Spring into fall with our official culture preview!

11/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Brooklyn Paper Brooklyn Paper

By Ben Muessig

The Brooklyn Paper

Summer is over and it’s time to put away foolish things like the beach and get back into the rhythm of urban life. To help, The Brooklyn Paper has assembled this full guide to fall fun.


Shakespeare shake-up

Here’s a new twist on one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Like jazz musicians riffing on a Gershwin standard, the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and the French music troupe Anitya will use the Bard’s “Macbeth” as a departure point for an improvisational performance merging physical theater, dance, and music, dubbed the “Macbeth Variations II.”

“Macbeth Variations II” at the Irondale Center [85 S. Oxford St. between Lafayette and Greene avenues in Fort Greene, (718) 488-9233], Oct. 1–3 at 8 pm. Tickets $20 to $40, available at www.strikeanywhere.info.

Happy bauh-thday

In celebration of the 90th birthday of the influential Bauhaus movement, the Nerve Tank troupe — best known for physical theater and site-specific design — will put on a show called “bauhaus the bauhaus” that will reflect upon the functionalist movement’s Utopian ideals.

“bauhaus the bauhaus” at the Brooklyn Lyceum [227 Fourth Ave. between President and Union Streets in Park Slope (718) 857-4816], Oct. 9–Nov. 22; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 pm; Sundays, 7 pm. Tickets $18 (students and artists $15).

Ride the Wave

Brooklyn Academy of Music’s acclaimed Next Wave Festival is still rolling forward, bringing with it a surge of cutting-edge performances including:

• Director Robert Lepage’s epic “Lipsynch” (Oct. 3–11) spans several continents, multiple decades — and eight and a half hours! — to tell nine distinct stories in this memorable theater marathon.

• Acclaimed choreographer William Forsythe’s U.S. premiere of “Decreation” (Oct. 7–10) addresses love, jealousy, and the search for God.

• Greenpoint-based experimental drum troupe So Percussion collaborated with video artist Jenise Treuting on “Imaginary City” (Oct. 14–17), which merges music, film, and installation art to tell the story of a made-up metropolis and its inhabitants in homage to Italo Calvino’s 1972 tome “Invisible Cities.”

• Swedish troupe Cirkus Cirkör and New Wave dub-punk band Irya’s Playground’s “Inside Out” (Nov. 12 to 15) present a captivating amalgamation of skilled acrobatics, musical theater, and good old-fashioned spectacle.

The Next Wave Festival is ongoing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. near St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100]. Check www.bam.org for locations and times.

One Stella show

Tennessee Williams’s classic “A Streetcar Named Desire” might have the whole borough shouting “Stellaaaaa!” Boasting an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett — who already wowed Brooklyn in “Hedda Gabler” — this rendition by the Sydney Theatre Company could turn being fall’s must-see show.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” at BAM Harvey [651 Fulton St. between Rockwell and Ashland places in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100]. Nov. 27–Dec. 20; Tickets $30 to $120. For info, visit www.bam.org.


TV on the stage!

Indie stalwart Kip Mallone — the big-haired bassist in TV on the Radio — will launch his much anticipated solo act, Rain Machine, with a show at the Bell House.

Rain Machine at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510] on Sept. 21 at 7:30 pm. Tickets, $15.

Sunn O)))-day!

Hipster doom metal band Sunn O))) will drone out earsplitting noise tracks, with help from Earth, Pelican and Eagle Twin.

Sun O))) at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple (317 Clermont Ave. at Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene) on Sept. 22 at 8 pm. Tickets, $25. For info, visit www.brooklynmasonictemple.com.

Chamber music

The borough’s beloved Chamber Music Society is back for another season this fall, with four concerts at the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn Heights. Also churning out chamber tunes is the legendary Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, which will put on three shows this fall.

Brooklyn Chamber Music Society at the First Unitarian Church [50 Monroe Pl. at Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 858-0718]. Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 at 8 pm. For information, visit www.brooklynchambermusicsociety.org; Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music perform at different locations on Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 6. Tickets, $20 (students, $10). For information, visit www.brooklynfriendsofchambermusic.org.

Built to thrill!

Acclaimed indie rockers Built to Spill will bring their brand of guitar rock to the Music Hall of Williamsburg for a two-night stand. The band behind must-own records like “Perfect From Now On” and “Keep It Like a Secret” have already sold out one night, but tickets are still available for their other performance.

