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I Had a Wizard Session With the Gandalf of Greenpoint

(Photo: Clarrie Feinstein)

Devin Person doesn’t always wear head-to-toe wizard garb while working with a client, but when he opens the door to his small Greenpoint apartment for me, he looks a lot like Gandalf: lengthy robes, a tall, pointed hat, a long white beard. I can’t help but crack a smile. “You have to embrace silliness,” he says. “That’s really good for someone.”

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Performance Picks: Cannabis Comedy, Grimm Burlesque Tales, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Brown Privilege Comedy / Facebook)

Brown Privilege Comedy
Thursday, March 21 at Friends and Lovers, 8:30 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

The 39th edition of Saurin Choksi and DJ Sareen’s Brown Privilege Comedy returns to Crown Heights bar Friends and Lovers tonight. As always, the show spotlights some of the best comedians of color the city has to offer, with nary a token white person to be found. This time, they’re bringing along Gibran Saleem, Aminah Imani, Ayanna Dookie, Kevin Iso, and Alex English. After all the jokes have concluded, stick around—DJ Sareen takes the stage and the show becomes a dance party. Keep Reading »

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The Director of Suicide Forest Is ‘a Bit Suspicious’ of Reactions to the Dark Play

(Photos: Maria Baranova)

When you enter the theater at The Bushwick Starr, you’ll see a stage strewn with ornate, antique furniture, and the walls covered in painted vertical stripes and various shades of pink teardrop-like shapes. The set evokes a sense of claustrophobia. Amidst the chaos on stage, a pale blue light focuses on a painting of Mount Fuji that appears to glow.

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Designer Belkis Whyte Brings a Splash of Ghana to NYC’s Streets

(Courtesy of Beriqisu)

When Belkis Whyte graduated from college and earned a dream fashion internship in New York City, she found herself conforming to the city’s ubiquitous style: all black apparel with poker straight hair. Ironically, her creativity and individuality was being stifled in one of the world’s great fashion capitals. “I came as a minority in the industry and those insecurities kick in,” explains Whyte, who was born in Ghana. “I have to work twice as hard, even three times as hard, just to make a quarter of what my white counterparts make.”

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Counterculture Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty Returns to MacDoodle St. after 40 Years

You don’t have to know comics to know the work of Mark Alan Stamaty. He’s responsible for the ornately illustrated cover of the first free edition of the Village Voice back in 1996; he channeled dozens of 1970s musical icons for the cover art for Will Hermes’s Love Goes to Buildings on Fire; and, more recently, he created a mural for Sonos’s first New York City store. And that’s in addition to a long-running career in comics, including books for both adults and children, which began in the 1970s.

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Tribeca Q&As Include Sarah Silverman, Werner Herzog, Scorsese and More

After revealing its lineup of features and the full slate for its TV festival, the Tribeca Film Festival is showering us, piñata-style, with yet more goodies. Today the fest’s organizers dropped its schedule of Tribeca Talks, including tete-a-tetes between Martin Scorsese and festival co-founder Robert de Niro (their latest collaboration, The Irishman, comes to Netlfix in the fall); David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence; Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary; and comics Sarah Silverman and Mike Birbiglia. There will also be talks with Rashida Jones, Questlove, and Queen Latifah, followed by a screening of shorts created by female filmmakers with the support of The Queen Collective, Latifah’s program aimed at encouraging racial and gender equality among directors.

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Art This Week: Lines, Cut Paper, and Low-Tech Glitches

thecatamites, Magic Wand, 2016, Video game, Dimensions variable (still) (image via apexart)

Dire Jank
Opening Wednesday, March 20 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 19. 

