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Art, activist drama, alfresco concerts

“Room With Stars,” a new, partly autobiographical play written by Nina Howes and directed by Elizabeth Ruf, now running at Theater for the New City, tells the story of teenaged Samantha, a Lower East Sider growing up during the tumultuous Vietnam War.

Samantha’s dreams of a scholarship to college are shattered when she’s expelled from high school and locked up for her antiwar activities. But she finds an ally in her boyfriend’s fiery aunt, Angelina, a volunteer at the Catholic Worker.

“Room With Stars” (running time 90 minutes) opened June 2 and is playing through June 19 at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., at 10th Street, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. All patrons must be vaccinated. Tickets $18; students and seniors $15.


The Washington Square Music Festival is back for its 64th season with free alfresco concerts on Tuesdays in the park during the month of June.

The first concert, on Tues., June 7, at 8 p.m., will feature the Festival Brass & Winds Ensemble, with Lutz Rath conducting, performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for Brass Quintet” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Octet for Wind Instruments.” David Taylor featured on bass trombone will perform the premiere of his composition “Tatanka Lyotanka” (Sitting Bull).

Bass trombonist David Taylor.

All concerts will be held on the “main stage” by the Garibaldi Plaza. The rain space is Grace Church, at Broadway at 10th Street.

The season continues on June 14 with the Festival Ensemble performing works by Johann Strauss II, Reinhold Glière and Joseph Haydn, with Jeryl Cunningham, soprano soloist (rain space Grace Church); June 21 with the Pedro Giraudo Tango Band; and June 28 with the Tivon Pennicott Quartet, Jazz with Strings. The rain space for the last two concerts is Judson Memorial Church, at 55 Washington Square South.

The festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. All four concerts are free but because of social distancing seating is very limited. For more information visit


Alison J. Stein’s exhibit “The Dazzling Margins: Glimpses of NYC Life,” opening June 6 at the Mulberry Street Library, at 10 Jersey St., in Soho, features mixed-media paintings that capture “the surreal feeling” she experienced during the pandemic, when, as she puts it, “I sorely missed the city that I never actually left.”

The paintings, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches and 10 inches by 20 inches, are “based on the patterns, images and imaginations” Stein had while walking around the city, particularly in her Soho/Noho/Village neighborhood, and looking out her window.

“So much was suppressed or lost, temporarily and permanently, since 2020,” she said. “And yet the small moments of New York life — the ones you just catch out of the corner of your eye — remained. My intention with this work is to celebrate those glimpsed moments.”

For more information, visit

One Comment

  1. John Penley John Penley June 4, 2022

    As a Vietnam Era and NATO frontline Veteran I would like to suggest that Room With Stars start advertising that the play is free to Vietnam Era Vets with VA ID card and that after the play any that show up will be offered an opportunity to talk about their service.

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