04/18/17 9:00am
bbqfilms

Photo via BBQ Films / Facebook

You know that acquaintance on Facebook, the person you don’t know too well, but their life is too interesting to ignore? Well for me, that person is Leah Taylor Dunbar. We met years ago when her husband and I worked together on Manson The Musical – yes, a musical comedy about Charles Manson that surprisingly never made it out of off-off-Broadway. Leah has, for the past few years, been posting photos of her involvement with an immersive cinema company called BBQ Films. After seeing her post photos from their latest Mean Girls event in Greenpoint, I decided it was time to ask Leah what this BBQ Film thing was all about.

Leah couldn’t wait to tell me about the company and invited me to her office at Flavorpill in Soho to discuss. “The production company started out as a casual rooftop cookout and film screening in Spanish Harlem,” she told me, “and developed into a pop-up cinema club and then to the fully experiential production company around today. Their goal is to use storytelling to create community and bring an element of surprise and excitement back to movie fans.” (more…)

03/03/17 4:46pm
unruly14small

Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

The Unruly Collective, located at 200 Cooper St. in Bushwick is kind of like a WeWork for artists, but so much better. Founded by Hillary Mégroz and Charlie Pastore, Unruly is paving the way for individuals to create, collaborate, & cohabitate, while driving social change through innovative, immersive creativity. I visited their brownstone right off the Wilson Ave. L train to see for myself what the collective was offering. (more…)

02/23/16 2:00pm
It's just your typical tropical hotel, where the cabana boys get handsy. via Instagram

It’s just your typical tropical hotel, where the cabana boys get handsy. via Instagram

Dying to get out of New York for a while? You might not have to take a plane to do it. Well, not a real one, anyway: The Grand Paradise is an immersive tropical escape in Bushwick that you can find through a pair of double doors on Troutman Street anytime between now and March 31. You’ll board a “plane,” watch an instructional safety video, then touch down at a strange beach resort far, far away and party with a group of impish hotel staff for one sensuous midsummer night.

You might be rolling your eyes at the above description, and understandably so: immersive theatre like this — you know, the kind that rips you from the teat of New York life only to deposit you in a virtuosic arena where people are going to touch you whether you like it or not — is a polarizing experience. And it doesn’t help that this one costs upwards of $100 to see. But asking yourself why you chose to live in New York (or more specifically, Brooklyn) when there are so many other cities in the world you could have gone to isn’t nearly so divisive. And that’s exactly what this show does.

Heck, that’s why Brokelyn writes about anything at all. Between real estate crises, political armageddon and neighborhoods losing their personalities left and right, we’re constantly asking ourselves, what’s left? What’s stopping all of us from moving to Detroit, anyway?
(more…)