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YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN

The power of

PINK

Are you impressed with our beautiful pink cover recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month? I hope so, and I do hope you stop and read the pages that give you — both men and women — information that can save your life. As a breast cancer survivor myself I know the critical need for timely mammograms. I was getting my annual gynecology checkup when the doctor said: “I don’t like what I feel here; let’s go upstairs and get you a mammogram right away!” I did, and within a week, I was at the office of renowned breast surgeon Dr. Karen Kostroff, being tested for breast cancer. I was lucky; after surgery they told me I did have Stage One breast cancer, but that only radiation, and a daily pill, were necessary. I tremble to think about what could have happened if I had not had that annual check up. No doubt my story would be very different. I urge everyone to be checked annually — yes, even men can have breast cancer. Our writers have valuable information for you, so read it and take action right away! I am proud and privileged to offer the critically

important information you will find in the Pink issue — our first to be published under the Schneps Community News Group ownership. Read it, save it, and pass it along to a friend. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time for us all to redouble our efforts to eradicate the second-leading killer of women in America. Schneps Community News Group’s annual “Pink Paper” is dedicated to our local resources, researchers, support teams, and survivors — because we share the struggle, and are mindful of the sobering statistics and excruciating toll of this deadly disease. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2018 are: • About 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States, including 17,890 in New York. • Approximately 40,920 women will die from breast cancer before the year’s end, including 2,390 in New York. • One in eight American women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. • Every two minutes, a woman in the U.S. is diag-

nosed with breast cancer. • Every 13 minutes in the U.S., a woman dies of breast cancer in our country. • About 85 percent of cases occur in women with no family history of breast cancer. • At this time, there are more than 3.1 million people in the U.S. with a history of breast cancer, including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment. Like most people, we have had friends and family battle cancer. Anyone who has watched the impact of this terrible disease on sufferers and their loved ones understands the urgency for a cure.

SOME GOOD NEWS: • There are more than 2.8-million breast-cancer survivors in the United States today. • The five-year relative survival rate for female invasive-breast-cancer patients has jumped from 75 percent in the mid-1970s to 90 percent today. These strides can be attributed to ordinary people who rise to the extraordinary occasion, demonstrating time and again the incredible strength and power of unity when affliction strikes. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for our newspapers to share the stories of how local communities come together to battle breast cancer, and herald those suffering for the spirit needed to fight this disease during their difficult journey to good health. We hope you enjoy our “Pink Paper” edition and its inspirational stories. If you are looking for additional details about breast cancer, opportunities to volunteer, or resources for someone fighting the disease, please reach out to the American Cancer Society at cancer. org/about-us/local/new-york.html. Victoria Schneps-Yunis President and Publisher Schneps Community News Group

This Week’s Pink Newspaper in Recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Sponsored by © CHELSEA NOW 2018 | CITY MEDIA LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

VOLUME 10, ISSUE 41 | OCTOBER 11 – 17, 2018


Partners in the fight against breast cancer.

Stop smoking + Limit alcohol + Be physically active + Watch your weight Women between 50 and 74 should get regular mammograms. But there’s more you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

MORE THAN MAMMOGRAMS MKT 16.190

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October 11, 2018

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OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

A GOOD ‘SCOUT’ Bellevue Hospital Center’s new high-tech probe helps surgeons BY JAMES HARNEY These days, to find a potentially cancerous breast tumor, surgeons at Bellevue Hospital Center simply “Scout” it out. New high-tech equipment is in place in the breast surgery operating room at Bellevue that uses infrared rays to probe breasts for lesions that need to be surgically removed. Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, Chief of Breast Surgery at Bellevue, explained that the new technology is called Savi Scout, and insisted its the wave of the future in breast cancer surgery. “When the patient has a lesion, you can’t always feel it,” said Dr. Joseph. “The surgeon needs to find out where that lesion is; this new technology can do that.” She said that previously, breast cancer patients needing surgery would have to arrive at the hospital early in the morning on the day of the operation to undergo needle location, a procedure in which a radiologist inserts a needle attached to a guide wire into a breast to find the lesions. “The issue with needle location is if the lesion is in a difficult location, the procedure can take a lot longer than expected, and the patient could spend more time in the operating room than they need to,” Joseph said. “That’s inefficient, and leads to delays in surgery for the doctors.” With Savi Scout, she said, a radiologist inserts a small chip, called a reflector, into the breast of a surgical patient. This can be done under local anesthesia at any time — a week before, or even a day before — an operation. “We have a device that we use in the operating room that picks up a signal from the reflector to show the surgeon where [in the breast] the lesion is,” Dr. Joseph said. “I like to say it tracks where lesions are much like a GPS system in your car tracks your destination.” “It’s a procedure that’s much more comfortable for the patient — they don’t have that guide wire sticking out of their breast — and they don’t have to come in hours earlier before surgery,” she said. It also improves operating room efficiency, because surgeons can begin operating more quickly, and see more patients on City Media LLC

LATEST TECH: Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, Chief of Breast Surgery at Bellevue Medical Center, displays Savi Scout, the latest breast mammography technology in use at the hospital (left).

any given day. “The main thing we [surgeons] look at is what we call our ‘first start’ case, the first [surgical] case of the day,” Dr. Joseph said. “If that [surgery] doesn’t start on time, the rest of the cases will be delayed and our efficiency goes down. That’s been largely eliminated by Savi Scout. It’s safe to say that we’ve knocked down the time it takes to do an average breast surgery procedure from an hour to

half that time.” Dr. Joseph said that since Bellevue brought the new technology on board, “Sixty-five percent of the cases that were previously handled with guide wires are now done with Savi Scout, and we expect that number to grow. It’s state-of-the-art were excited about it.” She said that so far, Bellevue is the only city Health + Hospitals facility to use Savi Scout, but she expressed hope that others would follow suit. “It’s going to become the standard of care,” said Dr. Joseph, who is also an Associate Professor of Surgery

and Population Health at NYU Langone Health. “The major [breast cancer] academic centers are moving toward this type of system. “Cancer patients are going through a stressful experience as it is,” she said. “Anything we can do to make that experience less stressful is a good thing.” Bellevue Hospital Center, 462 First Ave. at E. 27th St., is observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month by offering free mammograms at a health fair in the hospital lobby from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tues., Oct. 30. October 11, 2018

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Birthday Bash Becomes a Benefit for Breast Cancer Awareness

Courtesy of Kim Reaper

Kim Reaper in a pink sweater created by artist Samoa.

Photo by Alan Rand

Anne Husick fronting Exit 99. L to R: Roger Stoltz, Husick, Mike Reed, Emma Z, Gass Wild.

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BY PUMA PERL This is what can happen when two native New Yorkers run into each other on social media. Call it the “upside” of Facebook. Kim Reaper (who has a history in the fashion industry) and musician Anne Husick knew each other slightly from the Downtown scene. In early 2018, Reaper’s yearly mammogram revealed suspicious calcifications. A follow-up biopsy tested positive for cancer, which had spread to the lymph nodes. She decided to go public, and, to help educate others, she sent a mass email asking every woman on her Facebook friends list to get a mammogram and to urge others to do the same. Husick was a recipient of the message, and wrote back, wishing her luck. “When I’m done with treatment,” Reaper responded, “I want you to throw a rock ‘n’ roll party.” Husick decided to turn the party into a benefit, which will be held October 26 at the Sidewalk Cafe. The lineup includes several women with personal and/or familial histories of breast cancer. Serendipitously, the date falls on the exact day of Reaper’s fi nal radiation session, and less than two weeks before her birthday. Reaper is looking forward to the event. “Last March, when I began chemotherapy, I threw myself into an art project, which I called ‘Art in Recovery,’ and began collecting work from local artists. Besides art, music plays a very big part in my life. When I’m well enough, I follow a fabulous group of musicians around the Lower East Side.” Reaper added that by going public, “I wanted to share my strength with others. Today, cancer no longer has to be a death sentence!” Husick feels a personal connection to the issue. “My mother had a radical mastectomy in 1969,” she said, “and is still alive today. Early intervention and education are key and National Breast Cancer Month supports that.” Her musical roots began in childhood. “I wrote my first song at age six, to the rhythm of my father’s windshield wipers.” She picked up the guitar at nine, and 25 years later added the bass to her repertoire. Her first New York City gig was with an early band, Ground Control, at CBGB, in 1980. “They thought we were too ‘hippie-ish,’ ” Husick recalled, “but the crowd loved us.” In 1999, she auditioned for Ronnie Spector’s band as a guitarist and backup singer, and ended up also playing harmonica and percussion. Through that association came other opportuniCity Media LLC


