NYC LIFE INSIDER’S GUIDE: MLK Day, Art, Broadway, Music

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We love this suggestion that in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “just do something good.” And there are two awesome musical celebrations honoring him on Monday. Love is the air, and there’s a delightful evening of song coming up. Spring isn’t in the air yet, but we’re excited about new shows coming to Broadway. There’s an art installation in the Garment District. Valerie Smaldone’s New Year’s resolution was to do a whole-body reboot— no caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat, and more. Check out how she’s doing. And our roving photographer shares some great winter scenes of our beautiful city.

Now to Feb. 13. New Art Installation in the Garment District

Image courtesy of Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance

There’s a fun new art installation that you can walk through in the Garment District. Passage, revealed by The Garment District Alliance is a glowing tunnel exhibit that consists of 20 illuminated circles that form a tunnel for pedestrians to walk through. The art piece is interactive, with each ring radiating light and emitting sound as participants pass by them.

Image courtesy of Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance

“Passage is truly a fantastic exhibition that has transformed the pedestrian experience on Broadway with its bright, colorful presence,” Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance said. “As we kick off the new year, we encourage New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy this outdoor immersive installation as part of their visit to the Garment District.”

Jan. 17. Brooklyn’s Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is NYC’s largest celebration of Dr. King’s Life. You can join live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) or via livestream for this beloved Brooklyn tradition, which rings in a new year with music, dance, and an invigorating call to action. Led by keynote speaker Dr. Imani Perry, this year’s tribute encourages us to continue in Dr. King’s radical spirit: relentlessly pressing forward in pursuit of justice—even against the odds—and celebrating the strength and power of community to create change.  Jan. 17, 10:30 a.m., 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, Free. Learn more.

Jan. 17. The Harlem Gospel Choir Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Head to Sony Hall in midtown to heart the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir. The Choir was founded in 1986 by Allen Bailey, who got the idea while attending a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Cotton Club in Harlem. The Choir presents the finest singers and musicians from Harlem’s Black Churches and the New York/Tri-State area. The Harlem Gospel Choir has shared its message of love and inspiration with thousands of people from various nations and cultures. The Harlem Gospel Choir’s songs of gospel and inspiration will touch the depths of your soul and lift your spirit to angelic heights, with sounds that are unfettered, joyous, and inspirational.

Jan. 17, 12:30 p.m., Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street, Midtown.  Tickets are $18.

Our Beautiful Winter City

Our roving photographer, Nicole Freezer Rubens, writes, “Some say January is the cruelest month, not April. As we wade cautiously into 2022, we are hunkering down. The temperature in New York City has been steadily frigid. I appreciate the emptier streets and the beauty of the snow- and ice-covered avenues. Hang in there, April is just around the slushy corners!” Nicole is the author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath.  Follow her on Instagram@nfrconsult.

Love Songs

Okay romantics, head to Pangea in February to see Love Is, a new show with Kati Neiheisel (a Tomatoes Got Talent show finalist), Maria Corsaro, and Gregory Toroian singing songs of love by Michel LeGrand, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Kenny Loggins, George and Ira Gershwin, Charles Aznavour, and more!  Feb. 4 and Feb. 6 at Pangea.

Fri, Feb 4 @ 7pm (doors open 6pm)| Sun, Feb 6 @ 1pm (doors open 12pm).  Pangea – 178 2nd Ave, NYC. Get tickets online $20: Tickets at the door $25 (cash only).

Here’s What’s Coming to Broadway this Spring

Broadway is back and like all of us, dealing with the ups and downs of life in the pandemic. Let’s hope by spring Broadway and all of us are back in full spring. Carol Ostrow who heads up Theatre4Groups where you can buy group theatre tickets, gave us the scoop on three shows coming to Broadway this spring. Exciting! For group sales info click here:

Golden Globe Award nominee Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart; Hello, Dolly!) will star as “Fanny Brice” in the first Broadway revival of Funny Girl. Funny Girl tells the bitter-sweet story of Fanny Brice (Feldstein), whose unique comedic and vocal talent see her rise from young Brooklyn music hall performer to star, and her tempestuous relationship with gambler, Nicky Arnstein.  Michael Mayer’s bold new production marks the first time Funny Girl will return to Broadway since its debut 58 years ago. The original production of Funny Girl premiered on Broadway in 1964 starring Barbra Streisand as “Fanny Brice” and was nominated for eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Billy Crystal returns to the role of Buddy Young Jr. in Mr. Saturday Night on Broadway; a role he portrayed in the original 1992 Columbia Pictures film of the same name, which also marked his directorial debut. Mr. Saturday Night is the story of Buddy Young Jr., an outrageous and outspoken comedian who found fame, if not fortune, in the early days of television. Now, some 40 years after his TV career flamed out, Buddy seeks one more shot at the spotlight, and while he’s at it, one last shot at fixing the family he fractured along the way.

New York, 1863. An accidental society held the promise of what America could be. As the Civil War rages on, free Blacks and Irish immigrants live and love together in the unlikeliest of neighborhoods – the dangerous streets and crumbling tenement houses of Lower Manhattan’s notorious Five Points slum. Within this galvanizing story of racial harmony undone by a country at war with itself, we meet the denizens of a local saloon called Paradise Square. These characters include the indomitable Black woman who owns it; her Irish-Catholic sister-in-law and her Black minister husband; a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant; a fearless freedom seeker; an anti-abolitionist political boss; and a penniless songwriter trying to capture it all. They have conflicting notions of what it means to be an American while living through one of the most tumultuous eras in our country’s history.


  • The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more.

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