Things to do between shows in NYC this week

It’s a busy season in New York theater, with openings every day in advance of the April awards deadlines. There is also a wealth of things to do between shows, many with connections to theater and the performing arts. Below is a selection of four top picks available to enjoy this week, including an online offering.

Al Hirschfeld, Rent, ink on board, 1996. Photo courtesy of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation.

The Hirschfeld Time Machine: The 90’sThe latest online exhibition from The Al Hirschfeld Foundation presents the iconic artist’s look at the popular culture of the last decade of the 20th century. Whether theater, film, television, music, or politics, Hirschfeld captured the most significant figures and productions of the period, including August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and Jonathan Larson’s Rent.

“At an age most artists would be slowing down, in the 1990s Hirschfeld was doing more than ever,” says David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation and curator of the new online exhibition. “Hirschfeld continued his unbroken line into his now eighth decade and was inspired by the arts that he saw and heard. In addition to his drawings, which continued to be seen in dozens of publications, album covers, posters, programs, book covers, and prints, this decade saw him as the subject of an Oscar nominated documentary, The Line King, as well as the inspiration for one of the biggest Disney films of the decade, Aladdin.”

The digital exhibition, which runs through Wednesday, June 15, is the start of a regular series that will explore Hirschfeld works in different decades to see not only what he drew, but how he drew. Viewers can also go behind the lines of Hirschfeld’s art with a special episode of The Hirschfeld Century Podcast, available now on the website, Apple Podcasts, and other popular sites.

Portrait of Shakespeare (detail) from the First Folio, 1623. Photo by Deb Miller.

Treasures: The Polonsky Exhibition – For more than 125 years, The New York Public Library has collected, preserved, and made accessible the world’s knowledge, with more than 56 million items. The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures – the institution’s first-ever permanent exhibition, showcasing extraordinary highlights from its world-renowned research collections – builds on that 125-year legacy by making some of the institution’s most significant pieces freely available for everyone to explore on a rotating basis.

Along with such prized historic artifacts as Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, a copy of The Gutenberg Bible, and the original stuffed animals of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, currently on view are such important items as the First Folio of Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies of 1623, Charles Dickens’ writing desk and chair, a theatrical poster of Sarah Bernhardt by Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha, and the set model for the Off-Broadway production of In the Heights, all presented with explanatory labels and texts.

To reserve your free timed tickets to the exhibition, located in the NYPL’s flagship 1911 Beaux-Arts building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, click here. Free audio guides in English and Spanish are also available on your mobile device, so be sure to bring your headphones. Masks are encouraged but not required in the building.

Jersey Boys IPA – The Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning musical Jersey Boys opened in New York on November 6, 2005, and by the time it closed on January 15, 2017, it was the 12th longest running show in Broadway history. As of March 2022, the popular behind-the-music story of NJ natives Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, has been seen by over 30 million people worldwide. In celebration of the show’s return to the Off-Broadway stage following the long pandemic hiatus, the New Jersey Beer Company, founded in North Bergen in 2010, has created Jersey Boys IPA.

Brewed with a special yeast blend, and hopped with Citra, Mandarina Bavaria, and Sabro for flavors of tropical orange sherbet, mango, and coconut, the 6.8% IPA is described as the perfect tropical vacation juice just in time for Spring. The new brew will be available for purchase beginning on Thursday, April 7, in New Jersey and New York, including at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street), where Jersey Boys is playing.

For tickets to the show (priced at $59-149), call (212) 239-6200, or go online. A limited number of $30 tickets are sold via digital lottery; available performances are posted as early as 12:00 am and close at 3:00 pm two days before the performance. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, photo ID, and mask are required to enter the theater. The tasting room at New Jersey Beer Company, 4201 Tonnelle Avenue, North Bergen, is also open to visitors during select hours from Wednesday-Sunday, and is easily accessed via public transportation.

Artexpo New York – If your appreciation for the arts extends beyond the theater to the fine arts, the annual Artexpo New York presents over 400 local, national, and international galleries and publishers, along with pioneering independent artists and photographers, exhibiting thousands of forward-thinking boundary-pushing works. Each year thousands of art industry insiders come in search of the art and artists that will shape trends in galleries worldwide. Hosting more than 35,000 avid art enthusiasts and collectors annually, Artexpo New York is the largest international gathering of qualified trade buyers, including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers, and art and framing retailers.

Created by Redwood Art Group/Redwood Media Group and taking place at New York’s Pier 36 (299 South Street), the four-day event, running from Thursday, April 7-Sunday, April 10, showcases the emerging and the iconic, including everyone from Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg to Yayoi Kusama and Mr. Brainwash. There is something to fit every space, taste, and budget. For tickets (ranging from $25 for one-day general admission to $40 for a four-day pass, with discounts for students and members of the military), go online.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here