The finale of Bizarre Bushwick’s Fifth Year Anniversary, 1/21/18 at 3:30am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Bizarre Bushwick celebrated its fifth anniversary last Saturday with an eight-hour performance marathon that spanned its entire repertoire. Venue co-owners Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and Greg Baubeau welcomed longtime performers Madam Vivian VLee ValoneDarlinda Just Darlinda and countless others for a night that literally went out in a ball of flames. The thrills were true to Bizarre Bushwick’s motto of “assorted madness and the unexpected.”

From left: Co-owners Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and Greg Baubeau.

Since opening in 2010 inside a building bought and renovated by Sauvaire while location scouting for his New York film, Bizarre Bushwick has hosted some of Brooklyn’s most outlandish performance art. For its anniversary, local band The Boobies soundtracked aerial artists that swung above the crowd only feet from their faces. Performance art from Mitchell Murdock lead to a parade of drag shows hosted by Ragamuffin.

Ragamuffin with performers.

As the show raged on, there were performances of the type that folkes pay a fortune to see at The Box. Artists Steph and Mystere poured faux blood and chocolate syrup over their half-naked bodies, guided by Erika Marie Mancini’s accordion. Afterward Mancini suspended herself from aerial silk in the center of the room and did acrobatics while playing her accordion. At 3am, Lindsee Lonesome and Fritz Donnelly, from the venue’s longtime show Circus of Dreams, brought their participatory art to an audience that was on the floor with delight as bubbles rained overhead. The show would ended with the beats of Chango and DJ TR(OtterR] playing along to a fire breather.

The Boobies at the conclusion of their performance.

After this exhausting evening, I asked Greg Baubeau what he predicted for the next five years. He told me: “We just want to keep Bizarre as a place of creativity and freedom, with the same integrity we had when we first opened five years ago. A safe home for artists and performers to experiment and express themselves that the patrons can also be amazed by.”

Photographer and former Bushwick school teacher Meryl Meisler, second from left.

Erica Marie Mancini suspended from silk.

Fritz Donnelly during his performance.

Lindsee Lonesome (left) shooting bubbles during her performance with Fritz Donnelly (right).

Audience members of the floor as they take part in Fritz Donnelly’s performance, 1/21/18 at 3am.

Firebreathing during Chango’s closing performance, at 3:30am.