You may have seen him at the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square Park, or at yesterday’s midtown protest against Donald Trump— or in Union Square on any given day. Maybe you’ve had a go at him with a foam noodle, just to try to wipe the smirk off that orange-hued, wispy-haired face. We’re talking, of course, about New York-based performance artist/anarchist/nihilist Kalan Sherrard and his outrageous new project: Beat Up Trump.
Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.
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.
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.
The panting dog was somewhat unsettling, but the click of a digital camera was just plain upsetting, because both seemed to violate the air of silence and vulnerability as Lisa Levy sat naked on a toilet seat in an ironic homage to Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present. Then again, these weird ways of interacting with the artist were more exciting to watch than people who approached the porcelain throne and looking blankly at Levy for what could easily be dismissed as a glorified staring contest.
Would you rather spend a short evening watching stuff in a bar or dedicate your whole day to the wildest and most visceral of performance art? This week, you can do both.
Where The Wild Things Are 8
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9pm; $7-20 suggested donation. More info here.
Party moguls Brooklyn Wildlife present the eighth edition of their evening variety show at Bizarre Bar, home to all shapes and sizes of variety show. At any given moment, you can catch “aggro” raps by Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky, beats by Star Falcon and Rob Interface, performance art poetry by Terminal Intrusion (Nyssa Frank, owner of The Living Gallery), burlesque, and more. The event asks attendees to wear a costume from a childhood story, a mascot outfit, or just to come half naked. So, suit up. Or down.
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The rumors are true: Shia LaBeouf is currently holed up in the bowels of Angelika Film Center, where over 70 people are lined up waiting for the opportunity to watch Nymphomaniac with him. The line has steadily grown since I showed up to his #AllMyFilms “performance” around 3:20 p.m., when there were just a few dozen stalkers patrons of the arts queued up.
Off the 4th Avenue / 25th Street stop on the R Train, you can visit the Green-Wood Cemetery. Or, from tonight through November 15, you can stroll on over to the MIX Factory. Don’t be fooled, it’s not a new operation drumming up artisan cocktail mixes; rather it’s the name of the venue for MIX NYC, the annual New York Queer Experimental Film Festival now in its impressive 28th year.
I’m not gonna lie, when I heard Wild Torus— the aggressively psychedelic Bushwick performance art duo– would be hosting their “most ambitious event yet” this weekend, I imagined a sweaty, gyrating orgy of disembodied tentacles coated in globs of indecipherable goo, or “Torus Juice” as it’s known (it’s actually corn syrup). Not exactly gallery material. When I first encountered Wild Torus’ cult-like “digital spirituality” rituals at their Bushwick home base, Torus Portus, I had never seen anything like it– and I haven’t seen anything to match it since.
This week, whether you want to be entrenched in the Halloween spirit or just want to watch some good old fashioned people telling jokes, you can slide on over to one of these shows to get your fill.
Esoterica Teaser Performance
At Visana NYC, 321 1st Avenue, East Village. 11:30 doors, midnight performance; free. More info here.
There isn’t much info available on this late-night performance preview at a speakeasy—it appears to be purposefully cryptic—but Esoterica’s website indicates it’s a richly-visual performance experience based to some degree on Dante’s Divine Comedy, where heaven and hell intermingle. “A portal to The Inferno will be opened,” the Facebook event declares. Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Downtown-style performance art saunters uptown a bit for the 12th annual Prelude Festival at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. Spanning three days, Prelude celebrates many of the 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. Performance times vary. Full schedule available here.
From Cyndi Lauper drag cabaret shows to garden romps, here’s this week’s local (and affordable) theater and performance.
Cabaret artist Salty Brine continues his residency at The Red Room on East 4th Street with HE’S SO UNUSUAL, a dazzling evening of song and scene that places Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual into a world of Prohibition and perfectly-coiffed pansies. No stranger to taking on entire albums in one evening, Brine’s past “Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret” shows have included Joni Mitchell’s Blue and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. There will be surprises, and there will definitely be impressive costumes.
A young man with rich brown hair, soft lips and a blindfold reposes on a mattress. It will only take one quick movement of your wrist to sign the waiver, and then he is yours to watch. To kiss. Or both.