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Get Your Relationship Turned Into a Musical, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Rebecca & Evan)

Your Love, Our Musical
Wednesday, November 22 at Caveat, 7:30 pm: $15

If you’ve ever dreamed of turning your latest Tinder date into an original musical, I don’t know what kind of a person that makes you, but you can take a stab at making this odd dream a reality at the return of Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman’s Your Love, Our Musical, now presented at new brainy venue Caveat. It’s fairly self-explanatory; the duo selects an actual couple from the audience and interviews them. After that, they work their magic and craft a whole (and wholly improvised) musical about what they’ve just heard. If you’re looking for a new perspective on your relationship but can’t afford therapy, this could be the way to do it. Keep Reading »

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Don’t Rat Out the Mice-Size ‘Squeakeasies’ Hidden Around Town

New Bartender? (Photo by Diego Lynch)

Rats are no longer happy suckling at the rim of a cast-off PBR can. Like all discerning New Yorkers, today’s vermin demand a boutique experience. Hence the “squeakeasies” that Hunter Fine has placed around Manhattan and Brooklyn. The tiny tippling spots are strategically located near the city’s “rat reservoirs.” If you want in, wear earth tones and be about six inches long.

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Unsilent Night Will Wash the Taste of SantaCon Out of Your Mouth

(Photo: Tom Jarmusch)

My computer insists on autocorrecting “Unsilent Night” to Insolent Night, but, no, that would be SantaCon.Unsilent Night is a far more enjoyable holiday tradition. Every year, Phil Kline, a composer who has collaborated with the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Nan Goldin, Bang On a Can, and other downtown luminaries, leads a roving boom box orchestra from Greenwich Village to the East Village in a wonderful act of modernist caroling.

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Never Mind the Turkey, a Food Porn Fest Is Coming to Bushwick

(Photo: arepaliciousny on Instagram)

Forget about that post-Thanksgiving diet. On the weekend of Dec. 16, a Food Porn Fest will take over a large warehouse two blocks from the Morgan stop. Shwick, the fest’s producer, has confirmed 19 vendors and is seeking over 40 of them total.

Did you know, the average American will eat 3,000 PB&J sanwiches in their lifetime?

A post shared by KiiNOA! Snacks (@kiinoasnacks) on

Those currently on board show a fair amount of variety. There’s vegan friendly Indian food, simple biscuits and beer, a boutique waffle experience, distilleries, a candy shop with hemp seed oil (CBD) infused products, and much more.

Shwick, founded by husband-wife team Christopher and Jinyen Carew, came to notoriety with the Shwick Market of Makers, a large warehouse space filled with vendors hawking artisanal products. It proved to be unsustainable and closed after nine months

Without a storefront, Shwick has been conducting pop-up markets to sell Brooklyn-made goods to Brooklyners. For the last two years, the couple has put on the Brookyln Maker’s Market in the restored Williamsburgh Savings Bank adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZqD6KFYxK/

Tickets for the second annual Food Porn Fest, at 395 Johnson Avenue, are $3 and you can snag em here.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance Is Both Memorial and Call to Action

All photos by Diego Lynch

New Yorkers gathered in Washington Square Park last night to mark the 17th Transgender Day of Remembrance and memorialize the 25 transgender people murdered in the U.S. so far this year. More violence has been reported against transgender people in 2017 than in any previous year.

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Broad City Put Charlie Rose in His Place Weeks Ago


Until yesterday, the most memorable part about the “Abbi’s Mom” episode of Broad City, which aired a month ago, was the SAD lamp that Ilana dragged into Sushi Mambeaux, the seemingly Sex and the City-inspired restaurant where she’s been working this season. But that changed when eight women came forward to tell the Washington Post that now-fired PBS and CBS personality Charlie Rose had sexually harassed them.

