brand of confrontational (some would say “dirty”) politics was always publicly rejected by the conservative mainstream, though with the shocking ascendancy of his longtime pet project Donald Trump (interviewed in the film), Stone—the ultimate political trickster—would likely say he was just ahead of his time. A Netflix release.

Gilbert, directed by Neil Berkeley, written by Neil Berkeley, James Leche. (USA) - World Premiere. Legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried has had quite a career. Rocketing to fame in the 1980s, he was thrust into the public consciousness almost immediately thanks to his brash personality, unique worldview, and off-kilter comic timing. Now, foul-mouthed and unapologetic after decades of flying solo in both his work and in his personal life, Gilbert has shockingly reinvented himself…as a family man. With Jay Leno, Bill Burr, Jeff Ross, Whoopi Goldberg, Howie Mandel.

A Gray State, directed by Erik Nelson. (USA) - World Premiere. Christmas, 2014: filmmaker, veteran and charismatic up-and-coming voice of alt-right politics David Crowley and his family are killed in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists. Executive produced by Werner Herzog, A Gray State combs through Crowley’s photographs, videos and recordings to investigate what happens when an ideology becomes an all-consuming obsession.

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, directed by Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested, written by Mark Monroe. (USA) - World Premiere. Chronicling Syria’s descent into unbridled chaos, this gripping and insightful work captures the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most importantly, its human toll. From personal stories of family survival and tragedy to keen insight from top experts from around the world, acclaimed filmmaker and author Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested create an informative and comprehensive documentary, as the story continues to unfold. In English, French, Arabic, Kurdish with subtitles. A National Geographic release.

Hondros, directed by Greg Campbell, written by Greg Campbell, Jenny Golden. (USA) - World Premiere. Beginning with the war in Kosovo in 1999, award-winning photographer Chris Hondros served as a witness to conflict for over a decade before being killed in Libya in 2011. In Hondros, director and childhood friend Greg Campbell creates a portrait of a man with not only great depth and sensitivity, but a passion for his craft, and an unending talent for creating breathtaking imagery. Executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. In Arabic, English with subtitles.

I Am Evidence, directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, (USA) - World Premiere. Every year in cities around the United States, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are left untested in police storage facilities. Produced by Mariska Hargitay, I Am Evidence exposes this shocking reality, bringing attention to the way in which police have historically processed sexual assault cases. Through an exploration of survivors’ accounts, the film sheds light on these disturbing statistics, and shows what can be achieved when evidence—and the individuals it represents—are treated with the respect we all deserve. An HBO Documentary Film release.

LA 92, directed by Daniel Lindsay, TJ Martin. (USA) - World Premiere. Few images are seared into the American consciousness with the anger and clarity of the beating of Rodney King and the riots following his abusers’ acquittal. Twenty-five years later, Academy Award-winning directors Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin draw on archival news images and unseen footage to paint an in-depth portrait of those riots and the tempestuous relationship between Los Angeles’ African-American community and those charged with protecting it. A National Geographic release.

No Stone Unturned, directed by Alex Gibney. (USA, Northern Ireland) - World Premiere. In 1994, six men were gunned down and five wounded in a pub while watching a World Cup soccer match in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. With a police investigation that was perfunctory at best, the case remained unsolved. In this non-fiction murder mystery, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the original case to investigate why no culprit was ever brought to justice.

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste, directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye. (USA) - World Premiere. Each year, $218 billion—or 1.3 billion tons—of food is thrown out. With nearly a billion people worldwide facing starvation, food conservation is a more urgent issue than ever before. Executive produced by Anthony Bourdain, Chai and Kye’s fast-paced and forward-thinking food doc takes viewers on a tour of inventive new ideas for recycling waste and maximizing sustainability from innovative chefs like Massimo Bottura, Dan Barber and Danny Bowien, who turn scraps into feasts before our eyes. Earth Day Screening

Whitney. “can I be me,” directed by Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, written by Nick Broomfield. (U.K.) - World Premiere. Whitney Houston was the most awarded female recording artist of all time, with more consecutive number one hits than The Beatles, and on top of that she was America’s Sweetheart. Yet despite her fame, talent, and success, she died tragically at the age of 48. Featuring largely never-before-seen footage and Broomfield and Dolezal’s moving documentary tells the story of the girl behind the voice. A Showtime release.

