For more than three decades now, year after year, season after season, Brooklyn cultural institution St. Ann’s Warehouse has been staging a remarkably consistent program of musical and theatrical performances: consistently daring, consistently influential, consistently good. And though St. Ann’s Warehouse has moved around a few times–it started out as Arts at St. Ann’s, and was housed on Montague Street in, obviously, the lovely, landmark Church of St. Ann–it’s mission has remained the same, to bring pioneering, sometimes challenging, always exciting work to the people of New York City.
St. Ann’s Warehouse Has a Variety of Shows
Now, I’m not a huge theater-goer, but I’ve always tried to get to St. Ann’s Warehouse a couple of times a year, especially after they moved to DUMBO in 2001, and really amped up their seasonal slate of events. Theatrical collaborations with Soho’s excellent Wooster Group have always been a worth a look, as well as anything that comes from London’s Royal Court Theater.
St Ann’s Warehouse also put on a number of terrific concerts in the aught years, including Joe Strummer’s last New York appearance, as well as shows by the likes of David Bowie, Aimee Mann, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. The point is this: get on the St Ann’s Warehouse mailing list, because in addition to doing cool, weird little shows, they also stage some blockbusters. No quite something for everyone, but a broader range of stuff than you might have thought.
New Location in DUMBO for St. Ann’s Warehouse
Anyway, I went to DUMBO’s St. Ann’s Warehouse last week to see Cynthia Hopkins’s buzzed-about show, This Clement World, which had some good songs, some interesting staging, and a dead-on message about badly we are blowing it, re: global climate change. I also went because I was curious to see St Ann’s Warehouse brand-new digs on Jay Street which, as it turns out, looks a lot like their digs on Water Street, which was home for over ten years.
The performance space itself is the same sort of classic “black box theater” that you’re used to at St. Ann’s Warehouse, and offers the audience those same borderline-uncomfortable folding chairs, crammed together to maximize seating in each row. The lobby is much more narrow than before, but has a soaring feel to it, so it’s not too claustrophobic, and is decorated with vintage St. Ann’s Warehouse posters. The snack bar has a pretty minimalist menu as of now, but the excellent Hillside is providing the goods, so whether sweet (cookies!) or savory (jerky!), you can’t go wrong.
The new home of St Ann’s Warehouse is near the end of Jay Street, between Plymouth and John, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO. For tickets, schedules, and tons more information about everything, see the very good St. Ann’s Warehouse website.