TUES, DEC 1st: Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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This post is about sliding into December with a trip to Flatbush, Brooklyn to contemplate end of year  BIG THOUGHTS in the most entertaining way Neil deGrasse Tyson in Cosmospossible – by attending AN EVENING WITH NEIL DE GRASSE TYSON, the immensely popular astrophysicist and host of the podcast STAR TALK Radio Show and of the television series, COSMOS.  Even better, this one-night-only presentation is at the scrumptious, sumptuous newly-renovated movie-palace, the KINGS FLATBUSH THEATER.   Scroll to the end of the post for details. 

WHAT IS A ROCK STAR ASTROPHYSICIST?   A very rare phenomenon indeed.   And, right now, that term may apply to just one person, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  If, like most of us, you’re a little fuzzy on astrophysics, it’s useful to remember that it’s the science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to explain the birth, life and death of STARS, tyson religion tweet blue bkgrndPLANETS, GALAXIES, nebulae and other objects in the universe.  Astronomy (stars, again!) and cosmology are closely related.  – And the rock star part?  Well, that happens when an individual (in this case Dr. Tyson) utilizes his unbelievably genial personality, sense of humor, well-honed communication skills and personal magnetism to make people appreciate the wonders of the universe in ways that are understandable, vital and an important part of everyday life.

While there have been other famous astrophysicists (Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Copernicus) none have had quite the same media profile and celebrity status as Dr. Tyson who clearly enjoys his role as an astrophysicist evangelist.  His Tweets  (he has more than 4,000,000 Tyson tweet 3 rudolf with blue bkgrndfollowers) are known for their geeky humor.  The addictive STAR TALK Radio podcasts and his frequent public appearances (including a 60 MINUTES profile last March) have re-ignited collective curiosity about the universe and sent the religious right into a tiz.  (“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”)  Perhaps best known for “killing Pluto” (the planet, not the Mickey Mouse sidekick), even that controversy, Tyson suggests, made people look up and start thinking about the stars and planets when they probably hadn’t for years.

In 2014, Tyson hosted the 13-part television series COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, (introduced in the first episode by Pres. Barack Obama) which was a re-boot of Carl Sagan’s COSMOS series from 30+ years prior.  It appears likely that a second season will be produced.

It’s peculiar that Tyson’s touring lecture, AN EVENING WITH NEIL DE GRASSE TYSON, has never before been presented in New York Kings theater logogiven that NYC is his home base (he’s a Bronx Science graduate) and he’s the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.  But he presents to sell-out crowds all over the country, speaking about why he thinks the space program is important, advocating for science in what he feels is a period which is “anti-science,” and linking the universe to our past, future, religion, health … and just about everything you can think of !  Which is where the fun comes in.

Worth a trip all by itself, the KINGS THEATER (formerly the Loew’s Kings Theater) is one of those over-the-top movie theaters with wild overscale, overdone architecture that lives by the motto, “more is more.”  Lots of gold.  Lots of red. Lots of velvet.  Lots of ornamentation.  No, sir, they don’t make ’em like that anymore. The Kings Theater, described as being in the “French Baroque style” was one of five Loew’s “Wonder Kings-Theatre-resizedTheaters” in the New York City area.  It opened in 1929 at a time when movie theaters (or palaces) often combined vaudeville with a film showing and threw in live music (often full orchestras and pipe organs) to top it all off.  The theater closed in 1977 and sat empty until a complete renovation was begun in 2010, financed in part by New York City and the ACE Theatrical Group out of Houston.  It reopened as a performing arts center in February 2015.  It’ll knock your socks off. 

DETAILS: An Evening With Neil De Grasse Tyson is on the evening of  Tuesday, December 1st at the Kings Flatbush Theater in Flatbush Brooklyn at 8pm.  Tickets are $100 ($85 = ticket, $15 for NYS Sales tax and Ticketmaster).  This is a FAMILY and FRIENDS EVENT – feel free to invite yours.   It takes a little over an hour to get to the theater by subway (#2) from Manhattan.  Depending on how many MWC’ers want to go, we will survey as to whether there is any interest in booking a bus; otherwise it is presumed that everyone will figure out their own transportation.  We will also research dining options in the area.   Because this is Dr. Tyson’s only appearance in the NY metro- area and the huge Kings Flatbush is already half sold-out, we have a one week deadline for purchasing tickets: TICKET PURCHASE DEADLINE IS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd.  MWC’ers, go to the “Reservations/ Payments” page on the Members site and reserve your ticket(s).

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