Labor Day has come and gone – now it’s back to school, back to work … or, as the French so elegantly call it, la rentrée. In this spirit, let’s take a look at our university playhouses, where you can not only see a future Denzel Washington (he started with the Fordham Players) but where world-renowned artists often come to perform. And they tend to have very reasonable ticket prices.
Up in the Bronx, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts kicks off it’s season this Saturday with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; also on the schedule this year are Ballet Folklórico de México, the National Circus and Acrobats of the Peoples Republic of China, as well as flamenco, ballet, classical music, theatre and more.
Hostos Center for the Arts kicks off it’s season in October with Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. Later in the season you can see Choco Orta and Danza Fiesta, and more!
At Queens College, The Kupferberg Center for the Arts will be hosting concerts by Patti LaBelle, Brian Wilson and Vox A Cappella, among others, while the Aaron Copland School of Music will be hosting a chamber music concert series this fall
Queens College also administers the Louis Armstrong House Museum, where you can get to visit Pops residence, and learn about his life and music.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College is where you’ll find “Oliver Samuels in Divorce Papers”, “Michael Feinstien’s Sinatra Centennial Celebration,” “Black Violin” and other performances sure to delight.
Kingsborough Community College will be hosting “Tap City,” “Mammoth Follies” and Lorna Luft this fall.
In downtown Brooklyn, LIU’s Kumble Theatre’s fall offerings include comedy by Robin Cloud and Maria Costa, as well as the 10th Annual “Big Eyed Blues Festival”
The Miller Theatre at Columbia University hosts a wide range of events, including Matt Haimovitz performing he complete cello suites of Bach, jazz with the Anat Cohn Quartet, and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s classic silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc accompanied by a live score of medieval music
Fordham University hosts productions by its faculty and students in it’s Lincoln Center Campus. This year’s theme is “a season at the mountaintop”; the productions will feature alternative strategies that address the abuse of power, starting with “Force Continuum” by Kia Corthron.
Also at Lincoln Center you’ll find Juilliard students and faculty in musical, dance and dramatic productions such as August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, and New Dances 2015. Some performances are FREE.
The Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College of Criminal Justice will be featuring a FREE performance by Mark Gindick, a FREE performance by La Chiva Grantiva, and a production of “Gross Indecency – The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”
The Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College will showcase theatre productions such as “This is My Brave” and “Eight Parts of Life” as well as musical performances by Greek singer/songwriter Lavrentis Machairitsas, and The Little Orchestra Society.
The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU‘s fall season will feature “Tango Lovers”, the Peking Opera, Waiting for Godot, Hamlet, The Mikado, Heidi Latsky Dance, Circus Now and many, many more shows.
In Lower Manhattan, the Schimmel Center at Pace University has a full schedule of dance, film and stage performances including the New York Theatre Ballet, NY Gypsy Brass Showdown and an evening with Johnny Mercer.
Over in Staten Island, Wagner College begins it’s season of student performances with the Twelfth Annual Italian Idol Singing Contest bringing together the College’s finest singers to compete for cash prizes performing Italian art songs and arias. In the Main Hall you’ll find productions of “Damn Yankees,” and “The Most Happy Fella.”
The Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island starts its season in October with a concert by singer and actor Michael Amante; in December, “A Christmas Carol” will be its featured production. The Center also has events tailored for kids such as “Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny.”
Who says back to school is no fun!