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Cole Escola, Sloppy Shakespeare, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Sanina Leilani / Facebook)

Glow Up!: An All POC Variety Show
Thursday, August 16 at Starr Bar, 8:45 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

Queer drag performers Noctua and C’ètait BonTemps host this variety show featuring exclusively artists of color. If you’ve been posting on social media about how bad white supremacy in America is lately, attending would be a good way to put your money where your mouth is and support a show where the lineup, hosts, and producers are all people of color. And what can you expect out of the night? The lineup isn’t too packed with people, but the ones they do have really pack a punch: burlesque performer Miss Sugar Mamasota, soulful singer Cherry, drag and music artist Laé D. Boi, and Texas-based pole and burlesque performer Black Orchid. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Kaufman-Inspired Comedy, Mental Health, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Vow Performance Party / Facebook)

Vow II: Mental Health
Thursday, August 2 at Rose Gold, 7:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

While it still carries some stigma, mental health has steadily become more and more of a presence in today’s everyday dialogues. This is undoubtedly due to the unfortunate prevalence of mental health issues, many of which have proven to be exacerbated by the current political climate. Even as (and especially) as things get worse, continually talking about it can help. One of the more unique ways you can engage is through Vow, a sex-positive party and performance series “for artists with stigmatized identities or experiences to express themselves freely in a supportive community.” The night is centered around mental health, and features relevant performances by a lineup that includes burlesque performers Regal Mortis, Lucy Risqué, and Miss Sugar Mamasota, dominatrix Venus Cuffs, performance artist Monika Rostvold, and more. Keep Reading »

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Summer Is (Officially) Here and It’s Time to Party

This Thursday marks the the summer solstice (aka the longest day of the year), and we are so ready to celebrate. Kick off summer in the city with these eight festive events.

Joe’s Pub Block Party – Voices of Immigrant America – Thursday, June 21, 1:00-7:00 p.m.

(Photo: Joe’s Pub)

Joe’s Pub Block Party returns to Astor Place this Thursday afternoon. It touts a pretty incredible lineup of immigrants and performers of color, featuring the mambo and North African beats of the Yemen Blues Duo and the classically-trained voice of Treya Lam, among others.  This event is part of Make Music New York, which “energizes the shared social spaces that make NYC a cultural capital” through city-wide music festivals on the summer solstice, per their website. More details on this year’s block party here.

Location: Astor Place
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Performance Picks: Queer Anniversary, Modern Dance, This Alien Nation

WEDNESDAY

(art by Payton Turner, image via This Alien Nation / Facebook)

This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Nightcaps, Bars Become Barns, and Black Girl Magic

THURSDAY

Nightcap | by Ike
Thursday, October 19 at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 pm: $15

Sometimes you’ve had a long and hard week, and you just want to sit back in a comfortable chair and enjoy a nice nightcap. Whether this, to you, means a snug piece of headwear to pair with a matching set of PJs or a fine pour of neat whiskey, come Thursday night it means joining comedic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu at Joe’s Pub for a night of special guests, gentle quips, live music, and more. As a host and performer, Ike has a demeanor and tone of voice that will simultaneously make you chuckle robustly and feel like a soft blanket is enveloping your very form. Joining him on this evening will be jazz singer Stephan Crump and singer-songwriter LOLO. Keep Reading »

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Hookup App Etiquette, QueerCom, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova, via Abrons Arts Center)

Raw Bacon From Poland
Now through June 17 at Abrons Arts Center, 8 pm: $25 

I would say that most of us agree that war is bad. I would also say that most of us are able to state that opinion without having directly experienced the horrors of war ourselves. Guggenheim Fellow Christina Masciotti’s new play, currently running at Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center, revolves around a veteran who has been forever altered by a tour in Iraq. Through attempts to sedate his PTSD with pills, he finds himself sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court due to a domestic violence incident.

Theater is rarely free to attend, and often costs a pretty penny. So when the genre tells the stories of people typically cast aside by society, it can be difficult for these very people being portrayed to actually witness the work being staged. In an effort to make this play more accessible, the theater has set aside two free tickets per night specifically for veterans. Keep Reading »

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Computers Writing Poetry, Eugene O’Neill + A Light Meal, and More Performances To Gaze Upon

WEDNESDAY

Eunice Wong in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA. (Photo: Gaia Squarci)

Mourning Becomes Electra
April 26-May 20 at Abrons Arts Center, various times: $45-75

If short n’ sweet shows are your preferred method of entertainment, this could be quite the change of pace. The Obie-winning company Target Margin Theater will be commemorating their 25th anniversary of making work by taking on Eugene O’Neill’s 1931 work Mourning Becomes Electra, and they’re doing it in a big, big way. Or rather, a long, long way. The production runs around six hours long, but don’t expect to sit for that entire time. Mourning Becomes Electra is technically a play cycle, consisting of three plays that serve as a modern retelling of Greek tragedy The Oresteia, turned into a Freudian family melodrama set at the end of the Civil War. So, the company is dividing Abrons’s Playhouse into different sections, guiding audiences between different portions of the performance space as the play cycle progresses.

