On any given night, a guest at Blue Note might be pulled onstage to sit in on a jazz standard. This would merely qualify as another of the club’s charming eccentricities, were that guest not typically someone like Stevie Wonder, Liza Minnelli, or Quincy Jones. New York’s musical royalty frequents Blue Note to hear original, historical jazz, as well as the innovative genres that the club passionately supports. They look on approvingly as the rising stars of the soul, hip hop, funk, and pantomime scenes blaze sonic trails between the stage’s parted blue curtains. These performers fill the atmosphere with smooth sounds on most nights of the week, and their exquisite talents are matched by a menu of pan-roasted salmon, marinated skirt steak, and grilled baby-back ribs.
Murder mysteries should be anything but silly. That’s the view espoused by Live In Theater Productions, the brainchild of prolific actor and playwright Carlo D'Amore. Eschewing the goofy tone of some other shows, Live In Theater plunges participants into cases that take their immersive details from unsolved, historical murders in New York. Showgoers make their way along the city streets where the real crimes once took place, interrogating actors playing roles ranging from 19th-century Irish slumlords to strung-out 1970s junkies. Each event plays out differently as the amateur sleuths weigh evidence, pursue leads, and finally find some use for their pocket-sized polygraphs, creating a one-of-a-kind adventure that earned a 2012 Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience.
Laughter flows from the New York Comedy Club's corridors, freshly squeezed from audiences' giggle boxes by the club's on-hand comedians, visiting performers, and enthusiastic novices. Weekly shows, such as The Clayton Fletcher Show, lure up-and-coming NYC comedians to showcase their best jokes, brandish their best impressions, and analyze government tax-code legislation. On tri-weekly open-mic nights, amateur humorists test their slapstick mettle alongside host Dan Gutin. In addition to entertaining crowds, the New York Comedy Club hosts classes in tandem with Laughing Buddha Comedy, helping aspiring comics or court jesters to improve their stage presence and perfect their knock-knock jokes.
For almost three decades, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra has harnessed the melodious power of strings, horns, woodwinds, and percussion to re-create classical pieces and vivify modern works. Shows speckle the schedule throughout the year, welcoming duos for “Date Night!” performances, delighting the senses with songs by local choirs, and celebrating snowmen’s birthdays with classic holiday tunes.
With no costumes, sets, or functioning lightsabers, Canadian comedic force Charlie Ross whisks audiences to a faraway galaxy in his One Man Star Wars Trilogy, a funny and fervent reinvention of cinema’s most hallowed science fiction series. A smash hit off-Broadway and across the globe, Ross’s breakneck performance has earned accolades from critics, the respect of Lucasfilm, and love from famous Ewoks such as Vin Diesel and Conan O’Brien. Racing through George Lucas’s six-hour opus in only one parsec, Ross screen-wipes audiences to Tatooine, Dagobah, Cloud City, and the Death Star without ever changing his pants. The performer inhabits all of the trilogy’s heroes, villains, and droids to draw Jabba-sized laughs from Star Wars fans and the sci-fi averse alike.
The "From the Crescent City of New Orleans to the Big Apple of New York City" Nolafunk.com concert series, presented by Creative Entertainment Group and Nolafunk.com, collects rock, blues, jazz, and funk acts to sonically transport East Coast ears to the marshy deltas of the Big Easy. Featured musicians include George Porter Jr., former bass player for funk progenitors and ironic metric-system opponents The Meters, whose 40-year career includes sessions with artists such as Paul McCartney, David Byrne, and Robbie Robertson. Recipients of a Big Easy Entertainment Award as 2010's Best Rock band, Bonerama polishes the brass band sound to a strong shine while lobbing Allen Toussaint–shaped water balloons into the crowd. The 12-piece Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra creates a kaleidoscopic blend of New Orleans party music, with smooth Ray Charles and Al Green–style soul, jam-band rock, and a splash of secular gospel.