(image via Vow Performance Party / Facebook)

Vow II: Mental Health
Thursday, August 2 at Rose Gold, 7:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

While it still carries some stigma, mental health has steadily become more and more of a presence in today’s everyday dialogues. This is undoubtedly due to the unfortunate prevalence of mental health issues, many of which have proven to be exacerbated by the current political climate. Even as (and especially) as things get worse, continually talking about it can help. One of the more unique ways you can engage is through Vow, a sex-positive party and performance series “for artists with stigmatized identities or experiences to express themselves freely in a supportive community.” The night is centered around mental health, and features relevant performances by a lineup that includes burlesque performers Regal Mortis, Lucy Risqué, and Miss Sugar Mamasota, dominatrix Venus Cuffs, performance artist Monika Rostvold, and more.


(image courtesy of Literati)

Friday, August 3 at Caveat, 8:30 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors

If you have an interest in both comedy and books, well, you probably comprise a pretty decent majority of people. But comedy and books combined into one live show? That’s not quite as widespread, but it can be found this Friday at Caveat in the Lower East Side, in the form of Literati: A Comedy Show About Books and the Idiots Who Write Them. Hosted by Colin O’Brien and Michael Wolf, the show gathers comedians and asks them to do readings. What might the result of this be? Well, that’s for you to find out, but it shall certainly involve something to do with books and jokes. This time, the show welcomes Bowen Yang, Shalewa Sharpe, Matt Barats and Anthony Oberbeck of The Postmen, and the dudes of podcast Chapo Trap House, who not-so-coincidentally have a book of their own coming out soon.


(image courtesy of Shark Party Media)

Adrienne Truscott’s A One-Trick Pony
Saturday, August 4 at Joe’s Pub, 9: 30 pm: $15

The premise for performer Adrienne Truscott’s latest show is simple: “What if instead of making the follow-up show critics wanted her to make, she just made the show she wanted to make?” This is referring to the widespread critical reception she got to her last show Asking For It, in which she took a no-holds-barred approach to rape culture and rape jokes by telling some of her own whilst nude from the waist down. Her new show’s title, Adrienne Truscott’s A One-Trick Pony (Or Andy Kaufman Is A Feminist Performance Artist and I’m A Comedian), presumably references the fact that she performed Asking For It for three years, so it’s very likely to be many people’s only experience of her work. This will be different, mixing wrestling, discussions of bad reviews, Kaufman, comedy, and the tensions that spring up when you define yourself one way and your audience has other ideas.


(photo: Cortney Armitage)

Now through August 5 at Paradise Factory, various times: $24 (pay-what-you-can on August 3 at 4:30 pm)

Desarrollo, written by Juliany Taveras with direction by Manny Rivera and choreography by Ianne Fields Stewart, is another new play that’s presented as part of the second annual Corkscrew Theater Festival. With a core creative team that’s entirely trans, of color, or both, “Desarrollo” tells the story of three friends and the way that time can change the things we may have thought would be the same forever. A lot can happen in ten years; in addition to relationships shifting, the place one has always called home can also be fundamentally altered through forces like gentrification. The only way to truly track how these ebbs and flows occur is by documentation, whether through memories or photographs.