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Performance Picks: Demystifying Sex, Activist Storytelling, Adolescent Witchcraft

WEDNESDAY

(image via HERE Arts Center)

The Sex Myth: A Devised Play
August 16-20 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm (Sunday at 4 pm): $35

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to state that most of America had either an awful sex ed or none at all. Sure, you can take to the internet in all its glory to learn a thing or two, but formal sex education programs are notoriously lacking. This has created a hush-hush attitude around carnal matters, which leads to shame, misinformation, sensationalism, and a whole host of other not-so-great stuff. A new devised show, The Sex Myth, uses real stories and experiences to expand conceptions of what is “normal” in bedrooms and bodies alike.

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Performance Picks: Magicians, Flashlight Ghost Stories, and Queer Debauchery

WEDNESDAY

(flyer courtesy of Patrick Terry)

Wondershow
Wednesday, August 2 at House of Yes, 8 pm: $20

Ok. I know what you’re thinking. You want to see a magic show, but you don’t know where to go. Well, as it turns out there is one happening tonight. While you ooh and ahh over my magnificent mind-reading skills, Wondershow is gearing up to show you mind-bending tricks at the Bushwick venue with some of the bendiest bodies I’ve ever seen, House of Yes.

Wondershow is hosted by magician and mentalist Eric Walton. I would explain his work by relating it to someone else’s, but the event description calls him “incomparable,” and I don’t want a magic spell to be cast on me if I disobey. The show also features mind reader Eric Dittelman (of America’s Got Talent), knife-thrower The Great Throwdini, “Western variety arts” master Chris McDaniel, and ballerina/burlesque performer Aurora Black. For those ageless or nostalgic folk mourning the loss of the early 20th century burlesque and vaudeville shows that used to be so commonplace in areas like Midtown, surely you’ll be in for a treat.

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Pride-ful Shows, Political Theater, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Clubbed Thumb)

What The Constitution Means To Me
June 21-July 1 at The Wild Project, 8 pm: $25

With this piece by playwright and actor Heidi Schreck directed by Oliver Butler, Clubbed Thumb continues their annual Summerworks series of new plays. Fittingly, so far they have all dealt with sociopolitical or governmental issues in ways that have been a bit more overt than the typical downtown theater offering. Such is a sign of the times. Schreck’s What The Constitution Means To Me appears to be no exception.

The play is about someone also named Heidi who finds a unique way to make money in 1989, which is giving speeches about the Constitution. Only, she is told her orations are not personal enough, which leads to an exploration into the women of her past (who seem to have consistently attracted “violent men”) and how the Ninth Amendment may have had more of an impact than she thought on them. Keep Reading »

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Indoor Comedy Shows, A Multitude of Taylors, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via LAWL / Eventbrite)

LAWL
Thursday, May 25 at New Women Space, 7 pm: $5

It is good to laugh, and there are allegedly real scientific statistics to back up such a claim. In fact, I just found something literally called the Laugher Online University, and you know what, I have a lot of questions about it.  But why spend your time on weird websites when you can venture into the real world and get some actual laughter?

You’re in luck— Thursday night is LAWL (Ladies and Womyn Laughing), Arti Gollapudi’s comedy night showcasing women, trans, and gender non-conforming funny folk. Gollapudi is no stranger to curating spaces prioritizing these groups, as she is also a co-founder of the Comedy Cunt Collective. Tonight at LAWL, you can see jokes n’ silly stories by Sue Smith, Shannon Odell, and Wanjiko Eke. And if I’ve made you too curious about this University of Laughter, you can always just look it up on your phone in between acts or something. Keep Reading »

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Light-Soaked Galleries, Meditative Street Ads, and More Art Exhibitions

(image via Foley Gallery)

Subtext II: Meditations
Opening Wednesday, May 17 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 25.

I would remark on the humor inherent in exhibiting artist Wyatt Gallery’s name, who is indeed showing artwork in a gallery, but it seems he’s already got that covered. As soon as you visit his website, the very large and very green phrase “a person, not a place” is followed, literally, by a trademark symbol. So, guys… he gets it.

For this show, Gallery is displaying a series of works using foundational material quite truly ripped off of the city streets, in that they are portions of the endlessly-stacked-and-glued mountains that are NYC street advertising and flyering. He transformed these found object compilations into “UV cured photographic plates,” making them even more abstract in the process. Interestingly, Gallery sees these dirty, aged poster creations as relevant to his practice of mindfulness and meditation. So next time you’re saddled with a 20-minute train wait, maybe you should try deep breathing while staring at the many advertisements on the walls. Perhaps inner peace will crawl out from in between the pages.

