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Performance Picks: Drag Competition, Comedy (Divine Or Otherwise)

WEDNESDAY

(image via House of Yes / Facebook)

Hot Mess: Drag Competition
Wednesday, July 11 at House of Yes, 10 pm: FREE

When you think of a drag competition, surely one certain television show comes to mind. But, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has made clear, not every type of drag performer is allowed to partake. But at Madame Vivien V’s live drag competition Hot Mess, there are no such limitations. “All drag is equal so whatever form you take, [whether] you are a seasoned professional or a baby darling, if you’ve got something to say, we want to give you the stage,” the event page articulates, noting that the show will include queens, kings, “queerdos,” and whomever else may want to strut their stuff. The winner will receive the coveted title of Mx. Hot Mess, as well as $100 cash. Plus, unlike a lot of events at the glitzy House of Yes, it’s free. Keep Reading »

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Elements Lakewood Brought Fire-Walking, Rainy Dancing, and Bushwick Friends to the Pennsylvania Woods

REZZ performing her Sunday headlining set at the Earth Stage, 5/27/18 at 11pm. (photo: Manny De Tatkieto)

REZZ performing her Sunday headlining set at the Earth Stage, 5/27/18 at 11pm. (photo: Manny De Tatkieto)

Neighbors from Long Island City waiting together for a shuttle bus to the parking lot, 5/28/18 at 10am.

Neighbors from Long Island City waiting together for a shuttle bus to the parking lot, 5/28/18 at 10am.

The Keep owner Stephanie Jankowitz-Castilo with her husband Diego alongside DJ NSR and his girlfriend as they waited to leave the festival, 5/28/18 at 10am.

The Keep owner Stephanie Jankowitz-Castilo with her husband Diego alongside DJ NSR and his girlfriend as they waited to leave the festival, 5/28/18 at 10am.

BAE members transporting their Wellness gear (left photo) alongside the Trash Pirates waste management staff (right photo), 5/28/18 at 8am.

BAE members transporting their Wellness gear (left photo) alongside the Trash Pirates waste management staff (right photo), 5/28/18 at 8am.

DJ Be Svendsen with his audience at the conclusion of his headlining set at the Alchemy Stage, 5/28/18 at 7:30am.

DJ Be Svendsen with his audience at the conclusion of his headlining set at the Alchemy Stage, 5/28/18 at 7:30am.

The partiers in around at Camp Pickleback's Pickle Perfect party cabin with host Dimitri (top left photo, in reflective jacket) and guest DJ's Hannah and TR(OTTER) (bottom right photo, left and right), 5/28/18 at 6am.

The partiers in around at Camp Pickleback's Pickle Perfect party cabin with host Dimitri (top left photo, in reflective jacket) and guest DJ's Hannah and TR(OTTER) (bottom right photo, left and right), 5/28/18 at 6am.

The BAE late night dance party underneath their tent at the Wellnest, 5/28/18 at 2am.

The BAE late night dance party underneath their tent at the Wellnest, 5/28/18 at 2am.

Bang On! co-founders Brett Herman (left photo) and Tim Monkiewicz (center photo) walking the coals before their fellow fire walkers posed for a a group portrait (right photo), 5/27/18 at 11pm.

Bang On! co-founders Brett Herman (left photo) and Tim Monkiewicz (center photo) walking the coals before their fellow fire walkers posed for a a group portrait (right photo), 5/27/18 at 11pm.

Brett Barker lighting his bonfire for the walking coals alongside an Elements fire ceremony, 5/27/18.

Brett Barker lighting his bonfire for the walking coals alongside an Elements fire ceremony, 5/27/18.

Fire walking hosts Brett Barker (left photo) and Kaytibunny Roberts (right photo), 5/27/18 at 8pm.

Fire walking hosts Brett Barker (left photo) and Kaytibunny Roberts (right photo), 5/27/18 at 8pm.

BAE founders Hannah Ross and Reem Abdou (left photo, first and third from left) with the attendees of their connection circle with host Analise Hobal (left photo, second from left), 5/27/18 at 4pm.

BAE founders Hannah Ross and Reem Abdou (left photo, first and third from left) with the attendees of their connection circle with host Analise Hobal (left photo, second from left), 5/27/18 at 4pm.

Costumed stilt walkers performing in the rain at the Water Stage, 5/27/18 at 3pm.

Costumed stilt walkers performing in the rain at the Water Stage, 5/27/18 at 3pm.

DJ TR(OTTER) (top, third fro left) with friends after opening up the Water Stage in the rain, 5/27/18 at 2pm.

DJ TR(OTTER) (top, third fro left) with friends after opening up the Water Stage in the rain, 5/27/18 at 2pm.

