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Even MORE Hummus Among Us: VISH Opens On East 8th Street

(Photo Credit: VISH)

It’s been a hummus-filled week, folks. Alongside the arrival of Panorama near Union Square, vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant VISH Vegetarian Hummus opened up earlier this week on E. 8th Street in the heart of NYU’s campus community. Falafel-lovers’ favorite, Maoz Vegetarian, closed in the spring and left a pita-shaped void on the block. But since VISH is opening in the exact same spot, fans can rest easy.

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La Nacional Will Reopen, Seeking To Be ‘More Authentic Than Ever’

(image courtesy of La Nacional)

The last time we checked in with the Spanish Benevolent Society’s beloved restaurant La Nacional, they announced they’d be closing for a “complete renovation” in March 2016, with a planned reopening featuring new chefs in May of that same year.

The Spanish Benevolent Society’s executive director Robert Sanfiz finds it “really hilarious” to look back on that optimistic estimation. “We had go through major structural work,” he tells me. “Ultimately, it was going to eat a lot of our time and a lot of the money we put away.” Despite the delay, La Nacional will officially reopen on June 15, which coincides with both the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Benevolent Society and the World Cup match between Spain and Portugal. Keep Reading »

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Eleven Excuses to Stay in New York for the Memorial Day Weekend

(Photo via Elsewhere)

Stuck in town this Memorial Day weekend? You’re better off avoiding the mile-long airport lines anyway, so consider yourself lucky. But just in case you’re tired of hitting up to Smorgasburg for the third weekend in a row or staring at your computer screen as you Netflix your life away, Bedford + Bowery has put together plenty of options to keep you entertained over the long weekend.

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#StopSESTA, Lobotomies, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(poster by Mikey Heller)

Tim Platt: Live in COWncert
Thursday, April 26 at The Brick, 9:30 pm: $10

Many of us grew up watching Sesame Street. Comedian Tim Platt has recently written a song for this beloved children’s show, but that isn’t the only song he’s penned. In fact, you can see Platt’s entire repertoire of comedy music on Thursday night at The Brick when he plays a concert as part of the Brooklyn Comedy Collective’s residence at the Williamsburg theater. Sure, comedy music can be grating or cringe-inducing, but Tim’s music is neither of those things. Well, unless it’s trying to be. So, come one come all, and open your ears for songs about vegetables (as someone who once wrote an entire play about broccoli, this excites me) and all other sorts of topics, with accompanist Ben Kling and opening act Eudora Peterson. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be a cow. 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 »

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Kevin Bacon Worship, Comedy While Jogging, and More Performance Picks

(image via Fresh Ground Pepper / Facebook)

Fresh Ground Pepper Festival
Now through April 21 at New Ohio Theater, various times, various prices.

If you thought theater festivals just happen during January and in the summer for Fringe, think again, my friend. There is a theater festival happening right now, and I don’t mean that in the theoretical sense. I mean that performance incubator Fresh Ground Pepper’s first-ever festival is actually happening, right now, until April 21. Unlike some theater festivals which just have some plays and some musicals maybe, there’s quite the dose of variety with this one. In addition to new play readings and devised theater showings, here are two late-night comedy evenings curated by everyone’s fave deranged comedian Lorelei Ramirez, a politically-themed “experimental art party,” a day of activities for actual children, and more.

If you’re around tonight, there’ll be readings of Krista Knight’s High Blonde, a play about city planning and accessibility, and Nate Weida and Ben Holbrook’s musical The Church of the 1st Order of Cloud City’s Inaugural Unity Jamboree, which is not about the art space in Williamsburg. Keep Reading »

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Choreographed Memes, Afropunk Spaghetti Westerns, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(flyer via Magical Girl Burlesque / Facebook)

Magical Girl Burlesque Presents: The New Review
Thursday, February 22 at Mayday Space, 8 pm: $5

Out with the old, in with the new, that’s what they say. Or at least, that’s what someone said, sometime, somewhere. Regardless of your opinion on the old, you can see the new coming out in full force at the inclusive troupe Magical Girl Burlesque’s recurring show, The New Review. True to its name, it centers around showcasing both emerging and experienced burlesque performers who have new acts they’d like to workshop for an audience. Think of it as a kind of open mic for burlesque, except the lineup is technically pre-curated and there probably won’t be any white men telling jokes that they (and no one else) think are funny. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Immersive Witchcraft, FMK, Branded Comedy

THURSDAY

(flyer via Branded Content: A Corporate Variety Hour / Facebook)

Branded Content Presents: Whole Foods
Thursday, November 2 at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8 pm: FREE

Ah, it appears the brands are at it again, my friends. The brands are always at it again. In this case, the brands are going seasonal, as the weather is finally getting colder some of the days but other days it feels like summer still and the earth will surely burn to a crisp sooner than we know it. Anyway, while we still have time on this strange planet we call home, you might as well spend a Thursday night watching some free comedy at a show that is all about the perils and peculiarities of brands and their content. The evening is hosted by Simone Norman and Jackson Fisher, and features Jay Jurden, Jeremyah Schur, Mary Houlihan, Kate Dellis, Gianmarco Soresi, and Chanel Ali, with a little help from the biggest jokester of all, Whole Foods. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Lingerie, Cuddly Comedy, Trans Is Magick

