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Divine comedy: Brooklyn gets a goddess in ‘All Hail Beth’

Stretching out: Beth upgrades from a tiny apartment to a palatial estate after her elevation, in “All Hail Beth,” coming to Bric TV on Nov. 11.
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All hail!

A new five-part web series follows a depressed Brooklyn woman who wakes up one day as a beloved Babylonian goddess.

“All Hail Beth,” produced by Downtown arts organization Bric and debuting on its Youtube channel on Nov. 11, follows its title character’s mysterious transformation from hapless millennial to Ishtar, the venerated goddess of love, war, and civilization. The show can be seen all over the world, but is aimed at an audience in Kings County, said its creator.

“It’s a very New York show,” said Misha Calvert. “There’s a lot of in-jokes for New Yorkers and specifically for Brooklyn residents.”

Before her deification, Beth works at a hip public relations firm in Dumbo, where her co-workers treat her like a second-class citizen, and her friends and family members are too busy with their own problems to care about hers. But as Ishtar, strangers in the street offer her flowers, and her co–workers bow down in worship when she walks past. In the first episodes, Beth struggles with her newfound holiness until she meets another Babylonian goddess, Aya, who helps her navigate the world of ancient deities.

Much of the show was filmed in Bay Ridge and Dumbo, with the latter neighborhood’s constant hordes of tourists and office workers creating a challenge while filming, according to Calvert.

“I will never forget wrangling 50 background actors literally running through the street while we stopped traffic on both sides, possibly without a permit,” she said. “I feel like I could probably tackle most problems as a filmmaker after that.”

Calvert said she wanted to highlight the religion of ancient Babylon, the pre-Biblical kingdom located across present-day Iraq and Iran, because of the negative stigma assigned to the region today.

“I think I centered on that part of the world to try to dispel some of the myths and fallacies that vilify Middle Eastern Americans right now,” Calvert said. “It’s also just a really fun time period, it’s beautiful and decadent.”

After the first episode debuts on Nov. 11, the next four will be released together on Nov. 12, for those who want to binge on the series.

“All Hail Beth” premieres Nov. 11 at noon on Bric TV (www.bricartsmedia.org/tv-shows-videos/all-hail-beth).

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.
Updated 10:44 am, November 7, 2019
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