Year of the Scab, directed by John Dorsey. (USA) - World Premiere. During the 1987 NFL strike, teams scrambled to assemble temporary replacements to fill in for their boycotting players. The Washington Redskins were notable for their "scabs," a collection of cast-offs who nonetheless rode a surprising wave of momentum against all odds. “Year of the Scab” revisits this ultimate underdog story and the men whose ordinary lives were interrupted. Those so-called “scabs” helped break the strike and bring their team to victory, only to struggle for their place in the sports history books.

An ESPN Films release.


City of Ghosts, directed by Matthew Heineman. (USA) - New York Premiere, Documentary. The fearless citizen-journalists of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS) risk their lives on a daily basis to document and expose the atrocities of the Islamic State in their home city of Raqqa, Syria. Academy Award-nominee Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) returns to Tribeca with an immersive and deeply personal documentary chronicling the lives of these activists. In Arabic with subtitles. An Amazon Studios release.


Dog Years, directed and written by Adam Rifkin. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) was one of the biggest movie stars in the world, known for his mustachioed good looks and cocky swagger. With his Hollywood glory a distant memory, the now-octogenarian Vic is prompted to reassess his life with the passing of his beloved dog and the arrival of an invitation to receive a lifetime achievement award from the (fictional) International Nashville Film Festival. With Ariel Winter, Chevy Chase, Clark Duke, Ellar Coltrane, Juston Street.

The Family I Had, directed by Katie Green and Carlye Rubin, written by Tina Grapenthin, Katie Green, Carlye Rubin. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her seemingly brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act. Now, left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in this moving true crime exploration of the nature and limits of familial love.

The Farthest, directed and written by Emer Reynolds. (Ireland) - International Premiere, Documentary. On the 40th anniversary of Voyager’s eleven-billion-mile flight (and counting), experience a comprehensive behind-the-scenes account from those who built and nurtured this unprecedented deep space achievement. Emer Reynolds creates a vivid celebration of curiosity and exploration for the most audacious project in human history, and one of humankind’s greatest successes.

Flames, directed and written by Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker. (USA) - World Premiere. Filmed over five years, Flames follows real-life couple Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell from the white-hot passion of first love to the heartbreak of breaking up. But for these two filmmakers, the end of the relationship wasn’t the end of the story. As they continue filming, reconstructing what happened and where it went wrong, lines begin to blur between what was real and what was “the film”—if there’s even a difference anymore. With Hollis Witherspoon, Michael Melamedoff, Joe Swanberg, Matthew Levy.

For Ahkeem, directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest. (USA) - North American Premiere, Documentary. Beginning one year before the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Levine and Van Soest’s intimate and cinematic For Ahkeem is the coming of age story of 17-year-old Daje Shelton in neighboring North St. Louis. Falling in love and fighting with mom, Daje struggles with typical teen growing pains, but also must increasingly combat the institutional and social roadblocks that keep black teens like her from succeeding in America.

The Last Animals, directed by Kate Brooks, written by Kate Brooks and Mark Monroe. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures. In Czech, English, French, Lingala with subtitles. Earth Day Screening

Mr Long, directed and written by SABU. (Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan R.O.C., Germany) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Following an assignment gone wrong in Tokyo, professional Taiwanese hitman Mr. Long (Chang Chen) finds himself stranded without a passport in a run-down Japanese village. So naturally Long does what any cold-hearted killer would do in his situation: befriend the locals and open a wildly popular noodle cart. Moving artfully between scenes of slickly choreographed violence and charming, whimsical drama, Japanese director SABU’s latest is a refreshing twist on the gangster genre, offering a surprisingly tender and heartwarming fable of redemption. In Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese with subtitles.

My Art, directed and written by Laurie Simmons. (USA) - North American Premiere, Narrative. For cultured artist Ellie (Laurie Simmons), age really isn’t anything but a number. Unhappy with where her career has gone, the single New York City socialite flees upstate to recharge her creative spark away from the big city’s various distractions. There, she attracts the romantic interests of three men and figures out what she wants from life—even though she’s 65 years old. With Lena Dunham, Robert Clohessy, John Rothman, Josh Safdie, Parker Posey, Blair Brown, Barbara Sukowa.

