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Performance Picks: Clowns, Immersive Aliens, and Comedy Comebacks

THURSDAY

(image via Becca Bernard / Facebook)

Clown Cabaret
Thursday, September 20 at The Brick, 7 pm: $20

Ah, clowns. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood performance mediums, they’re most commonly thought of as just a strange part of circuses (or horror films), wearing red noses, white face paint, and large shoes. I just had a strange recollection of a time my mom volunteered to be a clown at my preschool or something, and she did in fact have to wear large floppy shoes. But it’s not always this way! Come see the many ways clowns can exist at an all-clown cabaret at The Brick in Williamsburg on Thursday night, presented as part of The Clown Theater Festival. There will be music, comedy, and other varieties of clownlike performance. Will everyone be wearing a red nose or will someone be subversive and spring for a different color? Only one way to find out. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: A Queer Eye Parody, Bushwig’s Return, and More

THURSDAY

(photo: Rachel Nicholson, via Facebook)

Athena
Now through September 16 at JACK, 8 pm (some shows at 3 pm and 7 pm): $18-25

You can probably divide people into three categories regarding competitive athletics they engaged with growing up: more mainstream sports-doers who partook in football, basketball, and the like; people who vehemently did no sports at all; and those drawn to more niche offerings, like martial arts or fencing. The latter grouping is the star of Gracie Gardner’s play Athena, which is being revived for a brief run following a sharply successful debut at Clinton Hill space JACK in February. Presented by The Hearth, which “tells the stories of women,” the play surrounds two teenage girl fencers training for the Junior Olympics. Though such a task undoubtedly requires the duo to spend quite a lot of time around each other, “friends” they do not seem to be. While this situation seems stressful to go through personally, it surely will be interesting to spectate upon. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Anarchist Emmas and Violent Ellens

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Tank / Facebook)

Red Emma and the Mad Monk
Now through September 1 at The Tank, 8 pm: $20-30

Nowadays, when one thinks about theater (particularly any form of commercial theater, Broadway or otherwise), radical politics aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second or third for that matter. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see this serve as the cornerstone of Red Emma and the Mad Monk, a new play with music by Alexis Roblan presented as part of The Tank’s Ladyfest. It centers around a 12 year-old girl who has a mystic Russian imaginary friend and enjoys fighting online with “deplorables,” an unsettling pastime for someone so young, but it probably happens more than we’d like to think. In the midst of this, she learns about the influential anarchist activist Emma Goldman, and starts to consider the world a bit differently. Keep Reading »

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The Return of The Macaulay Culkin Show and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Subtle Pride / Facebook)

Subtle Pride: Live in Concert
Thursday, August 9 at Rubulad, 8 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

While yes this is a concert, and this listing typically does not include those, I happen to know that seeing the group Subtle Pride in concert is not your average musical experience. In addition to many songs (often a cappella, harmony-laden, and/or improvised), there are often sketches, monologues, and other strange theatrical experiences peppered in within all the music sung by Mina Walker (of the band Daisy The Great), Brigette Lundy-Paine (of Netflix series Atypical), Zach Donovan, and Misha Brooks. It’s sort of hard to explain, but when I saw them at Dixon Place a year or two ago I was very impressed and also a little confused at times. But if you like celebrity culture, vocal harmonies, weird theatrics, and other such things, it is likely you will have a nice time. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag Competition, Comedy (Divine Or Otherwise)

WEDNESDAY

(image via House of Yes / Facebook)

Hot Mess: Drag Competition
Wednesday, July 11 at House of Yes, 10 pm: FREE

When you think of a drag competition, surely one certain television show comes to mind. But, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has made clear, not every type of drag performer is allowed to partake. But at Madame Vivien V’s live drag competition Hot Mess, there are no such limitations. “All drag is equal so whatever form you take, [whether] you are a seasoned professional or a baby darling, if you’ve got something to say, we want to give you the stage,” the event page articulates, noting that the show will include queens, kings, “queerdos,” and whomever else may want to strut their stuff. The winner will receive the coveted title of Mx. Hot Mess, as well as $100 cash. Plus, unlike a lot of events at the glitzy House of Yes, it’s free. Keep Reading »

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Feminist HPV, Charles Atlas, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Andrew Hardigg / Facebook)

Gorilla Manners / Atlas / Coffee Cup Conundrum
Wednesday, May 2 at Dixon Place, 7:30 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors

Tonight, you can get not one, not two, but three shows in the same night. The first is Gorilla Manners, a play by Andrew Hardigg directed by Jordan J. Baum, which includes a character called Vaseline and a gorilla who does not like being stared at for too long (hence the “manners” portion of the title, I suppose). The second is Atlas, a show by The Red Lines that explores how communication can be distorted by the artifice that we create. The third, Coffee Cup Conundrum, not only works well as a tongue twister or vocal warm-up, but will likely also remind us about the massive amount of plastic we throw away and how we’re only going to be able to ignore it for so much longer. So, there’s something for everyone! Keep Reading »

