Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10.
The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.
In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.
For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.
Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Annotated History of the American Muskrat
Continues through July 16 at the New Ohio Theater, 154 Christopher Street, West Village. 7pm. Tickets are $18 ($15 students/seniors). More info here.
Originally developed in Boston, this play-slash-experiment was written by John Kuntz in collaboration with the show’s original cast of performers, and now will have a short run as part of the New Ohio Theater’s annual Ice Factory Festival. It follows a group of 8 people who must prepare and give a presentation about muskrats if they would ever like to sleep. American muskrats, specifically. Yes, these guys. Will you learn a lot about the muskrat? Will you learn anything at all? Is this really happening to these people or is it all some sort of wild rodent dream? Find out all this and more at the theater…
Since it was announced that Bushwick Open Studios will be taking place in October and not on their usual summer date, a couple fledgling fests have tried to fill the void. There’s been the Bushwick Arts Festival, which was a bit of a letdown, and the Bushwick Galleries Association’s Hot Summer Nights of extended hours, which are great but for galleries only. So when we heard tell of a new Bushwick art festival called the Bushwick Open Art Fair, we were skeptical. What would make their “Bears on Bicycles”-themed fair different from the other upstarts? But then the organizers told us they’re “currently looking into the permits required to have live animals at the show.”
Erin Markey: Humping A Gatorade Bottle
At The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, West Village. 9:30pm. $15 plus a two drink minimum. More info here.
Performance artist/comedian/writer/singer/actress/my friend Erin Markey is always a pleasure to watch onstage. Her cabaret shows at The Duplex and Joe’s Pub are full of strange and compelling life stories, odd characters, impressive voice work, jokes you might not realize are hilarious until five seconds after they’re told, and some very nice singing. This show, with the truly memorable subtitle of Humping a Gatorade Bottle, is sure to be no less wonderful and intriguing, in addition to being a “heartwarming crossfit program.” Now that’s what I call one-stop shopping.
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.
Circus of Dreams
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $7 suggested donation. More info here.
This monthly performance art variety show has been going on for a couple years now and still never fails to surprise me. Though it’s impossible to predict or even properly describe what shenanigans will occur, there will be gender-blurred burlesque, shocking circus stunts, a senior citizen contortionist who has had several hip surgeries and is still going strong, dominatrix performance art, and zany audience participation. And that’s just a sampling. This month is glam-themed, so I’m sure there will be sparkles and over-the-top outfits everywhere the eye can see. Get there early to beat the inevitable crowd, it’ll make getting a drink in a timely manner much more feasible and you can see some nice preshow go-go dancing.
THURSDAYDTF Presents: Mandatory Seminar
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.