It’s relatively common for people to write plays that are autobiographical, and then perform in those plays. Less common is an autobiographical play performed in the same neighborhood where events took place that led the play to happen, and produced by the very person that runs the theater where the writer used to squat. If this sounds a little convoluted, it is. But it’s also the very true nature of J.Stephen Brantley’s new play The Jamb, about two queer punks in their forties: one gone straight-edge, one stuck in the wild days of his youth.
Posts by Cassidy Dawn Graves:
Up Against The Wall
Opening Tuesday August 30, 7 pm to 10 pm at Booklyn. On view through September 27.
Greenpoint “artist and bookmakers organization” Booklyn, which has impressively been hanging around since 1999, presents this exhibition of prints by two projects: Imagining Apartheid, a Montreal-based initiative bringing awareness to Palestinian liberation and the BDS movement with a focus on Israeli Apartheid, and Celebrate People’s History: Iraq Veterans Against the War, a portfolio project which aims to highlight veteran and active duty members who were against the war and have spoken out over the last ten years. Placed side-by-side, these prints and posters highlight years of a common struggle and fight for demilitarization and justice regardless of country or nationality.
“It’s like that dream you had where you’re at your high school dance but it’s not your high school, your ex is there but it’s not really your ex, your mom’s in the corner…”
This isn’t a retelling of a long-winded and elaborate joke, but a description of folk group Prairie Empire‘s dreamy new music video for their song “Circles,” off their impressive new record The Salt. In it, Prairie Empire’s leader Brittain Ashford finds herself quite literally dancing circles around and with people of all sorts as the innocent goings-on of a dance hall unfold in slow motion around her and Ashford’s melancholy vocals soar.
America is replete with music festivals (especially this summer, New York). There are so many it could make your head spin, causing you to momentarily lose sanity and fall into a killing spree.
That’s not exactly what happens in Jared Saltiel and Toby Singer‘s new musical South By South Death, but it’s close—the show is about a group of friends who head south to attend the infamous “Didgeridoo Music Festival,” conveniently set on a remote island. At the festival, pop star “Ciley Myrus” is headlining, but there’s something darker afoot. Someone in a Myrus mask begins killing everyone and documenting the carnage. Through selfies, of course. As more and more people die, there’s another disaster looming, this one of the natural variety: Hurricane Beyoncé.
Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
Admittedly, when I heard House of Yes was doing a show called Ketamine: The Musical, I wanted to roll my eyes. I imagined a glitzy spectacle full of drug jokes and little self-awareness, happily consumed by an audience of partiers. Or, like, an entire show where people sit there motionless? I don’t know. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way.
Opening Monday August 22, 6 pm to 9 pm at The Living Gallery. On view one night only.
For one night only, the humble Living Gallery will be taken over by artist and “earth-loving dumpster-diver” Jill Rosati’s fantastical sculptures. Among them are “vomcanoes,” vaguely grotesque creations that look as if a mound of dirt grew legs and eternally spewed a fine stream of luminescent sludge that may or may not contain human hair. Yum! Rosati is committed to showing the ugly and excess-filled side of human nature (and sometimes, just nature itself), but smartly does so using sustainable and recycled materials so she doesn’t necessarily waste in order to portray waste.
Some of us have the distinct memory of weaving up and down the aisles of Kim’s Video– or really, any old-school place of a similar disposition with B-film and cult-movie analogue tapes galore– while an endless stream of campy horror flicks played on the junky old TV set. Did you ever feel a burning desire to run your fingers up and down the spines of those dusty VHS tapes? Then use those same gritty fingers to grab handfuls of mushy bananas and stuff them into your face?
If somehow the answer to this twisted fantasy is “yes,” then you best get over to Terra Firma tonight, because believe it or not all these things will be available to you there, coz lord knows the days of the video store (it’s kind of like Netflix, only IRL) are over and done with. This is where your people are now.
You’ve heard the saying: “Don’t let people walk all over you.” If you’re a woman, this has probably been said to you especially often. But how often is it meant literally? At Kristin Smallwood’s debut solo exhibition IUD, now on view at American Medium in Bed-Stuy, the only way to access the art is by walking over scores of women (including photos of the artist herself), adhered endlessly and stickily to the gallery floor. The female figures are grinning lipstick-painted grins while your boot presses into their torso and your sweat drips onto their breasts.
What better way to spend your Sunday than spicin’ it up at Kimchipalooza 6? While this might sound like the latest edition of a concept-heavy music festival or B-movie, the truth is much tastier. It’s a kimchi festival happening for the 6th year in a row, celebrating jars full of the uber-healthy, probiotic, sometimes buried-underground, stinking-rotten cabbage native to Korean cuisine but that in the last several years has grown in popularity, transcending borders and spreading joy and a spicier, more complex approach to the blander sauerkraut more familiar to American tongues. They’re offering BBQ kimchi creations, live music, DJs, dranks, even a make-your-own kimchi station, and— brace yourself —a “super spicy” kimchi eating contest.
August 17, 7 pm at Judson Memorial Church: FREE
Judson Arts Wednesdays, a series of free music, dance, and theatrical-readings twice a month, wraps up the season with this final play reading.
Blind Crest was inspired by the true story of Ronnell Wilson and Nancy Gonzalez, this work by Monet Hurst-Mendoza is take on a “boy-meets-girl” story where a black man on death row and a newly-appointed corrections officer make a connection and plan to have a baby.
Last week Friday, a West Village photo studio was transformed into a hub of empowerment for #GalinskyLIT, an effort to help fund libraries and education initiatives in NYC jails and prisons. But if the word “fundraiser” inspires images of gold-plated table spreads and celebrities in sparkly gowns posing in front of hot lights, well, you’ve got the wrong thing in mind. Instead of exclusiveness, this event embraced inclusiveness– and rather than simply serving and coordinating donations and programs for incarcerated teenagers from a distance, the organizers really listened to the underserved and too-often maligned group that it represents.