Orijins DJ Slav Mysto Vynnytsky (center) with fellow DJ's 2Melo (right) and Matt Sebastian (left), 5/27/18 at 1am.

Orijins DJ Slav Mysto Vynnytsky (center) with fellow DJ's 2Melo (right) and Matt Sebastian (left), 5/27/18 at 1am.

Festival dancer Tonya Karina in costume as a forest fairy (left photo, center) and dressed for a night of partying (right photo, right), 5/26/18.

Festival dancer Tonya Karina in costume as a forest fairy (left photo, center) and dressed for a night of partying (right photo, right), 5/26/18.

Performers with fiery weapons at the Fire Stage during The Golden Pony's DJ set, 5/26/18 at 10pm. (all photos: Nick McManus)

Performers with fiery weapons at the Fire Stage during The Golden Pony's DJ set, 5/26/18 at 10pm. (all photos: Nick McManus)

Incendia founder Cory Glenn (right) with his pyrotechnics crew behind the fire stage, 5/26/18 at 9pm.

Incendia founder Cory Glenn (right) with his pyrotechnics crew behind the fire stage, 5/26/18 at 9pm.

Artist Melissa Pressler (left photo, top, first right)) with friends inside her art installation for BAE's Wellnest alongside jewelry designer Jane Rizzo (right photo, left), 5/26/18 at 5pm.

Artist Melissa Pressler (left photo, top, first right)) with friends inside her art installation for BAE's Wellnest alongside jewelry designer Jane Rizzo (right photo, left), 5/26/18 at 5pm.

DJ Dirty Looks (left photo, center) and The Golden Pony's Tim Monkiewicz (right photo, left) during their DJ sets at the Fire Stage, 5/26/18 at 10pm.

DJ Dirty Looks (left photo, center) and The Golden Pony's Tim Monkiewicz (right photo, left) during their DJ sets at the Fire Stage, 5/26/18 at 10pm.

Attendees aboard the Molly Rodger on Fork Mountain Pond behind the Water Stage, 5/26/18 at 2pm.

Attendees aboard the Molly Rodger on Fork Mountain Pond behind the Water Stage, 5/26/18 at 2pm.

The crowds behind, with and in front of the Water Stage as DJ's 1989 and Matt Sebastian spun back-to-back, 5/26/18 at 1pm.

The crowds behind, with and in front of the Water Stage as DJ's 1989 and Matt Sebastian spun back-to-back, 5/26/18 at 1pm.

Attendees enjoying the basketball courts and hockey rink with party personality Rawb Lane (right photo, center), 5/26/18 at 4pm.

Attendees enjoying the basketball courts and hockey rink with party personality Rawb Lane (right photo, center), 5/26/18 at 4pm.

BangOn! co-founder Tim Monkiewicz (left) with his father Frank (right) as they hung out by the Water Stage, 5/26/18 at 2pm.

BangOn! co-founder Tim Monkiewicz (left) with his father Frank (right) as they hung out by the Water Stage, 5/26/18 at 2pm.

Interior panorama of the Earth Stage party bus driven by Tycho (second from left), 5/26/18 at 12pm.

Interior panorama of the Earth Stage party bus driven by Tycho (second from left), 5/26/18 at 12pm.

Friends from Maryland and Washington D.C. partying at their off-site cabin at Lakewood Retreats, 5/26/18 at 2:30am.

Friends from Maryland and Washington D.C. partying at their off-site cabin at Lakewood Retreats, 5/26/18 at 2:30am.

DJ Claude VonStroke (top, second from right) with friends at the conclusion of his set, 5/26/18 at 12:30am.

DJ Claude VonStroke (top, second from right) with friends at the conclusion of his set, 5/26/18 at 12:30am.

DJ Claude VonStroke spinning for fans from the Fire Stage, 5/26/18 at 12:45am.

DJ Claude VonStroke spinning for fans from the Fire Stage, 5/26/18 at 12:45am.

DJ Oona Dahl (top, second from left) at the conclusion of her set at the Air Stage, 5/26/18 at 12:30am.

DJ Oona Dahl (top, second from left) at the conclusion of her set at the Air Stage, 5/26/18 at 12:30am.

DJ Penny Lane (at right) with friends before her set at the Wub Hub Stage, 5/25/18 at 11pm.

DJ Penny Lane (at right) with friends before her set at the Wub Hub Stage, 5/25/18 at 11pm.

Saturators backstage with Elements Lakewood's live band booker Brian Stollery before their set, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

Saturators backstage with Elements Lakewood's live band booker Brian Stollery before their set, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

The cast of the immersive play

The cast of the immersive play "Moonveil" at the conclusion of their Friday performances, 5/25/18 at 9pm.

