Sting and Jesse Eisenberg to Present at OBIE’s; More Details Announced – PLAYBILL.COM

By Olivia Clement
15 May 2015

More details have been announced for the 60th Annual OBIE Awards on May 18 at New York City’s Webster Hall. The line-up of presenters will include Sting, Jesse Eisenberg, Tommy Tune and Tony Kushner. 2015 Tony nominee and Fun Home star Michael Cerveris is also set to make a special performance.

As previously reported, “Orange is the New Black”‘s Lea DeLaria will be hosting the ceremony. Other guests slated to feature in the line-up of presenters include Stockard Channing, Lisa Kron, T.R. Knight, LaChanze, artist Bradley Theodore and Natalie Cortez, who will also make a performance.

The ceremony will honor James Houghton, the founding artistic director of Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre, who will receive a special OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement. Houghton announced earlier this year that he would step down as artistic director due to health concerns.

Co-presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice, the OBIE Awards celebrate excellence in theatre Off-Broadway. The prize was created in 1955 to encourage the evolving Off-Broadway theatre movement by acknowledging its achievements. Now in their 60th year, the OBIES play a major role in recognizing and boosting fantastic productions Off-Broadway. Many distinguished writers, directors, actors and designers have been recipients of an OBIE at critical points in their careers.

The OBIE Awards judging panel was headed by longtime OBIE Committee Chairman Michael Feingold and included playwright Adam Bock, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, director Lear deBessonet, scenic designer Mimi Lien, critic David Rooney, Village Voice critic Tom Sellar, and director Liesl Tommy.

The American Theatre Wing also is the founder of The Tony Awards, the foremost national platform for the recognition of theatrical achievement on Broadway.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit

Review: Faith No More, Reunited and Reclaiming Its Spot – NY TIMES


Faith No More Webster Hall
Jon Hudson, left, and Billy Gould in the band’s Wednesday night show at Webster Hall. Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Single-minded sincerity isn’t for everyone. Faith No More, which is about to release “Sol Invictus” (Ipecac), its first new studio album since 1997, has always trafficked in more contradictory impulses, and they were all on display when the reunited band played the first of two sold-out shows at Webster Hall on Wednesday night. The band members (and most of their equipment) were dressed in white and surrounded by bouquets of flowers, while the music was decidedly less angelic.

Earnestness and mockery, sympathy and malevolence, doom and glee all ricochet through Faith No More’s songs, both in the lyrics and in music that slams styles and attitudes against one another. The band’s lead singer and lyricist, Mike Patton, is a vocal chameleon who can sustain a full-throated ballad, unleash the screams of punk and hardcore, yowl like a funk singer or come on loungey and unctuous. He’s so virtuosic that he never has to commit to a single stance. In a way, Faith No More anticipated the Internet era of innumerable choices and peculiar juxtapositions: the shuffled playlist, the heartfelt screed interrupted by a pop-up ad.

Faith No More’s commercial peak was its Top 10 single in 1990, “Epic,” a chanted, cackling verse followed by a monumental hard-rock chorus that proclaims, “You want it all but you can’t have it.” It was rap-metal, a combination that would pay off repeatedly for other bands in the 1990s, but Faith No More chose to experiment instead on its next albums. “Where’s the rap-metal, dude?” Mr. Patton jibed from the stage.

Actually, it was there, not only in “Epic,” which appeared early in the set, but also in the band’s opening song on Wednesday night, a track on the new album with a title that’s not publishable here. The reunited band, with the same lineup as the one that recorded “Album of the Year” in 1997, flexes old muscles in its new material. The churning, triplet-driven hard rock of “Separation Anxiety,” from the new album, follows through on “Land of Sunshine” from 1992; both were in the set, and both set off moshing near the stage. “Superhero,” another new song, seesawed between punk and melody along the lines of “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” from 1995.

A reunited band has to reclaim its mantle (although Faith No More has been touring internationally since 2009), and that’s what it was doing at Webster Hall. In new songs and old ones, the band had its longtime brawn and precision. It also reiterated its old ploy of contrasting its own tumultuous songs with easy-listening standards like the Herb Alpert hit “This Guy’s In Love With You,” which reassured the audience, “We know each other very well.”