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Spend Your Thanksgiving Weekend With Richard Hell

This weekend, local record shops (at least, those haven’t morphed into DJ nights) are sure to be mobbed for Record Store Day’s Black Friday. One highlight in particular: To coincide with the 40th anniversary of Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation, there’ll be a limited-edition, double-LP rerelease of the seminal album, remastered by original engineer Greg Calbi. Now comes word that Hell himself will leave his book-filled East Village apartment and make two rare public appearances, signing copies of the record on Friday, Nov. 24 at 1pm at Generation Records in Greenwich Village and Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2pm at Rough Trade in Williamsburg.

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Other Music Is Hauling Its Vinyl to Union Pool For a New Monthly

Have you been by Other Music’s former home on East 4th Street? It’s now inhabited by Broken Coconut, an on-trend, tropical-themed cafe serving poke bowls, tap kombucha, and avocado toast. Those who mourned the loss of the hallowed indie record store last year couldn’t have imagined a more fitting replacement: Where Neutral Milk Hotel was once on the speakers, coconut milk is now in the chia bowls. But, wait! Other Music ain’t dead yet.

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Bike Racers Do a Supermarket Sweep of Manhattan to Feed the Homeless

The participants and staff of Cranksgiving 2017 at its Hudson Yards starting point, 11/19/2017. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Over 75 bike riders sprinted around Manhattan’s supermarkets in the cold rain on Saturday for New York City’s 19th annual Cranksgiving charity bike ride. The informal “alleycat” race, held in cities across the world, was described by this year’s organizer, Austin Horse, as “a sudoku board manifest of supermarkets where certain foods have to be bought in specific places with both long and short versions that riders of all levels can follow.” The food went to The Bowery Mission.

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A Mexican Fireworks Festival Explodes Onto the Screen in Brimstone & Glory

Still from Glory & Brimstone.

Every year, the people of Tultepec, Mexico gather for a fireworks festival that culminates in the burning of colossal, handcrafted toros. As it turns out, the running of these papier-mâché bulls is more dangerous than the running of the real ones. Since 1910, 15 people have died during the festivities in Pamplona. Meanwhile, some 56 people have lost their lives in recent years at the National Pyrotechnic Festival. This is no gathering of privileged pseudo hippies, a la Burning Man– even if vividly painted effigies do go up in smoke. Many of the families in Tultepec have worked in the pyrotechnics industry for up to 150 years, and the festival, which dates back just as long, is a point of pride.

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For His Next Trick, Magician Derek DelGaudio Will Free Your Mind

Derek DelGaudio in “In & Of Itself.” (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

In his Off-Broadway show In & Of Itself, magician Derek DelGaudio has no interest in pulling rabbits out of top hats or turning wands into bouquets. His show, which is directed by puppeteer and filmmaker Frank Oz and produced by actor Neil Patrick Harris, tackles the subject of identity and the artificial limits that are set when someone or something is labeled.

DelGaudio, a specialist in sleight of hand, is widely regarded as one of the most talented magicians and was named this year’s Magician of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts. He’s capable of performing magic so compelling that audience members are left in disbelief. But in In & of Itself, the magic that’s present serves only as a backdrop to DelGaudio’s storytelling and larger points about identity and how illusory identity may be.

The show, which earned a rave reviews from late night host Stephen Colbert and magician Penn Jillette, among others, will be at the Daryl Roth Theatre until May 6.

Bedford + Bowery spoke with DelGaudio about the production, his collaborators and the problems with creating a show that’s so difficult to describe.

BB_Q(1) The show is quite unique – it’s not quite a magic show nor a one-man play. Can you tell me about the conceptual development of how from inception to finished play?

BB_A(1) I initially knew I wanted to make a show about the duality of identity and what it means to be and be seen by others. I also knew that in order to illustrate that idea the show needed to have its own identity and kind of embody the complexity and the paradox of the idea I was trying to express. I knew the show couldn’t be easily defined, in other words. The show needed to be an example of the point I was trying to make. That’s where I started.