It’s usually considered good and impressive for something digitally created to look flawless, almost like it wasn’t created by humans to begin with. Usually this process is time-consuming; it almost always involves some sort of expensive software, or equipment, or graduate degrees. Dire Jank, an exhibition of games, videos, and digital art curated by Porpentine Charity Heartscape, celebrates pretty much everything that isn’t that. Pixelated images, old Photo Booth filters, outdated Flash games, glitches, and more are put on a pedestal here, valued more than the glossy, hyper-realistic creations that modern technology can create. Keep Reading »

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How NYC’s Broken Food Cart System Leaves Vendors Scraping By

A NYC street vendor. (Photo by Jazz Guy via Wikimedia Commons)

Day and night, Tapash Sarkar, a Bangladeshi street vendor in lower Manhattan clinks his spatulas as he cooks biryani behind a fingerprint-stained food truck window. “I’m new here, I’ve been at this food cart for 15 days. I came to New York because my country had some problems, religion problems with the Hindus, so that’s why I came here with my family,” Sarkar says.

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Performance Picks: The TEAM, Drippy Dollars, Butch Dionysus

THURSDAY

(photo: Eoin Carey, via the TEAM / Facebook)

Anything That Gives Off Light
Now through March 30 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm (some dates at 9:30 pm): $35

The latest endeavor from theater collective The TEAM—working in collaboration with the National Theater of Scotland and music duo The Bengsons—is staged not in a traditional theater space but the cabaret coziness of Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater. Of course, that’s purposeful, considering the show is partially set in a London pub. Amongst pints and whiskeys, two Scottish men and an American woman cross paths and begin a journey that takes them throughout Scotland, America, and the inner workings of the mind, all set to a Scottish-influenced folk-punk score.

FRIDAY

(image via Wet Cash NYC / Facebook)

Wet Cash
Friday, March 15 at GG’s Social Trade and Treasure Club, 7:30 pm: $10 suggested donation

Yes, this comedy show to benefit Make the Road NY is named Wet Cash, but it’s probably not the greatest idea to stroll up to the venue (a Bushwick thrift store) and attempt to pay your suggested donation using a bunch of dollars that were once floating in a bucket of water. However, you might end your night with some—the team behind the show will be giving out drippy dollars (which could be a good band name) to a lucky(?) audience member. That’s not the only liquid present, however, there will also be free beer from Braven, and of course, comedy by Dylan Adler, Rachel McCartney, Ben Katzner, David Drake, and host Noah Rocklin.

SATURDAY

(photo: Sandy Honig)

Cream Sauce
Saturday, March 16 at The Windjammer, 8 pm: 

What is there to say about cream sauce? It is indulgent and sometimes too filling, but it is also good. Those three descriptors could very well also characterize comedian Edy Modica’s play of the same name, coming to Ridgewood’s The Windjammer this Saturday. Fittingly, Modica will be presenting absurd anecdotes of all sorts inspired by the Italian side of her family, with help from fellow performers Brian Fiddyment, Eliza Kimberley, Francesca d’Uva, Rachel Kaly, Chase Montavon, and opener Steve Girard. Expect tales of pasta, funerals, cannoli, and of course, plenty of sauciness.

SUNDAY

Leigh Silverman and Madeleine George (image via NYTW / Facebook)

Hurricane Diane
Now through March 24 at New York Theater Workshop, various times: $69 ($25 same-day rush tickets available for young people, artists, and East Village and Lower East Side residents) 

The hedonistic, hard-partying Greek god Dionysus has shown up in countless pieces of culture over the years, from the old classics to the name of a record label. Currently, you can find the wine-soaked deity in Madeleine George’s play Hurricane Diane, directed by Leigh Silverman. Rather than a bearded being clutching the traditional grapes and a drinking horn, George’s Dionysus takes the form of Diane, a butch lesbian gardener with a penchant for seducing housewives. Diane is played by actor Becca Blackwell, who describes themself as “someone living both genders,” and according to mythology, it’s likely that the actual Dionysus did too.

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Watch a ‘Peer-Reviewed Rapper’ Get His Brain Dissected By His Scientist Wife

(Photo: James Armandary)

Baba Brinkman bills himself as “the world’s only peer-reviewed rapper,” and nobody disputes the title. In college, the lumbering son of Canadian tree planters studied the parallels between hip-hop and medieval poetry and he has since carved out a niche with science-themed hip-hop shows and albums, such as “The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos.”

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