News: Gold Standard Arts Festival Celebrates Emerging & Established Artists 50+

Judy Gold. Courtesy Alton PR
Opening with a Jazz brunch at Stand Up NY, Gold Standard Arts Festival features cabaret headlined by Steve Ross, stand-up comedy with a lineup that includes Judy Gold and Greer Barnes, a matinee and evening of short plays that includes Broadway playwrights Marc Acito and Sheldon Harnick, and a weekend long film festival that includes many new indie films like Give or Take from Brooklyn director Paul Riccio plus special event screenings of Academy Award-nominated short Joe’s Violin directed by Kahane Cooperman and The Last Laugh directed by Ferne Pearlstein.

One of a kind, the festival showcases both emerging and established older artists "because an artist can emerge at any age and art enhances and extends life” says festival co-director Caytha Jentis. Award-winning actor Richard Kind shared his thoughts on the festival at the kick-off party: “Do not let age stand in the way, and let’s support those who have something to say, or a way to say it, and create a way to say it: a creative way to stay young because if you are busy and your mind keeps working, you will remain young. So let’s create and let’s save lives!"

The festival will take place on the west side of New York City and runs April 24-May 1. “We are honored to have Goddard Riverside as our festival partner and Encore NYC as a partner for the Cabaret Night which will take place at Da Marino’s restaurant,” says festival co-director Eileen Katz. Additionally, the festival has partnered with UWS comedy fixture Stand Up NY and New Plaza Cinema, a new art house cinema on W 86.

“Goddard Riverside is exceptional at empowering New Yorkers, especially older adults. It is so important that the voices and stories of older New Yorkers are shared, and the Gold Standard Film Festival, elevating the work of filmmakers aged 50 and over, does just that," said Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-06). “Too many experiences of older people are left out of the mainstream—despite making up a large portion of the population—and I hope this inaugural festival becomes an annual tradition."

Writer/producer Jentis and Katz, a former EVP at Comedy Central, partnered on The Other F Word, a comedic webs series that Jentis wrote about an empty-nester mother and her friends' midlife reinvention journey. “While the show was a huge success reaching millions, we were told repeatedly by potential buyers that it targeted a ‘tough demographic” says Jentis, “so we set out to change that!”

The festival’s tagline is “We Are Ready For Our Close Up… Just Not Too Close.” A close-up of the festival line up and tickets are available at

Festival highlights include the following:

SUNDAY, APRIL 24 at 12pm

Celebrate the festival's opening with jazz and brunch from Zabar's. Special guest, Council Member Gale Brewer. Featuring the talent of Gui Duvignau (bass), Jonathan Lowery (sax) and Taro Okamoto (drums) at Stand UP NY. TICKETS & INFO

MONDAY, APRIL 25 at 6pm

An evening of cabaret starring cabaret legends Steve Ross and Marta Sanders. Featuring Leah Finnie, Cynthia Kaplan, Sandra Rodriguez, Anthony Santalmo, Jr. and Nancy Simpson Moore. Performance takes place at Da Marino’s. TICKETS & INFO

TUESDAY, APRIL 26 at 8pm

A night of stand-up comedy featuring some of the funniest 50+ comics including Judy Gold, Greer Barnes, Karen Bergreen, Eddie Brill, John Fugelsang, Gary Gulman, and Lizz Winstead at Stand Up NY. TICKETS & INFO

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 at 2pm and 7pm

An evening of 10-minute plays featuring playwrights that are 50+.