I knew what I didn’t want it to be, which is I didn’t want it to be a traditional theater show. I didn’t want it to be a magic show, I didn’t want it to be a one-man show. I wanted it to be something that hadn’t existed yet. I started there and slowly built the pieces.

BB_Q(1) When people enter the theater, the first thing they see is the wall of cards, each with a label that begins “I am ___”; they’re asked to pick between options like “a teacher,” “an immigrant,” “a failure.” Can you talk about the idea behind having the cards be the first thing an audience member is confronted with?

BB_A(1) [I did that] in order to start the dialogue before people even sit in their chairs, and get people in the headspace of thinking about what it means to be labeled, to choose a label for yourself or have labels forced on you. I wanted people to have those thoughts in their heads before they take their seats. And also, to not just have thought about it but to be confronted with that choice and forced to make that decision and think about that decision. That confrontation can spark a real crisis in people, like: “Who am I? Who do people think I am? Who do I want to be in this world?”

Derek DelGaudio in “In & Of Itself” (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

BB_Q(1) Could you talk about each of the collaborators and how they got involved in the project?

BB_A(1) When I was thinking, who could direct it, it was a very delicate, fragile show and I thought Frank would be perfect because when everyone thinks of Frank Oz, everyone thinks of a different thing. Some people think of Yoda, some people think of The Muppets, some people think of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, some people think of What About Bob? Everyone kind of thinks of something different and the only way to really describe Frank is to say his name. So I asked him and he said he might be able to help. So I flew out to New York, I walked him through what I thought the show could be, and he understood it. And he was there from the beginning and he helped shape it, make it legible, make it accessible – because a lot of the ideas are really abstract and conceptual.

I worked with Glenn Kaino, an artist in LA. He helped shape the show and the aesthetics of it – he made sure it was beautiful and poetic. Mark Mothersbaugh [former frontman of Devo] did the music, which was great. He was amazing and he’s super talented. When we were moving the show from Los Angeles to New York is when Neil [Patrick Harris] came on and he helped us navigate the theater landscape out here and figure out where we should put the show and putting a team out here together, and all that stuff.

Neil Patrick Harris, Derek DelGaudio and Frank Oz (Photo: Glenn Kaino)

BB_Q(1) One thing that’s quite difficult is describing the show. Most magic shows have some element of storytelling, but this show takes it to the point where it stops really being a magic show – I’m curious, how do you personally describe the show?

BB_A(1) I describe it as a theatrical existential crisis, and a shared one. But the idea behind the show is to acknowledge a thing– whether that be a thing or person– and not have to categorize it, to not have to label it. To just let it exist. I mean, we have to, for communication, but my hope is that we can see things for what they are rather than try to force a label on it.

It’s not commercially very wise to have a show that’s difficult to describe but conceptually, it’s what it needs to be.

BB_Q(1) From a commercial standpoint, it’s not a show you could even do in a large theater – it needs a small, intimate theater for the show to work.

BB_A(1) Yeah, that’s right. Which is why everyone who is involved in the show, from the top, down. Starting with me, and the producers and the director, needed to believe in the show and now just want it for commercial reasons. Everyone believed it should exist and that’s what was needed for it to exist.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

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Performance Picks: Conspiracy Puppets, Thomas Paine, Synth Improv

THURSDAY

(image via Paul Pinto / Facebook)

Thomas Paine In Violence
Now through November 18 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $25

While Paul Pinto may be known by some for his work as a performer in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, he is also a highly interesting composer in his own right. In collaboration with director Rick Burkhardt, he has whipped up an electro-acoustic opera centering around founding father Thomas Paine and a surreal, dreamlike radio station from another planet. Paine, played by vocalist Joan La Barbara, is attempting to deliver various messages on economic justice while a raucous chorus of sound unfolds around him. The show in particular concerns Paine’s 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice, considered a precursor of basic income theory and planted seeds for ideas such as Social Security and taxing those who owned land in order to provide for those who did not.

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