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Kyle, a Cocaine Comedy, Aims to Have You Snorting With Laughter

Kyle, a ‘cocaine comedy’ (Photo: Jody Christophersen, courtesy of Frigid New York, Horse Trade Theatre Group)

Up until, ahem, pretty recently, you could get away with making the claim that as Americans we are far more enlightened than we were 50, or even 10 years ago. The numbers appear to support this–  fewer of us are going to church, the youngins among us are far more tolerant than the olds, 60 percent of us are down to see marijuana legalized, and best of all, this whole “Golden Age of TV” thing means that even our beloved Idiot Box is smart these days. We all know what happened next– which meant that progress was not only going to be stopped, but deported back to Angela Merkel’s lap and replaced by nonsense rhetoric (the “best people” are doing “tremendous” things to make the U.S.A. “great” “again”) and “alternative facts.” We are only a few months into this horror show, but the impact on art, and how we process art, is already being felt.

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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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Performance Picks: Queer Comedy, Cryptic Spooks, A Live Movie Musical

This week, whether you want to be entrenched in the Halloween spirit or just want to watch some good old fashioned people telling jokes, you can slide on over to one of these shows to get your fill.

WEDNESDAY

esoterica

Esoterica Teaser Performance

At Visana NYC, 321 1st Avenue, East Village. 11:30 doors, midnight performance; free. More info here

There isn’t much info available on this late-night performance preview at a speakeasy—it appears to be purposefully cryptic—but Esoterica’s website indicates it’s a richly-visual performance experience based to some degree on Dante’s Divine Comedy, where heaven and hell intermingle. “A portal to The Inferno will be opened,” the Facebook event declares. Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

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Talks and Readings: Slice Harvester, Literary Recipes, and Virginity Tales

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If you’ve ever wished there was a way to mix the quiet solitude of writing with the blood-thristy spectacle of an MMA throw-down, (and who hasn’t?) don’t miss the first ever Prose Bowl. The event’s Facebook page calls it “one part literature, one part blood sport, one part American Idol.” It pits a lineup of writers against one another for a competition as fierce as it can get for literary types, which with booze, the audience’s cheers dictating the winner, and the promise of more free booze for the victor–who knows?– could be a lot. Each competitor gets five minutes to read a 900 to 1,000 word piece of fiction.
Tuesday, August 18, at 6:30 p.m. Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street (Williamsburg).

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Climb Aboard a Nightmare Cruise Ship and Ride a Sea of Laughter

(Photo: Frigid New York @Horse Trade)

(Photo: Frigid New York @Horse Trade)

Stop worrying about ebola and just be glad you aren’t on a cruise ship teaming with food-poisoned zombies. That’s the setting of a quirky, uproarious tale now playing at Under St. Marks.
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Get Me a Guy at Under St Marks

New Yorkers are not only constantly dramatizing their own already rather dramatic love lives, but also adore consuming dramatizations of other such love lives: see Sex and the CityGirlsHitchGossip Girl,Forty Days of Dating, and so on and so forth. Now, Horse Trade Theater Group brings you the rare opportunity to see some disastrous romantic escapades (not your own!) LIVE, at their production of Get Me a Guy. The 80-minute comedy, written by Israela Margalit and directed by John Clancy, is a spirited romp through a series of dating vignettes. Having begun life as a one-act, the play won Margalit plaudits at the New York International Midtown Theater Festival and the New York Short Play Festival, and was subsequently fleshed out into a full-length, eclectic meditation on life and love.

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Talking Dating and Drama With the Writer and Director of ‘Get Me a Guy’

Elizabeth Galalis and Paul Romano in Get Me a Guy (Photo courtesy of Alexander Fabozzi)

Elizabeth Galalis and Paul Romano in Get Me a Guy (Photo courtesy of Alexander Fabozzi)

New Yorkers are not only constantly dramatizing their own already rather dramatic love lives, but also adore consuming dramatizations of other such love lives: see Sex and the City, Girls, Hitch, Gossip Girl, Forty Days of Dating, and so on and so forth. Now, Horse Trade Theater Group brings you the rare opportunity to see some disastrous romantic escapades (not your own!) LIVE, at their production of Get Me a Guy—currently playing at Under St Marks Theater in the East Village.
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Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Work Out Their Roommate Issues, Circa 1997

Graphic by Lindsey Yadon

Graphic by Lindsey Yadon

Wish you’d been able to hang with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey back when they were broke 20-something improv nerds? You can do just that at Under St. Marks next week. Sort of.
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Theater This Month: Caribbean Carnivals, Activist Cats, Singing Bros

SmokeBreakForest artwork by director Diane Exavier

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.
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