If you’re still hesitant about committing to this behemoth endeavor, know that it also includes two intermissions and “a light meal.” Everyone loves a nice meal.

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Composers of Color, Macaulay Returns to Shea Stadium, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Joe’s Pub)

Lift Every Voice
Wednesday, April 12 at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 pm: $20-30

Musical Theater Factory, a production company created by Difficult People actress and multi-hyphenate Shakina Nayfack, presents this concert of songs penned by musical theater composers of color. The show is curated by members of MTF’s People of Color Roundtable, one of two regularly occurring “representation round tables” that provide a forum for people in marginalized groups to share new composition and creative work.

If you dare say musical theater is so predominantly white because there aren’t many other types of writers out there, this show will surely prove you wrong. Lift Every Voice will be showcasing over 15 composers in just one night, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the wide array of non-white writers and composers working to breathe new life into the genre today. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Communal Reading for the ACLU, Space Travel Blues Cabaret, and More

WEDNESDAY

(flyer by Phoebe Randall, via The Silent Barn)

This Is How You Talk To People
Wednesday, February 22 at The Silent Barn, 7 pm: $5

Tonight, Bushwick mainstay The Silent Barn will welcome a “communal reading” of a play by Rachel Davies, who has written for outlets such as Rookie, Complex, Nylon, and The Le Sigh. This Is How You Talk To People is Davies’s first play, and chronicles a variety of women from a talk show host  to a student who are collectively trying to navigate shifting friendships and relationships. The reading will be done communally in “an attempt to make the performance more accessible,” and profits from the evening will be donated to the ACLU.

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Performance: Spooky Puppets and People, Creepy Creature Creation, and More

(photo via Nightcap by Ike / Facebook)

(photo via Nightcap by Ike / Facebook)

THURSDAY

Nightcap By Ike
Thursday, October 27 at Joe’s Pub, 9 pm: $12. 

Comedian, solo performer, and all-around entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu, oft-described as the theoretical offspring of Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra if such a thing was logically feasible, once again takes to the stage to bring you a “singular mélange” of jokes, special guests, and music. His performances are frequently in the style of a live talk show, infusing an oddly deadpan and NPR-esque affect at times to the typically over-the-top enthusiasm of talk show hosts. Ufomadu also uniquely lives in many aspects of the performance world, with one foot in the comedy world, another in the experimental theater scene, perhaps a hand in performance art and cabaret. Come Thursday, you’ll see it all. But in a digestible, nightcap form.

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How Bridget Everett Went From Face-Sitting at Joe’s Pub to Face Time With Seinfeld

(photo courtesy of New York Comedy Festival)

(photo courtesy of New York Comedy Festival)

Singer, cabaret artist, and comedian Bridget Everett has had quite a couple of years. The powerhouse performer is certainly memorable: her Chardonnay-soaked live act includes joyous, belted requests to raise one’s “titties” in the air and a catchy, matter-of-fact song that asks the universal inquiry: “What I gotta do to get that dick in my mouth?” There’s also plenty of audience engagement. Typical stuff, like sitting on crowd member’s faces. Brash though she may be, Everett has captivated America and become fast friends with comedian Amy Schumer, which has led to spots on Schumer’s television show, her film Trainwreck, and other screen appearances like a recurring role in Maria Bamford’s Netflix show Lady Dynamite, with more projects in the works for the future.

Though she’s appearing on bigger and bigger screens lately, she made a name for herself through shows at downtown staple Joe’s Pub on Lafayette Street. For the recurring “alt-cabaret” fixture Our Hit Parade, she put unique spins on pop songs alongside fellow out-there performers like Neal Medlyn, Erin Markey, Kenny Mellman, and even Billy Eichner. There were also solo nights with her band The Tender Moments. We sat down with Everett at Caroline’s On Broadway ahead of her show at New York Comedy Festival to talk touring, creating, and of course, fanny packs. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Interplanetary Educational Comedy, My Old Man, Joey Arias

(image via Pop Roulette / Facebook)

(image via Pop Roulette / Facebook)

WEDNESDAY

Pop Roulette Presents: Amazing Earth
Wednesday, October 5 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5. 

Musical comedy group Pop Roulette is out of this world. Literally. They’ve been sent to the planet Keplar in an attempt to educate its citizens about what makes America, well, America. More than that, they’re going to try and do so through the mediums of comedy and music, which might not be as easy as it looks in a world that seems to get slightly more depressing every day. I feel that they’ll do an okay job, considering I heard one of their songs several months ago and it still floats into my head sometimes. Granted, the only lyric I can recall is “I came on everything,” but I think that’s worth something. Also, the music video for their totally catchy song “Sex With My Teacher” recently premiered through Comedy Central, so at least they’ve got fans here on Earth.

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