JunXion's DJ 2Melo (right) opening up the Earth Stage with support from fellow DJ Dreeemy (left), 5/25/18 at 4pm.

JunXion's DJ 2Melo (right) opening up the Earth Stage with support from fellow DJ Dreeemy (left), 5/25/18 at 4pm.

Attendees posing with the Cookie Monster bus alongside a nearby mural by the Fire Stage, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

Attendees posing with the Cookie Monster bus alongside a nearby mural by the Fire Stage, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

Philly Disc Ball Mansion resident Sam Gumienny (top, center) as she and her friends settled into their West Village cabin, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

Philly Disc Ball Mansion resident Sam Gumienny (top, center) as she and her friends settled into their West Village cabin, 5/25/18 at 4pm.

The crew of the Munchie Monsters Grill and Catering with their truck on the Center Camp, 5/25/18 at 3pm.

The crew of the Munchie Monsters Grill and Catering with their truck on the Center Camp, 5/25/18 at 3pm.

Elements Lakewood's Director of Marketing Daniel Leinweber (right) surveying the grounds with DJ 1989 (left), 5/25/18 at 2pm.

Elements Lakewood's Director of Marketing Daniel Leinweber (right) surveying the grounds with DJ 1989 (left), 5/25/18 at 2pm.

Elements Lakewood's performers at the conclusion of their staff meeting, 5/25/18 at 2pm.

Elements Lakewood's performers at the conclusion of their staff meeting, 5/25/18 at 2pm.

The ice hauling staff during a delivery (left photo) and and their crew portrait (right photo), 5/25/18 at 12pm.

The ice hauling staff during a delivery (left photo) and and their crew portrait (right photo), 5/25/18 at 12pm.

Friends from the 'Philly Pham' (left photo) outside their shuttle bus and the rest of the riders inside (right photo), 5/25/18 at 11am.

Friends from the 'Philly Pham' (left photo) outside their shuttle bus and the rest of the riders inside (right photo), 5/25/18 at 11am.

The toast of Brooklyn’s nightlife descended on the Poconos for BangOn!’s Elements Lakewood Festival, now in its second year. The best of our local DJs, performers, and party organizers united with an international roster including Claude VonStrokeREZZ, and Jamie Jones to create an extrasensory experience for the roughly 5,000 attendees, with music and more going well past dawn every day. Keep Reading »

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More Theater Festivals, Clowns, And Performative Activism

(photo: Ian Douglas, courtesy of American Realness)

American Realness
Now through January 16 at Abrons Arts Center and other venues, various times and prices.

If you thought last week’s Performance Picks covered all the winter theater festival shows to see, you would be incorrect. There are actually more, believe it or not. Abrons Arts Center and Gibney Dance’s American Realness festival began yesterday, bringing with it a slew of dance and movement-based works, including several world premieres. Whether you’re interested in profound performance art, classic dance, or pop cultural tribute, American Realness likely has you covered.

Some intriguing titles include nora chipaumire’s punk salute to Patti Smith and Zimbabwe, Neal Medlyn’s investigation into Pina Bausch and his years as an “untrained dancer in New York contemporary dance,” NIC Kay’s solo performance inspired by queer ballroom and Butoh, Adrienne Truscott’s “dance about dance without any dance,” Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis’s physical delve into the seeing and perceiving of bodies both disabled and not, and of course, more. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Magicians, Flashlight Ghost Stories, and Queer Debauchery

WEDNESDAY

(flyer courtesy of Patrick Terry)

Wondershow
Wednesday, August 2 at House of Yes, 8 pm: $20

Ok. I know what you’re thinking. You want to see a magic show, but you don’t know where to go. Well, as it turns out there is one happening tonight. While you ooh and ahh over my magnificent mind-reading skills, Wondershow is gearing up to show you mind-bending tricks at the Bushwick venue with some of the bendiest bodies I’ve ever seen, House of Yes.

Wondershow is hosted by magician and mentalist Eric Walton. I would explain his work by relating it to someone else’s, but the event description calls him “incomparable,” and I don’t want a magic spell to be cast on me if I disobey. The show also features mind reader Eric Dittelman (of America’s Got Talent), knife-thrower The Great Throwdini, “Western variety arts” master Chris McDaniel, and ballerina/burlesque performer Aurora Black. For those ageless or nostalgic folk mourning the loss of the early 20th century burlesque and vaudeville shows that used to be so commonplace in areas like Midtown, surely you’ll be in for a treat.

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A Massive Art Party Is Taking Over an Abandoned Mansion This Weekend

From You Are So Lucky’s Halloween party in Alder Manor last fall. Credit: Alex Nero.

