I don’t often think about laser tag. Maybe my life would be more interesting if I did, but it’s just not frequently on my mind. However, I was thinking of that childhood adventure game as I walked up the stairs into A.R.T. New York’s theater building in Hell’s Kitchen. There, I was handed a square of grey foam that I held to my chest like a shield as I walked into a industrial-feeling room constructed of black rubber milk cartons. Not that I was about to be faced with beams of light and fog. Not yet. I was here to see a play. Keep Reading »
Now through May 7 at the Mezzanine Theater at A.R.T. New York Theaters, 8 pm (select times at 3 pm and 5 pm): $35+
Though this show is playing up near Hell’s Kitchen, it’s commissioned by Soho Rep, the acclaimed and boundary-pushing theater that recently left its longtime home base on Walker Street, downtown, due to conflicts regarding what the building was zoned for and what they needed to do to operate the theater. Without any sign of stopping their production output, Soho Rep and artistic director Sarah Benson have been putting up shows elsewhere in the meantime.
Samara unites two downtown theater heavy-hitters, Benson and Richard Maxwell of the New York City Players. Maxwell rarely brings outside directors on board, but has asked Benson herself to direct his latest work. They’ve assembled a cast that is diverse in gender, race, and even age, as the ensemble’s age range is 14 to 92. Notably, the cast includes singer-songwriter Steve Earle, who has a storied (and Grammy-winning) career in American roots and folk music and has penned tunes recorded by Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and more. Earle has also composed music for the play, so whether you’re a fan of avant-garde theater or just good old-fashioned American grooves, you’ll probably find something to like about this show. Keep Reading »
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.
When folk-rock band The Lisps, helmed by César Alvarez and Sammy Tunis, assemble in front of the big curtain atop The Connelly Theater’s stage, they look like your average band: quirkily dressed, bantering amongst themselves and strumming out jaunty and conversational indie Americana-influenced tunes.
Two theatrical powerhouses from different worlds—composer and musician César Alvarez of The Lisps and Soho Rep’s artistic director Sarah Benson—come together for the New York premiere of this “avant-americana” musical centering around a Civil War soldier and a math genius who seek to invent an electrifying machine. Alvarez leads a diverse cast of musicians and performers who will surely bring this unique musical to life in interesting ways. Tickets are going fast and it’s just been extended, so the phrase “sold out” may be appearing in this show’s futur(ity). Might be a good idea to get those tickets now.
Futurity is written by César Alvarez with music by Alvarez and The Lisps, and directed by Sarah Benson. With choreography by David Neumann, set design by Emily Orling and Matt Saunders, percussion and contraption design by Eric Farber, lighting design by Yi Zhao, costume design by Emily Orling, sound design by Matt Tierney, props design by Noah Mease, fight choreography by J. David Brimmer, music direction by César Alvarez, and dramaturgy by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Featuring César Alvarez, Andrew R. Butler, Fred Epstein, Eric Farber, Eamon Goodman, Karen Kandel, Kristine Haruna Lee, Mia Pixley, Jessie Shelton, Kamala Sankaram, Darius Smith, Storm Thomas, and Sammy Tunis.
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.
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.
Whether you’re in the mood for scary stories, live nude bodies, or something completely different, there’s a show out there to tickle your funny bone or take your brain for a spin.
What Are You Afraid Of?
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave., Williamsburg. 8pm; tickets are $5 at the door.
Former child actress turned writer and comedian Mara Wilson hosts What Are You Afraid Of?, a comedy and storytelling show that explores fears and anxieties of all shapes and sizes. This particular show features a small but mighty lineup consisting of B+B favorite Sue Smith, Chemda, Susan Kent, and Wilson herself. Take a peek into these funny people and their frightened brains. Maybe you’ll find you have more fears in common than you thought.