My Friend Dahmer, directed and written by Marc Meyers. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Before Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, he was a teenage loner. Conducting grisly experiments in a makeshift backyard lab, Jeff was invisible to most, until his increasingly bizarre behavior unexpectedly attracted friends. Based on the cult graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer chronicles the origins of the man, the monster…the high school senior. With Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Alex Wolff, Tommy Nelson, and Vincent Kartheiser.

Pilgrimage, directed by Brendan Muldowney, written by Jamie Hannigan. (USA, Ireland) - World Premiere, Narrative. In 13th-century Ireland, a cadre of monks travel through the war-torn countryside on a mission to bring their land’s most sacred relic to Rome. But other forces are gaining on them, as the true significance of the relic becomes dangerously apparent. A period drama crossed with an action/adventure road movie, Pilgrimage delivers a profound lesson on religious fervor and the savagery of soldiers with a cause. With Tom Holland, Richard Armitage, Jon Bernthal, John Lynch, Stanley Weber.

A Thousand Junkies, directed and written by Tommy Swerdlow. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Three heroin addicts crisscross Los Angeles in search of relief in this comedy balanced on the fine line between reliance and dependence. With a sensitive eye and gift for the absurd, writer/director/co-star Tommy Swerdlow crafts both the inevitable and the wholly unexpected: a drug movie that struggles to find any drugs, and a road movie that drives in circles. With TJ Bowen, Blake Heron, Bill Pullman, Steven Weber, Dinarte de Freitas.

The Wedding Plan (Laavor et HaKir), directed and written by Rama Burshtein. (Israel) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Spirited bride-to-be Michal is dumped by her fiancé a month before their wedding. Undeterred, she keeps her wedding date, leaving it to fate to provide a suitable groom. With invitations sent, venue booked, and the clock counting down to the big day, Michal goes to increasingly elaborate lengths in her search for Mr. Right, in writer-director Rama Burshtein’s (Fill the Void) funny and poignant romantic comedy. With Noa Kooler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi. In Hebrew with subtitles. A Roadside Attractions release.


Supported by EFFEN® Vodka

Devil's Gate, directed by Clay Staub, written by Peter Aperlo, Clay Staub. (Canada, USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Struggling to overcome a recent professional tragedy, a tough-as-nails FBI agent (Amanda Schull) relocates to a small North Dakota town to investigate the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. The search leads to the missing woman’s husband’s (Milo Ventimiglia) secluded farm, on which answers, new mysteries, and God-fearing terrors await. Not to mention, something locked and caged down in the basement. With Shawn Ashmore, Bridget Regan, Jonathan Frakes.

Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, directed by Patrick O’Dell. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine charts the rise and fall of the irreverent, boundary-pushing “Big Brother Magazine”, whose taboo-breaking stunts and unapologetically crass humor spawned MTV’s Jackass and a generation of skaters. Featuring a trove of original footage and interviews with the magazine’s major players, Dumb celebrates the lowbrow legacy of this touchstone of 90’s counterculture. With Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Steve Rocco, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Tony Hawk, Chad Muska. A Hulu release.

Hounds of Love, directed and written by Ben Young. (Australia) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Dark forces lurk behind the sunny façade of an unassuming Australian suburb in Ben Young's stylish directorial debut. This ‘80s-set true crime thriller follows 17-year-old Vicki on the night she's abducted by a disturbed couple. While bound to a bed inside of the kidnappers’ home and subjected to psychological and physical torture, Vicki must find a way to drive a wedge between her unhinged captors and escape by any means necessary. With Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson. A Gunpowder & Sky release. Presented in partnership with Venice Days.

Psychopaths, directed and written by Mickey Keating. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Over the course of one excessively blood-soaked night, multiple serial killers’ paths cross, leaving a trail of bodies and begging the question: Which psychopath will live to see morning? One of the most exciting and unclassifiable new voices in indie horror, Mickey Keating delivers his wildest ride yet with this ultra-stylish and uber-violent descent into madness. With Ashley Bell, James Landry Hébert, Mark Kassen, Angela Trimbur, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Sam Zimmerman.

