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 »
There’s been a bit of a stir surrounding this year’s Bushwick Open Studios. Firstly, they’ve been moved to this coming weekend instead of their usual summertime. There’s been a changing of hands in regards to who’s in charge, and supposedly a renewed focus on connecting with longtime locals rather than just hip, social-media-savvy (mostly white) artists and parties sponsored by Tumblr. The time has come to see how things have changed, and how they might’ve stayed the same. The jam-packed weekend can get overwhelming. Aside from all the artist studios that’ll be open (reason for the season), here are some highlights that might be worth your while.
Admittedly, when I heard House of Yes was doing a show called Ketamine: The Musical, I wanted to roll my eyes. I imagined a glitzy spectacle full of drug jokes and little self-awareness, happily consumed by an audience of partiers. Or, like, an entire show where people sit there motionless? I don’t know. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way.
Nationals: An Amateur Adult Dance Comedy Tournament
At UCB Chelsea, 307 W 26th Street, Chelsea. 11pm. $5. More info here.
Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney host this four-month-long wild n’ wacky dance competition where the goal is not to dance in the prettiest way or for the longest time, but rather whose dancin’ feet make for the most chuckles. Sure, you can argue that many dance competitions run the risk of being unintentionally comedic already, but just imagine a dance competition where everything is supposed to be funny. Will there be technically skilled, tightly-crafted pieces using formal dance moves to inspire laughter? Probably not, because the teams are mostly made up of comedians. But you never know– there could be some surprises. Competitors include a team of two, a team of almost 10, and comedian Annie Donley (The Annoyance, SOAP’s Messy Backyard Show) going at it solo. And rest assured, whatever happens, a star WILL be born.
The Annotated History of the American Muskrat Continues through July 16 at the New Ohio Theater, 154 Christopher Street, West Village. 7pm. Tickets are $18 ($15 students/seniors). More info here.
Originally developed in Boston, this play-slash-experiment was written by John Kuntz in collaboration with the show’s original cast of performers, and now will have a short run as part of the New Ohio Theater’s annual Ice Factory Festival. It follows a group of 8 people who must prepare and give a presentation about muskrats if they would ever like to sleep. American muskrats, specifically. Yes, these guys. Will you learn a lot about the muskrat? Will you learn anything at all? Is this really happening to these people or is it all some sort of wild rodent dream? Find out all this and more at the theater…
You’re no doubt already counting down the hours till Independence Day weekend, with its blessed promise of a booze-soaked Monday (and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…). But don’t waste your precious free day standing in a massive, sweaty crowd all afternoon just to have any hope of glimpsing some fireworks thwarted when some NBA reject stand right in front of you at the last minute. Instead, spend it drinking, partying, and stuffing your face with grilled meats (or grilled meat substitutes), at one of these parties– no screaming toddlers included. Fireworks are overrated, anyway.
Circus Revue: Love, Trust, and Partnerships House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Bushwick. 7pm doors, 8pm show. Also on Friday. Tickets are $15. More info here.
In a special edition of House of Yes’s recurring circus revue, this show is totally devoted to the magic number two. Yes, each act in this high-flying variety show will be a partnered one, so instead of the singular dazzling aerial, burlesque, dance, and circus acts you’re used to this glitzy venue delivering, you’ll be seeing double. In the spirit of deux, this show will be going on for two nights instead of its usual one, so there’s no excuse not to check it out. Plus, there’s a free dance party afterward, where you can probably unsuccessfully attempt some of the moves you saw.
Event curator and performer Abby Hertz aka Lady C. (Photo: Adrian Buckmaster)
Two years ago, like so many of us lost New York City souls, Abby Hertz was disappointed with her sex life. She’d been married for almost a decade, and as a divorcee reentering the dating scene in her early 30s, she started to notice something. Excuse her language, but there was “a lot of fucking without intimacy going on.” Startled, she decided to do something about it. Something that involved a lot of dessert… smothered all over a model’s naked, supine body. She created LUST, “a night of intense intimacy without fucking.”
The House of Yes has something of a problem with their shimmering, funky, newish venue in Bushwick– they have a surplus of space, which is sort of a unique issue when it comes to digs in post-industrial-squatting Brooklyn. But as the performance collective settles into what’s by far their most functional and fanciest home yet, they’re filling up their calendar with even more events. Soon enough they’ll have every inch of the space and their time occupied by cool happenings. Take for example, the first-ever Question the Market (Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29), billed as a new pop-up “queer design and arts market.”
“It will be shopping as nightlife, nightlife as shopping,” organizer Eric Schmalenberger told us. “I feel like shopping can be more than shopping. When given the right space, it can be more interesting and engaging, and the great thing about flea markets is that you, often, can engage with the maker.”
Songwriter Dru Cutler lives with five other artists in a loft that’s pretty much the epitome of DIY Bushwick. With its soaring industrial ceilings, comfy armchairs and requisite hipster decorations (vintage posters, hanging plants, etc.), Unit J seems to fit the platonic ideal of millennial living spaces, combining creative pursuits, lifestyle and the search for buzz. Over the past three years, the loft off of the Wilson Avenue stop has evolved from a co-living space for artists trying to make ends meet to an under-the-radar performance venue. Now Cutler and his fellow musician roommates are taking it a step further, launching their own record label to represent other artists they’re excited about.
Strays Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here.
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.
Ignite At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $10 suggested donation. More info here.
Fire is normally regarded as a bad thing to be around, especially with the added element of drunk people at a bar. But don’t forget, Bizarre isn’t your average bar. I’ve seen my fair share of fire performances there, whether it be fire eating, fire breathing, fire dancing, or just someone who looked really hot. Miraculously, I felt safe for almost all of them. Tonight, you can see all that and probably more at this variety show that’s more fiery than average, in the most literal sense of the word. And don’t worry, these are professionals, so the only thing catching fire (aside from what’s regularly scheduled to) will hopefully be your heart.