A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on
When Spike Lee first announced he was open casting for a Netflix TV remake of She’s Gotta Have It, Brooklyn’s would-be Nola Darlings went wild. Hundreds of union and nonunion actors lined up for hours outside BK’s Masonic Temple, hoping to get seen by Lee and his crew.
And just one week hence, while everyone was busy yelling at their TVs during the presidential debate, Lee released the Instagram photo above, featuring the actors he’d cast in the series. Recognize anyone you know from the neighborhood?
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, DO NOT DESPAIR. We are still casting,” reads the Instagram caption. If you auditioned for the series and you’re still waiting to hear back, you might have a chance! But for all the other happy Brooklynites on the audience side of things, rejoice in this photo, for it represents a nearly next-generation update to Lee’s 1986 feature, 30 years in the making.
Union Hall provides ales and ambiance, perfect for getting lost in a novel.
We often can’t help ourselves from buying a book whenever we pass a bookstore. We’ll save money for beer, of course, because we want to devour our literary haul with some lagers in one of our favorite reading venues: a bar! Not all bars are equal in the eye of the reader, naturally. Who wants to read where jaeger bombs are the norm? To save you the time searching, we compiled a list of fifteen places we think are the best Brooklyn bars to read in, along with suggestions on what to read.
Since most normies converge on pubs when night falls, these places are best read in during the day. But a good number of them remain quiet enough on weeknights to take in some text. Just remember to take care of your bartender if you’re going to spend a lot of time there. (more…)
Eesha (Shazi Raja) ditches the hijab as she tries to get The Guy (Ben Sinclair) to sell to her. Via screenshot.
This episode brings us two stories that are as disparate as it gets. What does an apartment of swingers have to do with a Pakistani college student smoking pot, other than New York real estate? The connection might seem hard to draw, but that’s kind of what makes this show great, and perhaps the greater message at play in the whole series. Our lives may seem so far away from each other most of the time, but seen in the right light, we can draw connecting themes and emotions, and maybe see some of ourselves in the unfamiliar, whether it’s living in a Muslim household, being polyamorous or dealing pot. That’s obviously an ambitious goal, but how do they execute it here? As with last week, the title might be a clue.
The episode is called “Museebat,” which my editor was eager to inform me means “misfortune” or “calamity” in Urdu, and then tried pushing the phonic connection to “chlamydia.” Guys, this is a game we can all play from week to week! But what kind of calamity are we dealing with? I would argue that it’s the calamity that comes when you’re living two different and incompatible lives. (more…)
Kevin Allison, host of Risk!, abandoning all shame at a recent show. image via Risk! on Facebook
The art of storytelling is one of humanity’s oldest traditions. Whether gathering round the fire, or the pedestal of a Grecian bard, we have an innate desire to listen to spoken narrative. And to find the great storytellers among us, we look to Brooklyn—where everyone is a weirdo with a story to tell.
Do you, dear Brooklyn weirdo, have an aching desire to bare the true stories of your life? Or would you rather hear someone else confess their own? Either way, the city provides ample opportunity to participate thanks to the storytelling show boom of the last few years. And we’ve got the list to prove it. Below is our roundup of Brooklyn (and Queens) live, true storytelling events. Some are curated, open-mic, or both; all are engaging. (more…)
Whenever we hear about a new web series these days, especially another one set in New York City, land of dreams crushed beneath the weight of a wayward condo crane, the first reaction we have is an exasperated one. It’s not that the subject of “Woe is me NYC” is ever closed, so much as that it’s been done poorly too many times to stomach another crack at it. Like if I have to hear one more joke about organic baby food I might just start eating it exclusively to spite everyone.
But Affordable NYC, a new web series about a queer couple of color trying to find suburban creature comforts in the big city, is actually pretty great. In just three sweet episodes, the series tackles the relatable challenges of finding a wedding venue, a suitable apartment and a good preschool for their kid, Daenaerys Stormborn. (more…)
Eat your heart out, Mission Dolores. Etienne Froussard / BBPC
You’d think summer might never come, what with this unfortunate springtime chill and day after day of rainy skies. But hey, you know what they say about April Showers? That’s right, April Showers Bring Free Movies. And we loooove free movies. There’s nothing quite so definitively “summer” as picnicking on park grass or sidling into rows of folding seats to sit back and yell at watch movies on a giant screen under the starry night sky, a warm breeze at your back and fellow Brooklynites (or people you dragged kicking and screaming from Manhattan) by your side.
