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Performance Picks: Riot Grrrl Antigone, Marionettes Abound, Toasty Roasts

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Room Service / Facebook)

(flyer via Room Service / Facebook)

Room Service
Wednesday, February 15 at The Jane Hotel, 8 pm: 

Valentine’s Day has technically passed, so all you single people can breathe a sigh of relief and all you non-single people can also breathe a sigh of relief because the pressure to give into capitalism has maybe lessened a little. Depending on who you are, of course. But if you’re longing to stay in the spirit of flowers, chocolates, and a pink n’ red color palette, this edition of Greta Titelman’s Room Service comedy show at The Jane has got you covered. With a lineup full of love-worthy folks like Bowen Yang, Lorelei Ramirez, Alyssa Stonoha, Petey DeAbreu, Blair Socci, Tom Thakkar, and Ricky Velez, you’ll be sure to spend the night feeling warm inside, expelling laughs from your gullet in only the most loving of fashions. Rounding out the bunch will be two individuals aiming their Cupid’s arrow in a more musical way: Ruby McCollister and Tim Platt as “resident songbird” and “heartthrob,” respectively. Keep Reading »

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This Queer Performance Festival Wants to Mend Our Generational ‘Disconnect’

Banjela Davis

Banjela Davis (Photo courtesy of La MaMa’s Squirts)

Nowadays, it’s common to see one generation insisting that the other will never understand them, whether its Jerry Seinfeld lamenting that college kids are “too PC,” the drag performer Lady Bunny balking at “crybabies” and new pronouns, or tweens making memes decrying the whole bootstraps thing (every Boomer’s favorite piece of outdated advice).

Given this disconnect, it’s not everyday that you see a generational cross section of people in the same room together, let alone actually listening to each other. This rings especially true for people in the queer community, who experience generational differences in even starker terms because of the gaping hole that the AIDS epidemic left behind. But bridging this gap is exactly what La MaMa’s Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance seeks to do.

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The Hard-Fightin’, Hard-Tumblin’ German Gymnasts of 4th Street

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

German immigrant board Hamburg steamer

“From the old to the new world—German emigrants for New York embarking on a Hamburg steamer.” Harper’s Weekly, 1974. (Library of Congress.)

Yesterday New York was AS GERMAN AS BERLIN and any one on the Bowery might have fancied himself unter den Linden. Germany bubbled up everywhere and the substantial joy of substantial Teutonia foamed LIKE A HUGE FLAGON OF LAGER. – New York Herald, April 11, 1871

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Times Square Elmo En Español, Comedy For Charity, and More Performance This Week

THURSDAY

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

Furry! / La Furia!
Continues through November 26 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm (November 20 show at 3 pm): $15.

Imagining the everyday life of someone who dresses up as Elmo and roams around Times Square for tips is entertaining enough, but now you have a chance to see it on stage, in two different languages. Playwright William Burke has teamed up with Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Brooklyn Gypsies Collective for a “Spanish/Spanglish/human” translation of his play FURRY to be performed by Jimenez and Olander “Big O” Wilson. Also, this play isn’t even about the regular life of an Elmo in Times Square, however odd and intriguing that may be. It’s about “a street Elmo who rises to power by taking over the streets of 42nd to 46th Street by using The Art of War.” I don’t think I could imagine the details of such a thing if I tried, so you’re better off checking it out for yourself. Keep Reading »

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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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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 Picks: Puppet Folktales, Chilean Mine Immersion, and Some Much-Needed Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

Secret
At La MaMa, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Free. More info here
I can’t say I know a ton about Watoku Ueno’s one-night-only piece at La MaMa, but maybe they’re staying true to their name and keeping all the juicy details a secret… What I do know is that it’s based off Japanese folklore, specifically a story known as “Crane Wife,” where a man marries a woman who is really a crane in disguise and makes money by weaving her own feathers into silk brocade and leaves once her husband finds out she’s really a crane. That is true independence and craftiness, if I do say so myself. Secret includes not only dance and live music but also some glorious shadow puppetry that will bring this odd little tale to life.

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Performance Picks: Crime-Fighting Orphans, Sperm Stories, Work By Indigenous Women

WEDNESDAY

(image via Andrew Benedict)

(image via Andrew Benedict)

Orphan Action League
Continues every Wednesday through June 1 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 8:30pm. Tickets are $10. More info here
An eccentric orphaned millionaire who found success in a children’s book series about orphan children has now taken his fictional dreams into the real world with a hand-selected group of crime-fighting orphans called, fittingly, the Orphan Action League. Follow their adventures (including some neat choreographed fight scenes and a fully-produced original theme song) weekly at The Annoyance with this show by Andrew Benedict, directed by Annie Donley. There may be no parents, but there will certainly be chuckles n’ thrills.

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Weekend Performance Picks, And One To Spice Up Your Monday

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(photo via Lorelei Ramirez / Facebook)

FRIDAY

Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.

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Performance Picks: Queen Cabaret, Comedy in a Well, Solo and Group Lovin’

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WEDNESDAY

This One Night at the Opera
Continues every Wednesday through April 29 at The Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm (April 29 show at 7:30pm). Tickets are $20. More info here
For over a year now, cabaret artist Salty Brine has undertaken what he calls his “Spectacular Living Record Collection,” where he takes a classic or beloved album (anywhere from Weezer to The Beatles) and performs it in full, giving it his own personal touch. This often includes delightful and surprising reinterpretations of songs, larger-than-life costumes, and storytelling interludes. After working in this style for so long, it’s only fitting Brine is taking on Queen’s harmonic behemoth A Night at the Opera, spinning it into a grand evening of theatrics and betrayal fittingly directed by opera director Jordan Fein.

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5 Performance Picks: Corey Haim, Mary Shelley, and ‘Bad Theater’

clarebarron

(photo via The Bushwick Starr)

THURSDAY

I’ll Never Love Again
Continues through March 19 at The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr Street, Bushwick. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here. More info herePlaywright and actress Clare Barron premieres a new work at the Bushwick Starr exploring the formative teenage events of first love and first heartbreak, constructed from her actual teenage diary. The piece is brought to life chorus-style by a group of celebrated performers, and features original music. Barron has recently won awards for playwriting, and from what I’ve read of hers in the past, her work is soft and strange, relatable but very specific. This show is sure to carry the same satisfying flavors.
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Performance Picks: Erotic Monologues, Black Mass, Durational Dance

Missed January’s exhausting theater festivals and still crave stuff to see? This week brings variety shows (as usual), erotic monologues, a black mass, durational dance, and more.

WEDNESDAY

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

Circus of Dreams

At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9:30pm. $7-20 suggested donation. More info here

This is one of the first weird variety shows I ever went to, and I haven’t looked back since. Circus of Dreams, an unpredictable and odd monthly variety show formerly hosted by Matthew Silver and now helmed by the vivacious Lindsee Lonesome (one-half of brash music group Marital Dispute), is both a strange wonderland and warm community of weirdo artists who consistently bring their wacky ideas to life in the typically welcoming and aptly-named Bizarre Bar. Sometimes you’ll see naked people. Sometimes you’ll get cake thrown on you. Sometimes both will happen. Either way, you certainly won’t be bored. And admittedly this week I’m working the door, so come say hi.

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