Super Dark Times, directed by Kevin Phillips, written by Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski. (USA) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence in Kevin Phillips’ atmospheric ‘90s-set mystery-thriller. With Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappuccino, Max Talisman, Sawyer Barth, Amy Hargreaves.

Tilt, directed by Kasra Farahani, written by Jason O'Leary, Kasra Farahani. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. There’s something off about Joe. Although his pregnant girlfriend, Joanne, supports him as he devotes more and more time to his passion project, a sprawling documentary about America’s “golden age,” both the film and Joe are becoming increasingly unhinged. Joanne is growing worried about Joseph’s odd behavior...but not as worried as she should be. With Joseph Cross, Alexia Rasmussen, Kelvin Yu, Jessy Hodges, CS Lee.

<![CDATA[Attend This Tale of 'Sweeney Todd' ]]> Wed, 01 Mar 2017 20:32:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SweeneyMain.jpg

Did you come here for a pie, sir? If so, smart move. The traditional meat or vegetarian pie dished out to audience members before each performance of the Tooting Arts Club’s “Sweeney Todd”—alongside a gut-warming mound of mash—is scrumptious.

That’s to be expected, since the delicacies are the creation of a former White House pastry chef. Equally satisfying is the production itself, an in-your-face take on Stephen Sondheim’s dark tale about a bloodthirsty barber, now at the Barrow Street Theatre.

This immersive “Sweeney,” in a working pie shop, was previously done at a smaller venue in London. About a third of the audience is seated at long tables, becoming the bakery’s “customers.” Actors, a mix of Brits and Americans, may march across your table, or push you aside in your seat with a threatening bark: “Move!” (There’s mezzanine seating, as well.)

Lead Jeremy Secomb, who also performed the role overseas, is a sinister Sweeney, née Benjamin Barker, with the sunken eyes of a lunatic. His performance is threatening and physical, and you’ll wow at the way he becomes unbuttoned and lost in the world during the macabre and cherished first act climax, “A Little Priest.”

Siobhán McCarthy’s Mrs. Lovett, the delusional and love starved baker, thinks she’s cementing her relationship with Todd at that moment, but we know better. McCarthy, also a London vet, is simpering, sly and coquettish in her cartoonishly overdone eye shadow. She's marvelous.

Broadway heartthrob Matt Doyle is strong as Anthony, the naive young sailor whose attempts to court Todd’s daughter, Johanna (Alex Finke) are persistently foiled by her adoptive father, Judge Turpin (Duncan Smith) and his lackey (Tony nominee Brad Oscar).

Finke’s Johanna is a sweet-voiced innocent with a sensible and resourceful disposition. Her take on “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” is one of the production’s high points. Smith is a sharp contrast as the slovenly and piggish jurist.

Oscar is appropriately smarmy as Beadle Bamford, the officious bureaucrat who’s only out for himself. The delightful Betsy Morgan has the most operatic obligations here, in dual roles as a beggar woman with a past Barker can’t quite place, and the huckster Mr. Pirelli.

All the familiar numbers are well-executed, though for my three quid, “Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir” makes exceptional use of the seating composition, with Mr. Pirelli’s bewigged assistant (Joseph Taylor) leaping across tables and rubbing potion on the heads of any audience member with notable hair loss.

Candlelight, a three-person orchestra and that familiar shrill whistle each time a throat is slit give the production its atmosphere without any extravagant pyrotechnics. Of note: In April, several new actors join the cast, with Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello taking over the leads.

The seating arrangements downstairs encourage rapport with strangers. Here, we get a new twist on an old favorite, a particularly satisfying staging that’s a treat for all of the senses, even taste. 

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” on sale through Aug. 13. Tickets: $69.50-$125. Call 866-811-4111.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 4 New York to Stream 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade Live]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:59:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/patricks-day-parade-fifth-ave.jpg

NBC 4 New York will offer exclusive, live coverage of New York City’s 256th St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 11 a.m. Friday, March 17 and continuing through 3 p.m. The parade will also be streamed live on NBCNewYork.com. 

