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Pre-Christmas Performance: Experimental Nativity Reenactments, Pole Dancing + More

WEDNESDAY

(photo via JACK / Facebook)

(photo via JACK / Facebook)

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.”

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Catch France’s Crème de la Crème (For Free!) at the France Rocks Summerfest

Israeli-French singer/songwriter Yael Naim. (Photo courtesy FranceRocks)

Israeli-French singer/songwriter Yael Naim. (Photo courtesy France Rocks)

Voilà! The inaugural France Rocks Summerfest or should we say, France Des Roches Fest D’été (no, no we shouldn’t) kicked off Memorial Monday with a performance by “guitar orchestra” composer Rhys Chatham, and continues on June 3 with a performance at Le Poisson Rouge by French pianist and composer Maxence Cyrin (known for his solo piano covers; check out his 2009 cover of “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies). The seven-week showcase of French music will include more than 30 musical acts performing a range of indie rock, pop, electronica, jazz and world rhythms at more than 25 venues across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

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Jiggle With an Unlikely Pair: Pole Dancers and Comics Combine Powers

(Photo courtesy of Shtick a Pole in It)

(Photo by Brody Brodo, courtesy of Schtick a Pole in It)

Comics have a lot to compete with in this town– each other, for one– so it’s safe to assume that a stand-up can only be trying to realize some kind of suicide pact if they willingly join a lineup filled with pole dancers. But as Schtick a Pole In It– the monthly show at Drom that brings together comics and pole jockeys (unfortunately not pole dancing comics, yet anyway) whose third anniversary is happening in January– proves, the combination actually makes for a seriously titillating experience that benefits everyone involved.

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Drom, a World-Music Oasis in a Sea of Urban Renewal

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

New York Gyspy All Stars, playing their album release show at Drom. (Photo: Kat Thornton)

New York Gyspy All Stars, playing their album release show at Drom. (Photo: Kat Thornton)

Earlier this month, a funky clarinet tune spilled out of a basement beneath a falafel store on Avenue A. Down the stairs, inside of Drom, the New York Gypsy All Stars were celebrating the release of their second album. The band’s four core members come from Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey, and their keyboard players hail from Chile, Cuba, Switzerland, and the United States. As they played songs that, by the band’s description, cover “all the Balkans melodically,” and “the world rhythmically and harmonically,” a large image of Istanbul’s iconic Galata Tower hangs in the background.

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Sights and Scenes From the LES Film Festival’s Kinky Awards Party

Lady Circus performs at LESFF. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

Lady Circus performs at LESFF. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

We didn’t see Mike Love of the Beach Boys or any of the Lower East Side Film Festival’s judges at last night’s awards party, but Drom was filled with plenty of fantastic humans with golden wings and furry tails. Not to mention, filmmakers who traveled from across the country to hear who took home awards.

While the platinum blonde sisters who make up the duo Chaos Chaos rocked out on drums and synthesizer, we chatted up attendees like Eleanor Wilson. The co-producer of Blunderbus, which screened at the festival’s Secret Biergarten, said she enjoyed tracking down clues to an ice cream truck — much like one stolen in the film — where she found her entrance ticket.

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'Operotica': It's When Burlesque and Opera Come Together

If you tend to doze off at the opera, rest assured this one’ll rouse (and arouse?) you: Sarah Screams’ forthcoming show at Drom will combine opera and burlesque to create what can only be called “Operotica.” As if that’s not enough, the night of arias and areolas will also feature excerpts from a bonkers-sounding “porn opera.”
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At a 100th Birthday Reading of Sun Ra's Lost Works, Space Was the Place

Phast Phreddie doing his saxophone thing. (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Phast Phreddie doing his saxophone thing. (Photo: Nicole Disser)

William S. Burroughs isn’t the only counterculture deity being feted with a centenial. The late Sun Ra would have been about a month shy of 100 years old, but his presence permeated St. Mark’s Church on Friday night.
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