ties. She played bass in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Off-Broadway and in Chicago, and, for four months, sang backup with Wilson Pickett. Currently, she is the guitarist and front woman in her band Exit 99, and bassist in four others, led, respectively, by Frank Wood, Ronnie Wheeler, Phil Gammage, and Cid Scantlebury. Since 2012, Husick has been booking a weekly series, AHPresents, at the Sidewalk. “I was so busy giving guitar lessons at night that returning to Sidewalk, where I’d done sound years earlier, was the only way to see my friends play.” Together, Reaper and Husick decided on a program for Oct. 26 that includes both solo acts and bands. Cyndi Dawson, who lost her mother to breast cancer, will perform with her band, The Cynz, which she has fronted for the last eight years. “I’m doing this benefit to honor my mother, her mother, two of her sisters, and several cousins, all of whom have battled breast cancer,” Dawson said. “Today I know several women who have lived up to 20 years following diagnosis. Treatments have improved, which is why early detection is paramount. I was part of a 10-year study at The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. I learned about amazing gains being made. Women’s issues are always funded well behind those of men. It’s up to us to push research and raise money to keep moving forward.” One long-term survivor who will participate is Alice Espinosa-Cincotta, who was profiled in 2016 by this writer, in this publication’s annual Pink Paper edition (“After Cancer Diagnosis, Drawing Strength From the Art of Expression”). “Two years ago, you gave me the choice of revealing my identity or staying anonymous,” recalled Espinosa-Cincotta, who described herself as “secretive” up to that point. “Something changed in my thinking. It was time to come out of hiding. I felt free and found a new strength in sharing my experience.” At that time, she’d been exploring photography and videography. While continuing to develop those interests, she discovered a love of writing after being referred

to a workshop for cancer patients and survivors. “Expressing my ideas through writing has allowed me to get in touch with a hidden side of myself,” she said. “We critique and support each other. I found my voice and it has helped clarify my thoughts.” After sharing her work at an open mic reading, Espinosa-Cincotta was encouraged by the poets and writers present to continue; she will read an original prose piece at the benefit. “Performance may be another hidden strength,” she said, adding that she looks forward to sharing her work with other spoken word artists and musicians. Another artist who has been active on the New York scene is Lindsey Anderson. She is a singer, performer, writer, and promoter, and was co-owner of Coney Island High. As Kitty Kowalski, she fronted

her own band, The Kowalkskis. Like Reaper, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2018 and made the decision to go public for similar reasons — encouraging others to get tested and to carry the message that it’s not a death sentence. Although this will be the first time she is performing since before her surgery, she said she had “no hesitation” when asked to do this benefit. “I also want to show that you can be in treatment and be strong, have energy, and, through diet and exercise, alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy,” she said. All of the performers are donating their time and talent. There’s no cover or admission — and the tip jar proceeds, which usually go to the artists, BENEFIT continued on p. 6

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Photo by Jim Belmont

Cyndi Dawson sings lead for The Cynz.

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October 11, 2018

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Photo by Lindsey Anderson

Lindsey Anderson, self-portrait. BENEFIT continued from p. 5

will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which Husick chose because of their emphasis on research. The show is open to all ages and the roster of talent also includes Christian Dryden, Marlowe B. West, The Hipp Pipps, Exit

99, Sea Monster, and Don BlackCat & Friends. “AHPresents: Kim Reaper Birthday Bash and Breast Cancer Benefit” takes place at the Sidewalk Cafe (94 Avenue A, at E. Sixth St.) on Fri., Oct. 26, 6pm-1am. Follow Anne Husick’s AHPresents at sidewalkny.com. Also visit facebook. com/events/487484338433112.

Photo by Michael Cincotta

Alice Espinosa-Cincotta on the beach.

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October 11, 2018

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POLICE BLOTTER BY SCOTT STIFFLER

PETIT LARCENY: Dove thief gives drugstore no peace Was he just in a mad rush to resupply and take his morning shower? Doubtful. At 8:04 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 5, an in-store Loss Prevention Officer at Rite Aid (282 Eighth Ave., corner of W. 24th St.) stopped a 36-year-old man who was concealing property in a bag and preparing to leave the premises. The dirty deed landed him in hot water: When the NYPD arrived, he was arrested for stealing a six-pack of Dove soap, valued at $10, and a 10-pack of the sudsy product worth $15. It’s a black mark that won’t be washed from his record.

