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A Show With A Spanking Booth, Oscars Comedy, and More Performance Picks

FRIDAY

(image via Cry Baby / Facebook)

Cry Baby
Friday, February 7 at Secret Location, 9:30 pm: FREE

It’s supposed to rain quite a bit today, which is kind of like the sky is crying. That’s fitting, as today is the return of the Cry Baby comedy show, serving up a night of lively stand-up followed by a party in a secret, DIY location in Bushwick. Hosted by comedic dynamic duo Abe and Dekunle, tonight’s show features Nore Davis, Sonia Denis, Eman El-Husseini, Lucas Connolly, Shelley Kim, and Jeff Wiles. Perhaps you’ll laugh so hard you’ll cry.

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Art This Week: Updated Art History and Design for Old Age

(image via Pratt Exhibitions / Facebook)

New Old: Designing For Our Future Selves
Opening Thursday, February 6 at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 23.

Technology has always been both a blessing and a curse, but recently this sort of cognitive dissonance has become more and more apparent. Amidst looming hyper-surveillance and other technological developments that might give you goosebumps, there’s still the truth that tech and design can be harnessed for good. The latest exhibition at Pratt’s 14th Street gallery, curated by Jeremy Myerson, explores this by focusing on innovation in the field of aging and how that can manifest by way of design, from cars to clothes and beyond. 

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Performance Picks: Space Socialism and ‘Old Town Road’ Burlesque

FRIDAY

(image courtesy of Object Collection)

You Are Under Our Space Control
Now through February 2 at La MaMa, 8 pm (some shows at 5 pm): $25 ($20 students/seniors)

These days, sci-fi tales feel closer and closer to reality, and performance group Object Collection knows this well. Their latest music-laden offering at La MaMa, You Are Under Our Space Control, draws from a mixed bag of scientific fact and outer space lore that includes Afrofuturist Sun Ra, campy sci-fi director Cy Roth, and experimental composer John Cage, whose unconventional tactics sometimes included star charts. The group uses video, eccentric props, soundscapes, and text to spin a tale of a depleted Earth and the hopes of a socialist future in space, which is starting to sound more familiar by the day.

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A Puffy Playground, A Public Art Legacy, and More Art This Week

Above: Fort Makers in collaboration with Visual Magnetics. Photo: Jen Bristler. Courtesy of Fort Makers.

Puffy
Opening Wednesday, January 22 at Fort Makers, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 11.

Usually you can’t touch the art, but starting this Wednesday at Orchard Street space and art collective Fort Makers, you can not only touch it, but rearrange it to your liking. Puffy, organized by Naomi S. Clark, Noah James Spencer, and Nana Spears, transforms the space into a colorful playground of pillows and canvas ready to be grabbed, hugged, and strewn about. If you’re still finding yourself in the clutches of seasonal depression, perhaps an afternoon getting in touch with your inner child (while also engaging in art, of course) could help.

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Performance Picks: War’s Absurdity and Magic in a Flower Shop

FRIDAY

(image via Brooklyn Comedy Collective)

A Late Night Show That is Also Live
Friday, January 17 at Brooklyn Comedy Collective, 9 pm: $10

Some show titles are abstract and obscure; some tell you all you need to know. A Late Night Show That is Also Live falls squarely into the latter camp. But while its name offers no surprises, it will surely be an evening full of them. This is not your average late night experience: host Meghan Strickland will not only be interviewing fellow comedians, but also giving them challenges to complete. And knowing the madcap stuff that comes out of the BCC, that could truly mean anything. Tonight’s guests include Nick Naney, Maya Sharma, Lucyana Randall, and Jessy Morner-Ritt.

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Art This Week: Discarded Toys, Water, and Fermentation

(image courtesy of Doosan Gallery)

stain begins to absorb the material spilled on
Opening Thursday, January 16 at Doosan Gallery New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 15.

This “lab” exhibition by artists Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin and Jesse Chun is an intellectual and sensorial treat, offering much to see, hear, ponder, and even smell. The show focuses on the curious relationship between language and digestion, with each artist centering their work around one of these two components. Chun unpacks and deconstructs language’s ability to “render one readable as a subject,” from the ubiquitous presence of English to the power of official written documents, while Shin (who also has an ongoing session at Recess) utilizes ancient Korean vases used for fermentation to explore the theoretical and literal vitrification (the process of a substance becoming glasslike) that occurs in conjunction with Westernization.

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Performance Picks: Winter Theater Fests and Queer Comedy

(image courtesy of The Public Theater)

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 19 at The Public Theater, various times, $25+.

What do Laurie Anderson, prize-winning playwright Aleshea Harris, and multiple stories about the moon have in common? They’re all part of The Public Theater’s 16th annual Under the Radar Festival, the long-running celebration of innovative performance work from around the world and one of the biggest signifiers that January’s theater festival season is upon us once again. This year, they’re presenting 12 theater pieces, four concerts, six works-in-progress, and several parties. Highlights include Selina Thompson’s pice inspired by a trip retracing a Transatlantic Slave Triangle route, Back to Back Theater’s exploration of disability and an AI-dominated future, and the aforementioned moon tales: one of virtual reality by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huan, one of desire on the West Bank by Palestine’s Remote Theater Project.

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Art This Week: Peep Shows and Curious Comfort

(image via friedman_benda / Instagram)

Comfort
Opening Thursday, January 89 at Friedman Benda, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 15.

Everyone has a different definition of comfort. Your grandfather’s old and cigarette-scented armchair might feel like home to you but cause another person to wrinkle their nose in disgust. Curator Omar Sosa’s latest show at Friedman Benda focuses on the harmonies and contradictions inherent in items, particularly pieces of furniture and design, meant to bring comfort in one way or another. As this is an art exhibition and not a furniture showroom, comfort is usually interpreted quite creatively—think a boxy bookshelf that leans but never falls, a sculpture entitled “Toilet Sink,” and a colorful blanket meant for a pair.

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Performance Picks: Bowie Cabaret, Country Christmas, Asian Drag

THURSDAY

(photo: Hanneke Wetzer)

Where Are We Now
Now through December 21 at La MaMa, 8:30 pm: $26 ($21 students/seniors)

Even though he’s not physically with us anymore, the spirit of David Bowie lives on through the musician’s storied legacy and acclaimed, sparkling body of work. All over, people are having Bowie-centric dance parties, Bowie-themed burlesque shows, and other tributes within the realm of nightlife. The latest of these you can catch is in the form of Dutch-German cabaret performer Sven Ratzke’s Where Are We Now, an intimate evening of storytelling and Bowie’s music, arranged simply for piano and voice. Ratzke has received international acclaim for his performances over the years, with particular attention given to his ability to seemingly transform into the Starman himself.

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Art This Week: Sci-Fi Meets Reality and Holiday Shows

An Evening With Muses
Opening Wednesday, December 18 at Ace Hotel New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 20.

Whether it’s a ticketed drink and draw event, a university art class, or a 1-on-1 arrangement, the IRL relationship between artist and model is alive and well these days, though it’s still usually more of a private affair. But on Wednesday, art models Najee and Ume will take to the Ace Hotel to pull back the curtain for all to see with the exhibition An Evening With Muses, which is based on a live drawing series they held at The Ace’s restaurant. On view will be work created in those live sessions, showcasing the many different ways that artist can represent muse. And to show you how it all happens, there will also be a live drawing presentation.

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