About Cassidy Dawn Graves

Contact: cassidydawngraves@gmail.com / Twitter: @malegazegraves

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Performance Picks: The TEAM, Drippy Dollars, Butch Dionysus

THURSDAY

(photo: Eoin Carey, via the TEAM / Facebook)

Anything That Gives Off Light
Now through March 30 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm (some dates at 9:30 pm): $35

The latest endeavor from theater collective The TEAM—working in collaboration with the National Theater of Scotland and music duo The Bengsons—is staged not in a traditional theater space but the cabaret coziness of Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater. Of course, that’s purposeful, considering the show is partially set in a London pub. Amongst pints and whiskeys, two Scottish men and an American woman cross paths and begin a journey that takes them throughout Scotland, America, and the inner workings of the mind, all set to a Scottish-influenced folk-punk score.

FRIDAY

(image via Wet Cash NYC / Facebook)

Wet Cash
Friday, March 15 at GG’s Social Trade and Treasure Club, 7:30 pm: $10 suggested donation

Yes, this comedy show to benefit Make the Road NY is named Wet Cash, but it’s probably not the greatest idea to stroll up to the venue (a Bushwick thrift store) and attempt to pay your suggested donation using a bunch of dollars that were once floating in a bucket of water. However, you might end your night with some—the team behind the show will be giving out drippy dollars (which could be a good band name) to a lucky(?) audience member. That’s not the only liquid present, however, there will also be free beer from Braven, and of course, comedy by Dylan Adler, Rachel McCartney, Ben Katzner, David Drake, and host Noah Rocklin.

SATURDAY

(photo: Sandy Honig)

Cream Sauce
Saturday, March 16 at The Windjammer, 8 pm: 

What is there to say about cream sauce? It is indulgent and sometimes too filling, but it is also good. Those three descriptors could very well also characterize comedian Edy Modica’s play of the same name, coming to Ridgewood’s The Windjammer this Saturday. Fittingly, Modica will be presenting absurd anecdotes of all sorts inspired by the Italian side of her family, with help from fellow performers Brian Fiddyment, Eliza Kimberley, Francesca d’Uva, Rachel Kaly, Chase Montavon, and opener Steve Girard. Expect tales of pasta, funerals, cannoli, and of course, plenty of sauciness.

SUNDAY

Leigh Silverman and Madeleine George (image via NYTW / Facebook)

Hurricane Diane
Now through March 24 at New York Theater Workshop, various times: $69 ($25 same-day rush tickets available for young people, artists, and East Village and Lower East Side residents) 

The hedonistic, hard-partying Greek god Dionysus has shown up in countless pieces of culture over the years, from the old classics to the name of a record label. Currently, you can find the wine-soaked deity in Madeleine George’s play Hurricane Diane, directed by Leigh Silverman. Rather than a bearded being clutching the traditional grapes and a drinking horn, George’s Dionysus takes the form of Diane, a butch lesbian gardener with a penchant for seducing housewives. Diane is played by actor Becca Blackwell, who describes themself as “someone living both genders,” and according to mythology, it’s likely that the actual Dionysus did too.

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Satisfying Shapes, A Mother-Daughter Show, And More Art This Week

(image via Uprise Art)

Quiet as a Space
Opening reception Thursday, March 14 at 54 Eldridge Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 1. 

One type of trendy online content today can be found under the label “oddly satisfying.” Paint cutting videos, hands poking indents in spheres of colorful slime, objects fitting perfectly into one another, and so on. Imagery like that can be calming to observe, even if you don’t know exactly why. The work of artist Adrian Kay Wong, an LA dweller bringing his work to the Lower East Side beginning Thursday, has a similar feel to it. Smooth diagonal slashes, even squares, symmetrical curves, and more calming geometry abounds in Wong’s paintings, which are graced with bold colors and landscapes populated with desks, lamps, couches, and flowers. They’re simple, they’re impressive, and they’re definitely satisfying. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Futuristic Sex Bots, Creepy Schoolhouses, Messy Comedy

FRIDAY

(Photo: Russ Rowland, via One Year Lease Theater Company / Facebook)

Eat The Devil
Now through March 9 at The Tank, 8 pm: $25 

The best way I can describe Eat The Devil, a multimedia-laden play by Nadja Leonhard-Hooper and Dan Nuxoll of Rooftop Films, is kind of like a cross between the movies Sorry To Bother You and Ex Machina, but way weirder, way more online, and with more theatrics. But even that doesn’t really do its uniqueness justice. The play, set in a strange-yet-feasible version of the future, centers around the development of Mia, an artificially intelligent sex doll played by nonbinary drag performer Theydy Bedbug. Meanwhile, airlines are sponsored by porn tube sites, Amazon is run by a flying Alexa device, Alex Jones is still screaming away, and furries are experiencing a cultural moment. It’s both a night of delightfully strange escapism and a harrowing vision of what very well may soon be our reality.