But maybe — only maybe — Faith No More is less cynical now. Its last encore, which Mr. Patton introduced as “West Coast hippie” stuff, was “From the Dead, “ a late-1960s-flavored, guitar-strumming ballad. It’s a song about resurrection: “Back from the dead,” Mr. Patton sang, with three-part backup harmonies. “Welcome home, my friend.”

Faith No More announce North American tour (2 NYC shows included), releasing a new 7″ – BROOKLYN VEGAN

photo by Dustin Rabin

Last week, alt-metal freaks Faith No More were announced for Heavy Montreal, and now the band have revealed that they’ll be going on a North American tour sooner than that. The tour hits NYC for shows at Webster Hall on May 13 & 14. Tickets for those shows (and the whole tour) go on sale on Friday (1/30) at 10 AM local time, and there’s a fanclub presale starting Wednesday at 10 AM. A password for the presale will be required. More details at FNM’s site. All dates are listed below.

Before they head out on tour, the band will release a new single, “Superhero,” as a 7″ on March 17 and digitally on March 31. This follows their 2014 single, “Motherfucker,” their first new song in 17 years.

Charles Grodin Hosts the Survivor Mitzvah Project – NEW YORK OBSERVER

And take your mom to the Tastebuds Mother’s Day Cooking Class

By Jennifer Ashley Wright | 05/09/15 10:00am

Charles Grodin. (Photo: Brent N. Clarke/Getty Images)
Charles Grodin. (Photo: Brent N. Clarke/Getty Images)


Listening to Indigo Girls as a kid, I felt like I was listening to some pretty intense stuff. They were one of the first bands that I, as a 10-year-old, thought told it like it was, and I was pretty afraid I was going to be caught listening to cool old-person lyrics. Then I found out my mom liked them. And, indeed, everybody really liked them—they’re pretty inoffensive. So, that was another failed attempt at childhood rebellion. I still like the Indigo Girls, though! “Closer to Fine” is a good song! And I’m pretty happy that they’ll be performing at a benefit for the Survivor Mitzvah Project, which supports Holocaust survivors. The event will be hosted by Charles Grodin, and in addition to the concert, letters from survivors will be presented by David Eigenberg, Frances Fisher, Valerie Harper and Zane Buzby. I feel like they’re probably going to tell it like it is in a slightly more sophisticated way than I understood when I was 10. Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m., $60

Muse at Webster Hall (May 8, 2015) – WEALLWANTSOMEONE.ORG


1_Muse_Webster Hall

The last time I saw Muse was in August 2007, their first time playing Madison Square Garden, and ultimately the start of their jaunt as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. I was able to score general admission tickets for it, and spent a good chunk of that hot day waiting in line in order to get as close to the stage as possible. It was well worth it, as that performace still remains one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. It would end up being the last time I saw them play, a result of me being away at college whenever they played New York, as well as the fact that a lot of their newer material didn’t quite do it for me.

When I saw that they announced a show at Webster Hall as a warmup tour for their new album Drones, I just had to be there. Getting to see Muse in a 1,500 capacity room, and the probability that they’d play a lot of what the die-hard fans really want to hear, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

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The night started with an opening set from Brooklyn band Bear Hands. Opening for a band like Muse is a tough task. There was a feeling of indifference during the set from the crowd, with most of the crowd clearly just waiting for Muse to take the stage. I thought it was a really weird choice of an opener, but apparently they share the same management (and they’re local).

Muse came out triumphantly with new Drones single “Psycho,” which works a hell of a lot better live. The crowd instantly gave their all, jumping up and down to it and adding chants of their own to it. They followed it up with another Drones, “Dead Inside.” It was a bit of a come down after the hard-hitting nature of “Psycho,” but they smartly followed it up by “Supermassive Black Hole” and Absolution-era b-side “The Groove,” which was their first time playing it in American since 2004, which is also the last time that they played at Webster Hall. To put that into perspective, I was only 13 at the time.

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The trio of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard looked to be having a lot of fun on stage, taking in the personal nature of this rare intimate showing. Seeing a piano on stage is always a good sign at a Muse show, but even that didn’t prepare me for a now rare performance of “Apocalypse Please,” which got a feverish reception and singalong from the crowd. It was for good reason, as it was the first time that they played it since 2008. New York really got a treat there. Not only that, but they followed that up with the one-two combo of “Hysteria” and “Stockholm Syndrome.” It was fully out pandemonium.

