Performance Picks: Interplanetary Educational Comedy, My Old Man, Joey Arias

(image via Pop Roulette / Facebook)
(image via Pop Roulette / Facebook)


Pop Roulette Presents: Amazing Earth
Wednesday, October 5 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5. 

Musical comedy group Pop Roulette is out of this world. Literally. They’ve been sent to the planet Keplar in an attempt to educate its citizens about what makes America, well, America. More than that, they’re going to try and do so through the mediums of comedy and music, which might not be as easy as it looks in a world that seems to get slightly more depressing every day. I feel that they’ll do an okay job, considering I heard one of their songs several months ago and it still floats into my head sometimes. Granted, the only lyric I can recall is “I came on everything,” but I think that’s worth something. Also, the music video for their totally catchy song “Sex With My Teacher” recently premiered through Comedy Central, so at least they’ve got fans here on Earth.


(flyer via Woke AF / Facebook)
(flyer via Woke AF / Facebook)

Woke AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show
Thursday, October 6 at UCB East, 11 pm: $5. 

In what may (thankfully) be the exact opposite of a roast, this new comedy variety show hosted by Nicole Pasquale seeks to educate the masses on what comedians are personally passionate about, by those very same comedians. Come and have your eyes opened for the low price of five dollars by the likes of comedian and painter Mary Houlihan (Seriously.TV, Difficult People, and many silly shows across Brooklyn), Dylan Marron (the brain behind the ‘every single word spoken by a person of color in [insert popular film here]’ series), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer and Clench and Release creator Charla Lauriston, the aforementioned extraterrestrials Pop Roulette, and Mamoudou N’Diaye, a comedian who used to teach middle school science in Bed-Stuy and should not be confused with the seven foot tall basketball player Mamadou N’Diaye. Let these great minds regale you with knowledge so you too can be “woke af.” Well, that, or be filled with feelings of inferiority for knowing so much less than them.


(image courtesy of Jen Clark)
(image courtesy of Jen Clark)

Friday, October 7 at The Reckless Theater, 10 pm: $5.

Positivity-loving and pussy preaching comedian Jen Clark along with Ashley Cohen host this “multi-cultured non-denominational feminist queer supernova comedy showcase” exploring femininity and womanhood at the Reckless Theater and Training Center, a new Chelsea venue for comedy and improv that opened in January. It’s going to be an all-out soiree, with over a dozen performers from improv duos to stand-ups. It’s not just comedy and comedy alone: there will also be free beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery and free cold brew courtesy of Brooklyn Roasting Company, visual art by local artists, tarot readings, a photobooth, a raffle to benefit Planned Parenthood, and “gem stones for sale.” Surely one of these things will make you laugh, or at least feel some inkling of joy.


(photo: Peter Yesley)
(photo: Peter Yesley)

My Old Man (And Other Stories)
Continues Fridays and Saturdays through October 22 at Dixon Place, 7:30 pm: $18.

Jess Barbagallo, who garnered critical acclaim for his performance in Casey Llewellyn’s O’Earth at HERE Arts Center earlier this year, directs this “collection of episodic scenes” that he also wrote. Centering around people who sorely wish to receive love while not doing much to warrant it, including an insomniac Tom Waits impersonator and a nurse who is tired of catheters, the play explores small-town inhabitants and the low standards we sometimes sink to, perhaps without even realizing it. Oh, and there is also a fish named Boner involved. Really makes Wanda seem passé.


(photo: Albie Mitchell)
(photo: Albie Mitchell)

Joey Arias Is With You Now
Sunday, October 9 (also on October 16) at Joe’s Pub, 9 pm: $25. 

In a somewhat-trite but always fair gesture, the description for Joey Arias’s new three-show residency at Joe’s Pub requests “your presence in real time,” meaning don’t get distracted by your phone, millenials will singlehandedly cause the planet to explode, yadda yadda. It’s one thing to go on about how screens are the ultimate evil, but it’s another to present an evening compelling enough to make you forget that sweet (soon to be headphone jack-less) brick is in your pocket at all. Option number two could very well be what happens when you take performer Joey Arias’s presence in, who spent the summer performing at Susanne Bartsch’s weekly Le Bain bash On Top and appeared on SNL with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi in 1979, in addition to a long career in the NYC experimental performance art, music, and drag worlds, as well as a stint in Cirque Du Soleil. And that’s just scratching the surface. But look, he’s with you now, for an glamorous and black-clad experience that will surely turn Joe’s Pub into Joey’s Pub.

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