Bushwick

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A Very Burlesque Valentine’s, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Jen Gapay / Facebook)

Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular
Thursday, February 14 at Brooklyn Bowl, 7:30 pm: $25 

There are a staggering number of events of all stripes happening on Valentine’s Day, as show and party producers rush to appeal to the lovers, the lonely, and everyone in between. Some happenings are best enjoyed in a coupled sense, but others are fun for anyone. I wouldn’t say something called the Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular is necessarily fun for the whole family, due to the large quantities of well, titties, but it’s an evening that can certainly be a good time for anyone regardless of relationship status. “Singing siren” Shelly Watson will welcome a stacked lineup that includes Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Darling Just Darlinda, and this year’s Miss Coney Island Pearls Daily, plus live rockabilly music. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Electro-Opera, Kinky Dungeon, Experimental Comedy

FRIDAY

(image via The Kitchen / Facebook)

Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)
February 7-9 and 13-16 at The Kitchen, 8 pm: $25 

One of the most common ways people encounter opera is when very old compositions from well-known classical greats like Mozart are revived. This opera at The Kitchen is also a revival of sorts, but a more modern one: it has “newly reconstructed” a work from 1985 by late experimental composer Robert Ashley, staging it with a chorus of live vocalists and an “electronic orchestra.” The opera centers less around the Don in the title, but around a woman named Linda. She embarks upon many types of ventures spanning many locations and historical periods throughout the opera, all with varying degrees of success—something that should spark some level of familiarity in us all. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Construction, Windows, and Queer Black Bodies

(image via The Walther Collection / Facebook)

Destruction and Transformation: Vernacular Photography and the Built Environment
Opening Thursday, February 7 at The Walther Collection, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 25.

No geographic location ever looks exactly the same over time, but if there’s one type of place that has the most potential for rapid transformation, it’s cities. This photo show at Chelsea’s The Walther Collection seeks to spotlight photographs taken throughout history that reveal the ways buildings and land have been knocked down and built upon, and not always in beneficial ways. Taken between 1876 and 2000, this “vernacular photography” (defined as “utilitarian imagery made primarily for commercial or personal purposes”) illustrates how urban expansion has been historically valued more than preserving the natural world, from mining towns in rural Kentucky and West Virginia to the sprawling metropolises of NYC and Los Angeles. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Gross Girls, Thirst Traps, and More

FRIDAY

(image via The Nobodies / Facebook)

The Nobodies Hosting All Stars 4
Friday, February 1 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 7 pm: FREE

The fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is upon us, and has been for some weeks now. It also happens to be the only season I have ever watched, and every week I am reminded of how much the main challenge of each episode typically resembles something I was once made to do in theater school. If you don’t want to watch alone, sashay to Brooklyn Bazaar, where drag collective (and pro-wrestling aficionados) The Nobodies will be hosting a screening of the latest episode, as they do every week. Obviously when drag performers host a Drag Race screening, you’re not just going to get people sitting and staring at a screen. This is a show in its own right: expect live drag acts, bingo, banter, and even the chance to do your own lip-synch if you so desire.

SATURDAY

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McKibbin’s Club Tilt Is Becoming A Gay Bar, The Vault

(image via The Vault in Brooklyn / Facebook)

Tilt, the basement bar and club underneath the McKibbin Lofts not to be confused with nearby arcade sports bar Tiltz, is about to get a whole lot gayer. The bar, which co-owners of the legendary Lit Lounge opened in December 2016 with The Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce, is about to re-open as The Vault, a gay bar helmed by a team who are no strangers to queer Brooklyn nightlife.

The trio of owners—Meg Cavanagh, Cameron Cole, and Josh Luis—met through their various involvements (“bartending and DJing and working for drag queens”) in Brooklyn’s thriving LGBTQ nightlife scene, primarily at the now-closed Williamsburg space This N’ That. Cavanagh explains Tilt’s owners reached out to some of their friends about how to go about transforming the space into a gay bar, and their friends referred the trio to Tilt. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened; East Williamsburg bar The Rosemont went from a jazz club to a queer space filled with drag shows back in 2017. “It’s always easier to start a space that has some kind of beginnings to it than to start from scratch,” Cavanagh adds.

