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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »