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Toby Lightman, Elina Duni and More Are Heading to Joe's Pub This Week

Toby Lightman, Elina Duni and More Are Heading to Joe's Pub This Week

The bright vibrancy of spring resonates at Joe's Pub. This week our stage features the sophisticated and unique urban pop sound of Toby Lightman; songwriter, composer, and creative director Sye Elaine Spense; the last performances of Ryan Raftery's IVANKA 2020 before he takes it on tour; Albanian singer and multi-instrumentalist Elina Duni; Pianist, composer, and Artistic Director for Cuba's Jazz Plaza Santiago Festival, Roberto Fonseca; and National Lampoon's satire of Coachella and modern music festival culture LEMMINGS: 21ST CENTURY.

Next week includes 2019 Latin Grammy Winner Nella, whose music blends folklore, the influence of her contemporaries, and the music of the Andalusian region; neo-retro cabarettist Molly Pope's Polly Mope, a solo musical that delves into coping with being a human person, the bi-polarcoaster, and wind chimes; Tammy Faye Starlite performing Marianne Faithfull's Broken English with an all-star backing band that includes Barry Reynolds; Ireland's finest songwriter Pierce Turner performing an array of his favorite classic Irish songs for the first time ever; writer-performer Amanda Duarte wading through internalized misogyny, female power, and more; the magic of tap dancer extraordinaire Ayodele Casel; a collaboration between world renowned countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and cabaret legend Justin Vivian Bond; a celebration of Fay Victor's re-recordings of songs written by Victor and husband Jochem van Dijk; Gypsy vocalist Lin Cortés, who is spearheading a new wave of flamenco; and New Bojaira, a group that is dedicated to combining the depth and intensity of flamenco and jazz.

It's all down below and on the website:

Toby Lightman

Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00PM

In a crowded social-media driven marketplace, Toby Lightman's pure and soulful voice connects with listeners emotionally and cuts through the noise. In the 15 years since signing with a major label, Toby has developed and mastered her own sophisticated and unique urban pop sound.

Darling to the normally harsh critics, Lightman received high praise from magazines like Rolling Stone, People, Billboard and others, which led to appearances on Letterman, Carson Daly, Conan, CBS Morning Show and more. Prince happened to be watching the night Toby appeared on Conan and was so impressed with her performance he invited her to open for him. Additionally, Toby has enjoyed tremendous success licensing her music for placement in film and TV, with credits including commercials for Microsoft and KMART, as well as her songs placed on episodes of Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, 90210, The Fosters, and many more.

Toby is currently producing her new recordings entirely on her own, playing all of the instruments and mixing the tracks as well. These songs represent and were inspired by Toby's desire to get pregnant, something she had to struggle to accomplish. "These songs are extremely personal to me as they are what came out of a hard battle with infertility. I wanted the song as well as the production to be 100% from me and it is." Thankfully, after a long road, Toby gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Leo Cash in 2017.

Toby Lightman's story is still being told, and she will be touring in support of new, deeply personal music in the months and years to come.


with opener Candice Hoyes

Wednesday, March 11 at 9:30PM

Sye Elaine Spence is a New York City-based songwriter, composer, and creative director. Her audiovisual works have been featured and reviewed by NPR, Pigeons & Planes, Saint Heron, and others. Her most recent recording and debut album, MORE, was released on March 30th exclusively on Spotify. MORE unfolds an aural landscape, with contours of quiet and deep resonant sound. On March 11, she will present a never-performed orchestral rendition of the album exclusively for Joe's Pub.


with Rob Luft & Rod Youngs

Thursday, March 12 & Friday, March 13 at 7:00PM
$40 advance / $45 at the door

Albanian singer Elina Duni was born into a highly artistic family in Tirana in 1981 and first sang on stage at the age of five. In 1992 after the fall of the communist regime, she and her mother settled in Geneva. Soon after, she started classical piano lessons and discovered jazz, before going on to study singing and composition in the jazz department at the Hochschule der Künste Bern.

During this time she also developed the Elina Duni Quartet to explore her musical roots, a combination of Balkan folk songs and jazz. The quartet released its ECM debut, Matanë Malit (Beyond the Mountain), a musical homage to Albania, in 2012.

In 2015 her quartet released its second album for ECM, Dallëndyshe (The Swallow). Duni contrasted this with her first quartet recording thus: it has, she said, "a different groove, a different momentum. It's become more rhythmic. Sometimes it's almost a trance-like propulsion." The album received great critical acclaim: "a sheer delight," in the words of UK Vibe's Tim Stenhouse.

