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September 16, 2014

Check out our recent interview with New York-native and upcoming TPAC performer, Peter Cincotti! We hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed speaking with him – and don’t forget to grab your tickets to his show on October 25 at 8pm! smarttix-buy_026

Tribeca PAC: As a New York native, what do you love about performing in New York?

Peter Cincotti: To me there’s no show like a New York show. Partly because I was born and raised here, and that alone makes it special. But also because it’s the best city in the world!

Tribeca PAC: What can audiences expect to see/hear at your show?

Peter Cincotti: I’m excited about this show because we’re going to play a bunch of brand new songs from my upcoming album, which is scheduled for release next Spring. So this audience will get a sneak peak of that and also hear some familiar songs from my last few albums, as well as a few surprises.

Cincotti recent photo web

Tribeca PAC: Who are your musical influences and/or heroes?

Peter Cincotti: Everyone from Ray Charles to Katy Perry to Alan Jay Lerner to David Guetta has influenced me, although those names look strange in the same sentence. I find elements in so many different kinds of music that trigger something in me which inspires me to approach music from ever changing angles. My heroes are the artists who’ve built careers by following their gut and creating their own path.

Tribeca PAC: You’re a writer, model and actor in addition to a musician. What upcoming projects do you have in the works?

Peter Cincotti: I have a variety of projects currently in the works. I’m in the middle of writing and recording my next album, planning upcoming tours, and I’ve also been involved in a couple of theater projects, one of which is a new musical I’m writing with my sister Pia who is a playwright. We’ve been part of the Dramatist Guild Musical Theater Fellowship this year and I’m really exciting about seeing this show come alive on stage.

Tribeca PAC: Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Peter Cincotti: Ving Rhames.

Peter Cincotti for web

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Dar Williams concludes our season, Friday, June 20 at 8PM

We recently caught up with the very talented singer/songwriter Dar Williams:

TPAC: You’ve been recording and making music for a long time. What continues to inspire you as an artist?

Dar: Simple things that are suddenly meaningful, like today I was on the Great Wheel (a Ferris wheel) in Seattle and I loved how I could literally feel things coming around again and again. I remembered that things are always coming around! I felt a surge of optimism as I passed the city and the Sound and the city again.

TPAC: What are you looking forward to about playing in downtown New York?

Dar: There are lots of good ghosts in downtown NYC. Lots of history that I can feel, even with the new buildings. It brings out the warmth in audiences too.

Dar Combo

TPAC: What can an audience expect to see/hear at one of your concerts?

Dar: I have a wonderful keyboard player named Bryn Roberts who makes me sound good. People can look forward to Bryn. And I intend to look very good, too.

TPAC: You also tour as a speaker and teacher. How does this area of your life inform your music, and vice versa?

Dar: Richard Thompson has a line, “I am a traveler by trade, I only have what I have made. A fortune teller too, they say.” Being on the road for twenty years has given me something to say even though it’s hard to know how a career ” grows”. It sort of accumulates after a while. I know things about how certain audiences, towns and moments come together and I like to talk about them.

TPAC: Can you tell us one silly or fun fact about yourself people may not know?

Dar: I can walk on my hands for hours. I used to spend more time upside down than rightside up. Also: huge disco fan.

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Dar Williams talks about about In The Time of Gods and how it relates to Greek mythology in this interview:

Dar Williams – In the Time of Gods

 

The initial idea came in a flash. Dar Williams was driving on an isolated highway, crossing from New York into Ontario, surrounded by frozen fields, silver trees, and empty sky, when inspiration struck.

“I thought, ‘I want to write a biker song!,’” Williams says with a laugh. “And then my second thought was, ‘I want to write an epic biker song.’ The Greek messenger of the dead is named Hermes, and I want to write about him-the god of travelers and thieves.

“I had this picture of Hermes starting to take a silver-haired woman down to her death, as she’s asked him to do, and instead he seduces her, saying ‘I love people like you who are experienced and worldly.’ And then I thought, why don’t I really freak out my record company and make a whole album about Greek mythology? So I decided to look at each of the gods of the Parthenon and see if their stories sprang to life for me or not.”