Thorgy Thor and Acid Betty, representing the borough. .
RuPaul’s Drag Race is tits deep (three episodes) into its eighth season, and this season boasts two of our very own hometown BROOKLYN QUEENS! If there was ever a season for Brooklyn to tune in to Drag Race, this is it. Here’s a guide on what you need to know about our girls from the ‘hood, Thorgy Thor and Acid Betty (and we’ll talk about Manhattan’s Bob the Drag Queen too), listing their stand out moments so far this season and where you can catch them performing locally, including a viewing party in Williamsburg tonight. These queens have a chance of bringing home the crown to the county of Kings. (more…)
The only Batman v Superman movie you need. Via screenshot.
We seem to live in a time where movies exist as spectacle as much as they do as entertainment, when the sheer mass of money and bodies and green screen and canon tossed into a cauldron of special effects is a sight to behold. Yet, can you imagine we live in a world where a movie is coming out tomorrow where BATMAN fights SUPERMAN and not only are people pretty meh about it, it has been savaged by critics and shuffled off to a release date in the dead zone before the official summer movie season starts? Recall even this past summer, when Jurassic World at least held the promise of childlike summer movie glee (it didn’t deliver but at least there was a chance). We are susceptible to the suggestion that big commercial messes can still have value, and we so desperately hope they’ll validate our money we invest in them that we dig for the sparkles of salvageable good among the brown muck of the trash bag.
Reader, don’t go for it. Movies that are bad are bad and life is too short to waste time on things with little redeeming value, even if they’ve coopted two of our nation’s most important heroes for some sort of dour fanboy Ayn Randian dark twisted fantasy. At Brokelyn we always like to suggest better ways to spend your money so instead, here is the real Batman vs. Superman movie you should watch this weekend, and it’s much cheaper. (more…)
Pigpen performing Pericles pre-show music. Photo by Margaret Bortner
In 21st-century New York City, the search for something as mundane as a decent job can seem like questing for the holy grail. We are the heroes of these quests, and we learn from each adventure and trial along the way. The Hero’s Journey is a common 17-step narrative structure seen in literature and film, and many real lives tend to follow as well. It’s what makes fictional characters relatable, and unites us all along this Sisyphean journey known as Life when we might otherwise feel like completely disparate human beings.
Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre is one of these lesser-known (and lesser performed) Hero’s Journey plays. After fleeing from a king who wishes him dead, Pericles embarks on his HJ. Along the way he encounters famine, shipwreck, love, murder, mistaken identity, and other makings of a Shakespeare romcom. Pericles is currently playing at Theatre For a New Audience‘s Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Fort Greene, in a brave new production directed by multiple Tony Award winner Trevor Nunn (Cats, Les Mis, and more), arguably the most prolific stage director of Shakespeare since Shakespeare himself. Among the cast is Brooklyn’s own PigPen Theatre Company. Not only do these musically versatile men play roughly 50 roles among the seven of them, but also sing and play its original music (composed by Shaun Davey).
Given this creative re-imagining of the play, I got to thinking about the Hero’s Journey. Is it just convention, or is it actually relevant to our lives today? I chatted with a few members of PigPen to ask them about their journeys toward this latest production of Pericles, and what its message for the 21st-century Brooklynite might be. (more…)
Tyler Fischer is a troublemaker. You might recognize this New Haven native from his subway sign parodies, or the recently-gone-viral “hidden camera” video in which Fischer pretends to be a Swedish couples’ therapist at the Red Hook IKEA, asking customers to assess the print art as though it were Rorschach blots and cutting deals on his rates in swedish meatball units. He jokes with one shopping couple, “A relationship is like IKEA: it takes forever to build, and then it falls apart in nine weeks.”
We’re all in favor of a good joke. And we’re especially fond of people who take jokes to their most absurd extremes, because life is one big joke anyway, so you may as well take the humor in it seriously. So we caught up with Fischer to ask him about his penchant for mischief, his quirky sense of humor and how he’s eked out a life as the kind of parody artist that Nathan For You’s host Nathan Fielder so desperately endeavored to be.
“I was definitely the class clown,” said Fischer, 28, who now lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. “I hated school, I hated rules, and I hated authority. I’ve always been pulling pranks, imitating people, and going to extreme lengths for a laugh.” (more…)