first_imgBack in November, Dave Matthews got together with Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, a key player in Cuba’s Nueva Trova movement, for a private event in Washington, DC to benefit The Center for Democracy in the Americas. Today, a full taping of the intimate performance has emerged. The first third of the video captures a Dave Matthews solo set of three songs before welcoming Varela and his band (Aldo Lopez Gavilán, piano; Yissy García, drums; Julio Cesar González, bass) to join him for the rest of the set. The hour-long performance ran through favorites from Dave Matthew’s catalog including “Save Me,” “#41,” and an encore of “Ants Marching.” The group also performed a song of Varela’s “Muros y Puertas.”The proceeds from the event, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Center, went toward normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, two countries with a tenuous history at best. Matthews and Varela have played together a handful of times during 2016, both on American and Cuban soil, as part of the cultural exchange program established with the lifting of the Cuban embargo. Matthews serves on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and Varela has served as a cultural delegate to Cuba.Watch the performance and check out the setlist below, courtesy of Jason E. Stessel.Dave Matthews Solo Set03:30 Little Red Bird08:05 Don’t Drink the Water14:16 OhDave Matthews With Carlos Varela and Band19:00 Save Me24:14 #4131:01 Samurai Cop38:09 Muros y Puertas*Encore46:33 Ants Marching[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

first_imgIn the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through a sometimes exhausting “exit interview” with HR about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, we think it’s fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. For over a year, Michael Urie has been trapped in a basement—Barbra Streisand’s basement, to be exact—in Jonathan Tolins’ one-man show Buyer & Cellar. After a year of playing every role in the hit comedy at the Barrow Street Theatre, he concludes his off-Broadway run on March 16. Before Urie brings the show to “people who need people” all across the country, he reflected on his “delightful, isolating and Babtastic” year. What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job? Delightful. Isolating. Babtastic. View Comments Related Shows Employee name: Michael Urie Show Closed This production ended its run on July 27, 2014 How did you feel when you first got the job? TERRIFIED! Of course, I was grateful too. I knew what a special piece of writing I was being given by Jonathan Tolins, and what a unique and perfect place and time David Van Asselt and the Rattlestick Theatre were providing. I knew the play would work, given the right presentation, and the Rattlestick was exactly the right kind of hip and edgy downtown theatre that we needed to share such a wholly original work. Thanks to Dan Shaheen and Ted Snowdon, we were in rehearsal within a month and I was sweating it out in front of a paying audience a mere three-and-a-half weeks later! What will you miss most about the job? Since I’m not finished with the play or the role(s) and I won’t have to say goodbye to the playwright, director, producers, nor hopefully the crew, I’d have to say the West Village. Working downtown is a dream, and getting to know the staffs of Barrow Street and Rattlestick, the restaurants, shops and quiet streets have been a true honor. I’ll miss the hood. What was the highlight of your time at this job? I will never tire of watching the audience’s faces as they catch on to the tale I’m spinning. Granted, some people have a frowny at-rest face, which can be interpreted by my insecure brain as any number of things. BUT, most people watch the play with a surprised look of joy, that is completely priceless and it never gets old. What advice would you give to future employees in your job position? Never go onstage grumpy! YouTube has a wealth of things to make one giggle last minute—and Sam the assistant stage manager has plenty of jokes. What was the hardest thing? Five-show weekends! Since June, I’ve been performing Friday nights, then twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. Mondays are trying… Why are you leaving? I must tour! I’ve got a six-week hiatus before I bring the Cellar to Chicago, D.C. and L.A. So I need a break to rest up for new cities, new people and much bigger theatres! Buyer & Cellar What skills do you think are required for future job applicants? You gotta love telling a story, and have no problem looking people in the eye. There are 200 expectant souls out there every night waiting for you to wow them. They are the nervous ones, after all they know it’s a one man show (what if they hate the one man?!), they saw the sign out front that there’s no intermission (they’re stuck), and they know it’s 100 minutes! Luckily both Clancy O’Connor, my understudy who filled in during my vacation and Christopher Hanke, my successor, are both natural charmers. One flash of their pearly whites and all is well. What was the easiest thing about the job? It has been surprisingly easy to keep the play fresh, due in great part to the wonderful writing, but also my fabulous co-stars! Each performance, a group of 200 strangers come to the Barrow Street Theatre to hear me tell this story—their new and fresh take on what I’ve got to say has been exactly what I need to tell the story as if it’s never been told. How do you feel now that you’re leaving? After nearly 370 performances I’m trying to keep my eyes open. Not only because I’m very tired, but also because I’ve never experienced this kind of work before, this many performances and this much kindness from press/friends/patrons and I don’t want to miss a thing. Come March 17, I intend to close my eyes very tightly, and sleep for a few days. Or perhaps go on a silent retreat. How do you think you’ve grown during your time at this job? I’ve become very forgiving of myself. When you’re a part of an ensemble, playing one role with a smattering of scenes, it can be very easy to focus on the small stuff. When you’re the entire ensemble, and have to play all the parts in all the scenes, there are inevitably going to be any number of missteps a night, and there’s no time for mourning. A word burble or missed laugh that may have plagued me for the remainder of the night in past shows is easily left behind now, thanks to B&C. Star Files Michael Urielast_img read more