Broadcast coverage will be co-anchored by "Today in New York" traffic reporter and "New York Live" contributor Lauren Scala, who will be joined by Ireland Calls Radio Show personalities Tommy Smyth and Treasa Goodwin-Smyth. Field reporting will be led by News 4 New York’s Gus Rosendale, who will offer reports from the parade kickoff on 44th Street and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and throughout the parade route up Fifth Avenue to 79th Street. 

Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, will be the Grand Marshall of the 256th St. Patrick’s Day Parade. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Dowling earned his undergraduate degree from University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, before embarking on a successful career in public service, education and health care. 

Additionally, parade officials have dedicated this year’s celebration to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and to the New York State Police, both of which celebrate a century of service in 2017.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Col. Patricia Groeber, New York State Police, have been named Aides-at-Large to Grand Marshal Dowling. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mamet Rebounds with 'The Penitent' ]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:11:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PenitentMain.jpg

In David Mamet’s newest play, a psychiatrist sees his career and marriage thrown into flux after he refuses to testify on behalf of a former patient who has done something horrible. “The Penitent,” which includes among its quartet of stars the writer’s wife, is having its world premiere at the Atlantic.

Mamet’s play is often a jumble of non-cohesive ideas, but it still holds together better than recent pieces such as “The Anarchist” and “China Doll.” Viewed as an indictment of journalism or the law—take your pick—“The Penitent” is timely and exciting and, in the best of ways, awfully depressing.

Chris Bauer—he was paunchy local cop Andy Bellefleur on HBO’s “True Blood”—excels as Charles, the analyst whose gay former charge has committed a spree killing. Throughout “The Penitent,” we’re witness to Charles’s conflict over his allegiance to the Hippocratic oath and its fraught intermingling with religious law.

As the trial approaches, Charles is driven into a corner. Should he follow what he perceives to be the word of God, and not disclose things done in trust? Or take the advice of Kath, his wife (Rebecca Pidgeon), who is happy in her undisturbed bourgeois life and wants the episode behind both of them?

Pidgeon, the British-American actress and songwriter who is married to the playwright, employs the characteristic halting staccato of the author’s well-known personas, though she’s on a different page from her co-stars. Jordan Lage is nice as Charles’s lawyer, who is eager to give his client legal advice without venturing into sticky moral territory.

The play’s finest moments are provided by Lawrence Gilliard Jr., who appears too briefly as the murder suspect’s mercenary defense attorney. (At the risk of going off on a tangent, it’s thrilling to see Gilliard, a former actor on “The Walking Dead,” with both legs intact. Google “Gareth” and “cannibalism” if you need that clarified.)

Mamet crams interesting, if overused notions into the story. Do we need another drama dissecting Leviticus? At the same time, his apparent disgust for journalism and the American legal system are employed to great use—he manages in a short time to reinforce suspicions that justice always goes to the man “in the suit with the best cut.”

“The Penitent” clocks in at 80 minutes, with intermission. I could locate no dramatic purpose for an interruption in the middle of such a short play. Overall, my response here was warm-ish. Some themes pop up like a muddled game of socioreligious whack-a-mole, but the play itself entertains and boasts a variety of interesting performances.

“The Penitent,” through March 19 at the Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater, 336 W. 20th St. Tickets: Starting at $75, via atlantictheater.org or OvationTix at 866-811-4111.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Doug Hamilton]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar Isaac Is 'Hamlet' at Public Theater]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:34:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-603148450+%281%29.jpg

To be, or not to be? That is the question Oscar Isaac will be asking eight times a week this summer, when he leads the Public Theater's new production of William Shakespeare's classic drama "Hamlet."

Directed by Tony winner Sam Gold ("Fun Home"), the limited-run production will begin previews at the Public's Anspacher Theater on June 20, with an official opening set for July 13.

In addition to Isaac, the cast of "Hamlet" will include comedian Keegan-Michael Key as Horatio, "Fun Home" alum Roberta Colindrez as Rosencrantz, "G.L.O.W." star Gayle Rankin as Ophelia and "Boardwalk Empire" alum Anatol Yusef as Laertes.

