About Cassidy Dawn Graves

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

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Performance Picks: Pride, Daddies, Teenage Richards

THURSDAY

(image via The Public Theater)

Teenage Dick
Now through July 15 at The Public Theater, 7:30 pm (weekend matinees at 1:30 pm): $50+

As I’ve discussed several times before, wacky Shakespeare adaptations are a dime a dozen. Normally, this manifests in the form of doing something other than the expected set design, costume design, or casting, while leaving the original script—and sometimes other age-old practices—intact. Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick, presented by the Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with The Public Theater, does something different. It portrays Richard III (“the most famous disabled character of all time”) as a high school junior with cerebral palsy who is determined to become class president, and will do whatever it takes to get there. Given that most productions of Richard III feature an able-bodied actor in the titular role even when breaking with tradition in other parts of the staging (yes I’ve written about this topic before), this play’s focus on both authentic casting and disability is a breath of fresh air. Keep Reading »

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Female Candidates, Global Wealth Inequality, and More Exhibitions Open This Week

art by Laurel Garcia Colvin (image via Robert Mann Gallery / Facebook)

In Her Hands
Opening Thursday, June 14 at Robert Mann Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 17.

It seems more women than ever are running for office, from the two Staceys who recently faced off for Georgia governor to local Congressional challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina from the Bronx whose recent campaign ad gathered buzz for being legitimately compelling. Robert Mann Gallery’s newest group exhibition, curated by Orly Cogan and Julie Peppito, showcases a series of portraits of women who are running in the 2018 elections. Adding an additional layer of femininity to the whole affair is the fact that these portraits are made predominantly using craft methods and materials, utilizing a medium historically tied with women and domesticity (and often downplayed in importance due to both of these associations). You’ll see anyone from big-name candidates to unfamiliar face immortalized through quilting, embroidery, and more. Keep Reading »

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Mad Props: Acme Studio Leaves Williamsburg For Bushwick

(image courtesy of Brian Colgan)

What may be the “most unique studio in New York” (and the only one to continually throw a party featuring a live llama) has left its longtime home on Williamsburg’s North 3rd Street and Kent Avenue. As of June 1, ACME Studio has moved its operations entirely to its Bushwick warehouse location on Meserole Street, as well as consolidated its business to focus on props. Keep Reading »

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After Shutdown, Brooklyn Venue The Gateway Turns to Crowdfunding to Reopen

From left: Nelson Antonio Espinal, Rob Granata, Ned Shatzer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Bushwick/Bed-Stuy venue The Gateway was forced to close on May 23 and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to reopen, according to an email from the space’s owner Ned Shatzer. Keep Reading »

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Cutting-Edge Cacti, Once More in the Lower East Side

(Photo: Kate Glicksberg)

It’s been said that adding plants to your living space is a great way to improve both the appearance of a room and your own personal well-being. But what if you’re really bad at keeping plants alive? Well, in that case, maybe a cactus will be good. They don’t need to be watered very much. Plus, if you happen to be passing through the Lower East Side, you can browse a variety of Southern California cacti, now that The Cactus Store pop-up has returned to spend another summer near Seward Park. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Immersive Comedy, Intergenerational Queer Performance

FRIDAY

(flyer via BEEF show / Facebook)

Post Verbal: Pride
Friday, June 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $5-10

The passionate queerdos that comprise burlesque/drag collective BEEFSquad have cooked up yet another performance creation for you, just in time for pride. So, rather than bowing to the forces of rainbow-tinged capitalism as more and more brands trumpet just how proud they are of everyone (while really also saying, by the way, you should buy their stuff), perhaps consider supporting local independent queer performers instead. A BEEF show is always full of surprises, from the salacious to the scary, and Friday night’s show hosted by C’etait Bontemps and Angelica Frankenstein should be no different. Keep Reading »

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Guerilla Toss Brings Experimental Dance-Rock To Union Pool This Month

(image via @guerillatoss / Instagram)

Union Pool was the name on everybody’s lips when The Cut published a feature chock-full of tales framing the Williamsburg bar and venue as a notorious (and often beloved) hookup bar, even going as far as calling it a “boyfriend store.” While all this is surely true (I wasn’t a Williamsburg frequenter during the bar’s sexual heyday, so I can only rely on hearsay), heavy petting isn’t the only reason people go to Union Pool. There’s also music. Specifically, dance-noise-art-rock-punk-etc band Guerilla Toss will be playing a weekly show there each Tuesday for the month of June, starting tonight. Keep Reading »

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And Lucky’s Dreamy New Video Takes You Underwater

While it’s not exactly a trip to the beach, the premiere music video from Brooklyn-based indie dream pop band And Lucky serves up a quaint DIY aquatic scene filled with painted fish, cardboard waves, and raining clouds made from those glittery foil fringe curtains you can get at party stores. And, to be clear, I love those curtain things. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: War, Globalism, and Multiple Realities

Richard Mosse, Love Is The Drug, 2012 (image via apexart)

Light In Wartime
Opening Wednesday, June 6 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 28.

War has been a near-constant in most people’s lives, whether they intimately know it or not. This exhibition, curated by Rola Khayyat, explores “the gap between understanding wars as historical happenings, and their fictionalized representations in the entertainment world, political realm, and collective consciousness.” Seeking to combine traditional documentary photographs with artistic metaphor and experimental development processes, the work in Light In Wartime predominantly depicts imagery that shows the aftermath of war, from sniper holes to newspaper articles. In viewing these new creations, we may start to form new thoughts about the information related to war we’ve been given for most of our lives. Keep Reading »

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Plant-Based Picture Show: Alamo Drafthouse To Offer Vegan Menu

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Roast Veggie Quinoa Bowl (Photo: www.hlkfotos.com)

If you’ve never been able to awkwardly murmur your food order to a server in the dark while a movie is playing due to your dietary restrictions, soon you will have your time to shine. Indeed, Alamo Drafthouse will unveil a new vegan menu this Tuesday, so even those who refrain from animal product consumption can feel anxiety about whether or not they’re chewing too loudly during a crowded showing of A Quiet Place where no one seems to be eating anything crunchy but you. Keep Reading »

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Tonight, A Chasm Of Art And Performance Opens Again In Brooklyn

Julia Sinelnikova (photo: Luis Nieto Dickens)

In December 2016, we spoke with artist and curator Julia Sinelnikova (known in some circles as The Oracle) about her festival CHASM, which intended to be four days of music, multimedia art, DJ sets, and more in a secret, industrial East Williamsburg location. However, four days became just two—it was cut short out of fear of a raid, as the city was in the midst of increased crackdowns on DIY spaces following the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Keep Reading »

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La Nacional Will Reopen, Seeking To Be ‘More Authentic Than Ever’

(image courtesy of La Nacional)

The last time we checked in with the Spanish Benevolent Society’s beloved restaurant La Nacional, they announced they’d be closing for a “complete renovation” in March 2016, with a planned reopening featuring new chefs in May of that same year.

The Spanish Benevolent Society’s executive director Robert Sanfiz finds it “really hilarious” to look back on that optimistic estimation. “We had go through major structural work,” he tells me. “Ultimately, it was going to eat a lot of our time and a lot of the money we put away.” Despite the delay, La Nacional will officially reopen on June 15, which coincides with both the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Benevolent Society and the World Cup match between Spain and Portugal. Keep Reading »