LEAVING THE SCENE, PERSONAL INJURY: Access-A-Crime Tardy. Surly. No, these aren’t the names of Snow White’s second-tier diamond mine crew. They’re less-than-flattering ways people have described Access-A-Ride drivers. Now, add “Dangerous” to the list. On Fri., Oct. 5 at around 11:59 a.m.,

a 27-year-old man was controlling vehicular traffic at a construction site (251 W. 14th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves). The driver of an Access-A-Ride vehicle disobeyed the man’s stop signal, sideswiping him as the van passed him by and went on its way. The victim sustained injury to his back, but had his wits about him: The van’s New York plate number was noted, and reported.

GRADUATION DAY FOR AUXILIARY OFFICERS

PETIT LARCENY: Unisex John Unfortunate for Jane Doe A 23-year-old woman won’t be using her $650 iPhone X to text her friends this tale of woe: At around 1:30 a.m. on Thurs., Oct. 4, the victim was using a progressive, unisex loo at the Yotel hotel (570 10th Ave., at W. 42nd St.). She proceeded out of the potty without her phone, and it was nowhere to be found when she went to retrieve it. Later, she called the phone and it was answered by a man who demanded $120 for the coveted item’s safe return. The victim, hardly acting like one, flat out refused — then used her Find My iPhone app to discover the phone’s last know position was at 28th St. and Broadway, a fact that was shared with the NYPD.

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October 11, 2018

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WOMEN’S

CO MM I T T E E

October 11, 2018

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Block Party Celebrates Community, BY WINNIE McCROY Help ensure that women and girls in New York City can live free from violence and discrimination by heading to West 20th St., between 10th and 11th Aves., on Sat., October 13 from noon to 6 p.m. for The Women’s Building Third Annual Community Block Party. The event is a chance to learn more about this new hub for the global girls’ and women’s rights movement, which will rise from the former Bayview Correctional Facility. “This Saturday is our Third Annual Block party, which really brings the Chelsea community together in front of the future Women’s Building, with a chance to experience the energy and vibrancy that it is all about,” said Pamela Shifman, Executive Director of the NoVo Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending violence and discrimination against girls and women. “In this political moment and over the past year, where many women have felt anger, sadness, and pain, this block party offers a place for New Yorkers to convene in a moment of hope, celebration, and possibility for a future that is all about joy, liberation, equity, and

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October 11, 2018

File photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

From last year’s Block Party: Formerly incarcerated at Bayview and now invested in its future as The Women’s Building, Marcie Chase (third from left) encouraged others to share their vision for the repurposed correctional facility.

justice.” It will also be an opportunity to hear musical talent at work, to watch and participate in dance, to create art, and

to “learn about all the incredible activism for women and girls happening in New York City and across the nation,” Shifman noted.

In late 2015, Chelsea Now reported that the governor and the NoVo Foundation announced the facility would become The Women’s Building. The 100,000-square-foot space, located across from the Chelsea Piers sports complex, will be renovated by NoVo and Goren Group, an ongoing adviser for the project. Located at 550 W. 20th St., Bayview served as a women’s prison for many years, until it was evacuated and shuttered. Said Shifman, “When Hurricane Sandy caused Bayview to be closed up in 2012 and it later became available, we knew the history made it the perfect spot for our Women’s Building.” As their website reads, “The Women’s Building stands for what’s possible when the potential of girls and women is nurtured, rather than locked away. Through its very structure and planning, it serves a new kind of justice, one based on collaboration, partnership, fairness and equity.” The nine-story structure was originally built as a Seamen’s House YMCA in 1931, housing sailors and merchant marine crews on the Chelsea waterfront. In addition to Art Deco massing

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Anticipates The Women’s Building and nautical flourishes, the building’s brick façade also hides an indoor pool. Shifman said NoVo has been working with New York State over the past two years to “ensure the vibrancy of The Women’s Building well into the future,” but notes that the group is currently still in the predevelopment phase of the project, “meaning that construction will kick off once our access agreement with the State of New York is finalized.” “In the meantime, we will continue to build community through marching at Pride, through our Block Parties, and by building a community that will celebrate this opening,” Shifman said. “This work takes time and patience, but physical construction is not likely to happen until we get that access agreement.” For now, Shifman and her team will focus on the daylong community block party, which will feature food and drink from “two of the most incredible caterers” — Just Soul Catering and Chi Chi’s Kitchen. There will also be games, art projects, and live performances by Brooklyn Express

File photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic

The NoVo Foundation’s Pamela Shifman says Oct. 13’s daylong event will be a place “to convene in a moment of hope, celebration, and possibility for a future that is all about joy, liberation, equity, and justice.”