Peter Friedman and Matthew Saldívar also star.

Gold's "Hamlet" was originally scheduled to open the current season at Theater for a New Audience's Polonsky Shakespeare Center in downtown Brooklyn, but was canceled after the director parted ways with the theater in June 2016 after creative differences. 

Afterwards, Oskar Eustis -- the Public's artistic director -- had attempted to co-produce with Theater for a New Audience but that effort fell through. 

Membership tickets will be available beginning March 9. Single tickets, starting at $95, go on sale March 30.

For tickets and information, visit publictheater.org.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter]]>
<![CDATA['A Particular Set of Skills': 'Taken' Prequel Set for Debut]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 16:31:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cliveclive.jpg

A man with "a particular set of skills" is heading to a television near you. But it's not Liam Neeson.

“Taken,” a modern-day, nail-biting thriller, follows the story of Bryan Mills in a new television series that takes place 30 years before the movie of the same name. Viewers are introduced to the character before he becomes the world weary fighter made iconic on the silver screen by Neeson, as he just begins his career  as a deadly CIA operative.

The role is portrayed by Clive Standen, who is bringing his own fresh take --and stunts-- to the action-heavy role.

“He’s just an everyday guy with a ‘particular set of skills,’” Standen said. “He’s relentless. He just won’t give up.”

Standen, whose credits to date include runs on the History Channel's "Vikings" along with small roles in films "Everest" and "Hammer of the Gods," insisted on doing the majority of his own stunts for the show, including fight scenes, running and parkour. He believes when a stunt double takes over a scene, the audience loses engagement with the character, since they can only see the character’s back.

“If you can put a camera on an actor’s face, then you start to tell a story through the action and you start to engage an audience,” he said.

After accepting the role Standen spoke to Neeson, who told him the main thing to keep in mind about Bryan Mills is that “his heart is what keeps him going, it’s what gets him up.”

Standen pays homage to Neeson’s portrayal  through his intensity, but says the roles are quite different. He’s excited for “Taken” to debut as “an action show with no fluff,” because in his portrayal of Mills, Standen makes him a “real person.”

“When I watch a TV show, I want to connect with someone who has some kind of humanity,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything that looks larger than life; life is large enough. No one wants to go see ‘action man’ anymore, we want to see life.”

Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer, who Standen credited with finding an “amazing cast,” including Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.

“Taken” premieres on Monday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[See It: Selena Gomez's 'Dream Home' Hits Market for $3M]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:05:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gomez+fw+house+cropped.jpg

Pop star Selena Gomez is selling her 10,000 square foot Fort Worth dream home.

You can come and get it, for a cool $3 million.

The home is in west Fort Worth's exclusive Montserrat neighborhood.

It has two master suites, a media room, an oversized kitchen, a tennis court and a luxury swimming pool, among other amenities.

The 24-year-old former girlfriend of Justin Bieber was born in Grand Prairie, and considers North Texas home.

No word on where she's moving.

The sale is being handled by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty.


Photo Credit: Briggs Freeman Sotheby's / Getty Images for iHeartMedia (inset)]]>
<![CDATA[8 Places to Celebrate National Margarita Day in NYC]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:22:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/margaritathumnail.jpg Happy National Margarita Day! If you're looking to celebrate in NYC, here are some of the best places to find standard and unique margaritas for an affordable price.

Photo Credit: Jonelle Weaver ]]>
<![CDATA[Save the Date: Brooklyn's Own Restaurant Week Is Coming Soon]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:29:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/food+generic.jpg

New York City's restaurant week is over until the summer, but foodies across the five boroughs should mark their calendars for Brooklyn's version of the delectable dining event. 

Dozens of eateries plan to participate in Dine In Brooklyn 2017, which kicks off Monday, March 20 and runs through March 30. Specials will include $28 prix fixe three-course dinners, $15 two-course lunches and $12 weekend brunch, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said Tuesday. 

Restaurants are still being added to the list, but participants thus far include Park Slope's Sugarcane, a Caribbean delight, downtown's Hill Country Barbecue Market, Blue Agave Restaurant, offering a Latin flavor in Bay Ridge, Crown Heights' Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse and Marine Park's Buckley's Restaurant, featuring good old American cuisine. 