And from that moment came “You Will Ride With Me Tonight,” the fifth song on In the Time of Gods, the ninth studio album by the beloved singer-songwriter. Produced by Kevin Killen (who has worked with such giants as U2, Elvis Costello, and Peter Gabriel), and featuring a remarkable set of musicians including Larry Campbell, Charley Drayton, Gerry Leonard, and Rob Hyman, the ten songs that resulted from exploring this theme became some of the richest music and most evocative writing of Williams’s career.

The complex and mysterious world of mythology aligned with several other issues that Williams was grappling with. “I’m interested in power right now,” she says. “I’m in my 40s, and I’m shocked that the café conversations I had in my 20s-’Somebody has to do something!’- are now my responsibility. I see people who are actually doing things that you always dreamed somebody would do, and I can help make that a reality. So the stakes are higher, in a good way, but you also see the shadow, the reckless behavior, where a person can lose it all in a weekend.”

Of course, the ceaseless turmoil in the world today is of great concern to this seasoned artist who’s also a wife, mother and “involved neighbor,” as she puts it, active in her community. “A lot of what’s going on is actually really gross,” she says, “and to see it as epic, instead of doomed, is helpful for me. These stories and characters helped me make sense of it.”

Williams, though, wanted to be sure that she was serving the songs themselves, and was prepared to abandon the mythology theme any time it didn’t naturally fit; “I didn’t want it to be a gimmick or a test,” she says. But she was pleased to find how flexible and expansive these archetypes really are. “The Light and the Sea” began with the notion of the sea god Poseidon, but became a meditation on retaining a moral compass.

“As I get older, my big struggle isn’t being virtuous and moral, it’s more about what I do in chaos,” says Williams. “When I’m stressed out, I say and do terrible things. There’s a light to follow, and you can lose it in chaos.”

Other songs brought ancient themes directly into the Hudson Valley home Williams shares with her husband, their son, and their young, Ethiopian-born daughter. She describes “Write This Number Down” as “an Athena-ish song” written for her younger child. “It’s telling her not to lose faith, because even when the justice system isn’t up to what you want it to be, there will be networks of people who will help you find justice.”

Williams also wanted to write a song for her husband. “When I go on the road, there’s an understanding that it is part of our relationship,” she says. “In the Parthenon, there is one goddess-Vesta, goddess of the hearth-who sits in the middle of the hall stoking the fire. I never thought that I needed a hearth, but that’s my home, and also my marriage, an anchor in my life that just gets better all the time. So ‘I’ve Been Around the World’ does correlate, but I would have written that story no matter what.”

Dar In the Time of Gods

As documented on her last album, the 2010 two-disc retrospective Many Great Companions, Williams’s growth as an individual over her almost two-decade-long career has gone hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist. Raised in Chappaqua, N.Y., and educated at Wesleyan University, Williams spent 10 years living in the thriving artistic community of Northampton, Mass., where she began to make the rounds on the coffeehouse circuit. Joan Baez, an early fan of her music, took Williams out on the road and recorded several of her songs.

In 1995, two years after self-releasing The Honesty Room, she signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment, beginning a relationship now in its 16th year. Along with her studio albums, she’s also released the onstage document Out There Live (2001) and the DVD Live at Bearsville Theater (2007).

The final song on In the Time of Gods manages to bring all of her concerns-social, creative, and personal-under one roof. “We have a mountain close to our house called Storm King,” says Williams. “When a circle of clouds gathers around the top of it, that means the rain is coming. Pete Seeger lives across the river and can see the mountain, and I wrote a song saying that Pete is the storm king now. He looks down and watches over us, guides and warns us, like the mountain does.

“So my ‘Storm King’ is not a king of Greek mythology,” Williams continues. “He’s a father figure who influences me from two miles up the road, where he composts and chops his own wood, and reminds me of my responsibilities. ‘Storm King’ is my way of saying that we aren’t living in 400 BC Greece, we are evolving in time. And that’s what you’re allowed to do with mythology-to let it evolve and show who your Parthenon is now.”

That’s the great achievement of Dar Williams’s album. With ease and grace, it reminds us that wherever we are, whenever it may be, we are always living In the Time of the Gods.

