Upcoming Programming at New York’s Newest Cultural Complex, the Sheen Center: Broadway Rising Stars, Opera Featuring Aprile Millo, and Free Events
By: Ellis Nassour
On the heels of debuting its state-of-the-art 274-seat theatre with the world premiere of the true-to-life hostage thriller Captive (Paramount Pictures), starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, and a hilarious evening celebrating Jim Gaffigan, his family, and TV Land series, the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture at 18 Bleecker Street [between Elizabeth and Mott Streets, a block east of Bleecker] continues its inaugural festival [through October 4].
Among special events is Monday’s salute to Broadway – headlined by Drama Desk nominee Aaron Lazar; the upcoming concert by renowned pianist Elaine Kwon; and performances from downtown Manhattan’s Amore Opera Company featuring acclaimed Met Opera soprano Aprile Millo.
The NoHo arts complex is downtown New York’s first in 35 years. It’s named in
honor of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a master communicator who became a household name in the 50s and 60s with his top-rated radio and TV series Life Is Worth Living.
The complex boasts a state-of-the-art 274-seat proscenium theatre equipped for live HD streaming, a multi-track recording studio, 80-seat black box theatre, rehearsal studios, and art gallery. In addition, there’ll be panels to discuss hot-button issues with celebrity guests.
Step into the Light on Monday at 7 P.M., has Lazar (The Last Ship, A Little Night Music revival, A Light in the Piazza, Les Miz) headlining a cast of rising musical stars: Analisa Leaming (standby for Anna, LCT’s The King and I revival), Alysha Umphress (Hildy in the just-shuttered On The Town revival), and David St. Louis (Side Show revival; 2000 Jesus Christ Superstar revival). Host and music director is Ted Sperling (The King and I, South Pacific, Light in the Piazza).
Appearing September 26, 8 P.M, is pianist Elaine Kwon and friends with
master chef Ryan Smith in Savor Your Senses: An Evening of Music, Wine, and
Chocolate. The next day at 2 P.M. the Amore Opera presents The Stars Align
2 P.M., featuring Ms. Millo, Francesco Casanova, European star Nicholas
Tamagna, and current company members with 15-piece orchestra
Tickets for these events are $19.50-$35 and $39.50 and available for purchase at www.sheencenter.org/events. To ensure Sheen Center programming is accessible, the first 100 tickets for events will be $10. September 28 at 8:30 P.M, there’s The Spoken Word, Jericho Brown, NY State poet laureate Marie Howe, and two-time National Poetry Slam winner Anis Mojgani. Tickets, $10 – $20.
October events include a staging of The Amish Project, a one-woman play about the 2006 West Nickel Mines Schoolhouse shooting, hailed by The New York Times as "remarkable and compelling" on October 1 and 2 at 8 P.M. [Tickets, $10 – $35]; and the LaMaMa production of *mark, a modern dramatization of the gospel performed by George Drance with music by avant-garde director Elizabeth Swados (Doonesbury) on October 3 at 8 P.M. and October 4 at 3 P.M. [Tickets, $10 – $25].
The Sheen Center has many free events. These include the ongoing Art Walk, through September 29, from 9 A.M. – 6 P.M., which features contemporary and sacred works, such as historic icons from Crestwood, NY’s St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Christian Seminary.Though free, because of limited seating, reservations are required. Follow Sheen Center programming (dates, times) on the website [above] and FB.