About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Art This Week: Immigrant Benefits, Goth Exhibits, and Sex-Positive Birthdays

 “Night of” Performance by Laur Duvall, Model: Leah Shea (Photo: Frankie Weiner)

Stigma Unbound: The Birthday Party
Opening Thursday, November 29 at Wild Embeddings, 6 pm to 11 pm. On view through December 4.

Stigma Unbound, a performance series dedicated to giving a platform to sex workers and allies, is celebrating their first birthday with an art exhibit and a week of special programming. They’re kicking it off with an opening reception that will presumably not look like any typical gallery opening filled with fancy people furrowing their brows at paintings while daintily sipping small plastic cups of free wine. Rather, this will be more of a party, with drag, burlesque, and performance art to accompany the visual art on display from 20+ artists working in multiple mediums. It costs $10 to get in, but remember you’re supporting local marginalized creators here, not a big fancy gallery catering to the rich. If you can’t make the opening, later in the week they’re doing body art presentations, artist talks, and a pole dance night. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Comedy, New Theater, and Reverend Billy on Sunday

WEDNESDAY

(image via NYTW / Facebook)

Slave Play
Now through December 30 at New York Theater Workshop, 7 pm (some shows at 8 pm or 2 pm): $29

In a recent interview with Out magazine, playwright Jeremy O. Harris says he explains Slave Play, his new play at New York Theater Workshop, to prospective audiences as such: “It’s a slave play; there’s a history of them; go see mine.” If that sounds vague, it’s meant to be; he notes that audiences will experience the play best when they go in knowing as little as possible. What you can know is that Harris has been gaining traction and acclaim over the past few years for his work, which presents a refreshingly and unapologetically queer, black addition to the theatrical canon, which has a long history of being (and remaining) quite the opposite of that.  Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Ron Athey, Radical Burlesque, Cannabis Comedy

THURSDAY

Compost Bin (A RadicalASS Cabaret To Deal With the World)

Thursday, November 15 at Starr Bar: $15

Brave the snow and go to Bushwick for Brass (Brown Radicalass Burlesque)’s latest Compost Bin, a monthly showcase of queer, trans, and POC burlesque, drag, and performance art that earned the inclusive, boundary-pushing group a feature in the New York Times(That’s not something all shows happening in back rooms of bars can say). It’ll be their last show of the year (though they’re returning in 2019, fret not), so come warm your frozen self with steamy and stimulating shows by Miss Aurora BoobRealis, Regal Mortis, Juniper Juicy, Exhotic Other, sister selva, Munroe Lilly, and more. Plus, Starr Bar has a new selection of food that looks pretty good, so you don’t just have to warm up with booze. Keep Reading »

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The L Shutdown Is ‘Not Going to Be Really Pleasant,’ Business Owners Are Told

(Photos: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

When I got off the L train at Bedford Avenue a little after 9 am this morning, the platform was surprisingly empty. This may foreshadow what’s in store for North Brooklyn when the 15-month shutdown of the L train between Bedford and 8th Avenue begins on April 27, just five months from now. Less people means less money-spending; a 2017 survey estimated 40% of small businesses expected to lose up to half their business. To prepare, the L Train Coalition held the first of what will be monthly informational meetings aimed at business owners along the L line.

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Art This Week: A Stonewall Veteran, Violent Clothing, and More

Thomas Lanigan Schmidt. Lollipop Knick Knack (Let’s Talk About You), c. 1968-69. Foil, printed material, linoleum, glitter, staples, Magic marker, found objects and other media

Tenemental (With Sighs Too Deep For Words)
Opening Friday, November 16 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through December 19.

The year 2019 (which isn’t too far away) will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal and much-debated moment in LGBTQ history. While 50 years is a fairly long time ago, some people who were present on that fateful day are still alive and kicking today, including the artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, who will be exhibiting a collection of art and ephemera at HOWL! Happening right before Stonewall’s 50th. Lanigan-Schmidt’s work is kitschy and eye-catching, using common-yet-ostentatious materials like foil, glitter, and colorful plastic wrap. Broken down into individual parts, his materials may appear to some as trash, but assembled into these creations they take on a new, queer life full of promise. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Perspectives On Slave Galleries, Vengeful Burlesque, and More

THURSDAY

(image via SUP Comedy / Facebook)

The ‘SUP Show
Thursday, November 8 at Caveat, 9 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors

Once again, this recurring comedic showcase of women, queer, and gender non-conforming performers comes to Caveat to give you the best bits n’ jokes found at their open mic of the same name, which recently moved to The Footlight Bar in Ridgewood. The whole affair is hosted by Juliet Prather, Maddie Fischer, Fareeha Khan, Jesse Roth, and Stephanie Pace, which I always find to be an impressive amount of hosts. The lineup for this particular shindig is TBD, but the fact that you’re going in not knowing the lineup, but still knowing it’s going to be free of racist white dudes complaining about how everyone is offended makes me feel a lot more confident recommending it. Keep Reading »

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Weekend Art Openings: African Masks, Tiny Sculptures, and The Apocalypse

(image courtesy of Salon 94 Bowery)

Flash of the Spirit
Opening Friday, November 9 at Salon Bowery 94, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.

