By Lia Eustachewich – NY Post
This takes “Ladies Night” to a new level.
An all-female Hasidic rock band will play Arlene’s Grocery on Thursday night — and the Lower East Side music venue has agreed to shut its doors to men.
Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe, the Crown Heights, Brooklyn, duo behind the band Bulletproof Stockings, follow strict Orthodox rules that bar them from playing in front of men. The stricture also requires them to cover their hair, knees and elbows.
It wasn’t easy convincing Julia Darling, the manager of Arlene’s Grocery, which holds 110 people, to snub male clientele for Bulletproof Stockings’ biggest gig yet.
“Julia was pretty skeptical,” said Shusterman, 40, who plays drums and sings backup. “Turning away half the audience isn’t something that’s ever been done. They had to really think about it.”
Determined to prove they were worth it, she and Wolfe hit the streets, amassing a list of women who vowed to pack the tiny venue. Darling was immediately impressed.
“We said, ‘OK, we like your music and you guys did some guerilla promotion out there,’ which showed us that they were really serious about playing here,” said Darling.
“We did take a little bit of a risk on them because this is one of their first gigs in New York City.”
So far, there have been no complaints from men about being excluded, even though Darling is confident they will sell out the venue.
The male employees at Arlene’s are exempt from the ban because they’ll be there in a work capacity.
“They have a right to uphold their religious views,” said Darling.
Bulletproof Stockings, which formed 2¹/₂years ago, is named for the opaque tights Hasidic women traditionally wear. The band hits the stage at 7 p.m.
The one-hour set will be filmed for Oxygen Network’s upcoming show “Living Different,” which will feature the band in one episode. The docu-drama series is expected to debut in early 2015.