What they’re saying: live arts in Brooklyn this week, May 21

A roundup of Brooklyn’s cultural offerings this week, from comedy to theater to music to art, and what critics are saying about them.

May 21, 2024 Evan Rosen
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Dance Africa 2024 @ BAM
Music, Dance, Community, History
Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene
May 24 to 27 @ various times

Dance Africa, now in its 47th year, is a festival dedicated to African diasporic dance and music. This year’s celebration focuses on the ancestral history and living artistry of Cameroon, and offers a unique collaboration with the DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers, The Billie’s Youth Arts Academy Dance Ensemble and the Women of the Calabash.

Each performance celebrates the Cameroonian culture, under the artistic direction of Abdel R. Salaam.

“DanceAfrica is a family reunion, a chance to see how the branches of the family tree have extended.” – Brian Seibert, The New York Times

This year’s anchor performance, The Origin of Communities / A Calabash of Cultures, under the artistic vision of Abdel R. Salaam, will underscore the interconnectedness of dance, music, and the ancient foundations of human culture. – BK Reader


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Ed Sheeran 10 Year Anniversary Show @ Barclays Center
Music, Concerts
620 Atlantic Ave, Fort Greene
Wednesday, May 22 @ 7pm

Ed Sheeran is commemorating the 10th anniversary of his sophomore album, “x,” with a special one-night-only concert at Barclays Center on Wednesday. Since its release in 2014, the album has surpassed 22 million global sales and has garnered Sheeran two Grammys for his single “Thinking Out Loud.”

The singer is also expected to release a special 10th-anniversary album on June 21, featuring nine bonus tracks in addition to the album’s original 12 tracks, including “I See Fire” from “The Hobbit” movie and “All of the Stars” from “The Fault in Our Stars.”

“As the title implies, ‘x’ (pronounced ‘multiply’), Sheeran’s highly anticipated follow-up, ups the ante from his debut. He sinks even deeper into feelings of love, jealousy and inebriation while trying to navigate pop superstardom — a problem this album is sure to only amplify.” – Jason Lipshutz, Billboard

“He is stunningly prolific. He writes three songs a day, five days a week—a song in the morning, a song in the afternoon, and one more before knocking out at night.” – Lauren Larson, GQ


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New York Liberty Women’s Basketball @ Barclays Center
Sports, Basketball, Live Events
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street, Bed-Stuy
Thursday, May 23 @ 7 p.m.

The undefeated New York Liberty (4-0) take on the Chicago Sky (1-1) this Thursday at Barclays, after an electric sold-out home opener this weekend where they took down Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever.

The Liberty are one of the best teams in the league, led by superstars Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart, the WNBA’s reigning MVP. Last year, they came up just short in the Finals, losing to the champion Las Vegas Aces.

“The New York Liberty beat the Indiana Fever in front of a record crowd at Barclays Center, with celebrities and basketball legends there to see the star rookie … Billie Jean King, Jason Sudeikis, Megan Rapinoe and the actress Amy Ryan … Every time the Jumbotron flashed one of the famous faces, the crowd seemed to get even more electric.” – Sandra E. Garcia, New York Times

“I thought the atmosphere was incredible,” Clark said. “Definitely a lot of young girls here today, which was a lot of fun to see. The Liberty definitely deserve this crowd, they’ve been incredible over the last few seasons. They’re going to be incredible this year. It was fun to play here in New York for the first time and play in front of this environment. I think that brings out the best in a competitor.” – Caitlin Clark, quote obtained by


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Lovefool @ BK Art Haus
Brooklyn Art Haus, 20-26 Marcy Ave, Williamsburg
Friday, May 24 & Saturday, May 25

Lovefool is a one-woman play about Grace, a young woman searching for love in the wrong places, and the story explores themes of emotionally absent fathers, codependent mothers, addiction, sexual assault and childhood trauma.

Written and directed by Gintare Parulyte and performed by Kristin Winters, the production comes to Brooklyn after sold-out runs at the National Theatre of Luxembourg and critically-praised stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“The charming and unapologetically funny one-woman show Lovefool is an honest depiction of the shameful, awkward, and painful events in our lives. This deeply personal play by Gintare Parulyte champions life’s endless pursuit of healing, regardless of how heart-breaking or embarrassing it can be. The brutally vulnerable and hilarious show navigates the impossibly confusing dynamics of modern love.” – CentreStage

“A frank and funny exploration of a modern woman’s love life becomes something darker, something more profound.” – Andy Leask, ThreeWeeksEdinburgh


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Weekend Art: Sunday Art Hang @ Brooklyn Museum
Art, Arts & Crafts, Kids
2nd Floor, 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
Sunday, May 26 @ 2pm

This free, drop-in program offers families a chance to observe art closely and create their own art inspired by the work. On Sunday, people of all ages are being welcomed to come explore the museum’s galleries, spanning Ancient Egypt to contemporary pieces.

The event will take place on the 2nd floor, where the Arts of Asia installation is located, featuring works from Japan, Korea, China, South and Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas, as well as the arts of Buddhism.

“There’s no time like the present to visit the Brooklyn Museum’s ‘Porcelains in the Mist: The Kondo Family of Ceramicists,’ which focuses on a proprietary glazing technique that uses silver droplets. – Will Heinrich, New York Times

“The Brooklyn Museum’s Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo (feat. Takashi Murakami) is more than an exhibition of a renowned 19th-century artist’s woodblock prints. Utagawa Hiroshige’s intimate and comprehensive portrayal of Edo — known today as Tokyo — is coupled with cultural artifacts found in his prints, creating an immersive and dynamic narrative about its urban landscape.” – Livia Caligor, Hyperallergic

Bargemusic: Eclectic & Masterworks Series
Music, Concerts
Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Friday, May 24 to 26

Bargemusic offers concerts year round in a renovated coffee barge, with an intimate wood-paneled room that offers great acoustics and thrilling views of lower Manhattan.

Their Eclectic Series on Friday night features the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Judith Zaimont.
Saturday and Sunday is the Masterworks Series lineup, including Mozart, Schubert, Peskanov, Vinokur and more.

“Last night, I attended Bargemusic, a recital of chamber music on a barge. Manhattan was the backdrop. As Bach, Mozart and Brahms played, the barge rose and fell on the breathing river. It was magic.” – Playwright John Patrick Shanley

“Spend an evening aboard New York City’s floating concert hall at Bargemusic. Open all year round, Bargmusic is moored right under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and puts on week after week of fantastic gigs.” –

Good People Comedy
Comedy, Stand-Up
Somethin’ Else, Dekalb Market, 445 Albee Square W, Downtown Brooklyn
Shows every Tuesday @ 8pm

Some of New York’s best young comedians are flocking to the new comedy show in Dekalb Market’s hidden back-area bar every other Tuesday.

The room is an up-scale lounge space, with couches instead of front-row seats, the space has the new-age aesthetics and positive vibes that are reshaping the city’s comedy scene in Brooklyn’s image. This week’s set is headlined by comedian Mark Gregory, who’s appeared on ViceTV and has a comedy special, “Run With it,” currently airing on Amazon Prime.

“Head to Somethin’ Else for an evening filled with laughter at Good People Comedy, located in the basement of Dekalb Market (on the opposite side of the building as Trader Joe’s). Get ready to be entertained by some of the best comedians in New York as they take the stage.” – Downtown Brooklyn

“After spending much of my adult life around stand ups, I finally realized there’s a real negativity that hangs around the scene. I decided to make this show to have a space for comedy where we’re not complaining about everything being horrible.” – Sam Poznak, Founder of GPC.

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