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#StopSESTA, Lobotomies, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(poster by Mikey Heller)

Tim Platt: Live in COWncert
Thursday, April 26 at The Brick, 9:30 pm: $10

Many of us grew up watching Sesame Street. Comedian Tim Platt has recently written a song for this beloved children’s show, but that isn’t the only song he’s penned. In fact, you can see Platt’s entire repertoire of comedy music on Thursday night at The Brick when he plays a concert as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Collective’s residence at the Williamsburg theater. Sure, comedy music can be grating or cringe-inducing, but Tim’s music is neither of those things. Well, unless it’s trying to be. So, come one come all, and open your ears for songs about vegetables (as someone who once wrote an entire play about broccoli, this excites me) and all other sorts of topics, with accompanist Ben Kling and opening act Eudora Peterson. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be a cow. Keep Reading »

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Drag Improv, Kathy Acker Marathon, and More Performances To See

THURSDAY

(flyer via Brooklyn Comedy Collective)

DragProv
Thursday, April 5 at The Brick, 9:30 pm: $10

Drag queens and improv comedy don’t always go hand-in-hand, which sometimes seems for the best, but come Thursday they will. Presented as part of the new Brooklyn Comedy Collective, currently in residence at Williamsburg’s The Brick, DragProv is pretty much exactly how it sounds. Indeed, you will be able to experience awe-inspiring lip-sync, laugh-inspiring improv, and probably some funny lip-syncs that have some component of improv to them, who knows. I don’t make the rules. Hosts Queef Latifa and Annie AssQueef (are they related? I don’t know) will welcome performers Golden Delicious, Devine Madness, Kiko Soiree, Miranda Samantha, and Gosford Park to do their thing, whatever it may be. Keep Reading »

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A Tribute To Brooklyn, Queer Storytelling, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(photo: Aaron “RadioSilence” Jaker)

¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn
March 15-31 at Abrons Arts Center, various times: $20

It’s far too common to see comedians, storytellers, and other performance-based creative types make quips about living in Brooklyn, but usually these are predominantly white transplants talking about how quirky it is to live there, with all the cute cafes and niche boutiques and all that. I typically find this very grating, because living in a place is not a personality trait, particularly when you are a white person being all “Haha, how funny is Brooklyn” about what is almost always a gentrifying neighborhood. But if you’re looking for a different kind of love letter to the borough, look no further than Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Oye Group’s latest multimedia production, ¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn. Using projections, bilingual storytelling, poetry, music, and more, Jimenez waxes quite literally poetic about his unique life, the multifaceted place he calls home, and all the complicated forces currently at work within it. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Fainting Clowns, Doom Spirituals, and So Much More

(photo via BAM)

(photo via BAM)

WEDNESDAY

Portrait of myself as my father
Continues through September 17 at BAM Fisher, 7:30 pm: $25.
Choreographer Nora Chipaumire, born in Zimbabwe and based in Brooklyn, takes the medium of traditional African dance and dresses it up in the masculine garb of a boxing ring in this piece that explores and explodes traditional notions of black masculinity through the spirit of her estranged father. He will appear in multiple forms, symbolically summoned as a “specter” through two dancers, Kaolack (also known as Senegalese dancer Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye) and the Jamaican-born Shamar Watt. The three performers will step into the ring, don their gloves, and fight it out. Or dance it out. Or maybe there’s less of a difference than we think.

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This Week’s Primo Performance, Including a Beyoncé Musical and a Trans Theater Fest

(image via Dead Darlings)

(image via Dead Darlings)

WEDNESDAY

Dead Darlings
At Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village. Free. More info here
Typically, when we go see a performance of any sort, the material we’re watching has been written, rewritten, and carefully narrowed down from a presumable slew of ideas. Dead Darlings, a monthly show curated by performer and female drag queen Amanda Duarte, seeks to assemble a group of artists to show work that didn’t make the final cut or has not yet found a home. This time is “book club edition,” so there’ll be a gaggle of authors reading their work: Dave Hill (Inside Amy Schumer), Michael Schulman (Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep), Rebecca Traister (All The Single Ladies), and Cintra Wilson (Fear And Clothing).

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Performance Picks: Office Wellness Seminar, Prom in 2003, A Permanent Caterpillar

THURSDAY

(photo via Kelly Cooper)

(photo via Kelly Cooper)

DTF Presents: Mandatory Seminar
Continues weekly through June 2 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9pm. Tickets are $10. More info here
Have you ever been a part of an office wellness seminar? I personally have not, but they sound truly absurd. Get a taste of one too outrageous for words tonight and next week in the hallowed halls of The Annoyance, where The Dingleberry Theater Foundation tries their very best to stage their own wellness seminar featuring a cast of characters who don’t seem at all suited for that sort of workplace, much less any workplace. Will there be meditative breathing exercises and miniature bottles of water or will there only be disaster? Only one way to find out.

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