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Performance Picks: Futuristic Sex Bots, Creepy Schoolhouses, Messy Comedy

FRIDAY

(Photo: Russ Rowland, via One Year Lease Theater Company / Facebook)

Eat The Devil
Now through March 9 at The Tank, 8 pm: $25 

The best way I can describe Eat The Devil, a multimedia-laden play by Nadja Leonhard-Hooper and Dan Nuxoll of Rooftop Films, is kind of like a cross between the movies Sorry To Bother You and Ex Machina, but way weirder, way more online, and with more theatrics. But even that doesn’t really do its uniqueness justice. The play, set in a strange-yet-feasible version of the future, centers around the development of Mia, an artificially intelligent sex doll played by nonbinary drag performer Theydy Bedbug. Meanwhile, airlines are sponsored by porn tube sites, Amazon is run by a flying Alexa device, Alex Jones is still screaming away, and furries are experiencing a cultural moment. It’s both a night of delightfully strange escapism and a harrowing vision of what very well may soon be our reality.

SATURDAY

The Mess With Jesse Roth
Saturday, March 9 at The Footlight, 7 pm: $5-10 sliding scale

Some comedians describe themselves as clean, but performer Jesse Roth prefers her work to err on the messy side of things. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into flinging food and mud around (though there have been comedy shows where those things happen), but rather, she embraces the flawed nature of experimentation. At her recurring show at The Footlight, Roth delves into stand-up, dance, sketch, solo performance, music, and more, finding out what works along the way, and what doesn’t. This Saturday’s show features guests Steve Jeanty of hip-hop improv group North Coast and Graham Techler.

SUNDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova)

Skinnamarink
Now through March 23 at New York Theater Workshop, 3 pm (most shows at 7:30 pm): $30+  

First of all, if you don’t get that little children’s song in stuck in your head eternally after reading the title of this show, I envy you. Skinnamarink, the latest production from offbeat theater company Little Lord, takes its inspiration from McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, a series of vintage children’s books dating back to the 1800’s that aimed to teach the youth to read. Using this source material (and peanut butter, so if you’re allergic, consider yourself warned), the ensemble immerses the audience in a “little one-room schoolhouse of horrors” to educate on the curiously dark state and history of the American education system.

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Comedic Techno, Talking Rakes, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(photo by Patrick Arias, image via Facebook)

Queer As In Fuck You: Is It Halloween Yet?
Thursday, October 11 at Otto’s Shrunken Head, 10 pm: $5-10 suggested donation

No, it’s not technically Halloween yet (just a few more weeks!) but being in attendance at Vylette Tendency’s punk drag show Queer As In Fuck You (guest hosted this time by devilish drag demon God Complex) might make you forget that, as you’ll be surrounded with spooky, creative looks and costumes far as the eye can see. While most alternative drag takes place in Brooklyn nowadays, this show did win the Brooklyn Nightlife Award honor of “Best Reason To Leave Brooklyn,” so you know it’s worth making the trek to 14th and B for tiki drinks, alt vibes, and performances by Ms. Ter, Angelica Sundae, Mini Horrorwitz, and Richard Dicocko. 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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Let There Be Dark! at This Electricity-Free Theater Festival 

Butcher Holler Here We Come at DarkFest, with Adam Belvo on the right

Tonight, The Tank turns off its lights for four days, for its annual DarkFest. The midtown theater has invited five known and emerging acts to do whatever they want, as long as they steer clear of the power grid. In previous years, that has meant anonymous confessions in the pitch black, shows illuminated with nothing but glow tape, and a mining-disaster story lit only with hard-hat headlamps.

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Little Green Guys, 5-Hour Durationals, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(poster by Mikey Heller, via Facebook)

Little Green Guys: An Evening of Comedy About Frogs and Lizards
Wednesday, May 10 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $5

First of all, I don’t know what I can say about this show that will make it any more appealing than the title already makes it. Little green guys! Why make jokes about people and places when you can make them about frogs and lizards. They’re small, they’re wacky, and they’re one of a kind. A grand old lineup of people will be stopping by to wax comedic about these green-hued critters, including Jo Firestone, Lorelei Ramirez, Annie Donley, Anthony Oberbeck, Carmen Christopher, The Junk Bros, and more, plus your amphibian-and-reptile-loving hosts Joe Rumrill and Andrew Tisher.

The only thing that would make this show better is if actual frogs and lizards made their way up the steps to Babycastles, clambered up the mic stands, and croaked out their own jokes and humorous musings. I guess we will just have to wait for the sequel to see that. Keep Reading »