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May 6, 2014

Lisa Loeb has kept very busy lately spoofing Oregon’s poor health care roll-out, the latest auditions to the upcoming Star Wars film and, of course, with her concert tour that makes its way to NYC at Tribeca PAC, May 22 (just before Memorial Day Weekend, the “unofficial” start to summer in the entertainment world).

Lisa Loeb is a Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter who started her career with the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites.  Her acclaimed studio CDs include her major label debut, the Gold-selling Tails and the Grammy-nominated, Gold-selling Firecracker,  The Very Best of Lisa Loeb and her latest No Fairy Tale.  Lisa Loeb has successfully parlayed her talents into a multidimensional career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work and children’s recordings.

We caught up with the very talented Lisa Loeb.

Lisa Loeb performed on May 22 at 8PM.

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October 28, 2013

Trick or Treat Safety Tips:

Theatreworks USA’s production of Bunnicula was a big success and this family musical about a vampire rabbit was perfect for this Halloween season. Children had lots of fun before the show with activities sponsored by NY Kids Club and received a very nice backpack as well.

Another local business, Canis Minor, sent over a representative with some very appropriate Trick or Treat tips.  Check out the clip below:

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October 25, 2013

Our 30th season got off to a running start this year with the New York Premier of the film documentary Maria the Korean Bride. We are very happy that the film is being picked up for showings around the country. This is especially nice because the artist and bride Maria Yoon is a Tribeca neighbor.

Our pals over at Theaterworks USA are stopping by Sunday, Oct. 27 with the not-too-scary tale of Bunnicula, the vampire rabbit. Tickets!   This lively musical is based on a very popular series of children’s novels and  parents will get a kick out of it too! We’re celebrating some new partnerships with this show as well; KidsClubNY will be sponsoring some activities in the lobby prior to the show, so get there early; and our favorite pet supply store, Canis Minor, will be offering some tips on animal safety in this Halloween season.  Speaking of Bunnicula, script writer Charles Busch is performing in Midtown on Thursdays at 54 Below.

Next up in our Family series, New York’s premiere storyteller David Gonzalez, who has appeared here before with his hit shows Aesop Bops, The Frog Bride and Sofrito, will be bringing another of his modern full of mystery and magical musical folk tales, Sleeping Beauty, to us on Sunday, November 17.  Tickets.

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September 23, 2013

Coming up THIS SATURDAY, September 28 at 4pm, Tribeca PAC will screen the New York premiere of Maria the Korean Bride, a documentary about performance artist Maria Yoon’s travels across America to marry 50 husbands in 50 states in order to examine the tradition and culture of marriage.

We had the chance to speak with a few of Maria’s “spouses.” Read below for their insights on the film, meeting Maria, and what marriage means to them.

Meet Flex Lopez – the Groom from New Jersey:

 

TPAC: What was my first impression of Maria?
Flex: I get a phone call from a friend of mine telling me that there€™s a woman there that wants to meet me.  So of course the first thing that goes thru my mind is that it€™s a joke so tell them I€™m busy, but he tells me just get my butt there, so I agree.

I walk in and there€™s Maria speaking with the owners.  They wave to me and tell me to come over that they want to introduce me to someone. We get introduced and she (Maria) begins to explain to me the reason why she€™s there and why they called me, so as I€™m listening to her all I€™m thinking is ‘I€™m going to choke one of my friends for playing this joke on me.’ Then Maria begins to show me pictures of what she has be doing,  so now I€™m thinking ok and I thought I was nuts – LOL. She explained a little more and I can see as she€™s talking how serious this was to her so I paid closer attention and chatted for a little while and the rest is history. But of course when you have someone talking to you that you just met asking you to marry them, your going to think there a little nuts €¦â‚¬¦ especially when its hard enough to ask a person you want to marry.

TPAC: Did this experience influence or change your perception of marriage?
Flex: Well, let€™s just say that I€™m still patiently waiting for the right woman to come along. But after being around Maria and watching what she as accomplished, marriage will definitely be in my future.

