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Performance Picks: Drag Karaoke, Bread and Puppet Theater, and More

THURSDAY

(image via BEEF Show / Facebook)

Yell Club
Thursday, December 14 at Rockbar NYC, 9 pm: FREE

People seem to like karaoke, and people seem to like drag shows. These two groups don’t necessarily seem to always overlap, but come Thursday night they will unite at Yell Club, where one person sings karaoke while a drag performer lip-synchs that very same song. So, those of you who feel uninterested or afraid of doing drag but like singing songs when weird MIDI tracks and projected lyrics are involved (shoutout to Sun Fly, the weird karaoke backing track brand bug mascot I have taken a liking to), this will be your night to shine while also giving other performers some material.

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Performance Picks: Talk Hole’s GAPE, A Senior Center Collaboration, and More

WEDNESDAY

(image via Talk Hole / Facebook)

GAPE: Gift Activating Public Experience
Wednesday, December 5 at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, 7:30 pm: FREE

While government organizations like USPS are taking the day off today to mourn George H.W. Bush and making my packages arrive in the mail a day later than they’re supposed to, which I will continue to be excessively salty about, others are taking to the streets for a little public engagement. Or shall I say, engape-ment? Anyhow, weirdo comedy queers Talk Hole (Stephen Phillips-Horst and Eric Schwartau) are taking over the World Trade Center Oculus for a seasonal evening of jokes, surprises, gifts, and gapes. Maybe not the last two, this is a public space after all, but you never know with these guys. Joining the duo will be Cole Escola, Ayo Edebiri, Lily Marotta, Ruby McCollister, Alex Schmidt, and DJ Physical Therapy. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Friend-Filled Comedy, Dance at PS1, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Soooo Many Friends / Facebook)

SoOoO Many Friends
Thursday, November 29 at Lucky Jack’s NYC, 8 pm: FREE 

I think we can all agree that having friends is a good thing. Having friends at a comedy show also seems good, especially if it’s your birthday and you’re hosting the comedy show. If it sounds like I’m talking about something specific, I am: a comedy show aptly entitled Soooo Many Friends, hosted by Magda Cychowski and Michelle Davis. It’s Magda’s birthday, and she “will need to laugh to fill the void in her soul,” something I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. These laughs will (hopefully) be served up by Bobby Hankinson, Dylan Adler, Maggie Crane, and Andrés Govea. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Beauty School Drag and Climate Change Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Abrons Arts Center / Facebook)

prettygirl264264
November 1-3 at Abrons Arts Center, 7:30 pm: $20

It might seem morbid to plan one’s own funeral, but the way Ashley R.T. Yergens seems to do it sounds like fun. His world premiere dance piece doubles as a “premature funeral,” as well as an “extremely loose re-imagination” of the 2011 documentary centering around Chaz Bono’s transition. On top of all that, it’s also an exploration of living as a trans masculine person. Perhaps you’ll leave the theater with a newfound desire to enhance the flexibility and openness of both your body and your mind. Keep Reading »

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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: Juggalos, Kinky Basement Shows, and Macabre Burlesque

THURSDAY

(photo: Theo Cote)

Kink Haüs
Now through October 14 at La Mama, 8 pm (some performances at 10 pm): $30+

It’s common for performances to happen at late-night dance parties, but how often does a performance piece contain its own party? It does at Gunnar Montana’s Kink Haüs, a sexually-exploratory show in La Mama’s literally underground theater that doubles as a  “brutal underground nightclub where no f*c ks are given.” Perhaps if you haven’t been to notorious Berlin nightclub Berghain, where there’s dancing upstairs and debauchery downstairs, this will be some kind of version of that. Or not. Only one way to find out. 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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Performance Picks: Boat Comedy, Puppetry, Being Very Online

WEDNESDAY

producer Catherine Woodard, playwright Stefani Kuo, and director Theo Maltz (image courtesy of Corkscrew Theater Festival)

delicacy of a puffin heart
July 25-August 5 at Paradise Factory, various times: $24 (pay what you can on July 28)

Presented as part of the second annual Corkscrew Theater Festival, a festival of new plays and readings showcasing up-and-coming artists, this play by writer, poet, and performer Stefani Kuo tackles the weighty topic of how female friendship and love perseveres in the midst of loss, lies, and decades of time. It does so by telling two stories: one of a lesbian couple trying to conceive in 1990s San Francisco, and one of their daughter 20 years later living in that same apartment and coping with illness. It can be hard to be a person who is consistently both living life and loving people, and this play seems to serve as a reminder of that. Keep Reading »

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Strawberry Moon Rituals, Post-Pride Shame, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Talk Hole / Facebook)

Shame.
Wednesday, June 27 at Asia Roma, 8 pm: FREE

Talk Hole, the only local comedy show series I’m aware of that has ever received a trendy spread in Dazed, returns to the basement of the Chinatown bar/karaoke spot Asia Roma for another evening of oddities and laughter. Though it’s still technically Pride month, the big weekend of parades has passed, and the folks at Talk Hole are very aware of that. To them, the Pride has come to a close, which means it’s time for Shame to rear its greasy little head. Assisting hosts Eric Schwartau and Steven Phillips-Horst in their quest to “support shame throughout the year” will be Jacqueline Novak, Max Wittert, Karen Chee, Jon Wan, and Lena Einbinder. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Immersive Comedy, Intergenerational Queer Performance

FRIDAY

(flyer via BEEF show / Facebook)

Post Verbal: Pride
Friday, June 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $5-10

The passionate queerdos that comprise burlesque/drag collective BEEFSquad have cooked up yet another performance creation for you, just in time for pride. So, rather than bowing to the forces of rainbow-tinged capitalism as more and more brands trumpet just how proud they are of everyone (while really also saying, by the way, you should buy their stuff), perhaps consider supporting local independent queer performers instead. A BEEF show is always full of surprises, from the salacious to the scary, and Friday night’s show hosted by C’etait Bontemps and Angelica Frankenstein should be no different. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag, Science, Neurodivergence

THURSDAY

(flyer via The Dirty Blondes / Facebook)

DRAG!
Thursday, May 31 at Le Poisson Rouge, 7 pm: $35

Everyone likes drag. Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s certainly been having a mainstream moment lately, so it’s safe to assume more people like drag than ever before. If you’d like to see some drag, there are many places you can go in the city, but tonight you can specifically go to Le Poisson Rouge, where an array of colorful performers such as Bear Lee Legal, Glace Chase, Chris Tyler, Dynasty, and Donald C. Shorter Jr will be giving shows, shows, shows to help raise money for feminist theater company The Dirty Blondes. The show’s Facebook event proclaims “bodies will dance, drinks will flow and gender norms will be smashed,” which sounds like a recipe for a nice night to me. And yes, I know Drag Race is also tonight, but you can just watch it later. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Trashy Comedy, Asian Drag, 4/20 Monotony

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Wonders Of Nature / Facebook)

What’s Your Damage?
Wednesday, April 18 at Wonders Of Nature, 8 pm: $5

A show called What’s Your Damage taking place at a space called Wonders Of Nature sort of feels like it could be a metaphor or political statement talking about the ways we have irreparably damaged the natural world, because at this point it would be hard to deny we haven’t. However, that’s not what this show is about. Quite simply, hosts Sachi Ezura and Halle Kiefer will ask performers what exactly their damage is, which is just a snappier way of asking them to reveal past embarrassments and drama that have shaped them into “the weird, wonderful people they are today.” This time around, Carmen Christopher, Aaron Jackson, Marcia Belsky, and Joyelle Nicole are the ones to tell all. Keep Reading »