Archive for the tag 'millenium theatre'

As we reported on Sheepshead Bites last month, the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s “Brighton Beach Series” — which will not be taking place in Brighton Beach — will feature the family workshop, “A Bad Workman Blames His Tools” at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, 7802 Bay Parkway, March 3 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

A description of the event from organizers:

Russian folk music was born in a rich peasant culture, centuries ago and 5,000 miles away, by artists who created music using whatever resources were at their disposal, from wood blocks to washboards to tablespoons. Lack of proper tools held no sway over creativity of the human spirit! The remarkable and distinctive folk music they created had an enormous impact beginning with orchestral music of the 19th century and expanding on into the music of today. The public is invited to join charismatic teaching artists and Brooklyn Phil musicians in a hands-on discovery of these creative traditions.

The event is free of charge, and you can RSVP by going here. For further information, call (718) 488-5700, email or go to

We reported yesterday that the Brooklyn Philharmonic would return to Brighton Beach for the second year in a row. However, we found out after it went up that organizers had to cancel with the Brighton Beach venue, instead hosting two events as part of the “Brighton Beach Series” – and neither will be in Brighton Beach.

The news was distressing for those of us who found comfort in knowing that at least one Brooklyn cultural organization gave some thought to the borough’s nether regions, but there is some hope on the horizon. A rep for the Brooklyn Phil could not comment on why the event was canceled, but said that the organization “is still very much attached to Brighton Beach, and has plans to continue its ties there.”

Here’s the information for the two shows in the Brighton Beach Series:

Chamber Concert
Sunday, February 10, 2013, 4:00 pm
S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture
Brooklyn Public Library Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tchaikovsky gets personal as acclaimed poet Vera Pavlova and the Brooklyn Phil Chamber Players take an intimate look at the life of a great Russian artist through original poetry, imagery, and music for strings and piano.  Born in Moscow, Pavlova is a graduate of the Gnessin Academy of music and has published eighteen collections of poetry in her native Russian in addition to authoring five opera libretti and lyrics to three cantatas. Now living in New York, Pavlova recalls her childhood and coming of age in Russia through the lense of Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young and Piano Trio in A minor.  Texts will be presented in Russian with English translations. This free performance will be followed by a post-concert Q&A.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic is honored to partner with the Brooklyn Public Library to present this performance.

Vera Pavlova, poet
Steven Seymour, translator


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Album for the Young, Op. 39
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 – Mvt. 1. Pezzo elegiac


Family Workshop
Sunday, March 3, 2013, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst
7802 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11214

Russian folk music was born in a rich peasant culture, centuries ago and 5,000 miles away, by artists who created music using whatever resources were at their disposal, from wood blocks to washboards to tablespoons. Lack of proper tools held no sway over creativity of the human spirit! The remarkable and distinctive folk music they created had an enormous impact beginning with orchestral music of the 19th century and expanding on into the music of today. The public is invited to join charismatic teaching artists and Brooklyn Phil musicians in a hands-on discovery of these creative traditions.

UPDATE (1/29/2013 at 9:50 a.m.): We have just learned that this event has been canceled. We are awaiting an explanation from the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Last year’s successful reinvention of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, led by Artistic Director Alan Pierson, continues with another venture to Brighton Beach.

The 155-year-old institution has been on a new mission to tour “artistically under-served” communities of Brooklyn after losing its home base at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2005. The Philharmonic tailors its performances to reflect the roots of the communities it tours, and for the Brighton Beach series this year, the theme is “All Music is Folk Music: Traditions of the Former Soviet Union.”

The program has been lauded as “remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary,” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker.

“I’m thrilled to be deepening the roots we built last year in Brighton Beach, Downtown Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy; there’s still so much to explore in Brooklyn’s extraordinarily rich and varied communities,” Pierson said in a press release.

The Brighton Beach show will take place February 1.

More event details after the jump.

Oceana Hall, a Brighton Beach venue whose late-night events have spurred complaints from neighbors, has been illegally hosting parties without a cabaret license, Sheepshead Bites has learned.

The Department of Consumer Affairs – which issues cabaret licenses – has confirmed that it does not have a license on record for the venue’s listed address at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue. According the department’s website:

Any room, place, or space in New York City in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public requires a Cabaret license.

When we called Oceana Hall for comment, the person in charge of booking, who gave her name only as Jamie, at first said they did not need a cabaret license because they have a catering license, which allows them to host private parties.

She added that parties like their upcoming March Madness or this past week’s Presidents Weekend Shut Down were private and usually booked as benefits for schools or fraternities. When we asked which schools or organizations benefited from the Presidents weekend party that ended with violence, she said she would have to check her records.

She did not answer any further phone calls from Sheepshead Bites.

Videos like this show packed parties with drinking and dancing at Oceana Hall.

The city, however, has a different take on what constitutes a public party versus a private party.

Though the parties may have been booked as private, the promoters were selling tickets to the general public – which makes it public. And there are plenty of recent videos online that show concerts and parties at Oceana Hall with drinking and dancing involved.

According to a Department of Consumer Affairs press officer, the department’s legal team believes this qualifies Oceana Hall as a venue in need of a cabaret license.

“If the event is open to the public, regardless of whether a third party promoter is involved, a cabaret license is required,” the press officer told Sheepshead Bites.

Licenses are a matter of both safety and community concern. To get one, the city inspects the facility to ensure it meets fire and electrical codes, and the establishment must also be reviewed by the local Community Board, in theory to ensure it isn’t a nuisance to neighbors. (*CORRECTED)

But a nuisance is an apt description for Oceana Hall, according to neighbors. Last weekend, attendees turned to violence as they poured into the street at closing time, with a gunman opening fire and striking two women.

It’s an extreme example, but residents and community leaders said they knew it was a matter of time before things got out of hand.