Tantalize your taste buds and check out participating restaurants using the interactive map on the event's website

"Our restaurants fuel our borough’s economic engine, and this event is an opportunity to support their continued growth while encouraging diners to discover – or rediscover – their favorite Brooklyn dish," Adams said. 

Brooklyn has had a restaurant week since 2004, with more than 300 participating restaurants.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zima Poised for US Comeback]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 19:47:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/zima.jpg

Get ready to finally peel yourself off of that bar stool you’ve been stuck on since the ‘90s—Zima is making a comeback to coolers in the U.S.

Zima was discontinued in America in 2008, according to Crain’s, but its Chicago-based producer says it’s returning after the success of MillerCoor’s Henry’s Hard Soda line. 

"If you're one of the zillion fans who have missed Zima, the answer should be clear," MillerCoors said in a statement.

Murmurs of the fabled ‘90s-era malt liquor, with its quirky and memorable commercials, began last fall, Crain’s reports, compounded by a MillerCoors Michigan distributor posting a photo of the beverage on Instagram.

Zima is expected to be back in stores and watering holes sometime this year, according to Crain’s.

The company aims to compete with other malt beverage brands, like Smirnoff Ice and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Photo Credit: Zima
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[August Wilson on Broadway]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:17:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/USHERY+JITNEY+ON+BROADWAY+PKG+5PM+-+00001503_WNBC_0000000151176.jpg

One actor described "Jitney", an August Wilson play currently on Broadway, as "the last jewel in the crown." With its run at the Samuel J. Fiedman Theatre, now all ten of Wilson's plays about the African-American experience have made it to Broadway. David Ushery spoke with the director, and two key actors in the play.

<![CDATA['We All Need to Pay Attention to August Wilson', Actor Says]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:28:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000015111078_1200x675_879615043611.jpg

Actors John Douglas Thompson and Michael Potts share how the success of "Fences" and "Jitney" is bringing more attention to August Wilson's work.

<![CDATA[Restaurant Owner Gives Discount for Polite Kids]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:25:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/restaurant4.jpg

Antonio Ferrari, the owner of a wine bar in Italy, has picked up a practice that he first noticed while visiting a restaurant in Miami.

His group was given a discount because his friends' children were well behaved. Ferrari has since embraced the move and recently posted on Facebook a photograph of a receipt from his restaurant, Today.com reported.

The caption reads: “It happens so seldom!”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: Meg Ryan's SoHo Loft Hits Market for $10.9M]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:03:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/meg+ryan+soho+thumb.jpg Actress Meg Ryan has put her "magical" SoHo loft -- featured on the cover of the November 2016 issue of "Architectural Digest" on the market. And the 4,100-square-foot palace can be yours for just under $11 million. Scroll through the photos for a look inside. You can see the full listing with Corcoran here.

Photo Credit: Evan Joseph, courtesy of Corcoran]]>
<![CDATA[Sara Bareilles Stepping Into 'Waitress']]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:46:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SaraBareillesJoiningWaitress.jpg

After making her Broadway debut as composer for the hit musical "Waitress," singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles will make her Broadway debut as an actress, joining the show as its star.

Bareilles will step into the lead role of pregnant piemaker Jenna Hunterson for a limited 10-week run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre beginning March 31. Her final performance is set for June 11.

The part was originated by Tony nominee Jessie Mueller, who will play her final performance on March 26.

"It’s something I’ve been quietly mulling over since the show began," Bareilles told the New York Times. "I’m making the big jump, and it feels like a completion of sorts, a coming full circle with this project. When I started working on it, I didn’t know how fully it would engulf me and my creative sensibilities. I’m obviously having a hard time saying goodbye." 

Barellis -- who acted in musicals in high school -- had previously told AOL that stepping into the role would be "a dream," but that her "no. 1 priority right now is to work on [her] next record" and "remember how to be Sara."

She sang a different tune to the Times, telling the paper, "I wanted to explore my relationship with this show while I’m as close to it as I’ll ever be."

Barellis' last album of original material was 2013's "The Blessed Unrest," which was nominated for Grammy's album of the year. She also released a cover album of "Waitress" tunes in 2015 -- including the ballad "She Used to Be Mine," which was put out as the compilation's lead single. 