Drum Line, Lady Dragons Step Team, Girl Be Heard, the Women & Justice Project, The Center for Anti-Violence Education, the National Double Dutch League, and more. “There will be tons of activities for children of all ages,” Shifman said.

“It’s an opportunity to come together and celebrate what’s possible when we collaborate.” More than 40 organizations will table at the event, among them the ACLU, the Alliance of Families for Justice, the African American Policy Forum,

Equality Now the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, the New York Historical Society Center for Women’s History, Women for Women International, and the Women’s Prison Association. Shifman said that all groups involved in the event “show an essential commitment to girls and women,” and noted that organizations that focus on women’s health and well-being will also be represented. “At a time when women’s rights are not being respected around the nation, MCB4 is thrilled with the opening of The Women’s Building as a center for activism, to protect the rights of more than more than half of the population. Repurposing the old facility into something cutting-edge, while maintaining the architectural character of the building, is a win-win for the community,” said Lowell Kern, 1st Vice Chair of Community Board 4. The Women’s Building Third Annual Community Block Party will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 13 on W. 20th St., between 10th & 11th Aves. For more info, visit womensbuildingnyc.org/community-blockparty.

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mile-Long Operaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was Fascinating, Fleeting

BY BOB KRASNER It is impossible to overstate the artistic success of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Mile-Long Opera: a biography of 7 oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock,â&#x20AC;? which was performed on six evenings last week to capacity crowds. The project, a free event that leaned more toward performance art than opera, managed to avoid the pitfalls of both genres. Utilizing

the considerable talents of 1,000 singers (drawn from choirs in all five boroughs) and the entire length of the High Line, David Lang and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro created an experience that was much more than the sum of its parts. With so many individual elements worthy of praise, it is difficult to briefly sum up the effect of the piece, which

viewers walked through, encountering carefully placed stationary performers who alternately sang and spoke their parts. The understated text somehow magnified the emotional response, which many felt. From conception to execution, the opera earns our highest praise: We want to see it again. For more info, visit milelongopera.com.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;A NIFTY GLIMPSE OF GAYS GONE BY.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Michael Musto, Out Magazine

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1965. An Illegal Greenwich Village gay bar. Two men caught in a passion they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t control and a political revolution they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand. A timeless musical romance inspired by the Great American Songbook.

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A Clown Who’s Mastered His Material Irwin’s ‘On Beckett’ is a perfect confluence BY TRAV S.D. It’s good to remind ourselves these days that everything is not terrible. Indeed, some things are pretty perfect. The late poet/playwright/novelist Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was one of these perfect things — and so is actor/ clown Bill Irwin. And what could the confluence of those two elements be but more perfect still? Since Sept. 26, the Irish Repertory Theatre has been the seat of such perfection in the form of “On Beckett,” Irwin’s (almost) solo tribute to the author, which will be playing through Nov. 4. “I can’t escape him,” said Irwin, who first encountered Beckett’s writings in an anthology while a theatre student at UCLA in 1968. Irwin’s increased his already clown-sized footprint considerately since those long-ago student days. A founding member of Pickle Family Circus, Irwin not only took his clowning art to the Broadway stage in shows like “Largely New York,” “Fool Moon,” and “Old Hats,” but became a Tony Awardwinning dramatic actor (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), a respected film actor (“Interstellar,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Eight Men Out”), and recipient of MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright awards. But, according to Irwin, Beckett is never very far away, especially since he began working with the Open Theater’s Joe Chaikin on a production of Beckett’s “Texts for Nothing” in the early ’90s. The writer’s most famous play, “Waiting for Godot,” has also been a major part of Irwin’s theatrical resume; he’s appeared in close to a dozen productions. Both works are incorporated into “On Beckett.” “I am captivated by [Beckett’s] language,” Irwin gushed. “I’m not a scholar. I’m not a biographer. I’m an actor and a clown and that’s how I relate to this material.” “On Beckett” is a sui generis, a kind of master class on the artist: 78 swiftmoving minutes that combine extremely thoughtful commentary on the writer’s work with illustrational interpretations of challenging passages. The Nobel Prize-winning Beckett was a Titan of the 20th century avant-garde, Sphinxlike, possibly hopeless to decipher, maximally minimalist, opaque, fragmented,