If there was one song that I was hoping and praying for, it was “New Born” and the minute that it’s signature breakdown came is when I made my decent into the heart of the crowd and joined all the masses shoving and jumping into one another. These days it’s become a bit rarer for me to dive into the crazier parts of a crowd, but you’re losing something at a Muse show if you’re not letting loose and letting their bombastic nature take over. “Time Is Running Out” was arguably the craziest moment crowd-wise, as nearly everyone was jumping up and down in unison, causing the floor to shake almost like a trampoline (a mix of cool and scary). The minute I stepped into this section of the crowd, the show went from good to great for me. I was mad at myself for not doing it sooner.

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They started the encore on an extreme high note, turning back the clocks once again for one of the many Origin Of Symmetry standouts, “Bliss.” This, along with “New Born” were two tracks I wanted but didn’t realistically expect them to play, but they seemed to realize that if any show, this was one were people would truly appreciate it. They rounded the show off with “Starlight,” which let us catch a breather before the always epic “Knights Of Cydonia” sent the crowd into mass hysteria, as glorious of a live song as you’ll ever see.

Muse will surely announce a full U.S. tour closer to the June 5 release date of Drones, with their eyes set on either The Garden or Barclays Center. It will be a great show I’m sure, but it won’t compare to seeing them here. Getting to jump up and down together with 1,500 diehard Muse fans who knew and breathed through every single lyric and note, was pretty damn special.

Muse Setlist:

1. Psycho
2. Dead Inside
3. Supermassive Black Hole
4. The Groove (first time played in the U.S. since 2004)
5. Madness
6. Apocalypse Please (First time since 2008)
7. Interlude
8. Hysteria
9. Stockholm Syndrome
10. Animals
11. New Born
12. Uprising
13. Time Is Running Out
14. Reapers


15. Bliss
16. Starlight
17. Knights of Cydonia

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‘Still Changing After All These Years’ – Noel Gallagher live in New York – LIVE4EVER.UK


Noel Gallagher @ Webster Hall NYC (Photo: Paul Bachmann for Live4ever)

It’s funny to think, after all these years, that Noel Gallagher is at the moment changing more profoundly than at any other time in his career.

While on second solo album ‘Chasing Yesterday‘ the change was hardly seismic, it was change nonetheless. In approach its recording was as far removed from Oasis in its introverted, minimalist nature as could be imagined, while the make-up of the album itself at least had hints at a more broad musical range ready to be explored further in time.

Live too, things have been taken up a notch since world tour dates started with a bang and a trip around UK arenas back in March.

Where the nature of the 2011-12 production reflected the pleasing, but safe nature of debut solo album ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds‘, this tour instead is developing a life all of its own.

At the Webster Hall in New York last night (May 7th), it was up on the stage where the changes were most apparent.

Do The Damage‘ set the tone for a more racy affair. Flying in the face of previous opener ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free‘ – the Oasis fan favourite melted down into a mid-paced acoustic dirge three or four years ago – the ‘Chasing Yesterday’ bonus track puts things in a different gear from the off, a gear maintained on other highly charged highlights such as ‘In The Heat Of The Moment‘, ‘Lock All The Doors‘ and ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back‘.

Even ‘The Mexican‘, such an unfathomable plod in album form, is bright and infectious live, carried along by a seemingly reluctant frontman having the time of his life every time it’s performed.

Of course, Gallagher knows what puts the meat on the bones of his live show, yet the improvement here is marked too. For perhaps the first time, in ‘Champagne Supernova‘ a reworking of an Oasis classic really makes sense in the nest of the High Flying Birds.

Stripped back acoustically from the ever-present stadium rock monster it once was, the track has been reborn; in this naked, vulnerable form bringing a tear to the eye of all those across the globe whose highs, lows and heartaches it has for two decades triumphantly soundtracked.

New York’s been good to Noel over the years, and a sold-out Webster Hall with iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen in attendance paid homage to this long, fruitful association with the huge closing sing-a-long of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger‘.

It’s the one unchangeable aspect of the evening – an anthem for the ages which truly will live forever.

