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Performance Picks: Dominatrix Birthday, Hip-Hop Theater Party, Free Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Kim Fatale / Facebook)

(image via Kim Fatale / Facebook)

XXX: Kim Fatale Turns 30
Thursday, September 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 8 pm doors, 9 pm show: $5 suggested.
Dominatrix and performance artist Kim Fatale will be ringing in her third decade and entrance into the “age of desire,” and not just through any old birthday party. This will be a true show, with appearances from some of the city’s weirdest and wildest creators and performance artists, including Wild Torus (who I once saw perform running naked covered in goo), Jenna Kline (who I once saw with slabs of meat attached to her face, respectively), and Geraldo Mercado. Expect tunes from ski-bass-wielding burst of energy Borts Minorts, the “alluring and feminine” Huisi He, and the birthday star herself, in a performance made in collaboration with sound group SPREADERS. Roll on over to Bizarre and submit yourself to art.

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Performance Picks: Womanhood, Rihanna, Cake, and Fashion

WEDNESDAY

(image via Housing Works)

(image via Housing Works / Facebook)

Womanhood Live!
At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 7 pm: FREE. 

If you’re not the type to sit around watching short-form video clips all day, this is the show for you. Impressively funny ladies Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla are bringing their Refinery29 web series, “Womanhood,” to a real, live venue. No more straining your eyes staring at bright screens to get your laugh on– these are 100% in-person joke-tellers, which is probably a lot more fun than 100% in-person bank tellers. Firestone and Nancherla have graciously assembled a group of nice folk to help them teach you all about the complex terrain of women’s bodies and lives, including Dylan Marron, Naomi Ekperegin, Marlena Rodriguez, and Diana Kolsky (who will truly contain multitudes as “The Haters.”) You might wanna take your headphones off for this one.

THURSDAY

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A Playwright Returns to the East Village Theater Where He Once Squatted

J. Stephen Brantley (L) and Nico Grelli (R) (photo: Hunter Canning)

J.Stephen Brantley (L) and Nico Grelli (R) (photo: Hunter Canning)

It’s relatively common for people to write plays that are autobiographical, and then perform in those plays. Less common is an autobiographical play performed in the same neighborhood where events took place that led the play to happen, and produced by the very person that runs the theater where the writer used to squat. If this sounds a little convoluted, it is. But it’s also the very true nature of J.Stephen Brantley’s new play The Jamb, about two queer punks in their forties: one gone straight-edge, one stuck in the wild days of his youth.

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Ex-Interpol Bassist Carlos Dengler Monkeys Around With a One Man Show

(Photo courtesy of Carlos Dengler)

(Photo courtesy of Carlos Dengler)

There’s a singular, surreal, and very memorable moment invoked by Carlos Dengler in his new solo stage production Homo Sapiens Interruptus (the last performance, part of the FringeNYC festival is tonight, 9:30 pm at 64E4 Underground in the East Village).

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South By South Death is the Music-Festival Slasher Musical You Didn’t Know You Needed

(image via National Sawdust)

(image via National Sawdust)

America is replete with music festivals (especially this summer, New York). There are so many it could make your head spin, causing you to momentarily lose sanity and fall into a killing spree.

That’s not exactly what happens in Jared Saltiel and Toby Singer‘s new musical South By South Death, but it’s close—the show is about a group of friends who head south to attend the infamous “Didgeridoo Music Festival,” conveniently set on a remote island. At the festival, pop star “Ciley Myrus” is headlining, but there’s something darker afoot. Someone in a Myrus mask begins killing everyone and documenting the carnage. Through selfies, of course. As more and more people die, there’s another disaster looming, this one of the natural variety: Hurricane Beyoncé.

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Performance Picks: Beds Not Chairs + Silent and/or Messy Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

(flyer via Judson Arts Wednesdays)

Blind Crest
August 17, 7 pm at Judson Memorial Church: FREE

Judson Arts Wednesdays, a series of free music, dance, and theatrical-readings twice a month, wraps up the season with this final play reading.

