You probably haven’t forgotten, but it’s Pride month. To sex-worker-centric event series Stigma Unbound, Pride means something more than merely slapping a rainbow flag onto your coffee mug or banner ad. “In contrast to corporate and official pride celebrations, we come together on this night to share personal stories and perspectives on what pride really means if you’re queer, a person of color, gender nonconforming, trans, or a sex worker,” they say. At a secret dungeon in Brooklyn, a variety of performances from sex workers and their allies will unfold, exploring topics such as queerness and trans identity, white supremacy, lost loved ones, and fantasy. After the show, the evening will turn into an inclusive, consent-focused, all-gender play party for those who want to engage in a little post-show steaminess. Keep Reading »
Teenage Dick Now through July 15 at The Public Theater, 7:30 pm (weekend matinees at 1:30 pm): $50+
As I’ve discussed several times before, wacky Shakespeare adaptations are a dime a dozen. Normally, this manifests in the form of doing something other than the expected set design, costume design, or casting, while leaving the original script—and sometimes other age-old practices—intact. Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick, co-presented by the Ma-Yi Theater Company, does something different. It portrays Richard III (“the most famous disabled character of all time”) as a high school junior with cerebral palsy who is determined to become class president, and will do whatever it takes to get there. Given that most productions of Richard III feature an able-bodied actor in the titular role even when breaking with tradition in other parts of the staging (yes I’ve written about this topic before), this play’s focus on both authentic casting and disability is a breath of fresh air. Keep Reading »
It is time once again for the slew of winter theater festivals that usually fill the month of January to its very brim, and cause many an artist to triple-check their schedule and/or wallets to see how they can make it all work. Beginning on Thursday is one of the most notable fests, Under The Radar, presented by The Public Theater. Though it’s only 12 days, there are more than 155 performances across five venues. Even slightly pondering that gives me scheduling-related anxiety.
A brief sampling of highlights: Roger Guenveur Smith and CalArts’s piece exploring the New Year’s Eve concert Jimi Hendrix played in 1969 in NYC, queer ensemble Split Britches’s meditation on anxiety and doomsday created in collaboration with local artists and elders, a concert of work by Erin Markey and Emily Bate, harunalee’s exploration of how memory can be gendered and racialized, Cuban company Teatro El Público’s underground drag-cabaret version of Antigone, and more. There is truly so much more. Keep Reading »
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.
When the Public Theater announced that musician/producer extraordinaire Nile Rodgers would grace its stage in January, we knew our fingers would be on the trigger the second tickets went on sale (which, by the way, is today, December 22, at 2pm). But things just got a whole lot more interesting: On Tuesday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Rodgers will be inducted during a ceremony at the Barclays Center in April.
Haha, Wow! By Reductress: Hillary Clinton Won! Thursday, November 10 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5.
Everyone’s favorite (and maybe the only) satirical women’s magazine Reductress, fresh off the release of How To Win At Feminism (check our interview here), gears up for another edition of its monthly live show. Hosted by Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg, the show offers chuckles, lady power, and “tips on how to sex good,” duh. But this one’s a little different. The theme is “Hillary Clinton Won.” I’m not sure if this title was decided upon before Tuesday, but either way it’s gonna be a little painful to emerge back into the world once the show concludes. But for one hour of blissful pretending, you can “live your life like Hillary Clinton won with some of our favorite comedians.” Take it while you can. The show features Sydnee Washington, Alyssa Limperis, Shalewa Sharpe, and JANDA. Keep Reading »
LoftOpera’s “The Rape of Lucretia.” (photo: Robert Altman)
LoftOpera’s Tosca Continues through March 19 at 198 Randolph Street, Bushwick. Tickets are $30. More info here.
If you think opera sounds stuffy and expensive, think again. At LoftOpera, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, you don’t even have to leave Brooklyn to get your fill of classic operatic scores, solid performances, and also, beer. The LoftOpera folks have garnered much praise for their past productions, and their Tosca is sure to be of similar quality. Come and experience all the nostalgia of a loft party, but with all the culture of opera.
We kind of nerded out here at B+B when we heard news that an IDNYC enrollment station was popping up in the East Village through the month of December. The municipal identification program — the groundbreaking pet project of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the largest program of its kind across the country — gives all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, the right to an ID card. Of course, there are all kinds of perks to get us to develop some loyalty to these things and actually carry the cards around. Or maybe our lanky Mayor just loves us.
And actually, you might be inclined to think the latter now that we’ve been given the greatest holiday gift ever. The Mayor announced an extension of the free membership program linked to the card for at least another year. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, another IDNYC registration center is launching in Chinatown.
If you’re a downtowner who’s been lazy about trekking uptown to get a city ID card, heads up: an IDNYC enrollment site is popping up at Middle Collegiate Church during the last three weeks of December.
You’ll want to move on this, too: December 31 is the last day you’ll be able to sign up for free year-long memberships at 33 museums and cultural institutions. After you’ve snagged the card, you’ll have to apply separately with each place for membership, but it’s worth it. Perks include discounted tickets at the Public Theater, 20% off food and drink at Joe’s Pub and The Library, half off movie tickets and same-day tickets to performances at BAM, and free admission to The Met, MoMA PS1, and Brooklyn Museum.
In conjunction with the play Buzzer, Tracey Scott Wilson’s tale of an upwardly-mobile black attorney who buys an apartment in a transitioning neighborhood in Brooklyn, The Public Theater asked patrons to mark a map with a pushpin signifying how they felt about their neighborhood. “We thought about how we could connect everyone that comes through this building to this topic,” said Reynaldi Lindner Lolong, the Public’s Membership and Marketing manager. The colored pushpins point out exactly where people are from on the map, and the Post-Its allow them to choose a color (green for those worried about being priced out of their hood, orange for those who feel unsafe, red for both and blue for neither) and make an anonymous comment about their experience with gentrification. “What’s been really fascinating is seeing it’s not that all one neighborhood is green, or all one is red. Within the same block you’ll see all different reactions,” Lolong said.
The Buzzer runs until April 26 at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street.
SmokeBreakForest artwork by director Diane Exavier
The shining star of downtown theater events this month is undoubtedly the Fringe Festival, but for Brooklynites and those who have panic attacks when faced with choosing from a 1,200 show set list, there’s a vibrant selection of other plays in the B+B domain this August. Read on for our picks. Keep Reading »