Showing posts with label La Mama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label La Mama. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

La Mama to celebrate the reopening of its renovated home at 74A E. 4th St.

The La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club family will welcome the return of its renovated original home on Fourth Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 9. 

Restoration work has been ongoing the past few years at the landmarked building at 74A E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery. (The sidewalk bridge and construction netting were removed back in the fall.) 

La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart bought the building as the off-off-Broadway institution's first permanent home in 1967.
When Ellen Stewart purchased 74 East 4th Street, the building had no roof, no flooring, and no back wall. She founded La MaMa with the belief that space is vital to the creative process and art can be a powerful vehicle for communities to come together. That belief is at the heart of La MaMa’s mission. 

Today, this building that Ellen rescued from demolition decades ago, is a New York City landmark undergoing a major capital renovation. This renovation fundamentally shifts how La MaMa and other arts and cultural organizations interact with their communities across the U.S. and beyond.

ADA accessibility to all floors, an enlarged lobby area, dedicated community space, an outdoor terrace, and a building-wide data network will allow La MaMa to maintain two versatile sound-separated theater spaces that host performances and art experiences as well as create expanded opportunities for community-driven and educational programming. 

We are excited to welcome you into the building. We want you to experience the new spaces, and see how artists and audiences can engage through new models of connectivity that exponentially increase access to the arts for all.

Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, who got his start at La Mama, recently pledged a matching grant to support 74A.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Livestreams from La Mama

During the COVID-19 shutdown, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club on Fourth Street has teamed up with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events in recent weeks.

Here's what's happening tonight (April 7) at 7:

Café La MaMa Live: Take 1

Weekly live performances that experiment with form. Responding to calls for social isolation, Café La MaMa Live brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance. Guest curators each week give artists a digital platform to share their work with the world.

This Week:
Curator Theo Cote creates an evening of music, dance, poetry and short stories!

Artists include Amy Lawless, Rebecca Layton, Evan Gill Smith, Office Culture, Annie Rigney, Jeremy Wiles-Young and Ariel Yelen.

You can find details on upcoming online events at LaMama at this link. The events are free, though there is an option to donate.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Tompkins Square Library launches online programming this week

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Restoration watch: 74 E. 4th St., the crown jewel of La Mama's theater community

Checking in on 74 E. Fourth St., where restoration work started this past fall on this landmarked building that's part of the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club family here between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

La Mama bought No. 74 as its first permanent home in 1967.

Built in 1873, the four-story structure was in need of a renovation. Per La Mama, the work will:

• expand and update artist and audience facilities

• bring the building up to ADA compliance, including the installation of an elevator

• upgrade mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life-safety systems

• restore the historic façade with masonry work in compliance with its landmark status

Off the Grid, the blog of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), had more history of the address in this September 2017 post:

Designed by German-born architect August H. Blankenstein, 74 East 4th Street is known as the Aschenbroedel Verein building. Aschenbroedel Verein was a German-American professional orchestral musician’s social and benevolent association founded in 1860.

By 1866 the society had grown large enough that it purchased this site and eventually built this structure for its use. Aschenbroedel Verein became one of the leading German organizations in Kleindeutschland (Little Germany) on the Lower East Side and boasted among its membership top orchestral musicians in the city at this time.

The GVSHP noted that "this renovation will allow La MaMa, a mainstay of the East Village and the New York City theater community, to continue its mission well into the future."

No. 74 is expected to be ready again for theater use in 2020.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

These spray painted boots are made for...

They are being made for "SEAGULLMACHINE," a play starting Saturday at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre... photo today on Fourth Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery by Derek Berg

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Karen Finley bringing her 'Expanded Unicorn Gratitude Mystery' to LaMama

Via the EVG inbox...

La MaMa presents
"The Expanded Unicorn Gratitude Mystery"
Written and Performed by Karen Finley

May 5 - May 14

Karen Finley brings her rave reviewed solo performance to La MaMa.

"The Expanded Unicorn Gratitude Mystery" explores the recent heightened U.S. political presidential landscape that takes on citizenship, gender disparity and abuse of power. The individual price of public relationships at the price of privacy becomes divisive with searing psychosexual dynamics of wit and seething revelation. The performance explores magical beings, aggressive thankfulness, and collective intimacy through Shakespearean family nation dramatic traumatics. This is an experimental nonlinear poetic text that creates a jolt of intuition, analysis and unnatural disaster of the human kind.

Only 6 performances: May 5 - 14, 2017

The Club @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

Click here for tickets and info.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A sneak peek at 'The Shell-Shocked Nut'

Photos and text by Stacie Joy

The East Village Dance Project (EVDP) at 55 Avenue C invited me for a rehearsal for its alternative, East Village-based adaptation of "The Nutcracker" and it’s marvelous!

