Performance Picks

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Performance Picks: Literary Roasts, Asian Drag, 100 People In A Room

WEDNESDAY

(image via Drunk Education / Facebook)

Drunk Education: Roasts of ‘Great’ Literary Men
Wednesday, January 16 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 7 pm: FREE

The books you read in school growing up (and maybe even now) were most likely written by (white) men, save for a few exceptions. There were plenty of opportunities to discuss this work, usually mandatory, but most of the time this involved parsing through the analytical layers of it all, marveling at what a multifaceted creation had come into existence at the hands of these men. Wednesday’s Drunk Education is a little different. Notable literary men will be the central topic, yes, but they’ll be roasted by three women writers (Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos, Observer’s Helen Holmes, and freelancer Becca Schuh) until nothing is left but some charred remains. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Exponential Festival, Comedy, and Sex Work

(image via Exponential Festival / Facebook)

The Exponential Festival
Now through February 2 at various venues, various times: $20

The Exponential Festival is a little different from the many theater festivals setting up shop in venues across the city this month. It’s exclusively based in Brooklyn, the material it champions is a little weirder and genre-expansive than what you might typically think of as “theater,” and it runs longer, which means both more shows (a dizzying array, really) and more chances to see them. Some highlights include a new short play by Athena playwright Gracie Gardner, a double bill of comedy from Justin Linville and David Perez, a play based on the Talmud and Kung-Fu films, a dystopian psychosexual musical with a disco soundtrack, an intimate show involving one audience member and one performer, and A Doll’s House, Part 3.

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Performance Picks: Three Theater Festivals and Quit-Happy Comedy

A scene from Chambre Noire, running January 10-13 at The Public Theater as part of The Public’s 15th Annual Under the Radar Festival. Photo Credit: Benoit Schupp

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 13 at The Public Theater (some shows at offsite venues), various times: $30

Yesterday marked the start of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, which showcases new performance from around the globe and is now in its impressive 15th year. While most of the shows take place at The Public, some are staged elsewhere, from Chelsea’s SVA Theater to The Met. Festival loyalists may recognize some familiar names—Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey’s [50/50] old school animation, a monologue-based work about violence that’s hard to adequately describe, also appeared as part of UTR’s smaller fest-within-a-fest last year, but is chillingly compelling enough to warrant a repeat viewing. Other highlights include creative storytellers James + Jerome filling the halls of The Met with their music-laced tales, multimedia puppet-centric riffs on both Frankenstein (Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein) and Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas (Plexus Polaire’s Chambre Noir), an evening with darkly odd comedian Lorelei Ramirez, and more. Keep Reading »

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A Jane Jacobs Theater Festival, Machine Learning Comedy, and More Shows To See

WEDNESDAY

(image via Caveat / Facebook)

Internet Explorers
Wednesday, December 19 at Caveat, 9 pm: $10

The internet can be a scary place, so that’s why this show has comedians to help you navigate the tangled mess that is the World Wide Web. If only it was a Mr. World Wide Web, and Pitbull was the sole creator and moderator of the online world. How different things might be… But they aren’t, so come to Caveat and see Mark Vigeant, a custom-made Twitter bot, and a merry band of assorted jokesters (including Botnik Studios, an “entertainment group” that uses machine learning) serve up their best material about artificial intelligence, the force that may one day replace humanity. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag Karaoke, Bread and Puppet Theater, and More

THURSDAY

(image via BEEF Show / Facebook)

Yell Club
Thursday, December 14 at Rockbar NYC, 9 pm: FREE

People seem to like karaoke, and people seem to like drag shows. These two groups don’t necessarily seem to always overlap, but come Thursday night they will unite at Yell Club, where one person sings karaoke while a drag performer lip-synchs that very same song. So, those of you who feel uninterested or afraid of doing drag but like singing songs when weird MIDI tracks and projected lyrics are involved (shoutout to Sun Fly, the weird karaoke backing track brand bug mascot I have taken a liking to), this will be your night to shine while also giving other performers some material.

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Performance Picks: Talk Hole’s GAPE, A Senior Center Collaboration, and More

WEDNESDAY

(image via Talk Hole / Facebook)

GAPE: Gift Activating Public Experience
Wednesday, December 5 at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, 7:30 pm: FREE

While government organizations like USPS are taking the day off today to mourn George H.W. Bush and making my packages arrive in the mail a day later than they’re supposed to, which I will continue to be excessively salty about, others are taking to the streets for a little public engagement. Or shall I say, engape-ment? Anyhow, weirdo comedy queers Talk Hole (Stephen Phillips-Horst and Eric Schwartau) are taking over the World Trade Center Oculus for a seasonal evening of jokes, surprises, gifts, and gapes. Maybe not the last two, this is a public space after all, but you never know with these guys. Joining the duo will be Cole Escola, Ayo Edebiri, Lily Marotta, Ruby McCollister, Alex Schmidt, and DJ Physical Therapy. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Friend-Filled Comedy, Dance at PS1, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Soooo Many Friends / Facebook)

SoOoO Many Friends
Thursday, November 29 at Lucky Jack’s NYC, 8 pm: FREE 

I think we can all agree that having friends is a good thing. Having friends at a comedy show also seems good, especially if it’s your birthday and you’re hosting the comedy show. If it sounds like I’m talking about something specific, I am: a comedy show aptly entitled Soooo Many Friends, hosted by Magda Cychowski and Michelle Davis. It’s Magda’s birthday, and she “will need to laugh to fill the void in her soul,” something I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. These laughs will (hopefully) be served up by Bobby Hankinson, Dylan Adler, Maggie Crane, and Andrés Govea. 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: 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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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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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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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 »