Thomas Paine In Violence
Now through November 18 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm: $25
While Paul Pinto may be known by some for his work as a performer in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, he is also a highly interesting composer in his own right. In collaboration with director Rick Burkhardt, he has whipped up an electro-acoustic opera centering around founding father Thomas Paine and a surreal, dreamlike radio station from another planet. Paine, played by vocalist Joan La Barbara, is attempting to deliver various messages on economic justice while a raucous chorus of sound unfolds around him. The show in particular concerns Paine’s 1797 pamphlet Agrarian Justice, considered a precursor of basic income theory and planted seeds for ideas such as Social Security and taxing those who owned land in order to provide for those who did not.
The Electrolysis Farewell Tour
November 17 and 18 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15
These days, it is very common to see a #celeb make posts about their many partnerships with brands, as designated by the required hashtag or similar fine print. But not all of them are hair-covered European pop stars about to embark on a tour sponsored by a Swedish “Center for Hair Removal Research” that will end in a visit to that very center. If this very notion seems hair-raising to you (ignore the bad jokes if you want but you cannot escape them), well, that is exactly what happens in Emily Oliveira’s new musical performance creation being presented at Ars Nova this Friday and Saturday. Come spend a voluminous evening with the greatest pop star you’ve never heard of.
The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald
Now through November 19 at La MaMa, 7:30 pm (Sundays at 3 pm): $20, $15 students/seniors
The JFK assassination has been a bit of a hot topic lately, what with Trump releasing a slew of formerly-classified files related to the notorious and conspiracy theory-laden murder case. To be fair, important-sounding news like this can sometimes feel like a mere drop in the bucket lately when the news cycle is so stuffed with a constant barrage of big and/or horrible stories (for example, a headline above the article about the JFK files reads “Trump Offers Condolences, for the Wrong Mass Shooting” ha ha please when will the nonsense stop!). So, you maybe didn’t even hear about it. But if you’d like to get more immersed in more assassination-related conspiracy theories, the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater has the show for you.
The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald covers not only the assassination of JFK, but also JFK’s brother and Martin Luther King, Jr. Most importantly of all, their stories will be told using puppets. Maybe one of the conspiracy theories surrounding their deaths actually involves puppets. Even if not, why wouldn’t you want to see the strange sight of puppets and conspiracy theories combined?
Sunday, November 19 at Three’s Brewing Franklin + Kent, 8 pm: FREE
I have not been to the Three’s Brewing location in Greenpoint, but I have recently learned that it contains a vintage 1970s synth organ. Rather than let it just sit there and collect dust, comedian Mary Houlihan has decided to host a musical improv show there in order to take full advantage of this unique noisemaker. And, best of all, you are invited. So, if you are interested in making some music that is funny or music that is not, or simply just want to watch people make stuff up on a stage using a wacky instrument from several decades ago, this show could be a good way to spend a Sunday.