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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’

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(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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Theater: cheap&easy OCTOBER

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Brooklyn-based group Object Collection helmed by writer/director Kara Freely and composer Travis Just promises a “live shredding of art world criticism” in this experimental chamber opera celebrating the written word through the exploration of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Sergei Eisenstein’s 1928 film October and art journal October. It is rumored there will also be zombies and séances. Conveniently (or spookily) occurring in the very month it delves into.

cheap&easy OCTOBER is written and directed by Kara Freely and composed by Travis Just, with installation by Hannah Dougherty, lighting design by Jeanette Yew, and stage management by Liz Nielsen. Featuring Avi Glickstein, Taylor Levine, Aaron Meicht, Tavish Miller, Daniel Allen Nelson, Fulya Peker, Andie Springer, Deborah Wallace, and Owen Weaver.

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Theater: cheap&easy OCTOBER

ceOCT-image-web

Brooklyn-based group Object Collection helmed by writer/director Kara Freely and composer Travis Just promises a “live shredding of art world criticism” in this experimental chamber opera celebrating the written word through the exploration of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Sergei Eisenstein’s 1928 film October and art journal October. It is rumored there will also be zombies and séances. Conveniently (or spookily) occurring in the very month it delves into.

cheap&easy OCTOBER is written and directed by Kara Freely and composed by Travis Just, with installation by Hannah Dougherty, lighting design by Jeanette Yew, and stage management by Liz Nielsen. Featuring Avi Glickstein, Taylor Levine, Aaron Meicht, Tavish Miller, Daniel Allen Nelson, Fulya Peker, Andie Springer, Deborah Wallace, and Owen Weaver.

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Performance: Banking Apocalypse, Cartoons, An ‘Avant-Americana’ Musical

Whether you’re craving a futuristic folk-rock-et-cetera musical, some cartoonish comedy, or an entire three-day performance festival, there is something here for you.

WEDNESDAY

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Prelude Festival
October 7-9 at the Martin E. Segal Center, The CUNY Graduate Center, Murray Hill. Various times; all events free. Full schedule here.
Downtown-style performance art saunters uptown a bit for the 12th annual Prelude Festival. Spanning three days, Prelude celebrates exciting and zany performance and multidisciplinary artists who are making work today. Come get immersed in the world of the theatrical with installations, panel discussions, and performances from notable artists like high-belting queerdo Erin Markey, site-specific pioneers En Garde Arts, and Obie-winning experimental playwright Mac Wellman. Attendees will be transported via party buses to the closing party Friday night at PioneerWorks in Red Hook. Best of all, it’s free.

Prelude 2015 is curated by Antje Oegel and Tom Sellar.

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Honoring NYC’s Wild Nights of Go-Go Boys and ‘No Lips Below the Hips’

"A night at Danceteria," pictured are Ethyl Eichelberger, Keith Haring, Cookie Mueller & John Sex Danceteria, New York City 1984 (Photograph by Joseph Modica)

“A night at Danceteria,” pictured are Ethyl Eichelberger, Keith Haring, Cookie Mueller & John Sex Danceteria, New York City 1984 (Photograph by Joseph Modica)

A new exhibition at La MaMa brings together the various threads of New York City nightlife, art, and HIV/AIDS activism. The close ties were always there but curators, gallerists, and artists seem to be reassessing spaces that are thought to be reserved for escapism and debauchery. Osman Can Yerebakan and Emily Colucci (who has contributed to this blog in the past) are the curatorial team behind Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980. The show has been in the works for two years, so Colucci and her curatorial partner have been able to compile an incredible array of archival materials, photographs, and work by artists who are long gone and contemporary artists and activists who are ensuring the party rages on.

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From ‘The Witch’ to La MaMa: How Radical Art Tumbled into the East Village

UntitledAll week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

The raucous audience inside Turn Hall grew increasingly impatient for the curtain’s rise. Police had just arrived at 66-68 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue, to subdue the swelling mob at the door, those unfortunate souls without a ticket to see America’s first Yiddish play.

The spectators had paid a whopping five dollars for seats normally valued at 50 cents in 1882. Such was the excitement surrounding the sold-out performance of Koldunye, or The Witch. A production conceived of by the 13-year-old sweatshop worker named Boris Thomashefsky, the play brought professional Yiddish theater stateside, says historian Nahma Sandrow. But the real-life drama that night trumped the work of playwright Abraham Goldfaden: the leading lady had disappeared.
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“Football Head” at La MaMa

Visual artist, performer, and gay stage icon Chris Tanner brings true-life tales, and, in his words, “humiliating stories of the sexual awakening of a nerdy art queen,” to the stage in Football Head. Tanner sings and tells the stories, accompanied on the stage by three doo-wop singers and collaborator Lance Cruce. The show is first and foremost about his family, intermingled with shame, guilt, and celebration thrown in for good measure.