Get some ‘character’ at Galapagos

Such a character: Singer Daniel Maté is a Park Sloper — which means he knows plenty about our borough’s nuts. He’ll perform on Sept. 27 as part of an evening of songs about Brooklyn “characters” at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Move over, Manhattan; this month, musical theater reigns in Brooklyn.

On Sept. 27, Galapagos Art Space hosts “Brooklyn’s Got Character[s],” an evening of original songs about Brooklyn people by up-and-coming songwriters.

“New York musical theater is very Manhattan-centric — people writing about Broadway and 42nd Street,” said Daniel Maté, director of the event. “But if you really want to capture the local flavor of what New York City is about, you have to go to the other boroughs.”

For that, Maté has recruited award-winning songwriters to find their Brooklyn muse and channel it into a song.

“This is a borough full of characters who are out there, loud, self-expressed, and uninhibited,” said Maté. “I thought, if I can sic some writers on this borough, it would be a really cool exercise.”

That explains songs about a Coney Island sideshow freak; a Puerto Rican go-go dancer in Crown Heights; a Pakistani pet shop owner in Brooklyn Heights; and an eccentric Prospect Heights ophthalmologist.

“He’s the textbook definition of a ‘character,’” said Tina Lear, who’s writing the song about her eye doctor. “It’s the conversation during my appointments with him, conversation that often fuses political commentary, spiritual teaching, standup comedy, and therapy.”

Maté, a Vancouver native who moved to Brooklyn five years ago, is writing about his “love affair” with the borough and his favorite spots here, from his nearby Sunset Park (“The views are unbelievable”) to Outpost Cafe in Clinton Hill, where he used to DJ, as well as simply finding his way around on his bike.

“If you love life and have a diverse mindset, Brooklyn feels like home,” said Maté. “That’s what the song is about — finding that Brooklyn is home, which is so corny I can’t believe I’m even saying it. Marty Markowitz, eat your heart out.”

“Brooklyn’s Got Character[s]” at Galapagos Art Space [16 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 222-8500], Sept. 27 at 8 pm. Tickets $15. For info, visit www.GalapagosArtSpace.com.

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