Lyle Ashton Harris’s photos, on view at Salon 94 Bowery starting this Friday, contain much colorful, vivid imagery, but few human faces. Instead, the faces in the bodies he captures are covered by elaborate, striking masks sourced from a variety of places, including several African masks from his uncle’s collection. These images are actually self-portraits, but you might not know it. And that’s kind of the point: throughout history, people putting on masks has been equated with them transforming into someone (or something) else, whether that be an improved version of oneself or a way to avoid accountability. Harris has been making work dealing with queerness, Blackness, and the self in the context of diaspora for decades, and this is a chance to see what he’s up to now. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Beauty School Drag and Climate Change Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Abrons Arts Center / Facebook)

prettygirl264264
November 1-3 at Abrons Arts Center, 7:30 pm: $20

It might seem morbid to plan one’s own funeral, but the way Ashley R.T. Yergens seems to do it sounds like fun. His world premiere dance piece doubles as a “premature funeral,” as well as an “extremely loose re-imagination” of the 2011 documentary centering around Chaz Bono’s transition. On top of all that, it’s also an exploration of living as a trans masculine person. Perhaps you’ll leave the theater with a newfound desire to enhance the flexibility and openness of both your body and your mind. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: ‘Anti-Nudes’ and KKK Cannibalism

(image via Field Projects / Facebook)

Hot Farce
Opening Thursday, November 1 at Field Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 15.

Throughout centuries, one thing has remained the same when it comes to art: in some way, nudes will be there. Curator and artist Kristen Racaniello knows this, but seeks to do something a bit different with her group show Hot Farce. The work on view seeks to be the antithesis of the “hetero-sexy nude,” meaning nudes that trouble the binary, nudes that question why you’re looking at them, nudes that may not even qualify as nudes at all. According to the exhibit statement, Hot Farce’s artists “admire figuration and are at the same time deeply suspicious of it,” a feeling in this time of existential dread I can only assume is shared by many. Keep Reading »

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Your Halloweekend Performance Picks

FRIDAY

(flyer via Em’s Damn Good Rogering / Facebook)

Halloweird Comedy Hour
Friday, October 26 at Pete’s Candy Store, 7 pm: $8

Before you get properly spooked at whatever party you go to tonight, pregame with some laughter in a candy store that doesn’t actually sell candy (as far as I know; they might be hiding something from me), but it’s still fitting to have a show in a candy-related venue near Halloween. It’s probably the closest thing you’ll get to trick-or-treating nowadays. Emma Rogers hosts this Halloween-themed comedy show, where costumes are certainly encouraged. There’ll be a live jazz trio and jokes by Catherine Cohen, Harris Mayersohn, Cristian Uriostegui, Justin Linville, and Stephanie Pace, and once the show’s over, there will be a “Satanic ritual cursing Brett Kavanaugh,” for all of you who missed last weekend’s hex session at Catland. Keep Reading »

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These Anti-Creep Posters Are Coming to Halloween Parties, and Could Become Law

(Flyer courtesy of Anya Saphozhnikova)

If you ask Anya Sapozhnikova, co-founder of glitzy Bushwick club and venue House of Yes, Halloween is the biggest party season in New York. It’s also “kind of the most consent violation-y weekend of the whole year,” she tells me, something that’s far scarier than any ghouls or fake blood. That’s why starting this week, both her venue and Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. will be spearheading a consent education initiative in the form of a website and posters that will be displayed in prominent nightlife venues throughout the city, with future plans that could make this type of consent-centric signage required.
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Performance Picks: Spooky Shows (And More) Galore

THURSDAY

(image via Vic Sin / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, October 18 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

If you think that most drag, burlesque, and variety shows aren’t going to be spooky-themed for pretty much the entire month of October, you’d best think again. You’d be hard-pressed to find an evening that doesn’t involve some sort of witches, blood, ghouls, or at the very least, goth attire. Vic Sin’s monthly Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret makes no exception; its “spoopy show” promises to be everything you’d expect from a Halloween show and simultaneously nothing you’d expect, with performances from Sugar Mamasota, Shanita Bump, Madame Vivien V, Seedy Edie, Jack Barrow, Larissa McCoy, Pieretta Viktori, and burlesque duo The Schlep Sisters. Keep Reading »