This Week: Don’t Miss The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

Memorial Day fast approaches and savvy downtown theatre junkies know what that means — the annual return of Theater for the New City’s Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. This year’s will be especially electric I predict, as the past two years were severely hampered by the Covid epidemic. Covid is still a factor of course (I can speak from recent experience) but not to the same extent. The fully vaxed will be welcome, and I hope that means all of you (and that you’ll wear a mask, too). I have performed at this Festival in the past, most recently in 2020, virtually, during the lockdown. And I’ll be there this year as well, although in a different capacity, as I’ll be documenting and promoting it as a member of the staff. Which means I’ve got the inside track on who’ll be performing and when, and as always, there will be some living legends, as well as many friends…

Some of the bold-faced names I see on the docket include Austin Pendleton; James Rado, co-author of the musical Hair; playwright Eduardo Machado (who was so excellent in Amy Poehler’s recent Lucy and Desi doc); David Amram (one of the last of the Beats, composer of the music in Kerouac’s movie Pull My Daisey); Hibernian raconteur (and brother of Pulitzer Prize winning Frank) Malachy McCourt; Jill O’Hara from the movie Pigeons which we wrote about here; the Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe…as well as friends from the variety world like Tanya Solomon, Zero Boy, John Grimaldi, and David Slone’s Squeezebox Cabaret, and institutional friends like Lorcan Otway of Theatre 80 St Marks (who deserves your audience as he tries to save his theatre), and folks from La Mama, Metropolitan Playhouse, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, the 13th Street Rep, BOTH the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene AND The New Yiddish Rep, et al, and lots and lots and lots of folks from the larger TNC orbit.

Come by and say hi! Like I said, I’ll be around (although will probably sometime split prior to the pre-dawn last call). Best of all, its FREE, FREE, FREE. More details here.