Just Do Art, Week of Jan. 15, 2015

Photo by Kevin Yatarola Excerpts from Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” are performed at New York Live Arts through Jan. 25.

Photo by Kevin Yatarola
Excerpts from Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” are performed at New York Live Arts through Jan. 25.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

TAYLOR MAC: “A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC: 1900–1950s”
Take your pick when referring to Taylor Mac, he of many hats (and heels, and the use of “judy” as a gender pronoun). A longtime presence on the NYC performance scene who continues to break new ground while leading the way, the venerable artist can be described as a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, director and producer. Through Jan. 25, you’ll get a little bit from all of the above — and leave with a song in your heart. Presented as part of The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, this 1900-1950s outtake from Mac’s sprawling, century-spanning “History of Popular Music” project takes tunes from a particular decade and infuses them with various contexts pulled from the American subconscious. With Mac accompanied by a live band, the “performative ritual” concerts (each decade is one hour, each installment has three decades) feature dancing beauties, special guests and a lobby transformed by collaborator and Visual Designer Machine Dazzle. Arrive early (6:30 p.m.) for the Jan. 22 performance, when Dazzle will give a talk on his work for the project. The gig concludes on Jan. 25, with a six-decade, six-hour marathon.

“1900s–1920s” is performed on Jan. 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. “1930s–1950s” is performed on Jan. 19, 20, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. The marathon (“1900–1950s”) is performed Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St. | btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Tickets start at $40 with select $15 seats available; tickets for the Jan. 25 six-decade marathon are $75. Purchase online at newyorklivearts.org, by calling 212-924-0077, or at the box office (Mon.–Fri, 1–9 p.m. & Sat./Sun, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.). For the full Under the Radar Festival schedule, visit pubictheater.org. For info on the artist, visit taylormac.org.

Photo by Melba Huber Hoofer Hank Smith is among the dancers, storytellers, and musicians telling then-and-now tales of the city, at Jan. 20’s “Tapping Into New York.”

Photo by Melba Huber
Hoofer Hank Smith is among the dancers, storytellers, and musicians telling then-and-now tales of the city, at Jan. 20’s “Tapping Into New York.”

TAPPING INTO NEW YORK
The cadence of language soars, hands keep a beat and feet meet the floor — in this unique collaboration between storytelling memoirists, tap dancers and musicians. Then-and-now tales of New York are told, when your host Kathryn Adisman (“K”) welcomes to the stage percussionist/poet Fred Simpson along with storytellers Kendell Kardt, Alice Klugherz, Ron Kolm, Su Polo and Armand Ruhlman. The tap dancers are Dolores Sanchez and Hank Smith.

Tues. Jan. 20, 6–7 p.m. at Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia St. | btw. Bleecker & W. 4th Sts.). Admission: $8 (includes 1 drink). Reservations: 212-989-9319 or visit corneliastreetcafe.com/performances.asp.

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