Blind Crest was inspired by the true story of Ronnell Wilson and Nancy Gonzalez, this work by Monet Hurst-Mendoza is take on a “boy-meets-girl” story where a black man on death row and a newly-appointed corrections officer make a connection and plan to have a baby.

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Performance Picks: Harsh Noise Videos IRL, LOL Sadism, and Theatre Ina Garden

THURSDAY

(via Housing Works)

(via Housing Works)

Loose: A Comedy Show
August 11, 7 pm at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: $10. 

The always-effervescent Jo Firestone hosts this monthly evening of chuckles at the equally warmhearted Housing Works. But Firestone’s no ordinary comedy show host, no siree– she’s the brains behind ventures like Punderdome 3000, that oh-so-thrilling pun contest that’s either your worst nightmare or best dream come true.

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Spread Your Creative Wings: Two Fly Chances to Have Your Art Seen in the EV

Ideal Glass mural "Every Mother's Son" by Sophia Dawson, featuring portraits of mothers who have lost children by way of police brutality. (image via Sam Jablon)

Ideal Glass mural “Every Mother’s Son” by Sophia Dawson, featuring portraits of mothers who have lost children by way of police brutality. (Image courtesy of Ideal Glass)

Whatever medium you work in, it’s hard to be an artist. Barely anyone pays attention to anything you do, so keeping self-motivated can be tricky when you’re consistently weary from day jobs, keeping track of your 1099s and W9s, and closing down that bar you performed at to ensure you grip that sparse handful of wrinkly cash you so rightfully deserve. In the midst of all this noise, it’s easy for all those half-baked ideas to slip into some dark, far-away box at the back of your mind, and potentially never see the light of day.

Luckily, there are some folks out there who are willing to nudge you in the direction of productivity. Here are two upcoming opportunities to inspire artists, both visual and performance types, to get out there and do their thing.

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Performance Picks: Dancing Comedians, Personhood Through Puns, Interactive Foreplay

WEDNESDAY
(via Facebook)

(via Facebook)

Nationals: An Amateur Adult Dance Comedy Tournament
At UCB Chelsea, 307 W 26th Street, Chelsea. 11pm. $5. More info here.
Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney host this four-month-long wild n’ wacky dance competition where the goal is not to dance in the prettiest way or for the longest time, but rather whose dancin’ feet make for the most chuckles. Sure, you can argue that many dance competitions run the risk of being unintentionally comedic already, but just imagine a dance competition where everything is supposed to be funny. Will there be technically skilled, tightly-crafted pieces using formal dance moves to inspire laughter? Probably not, because the teams are mostly made up of comedians. But you never know– there could be some surprises. Competitors include a team of two, a team of almost 10, and comedian Annie Donley (The Annoyance, SOAP’s Messy Backyard Show) going at it solo. And rest assured, whatever happens, a star WILL be born.

 

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Coming Up: Nacho Cheese in a Chocolate Fountain and 3 Other Things in Unexpected Places

Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…

A live band at karaoke:

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

Be Yourself Karaoke!
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.

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Performance Picks: Blood Pact, Black Ballet, Spooky Ghosts in the Park

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

(image via Marybess Pritchett)

WEDNESDAY
Blood Pact
Continues weekly through August 17 at The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here

The school I went to didn’t really have much Greek life at all, but I can still acknowledge that fraternities and sororities provide rich material for comedy. A group of women at The Annoyance agree, and they’ve made this show to prove it. Blood Pact centers around a handful of sorority sisters who agree to regularly meet back up after school, but only during their time of the month. They describe the show as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Sex and the City meets Requiem for a Dream,” which is a combo I can’t quite imagine but trust exists somehow. Trust me, periods are so weird and complicated and interesting and crisis-inducing that there will certainly be a LOT to joke about.

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After Seven Years, a Magical Series of City Walks Hangs Up Its Laces

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.

For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.

Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.

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