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Performance Picks: Murder Mystery, Spaghetti Puppetry, and Poetry Marathons for the New Year

WEDNESDAY

(image via Future Forms / Facebook)

(image via Future Forms / Facebook)

Future Forms
Wednesday, December 28 at Throne Watches, 8 pm: FREE 

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.

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The Story of the Gaslight Café, Where Dylan Premiered ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’

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

MacDougal Street where once was the Gaslight Café (© Kasper van Laarhoven)

MacDougal Street where once was the Gaslight Café (© Kasper van Laarhoven)

Bartenders with beards and tattoos serve $15 cocktails to a sharply dressed, late-20s public at what is now the Up & Up. The menu instructs: “Gentlemen will please refrain from approaching ladies. Ladies are welcome to start a conversation or ask a bartender to introduce you.” What would Kerouac have thought of that? “Refrain” is not much of a Beat chorus.

It isn’t hard to imagine the place as it was. Strip away the 2016 fanciness, insert a small stage and there you are: the legendary subterranean Gaslight Café of half a century ago.

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The Greenwich Village Church That Helped Women Get Illegal Abortions

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

(Photo: Bill Altham)

(Photo: Bill Altham)

On the 16th of November in 1964, four women and four men appeared in their underwear at the Judson Memorial Church, happily cavorting with each other and rubbing their bodies with carefree smiles. They piled up together, humping and sensually touching each other in a mess of raw fish, chicken and sausages. It was an event devoid of modesty, an unapologetic, uncensored expression of sexuality.

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Tis the Season: Unsilent Night Gets Bounced By ‘Big Political Rally’

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In the past, the East Village holiday tradition known as Unsilent Night has proceeded undeterred against the red menace that is SantaCon (remember UnsilentaCon?), so it’s surprising that something would stop it in its tracks on its 25th anniversary. But this is a brave new world we live in, and the annual roving sound collage orchestrated by composer Phil Kline has announced that it has moved the date of this year’s stroll “due to a large political rally in Washington Square Park planned for the same evening.”

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First He Took Manhattan: Leonard Cohen’s Breakthrough Years in NYC

(Photo: @sashaandlucca on Instagram)

(Photo: @sashaandlucca on Instagram)

We remember him well in the Chelsea Hotel, but Leonard Cohen’s New York City existence spanned beyond just the hotel where a makeshift memorial sprung up on Thursday after his death at the age of 82. Cohen came to New York City in 1966, just a year before the Summer of Love, and his breakthrough years there brought him into the orbit of Warhol and the Velvet Underground, the Beats, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix. He wrote songs for Nico and penned “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” after a night with Janis Joplin.

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Citizen Jane Is a Love Letter to the Villager Who Stopped Robert Moses in His Tracks

Jane Jacobs (Photo: Library of Congress)

Jane Jacobs (Photo: Library of Congress)

When I ventured out to Fire Island last weekend, it took us nearly an hour to get from the ferry landing to the house by traversing a forest path in pitch darkness. As I strained to wheel a suitcase through the sand, we joked nervously about the classic horror movie scenario, and I wondered which one I was going to get first: poison ivy? lyme disease? eaten by coyotes? Once we got to the house, though, we were enveloped in blissful solitude, and I cracked a book about Fire Island only to be reminded that Robert Moses had once sought to run an expressway through the quiet little place.

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Performance Picks: Beds Not Chairs + Silent and/or Messy Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

Blind Crest
August 17, 7 pm at Judson Memorial Church: FREE

Judson Arts Wednesdays, a series of free music, dance, and theatrical-readings twice a month, wraps up the season with this final play reading.

Blind Crest was inspired by the true story of Ronnell Wilson and Nancy Gonzalez, this work by Monet Hurst-Mendoza is take on a “boy-meets-girl” story where a black man on death row and a newly-appointed corrections officer make a connection and plan to have a baby.

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Last Days of Discs: Parting Shots of Other Music and Rebel Rebel

The staff and customers of Other Music on closing day, June 25, featuring owners Josh Madell (third from left) and Chris Vanderloo (third from right).

The staff and customers of Other Music on closing day, June 25, featuring owners Josh Madell (third from left) and Chris Vanderloo (third from right). (Photo: Nick McManus)

Was it the day the music died? It sure seemed like it when two of Manhattan’s last record shops, Other Music and Rebel Rebel, closed their doors on Saturday. Photographer Nick McManus, who’s been shopping at them since he was a teenager, got everyone together for some Parting Shots, above and below.

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Photos + Video: Thousands Attend #WeAreOrlando Vigil at Stonewall Inn

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

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The mayor, governor, and thousands of members of New York’s LGBT community and their supporters gathered around Stonewall Inn yesterday evening for a vigil to mourn the 49 killed and dozens more injured during Sunday’s attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

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This Week’s Primo Performance, Including a Beyoncé Musical and a Trans Theater Fest

(image via Dead Darlings)

(image via Dead Darlings)

WEDNESDAY

Dead Darlings
At Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village. Free. More info here
Typically, when we go see a performance of any sort, the material we’re watching has been written, rewritten, and carefully narrowed down from a presumable slew of ideas. Dead Darlings, a monthly show curated by performer and female drag queen Amanda Duarte, seeks to assemble a group of artists to show work that didn’t make the final cut or has not yet found a home. This time is “book club edition,” so there’ll be a gaggle of authors reading their work: Dave Hill (Inside Amy Schumer), Michael Schulman (Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep), Rebecca Traister (All The Single Ladies), and Cintra Wilson (Fear And Clothing).

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New Musical About Old New York Has Lovely Tunes, But Just A Touch of Stories

(photo: Pavel Antonov)

(photo: Pavel Antonov)

Any show that begins in full blackout long enough for the elderly patron next to me to start murmuring and glancing at the program with the light of his phone screen is one that is going to pique my interest.

Evening – 1910, a new musical written by Randy Sharp and Paul Carbonara (a former guitarist and music director for Blondie), has many interest-piquing factors. Indeed, it began in the pitch dark. It’s an entirely sung-through musical in a quaint and intimate space (the Axis Theater in the West Village) with a live band. It follows immigrants who arrive in the city in 1910. Some are showgirls at a failing variety show theater on the Bowery who dream of finding more fulfilling work, one is a man who enjoys using his camera. Their lives are interrupted by a rich man who intends to transform the theater into a cinema.

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J. D. Salinger Returned to Greenwich Village Today, as Rebel in the Rye Filmed

(Photo: Laurie Gwen Shapiro)

(Photo: Laurie Gwen Shapiro)

Holden Caulfield once said that “people never notice anything,” but we couldn’t help but notice that a new biopic about J. D. Salinger was filming at Caffe Reggio today.

Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a regular at the 89-year-old coffeehouse on Macdougal Street, told us she was one of many who couldn’t get her usual caffeine fix there today.

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