While you still have a staggering amount of Manhattan performance festival shows going on this week, don’t be afraid to take a break from sifting through show schedules in order to check out some of these other options.
This week and next: more performance festivals than you ever knew could happen at the same time. And plenty more to choose from.
FESTIVALSPS122’s COIL Festival
Through Jan. 17, various times and various venues. Full programming, schedule, and tickets here. They may not have moved into their renovated East Village space yet, but that’s not stopping Performance Space 122 from presenting their contribution to APAP, the COIL Festival. Exploring the theme of transformation, they’ve hunkered down in venues all over, including La MaMa and Paradise Factory in the East Village and New Ohio Theater in the West Village. Offerings include Annie Dorsen’s live musical piece utilizing algorithms to slowly transform The Beatles’s Yesterday into Tomorrow (from the musical Annie) and Frank Boyd and the TEAM’s one-man live jazz radio show.
If you’ve decided that Stairwell Theater’s scatological Ubu Rex seems a little too extreme for you, there’s no shortage of oddball performance events around every corner this week. But sorry to all you straight-laced folk out there, none of them are particularly traditional.
Would you rather spend a short evening watching stuff in a bar or dedicate your whole day to the wildest and most visceral of performance art? This week, you can do both.
Where The Wild Things Are 8
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9pm; $7-20 suggested donation. More info here.
Party moguls Brooklyn Wildlife present the eighth edition of their evening variety show at Bizarre Bar, home to all shapes and sizes of variety show. At any given moment, you can catch “aggro” raps by Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky, beats by Star Falcon and Rob Interface, performance art poetry by Terminal Intrusion (Nyssa Frank, owner of The Living Gallery), burlesque, and more. The event asks attendees to wear a costume from a childhood story, a mascot outfit, or just to come half naked. So, suit up. Or down.
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It’s December. Instead of thinking about how time is quickly passing you by, take a pause from reality and step into one of the many intriguing performances available this week. Some of them are even free.
This week, you can eat turkey and see shows. I guess you could do that any week, but it’ll feel more significant now.
This week, you can traipse over to Williamsburg and become part of a theatrical diamond heist, hole up with some strangers (and their holes) in a live version of a sexy UCB podcast, observe a lecture on hallucinations… The possibilities are endless.
This week, whether you want to be entrenched in the Halloween spirit or just want to watch some good old fashioned people telling jokes, you can slide on over to one of these shows to get your fill.
Esoterica Teaser Performance
At Visana NYC, 321 1st Avenue, East Village. 11:30 doors, midnight performance; free. More info here.
There isn’t much info available on this late-night performance preview at a speakeasy—it appears to be purposefully cryptic—but Esoterica’s website indicates it’s a richly-visual performance experience based to some degree on Dante’s Divine Comedy, where heaven and hell intermingle. “A portal to The Inferno will be opened,” the Facebook event declares. Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Several free festivals and absurd doses of comedy await you this week. Read on to get the scoop.
The Terrible Them
at The Experiment Comedy Gallery, 20 Broadway, Williamsburg. 8pm. More info here.
The Experiment Comedy Gallery, a newly opened waterfront space for offbeat comedy, brings this one-night-only play (previously seen at The Creek and The Cave in 2014) by Gonzalo Cordova and Nick Naney, inspired by the dramatic sci-fi horror of filmmaker John Carpenter. Created and performed by comedians but billed as theater in a satisfying collision of artistic disciplines, The Terrible Them tells the tale of a disgraced journalist who gets the chance to revitalize his career in the midst of an alien invasion. Featuring a large cast of funny folk, visual effects and an “original synth soundtrack” by Steven DeSiena.
Get off at the Bedford L. Walk ten or so minutes into Greenpoint. Pass the house with the eerily-lit windows, but don’t forget it. You’ll be getting to know it quite well later. Turn the corner and enter the old church. This is where your journey begins.
A little past 8pm, the band atop the Wild Project’s bare stage begins to play an opening jaunt by Zoe Sarnak, part of a genre-bending new generation of musical theater writers, and Shakina Nayfack steps onstage to sing about her Brand New Pussy. “She’s made for lovin’ and breakin’ hearts,” Shakina proclaims fiercely.