The Frigid Festival hits the stage today, and in case you still haven’t checked out the offerings, we’ve decided to make things easy for you. Here are our top five picks of the weird and wonderful shows they’re featuring this year – get your tickets today, because those babies go fast. For a closer look at two other must-see performances, we got friendly with the co-writer of “Whiskey Pants: the Mayor of Williamsburg” and the director of “An Evening of Not-So-Quiet Despair with Satan.”
Frigid, which was founded in 2007 by Horse Trade and EXIT Theater, promotes left of center writers and directors whose work tends to get passed over by mainstream producers. The theater companies behind all of the shows get 100 percent of box-office profits, and most tickets fall between $12 and $16, which means now’s your chance to quit complaining about the state of funding for the arts in this country and go do something about it.
300 to 1
Written by Matt Panesh, Directed by Gareth Armstrong
A 15-year-old schoolboy justifies his musings on going to war by putting on a one-man show for the ghosts of WWI poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, and he commits. The apparitions offer their critique of rampant homoeroticism and errant classic references as the “kid” (played by the adult Panesh) acts out the plot of the 2006 war flick 300, playing every part.
Written by Lucas Brooks, Directed by David Drake
Brooks, a Brooklynite and self-proclaimed “professional intellectual homosexual,” spent the last two years touring with his one-man show VGL 5’4” Top. He’s back with his latest production, in which he navigates STD paranoia and hook-ups as he reminisces over his own brushes with potentially dangerous liaisons.
The Untitled Sam Mullins Project
Written & Performed by Sam Mullins
This award winning anecdotalist of This American LifeThe Moth and RISK! fame spins tales from his own life that demonstrate his “four truths.” Known for his sold out performances of one-man shows Tinfoil Dinosaur and Weaksauce, this man is simply one hell of a storyteller.
Dandy Darkly’s Pussy Panic!
Written & Performed by Dandy Darkly, Directed by Ian Bjorklund
Brooklyn’s Dandy Darkly is afraid of vaginas, and he’s going to work through it with you. The satiric cabaret-style storyteller tells four deliciously grim tales that muse on misogyny in the horror genre, and among some gay men, with wicked alacrity and wit.
Hey ‘90’s Kids, You’re Old
Written & Directed by Taryn Parrish
Because you get off on all this and you know it. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, this comedy brings that most precious decade into the present, putting your favorite ’90s relics in modern-day situations. Slip into that floral babydoll dress and dark lipstick that you wear most days anyway and soak up the nostalgia.
Written by M. Zachary Johnson, Directed by Kenneth Oefelein
This weirdly spooky farce follows Bobbi in her final days before college, as the zombies of her nightmares bleed into the waking world. A series of homicides and parental pressures later, Bobbi learns the truth about higher education.
Written & Performed by Antonia Lassar, Directed by Angela Dumlao
Lassar’s solo show tries out a very different kind of therapy when she asks whether a community can be healed in the wake of a sexual assault – by way of clowning. She pushes the boundaries of the healing power of laughter to address the sexual assault crisis on college campuses and initiate an open conversation.
The Frigid Festival runs February 18 to March 8 at the Kraine Theater,
85 East 4th Street.
(All images courtesy of the Frigid Festival)