When they arrive at You Are So Lucky, the mysterious three-day spectacle this weekend in which “125 artists, musicians, and performers are taking over an abandoned gothic manor at the edge of the city,” the first thing attendees will see are the sprawling 33-acre grounds of a 72-room Gilded Age mansion overlooking the Hudson.

In some ways the venue itself is the headliner, said renowned underground party impresario Will Etundi, one of the organizers. “The grounds are incredible. Grass at your feet, the open sky, a sweeping view of the Palisades,” he said. “It feels like you are in a fairy tale, with old mansions, trees, old statuary, rock formations….You are right on the edge of New York City but it feels like you are a few hundred miles, and a few hundred years, away.”

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Avril Lavigne’s Ghost, a Dirty Panties Musical, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(flyer via The Witness / Facebook)

The Witness
Thursday, March 9 at Superchief Gallery, 8 pm: $10

Tonight, witness this fine-tuned evening of powerhouse performance, live music, and installations from an array of artists working in movement, visual, and sound mediums. Curated by multidisciplinary gal Ariele Max (who will also be performing), the evening is comprised of hyper-sexual “inverted gospel” musician/performer Cole, choreographer and installation artist steeped in dystopian imagery Kathleen Dycaico, research and ritual-based artist Autumn Ahn, and musician/choreographer/etc Richard Kennedy.

It’ll cost you $10 to get in, but the price includes a full day of exploring Superchief Gallery, plus wine and the mysterious notion of “edible art.” Why touch the art when you can eat it? Keep Reading »

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Christmas Spectaculars, Gay Horses, and Other Seasonal Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Andrew Ayres / Facebook)

(flyer via Andrew Ayres / Facebook)

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.”

Keep Reading »

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Two Takes On ‘Immersive Cinema,’ From the Nightclub to the Museum

Little Cinema's The Fifth Element (photo: StudioMadness)

Little Cinema’s The Fifth Element (photo: StudioMadness)

While some would rather #Netflixandchill, there are ways to go out and experience film that stretch above and beyond your typical movie theater or home viewing experience. Some will even “immerse” you in your favorite film, or at least they will try.

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House of Yes Threw an Election Party at the End of the World

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”

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Our Guide to This Year’s Scary-Good Halloween Parties

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26

giphyGIFoween
Brooklyn Bazaar, 150 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint; 7pm; free

The web’s best animators set out to prove that everything is scarier when it’s looped for all eternity at this contest from the folks at GIPHY and Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party. The coolest entries are being screened and measured up by celebrity judges at the Brooklyn Bazaar’s new four-story space — here’s hoping for lots of animated homages to the dancing pumpkin man. Plus, on Saturday BK Bazaar is doing their “Brooklyn Fright Bazaar,” with musical tributes to The Cramps and The Bee Gees, games, karaoke (guess they found a manager), a Halloween drinking game contest (yikes), food and more.

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This Friday, Partying Literally Becomes A Science at House of Yes

Treetops explore the scientific inquiry "How do you make enormous rainbows form?" (photo: Daniel Montuoro)

Treetops explore the scientific inquiry “How do you make enormous rainbows form?” (photo: Daniel Montuoro)

Sometimes, when you go to a party, you want to leave your brain behind (the practical parts, at least) and just dance. Others like a bit more cerebral engagement. But just because a party makes you think, doesn’t mean it’ll also be stuffy or boring. Enter Treetops, whose parties have a proclivity toward wacky, interactive themes and quality music to keep you movin’. This Friday, the group is bringing its First Annual Mad Science Fair to House of Yes.

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You Choose Who Lives in New Slasher-Circus-Dance Show Slumber

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

It’s not every day you see a show where the cast ends up covered in fake blood and has to run to the venue’s backyard to use the outdoor shower (not to be mistaken for the rooftop hot tub) so they can rinse off and run back onstage to finish the show. But exactly this occurs in Slumber, a new slasher-inspired circus and dance show coming to Bushwick’s House of Yes later this week, featuring choreography by the MTV VMA-nominated duo Keone and Mari Madrid, who choreographed and performed in Justin Bieber’s hit video for “Love Yourself.”

Slumber follows a group of girls and one guy on what very well may be the last night of their lives, as one soon reveals themselves to be more murderous than others. It unassumingly begins with an onstage pillow fight, which acts as foreshadowing for the more literal fighting ahead. This pillow fight was one of the first inspirations for the show, as was Kanye’s song “Real Friends,” a chase scene, and the over-the-top nature of The Walking Dead. Throw some in some aerial silks and a Chinese pole, as well as performers from the Broadway revival of Pippin and a healthy dose of electronic and hip-hop tunes, and there you have it. Oh, and let’s not forget “more blood than you could ever imagine.” Um, fake blood, we swear. Keep Reading »