PROGRAM A at 2pm
Directed by Jammie Patton

Fight the Power, written by Caytha Jentis
Performed by Brenny Campbell

For the Love of God, written by Marc Acito and Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Rick Sadle and Neva Fenig Small

Hair Undone, written by Cheryl Davis
Performed by Kayla Addison and Brandice Peltier

I Know, written by Jacquelyn Reingold
Performed by Meg Gibson, Rick Sadle, and Stephen Singer

Old Timers Day, written by Marc Acito
Performed by Kayla Addison, Todd Licea, Lauren Lindsey, and Brandice Peletier

Skin Deep, written by Tina Howe
Performed by Todd Licea, Lauren Lindsey, and Peterson Townsend

PROGRAM B at 7pm
Directed by Kathryn Markey

Census, written by Susan Miller
Performed by Chris Chidron, Jaden Jordan, and Joan Valentina

Down There, written by Lucy Wang
Performed by Lucy Wang

Here Comes the Rain Again, written by Alex Dinelaris
Performed by Chris Chidron, Peter Evangelista, and Claire Ganshert

Miracle of the Mall, written by Frederick Stroppel
Performed by Jasper McGruder and Joan Valentina

Truth and Sex, written by Susan Cinoman
Performed by Peter Evangelista and Claire Ganshert

Performances take place at the Bernie Wohl Community Center Theater, 647 Columbus Avenue (between 91st and 92nd street), New York, NY 10025. Subways: A/B/C/1/2/3 to 86th or 96th street. Tickets are $20.00 per show and are available at Proceeds from the festival will be used to create and support year-round programs for older artists.

A day of Jewish-Themed Short Blocks

The Last Laugh at 7pm - Followed by director Ferne Perlstein & comedian Judy Gold In Conversation with Montclair Film Festival Artistic Director Tom Hall.

"Are we allowed to joke about the Holocaust?" This outrageously funny and thought-provoking film puts the question to legends and critical thinkers including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, and many others. Followed by director Ferne Perlstein and comedian Judy Gold In Conversation with Montclair Film Festival Artists Director Tom Hall. TICKETS & INFO

Film Festival Friday

Several short blocks of films followed by two documentary features and an evening of Funny Ladies.

Funny Ladies at 8pm

Hey Lady (trailer), Hysterical (FX), and Ruthless Comedy Live - Karen, Cindy & Corey. TICKETS & INFO

Film Festival Saturday

A day of shorts and documentaries followed by a special event screening of Book Ends and Give or Take.

Book Ends and Give or Take at 7pm

Short films include Book Ends and Give or Take. Following the screening meet the writer/director and cast members of Give or Take. TICKETS & INFO


The festival comes to a close with a day of short and feature films. FRIDAY FILM TICKETS & INFO

Between Two Worlds and Light Years at 10am

Short films include Between Two Worlds and Light Years. Followed by Q/A with writer/director Claire Panke.

Inspiring Seniors at 12pm

Short films include Powers, Shubox: street performance art, and the Academy Award Nominated Short Joe’s Violin.

Can't Spell Gold Without Old at 2pm

How to succeed with stories targeted to an older audience. Panelists include entertainment executives Sarah Condon, Rick Dorfman, David Gittens, Jerry Goerhring, and Elizabeth Sheridan. This event takes place at the Bernie Wohl Community Center Theater and is also available to live stream. TICKETS & INFO

Festival Favorites at 4pm

Hey Lady - Don’t ever tell a 75 year old to go quietly into the night.

Playing with Matches - Set in a nursing home, a story about last-chance romance, and the unexpected connections that can occur at any age if you're willing to risk opening your heart. Followed by Q/A with Tracy Semmler & director Neil Leifer.


Bernie Wohl Community Center Theater, 647 Columbus Avenue - between 91st and 92nd street
Da Marino, 220 West 49th Street - between 8th avenue and Broadway
New Plaza Cinema at the West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street - between Broadway and West End
Stand Up NY, 236 West 78th Street - between Broadway and Amsterdam

Goddard Riverside is hosting the Gold Standard Arts Festival. For more than 100 years, the organization has been committed to investing in people and strengthening the community by meeting New Yorkers’ most essential needs. Goddard Riverside provides comprehensive educational, cultural, and recreational programs for New Yorkers of all ages, including early childhood education, after school, employment support, college access, youth programs, homeless outreach, senior centers, and legal assistance.

#goldstandardartsfestival #goldstandardfest


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