(718) 260–2500 Brooklyn Paper’s essential guide to the Borough of Kings February 7–13, 2020
Look out boy, she’ll chew you up!
An upcoming talk about female cannibals in
film will show that devouring people is one way for
oppressed women to strike out against stifling society
Eater: Cannibal Women
on Film,” at Greenpoint’s
Film Noir Cinema on Feb.
12, will survey films from
the last 50 years where
female characters take
control by eating human
flesh, according to
“It offers a resistance
to society’s demands that we keep women and
their appetite in control,” said Kate Robertson.
“Women are told they’re not supposed to want
things, they’re these empty vessels… Most of
these films are about power.”
Robertson will feature more than a dozen
flicks that feature women who can really rip
your world apart, including the 1981 slasher flick
“Frightmare,” the 1989 horror comedy “Cannibal
Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death,” and
the stylish 2016 film “Neon Demon.” The talk
will be accompanied with several blood-soaked
images and clips from the films.
Robertson, who has studied the subject for
about a decade, says that stories of women cannibals
go back centuries, including the Greek
myths of the Bacchae and fairy tales such as
“Hansel and Gretel.” The stories change to suit
the moment, but the transgressive elements remain
“They respond to the social situation, but
it’s quite surprising how consistent they are in
time,” she said.
Robertson’s talk kicks off the spring season
of monthly lectures from the Miskatonic Institute
of Horror Studies.
“Man Eater: Cannibal Women on Film” at
Film Noir Cinema 122 Meserole Ave. at Leonard
Street in Greenpoint, (718) 389–5773, www.
miskatonicinstitute.com. Feb. 12 at 7 pm. $15
($12 in advance). — Kevin Duggan
It’s a red sauce renaissance!
A waterfront seafood brasserie has added a
retro family-style Italian meal to its menu for
this month. Sunday Suppers at Estuary, a restaurant
at the base of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s
Pier Five, feature a giant plate of pasta, just like
Mama used to make, according
to the chef.
“I wanted it to feel like
a kind of 1940s dinner in
Greenpoint,” said Danny
Brown, who opened Estuary
with culinary director
Francois Payard last
The simple Sunday
night meals start with a
salad with Italian dressing, followed by a giant
plate of spaghetti served with “Sunday Gravy,”
a Neapolitan tomato ragu swimming with meatballs,
sausage, and braciole — thin slices of rolled,
braised pork. It comes with garlic bread, two
glasses of red wine, and biscotti for dessert.
The dinners started in January, and they have
been popular with families, said Brown.
The meals are not only a throwback to traditional
family meals, but to a staple dish served
at Brown’s previous restaurant, Danny Brown
Wine Bar and Kitchen in Queens, the first eatery
in that borough to earn a Michelin star.
Sunday Supper at Estuary 159 Bridge Park
Dr. at Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights,
(718) 521–6744, ext. 1, www.estuarybrooklyn.
com. Feb 9, 16, and 23; 5 pm–close. $40 ($15
kids). — Bill Roundy
Bigger and bitter
Wormwood Distillery opens new tasting room in Industry City
In the pour house: Standard Wormwood Distillery co-owner Sasha Selimotic mixes a Manhattan made with the distillery’s own vermouth and rye whiskey.
By Bill Roundy
They’re setting the standard!
A distillery and tasting room now
open in Industry City produces spirits
made with an exotic, once-forbidden
bitter plant. Standard Wormwood Distillery
creates whiskey, gin, and other kinds
of booze out of wormwood, a key ingredient
in absinthe that was banned in the
early 20th century because of suspicions
that it could cause hallucinations — concerns
that were concocted by a rival beverage,
said one distiller.
“It was a hit job from the wine industry,”
said Taras Hrabowsky, who founded Standard
Wormwood with Sasha Selimotic.
Restrictions on the herb were lifted in
2007, and the pair, then roommates in Bushwick,
began experimenting with it. Now
they use the plant to distill a rye whiskey,
a gin, an amaro, an apertif, and a semisweet
vermouth, along with an agave spirit
(which legally cannot be called mezcal,
since it was not produced in Mexico, but
tastes much the same).
The addition of wormwood gives each
spirit a unique character, said Hrabowsky
— one that is distinct from absinthe.
“It gives the spirits a long finish,” he
said. “It’s a way to add complexity. People
assume it’s going to be licorice-y, but
we say right on the bottle that there is no
anise or licorice flavor in here.”
In fact, Standard Wormwood does not
make absinthe, because its founders are
focused on making something new, said
“We do love absinthe,” he said. “For
us though, it’s about exploring the possibilities
of what wormwood and bitters in
spirits can bring.”
The pair previously worked in a cramped
spot in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but the Industry
City location gives them plenty of space to
experiment. The back room features a mad
scientist-like shelf of bottles, each containing
the essence of a different herb or fruit,
along with a still and other equipment. In
the front is a 45-seat bar, where people can
sample the results of those trials.