Duni has said of her work with the quartet: "We focus all the intensity that the poetry needs. We have tried to convey its essence through our musical interpretation. To me, all improvised music is a jazz state of mind. We feel no obligation to play a song the same way twice."

Her latest album Partir released in 2018 on ECM Records features Elina Duni as a soloist, accompanying herself on piano, acoustic guitar and percussion, marking her most ambitious and intimate work to date.

Ryan Raftery: IVANKA 2020

Thursday, March 12 & Friday, March 13 at 9:30PM
$35 - $45

One woman. Two personalities. A magic whistle with powers of mind control. It's not about being's about WINNING.

Just in time for the start of the presidential primary season, Ryan Raftery returns to Joe's Pub for his fifth consecutive run, premiering his new celebrity bio-musical comedy IVANKA 2020. Inspired by the classic film The Manchurian Candidate and the beloved animated film Anastasia, Raftery's latest piece is a satirical commentary on what is arguably the most fascinating political landscape the United States has seen in decades.

IVANKA 2020 tells a tale that begins in turn-of-the-century imperial Russia, where a young girl named Anastasia receives a jewel-encrusted whistle as a gift from her doting grandmother. Unbeknownst to all within the golden palace, a courtier by the name of Rasputin has placed a curse on the whistle, allowing him to control the mind of the young girl, bringing about the sabotage needed to destroy the powerful family. Cut to almost a century later, where Russian government officials have discovered the whistle and its powers and set out to interfere with yet another powerful political family. This time, it will be another favored child in another golden palace that would be entangled in a game of international political espionage and her Ivanka.


Saturday, March 14 at 7:00PM & 11:30PM

Pianist, composer, and Artistic Director for Cuba's Jazz Plaza Santiago Festival, Roberto Fonseca has toured the world's most prestigious venues with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® and the legendary Omara Portuondo. An artist of prowess and ideas, a musician with a questing jazz sensibility and deep roots in the Afro Cuban tradition, the Havana-born pianist releases his ninth solo album, Yesun, in Fall 2019 on Mack Avenue Records. Combining everything from jazz and classical music to rap, funk, reggaeton and electronica, Fonseca is ripping up the rule book. He celebrates the rich musical traditions of the island's past, with a vision of where Cuban music is headed in the future, entwining folkloric and modern sounds.

"Yesun is the album I've always wanted to make," says Fonseca, "It presents a Cuba without borders. I'm building bridges between my Afro Cuban traditions and other styles of music I've absorbed over many years of touring this world. I'm taking Cuban music forward, always forward, without ever forgetting my roots."

There's a new generation of artists reinvigorating the Cuban music scene and Fonseca is at the forefront, leading this cultural renaissance.


Saturday, March 14 & Sunday, March 15 at 9:30PM

A sequel to its legendary off-Broadway musical sketch hit Lemmings, which helped launch the careers of John Belushi, Christopher Guest, and Harold Ramis, National Lampoon's LEMMINGS: 21ST CENTURY is a satire of modern Millennial corporate music festival culture.

LEMMINGS: 21ST CENTURY is written by Andrew Farmer, with a score by Henry Koperski, directed by Annie Tippe.

National Lampoon President Evan Shapiro announced the new Lemmings by saying: "a generation ago, National Lampoon skewered Boomers with 'Three Days of Peace, Love & Death.' We're working today's smartest artists to create a twisted musical comedy that mocks today's mainstream culture, when people can seemingly only watch rock music through Instagram filters."

Additional credits for Lemmings: Consulting Producer Patrick Catullo (Oh, Hello On Broadway, David Byrne's American Utopia) and Line Producers/General Managers Mike Lavoie and Carlee Briglia (Jacqueline Novak's Get On Your Knees, Oh, Hello On (Off) Broadway).

The cast is a group of performers known for crossing comedy with music: Natalie Walker (Search Party, Bojack Horseman), Kiko Soiree (Named by Time Out Magazine as one of the rising LGBT POC comedians to watch), Preston Martin (Little Women, The Rest of Us), Andrew R. Butler (Larson and Lortel Award winning musical maker, star and creator of Rags Parkland?), Kim Blanck (Dave Malloy's OCTET), Eric Lockley (Luke Cage, First Reformed), Aneesa Folds (the recent Broadway run of Freestyle Love Supreme) and Amanda Shechtman (NBC's Sunnyside, Comedy Central).


Sunday, March 15 at 7:00PM

A 2019 Latin Grammy Winner as Best New Artist and Berklee College of Music graduate, where she shone as a soloist in her own right, Nella's music is a meeting place for her country's folklore roots, the influence of her contemporaries, and the music of the Andalusian region. Above all, she is a handful of songs that she sings with her bare soul.

