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.
Posts by Cassidy Dawn Graves:
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.
Most people want to keep their personal space and their workspace separate. But for Heather Rae Hatton, the two are one and the same. Her newly-opened East Williamsburg gallery and coworking space Club 157 just happens to also be her loft apartment—talk about a short commute. The fresh-faced gallery has had one show already, and tonight is the opening reception for its first themed group show, “Dreamcatching.”
Continues through March 19 at 198 Randolph Street, Bushwick. Tickets are $30. More info here.
If you think opera sounds stuffy and expensive, think again. At LoftOpera, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, you don’t even have to leave Brooklyn to get your fill of classic operatic scores, solid performances, and also, beer. The LoftOpera folks have garnered much praise for their past productions, and their Tosca is sure to be of similar quality. Come and experience all the nostalgia of a loft party, but with all the culture of opera.
Champagne Jerry in the Champagne Room feat. Neal Medlyn
Continues through March 5 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm (March 5 at 10pm). Tickets start at $15. More info here.
Performance artist Neal Medlyn and his comic rap star alter-ego Champagne Jerry join forces (yes, you heard that right) for a regular performance bonanza celebrating the release of CJ’s new album. Not only that, but a slew of guests will be joining him. Tonight: Bridget Everett and Adam Horovitz (aka Ad-Rock of The Beastie Boys). Get those bubbles ready, this show is sure to be sparkling.
I’ll Never Love Again
Continues through March 19 at The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr Street, Bushwick. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here. More info here. Playwright and actress Clare Barron premieres a new work at the Bushwick Starr exploring the formative teenage events of first love and first heartbreak, constructed from her actual teenage diary. The piece is brought to life chorus-style by a group of celebrated performers, and features original music. Barron has recently won awards for playwriting, and from what I’ve read of hers in the past, her work is soft and strange, relatable but very specific. This show is sure to carry the same satisfying flavors.
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Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.
Distract yourself from the inexorable approach of Valentine’s Day with some soul, some goo, some cinema, and some sparkles.
Lady Rizo: 5th Annual Nina Simone Tribute
Continues through February 11 at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, East Village. 7pm; tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.
For the fifth time, comedienne and cabaret songstress (as well as “entertainer, dream maker, chanteuse, [and] superstar“) Lady Rizo will enchant your Hump Day with her unique renditions of the great soul singer’s work. She’ll be joined by a live band and some choice special guests, including TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, The Wiz‘s Mykal Kilgore, and Carol Lipnik. Rizo has been acclaimed for both her vocal prowess and her comedic quirks, so expect a hearty serving of both.
Missed January’s exhausting theater festivals and still crave stuff to see? This week brings variety shows (as usual), erotic monologues, a black mass, durational dance, and more.
Circus of Dreams
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9:30pm. $7-20 suggested donation. More info here.
This is one of the first weird variety shows I ever went to, and I haven’t looked back since. Circus of Dreams, an unpredictable and odd monthly variety show formerly hosted by Matthew Silver and now helmed by the vivacious Lindsee Lonesome (one-half of brash music group Marital Dispute), is both a strange wonderland and warm community of weirdo artists who consistently bring their wacky ideas to life in the typically welcoming and aptly-named Bizarre Bar. Sometimes you’ll see naked people. Sometimes you’ll get cake thrown on you. Sometimes both will happen. Either way, you certainly won’t be bored. And admittedly this week I’m working the door, so come say hi.
Glancing at Eric Corriel’s new show at Garis and Hahn, you might think the works are strange zoomed-in views of plant life. Or maybe they’re depictions of those tiny glowing jellyfish you once saw at the aquarium. Or are those mold spores? Maps?
This week is a week of variety… shows, that is. Plop down at a show featuring way more than just one performance. Take it all in.
A Ride On the Irish Cream
Full disclosure: I’m performing in this show. But even if I wasn’t, I would still be telling everyone to see it. Erin Markey (who we saw perform at the St. Marks Is Dead party a few months ago) and a team full of champions has created a deeply personal ode to relationships and childhood full of strange but plentiful humor, bright-eyed wonder, and honestly some of the best live music I have heard in a piece of theater in a long time. Unlike some of those bland poppy posers billing themselves as rock musicals up in midtown, this show is the real deal.
Rice paper aerobics exercises, blotchy watercolor eeriness, and vast colorful landscapes all intermingle in a dance of shapes and shades in Phantasmagoria, an exhibit of works on paper that opened this past Friday at Bushwick’s IDIO Gallery, curated by Gillian Zinser and IDIO’s director Montana Simone.