WEDNESDAY

(image via Joe Rumrill / Facebook)

Little Garden Guys: An Evening of Comedy About Ducks and Rabbits
Wednesday, October 4 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $5

Joe Rumrill and Andrew Tisher are back with their series of comedy shows that are restricted to two topics and two topics only. Past ventures have been themed for frogs and lizards, and bats and rats. Though the weather is cooling and fall is upon us, the duo has chosen a rather cute and spring-feeling pair of critters for tonight’s comedic fodder: ducks and rabbits. At Babycastles, you’ll see Eudora Peterson, Tony Zaret, Max Wittert, Ana Fabrega, Eliza Hurwitz, Joe Pera, and Becky Krause perform material exclusively about those aforementioned ducks and rabbits. While there’s no knowing what they’ll have prepared for you, one thing is certain: it will be about ducks and rabbits. Keep Reading »

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Tessa Skara Is a Goddess of ‘Confessional Comedy Rock’

(flyer courtesy of Tessa Skara)

Though she’s previously declared herself “the Courtney Love of comedy,” Tessa Skara says it would actually be more fitting to call herself the comedic Liz Phair, referring to the ’90s alt-rock musician’s confessional style. All these music comparisons aren’t pulled out of thin air, but refer to Skara and her rock music comedy cabaret creation Rock Goddess, being staged at The Duplex this Sunday.

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Legendary Art Duo McDermott & McGough Are Building an ‘Oscar Wilde Temple’

McDermott & McGough, “Oscar Wilde in Prison, 1895 (MMXVII)” (detail), 2017. Oil and gold leaf on linen. Courtesy of the artists.

Legendary New York art team McDermott & McGough — known, among other things, for spending 15 years living in the East Village while dressed as top hat-wearing Victorian gentlemen — are back with an ambitious new project to be unveiled at The Church of the Village this September.

The new art installation combines several of the artists’ motifs and preoccupations — the Victorian era, Ireland, gay culture, LGBT rights, time — in a giant homage to Oscar Wilde, the turn-of-the-century Anglo-Irish writer and bon-vivant famously condemned to prison for refusing to hide his sexuality.

The Oscar Wilde Temple “combines painting, sculpture, and site specific elements in a functioning environment that recalls the beautiful and provocative sensuousness of the Aesthetic Movement [that] Wilde championed,” according to a press release. It will transform The Church of the Village‘s chapel into a shrine to Wilde. In the center will be a four-foot statue of Wilde in the manner of a religious icon. On the walls will be paintings in the style of the Stations of the Cross, but instead of depicting Christ’s persecution they will illustrate Wilde’s journey from arrest to incarceration.

Peter McGough and David McDermott — who, after their East Village days, threw elaborate parties in the Williamsburg bank building where they resided — evidently first began discussing the idea of the Oscar Wilde Temple more than 20 years ago. In keeping with the duo’s fondness for “time experiments,” the Temple will painstakingly replicate the aesthetics and atmosphere of Victorian England through the use of “specially made fabric wall coverings, architectural and decorative details, furnishings and lighting.”

The Temple will also include a secondary altar conceived as a shrine to those struggling with or killed by AIDS, as well as a series of portraits by McDermott & McGough of homophobia “martyrs,” such as Harvey Milk and Alan Turing, and lesser-known victims of AIDS or homophobia including Sakia Gunn, a teenage African-American lesbian stabbed in Newark in 2003, and two figures from The Church of the Village’s own history — Rev. Paul M. Abels and Rev. C. Edward Egan, ministers forced out for being gay.

Sponsored by The Church of the Village and the New York LGBT Center, the Temple will also be available to rent for weddings, memorial services, and other private functions, with the proceeds benefiting the LGBT Center.

The installation will run concurrently with “I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going,” a McDermott & McGough retrospective opening at the Dallas Contemporary in Texas on October 1st.

The installation will be open Sept. 11th through Dec. 2nd at The Church of the Village at 201 W. 13th St. at 7th Ave., viewable Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon – 7:00 pm.

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Performance Picks: AI Theater, the ‘Courtney Love of Comedy,’ and More

THURSDAY

(flyer by Lorelei Ramirez)

Not Dead Yet
Thursday, July 20 at C’mon Everybody, 8:30 pm: $5 advance, $7 doors

This comedy show, hosted by the multi-talented and highly strange Lorelei Ramirez, really gets to the bottom of the human condition based on its title alone. Sure, we aren’t dead yet, but we will be soon. Whether it be from being cooked alive due to climate change, from inhumane health care policies (though that one seems a tiny bit less likely now), from an aggressive ghoul with a mustache that no one can see but you… Or maybe you’re just one of the lucky few to pass peacefully. Either way, you’re still here. So you might as well go to this comedy variety show.

The show itself (which is monthly) is packed to the brim with notable creatives serving up a whole bevy of funny n’ weird stuff across disciplines. There’ll be comedy by Becca Blackwell, Brett Davis, Sydnee Washington, and Katie Boyle; readings by poet Sasha Fletcher; videos by Lukey Walden and Alan Resnick, and even music by Drag Lomax and Tredici Bacci. As the teens say: what more could you want? Keep Reading »