On May 20, the 50,000-square-foot Knockdown Center will become the site of a bold new experiment in live performance. Authority Figure, directed by performance/dance/sound artists Monica Mirabile and Sarah Kinlaw, is an immersive and participatory experience exploring themes of surveillance, authority, and obedience. Appropriately vast in scale, it features over 150 performers (including a child and a pregnant woman), and has been created with six choreographers, seven installation artists, and six musicians, including local faves Pictureplane, SOPHIE, and Hot Sugar.
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Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here.
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $10 suggested donation. More info here.
Fire is normally regarded as a bad thing to be around, especially with the added element of drunk people at a bar. But don’t forget, Bizarre isn’t your average bar. I’ve seen my fair share of fire performances there, whether it be fire eating, fire breathing, fire dancing, or just someone who looked really hot. Miraculously, I felt safe for almost all of them. Tonight, you can see all that and probably more at this variety show that’s more fiery than average, in the most literal sense of the word. And don’t worry, these are professionals, so the only thing catching fire (aside from what’s regularly scheduled to) will hopefully be your heart.
Wednesdays With A “W”: Wormholes
At The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7pm. $7. More info here.
This is the second iteration of a monthly “art party,” sporting a whimsical theme and featuring a slew of performances from artists of all disciplines, including live painting, interactive performance art, a human canvas, a bug petting zoo, and an alien experiment. Naturally eschewing any average theme for an event, this evening is themed for wormholes. You heard that right. Whether it be actual worms digging holes or folks traveling through space and time or something else entirely, expect excitement and unusual sights at every turn.
Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here.
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.
This One Night at the Opera
Continues every Wednesday through April 29 at The Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm (April 29 show at 7:30pm). Tickets are $20. More info here.
For over a year now, cabaret artist Salty Brine has undertaken what he calls his “Spectacular Living Record Collection,” where he takes a classic or beloved album (anywhere from Weezer to The Beatles) and performs it in full, giving it his own personal touch. This often includes delightful and surprising reinterpretations of songs, larger-than-life costumes, and storytelling interludes. After working in this style for so long, it’s only fitting Brine is taking on Queen’s harmonic behemoth A Night at the Opera, spinning it into a grand evening of theatrics and betrayal fittingly directed by opera director Jordan Fein.
First Look: SOPHIE Presents Pupture
At The New Museum, 235 Bowery, Lower East Side. 7pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 for members). More info here.
Mysteriously odd artist and music producer SOPHIE (the brainchild of weirdo party jams BOOP and LEMONADE, among others) takes over the New Museum for a multidisciplinary evening exploring the notion of synthesis in art. First, there’ll be a panel discussion with artists Gerry Bibby, Travis Boyer, Hayden Dunham, experimental dance collaboration FlucT, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, and Henrik Oleson. Following that, the artists will present live performance and original music. Prepare to have your brains stimulated, hear some really weird sounds, and maybe even dance a little.
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Welcome to Lake Homo High, a high school full of drama with one teacher (Mr. SubBottom), one coach (Coach DomTop), and four students. It’s a school where you can network your way to good grades, audition for America’s Next Top Quarterback, and even earn an H&M gift card during an oral quiz if you can correctly identify the worst way to die (Answer: “Over 30”). Oh, and shocker: everyone is gay.
Ever wonder what your writer friends get up to in their spare time? Do you have some old journal entries or essays collecting dust in a drawer you’ve always secretly wanted to share with the public eye? If so, The Silent Barn could have just the thing for you. TFW is a new monthly reading series co-curated by writers Gabriela Tully Claymore, 22, and Nina Mashurova, 26, that celebrates and welcomes material untried and unexpected: journalists reading their poetry, musicians reading their essays, and so on.
Both of TFW’s curators write predominantly music-centric cultural criticism (Gabriela is an assistant editor at Stereogum and Nina has edited for Impose Mag and written for outlets like Pitchfork). They have both consistently written poetry or prose for years, but found their professional identity as writers could sometimes make it difficult to share that work.
WEDNESDAYMara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of?
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $10. More info here.
Writer, comedian and former child actress Mara Wilson is back with the latest iteration of her show What Are You Afraid Of?, which rounds up choice comedians and storytellers to share their greatest and most interesting fears. This time around: Jasmine Pierce (Reductress), Anita Flores (Awkward Sex… And The City), and Anna Rose Roisman (UCB). And don’t fret, the extra fearful can always arm themselves with a booze blanket.
Things always get interesting at the Mr. Lower East Side pageant, a raucous beauty contest for men (last year, in Brooklyn, the winner held up three computers with his penis). But they got really interesting last night, when the pageant returned to its namesake neighborhood for its 17th annual installment.
Steve of Tomorrow
Continues through March 19 at HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Ave., Tribeca. 7pm; tickets are $20. More info here.
Steve of Tomorrow is a multimedia work of puppetry following a sci-fi fan who makes a blog post inviting any time travelers to greet him with their presence, but the only one to come by is lazy and not at all what he’d hope the progressive future to be. This piece questions technological advancement while utilizing the latest in video puppetry, created in the signature style of David Commander’s Toy Theater. Regardless of your feelings on tech or the capabilities of future-folk, it’s sure to be pretty cool.