(art by Payton Turner, image via This Alien Nation / Facebook)

This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty.


(image via Failure A Queer Workshop / Facebook)

Failure: Memory
Thursday, May 10 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm doors, 11 pm shows: $10 suggested donation

Shows in New York, particularly the sort to happen in bars, come at minimum a dime a dozen. This saturation inevitably means many shows will have shorter lifespans than others. So, when a show proves to actually care about prioritizing both interesting work and marginalized communities, it always feels like a small victory when it manages to survive the uncertain climate of the trash city in which we live. Queer variety show Failure is one of those shows, and it happens to be celebrating its two-year anniversary this Thursday night. The lineup for this memory-themed night is especially tasty, and includes Charlene, Qualms Galore, Magenta, Theydy Bedbug, Ms. Ter, La Llorona, and host Ragamuffin. If you’re itching to strut your own stuff after seeing all these performers, there also will be a “late night open stage” at the ripe hour of 2:30 am.


(flyer via Nia Nottage / Facebook)

Possession 13
Friday, May 11 at Real Estate Fine Art, 7 pm: $5 suggested donation

When trying to make it as an artist in the city, it’s important to be adaptive. “I’m a comedian, but if no one laughs, I’m a performance artist,” notes Pierce Boaz in the description for his show as part of the Possession series at Greenpoint’s Real Estate Fine Art. Sounds adaptive enough to me. Below that, there is a short blurb about how he once announced he was giving up vegetarianism at Thanksgiving and instead would start eating insects. His website is linked twice, but if you go to it there’s just a plain text page that says “Truth cannot be found in a machine, only myth is displayed on a screen.” So honestly, there is a lot going on here, and I have a lot of questions. I guess the only way to find out is to go to this show.


(image via New York Live Arts)

May 11-12 at New York Live Arts, 6 pm: $10+

What is modern dance? Some may say “something I’m not interested in,” which is sometimes how I feel about it, tbh. But dance, like any other live performance medium, is full of variety and creativity, even if you haven’t encountered it just yet. Paramodernities, created by Netta Yerushalmy, “engages with the canon of modern dance in radical ways in order to spark new ideas and new choreographies.” Groundbreaking and classic modern dances will be discussed and deconstructed by both artists and scholars, who will specifically focus on how these moments of movement function in 2018 and how they are capable of evolving. Since this is a part of NYLA’s Live Feed residency, it’s more of a “sneak peek” work-in-progress showing than a polished finished product. Afterwards, there will be a discussion with the artists and special guests.