“Experimenting is what this is all about,”
said Hrabowsky. “We can do little things that
are one-offs, things that we only do here —
it gives you a reason to come back.”
The bar has a cocktail menu filled with
classic drinks, including the Manhattan,
the Sazerac, and the Margarita, each made
with liquor produced on site — and if you
like what you taste, you can buy a bottle
The distillers plan to produce two more
kinds of vermouth and another apertif in the
near future, which will let them add a Martini
and a few other drinks to the menu.
A new play offers a fresh perspective on a
closely examined historical affair. “TJ Loves
Sally 4 Ever,” opening at Clinton Hill’s Jack
theater on Feb. 13, was inspired by the “relationship”
father Thomas Jefferson
and one of his slaves,
Sally Hemings, but updates
the story to a 21stcentury
with Jefferson a dean and
Sally one of his student
The play seeks to
sweep away the idea that
the relationship may have been consensual, or
that Hemings could have been in love with Jefferson,
according to its director.
“No matter how you spin it this was the story
of a predator and someone being preyed upon,”
said Jordana De La Cruz (pictured).
She hopes that by using a power structure more
familiar to modern audiences, the nature of their
relationship will become more clear.
“If you could examine that power dynamic set
in the present, people might see it differently,”
said De La Cruz. “No one ever thinks ‘Maybe
that student really does love that dean that’s
pressuring them to sleep with him.’ ”
Playwright James Ijames created the piece after
growing frustrated with several new works
that portray the two as having had a loving relationship,
including the play “Thomas and Sally,”
produced in California in 2017.
“He was really frustrated with that idea,”
De La Cruz said. “So much of American society
is drawn to putting a nice coat on the past
when it comes to Thomas Jefferson and Sally
“TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever” at Jack (18 Putnam
Ave. between Grand Avenue and Downing
Street in Clinton Hill, www.jackny.org). Feb 13–
29, Thu–Sat at 7:30 pm; Sun at 4 pm. $15–$22.
— Ben Verde
By Rose Adams
Her kicks are fast as lightning!
Everybody will be kung-fu
fighting in a new comedy show
that finally does what Trump could
not — put rogue emailer Hillary Rodham
Clinton behind bars. “Bandit:
The Story of Hillary in Prison,” playing
one-night-only at Williamsburg’s
Brick Theater on Feb. 7, shows the former
presidential candidate learning
martial arts in order to survive in a
brutal upstate prison. The jail’s rough
conditions, as well as Clinton’s loss
in the election, bring out her inner
fighter, said the show’s creator.
“She’s a little bit hardened,” said Nick
Naney, a Bushwick playwright and comedian.
“She’s someone who’s filled
with disappointment and regret.”
The satirical show opens with a
brief backstory: After Donald Trump
wins the election, a judge sends Clinton
to prison for using a private email
server during her tenure as Secretary
of State. The play then cuts to the fictional
Douglas State Penitentiary, where
Clinton struggles to fend off the prison’s
premier bully, Phaidra, and her Poison
Clinton, a scrappy fighter, forms a
coalition and becomes a formidable
Photo by Caroline Ourso
martial artist, Naney said.
“I would say the audience will be
impressed with her kung-fu skills,”
The play is a comedy, but it takes a
serious look at Clinton’s post-election
state of mind, said Naney.
“To lose that election, even though it
wasn’t exactly valid, it must’ve been a
huge blow,” Naney said. “We go deep
into her psyche. She has this resolve
Naney, a Clinton voter and current
Bernie Sanders supporter, decided to
write the play because of his “obsession”
with kung-fu movies — particularly
“Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky,”
a 1991 film in which a kung-fu master
goes to prison, he said.
He began working on “Bandit” earlier
this year, and said he would have
made her character less sympathetic if
he wrote the play today.
“I wrote this before what she said
about Bernie came out,” Naney explained,
referencing Clinton’s recent
claim that “nobody likes Bernie.”
The over-the-top action ultimately
portrays Hillary Clinton favorably, but
Bill Clinton comes off less well. In the
play, the former president ignores his
wife’s desperate pleas from prison.
“He’s kind of a sleazebag,” Naney
Standard Wormwood Distillery Tasting
Room 68 34th St. between Second
and Third avenues in Sunset Park, enter
from Industry City Courtyard 5/6, (718)
com. Open Thu–Fri, 5–9 pm; Sat, noon–
10 pm, Sun, noon–8 pm.
“Bandit: The Story of Hillary in
Prison” at the Brick Theater 579
Metropolitan Ave. between Lorimer
Street and Union Avenue
in Williamsburg, (718) 907-6189,
www.bricktheater.com. Feb. 7 at
8 pm and 10 pm. $15.
Courtesy of Estuary
But her emails!
Hillary Clinton goes to prison
in new play in Williamsburg
Secretary of stance: Jessy Morner-Ritt will play Hillary Clinton in
a new play about the ex-presidential candidate learning kung-fu
in prison. Photo by Caroline Ourso
Photo by Sammy Tunis