I watched kids of all ages (well, ages 4 to 17, 25 of whom are paired with 25 ballet/dance professionals) work closely with director and superstar choreographer Martha Tornay while codirector Victoria Roberts-Wierzbowski educated me about the piece and its significance to the area.

This nontraditional take on the holiday mainstay includes a magical journey through iconic locations such as Tompkins Square Park, CBGB, a tenement apartment, a local community garden and a neighborhood favorite – Economy Candy.

Most of the kids are local (about 95 percent are from the neighborhood), and consider this a "gift to the community." Its conception came soon after Superstorm Sandy caused so much damage to the area, including taking out the boiler and the electricity at the dance space.

Even without lights and dependent on space heaters and heavy clothing, the students got together and performed that year. They begged their teacher to stage "The Nutcracker" as a way to lift their spirits and give back to the community.

Ms. Tornay finally agreed, with the provision that they do a nonstandard, community-based adaptation. And so "The Shell-Shocked Nut" was born!

The nonprofit arts-services EVDP welcomes all students without consideration of their financial situation or economic means. It receives part of the Charlotte Ruby Cantor scholarship fund and also is running a woefully underfunded crowd-sourcing campaign if you are interested in lending a helping hand.

"The Shell-Shocked Nut" will be staged at La MaMa Ellen Stewart Theatre tonight through Sunday. Please see the website for times and tickets.

Special thanks to Bonnie Stein, executive director, for reaching out and coordinating the coverage.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

About the Millennium Film Workshop

In our previous post, we noted the interesting performance exhibition happening at 66-68 E. Fourth St. tonight through Sunday ... it's taking place in part of the space that belonged to Millennium Film Workshop inside the La MaMa Annex Theater...

Back in January, Steven Thrasher at Runnin' Scared reported that the Millennium Film Workshop faced eviction from its longtime home on East Fourth Street after falling behind on rent with La MaMa ... he followed up the next day with a piece on La MaMa leaders saying that they believe in and support the Workshop's mission.

And that was the last we heard about the situation.

Anyway, as we learned, the Workshop is still in the basement under the LaMama Annex Theater, but they reconfigured their space. We understand that La Mama plans to rent the half that the Workshop vacated to someone else. One person with knowledge of the negotiations between the Workshop and La MaMa described it as a "positive" transition.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Report: Millennium Film Workshop faces eviction on East Fourth Street

Steven Thrasher checked in late last night at Runnin' Scared with some troubling news: Millennium Film Workshop is being evicted from its longtime home on East Fourth Street after falling being on rent.

Board member Jay Hudson told Thrasher that the legendary film collective has had its funding drastically cut by the New York State Council for the Arts in recent times. However, you can't blame some heartless condo-eyeing developer for this eviction. According to Hudson, La Mama is the landlord.

Per the article:

The two were not always landlord and tenant. Hudson says that La Mama and Millenium moved into 74 and 66 East 4th Street, respectively, at the same time, with La Mama founder Ellen Stewart and longtime Millennium leader Howard Guttenplan at the helm of each organization. Originally owned by the city, Hudson says, in 2005, La Mama "paid a dollar" and became the owner of both buildings (and Millenium's landlord).

For a long time, Hudson says, "There was a standing relationship between Ellen and Howard. I think that kept La Mama from making a move on Millenium."

Stewart died last year.

You can read the rest of the story here. And it's to be continued as La Mama has yet to give its side of the story.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

At the La MaMa 50 World Block Party

This afternoon on East Fourth Street... More details here ... Photos by Bobby Williams...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

'Quality-of-Lifer' issues

Just went to see the latest exhibit at La Mama Galleria on East First Street near the Bowery ... It's a collection from Day Gleeson titled "Quality-of-Lifer." Per the LaMama website, the exhibit "directly adresses the formal and conceptual metamorphoses of the Lower East Side and East Village neighborhoods over the decades, where the artist lives and continues to work." They're some great pieces here...

“Quality-of-Lifer” will be up until March 20. Gallery hours are: Thursday- Sunday, 1-6 pm. Stop by on your way to the Mars Bar...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ellen Stewart, 91

There are reports now that La Mama founder Ellen Stewart has passed away. She was 91.

Stewart founded La Mama in a Lower East Side basement back in 1961 ... and guided the theater to its current mini-empire on East Fourth Street. "Not only did she introduce unusual new work to the stage; she also helped colonize a new territory for the theater, planting a flag in the name of low-budget experimental productions on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and creating the capital of what became known as Off Off Broadway," according to her obituary in the Times today.

As Michael Feingold wrote on Runnin' Scared, Stewart opened every La MaMa performance the way same: By "ringing a cowbell and declaring, 'Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to La MaMa, dedicated to the playwright and to all aspects of the theater.'"

Wrote Blue Glass upon hearing the news: "There will never be another like her."

[Photo via La Mama]