Under the Radar Wednesday January 4 through Sunday January 15, various showtimes at The Public Theater and other spaces: $20 and up
Ah yes, it’s that time again, when the slew of January performance festivals sail in every winter to overwhelm you with a seemingly endless supply of shows. One of these is The Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival, which presents a wide variety of music, performance, and more from artists based across the U.S. and all over the world.
Mary Houlihan, Joe Rumrill, Sam Taggart, and Julio Torres’s recurring comedy show Future Forms is a tasty treat, and probably one of the only shows you can say you’ve seen in a watch showroom. I mean, with the impending closure of spaces like Cake Shop, and DIY spaces getting all hush-hush for fear of getting shut down, perhaps we’ll all soon be watching shows in the aisles of grocery stores or something like that. Which could be fun, but the lighting leaves something to be desired.
The Perfect Play Wednesday, December 21 at JACK, 7 pm: $15
Not much seems perfect in 2016, especially in these last few moments. However, at Clinton Hill art space JACK, experimental performance ensemble Banana Bag and Bodice will summon a crop of luminaries of the downtown theater and performance world in a grand attempt at perfection. If a pursuit of flawlessness makes your eyes roll into oblivion, let me clarify that what these folks are actually doing is staging their fourth annual adults-only musical weirdo version of the classic Nativity story. You know, the perfect child, the virgin birth, etc.? Perfect. There’s certainly a lot to unpack here. Particularly the virgin birth– I still have a lot of questions about that. But I trust that this merry gang of creators, who have also dreamt up concoctions like a Beowulf musical and an experimental piece on political prisoners scored by a soundscape of found objects like fishbowls and license plates, will do the whole thing justice. After the formal show, stick around for drinks and “special Christmas musical maneuverings.”
Sexxxplosion! Wednesday, December 14 at The Rosemont, 9 pm: FREE
This event is for the later crowd, especially if you like to experience a show and a party all at the same time, in the same place. Queers, colorful folk, and nightlife crawlers alike will gather in jazzy Bushwick cocktail bar The Rosemont (opened by Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce) for a night of lip-sync and general debauchery. The lineup, hosted by Andrew Ayres, includes ultra-flexible burlesque babe Apathy Angel, “vegan goddess” Slater G. String, photographer and performer Gypsy Hill, and “part dandy part showgirl” Nellee Dii. Rounding out the evening is Neon Music, spinning tunes all night. Performances begin at 11 pm, which is late enough to feel mysterious and nightlife-y but early enough for people to actually be conscious for them. Grab one of the Rosemont’s bespoke cocktails (or a beer and a shot) and prepare for a “Sexxxplosion.”
Let’s take a moment to talk about a strange and ubiquitous inhabitant of today’s internet landscape: the social media influencer. You know the type. Millennial. Self-described “lifestyle blogger.” Multiple Instagram posts per day. Perfect lighting. Radiant skin. Expensive clothes. Exotic locales. Thirsty for followers. #Grateful to be #blessed with such a strong #brand.
Casey Caldwell by Charles Ludeke; Claire Fleury by Alesia Exum; LACTIC by Thibault Théodore-Babin; TILLYandWILLIAM by Tilly D Wolfe (image via Vox Bizarre / Facebook)
Wordspeak Wednesday, December 7 at Vox Bizarre, 8 pm: FREE
Vox Bizarre is a new Ridgewood-based “store and workshop” pop-up devised by four design labels: Casey Caldwell, TILLYandWILLIAM, Claire Fleury, and LACTIC. Aside from all creating unconventional and intriguing attire and accessories, the common thread that unites these labels is that they are interested in shedding binary gender classifications within fashion and developing pieces that are inclusive to all body types. In addition to selling their wares, they’ve planned a variety of community-based events, such as performances, workshops, photoshoots, and more.
Surely many of you have taken a crack at reading David Foster Wallace’s behemoth of a novel Infinite Jest; perhaps some have even gotten through the entire thing. Or maybe the idea of parsing through a book so large it could double as a weapon seems daunting, and you’d rather sit in a basement watching a comedy show that vaguely riffs on the novel but is set in a vaguely dystopian future where the NFL is in cahoots with the government. In that case, Brian Pisano and Sam Taffe’s sketch comedy play Infinite Jets may be the thing for you. Our current future prospects aren’t looking too hot, so might as well laugh at a made-up future before ours becomes all too real. The show comes as a double feature with Deep Space Live, a late night talk show set in space hosted by a man whose only friend is a robot.
It seems like a sensible enough idea to ready your stomach for the inevitable large amounts of food you are going to funnel into it come Thursday. Some may do this through going to the gym or going for a brisk walk. If that’s not your style, consider stretching out the old gut with some hearty laughter at The PIT’s night of comedy by an all-Latinx (for the uninformed, a gender-neutral term for Latina/Latino) lineup. You’ll be treated to stand-up, improv, storytelling, and other ways of spinning words in a humorous fashion. Plus, the event hints at “perhaps some delicious treats.” Whether this means metaphorical treats in the form of comedy or actual snacks, it sounds like a good evening to me.
The idea of regularly tuning into a late-night public access show could cause some to raise their eyebrows, but rest assured MNN’s weekly comedy/variety show The Special Without BrettDavis, which replaced The Chris Gethard Show upon its move to the Fusion network,is nothing boring. Unless it’s trying to be.
Furry! / La Furia! Continues through November 26 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm (November 20 show at 3 pm): $15.
Imagining the everyday life of someone who dresses up as Elmo and roams around Times Square for tips is entertaining enough, but now you have a chance to see it on stage, in two different languages. Playwright William Burke has teamed up with Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Brooklyn Gypsies Collective for a “Spanish/Spanglish/human” translation of his play FURRY to be performed by Jimenez and Olander “Big O” Wilson. Also, this play isn’t even about the regular life of an Elmo in Times Square, however odd and intriguing that may be. It’s about “a street Elmo who rises to power by taking over the streets of 42nd to 46th Street by using The Art of War.” I don’t think I could imagine the details of such a thing if I tried, so you’re better off checking it out for yourself. Keep Reading »
Haha, Wow! By Reductress: Hillary Clinton Won! Thursday, November 10 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5.
Everyone’s favorite (and maybe the only) satirical women’s magazine Reductress, fresh off the release of How To Win At Feminism (check our interview here), gears up for another edition of its monthly live show. Hosted by Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg, the show offers chuckles, lady power, and “tips on how to sex good,” duh. But this one’s a little different. The theme is “Hillary Clinton Won.” I’m not sure if this title was decided upon before Tuesday, but either way it’s gonna be a little painful to emerge back into the world once the show concludes. But for one hour of blissful pretending, you can “live your life like Hillary Clinton won with some of our favorite comedians.” Take it while you can. The show features Sydnee Washington, Alyssa Limperis, Shalewa Sharpe, and JANDA. Keep Reading »
But for their new book How To Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide To Having It All— And Then Some!, they’ve focused on the topic that seems to be in everyone’s mouths lately: feminism, and how to get it “right.” Throughout six sections and 200 pages, punctuated by Plinky the Fairy Witch (a vibrator-wielding second-wave feminist who speaks in whimsical rhyme and turns out to be “an actual Feminazi”), Oprah, Lena Dunham, Beyoncé, and “Ruth Bader Ginsburg After She’s Had Her Wine,” among others, How To Win At Feminism is an exhaustive and silly exploration into the follies of feminism and the many, many ways to joke about it. And after last night’s news, jokes can help to ease the pain. God only knows how long we’ll have to poke fun at the state of women in this country before the absurd becomes reality. Keep Reading »