SATURDAY

The Mess With Jesse Roth
Saturday, March 9 at The Footlight, 7 pm: $5-10 sliding scale

Some comedians describe themselves as clean, but performer Jesse Roth prefers her work to err on the messy side of things. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into flinging food and mud around (though there have been comedy shows where those things happen), but rather, she embraces the flawed nature of experimentation. At her recurring show at The Footlight, Roth delves into stand-up, dance, sketch, solo performance, music, and more, finding out what works along the way, and what doesn’t. This Saturday’s show features guests Steve Jeanty of hip-hop improv group North Coast and Graham Techler.

SUNDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova)

Skinnamarink
Now through March 23 at New York Theater Workshop, 3 pm (most shows at 7:30 pm): $30+  

First of all, if you don’t get that little children’s song in stuck in your head eternally after reading the title of this show, I envy you. Skinnamarink, the latest production from offbeat theater company Little Lord, takes its inspiration from McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, a series of vintage children’s books dating back to the 1800’s that aimed to teach the youth to read. Using this source material (and peanut butter, so if you’re allergic, consider yourself warned), the ensemble immerses the audience in a “little one-room schoolhouse of horrors” to educate on the curiously dark state and history of the American education system.

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Tinder Live Celebrates Five Years of Comedic Swiping

(photo: Mindy Tucker, courtesy of Lane Moore)

Most dating apps can be depressing. But Tinder, in all its swipe-based simplicity, is a digital landscape with perhaps the most potential to expose how absurd humanity can behave when it’s looking to get laid. Someone who knows this well is comedian, musician, and writer Lane Moore, who has been delving into the weird world of online dating through her comedy show Tinder Live, which will be celebrating its fifth year of existence tonight. Keep Reading »

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Art Shows: Fire Island, Creative Teens, and Political Cakes

Photo via @companygallery on Instagram)

Fire
Opening Wednesday, March 6 at Baby Company, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 14. 

Oh, Fire Island. Even if you’ve never been (I haven’t), you’ve probably come across it in one way or another, even if it’s just on your Instagram feed or that time you overheard a group of partygoers dishing about their weekend outing. You have another chance to soak in this getaway through the eyes of another at group exhibition Fire, opening Wednesday at Allen Street’s Baby Company (an offshoot of the nearby Company Gallery). The show, organized by photographer Ryan McNamara, features familiar queer art names like Raúl de Nieves, Kia Labeija, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Nicole Eisenman, all revealing snapshots of what Fire Island (and by extension, spaces known for being queer sanctuaries) means to them.

Patrick Martinez, Chocolate Cake for the Black Panther Party, 2018, Heavy body acrylic, acrylic, airbrush, and ceramic cake roses on panel with gold mirror plex, 20 x 26 x 3 inches (image via Fort Gansevoort)

That Which We Do Not See
Opening Thursday, March 7 at Fort Gansevoort, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 20. 

Artist Patrick Martinez brings something simultaneously sweet and politically-charged to the Meatpacking District gallery Fort Gansevoort this week when he opens his solo show of paintings, multimedia pieces, and neon works. The show, which takes its title from a Martin Luther King quote, is peppered with notable figures from modern history, from author Rebecca Solnit to Malcolm X and James Baldwin. These faces, along with other iconography like the Black Panther Party’s panther image, are emblazoned on cakes in remarkable mixed media paintings that truly look edible—their decadence hints at portrait painting’s history of elevating those who could afford to commission one. In addition to the cakes, a selection of paintings of Los Angeles’s changing landscape and text-based neon sculptures will also be on view.

(image via Sonder Exhibition)

Sonder iii
Opening Friday, March 8 at 198 Allen Street, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 10. 

In many instances, going to see art means going to see the work of older people, whether that be artists who made work decades or centuries ago or contemporary greats who have been in the art world for years. But exhibition series Sonder, returning to the Lower East Side for a third year, only shows work by young people. No, not people who are in their mid/late twenties. It’s curated by teenagers, and features work by teenagers who create in multiple genres, who are both local to NYC and based around the globe. When I think about what I was doing when I was a teen, it definitely wasn’t showing art in a New York City gallery, so this is your chance to get a peek at those paving the way for the future of art. I can only wonder if, in light of all the news, there’ll be some Momo-themed art…

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Performance Picks: Living Dolls, Coding Controversy, and More

THURSDAY

(flyer via Eventbrite)

Quitters
Thursday, February 28 at C’mon Everybody, 8 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors 

It could be argued that February is a quitter. All the other months stretch on for 30 or 31 days, while February stops short. It gives up. And then, suddenly, it’s March, and you’re left wondering why rent costs the same for 28 days as it does for 31. Celebrate the last day of this short month tonight at Quitters, a comedy show hosted by Sam Corbin and Ian Goldstein that embraces failure in all its forms, particularly the funny ones. This time, they’re welcoming guests Karen Chee, Brett Davis, Marcia Belsky, and Matt Buechele to the stage, and audience members have the chance to confess their own memorable moment of quitting for a chance to win a free drink. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Tasty Treats, American Artist, Painted Haiku

Food For Thought
Opening Thursday, February 28 at Louis K. Meisel Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 30.

It’s a shame you can’t consume paintings with more than just your eyes, as the works on view at Food For Thought, opening Thursday at Soho gallery Louis K. Meisel, certainly look good enough to eat. That’s not a metaphor: they’re artistic renderings of food, from sugary, cellophane-wrapped confections to simple still lives of walnuts or onions. The edible item isn’t always front and center in this stuffed show—some pieces are intricate retro renderings of the signs outside of diners, bars, or burger joints; others are painted nudes where the subject just happens to be holding an apple. Either way, the food is there. Sometimes you have to look for it, sometimes it’s so prominent you’ll start feeling peckish. Keep Reading »

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NYC Comedian Recounts Her Time As a ‘Massage Parlor Madam’

Many artists have to work odd jobs to pay the bills, but comedian Nicky Sunshine had a hustle that set her apart from most. After getting tired of and/or fired from unsatisfying gigs and winning a comedy competition that paid only in beer, Sunshine answered an ad in the back of the Village Voice and found herself at a happy ending massage parlor. Her one-woman show Confessions of a Massage Parlor Madam, which ran at the East Village’s historic Wow Café Theater this past weekend, is a chronicle of how she got there and what happened next. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Green New Deal Raps, Comedians Get Serious

THURSDAY

(image via Make/Shift / Facebook)

SHE Creates 2k19
Now through February 24 at New Ohio Theater, various times: $25 

The hills are alive with the sound of performances from female-identifying and genderqueer artists at She Creates, a festival presented by Make/Shift and Akin running through the end of the weekend at the New Ohio Theater. The festival centers around the premiere of The Clark Doll, a play by Liz Morgan about three black women figuring out how to escape a confining situation, but it offers much more than just plays, with night after night of drag, performance art, live music, visual art, and more. Keep Reading »

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An X-Rated Exhibition, In-Flight Creations, and More Art This Week

(image via Solas Studio / Facebook)

Smut
Opening Wednesday, February 20 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through February 22. 

Many pieces of art are meant to be refined and cultured, prompting viewers to gaze at delicate brushstrokes and profound deeper meanings. But some art is just plain hot, and you sure can find a lot of that (plus some refined and cultured stuff, too) at the opening of Smut, a steamy group show curated by Liam Cotter and produced by Solas Studio featuring art ranging “from the erotic to the pornographic.” Of course, the line between those two descriptors is historically blurry, but it’s unfortunately common to see “fine art” insisting that porn doesn’t have a place in it, so the fact that that’s not the case here is refreshing to see. Over 40 artists working in all types of disciplines will be exhibiting as part of the show, so there’ll certainly be a lot to take in. Just make sure to keep it in your pants. Keep Reading »

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A Very Burlesque Valentine’s, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Jen Gapay / Facebook)

Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular
Thursday, February 14 at Brooklyn Bowl, 7:30 pm: $25 

There are a staggering number of events of all stripes happening on Valentine’s Day, as show and party producers rush to appeal to the lovers, the lonely, and everyone in between. Some happenings are best enjoyed in a coupled sense, but others are fun for anyone. I wouldn’t say something called the Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular is necessarily fun for the whole family, due to the large quantities of well, titties, but it’s an evening that can certainly be a good time for anyone regardless of relationship status. “Singing siren” Shelly Watson will welcome a stacked lineup that includes Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Darling Just Darlinda, and this year’s Miss Coney Island Pearls Daily, plus live rockabilly music. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Two V-Day Shows and Fruity Fellows

Vesuvius, Will You Be My Girlfriend?, 2018. 10 x 12½’ (image courtesy of Howl Happening)

Homo Eruptus
Opening Thursday, February 14 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 13. 

Scooter LaForge’s paintings, on view at East Village space Howl Happening starting on Valentine’s Day, are satisfyingly messy, so it’s only appropriate they are unveiled on a day classically associated with messy emotional feelings, whether they be good or bad. Similar feelings are articulated through LaForge’s brushstrokes, which create compelling and mind-boggling scenes featuring cartoon animals, bodily fluids, autofellatio, angels, and much more. He manages to fit a doe-eyed rabbit that looks straight out of a Disney movie in the same frame as angry black paint smears, a urinating brown bear with big black boots, and human(ish) figures that look almost like they’d be fit to adorn the ceiling of a church somewhere, provided that church was sufficiently strange. The longer you look, the more you’ll find. Keep Reading »