Yelena Makhnin, executive director of the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District, said that things have been getting worse at the club over the past year, with more complaints to her office from neighboring residents and businesses. They say the parties break up late at night, and attendees hit the streets making noise and raising a ruckus.

“I understand it’s a business and people need to make money, but the people who live on Brighton 11th and Brighton 12th cannot be victims of people making money,” Makhnin said. “I strongly believe if they want to have parties, fine, but they have to obey the laws.”

Councilman Michael Nelson’s office and Community Board 13 has also been fielding complaints about the venue.

“I get phone calls from the Oceana buildings [across the street] about noise, and that they’re having a cabaret at night and have screaming and fighting and disturbing life,” said a staffer at Nelson’s office.

The councilman’s office is helping coordinate with Community Board 13 and the 60th Precinct to meet with the business and ease the problem.

The NYPD is responsible for enforcing cabaret laws, but while the 60th Precinct has spoken to the owners and even issued summonses on other matters, they have not issued any violations for their missing license.

A Community Affairs officer declined to comment on the matter, but Makhnin said that the local precinct has been doing a good job responding to complaints at the venue and is trying to be balanced in their approach.

“It’s a very grey area,” Makhnin said. “When the city is trying to enforce a law, right away they’re blamed for making it difficult for small business owners.”

CORRECTION (4:51 p.m.): The original version of this article stated that the establishment needed approval from the Community Board to obtain a cabaret license. In fact, they only need to be reviewed. The Department of Consumer Affairs can and does issue cabaret licenses to businesses that have been rejected by the Community Board.

The promo for Saturday's event at Oceana Hall

It’s not often we at Sheepshead Bites need to publish a correction, and it’s even less often when the correction merits its own post. However, we had one heck of a blunder yesterday, and we thank our readers for catching it and pointing it out.

In our story about the two women shot in Brighton Beach over the weekend, we wrote that we had received complaints about Millenium Theatre and the increasingly rowdy parties they’ve been throwing. In reality, the concerned neighbor was writing about Oceana Hall – a separate venue in the same building at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue.

Millenium Theatre and Oceana Hall have different owners and management.

Apparently local leaders have been hearing complaints about Oceana Hall from neighbors for about a year, since the landlord took hold of a banquet-style restaurant. Police from the 60th Precinct have also spoken to the business about the complaints.

And we were also wrong about there being no events at the venue (since we were searching for Millenium, not Oceana). The original anonymous e-mailer who sent us the complaint over the weekend followed up, pointing out that they had an event called Presidents Weekend Shut Down with Hot 97 Live.

A source tells us that police confirmed that the shooting occurred as the party was letting out.

Two women were left wounded after a gunman opened fire in front of Millenium Theatre, the same building that houses Oceana Hall, at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue.

The shootings happened early Sunday morning and the victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center. They were in stable condition, according to News 12.

Coincidentally, we received an anonymous e-mail Sunday afternoon from a nearby resident, complaining that Millenium Theatre Oceana Hall has started bringing rowdy crowds in for their events – and that Saturday night’s event was particularly troublesome.

We’re not sure if the shooting had anything to do with the theater or their events, or if the people involved were attending a show there. In fact, the venue’s calendar has no events listed for this past Saturday. Millenium was not hosting an event, but Oceana Hall had a party called Presidents Weekend Shut Down with Hot 97 Live. (CORRECTED – see below)

But we’ve got to ask those who live around it: is Millenium Theatre – one of Southern Brooklyn’s only cultural venues - Oceana Hall becoming a problem for the community?

Here’s the e-mail we received:

i am a resident of the Brighton beach area and have noticed that oceana hall has been hosting “hip hop” parties on Saturdays. now, i was all fine by it while the party-goers where quite and civil, but now they have gone crazy. tonight, they came out the venue and started YELLING, SCREAMING, RUNNING, CURSING, HITTING WINDOWS, CARS, DISPLAYS. just completely and utterly going nuts. the surrounding neighborhoods are nice, i.e. manhatten beach, oceana, sheepshead bay, and various other buildings along the shore line. it’s just becoming a burden on Saturdays, it’s coming to the point where people are afraid to leave their house because these people come out the venue in “groups” and start going wild on everything in their path. i really dont know what they are going to do next, vandalize? rob? kill? beat up?.. do they have weapons on them since they are so violent upon coming out the venue. i just dont know. the reason i am reaching out to sheepsheadbites is because if you can do an article about this, maybe the surrounding neighbors would be more open to complaining about the situation or reaching out to the property owner and asking him WTHeck he is doing ?? its just become a burden, i’m actually nervous about going to that area of Brighton on Saturdays because of this.

CORRECTION (2/21/2012 @ 11:34 a.m.): This post has been changed after we mistakenly conflated Millenium Theatre with Oceana Hall. A more in-depth correction and explanation can be found here. We apologize for any confusion.

Community residents pal around on the dance floor during last year's BNA holiday party. Photo by Erica Sherman

As a gift to the community, the Brighton Neighborhood Association will be holding its annual holiday party tonight, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Millennium, Brighton Beach Avenue between Brighton 12th Street and Brighton 13th Street.

There will be lots of music, courtesy of DJ Peter Joseph; dancing, and refreshments, so bring your loved ones, and get ready to have a great time ushering in the holiday season with your friends from the community and BNA.

Admission is free of charge.

For more, contact Pat Singer at (718) 891-0800, visit them on the web, or “Like” BNA on Facebook.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic (Source:

The Brooklyn Philharmonic, a 154-year-old institution that had recently fallen on hard times, is revitalizing itself this season throughout several “artistically under-served” neighborhoods, including Brighton Beach.

Keep reading about this exciting program, and view the schedule of events in Brighton Beach.