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October 11, 2018

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Irwin shows off his dog-eared copies of Beckett’s best-known works, “Waiting for Godot” and “Endgame.”

and even eccentric with regard to punctuation. Further, the Beckett Estate is famously inflexible in enforcing the late author’s wishes that his works be produced without cutting or alteration. It is beyond the skill level of most ordinary actors and clowns to act Beckett’s words. It requires rare physical and verbal dexterity, and immense intelligence — either emotional or intellectual, ideally both. It requires, in short, a Bill Irwin. Irwin’s moment-to-moment technical skill in putting across some of Beckett’s stream-of-consciousness-laden word feasts is downright dazzling. And all the while he lays out the huge questions one must confront when performing Beckett. In the monologues, such as in “Texts for Nothing,” he wonders, “Who is speaking? Is it many people? Or are we inside the head of one person?” And yet he brings a becoming humility to the quest. “I would hate to get too pedantic,” he said. And miraculously, he isn’t. “I’ve been working on the piece for a while now,” Irwin noted. “My dear friends at the ACT [American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco] gave me a home and a place to develop it, and we presented it at their Strand Theater last year.” “On Beckett” was

also workshopped at the New York’s Vineyard Theatre and the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. As for how it came to the Irish Rep, Irwin said, “I’ve been a fan of their work for a long time now. I live just a couple of block away. Beckett’s Irish and I pitched it to them. It just made sense. It’s pretty perfect.” Irwin himself also has Irish roots. In addition to his own family connection, he spent a year in Belfast as a college exchange student. “That’s part of the ‘call’ for me here, too,” he explained. One of the special joys of this production is when the famous neo-vaudeville performer explores the intersection of his clown identity and his Irishness, to wonder aloud if the traditional, stereotypical “Comic Irishman” played a role in Beckett’s unique voice. Irwin reminds us that the poet, born in 1906, grew up attending music hall performances, where he would have seen performers like that. Seeing Bill Irwin cock his trademark derby back on his head like George M. Cohan and Pat Rooney, to shadow box and stagger like a drunk here in the heart of Chelsea — that by itself is worth the price of admission. This, too, has its serious side, as the actor speculates that buried deep in Beckett’s

bone dry, almost mathematical writings, are hints of underlying violence. Yet, Irwin reminds us, he himself is an American, and part of his goal as a Beckett actor is to look at it with that perspective in mind. (Although he does humorously admit in the show that after years of pronouncing Beckett’s most famous (if unseen) character, Go-DOT, he finally drank the British Kool-Aid and now says “GOD-ot.”) The word “metaphysics” unavoidably gets used by Irwin in talking about Beckett, but ultimately he reminds us that at the end of the day, he is a clown. And though he happens to be one of the best in the world, here too he displays characteristic humility. When reminded that he is stepping into the shoes of guys like Buster Keaton and Bert Lahr in interpreting Beckett, he laughed and said, in that All-American Californian voice, “Oh gosh! To put me in company with Keaton! I can’t ever go there!” His fans would beg to differ. Through Nov. 4. Wed. at 3pm & 8pm; Thurs. at 7pm; Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 3pm & 8pm; and Sun. at 3pm. At the Irish Rep Theatre (132 W. 22nd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For tickets ($50-$70), call 212-727-2737 or visit irishrep.org. Artist info at thebillirwin.com. City Media LLC


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October 11, 2018

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Just Do Art BY SCOTT STIFFLER What’s private becomes public when you rub shoulders with the West Chelsea Gallery district’s own. From 12-6pm, Sat., Oct. 13 and Sun., Oct. 14, the High Line Open Studios event is a self-guided tour that gives you access to over 30 studios, where visitors are able to engage the artists in conversation about the creative process — and highly encouraged to purchase art directly from their studio inventory (at deeply discounted prices). To download the map and get more info, visit highlineopenstudios. org. If you exit your Open Studios experience hankering for another selfguided tour guaranteed to provide a window into the lives of others, a stroll through Merchant’s House Museum is a must. This 1832 lateFederal and Greek Revival treasure is a designated landmark on the federal, Courtesy of Tom Cocotos

Get to know the artists behind the art, by taking the High Line Open Studios tour. Seen here, a visitor to the studio of collage artist Tom Cocotos.

