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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.

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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.

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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.

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DJ Spooky Will Spin Some Seoul Music This Weekend

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, aka the busiest man alive, is just back from a couple of months in Seoul (where, during our own recent travels, we snapped the above photo of South Korea’s fiercest hipster). As a resident at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Spooky collaborated with some of Korea’s most esteemed musicians and artists, rocked his trademark “turntableism” at a New Year’s Eve concert, and gained some knowledge that he’ll be dropping at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre this weekend.
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Aim to See Steven Soderbergh's School-Shooting Play and <em>Guns: A Cabaret</em>

Screen shot 2014-02-18 at 5.49.16 PMGuns seem to be trending in New York theaters this spring. Yes, guns.

Steven Soderbergh may have retired from the world of filmmaking (after setting the LES back 100 years), but luckily that doesn’t seem to extend to the world of theater. Tickets are now  for the world premiere of the Soderbergh-directed The Library, which is set to run at The Public from March 27 to April 27 (use the code EARLY before March 25 to get your $15 discount – then use that extra cash to see a movie not directed by Soderbergh).
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If You Like Puppets, You’ll Love This (And No, We’re Not Stringing You Along)

Not all puppets sit around downing booze and pills; some aspire to art and activism! And this month, you’ll have a few opportunities to hang with those high-minded puppets.

First, tonight, Anthology Film Archives plays tribute to Bread & Puppet Theater on the occasion of the troupe’s 50th anniversary. Fittingly enough, the company was based out of Anthology’s building on Second Avenue back in the ’60s, when its 20-foot-tall papier-mâché puppets, masked actors, and brass band music were fixtures at anti-war protests. Tonight at 7:30, the troupe’s founder and director, Peter Schumann, along with past and present members, will present live performances as well as films and recently unearthed footage featuring the B&P.
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