TPAC: Did you enjoy the experience?  Would you do it again?
Flex: It is probably one of the craziest things I have ever done, and there€™s been lots of them, and was glad that I did because I was able to help someone accomplish their goal .
Next time will have a little bit more fun with it €¦..

TPAC: what advice do you have for others on marriage?
Flex: The best advice I can give is to communicate, be part of each other€™s lives, learn what makes them happy and be be involved. But of course coming from the man who has been the biggest Influence in my life, My dad, who past away 15yrs ago, once said if you want to make your Marriage work always keep her happy cause in return she will always make you happy€¦â‚¬¦.

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Sept. 10, 2013

Meet Frank Carpenter – North Dakota Groom:

 

TPAC: Have you been engaged or married since your “marriage” to Maria? If no, do you think you want to have a long-term marriage eventually?
Frank: No I have not been engaged or married since Maria

TPAC: What was your first impression of Maria?
Frank: She was a very cute and surprisingly talkative. Very pleasant to be with.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?
Frank: Yes, I told the world or at least everybody I knew.

TPAC: What can other people learn from Maria’s project?
Frank: Choose wisely, choose for yourself !!  Note! Id marry her agian if given the chance. lol.

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September 3, 2013

Meet Jack McCann – Maria’s Rhode Island Groom.

 

TPAC: What made you want to get involved in Maria’s project?
Jack: Life is short. I try to make the most of it. This seemed like a memorable experience.

TPAC: Did this experience change or influence your thoughts on marriage?
Jack: Yes, it made me realize there are a lot of cultural differences in the US and in the World.

TPAC: What do you remember most from the day?
Jack: Wondering if this was an actual marriage or maybe I was being secretly filmed for sometime of prank TV show.

TPAC: Would advice do you have for anyone considering getting married?
Jack: Find a mate who is complement. Opposite attract!

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Meet Alicia Greene- Maria’s Massachusetts Bride:

 

TPAC: Why did you decide to “marry” Maria?

Alicia: I saw an ad for the project and I thought it was a fresh voice and new perspective on topics that I’ve heard discussed before. I wanted to be a part of it.

TPAC: Did this experience influence or change your perception of marriage?

Alicia: This experience influenced and confirmed my perception of marriage. I grew up in a small community in Kansas. There were only a few representations of happy marriages as I grew up. I participated in Tom Thumb weddings, pageants and debutante balls. Marriage was an expectation for women like me and had a certain “look”. I did not see many variations of that idea and I knew at an early age that I did not want that kind of life. I believed I could be happy while defining my own relationship. Marriage or not.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?

Alicia: Yes, I did tell my friends and family. The people that matter most to me were not really surprised. But, it was interesting trying to tell my fianc© that I got married 9 years ago.

TPAC: What do you most fondly remember from the ceremony?

Alicia: How beautiful it was!

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August 27, 2013:

Meet Steve Warren – Maria’s Georgia husband:

 

TPAC: What made you decide to “marry” Maria?

Steve: I’m an actor.  It was a gig.  It helped that I was intrigued by the concept but I probably would have done it anyway.

TPAC: Did you tell other friends/family beforehand?  What was their reaction?

Steve: It didn’t seem like that big a deal.  About the only person I mentioned it to was the filmmaker I borrowed the lab coat from, since I was supposed to be a marine biologist for our wedding in front of the Georgia Aquarium.  I had worn the coat in his horror film, where I played a mad scientist.  Fortunately he got the blood out.

TPAC: Are you and Maria still in touch?

Steve: We are.  We’ve stayed in contact and have seen each other a few times. I went to the film’s premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival last spring and hope to go to Atlanta when it screens at the Korean Film Festival.

TPAC: What did you learn from the experience?

Steve: It helped put my real-life relationship of nearly 25 years into perspective.  Whatever my reasons for “marrying” Maria, I got a good friend out of the deal; and after the honeymoon is over, that’s what counts in the long run.

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August 21, 2013:

Meet Ram Devineni – Maria’s New York Husband

 

TPAC: Did your experience with Maria change or influence your opinion of marriage in any way?

Ram: Not dramatically. I am still single, even after I married Maria. I always knew relationships are complicated — that is why I appreciated what Maria was doing.