More recently, Nella was asked to join the stellar cast of Oscar Award winner Asghar Farhadi's new movie Todos lo saben which includes Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín, and Penélople Cruz. In the movie, she sings songs written by Limón exclusively for the screenplay. It opened the Cannes Festival in May.

During her 2018 tour, Nella presented a repertoire that included the songs featured in Farhadi's movie, a brand new repertoire written by Limón, as well as Venezuelan folk songs. She sang in stages across the US, Panamá, Venezuela, Mexico, Spain, and the UK.

After 2 years of filling out theaters with only 3 singles available, Nella recently released her first album entitled Voy (I am moving forward) on May 31st, 2019, comprised of music and production by Javier Limón, and has already been signed by Casa Limón Records and is being distributed worldwide through The Orchard.

As a soloist, Nella has performed with artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Jennifer Lopez, Carlos Vives, Luis Enrique, Susana Baca, Los Amigos Invisibles, Monsieur Periné, Caramelos de Cianuro, and Guaco.

Molly Pope: POLLY MOPE

Monday, March 16 at 7:00PM

How do you get through the night? Cabarettist Molly Pope faces the literal and the metaphorical question on a nightlong musical mental agility course. Locked in her 6th floor walk-up, this solo musical delves into what she'll do to make it to the dawn; coping with being a human person, the bi-polarcoaster, and wind chimes. Named "one of downtown cabaret's most adventurous performers" (New York Times), Molly Pope brings her neo-retro musical sensibility to original songs written with Jim Andralis & Larry Krone, Lance Horne, Erato Kremmyda, Brian Nash, Martha Redbone, and music director/collaborator Matt Aument. "Polly Mope" is a wry look inside what can happen when you find yourself stuck alone with yourself on a long, sleepless night.

"Polly Mope" premiered at the Philadelphia's Kimmel Center in May 2019 and was developed in part at the Afterglow Festival, the Orchard Project, Joe's Pub/Kimmel Center Residence, Greenwich House Music School's "Uncharted Series."


Monday, March 16 at 9:30PM

WHY'D YA DO IT?: Tammy Faye Starlite Performs Marianne Faithfull's Broken English features participation by an all-star backing band that notably includes Barry Reynolds. Reynolds collaborated with Faithfull on the groundbreaking album that was released 40 years ago and had a hand in composing half of the album's songs including the title track and the notorious "Why'd Ya Do It?" The band also includes acclaimed Hungarian violinist Eszter Balint who has released two critically lauded album of her own and, as an actor, starred in the Jim Jarmusch films Stranger Than Paradise and The Dead Don't Die. Reynolds and Balint are joined for the run by bass virtuoso Keith Hartel, guitarist Richard Feridun, and David Nagler on keyboard. The show is directed by Michael Schiralli whose credits include "Varla Jean Merman and the Mushroom Heads," "Scraping the Bottom: The Most Offensive Songs of Jackie Hoffman," and Tammy Faye's own acclaimed "Nico Underground."

Tammy Lang a/k/a Tammy Faye Starlite has come to be one of the brightest stars in the downtown New York scene. The always peripatetic Tammy maintains a busy schedule of performances, guest appearances, and benefits, not only in Manhattan but around the country with appearances in LA, Palm Springs, Chicago, St Louis, and Pittsburgh as well as the farthest reaches of New Jersey and New Hampshire. She's been a girl on the go-go since her soap opera days when she was a regular on "The Guiding Light" portraying one of two "wacky maids" with Allison Janney.


Tuesday, March 17 at 7:00PM

Ireland's finest songwriter Pierce Turner, formerly voted Ireland's solo performer of the year, is planning on performing an array of his favorite classic Irish songs for the first time ever. Even though he has been lauded for his inventive contemporary compositions, his roots were actually sown in the soil of Irish folk songs and classical music as a boy soprano. Turner's monologues and storytelling are directly linkable to Ireland's history of yarning, mingling this with classic Irish folk songs will be a natural brew of potent joy, laughter and love. Turner who has performed with Philip Glass, Patty Smith, and Iggy Pop, is sure to delightfully push the envelope. This will be an opportunity to truly enjoy St Patrick's Day with great songs and wit, in the presence of the man the BBC referred to as "Joyce with a Voice."

Amanda Duarte: YOUR MOM

Tuesday, March 17 at 9:30PM

Written and performed by Amanda Duarte
Directed by Hannah Gregg

You love her. You hate her. She brought you up. She fucked you up. And only she can take you down. She brought you into this world, and she can take you out of it. If anyone insults her, you'll punch them in the face-and if they say you look or behave like her in any way, you'll punch them harder. She's a virgin, she's a whore, and she makes me a sandwich every time I nail her. She's Your Mom.