first_imgFinishing last at one of the biggest stage races in the country.The freezing rain stops when I hit the first river crossing, so there’s reason to be optimistic as I sink up to my junk in Bradley Creek. It’s snowing at the higher peaks of Pisgah National Forest, where Bradley Creek is just a skinny trickle. The faster racers are probably already up there, battling it out on snowy singletrack at 5,000 feet. There are no epic battles where I am. Down here, at the back of the pack, there are just a couple of racers on the verge of getting pulled by the Grim Reaper, and a handful of icy stream crossings.I’m 10 miles into the second big day of the inaugural Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, a multi-day event that’s attracted some of the top pro XC riders in North America. I’m the only racer sporting a beater bike adorned with glow sticks leftover from Halloween 2008. We’re all here for the course: 130 miles and 30,000 feet of climbing over marquee trails like Avery Creek, Bennett Gap, and Black Mountain. You couldn’t see a better side of Pisgah if you hired a guide.Standing in the middle of the river, my bike hung on my shoulder and legs going numb, I try to remember the warning signs of hypothermia, but come up blank, which is probably one of the warning signs of hypothermia. Still, it’s better than yesterday.Yesterday: Confucius SaysDay one saw me getting dropped by the pros on the first fire-road climb of the race. With 38 miles and 9,000 feet of climbing in a single day, my plan was to spin in granny toward the back of the pack and hope I survive the worst that Pisgah has to offer. After a five-mile ennui-inducing gravel road grind, I spent 15 minutes pushing my bike through the first big singletrack climb on Squirrel Gap. The whole damn trail is marred with off-camber root gardens and deep, thick mud pits, which cause me to eat it over and over. I leave Squirrel bruised, tender, and second-guessing my life choices. The bikers I’m riding against had nutrition plans and sponsorships. I had a bag of pretzels in my pack and the tenuous blessing of my wife.But I was the only racer smart enough to pre-stock the checkpoints with beer.The hours unfolded with more gravel road grinds and hike-a-bike singletrack. Even the famous Black Mountain downhill was too much for me to handle at the end of the day. I took the downhill gingerly with cold fingers clenched around the back break, riding across the finish line seven hours and 32 minutes after I started, comforted only by the fact that other riders were still out on the course suffering.That night, I spent an hour eating takeout lo-mein in the bathtub and feeling sorry for myself. I was ready to drop out of the race completely when I opened the obligatory fortune cookie and read, “Confucius says: it does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” No shit.Plastic BaggiesWe’re greeted with freezing rain on the five-mile road ride that kicks off Saturday’s leg of the race. We’ve got 41 miles ahead of us today, with some big, technical downhills, lots of water, and 9,500 feet of climbing.The temperature drops after I get soaked by the seven creek crossings. My toes and fingers grow numb and my face and chest burn from the wind. I wrap plastic sandwich bags around my feet to keep out the cold. I hit the checkpoint only 45 minutes in front of the mandatory cut off time. The Grim Reaper is on my tail.He catches up with me on a steep push up Laurel Mountain just before I reach the course’s peak elevation. I managed to stay ahead of Steve the Safety Sweep (aka the Grim Reaper) yesterday because of the few slower riders behind me, but they’ve all dropped out.There’s snow on the ground as I pedal onto Pilot Rock with the Grim Reaper a few feet behind me. His job is to ride the course with the last biker to make sure no one gets hurt and everyone hits the cut off times. Unless I hustle to beat the clock, I’m the next biker to drop.Pilot Rock is a downhill booby-trapped with hair-pen switchbacks and boulder gardens. Youtube it. You’ll see rad downhill porn set to booming hip-hop tracks. I take it considerably slower, walking some choice sections. My descent would be the worst Youtube video ever.  But I survive the 10-hour day, finishing just minutes ahead of the cut-off.My Little PonyAt the starting line on Sunday, the final day, we’re looking at a breezy 40 miles and 9,000 feet of elevation gain. The first forest road climb is long, steep, and boring, so I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince another rider that My Little Pony is an edgy cartoon. Steve the Grim Reaper is with us too, but he’s a silent partner. Always watching, never judging, ready to pull our card if we miss a checkpoint time cutoff.Bennett Gap is the highlight of the course. It’s 2.5 miles of downhill with just a touch of hike-a-bike to keep you honest. After Bennett Gap, there’s one more forest road grind, then a repeat of the last two miles of Black Mountain. With the end in sight, I’m feeling good, so I crank it into the big chain ring for the last downhill and pedal as fast as I can, cresting high on Black Mountain’s berms and launching far off its drops.The clock says six hours and change when I cross the finish line. I’m the last biker to finish again, crossing the line just a few yards ahead of Steve the Grim Reaper. He hands me a beer and cracks a smile for the first time, asking me how it feels to finish dead last at the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race.I’m too tired to respond, but I know this race is like a traumatic childhood event. Like getting pantsed during a middle-school assembly. The initial shock to your system is brutal, but eventually, with therapy, it’ll make you stronger. •last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The first trailer for Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic “Snowden” was released online Tuesday.The teaser offers very little in the way of substance. Instead, we get dramatic music, varied shots of a weathered American flag hovering upside down, and a very brief synopsis of the NSA whistleblower’s career. There’s no sighting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Snowden, or Shailene Woodley, who plays Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The trailer ends with Stone providing his own edited version of the “Star Spangled Banner,” which reads: “One Nation/Under Surveillance/For Liberty/And Justice for All.”When it debuts on Christmas, “Snowden” will be the first fictional account of Snowden’s life and eventual rise from NSA contractor to famed whistleblower and world fugitive to hit theaters. Last year, Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour,” claimed the Oscar for Best Documentary. The riveting story followed Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald to Hong Kong, where they first met Snowden two years ago. Check it out:last_img read more