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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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Immersive Musical OSCAR at the Crown Promises to Be a Wilde Ride

(Photos: Ted Alcorn)

On a recent afternoon at 3 Dollar Bill in East Williamsburg, a group of performers brainstormed ways to involve the audience in their upcoming site-specific show. “Play Truth or Dare with them?” suggested one. “Make them react to specific musical and verbal cues?” echoed another. “Play trivia: drunk people love trivia!” interjected a third.

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Art This Week: Traumatized Clowns and Reducing Food Waste

Joel Osteen (Jessie Pierrot) part 1, 2018
Single Channel Video
00:31:28

Holy Fools
Opening Wednesday, January 9 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.

Clowns are perhaps one of the most polarizing figures on this green earth. Some people have a literal phobia of them, some find them distasteful, some chuckle at them, some employ them, some become them, and some make art about them. One of the art world’s more notable clown-based endeavors is Bruce Nauman’s 1987 piece Clown Torture, featuring a slew of video displays portraying “an absurd misadventure of a clown” that’s both morbid and humorous. Over three decades later, artist Ondine Viñao is putting her own spin on this work in an exhibition at Rubber Factory, recruiting four all-female clownish performers to stage their own mishaps, mixing both trauma and folly. Keep Reading »

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Art Exhibitions To Start 2019 With

Image: Logan T. Sibrel, ‘Best-Case’, 2018, Pencil on paper, 6.75 x 5.25 in. Courtesy the artist. (image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Better Loser
Opening Friday, January 4 at Leslie-Lohman Project Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 6.

It’s the new year, and most of us are probably reflecting on what we did over the last 365 days and what we can do to at least be marginally better. Rather than dream up a more perfect being, artist Logan T. Sibrel prefers to focus more on the flaws and complications of being alive, making drawings depicting people who are acting difficult, awkward, aroused, and sometimes all three at once. Deemed “a serious joke,” his mixture of words and images are reminiscent of a sort of existential comic book. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to finally think of a resolution, or maybe just to ditch the concept entirely. Keep Reading »

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‘Belgian Diner’ Benelux Hopes to Appeal to Post-Rave Bushwick

(image courtesy of Benelux)

After five years near the Morgan stop, bar and restaurant Tutu’s closed up shop in November 2017. While some vacant storefronts lie empty for what seems like eternities—nearby sports bar Tiltz had a two-year gap between announcing it would open and actually opening—the Bogart Street space is already home to a new tenant: Benelux, a bar and restaurant serving European-inspired food and cocktails that officially opened for lunch, brunch, and dinner yesterday. 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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Art This Week: Immigrant Benefits, Goth Exhibits, and Sex-Positive Birthdays

 “Night of” Performance by Laur Duvall, Model: Leah Shea (Photo: Frankie Weiner)

Stigma Unbound: The Birthday Party
Opening Thursday, November 29 at Wild Embeddings, 6 pm to 11 pm. On view through December 4.

Stigma Unbound, a performance series dedicated to giving a platform to sex workers and allies, is celebrating their first birthday with an art exhibit and a week of special programming. They’re kicking it off with an opening reception that will presumably not look like any typical gallery opening filled with fancy people furrowing their brows at paintings while daintily sipping small plastic cups of free wine. Rather, this will be more of a party, with drag, burlesque, and performance art to accompany the visual art on display from 20+ artists working in multiple mediums. It costs $10 to get in, but remember you’re supporting local marginalized creators here, not a big fancy gallery catering to the rich. If you can’t make the opening, later in the week they’re doing body art presentations, artist talks, and a pole dance night. Keep Reading »