Join writer-performer and barren, child-eating sex witch Amanda Duarte (Staying Alive, Dead Darlings) as she wades through the amniotic Chablis of her matriline, exploring the salt-and-pepper roots of internalized misogyny, the politisexual journey of the Manhattan Bridge footpath, and female power in the election year of our Lady 2020. A comedy for the whole family*! I'd tell you to bring your mom, but she's right here next to me, and trust me, she's coming.

*do not bring your children, lest they be eaten by barren, child-eating sex witch Amanda Duarte

Ayodele Casel: CHASING MAGIC

Wednesday, March 18 at 7:00PM

Directed by Torya Beard

Following a six-night, sold out run at The Joyce Theater this fall, Ayodele Casel is delighted to invite friends, fans, and folks of all flavors to share an evening of "Chasing Magic" with her and her Guest Artists. Ayodele promises great tap dancing, great music, and some surprises, too. Come on out, warm up, and enjoy the magic of one of the most talented performers on the planet.

One of The New York Times' "Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019," Ayodele Casel, "a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship" (The New Yorker), has been named a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where she will be writing her next theatrical work. Ayodele recently collaborated with legendary Latin jazz composer Arturo O'Farrill premiering a show at The Joyce Theater to sold out audiences and "making a triumphant debut as a leader there" (The New York Times) in September of 2019. The 2017 recipient of the "Hoofer Award," Ayodele premiered her one-woman show While I Have The Floor at the Spoleto Arts Festival with rave reviews. Her work is rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication. A frequent New York City Center collaborator, she was selected to create an interactive performance engaging NYC communities for their On The Move five borough tour. Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as "one of the top young tap dancers in the world," Casel has become an internationally sought- after artist and powerful voice for the art form.

Justin Vivian Bond & Anthony Roth Costanzo: HOW TO GET HIGH

Wednesday, March 18 - Friday, March 20 at 9:30PM

World renowned countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo ("Vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless" -The New York Times) joins cabaret legend Justin Vivian Bond ("The greatest cabaret artist of their generation" -The New Yorker) behind the velvet curtains to trade show biz survival strategies and tips in this workshop of their nascent collaboration How to Get High.

Inspired by a line from ARC's singing teacher who wisely said, "It's not how high you get, it's how you get high." These two literalists dig into their musical catalogues and styles in an effort to get as high as they possibly can and take their audiences with them. Uptown meets downtown, high meets low, as these two virtuosos breathalyze and facetune their way to the top.

Developed with Zack Winokur
Musical direction by David Sytkowski


Friday, March 20 at 7:00PM
$15 advance / $20 at the door

It must be something in the air. Re-recording older material is now hip, even Taylor Swift is doing it. When Fay Victor decided to re-record 20 year old songs written by Victor and husband Jochem van Dijk, that came out of a process of playing them again over a few years with acclaimed cellist Marika Hughes and celebrated alto player Darius Jones at the 55BAR in the West Village. Re-recording these songs (and two brand new compositions) became clear as new sounds and possibilities arose in the 55 Bar performances, just as organic as the sounds that surrounded the barn Barn Songs was recorded in. Learn more about Barn Songs at


part of Flamenco Festival 2020

Saturday, March 21 at 7:00PM


Gypsy vocalist Lin Cortés, a master at blending various musical styles who created the concept of "Gypsy Evolution," is spearheading a new wave of flamenco. Nephew of flamenco icon "El Pele," he takes traditional flamenco cante into such realms as funk, soul, and rock. In his latest work, Gitanerías (Gypsies), this artist from Cordoba powerfully balances the roots of flamenco that run in his blood with his pioneering endeavors.


with Guest Artist Randy Brecker

part of Flamenco Festival 2020

Saturday, March 21 at 9:30PM


New Bojaira, dedicated to combining the depth and intensity of flamenco and jazz, has created an exciting synthesis of two of the world's most expressive and emotive musical styles. The quartet features two Spanish musicians from Andalusia, pianist Jesús Hernández and singer/flutist Alfonso Cid, and two longtime veterans of the New York jazz scene, bassist Tim Ferguson and drummer Mark Holen. They will be joined by special guest Randy Brecker, the Grammy award-winning trumpeter and flugelhornist, Peter Brainin (sax) and Elisabet Torras (dance).


ONLINE / PHONE 212-967-7555
IN PERSON The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC

NOTE There is a $12 food / two (2) drink minimum per person per show, unless otherwise noted.

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