Just Do Art: Week of May 18, 2017

A star-studded salute to Sondheim is served up at June 13’s gala benefit for the Irish Repertory Theatre (seen here, 2016’s “Finian’s Rainbow”-themed gala). Photo by James Higgins.

IRISH REP GALA BENEFIT: “SONDHEIM AT 7” | Unpredictable but always dependable, Chelsea’s passionately prolific Irish Repertory Theatre is poised to pull up stakes from their West 22nd Street home — but only for one night. Wonderfully welcoming though its recently restored facility may be, there just aren’t enough seats in the house for the crowd expected at this annual gala benefit performance. No less than the legendary Angela Lansbury is set to introduce “Sondheim at 7: Celebrating the Songs of Stephen Sondheim.” Directed and arranged by the Irish Rep’s artistic director Charlotte Moore, with a full orchestra and chorus under the direction of John Bell, the titular 7pm start time lets loose “as many hit songs as we can fit into 90 minutes,” as performed by Broadway stars Nancy Anderson, Melissa Errico, Mark Evans, Danielle Ferland, Malcolm Gets, Jeremy Jordan, Rebecca Luker, Howard McGillin, Ryan Silverman, and Max Von Essen (and that’s just the lineup they had as we went to press). The selections are equally impressive displays of high quality and name recognition, from the likes of “Sweeney Todd,” “Into the Woods,” “Gypsy,” “Company,” “West Side Story” and more.

Tues., June 13, 7pm at Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St., btw. Broadway & Sixth Ave.). Single ticket packages start at $100. Cocktail and dinner packages at Bryant Park Grill start at $500. To purchase, visit irishrep.org or call 212-727-2737.

La MaMa showcases in-house and community talent, at their May 20 “Dancing in the Street Block Party” (Pua Ali’i Ilima O Nuioka, seen here from 2011, returns this year). Photo by Whitney Browne.

LA MAMA: “DANCING IN THE STREET BLOCK PARTY” | Fifty-five daring, daffy, enigmatic, and engaging seasons after Ellen Stewart started it all by giving voice to Off-Off Broadway’s emerging vocabulary, La MaMa remains a dependable destination for ambitious, innovative art of all stripes — but it’s the medium of movement that’s front and center at this epic block party, which coincides with the start of “La MaMa Moves,” a dance festival running (and leaping and twisting) its way across all three of the theater’s venues through June 4. The May 20 block party has all the essential elements: food, crafts, and children’s activities — plus the official announcement of a top-secret new undertaking (“the largest capital project in the company’s history”) and, of course, performances and workshops from in-house talent as well as troupes from the surrounding community. So far, the roster includes Al Son Son Tablao Flamenco, DJ Todd Jones, East Village Dance Project, Kinetic Architecture Dance Theater, Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Step Team, White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Co., and indigenous song and dance troupe Silver Cloud Singers.

The block party is a free event. Sat., May 20, 11am4pm in front of La MaMa’s theaters on E. Fourth St. (btw. Second Ave. & Bowery). For info, visit lamama.org.

Songs of spiritual awakening fill the Meeting Room of Judson Memorial Church at May 21’s spring concert from the West Village Chorale. Photo by Phil Armstrong.

WEST VILLAGE CHORALE SPRING CONCERT: “AMERICAN VOICES” | The nonsectarian, independent chorus that adds your voice to theirs every December at a “Messiah Sing” concert and a Caroling Walk through their beloved namesake neighborhood has chosen, for their 2017 Spring Concert, a program whose selections will fill the towering Meeting Room of Judson Memorial Church with testimonies of spiritual awakening and hope. Drawing on the work of American composers, the selections range from traditional spirituals by Alice Parker and Moses Hogan to 20th century classics by Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. A Chorale commission will premiere Thomas Jefferson Peters’ “Good-Night” (a setting of a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley), and former Chorale leader Michael Conley is represented by an excerpt from his “Appalachian Requiem.” Colin Britt, the Chorale’s current artistic director, conducts, with Elena Belli on piano.

Sun., May 21, 6pm at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). Advance tickets are $25 general admission, $10 for students. At the door, $30 general, $15 students. To order, and for more info, visit westvillagechorale.org.


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