Photo by Bob Krasner

Last Call for ‘Kink Haüs’ BY BOB KRASNER Multi-disciplinary artist Gunnar Montana has settled into the basement at La MaMa for a brief run of “Kink Haüs.” The intimate space has been transformed by Montana to house a show that is a visually striking, energetic mix of modern dance, homo-eroticism, ballet, burlesque, Broadway musicals, performance art, and drag shows. The only thing missing is dialogue. Not that it’s needed, as the vignettes easily convey Montana’s vision in the hour-long show. “I’m looking back

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October 11, 2018

at my 20s,” he states, “and I’m criticizing and celebrating the choices I made.” Montana adds, “It’s quintessentially me, but also a commentary on the gay lifestyle.” Now two years sober, he notes that the fi nal scene represents his “closing the door” on that period and “turning the page to the next chapter.” The fi nal performances are Thurs.-Sun., Oct. 11-14, at 8pm (additional 10pm show on Fri.). For tickets and info, visit lamama. org/kink_haus. Find artist info at gunnarmontana.com.

Photo by Evelyn Guidatis Magarban

The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society’s Halloween concert scares up some frightfully good seasonal selections.

state, and city level — and home to dozens upon dozens of unexplained, and well-documented, paranormal happenings (spectral sightings, phantom sounds, disembodied voices captured on tape). Check out their roster of annual “Spirited” October events at merchantshouse.org. Reservations are highly recommended for one of

our favorites: “Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt,” coming to life for one frightful night only, on Thurs., Oct. 18 at 7pm (tickets are $30). It’s a melodic, comedic, quite possibly menacing excavation of ghost-themed and death-obsessed selections from JDA continued on p. 23 City Media LLC


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Classics in Queer Context Queer Urban Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Season Set to Launch BY GERALD BUSBY Queer Urban Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2018-2019 season, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queer We Are,â&#x20AC;? begins Sun., Oct. 14, at Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea. The program, which opens with Julius Eastmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stay on Itâ&#x20AC;? and closes with Brahmsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor,â&#x20AC;? offers in between the premiere of my â&#x20AC;&#x153;3 Bagatelles for Orchestra.â&#x20AC;? Michael Sheppard, from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, will be piano soloist for the Brahms concerto. QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history exemplifies its commitment to performing serious music in contexts that advocate gay rights. When I heard QUO for the first time last year, Julie Desbordes, the artistic director, conducted a program that included Sibeliusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Finlandia,â&#x20AC;? Dvorakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;New Worldâ&#x20AC;? Symphony, and a composition by Calenna Garbä, an Argentinian transgender composer. She was chosen because she contacted QUO, in response to a call online for new scores, and submitted examples of her music to Ms. Desbordes for consideration. Garbä was radiantly present for the concert, greet-

Queer Urban Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new season begins on Oct. 14.

ing her admirers afterwards with a broad smile and a tight-fitting gold sequin gown. She personified QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission of striving to â&#x20AC;&#x153;entertain and educate members and audiences alike through performances of classical and contemporary music, prompting equality, understanding, acceptance, and respect.â&#x20AC;? QUO came together in 2009 when a few musicians from The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps met to plan the forma-

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October 11, 2018

tion of a gay orchestra. Andrew Berman, a percussionist, was among the founding members. The Gay Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health Crisis was where they met weekly, and their number grew rapidly. They chose Queer Urban Orchestra as their name, mainly because the acronym QUO was easy to remember. The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps followed from the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, created in 1978. These gay musical organizations (a movement, Andrew calls them) are meant to perpetuate the spirit of the Stonewall Rebellion in a cultured way, keeping the gay revolution alive auspiciously with classical music performances. Last year, QUO performed at the Queens Museum, and on the High Line in 2015. QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very first concert was under the direction of, and partially conducted by, Brandyn Metzko, the first person to insist that New York needed a gay orchestra. He had been a member of one in San Francisco (the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony) before coming to New York. QUO grew exponentially in its early stages, though it took a few more years to gain strength and confidence as a performing musical ensemble in New York City. Players of all kinds and abilities came to rehearsals, and there was a steady turnover. Some didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the repertoire or the zealous promotion of gay political themes. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still going on, and QUO welcomes it as a practical means of keeping the artistic and social goals as the main reason for its existence. The Church of the Holy Apostles, where The Stonewall Chorale often performs, became early on QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concert hall, and also the place where the orchestra rehearsed. The church is a

