Thursday, February 27, 2014

No Name Turns 20 on Broadway

No Name TURNS 20 last night at The United Palace Theatre on Broadway in Washington Heights was a blast. Eric Vetter, founder of No Name, led a star filled cast of performers paying tribute to a class act, No Name & A Bag O’Chips Variety Show ~ happy 20, may the next 20 be better than the first, a tough assignment. It’s a remarkable feat doing anything in New York for 20 straight years but putting on a show that has given countless artists opportunities to try their work out in front of a hungry and appreciative audience is a wonder.

As a boy, Eric Vetter saw his first film at Loews 175th Street Theatre aka “The Palace” so it was a genuine homecoming for the boy and the space. The dazzling theatre was opened in January 1930. It has 3,293 seats, more than half the size of Radio City Music Hall. The former movie palace was designed by Thomas W. Lamb (a legend in theatre architecture) and built as one of the Loew’s Wonder Theatres for vaudeville and movies. After a dry run as a large movie house the theatre was purchased by TV Evangelist Reverend Ike in 1969 and lovingly restored to its prime. As of late, the space has been rented out for music events such as Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and others. The good news? Artistic life is thriving on Broadway in Washington Heights.

This piece first appeared in Ask a New Yorker.

Here is a link to a public Facebook photo album with 114 photographs from the No Name show at The Palace.

Next Tuesday, March 4th come hear me tell a spooky story @ NoName @ WordUp Super Storytellers Edition: PARA…NORMAL? FREE SHOW @ Word Up: Community Bookshop – Libreria Comunitaria @ 2113 Amsterdam Avenue, (corner of 176 Street)

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