Check out Live4ever’s exclusive photo gallery from the New York show at this link.

Pop, Rock & Cabaret for May 1-7 – NY TIMES

Lenny Kravitz (Tuesday) The rocker flashes comedic chops as both a lacquered game show host and a preening bandleader in the video for his single “Stand,” off his ninth album “Black and White America.” In the recent film adaptation of “The Hunger Games” novels, Mr. Kravitz put his smoldering charisma to good use onscreen, though his amiable riffs could benefit from a similar shot of theatrics. He released the album “Strut” last year on his own label, Roxie Records. At 9 p.m., Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, East Village, 212-353-1600,; sold out. (Anderson)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Thursday) The former guitarist-songwriter of Oasis veers only slightly from the Britpop grandiosity of that band — though he drops the constant percussion of his fists connecting with his brother Liam’s face, and vice versa — in this post-Oasis sonic-pop collective. Their self-titled debut, released in 2011, boasted a female choir, woodwinds and strings and harmlessly broad choruses that beg for stadiums. The group’s relatively pared-down second album, “Chasing Yesterday,” landed in February. At 9 p.m., Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, East Village, 212-353-1600,; sold out. (Anderson)

New York City Nightlife Mourns the Loss of DJ Jess Marquis – VILLAGE VOICE

By Silas Valentino Tue., Apr. 14 2015 at 11:23 AM

Courtesy of Nate “Igor” Smith
DJ Jess

For a little over a decade, the Trash Party thrived as one of New York nightlife’s most beloved institutions. Originally located in the East Village’s Rififi and later moved west to Webster Hall, the Trash Party was an outlet and home for any New Yorker who may have felt like an outcast or been sidelined at other clubs in town but was still drawn to the dance floor. Commanding the music was DJ Jess Marquis, who co-founded Trash in 2003 and continued to serve as its head DJ until the party stopped a year ago, in April 2014.

DJ Jess (born Jess Imler) believed in what he and Trash were accomplishing. Speaking to in a 2004 interview, he said, “Trash is a very DIY party. The kids put a lot of effort into it, and are very passionate about the music they hear. This isn’t one of your typical hipster parties, where everyone dresses in black and turns their back on the dance floor. They love and embrace the songs they hear and as a result can get slightly ‘disorderly,’ as the NYPD has so delicately phrased it. Still, the Bloomberg administration is intent on ending nightlife as we know it, and unless the city gets genuinely heated and excited about this debate, the city that never sleeps will become the city that mildly naps.”

Trash attracted scores of people from every corner of the city. And so when word began to circulate on social media last Thursday morning that DJ Jess had passed, the outcry was massive.

“He was a force of positive energy,” says Gerard McNamee, the general manger of Webster Hall. “He supported and directed and was a shoulder for countless kids over his fifteen-year tour in New York City. This is so fucking terrible. The whole town, if you will, is upside-down over this. It’s ineffable.”

Though the time and cause of death remain unreleased to the public, DJ Jess’s friend and partner in Trash, Alex Malfunction, said Sunday was the last his friends heard from him. An avid user of social media to promote his events and music, DJ Jess’s final non-automated tweet was published on April 5 at 9:30 p.m. and read, “What’s this from? ‘Death is our business. Business is good.’ ”

DJ Jess migrated to New York from Los Angeles sometime in the early 2000s to study at New York University. Exact details of his early life are hazy — including his age — but this is exactly how DJ Jess preferred to present himself. While still new to New York, DJ Jess (who went by Jesse at this time) met Andy Shaw while both played in local bands — a Morrissey cover band, in Jesse’s case — and the two bonded over a mutual appreciation for music. In 2003, when a newly re-branded DJ Jess decided to begin hosting Trash Parties, he called upon Shaw and his company, Shaw Promotion, for assistance.

“He pretty much helped me launch my career. I had never done promotion in New York City and had no connections and I was high and dry. That’s when he called me up and said he just started a new party called Trash at Rififi and he needed help with promotion,” recalls Shaw. “The first thing I did was go to the Trash party. This was just when Trash first started, and when I was there I noticed the attendance was pretty low, but I recognized the potential right away — mostly because of Jess. There were a lot of parties in New York City regardless, but Jess was the star and I could tell right away. He was very charming, like a magnet. People gravitated towards Jess.”

