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Performance Picks: Puppet Folktales, Chilean Mine Immersion, and Some Much-Needed Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

Secret
At La MaMa, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Free. More info here
I can’t say I know a ton about Watoku Ueno’s one-night-only piece at La MaMa, but maybe they’re staying true to their name and keeping all the juicy details a secret… What I do know is that it’s based off Japanese folklore, specifically a story known as “Crane Wife,” where a man marries a woman who is really a crane in disguise and makes money by weaving her own feathers into silk brocade and leaves once her husband finds out she’s really a crane. That is true independence and craftiness, if I do say so myself. Secret includes not only dance and live music but also some glorious shadow puppetry that will bring this odd little tale to life.

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12 Hours on a Bed Of Salt and 4 More Performances You Should See

(photo: Nick McManus)

(photo: Nick McManus)

WEDNESDAY

Circus of Dreams
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $7 suggested donation. More info here
This monthly performance art variety show has been going on for a couple years now and still never fails to surprise me. Though it’s impossible to predict or even properly describe what shenanigans will occur, there will be gender-blurred burlesque, shocking circus stunts, a senior citizen contortionist who has had several hip surgeries and is still going strong, dominatrix performance art, and zany audience participation. And that’s just a sampling. This month is glam-themed, so I’m sure there will be sparkles and over-the-top outfits everywhere the eye can see. Get there early to beat the inevitable crowd, it’ll make getting a drink in a timely manner much more feasible and you can see some nice preshow go-go dancing.

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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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Performance Picks: PowerPoint Presents and an Appearance by Ronald Trump

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

Ike At Night
Now through June 4, Wednesday through Saturday at The Bushwick Starr: $18. 
Acclaimed comic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts a talk show of his own creation at the Bushwick Starr. Each night is different, featuring a new selection of handpicked artistic guests each time, including  B+B fave M Lamar, theatre director Richard Maxwell, performance group Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Dance Cartel choreographer Ani Taj, and more. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Campy Cats, Poetry Brothel Séance, and Experimental Comedy

THURSDAY

(photo: Jody Christopherson)

(photo: Jody Christopherson)

Strays
Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.

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Crawl Into The Gutter as a Brooklyn Ale House Vet Recounts His ‘Life Behind Bars’

via Dan Ruth

(Photo by Jamahl Richardson)

Walking the streets of Williamsburg, Dan Ruth can point out the buildings where squatters used to hold court. He still remembers the excellent soundtrack at King’s Pharmacy, the unvarnished temperament of the lady behind the Stroll-In Video counter, impromptu concerts in the back of bars, and gaggles of old ladies acting as the sentinels of his block. He wouldn’t claim to be part of the first wave of artists and musicians moving out to Williamsburg in search of cheap rents, but he was definitely hot on their heels.

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Weekend Performance Picks, And One To Spice Up Your Monday

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(photo via Lorelei Ramirez / Facebook)

FRIDAY

Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.

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Wear Your Abercrombie Cologne to Lake Homo High, A Gay Comedy Serial

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Welcome to Lake Homo High, a high school full of drama with one teacher (Mr. SubBottom), one coach (Coach DomTop), and four students. It’s a school where you can network your way to good grades, audition for America’s Next Top Quarterback, and even earn an H&M gift card during an oral quiz if you can correctly identify the worst way to die (Answer: “Over 30”). Oh, and shocker: everyone is gay.

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Performance Picks: Fearful Comedy, Fainting, and Queer Drama

WEDNESDAY

(photo via Shark Party Media)

(photo via Shark Party Media)

Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of?
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $10. More info here

Writer, comedian and former child actress Mara Wilson is back with the latest iteration of her show What Are You Afraid Of?, which rounds up choice comedians and storytellers to share their greatest and most interesting fears. This time around: Jasmine Pierce (Reductress), Anita Flores (Awkward Sex… And The City), and Anna Rose Roisman (UCB). And don’t fret, the extra fearful can always arm themselves with a booze blanket.

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Performance: Future in Puppetry, Internet in 1991, and Some Stuff in Between

(photo: Maria Baranova)

(photo: Maria Baranova)

WEDNESDAY

Steve of Tomorrow
Continues through March 19 at HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Ave., Tribeca. 7pm; tickets are $20. More info here. 
Steve of Tomorrow is a multimedia work of puppetry following a sci-fi fan who makes a blog post inviting any time travelers to greet him with their presence, but the only one to come by is lazy and not at all what he’d hope the progressive future to be. This piece questions technological advancement while utilizing the latest in video puppetry, created in the signature style of David Commander’s Toy Theater. Regardless of your feelings on tech or the capabilities of future-folk, it’s sure to be pretty cool.

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4 Performance Picks: Loft Opera, Brothels, And Hospitals

LoftOpera's "The Rape of Lucretia." (photo: Robert Altman)

LoftOpera’s “The Rape of Lucretia.” (photo: Robert Altman)

THURSDAY

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.

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4 Performances Not to Miss This Weekend

FRIDAY

(photo: Patrick Moore)

(photo: Patrick Moore)

Lear
Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.

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