TPAC: Are you still in touch with your “bride”?

Ram: Yes! Maria and I have become good friends. I think all of her “significant others” have stayed in touch with her because she is a sweetheart! Even the Liberty Bell rings her up sometimes — they were married on August 23, 2006.

TPAC: Did you tell your friends and family that you were marrying Maria? How did they respond?

Ram: I told everyone, and pretty much everyone did a double take. But, once I explained to them that it was an art project, they appreciated it. Only people I did not tell were my 90-year-old grandmothers in India — I did not want to give them a heart attack!

TPAC: What does marriage mean to you?

Ram: Marriage = commitment (love)2 / friendship x understanding (trust + 1.376).

TPAC:  The wedding ceremony took place at Times Square!   Is there anything you wanted to add about that experience?

Ram: Being in NYC, I felt it was very close to Maria’s heart. This was the last and final wedding in her very long art project, so it was both a celebration and a conclusion. There were “significant others” from other states attending and many of her family and friends were there too — I was glad to be a part of it.

 

June 11, 2013

Check out our interview with 2012-13 Artist-in-Residence Luke Murphy.

TPAC: What are your biggest inspirations or influences as a performer?

Luke: I like to keep my eyes open and I like to let things I see in lots of different art forms influence me. I find myself really drawn to performance work which moves between the realms of theatre, dance, film, storytelling etc and when I’m looking at how I’m trying to communicate I like to employ techniques used in other art forms. I’ve been studying a lot of architecture recently so that’s really given me some fresh things to consider when dealing with space and light. For this work I’ve definitely been quite influenced by the time I spent working with John Kelly.

TPAC: What’s the history of this piece?‚  How long have you been working on it?

Luke: The idea for this piece was originally for a solo work that was mainly dealing with iconic ideas of the alpha male, it developed in research last year to become a quartet and I became really drawn to the story of Icarus. We’ve been working on it as group now for about five months.

TPAC: What should the audience at TPAC expect to see?

Luke: I think the audience should expect to see a work that plays hopscotch through the grid of dance and theatre. We’re not trying to tell a linear story but the work does have a narrative.

TPAC: After this presentation, where can audiences see more of your work?

Luke: Well in the immediate future Icarus goes on to Premiere at the Cork Midsummer Festival in Ireland from June 28th-30th. The work I made at TPAC last year, Drenched is having its New York Premiere at the Lamama Moves Festival from July 5th-7th and I’m in post production for a dance film I made with Carlye Eckert and David Fishel.

June 6, 2013

Check out our interview with Artist-in-Residence Aaron Sherwood of Purring Tiger.

TPAC: How long have you been incorporating multi-media into live performance? What do you think it adds to both the performer and the audience’s experience?

Aaron: We started performing using multi-media right from the start, a few years ago. We thought it would be great if a dancer’s movements could actually generate and control sounds and visuals. It’s a somewhat novel, but really pleasing experience to have one’s movements controlling these things. We don’t use them as an end in themselves, but just as another tool in our palette. Hopefully the audience will experience joy and wonder, and a type of performance they’ve never experienced before.

TPAC: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to work with Purring Tiger?

Aaron: My background is in music and Kiori’s is in dance. We started collaborating a few years ago and Purring Tiger was born.

TPAC: What can the audience expect from your piece?

Aaron: A heart wrenching, yet ultimately cathartic, journey through life & death. Mizaru is the name of one of the three wise monkeys in Japanese culture, better know in English, as See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. In our piece, we use this concept to explore how our culture deals with death. It seemed to us that for the most part, in our culture we are afraid to die, and we invent countless number of distractions to divert ourselves from our own mortality. However, by removing these distractions one by one and embracing the fact that this very moment is precious and will never come again we find that we actually become more alive. This is the journey Mizaru embarks the audience upon.

TPAC: Do you have anything coming up you’d like to promote?

Aaron:Mainly our shows at TPAC today and Friday! We also received a grant from Burning Man to bring an installation version of Mizaru to Burning Man this summer. If anyone wants to help out and contribute to this please go here and click Donate: http://www.purringt.com/mizaruinstallation

 

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