Performance Picks

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Unibrow Brilliant: A ‘Movement Installation’ Goes Beyond the Frida Kitsch

Las Fridas PerformancePhoto1_hires

What do you think of when you hear the name “Frida Kahlo?” Her lush, Tehuantepec-inspired dresses? Her flowered headdresses? Her unmistakeable unibrow? These days, one of the most iconoclastic and eccentric artists of her time is often reduced to a mass-produced fashion icon. With all the Halloween costumes and kitschy Frida-printed magnets, bags etc, she’s surely one of the most recognizable Mexican figures in the world–and the most commodified. (Though those El Chapo t-shirts could change that.)

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Performance Picks: Experimental Fest, Macaulay Prom, Wormhole Party, and More

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(image by Federico Ausbury)

WEDNESDAY

Wednesdays With A “W”: Wormholes
At The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7pm. $7. More info here.
This is the second iteration of a monthly “art party,” sporting a whimsical theme and featuring a slew of performances from artists of all disciplines, including live painting, interactive performance art, a human canvas, a bug petting zoo, and an alien experiment. Naturally eschewing any average theme for an event, this evening is themed for wormholes. You heard that right. Whether it be actual worms digging holes or folks traveling through space and time or something else entirely, expect excitement and unusual sights at every turn.

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Weekend Performance Picks, And One To Spice Up Your Monday

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(photo via Lorelei Ramirez / Facebook)

FRIDAY

Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.

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Performance Picks: Queen Cabaret, Comedy in a Well, Solo and Group Lovin’

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WEDNESDAY

This One Night at the Opera
Continues every Wednesday through April 29 at The Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm (April 29 show at 7:30pm). Tickets are $20. More info here
For over a year now, cabaret artist Salty Brine has undertaken what he calls his “Spectacular Living Record Collection,” where he takes a classic or beloved album (anywhere from Weezer to The Beatles) and performs it in full, giving it his own personal touch. This often includes delightful and surprising reinterpretations of songs, larger-than-life costumes, and storytelling interludes. After working in this style for so long, it’s only fitting Brine is taking on Queen’s harmonic behemoth A Night at the Opera, spinning it into a grand evening of theatrics and betrayal fittingly directed by opera director Jordan Fein.

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Performance: Experimental Sounds, Literary Math Podcast, Black Magic Circus

SOPHIE MSMSMSM, PRODUCT, 2015 (photo via The New Museum)

SOPHIE MSMSMSM, PRODUCT, 2015 (photo via The New Museum)

THURSDAY

First Look: SOPHIE Presents Pupture
At The New Museum, 235 Bowery, Lower East Side. 7pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 for members). More info here
Mysteriously odd artist and music producer SOPHIE (the brainchild of weirdo party jams BOOP and LEMONADE, among others) takes over the New Museum for a multidisciplinary evening exploring the notion of synthesis in art. First, there’ll be a panel discussion with artists Gerry Bibby, Travis Boyer, Hayden Dunham, experimental dance collaboration FlucT, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, and Henrik Oleson. Following that, the artists will present live performance and original music. Prepare to have your brains stimulated, hear some really weird sounds, and maybe even dance a little.
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Performance Picks: Fearful Comedy, Fainting, and Queer Drama

WEDNESDAY

(photo via Shark Party Media)

(photo via Shark Party Media)

Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of?
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $10. More info here

Writer, comedian and former child actress Mara Wilson is back with the latest iteration of her show What Are You Afraid Of?, which rounds up choice comedians and storytellers to share their greatest and most interesting fears. This time around: Jasmine Pierce (Reductress), Anita Flores (Awkward Sex… And The City), and Anna Rose Roisman (UCB). And don’t fret, the extra fearful can always arm themselves with a booze blanket.

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Performance: Future in Puppetry, Internet in 1991, and Some Stuff in Between

(photo: Maria Baranova)

(photo: Maria Baranova)

WEDNESDAY

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.

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4 Performance Picks: Loft Opera, Brothels, And Hospitals

LoftOpera's "The Rape of Lucretia." (photo: Robert Altman)

LoftOpera’s “The Rape of Lucretia.” (photo: Robert Altman)

THURSDAY

LoftOpera’s Tosca
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.

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Performance: Champagne Jerry, Powerful Females, an Ionesco/Hitchcock Cocktail

THURSDAY

(photo: Kevin  Yatarola)

(photo: Kevin Yatarola)

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.

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5 Performance Picks: Corey Haim, Mary Shelley, and ‘Bad Theater’

clarebarron

(photo via The Bushwick Starr)

THURSDAY

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 herePlaywright 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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4 Performances Not to Miss This Weekend

FRIDAY

(photo: Patrick Moore)

(photo: Patrick Moore)

Lear
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.

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Memory Palaces, a Splash Zone, and Some More Performance Picks

Distract yourself from the inexorable approach of Valentine’s Day with some soul, some goo, some cinema, and some sparkles.

WEDNESDAY

(Photo via Lady Rizo / Facebook)

(Photo via Lady Rizo / Facebook)

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.

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