Shaw worked with DJ Jess to attract the fresh younger crowds coming in off the streets from NYU, Columbia, and Parsons.

“I grew up in New York City, and every year in September, I walk around and see the new students in NYC for the first time. They’re overexcited and looking for something to do. I told Jess, ‘These are the kids we need to get. We need to give them a home,’ ” he says. “And that’s exactly what we did. Trash became exactly that. Everybody gives credit to Jess and Trash for being where they met their boyfriend, their fiancé, where they met their best friends, best memories, because it’s not just a party. It’s their first experience in NYC for a lot of people, and they associate Trash with New York City.”

Courtesy of Nate “Igor” Smith
DJ Jess

Included in this mix of nightlifers was Nate “Igor” Smith, who attended his first Trash Party on New Year’s Eve 2006. By that spring he was a regular.

“Jess just believed in the legacy of NYC nightlife and would really go out of his way to make everything as crazy and as fun as it could possibly be,” says Smith. “From the very first party I ever went to for Jess to the last, his attitude towards it was exactly the same. I feel like he just instilled this responsibility of ‘This is NYC nightlife and this is something more important than just getting drunk and fucking people.’ You really felt like you were part of something when you went to one of his parties.”

Smith had an interest in photography prior to meeting DJ Jess and credits him for launching his career, which is represented by his own photography blog, Driven by Boredom, and photos published by the Village Voice.

“I wouldn’t be a professional photographer if it wasn’t for Jess,” Smith says. “I remember when I first started doing nightlife, trying to get paid for party photography, which, you know, seems impossible, but Jess would hire people to host. And you’d get $100 and a bottle of vodka.”

Around three or four years ago, Anna Cecilia met DJ Jess and was soon inspired to DJ herself with Jess as her mentor.

“He took me under his wing and taught me how to DJ, eventually giving me a shot to DJ at the Trash Party,” she says. “He was always teaching me how to be better and giving me tips. He meant the world to me. He never just thought about himself; he would always think about everyone and wanted everyone to be happy. He would always say the show must go on. Nothing bad would stop him from doing what he loved to do.”

The Trash Parties came to an end on March 28, 2014, so that DJ Jess could turn his focus to producing his own music and remixes — but he never quit performing. In March, he returned to Webster Hall with his new event, Kill City Party. He released a handful of songs. The week of his passing, he debuted a remix of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”

“I would go into the studio with him, in his apartment — he would always work on music in his apartment — and we would sit there and he’d ask, ‘Does this sound good?’ He’d produce different songs and sounds. At first his music started off as OK, but then it kept getting better and better. He was just starting to make his own music,” says Cecilia.

DJ Jess’s character prevails through the countless comments expressed on social media and in the testimony of friends and colleagues. He was an avid fan of raspberry vodka and it didn’t matter how bad the music was, he would still dance. He lived a few streets over from St. Marks in the East Village near the Taj Indian restaurant and loved his neighborhood. “To get Jess out of Manhattan and that [Village] area was like pulling teeth,” says Cecilia.

Smith refers to him “as much as a drama kid as you could possibly imagine. He’s like a Glee cast member but with a fucked-up New York City dark side.”

Webster Hall’s McNamee says DJ Jess “always welcomed the colorful kids, the misfits, the freaks, the clubs kids, the LGBT community.”

“I mean, he covered so much ground, Jess Marquis. When I first met him, you could tell by looking at him that he was an artist and he was also an entertainer. He could dance, sing, DJ, was fashionable, his energy was contagious — I don’t know what we’re going to do without him. He was irreplaceable.”

In the 2004 article (where DJ Jess was interviewed by Andy Shaw), it’s revealed that his initial start in NYC music and nightlife began with a personal ad in the Voice. It read, “Emotionally troubled, adorably absurd audiophile seeks someone to shoplift from H&M with, and to share massive music collection.”

Soon a quote follows, a statement that would certainly earn him a nod from his hero Morrissey.

“I don’t believe in love,” said DJ Jess. “There is only the memory of love, and the desire for.”

A memorial service for DJ Jess will be held at Webster Hall April 16 at 7 p.m.



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