Other much-hyped Music Hall shows by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sufjan Stevens, and the Dirty Projectors have already sold out, but tickets remain on sale for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (Oct. 3), the Dodos (Oct. 13), the Raveonettes (Oct. 18) and Har Mar Superstar (Oct. 26).

Built to Spill at Music Hall of Williamsburg [66 N. Sixth St. between Kent and Wythe avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 486-5400] on Oct. 14 at 8 pm. Tickets, $30 (advance), $35 (door).

Rainy day!

Seminal twee punkers the Raincoats will help perl the new Knitting Factory, just opened in Williamsburg after a long run in Manhattan. The acclaimed all-female band earned its reputation in the late 1970s and early ’80s, but the group’s catchy tunes still get heads nodding and fists pumping today.

The Raincoats at Knitting Factory Brooklyn [361 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, (347) 529-6696] on Oct. 16. Tickets, $22 (advance), $25 (door).


Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Comic Book

Jack — no, king — of all trades, Melvin Van Peebles, will discuss his graphic novel and his forthcoming film, “Confessions of a Ex-Doofus Itchy Footed Mutha” at the Issue Project Room. The legendary director, producer, actor, composer and writer, who many credit as a founding father in blaxploitation and African-American cinema, will appear with musicians Nondor Nevai and Mick Barr.

Melvin Van Peebles at the Issue Project Room [232 Third St. between Third and Fourth in Gowanus, (718) 330-0313)] on Sept. 24 at 8 pm.

‘PPW’ on Seventh Avenue

Sex columnist and novelist Amy Sohn will descend into the belly of the beast when she reads from her racy new book “Prospect Park West” in the heart of Park Slope — a neighborhood she unfairly lambastes (OK, sometimes fairly).

Amy Sohn at Community Bookstore [143 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place, in Park Slope (718) 783-3075] on Sept. 29 at 7 pm.

Wonder boy

Literary legend Michael Chabon — the writer of “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” “Wonder Boys” and “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” — will discuss the art of nonfiction writing in a reading of his new book, “Manhood for Amateurs,” at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Michael Chabon at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library [Grand Army Plaza between Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway (718) 230-2100] on Oct. 8 at 7 pm.

This is sick

Hiding in the ruins of a plague-ridden city, the protagonist of Adam Rapp and George O’Connor’s graphic novel, “Ball Peen Hammer,” joins a child-killing cult to stay alive. Here them read from this chilling book is the perfect book for flu season.

Adam Rapp and George O’Connor at Book Court [163 Court St. between Pacific and Amity streets (718) 875-3677] on Oct. 13 at 7 pm.

Paul’s party

Famed Park Slope scribe Paul Auster — author of “The Brooklyn Follies” and “Timbuktu” — will read and sign copies of his new novel, “Invisible.”

Paul Auster at PowerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049] on Nov. 12 at 7 pm.


Rock show

In world of rock and roll, how you look can be just as important as how you sound. So it’s no surprise that the Brooklyn Museum has decided to honor the photographers who have turned struggling singers into stars. In the new exhibit, “Who Shot Rock and Roll,” visitors will have a chance to see iconic images of popular musicians, captivating images of bands on stage, as well as evocative portraits of their favorite rockers.

“Who Shot Rock and Roll” at the Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Crown Heights (718) 638-5000]. Opens Oct. 30.

Art in DUMBO

Almost all of DUMBO will be on show from Sept. 25–27, when the Arts Under the Bridge festival transforms the neighborhood into a veritable gallery space. Dozens of artists will set up installations indoors and outdoors at the 13th annual iteration of the festival, including one work highlighting the city’s history as a hub for oysters, and another titled “Welcome to NYC; Boomtown,” which details the city before last year’s real estate bust.

Art Under the Bridge in DUMBO. Sept. 25–27. For info, visit www.dumboartscenter.org.


More than 250 artists have lent their works — and their words — to “The Words of Color,” a group show combining visual art with written explanations composed by the artists themselves. Within the show, a subsection titled “Further to the Edge,” will feature works hung in “radical and exciting ways.”

“The Words of Color” at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition [499 Van Brunt St. at Reed Street in Red Hook, (718) 596-2506]. Weekends from 1–6 pm until Oct. 25.