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This Museum Has ‘Expanded Visions’ For Queering and Preserving Art

Installation view, Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 2017. (photo: Riya Lerner)

Despite the suffocating amount of luxury stores, there are still some small pockets of Soho that retain the neighborhood’s old gritty art spirit. As you pass The Performing Garage, where experimental troupe The Wooster Group and others still rehearse and perform, you’ll now encounter an new and improved iteration of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. After lengthy renovations, the museum has reopened and nearly doubled in size with Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, an exhibition rich in the history and scope of queerness and the artistic expression surrounding it.

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Ghosts, Missed Connections, and More Must-See Art Shows

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Of Ghosts and Girls
Opening Tuesday March 14 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. One night only.

This one-night-only exhibition (as is the norm for The Living Gallery) showcases the work of Üriel Shlüsh-Reyna, a Bushwick-based artist who creates paintings, drawings, and sculptures. She also appeared as a cast member in immersive show Houseworld in 2015, which took place in the various rooms of a Greenpoint church. Her work zeroes in on matters of mysticism, fantasy, and magic. Also, she draws and paints a lot of women, some busty, some doe-eyed, some even tied-up and split in two. Of Ghosts and Girls will show a mix of old and new works in various mediums. She also indicates on her website that she’s inspired by both sleep paralysis and ice cream, which if anything is an interesting combo. The opening reception will also feature musical performances by Mike Campbell, Ben Pagano, and Charles Mansfield. Keep Reading »

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Avril Lavigne’s Ghost, a Dirty Panties Musical, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(flyer via The Witness / Facebook)

The Witness
Thursday, March 9 at Superchief Gallery, 8 pm: $10

Tonight, witness this fine-tuned evening of powerhouse performance, live music, and installations from an array of artists working in movement, visual, and sound mediums. Curated by multidisciplinary gal Ariele Max (who will also be performing), the evening is comprised of hyper-sexual “inverted gospel” musician/performer Cole, choreographer and installation artist steeped in dystopian imagery Kathleen Dycaico, research and ritual-based artist Autumn Ahn, and musician/choreographer/etc Richard Kennedy.

It’ll cost you $10 to get in, but the price includes a full day of exploring Superchief Gallery, plus wine and the mysterious notion of “edible art.” Why touch the art when you can eat it? Keep Reading »

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Art Openings: Love Positive Women, Virtual Quilts, and More

(by David Shama, via Con Artist / Facebook)

(by David Shama, via Con Artist / Facebook)

Supernatural
Opening Wednesday January 25 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through January 27.

Inspired by the popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things and other popular culture in genres that like to bring on the chills, Con Artist Collective’s Supernatural exhibition is a quick weeklong endeavor showcasing all things that go bump in the night. So, you’ll bear witness to ghosts, werewolves, demons, vampires, and other otherworldly creatures, but this won’t only be literal manifestations of the theme. Some artists will choose a more metaphorical path, rendering feelings of fear, suspense, or uncertainty through color, shape, or something else entirely. Boo! Keep Reading »

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Make American Gay Again, Theater As Light, and More Performance To Ease The Pain

WEDNESDAY

(image via Ars Nova / Facebook)

(image via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Make America Gay Again
Wednesday, January 18 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15

By now, the phrase Make America Great Again pretty much seems like old hat. Which is also a pun I didn’t mean to make, but there it is. Tonight, performance artist Chris Tyler hopes to put his own ribald spin on MAGA with this spangled variety show, claiming while that America has never been particularly great or even particularly good, it has indeed been “more than a little bit gay.” Republicans are welcome to this affair, though it’s unclear what their fate shall be when they arrive. The lineup includes “drag queens, poets, and punk musicians” such as performance artist Emily Oliveira, drag queen Kelsey, local rockers Gandor Chorale, Pussy Grabs Back: The Band, writer Jess Goldschmidt, and more. Advance tickets are sold out, but a waitlist begins at the theater at 7:30. Keep Reading »

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Winter Festivals, A Play On 4Chan, Gay Shows For All, and More Performance Picks

FESTIVALS

Under the Radar
Wednesday January 4 through Sunday January 15, various showtimes at The Public Theater and other spaces: $20 and up

Ah yes, it’s that time again, when the slew of January performance festivals sail in every winter to overwhelm you with a seemingly endless supply of shows. One of these is The Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival, which presents a wide variety of music, performance, and more from artists based across the U.S. and all over the world.

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Art that is ‘Vapid and Screaming,’ Philosophical Collage, a Solo Show Duo, and More

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

Vapid & Screaming
Opening Monday January 2, 6 pm to 9 pm at 208 Bowery. On view through January 4.

Nowadays, gallery space in Manhattan is pricey, yet art is still being created left and right. For those still clinging on to the last kernel of hope that there is hope for the island, well, there might be something there. At least, for pop-up shows.

Take 208 Bowery–a former restaurant supply shop-turned-pop-up hub which recently featured a Drake-themed event, among other art shows and will now be the site of Vapid and Screaming, a pop-up show of work by “emerging fag, femme, and queer artists.”

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