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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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Watch Some Legends of Jazz, Rock, and Poetry Take a Crack at Kerouac

Okay, so you’re probably too cool, these days, to admit you were ever into Jack Kerouac (now you know him mostly as the grumpy old guy who slurred to William F. Buckley that he always voted Republican), but remember for a moment the first time you cracked On the Road and spent the next weeks telling all your peeps that the only ones for you are the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

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Performance Picks: Womanhood, Rihanna, Cake, and Fashion

WEDNESDAY

(image via Housing Works)

(image via Housing Works / Facebook)

Womanhood Live!
At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 7 pm: FREE. 

If you’re not the type to sit around watching short-form video clips all day, this is the show for you. Impressively funny ladies Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla are bringing their Refinery29 web series, “Womanhood,” to a real, live venue. No more straining your eyes staring at bright screens to get your laugh on– these are 100% in-person joke-tellers, which is probably a lot more fun than 100% in-person bank tellers. Firestone and Nancherla have graciously assembled a group of nice folk to help them teach you all about the complex terrain of women’s bodies and lives, including Dylan Marron, Naomi Ekperegin, Marlena Rodriguez, and Diana Kolsky (who will truly contain multitudes as “The Haters.”) You might wanna take your headphones off for this one.

THURSDAY

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Performance Picks: Big Comedy, Garbage Theory, Punk Opera, Trump

(poster by Sisters Weekend)

(poster by Sisters Weekend)

WEDNESDAY

Sam’s BIG Day

At The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here

You’ve seen him in serial “gay teen drama” Lake Homo High, as the co-host of Live On Broadgay, and maybe even being named one of Brooklyn Mag’s 50 Funniest People, but this time Sam Taggart is all on his own. Yes, it’s a show just for him, packed full and big with sketches, characters, videos, standup, and some surprises, too. However, no solo show is complete without special guests, and you better believe he’s got those too, in the form of Mary Houlihan, Sisters Weekend, and maybe even more. It’s a big day, after all. I can only hope they’re able to fit such a big day in one theater!

THURSDAY

(image via GG Nix / Facebook)

(image via GG Nix / Facebook)

Lost Abjects: Theory of Garbage

At G.G. NiX, 1339 Dekalb Ave, Bushwick. 7pm. More info here

Kalan Sherrard, the mind behind “Beat Up Trump” among other creations who we spoke with a few months ago, will be presenting this evening at vintage shop G.G. NiX. It’s part multimedia installation, part performance, part lecture, part workshop. Billed as “An Installation and Physical Manifesto Against Recycling,” it’ll feature a spread of works created by Sherrard, including his miniature art galleries (so small you have to look through a magnifying glass to view them), a “post-structural striptease,” and sculptures crafted from gum and fingernails. There will also be a game of Giant Nihilist Tetris, but don’t worry, it is optional.

FRIDAY

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

Brett Davis and Nick Naney’s Disney’s Aladdin

At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. More info here

Everyone loves Aladdin. But what about a live version of Aladdin adapted by two comedians? If that piques your interest, Brett Davis (of The Special Without Brett Davis) and Nick Naney (who has also appeared on that show) have got just the thing for you. The cast features Bardia Salimi as the titular hero, Mitra Jouhari of Three Busy Debras as Jasmine, Brett Davis as Jafar, Nick Naney as the Genie, and even Steph Cook as the rug. This may be the only time you’ll see a human carpet outside of a fetish party, folks, so get to it.

SATURDAY

(image via La MaMa)

(image via La MaMa)

Baby Fat Act 1: A Screeching Weasel Rock Opera

At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 7pm and 10pm. Tickets are $15. Also on July 21 and 22 and 8pm. More info here

Some people like opera, but it’s safe to say it isn’t for everyone. For those who aren’t particularly drawn to long dresses and vibrato, this might do the trick. La MaMa has partnered with Columbia Stages to bring you this world premiere that’s based on Verdi’s opera Rigoletto but written by Ben Weasel, the frontman of punk band Screeching Weasel. The original opera centers around a hunchbacked court jester who’s daughter falls in love with the very Duke he mercilessly mocks, but in this show there is a rock club called The Reptile House with their house band named Serpentello and the dubious and nefarious presence of what may be an inescapable vortex. So like, basically the same thing.

SUNDAY

(photo via tdf)

(photo via tdf)

The Trump Card

At Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, East Village. 6:30pm. Tickets are $35. Also on August 28. More info here.

Solo performer and monologist Mike Daisey (also behind popular and controversial work The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs) presents this new solo work about the one and only D. J. T., breaking down the inner workings of this bizarre and rich man while also weaving a tale of oligarchy’s rise in America along the way. The result is sure to be intriguing, compelling, and ultimately will, I’m assuming, leave you depressed about the state of the world and its possible future.  The show’s currently sold out, but a waitlist will be available when the box office opens.

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Performance: A Decapitation, Circus Maximus, and Female Serial Killers

(photo: Maxine Nienow)

(photo: Maxine Nienow)

THURSDAY

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.

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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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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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Performance: Future in Puppetry, Internet in 1991, and Some Stuff in Between

(photo: Maria Baranova)

(photo: Maria Baranova)

WEDNESDAY

Steve of Tomorrow
Continues through March 19 at HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Ave., Tribeca. 7pm; tickets are $20. More info here. 
Steve of Tomorrow is a multimedia work of puppetry following a sci-fi fan who makes a blog post inviting any time travelers to greet him with their presence, but the only one to come by is lazy and not at all what he’d hope the progressive future to be. This piece questions technological advancement while utilizing the latest in video puppetry, created in the signature style of David Commander’s Toy Theater. Regardless of your feelings on tech or the capabilities of future-folk, it’s sure to be pretty cool.

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Our Fave Couple, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, Are All Up in the East Village

Yen Din Da Kissa.

Yen Din Ka Kissa.

Last time we saw Noah Baumbach in the East Village, he was doing a q&a for his film While We’re Young. Today he returns to the hood to film a project that’s being called Yen Din Ka Kissa. According to a flyer posted near the corner of East 5th and Cooper Square, the feature, written and directed by Baumbach, “tells the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist and patriarch Harold’s career retrospective.” Sounds like Baumbach is returning, to some degree, to the territory he explored in The Squid and the Whale, a domestic drama inspired by his troubled childhood as the son of Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Baumbach.

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Gad Elmaleh, the French Seinfeld, Tries Out His English at Joe’s Pub

Gad Elmaleh at Joe's Pub (Photo courtesy of Jon Asher)

Gad Elmaleh at Joe’s Pub (Photo courtesy of Jon Asher)

Mentioning Gad Elmaleh’s residency at Joe’s Pub to my American friends was a weird experience. “He’s the most famous comedian in France!” I said, full of jingoistic pride. The embarrassed silence that ensued made me realize that my announcement didn’t quite have the expected effect. So I tried a different approach. “He’s like the French Jerry Seinfeld, you know. They’re actually good friends. He’s even been a guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

“Oh… Really?” was the politest answer I could get. But I saw in my interlocutors’ perplexed eyes that they had no clue who the hell I was talking about.

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