From Cyndi Lauper drag cabaret shows to garden romps, here’s this week’s local (and affordable) theater and performance.

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

Cabaret artist Salty Brine continues his residency at The Red Room on East 4th Street with HE’S SO UNUSUAL, a dazzling evening of song and scene that places Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual into a world of Prohibition and perfectly-coiffed pansies. No stranger to taking on entire albums in one evening, Brine’s past “Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret” shows have included Joni Mitchell’s Blue and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. There will be surprises, and there will definitely be impressive costumes.
He’s So Unusual stars Salty Brine and is directed by Max Reuben with dramaturgy by Taylor Adamson, arrangements by Ben Langhorst, costume design by One-Half Nelson, lighting design by Mike McGee, sound design by AJ Surasky, and stage management by Ryan Courtney. Also featuring Ben Langhorst, Chris Nattrass, Ben Arons, and Rob Mosher.
Continues through September 30 at The Red Room, 85 E. 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here
(photo: Julieta Cervantes)

(photo: Julieta Cervantes)

New Museum plus old play equals your Thursday night plans. Performance artist, choreographer, and director Jack Ferver teams up with visual artist Marc Swanson for Chambre, a performance piece that uses Jean Genet’s iconic play The Maids and the actual murders that inspired it. In an interesting twist, the piece asks “not how such a violent thing could have happened, but why things like this don’t happen more often.” Anything combining glittering gowns and violence is sure to be interesting.
Swanson, an artist who is drawn to dreamy, shiny color palettes and exquisitely draped fabric, has created a light and sculpture installation that will be on view at the museum during regular hours, and repurposed as Chambre’s set during performance time.
Chambre is written, choreographed, and performed by Jack Ferver with installation by Marc Swanson, costumes by Reid Bartelme, and music/sound installation by Roarke Menzies. Also featuring Michelle Mola and Jacob Slominski.
Continues through October 4 at The New Museum, 235 Bowery, Lower East Side. 7pm, some performances at 3pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here
(photo courtesy of PS122)

(photo courtesy of PS122)

It’ll happen, even if you don’t want it to. In a co-production with The Chocolate Factory and Performance Space 122, Long Island City joint The Creek and The Cave presents Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy And Little Else!, a bold solo show exploring rape and humor that engages far more performance styles than it does clothing, from puppetry and dance to video and stand-up. After receiving acclaim in London and Edinburgh, the show is back in the US for just two weeks.
Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy And Little Else! is created by and starring Adrienne Truscott.
Continues through Oct. 3 at The Creek and The Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City. Sept 26 show at 7pm, all others at 8pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here

(photo courtesy of Studio Rossi Brody)

We sure hear a lot about the female body lately, but what about the male body? Offbeat performance art space Panoply Performance Laboratory presents CASINGS AND TREATMENTS, an evening of performances that aim to explore “how the masculinized body is housed and modified in the performance of gender identity.” The lineup includes artist Vincent Tiley donning “a suit that is also a painting that is also a hammock that is also a sex swing” and a live crime-scene show enactment called “Man Forensics,” so it would appear gender-based academic inquiry through performance can be more entertaining than you’d think.
CASINGS AND TREATMENTS is curated by René Kladzyk and features work by Ivy Castellanos, Vincent Tiley, Andy Kuncl, Studio Ross Brody, and Colby Cannon.
At Panoply Performance Laboratory, 104 Meserole Street, Williamsburg. 8pm. Free. More info here.
Why choose between being in nature and going to a play, when you can do both? Communal Spaces is a festival of new plays produced by The Motor Company occurring exclusively in parks throughout Alphabet City, Bed-Stuy, Park Slope, and Manhattan Valley. Those who want to remain downtown can head over to Green Oasis Community Garden on 8th between C and D to catch Sarah Bernstein’s play Catfight At The Oasis, which tells the story of a garden administrator’s stray cat woes and Angela Santillo’s Welcome to the Fall, about a frenzied tour guide and also the world’s first meteor strike survivor. Tickets are free and plays happen throughout the day, so your day can be as theatrical as you want.
Communal Spaces: A Garden Play Festival features plays by Alexander Borinsky, Sofya Weitz, Sarah Bernstein, Angela Santillo, Nora Sørena Casey, David M. deLeon, Charly E. Simpson, and Dominic Finocchiaro.
At various community gardens in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Full schedule here. Various times. Free. Reserve tickets here.