The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s ongoing BAMcinematek series will screen a number of noteworthy flicks and film series this falls, including:

• A retrospective on the work of Nicolas Winding Refn — a Danish filmmaker known for dark, violent, masterfully directed crime movies, including “Fear X” (Oct. 1) and the “Pusher” trilogy (Oct. 4), before which the moviemaker will take part in a Q and A.

• An exploration of contemporary filmmaking in Uruguay (Oct. 16–18) featuring “The Pope’s Toilet,” “La Perrera” and “Kill Them All.”

• A series on new French films (Nov. 11–15) including “Irene,” “Please, Please Me,” and “Park Benches.”


German gay activist and filmmaker Rosa Von Praunheim will screen two of his most controversial pictures at Union Docs in Williamsburg. “It’s Not the Homosexual That’s Perverse, But the Situation in Which He Lives” (Sept. 26 at 7:30 pm) is a scathing condemnation of homosexuals in Germany who were content to live in an oppressive society, while “Two Mothers” (Sept. 27 at 7 pm) tells the story of the director’s hunt to track down his birth parents.

Rosa Von Praunheim at Union Docs [322 Union Ave. at South First Street in Williamsburg, (718) 395-7902] on Sept. 26 and 27. Suggested donation, $7.

Super duper 8

Talk about a rough cut! Moviemakers taking part at Flicker NYC will film a 50-foot spool of Super 8 film, process it, and immediately screen their unedited picture for the first time in front of a live audience.

Flicker NYC at the Brooklyn Lyceum [227 Fourth Ave. between President and Union Streets in Park Slope (718) 857-4816] on Oct. 9 at 7:30 pm. Tickets, $7.


Pies on the prize

Brooklyn sweet tooths will celebrate the art of the pie in DUMBO on Sept. 27, when more than 150 bakers will serve the beloved desserts in Bubby’s sixth annual pie social. Show off your culinary skills by bringing your own pie ($5), or grub on five samples ($25). Proceeds will go to public schools.

Bubby’s Pie Social [1 Main St. between Plymouth and Water streets, in DUMBO (718) 222-0666] on Sept. 27 from noon–3 pm. Tickets, $25 for five samples, $5 if you bring your own pie. Contact dani@bubbys.com to participate.

Hot Peppers

Get ready to get hot! In honor of hot peppers and the cultures that love them, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will celebrate the “Chile Pepper Fiesta,” an all-ages event with concerts, hot sauce tastings, and chocolate pairings that will merge spicy and sweet flavors.

“Chile Pepper Fiesta” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden [1000 Washington Ave. between Crown and Montgomery streets in Crown Heights, (718) 623-7200] on Oct. 3 from noon–6:30 pm. Entry, $8 (adults), $4 (seniors and students).


Bay Ridge’s legendary Ragamuffin parade is the perfect warm-up for Halloween. Almost a month before the holiday, tykes can try out their costumes in a romp down Third Avenue.

Ragamuffin Parade (Third Avenue in Bay Ridge) on Oct. 3. Final location yet to be determined. For info, visit www.thirdavenuebayridge.com.

Get Antic-uated!

The Atlantic Antic — the epic, 10-block long street festival now in its 35th year — will bring more than 500 venders to the roadway that separates Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn for Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. Expect tons of food, lots of live music, and even a handful of vintage buses on loan from the New York Transit Museum.

Atlantic Antic (Atlantic Avenue between Hicks Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill) on Oct. 4 from 10 am–6 pm.

The real Halloween parade

The granddaddy of all Halloween galas, the Park Slope Children’s Halloween Parade, marches down Seventh Avenue from 12th Street to Third Street and then onto J.J. Byrne Park on Fifth Avenue. It’s a new route for what is undeniably one of the greatest traditions in America, a country that may be big, but does not have a larger children’s parade than this one.

Earlier in the day, kids can warm up with games, face painting, and a costume contest at the fourth annual Puppetry Arts Haunted Halloween Carnival.

Puppetry Arts Haunted Halloween Carnival at PS 372 [First Street between Third and Fourth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 768-3703] on Oct. 31 from 11 am–4 pm. Free admission with $1 games, activities and snacks; $2 haunted house; Park Slope Children’s Halloween Parade (Seventh Avenue at 12th Street to Third Street to J.J. Byrne Park on Fifth Avenue) on Oct. 31 from 6:30–9 pm.

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