Cheap is good, free is better, as we tell you often here on NYC on the Cheap. Take advantage of one or more of these freebies of the week, including food, film screenings, tax and retirement advice, and more, because NYC doesn’t have to be expensive when you know where to find freebies, and we do.
Celebrate the first day of spring today, March 20th, with FREE sweet treats.
Dangerous Liaisons – FREE screening of the award-winning 1988 film about political intrigue in the 1700s that is applicable today. Directed by Stephen Frears, Christopher Hampton’s Olivier-winning and Tony-nominated play (adapted from Pierre Chloderos de Laclos’ 1782 French novel), starring John Malkovich and Glenn Close as the scheming Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil, and Michelle Pfeiffer as one of their victims. Winner of three Academy Awards and two BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Oscar. 6PM in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in Lincoln Center.
Tuesday, March 21
Smart Social Security Strategies – FREE seminar on benefits and strategies available to spouses, for optimizing their collective payouts. Presented by the Financial Planning Association of New York. Speaker is Certified Financial Planner David Mendels, who is also on the adjunct faculty of New York University, where he teaches financial planning to those seeking to become CFP. Bring your questions, and something to write down his answers and advice. 6:30PM at the SIBL branch of the New York Public Library, 35th St. at Madison Ave.
Wednesday, March 22
Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future – We can’t call this FREE lecture “Tale of Two Cities”, because that classic book was written more than a century ago. This lecture explores how forces of wealth disparity and racial inequality trap families in place. Speaker is Thomas M. Shapiro, professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Brandeis University. 6:30PM at the Mid-Manhattan Library, Fifth Ave. at 40th Street, across Fifth the Main Branch with the two stone lions out front.
Thursday, March 23
Ella! A Centennial Celebration – It’s a grand birthday celebration for the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald, FREE at Harlem’s equally legendary Apollo Theater. When Ella Fitzgerald made her debut on Apollo Amateur Night in 1934, she was a shy teenager. By 1939 she was leading the Chick Webb Orchestra in the wake of Webb’s death. Today, Fitzgerald remains one of the most respected and influential singers of the 20th century. This celebration of Fitzgerald’s centennial explores “The First Lady of Song” through her music, her musicianship, and as a woman revered in an art form predominated by men. 6:30PM. Reservation absolutely required to ensure space.
- Musical reflection by two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, author and star of “Me & Ella”, Andrea Frierson, and her trio.
- Discussion panel moderated by Farah Jasmine Griffin, Author and Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Jazz Studies, and African-American Studies at Columbia University, with panelists
- Judith Tick, Matthews Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Music History, American Music, Women’s History, Twentieth Century Music, Northeastern University
- Loren Schoenberg, Musician; Founding Director and Senior Scholar, National Jazz Museum in Harlem
- Robert G. O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Columbia University
Photo of Ella Fitzgerald courtesy Apollo Theater