Karl Denson Tiny Universe guitarist D.J. Williams and his band, Shots Fired, are on the front lines of SoCal’s new-era funk scene. An entire music community has materialized around the band’s residency shows, no two of which are the exact same, thanks to an impressive rotating roster that features some of the biggest names in today’s funk, rock, and jam scenes. Performing regularly for the past year almost exclusively in Los Angeles and San Diego, Williams has decided to take his band on field trips for a very limited number of quick strikes while they prepare to release their first album, Live From Over Where.For their Las Vegas debut, Williams has — for one night only — renamed his collective “Bowls Fired,” in recognition of the victims of the recent and horrific attack on the city by a lone gunman. The “Bowls Fired” moniker is also a double entendre that references the party’s host, Brooklyn Bowl Vegas, while giving a wink to the band’s cannabis activism. After being detained in the Middle East for 42 nights — in conditions that would make Amnesty International and the U.N. cringe — for possession of a vape pen, Williams was deported and immediately signed a sponsorship deal with Legion of Bloom, who handed out their top shelf “Monarch” vape pens during a recent LA residency.For this one-time-only engagement in Las Vegas, D.J. Williams’ Bowls Fired! will include Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band), James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band), Andy Geib (Slightly Stoopid), Chris Stillwell (Greyboy Allstars), Todd Stoops (Electric Beethoven) and John Staten (Pimps of Joytime) performing a selection of future funk classics.
Bluegrass is departing Broadway. Despite receiving a 2016 Best Musical Tony nod, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star has been struggling with low grosses for some time and is set to shutter on June 26. At time of closing, the Carmen Cusack-led new musical will have played 30 previews and 109 regular performances at the Cort Theatre. Directed by Walter Bobbie, the production officially opened on March 24.Bright Star, which features music by Martin and Brickell, lyrics by Brickell and a book by Martin, is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and travels between 1945 and 1923. Billy Cane, a young soldier just home from World War II, meets Alice Murphy, the brilliant editor of a southern literary journal. Together they discover a powerful secret that alters their lives.The cast also includes A.J. Shively, Michael Mulheren, Stephen Bogardus, Dee Hoty, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Paul Alexander Nolan, Hannah Elless, Stephen Lee Anderson and Emily Padgett.The tuner previously played a limited engagement at San Diego’s Old Globe in 2014 and also ran at D.C.’s Kennedy Center late last year.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. Carmen Cusack & Paul Alexander Nolan in ‘Bright Star'(Photo: Nick Stokes) Show Closed This production ended its run on June 26, 2016 Related Shows Bright Star View Comments
Now that Israel has re-elected its hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the focus of America’s rancorous foreign policy debate returns to the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran about whether sanctions against it should be lifted if Tehran essentially agrees to have only a peaceful energy program instead of pursuing a bomb.Having a nuclear armed neighbor in the region has made Israel and its supporters here in the United States very concerned about where these negotiations are headed, considering a preliminary agreement is supposed to be reached by Tuesday, March 31. That worry is echoed by members of Long Island’s Congressional delegation. They all joined a bipartisan coalition of 367 House of Representatives members in signing a letter dated March 20 that was sent to President Obama spelling out their opposition to any deal that doesn’t “completely eliminate the path to a nuclear weapon,” including an “aggressive inspection and verification regime.”Complicating the issue earlier this month has been the role of 47 Republican U.S. Senators who, under the penmanship of freshman U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), signed a letter addressed “to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” that purported to offer the mullahs a civics lesson in how the U.S. Constitution functions, warning them that any deal would not necessarily be binding because it could be modified by Congress and entirely discarded by the next president.Secretary of State John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and former presidential candidate who has been intimately involved in the talks in Switzerland, called the letter “unprecedented,” “directly calculated to interfere” and an “unconstitutional, un-thought-out action” that caused him to react with “utter disbelief.” Vice President Joe Biden said Cotton’s letter “ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American President, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States.”Usually pretty sympathetic to the GOP, especially with regard to Israel, New York’s “hometown paper,” the Daily News, dubbed the 47 Republican Senate signatories “traitors” on its front page.Seven Republican Senators didn’t sign Cotton’s correspondence. Among them was Arizona’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who told The Arizona Republic that he “just didn’t think it was appropriate.” One of the signers, though, was his fellow Arizonan, Sen. John McCain, the state’s senior senator and chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, who later admitted, “I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”The Empire State’s Senators were both on the same page regarding their Republican colleagues’ letter. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) called it “ill-advised” because it put Israel’s traditional bipartisan support in Congress at risk. Junior Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who called the letter signed by the Republican Senators “unprecedented and unhelpful,” said in a statement to the Press, “It is in the national security interests of the United States and Israel for the negotiation process to result in a strong and verifiable deal that does not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. There are legitimate questions as to whether a good deal can be reached and I have communicated my concerns directly to the White House.”Long Island’s senior Congressman, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), said, “I don’t think I would’ve done it if I was in the Senate.” He said he “agreed with everything” in Cotton’s letter, and he disagrees with the president. But, King added, “he is the commander in chief, and you shouldn’t have the Senate negotiating with a foreign government.”King’s younger Republican colleague from the Island, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who happens to be the only Jewish Republican Representative on Capitol Hill, said in a statement, “Substantively, I agree with the passion, tone and points made in the [Cotton] letter. A bad deal is worse than no deal at all, and unfortunately the President looks like he is willing to cut a deal just to cut a deal in order to meet arbitrary deadlines. A bad deal triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It is unacceptable for Iran to enrich uranium, maintain thousands of centrifuges, and make temporary concessions in exchange for permanent concessions on our side.”Expressing some sympathy with the Republicans’ position was Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills). “I have always been a staunch hawk on pro-Israel issues, and I have been skeptical of a deal with Iran from the beginning,” he said in a statement. “But this game of injecting politics into the U.S.-Israel relationship is dangerous, and I refuse to take part.”The newest member of the Island’s Congressional delegation, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), took a more nuanced stand than her Democratic colleague.“I completely disagree with the Senators’ decision to send that letter to the leaders of Iran,” said Rice in a statement to the Press. “It was a serious breach of protocol, it was disrespectful not only to President Obama but to the office of the presidency, and most importantly it does nothing to help advance what should be a bipartisan effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.“The letter my colleagues and I sent to President Obama,” Rice continued, “makes it clear that the vast majority of House Members – 367 Members from both parties – want to work with the President to reach a diplomatic solution that eliminates Iran’s path to a bomb. If the Iranians aren’t willing to agree to such a deal, then we’re prepared to maintain aggressive sanctions, as I’m sure the President is as well.”Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), whose gerrymandered district includes parts of Nassau County, explained that he signed the House’s bipartisan letter to underscore “the need for the administration to consult closely with Congress as negotiations continue.” He added that in the past several days, “I have been briefed several times by the administration in a manner that reflects a commitment to keeping Congress informed.“We all agree that no deal is better than a bad deal,” Meeks said, “and a nuclear armed Iran is in no way an acceptable option. Sanctions alone have not been enough to prevent Iran from building thousands of centrifuges.” Skeptics of the talks worry that Iran could easily use those centrifuges to refine nuclear fuel for a bomb.Nevertheless, Meeks, like his Democratic colleagues, found fault with Cotton’s “partisan letter addressed to our adversaries in Iran with a total and stunning disregard and disrespect for our own government and the crucial and delicate nature of the diplomatic process.“The reality is that without engaging in negotiations, we would never know what kind of deal is possible,” Meeks said. “Attempting to weaken the hand of our negotiators is working in direct and diametrical opposition to American security interests.”Meanwhile in Tehran, Iran’s leadership cursorily dismissed the Republican Senators’ letter as a “propaganda” stunt designed for domestic consumption and vowed to press forward with the talks in Switzerland. “No one in Iran is against the resolution of the nuclear issue through negotiations,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly in a speech last Saturday commemorating Iran’s New Year’s Day. “What the Iranian nation does not want to agree with is the impositions and bullying of the Americans.” View image | gettyimages.com Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York