"Waitress" is an adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 movie of the same name, which starred Keri Russell as Jenna. The show features a book by Jessie Nelson and direction from Tony-winner Diane Paulus (“Pippin”).

The production transferred to Broadway after a successful run at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Producers announced in January that the show had recouped its $12 million investment. 

For tickets and information, visit www.waitressonstage.com.

Photo Credit: Brad Barket]]>
<![CDATA[For Sale: Bethenny Frankel's $5.25M SoHo Apartment ]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:30:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/frankel-apt2.jpg Bethenny Frankel is parting with her luxurious SoHo apartment in New York. The "Real Housewives" star's residence was posted on Tuesday at a whopping $5.25 million.

Photo Credit: Evan Joseph]]>
<![CDATA[It's a Boy: American Girl Announces 1st Male Doll]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:21:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.jpg

American Girl is getting its first boy character this season, Today.com reports.

Logan Everett, a gray-eyed, brown-haired boy who plays the drums, is an 18-inch doll being released Thursday with Tenney, a female singer-songwriter.

They are part of American Girl's plans to launch dolls with diverse backgrounds, experiences and personalities in 2017, according to a press release. 

"A boy character has been a top request from our fans for decades," Julie Parks, a representative for American Girl, told Today.com.

Some moms have already been changing their 18-inch girl dolls into boys for their sons.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Top 30 Cities for Dating Revealed]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:36:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/217*120/date-generic-couple.jpg

Apartment hunters look at many factors when deciding where to live -- and, for many, the dating pool is a significant one. 

Rental site ApartmentList.com culled data from the more than 13,000 responses to its annual survey to determine the top 30 metropolitan areas for dating. 

New York came in at No. 10. And while there may be ample opportunity for dating in the city and surrounding areas, ApartmentList.com found there's also opportunity for improvement. 

A hair less than half (49.5 percent) of respondents in New York were satisified with their dating opportunities, with women (52 percent) more likely than men (42 percent) to report positive responses. College-educated renters reported being more satisfied with dating opportunities. 

According to the survey, Raleigh, North Carolina, was ranked the No. 1 metro area in the country for dating, while San Antonio, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts, came in second and third, respectively. Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., rounded out the top five.

Online real estate company Trulia also conducted research on which city’s singles have the best chance at finding love. The research took into consideration education, age, previous marital status and work schedule.

College educated, older women were found to mostly be living on the east coast. While unmarried, educated men in their thirties working similar hours tend to be living in San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.

New York and Philadelphia boast the highest single women to single men ratios. If you are looking for change in your love life a big move may be just the thing you need.

Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Urie Leads 'Torch Song' Revival]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 17:37:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MichaelUrieTorchSongNews.jpg

Harvey Fierstein's award-winning 1982 play "Torch Song Trilogy" will return to the New York stage — in a revival from the Second Stage Theatre led by "Ugly Betty" alum Michael Urie, timed for its 35th anniversary.

The play, which won two Tonys for best play and best actor, will begin previews at Off-Broadway's Tony Kiser Theatre on Sept. 26, with an official opening set for late October.

The new production will rename the play "Torch Song." Its direction will be by Moisés Kaufman, from a newly-edited text by Fierstein.

"'Thirty-five years?’ I thought, 'It’s time!' " Fierstein said in a statement. "I would never think of rewriting the plays but have given him a newly edited text that re-conceives the way I want the story told. Theatre is a living breathing entity and so are audiences. Even the most faithful stage recreations are tinted by the moment in which they are experienced."

"Let’s see what truths we can preserve, what histories we can rediscover and what futures we can forge together," he continued.

"Torch Song" tells the story of a gay drag performer named Arnold Beckoff, living in New York City in 1979. The play explores his tumultuous relationship with his bisexual, closeted lover.

The original production played a three-year engagement at what is now known as the Helen Hayes Theatre, before become adapted into a 1988 film starring Fierstein, Matthew Broderick and Anne Bancroft.

Additional casting and an offiical opening date will be announced at a later date.

Photo Credit: Eugene Gologursky]]>