Š 2017 by Bruce-Michael Gelbert

very resonant space. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good for performances, since the audienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothes absorb most of the echoes, but less good for rehearsals, because the expansive reverberation in the empty room makes it difficult for the musicians to hear each other clearly. Steven Petrucelli, a French horn player, is straight, and exemplary of QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission to be open to all adult musicians regardless of sexual orientation. A founding member of QUO, he was somewhat uncertain about belonging to a group that called itself queer and had only one other straight musician â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but changed his mind because of QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s affable determination to create a viable community orchestra. If you can play in tune rhythmically with a good sound, you are welcome to play in QUO regardless of your sexual orientation. All of which raises the question: Does QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose to be a queer organization and outspoken proponent of gay rights enhance or conflict with its ability to make serious classical music? It certainly works artistically for the orchestra to have a dependable instrumentalist like Steve Petrucelli, and an artistic director (conductor), also straight, who leads the musicians with skill and flair through mainstream classical repertoire as well as new music. As an 82-year-old gay composer, I can attest to QUOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solid support of artists, regardless of age or sexual orientation. Queer Urban Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sun., Oct. 14 concert takes place at 4pm, at Church of the Holy Apostles (296 Ninth Ave., at W. 28th St.). A 3:15pm pre-concert talk features artistic director Julie Desbordes, assistant director Alex Wen, guest soloist Michael Sheppard, and composer Gerald Busby. For tickets ($15-$25), visit queerurbanorchestra.org. City Media LLC


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THE WEST SIDE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO AND CO-PUBLISHER Joshua Schneps EDITOR Scott Stiffler Courtesy of the Chelsea Film Festival

The Chelsea Film Festival’s Women in Power benefit is a prelude to next week’s Oct. 18-21 screenings. JDA continued from p. 18

the works of Schubert, Liszt, Debussy, Duparc, Loewe, Mussorgsky, and more, performed with passion, zeal, and world-class skill by the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. Local in its brick and mortar incarnation, but international so far as the scope of its subject matter is concerned, the Chelsea Film Festival (CFF) screens documentaries, shorts, and features by emerging fi lmmakers who are anything but risk-averse (a programming choice that has produced gem after gem, year after year). It’s set to unspool Oct. 18-21 at AMC Loews 34th Street — but fi rst, CFF’s Second Annual “Women in Power” event considers the topic, “Women in Leadership Positions: How Did They Make it to the Top?” Julie Menin (Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment) gives the opening remarks, there’s a networking luncheon, and Baruch Shemtov (Entertainment Anchor on “Good Day New York”) moderates a panel whose guests include Danielle Campbell, Gigi Gorgeous, and Simone Missick. Attendance to this Wed., Oct. 17, 11am-3pm event to benefit CFF (a nonprofit) is invitation-only, so send an email inquiry to press@chelseafi lm.org. Visit chelseafi lm.org to learn more about CFF’s year-round mission and this year’s festival selections.

ART DIRECTOR John Napoli CONTRIBUTORS Lincoln Anderson Sam Bleiberg Winnie McCroy Christian Miles Colin Mixson Mark Nimar Duncan Osborne Sydney Pereira Puma Perl Michael Rock Rania Richardson Paul Schindler Elizabeth Zimmer ADVERTISING Amanda Tarley PH: 718-260-8340 Email: atarley@cnglocal.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gayle Greenberg Elizabeth Polly Jim Steele Julio Tumbaco

PUBLISHED BY

CITY MEDIA LLC The East Side W WI Centennial Commemoration Committee cordially invites you to an event worth saluting — and attending. Held at 6:30pm on Thurs., Oct. 18 at E. 75th St.’s Cultural Center of the Lycée Français de New York, this evening of musical performances and distinguished guest speakers is anchored by a screening of the 1941 fi lm “Sergeant York,” with Gary Cooper in the title role. Why, you ask? Well, as the ESWWICC will tell you, the East Side’s York Avenue is named after Sgt. Alvin York, one of WWI’s most decorated American soldiers. Learn more about the group’s mission, and secure your reserved tickets to this free event, by visiting bit.ly/WWISgtYork, or calling the office of Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright at 212-288-4607. City Media LLC

One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 www.chelseanow.com scott@chelseanow.com © 2018 City Media LLC

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Chelsea Now is published weekly by City Media LLC, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (212) 229-1890. Annual subscription by mail in Manhattan and Brooklyn $75. The entire contents of newspaper, including advertising, are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher - © 2018 City Media LLC, Postmaster: Send address changes to Chelsea Now, One Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR: The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue.

October 11, 2018

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October 11, 2018