This week is a week of variety… shows, that is. Plop down at a show featuring way more than just one performance. Take it all in.
(photo: Allison Michael Orenstein)
A Ride On the Irish Cream
Continues through February 6 at Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, Lower East Side. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here. More info here.
Full disclosure: I’m performing in this show. But even if I wasn’t, I would still be telling everyone to see it. Erin Markey (who we saw perform at the St. Marks Is Dead party a few months ago) and a team full of champions has created a deeply personal ode to relationships and childhood full of strange but plentiful humor, bright-eyed wonder, and honestly some of the best live music I have heard in a piece of theater in a long time. Unlike some of those bland poppy posers billing themselves as rock musicals up in midtown, this show is the real deal.
Kimia Ferdowsi Kline, “Breathless” (image courtesy of IDIO Gallery)
Rice paper aerobics exercises, blotchy watercolor eeriness, and vast colorful landscapes all intermingle in a dance of shapes and shades in Phantasmagoria, an exhibit of works on paper that opened this past Friday at Bushwick’s IDIO Gallery, curated by Gillian Zinser and IDIO’s director Montana Simone.
What exactly is an expedition, who goes on them, and why? That’s what curators Shona Kitchen, Aly Ogasian, and Jennifer Dalton Vincent set out to explore in Setting Out, their exhibition of expeditions (say that five times fast) large and small, real and imagined.
An Audience With Molly Pope At Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., East Village; 9:30pm (also at 7pm on 1/27). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
“Neo-retro” cabaret artist Molly Pope has performed many times all over the city and garnered much praise along the way, but this time she’s doing a little something more: recording her first album. Of course, that’s also happening in front of a live audience, led by a six-piece band. And don’t worry, there will be a sing-along, and audience members who partake will in fact be credited as back-up artists on the album. It’s your chance to be a star!
If you’ve ever even considered seeing a comedy show at venues like Muchmore’s, Over the Eight, or the Annoyance, chances are you’ve seen Mary Houlihan up to something there. I met Mary while we were both performing at a variety show in Bushwick. Since then, we haven’t been much more than Facebook acquaintances, but I started seeing her name practically everywhere as a part of all sorts of silly and fun-sounding shows. Even her Facebook presence reflects a lighthearted and delightfully cartoonish proclivity. When I heard that she was doing her own one-woman show, Live ’N’ Good, for a second time, I knew I wanted to see what was going on in that head of hers. So, we met up for pizza in Williamsburg and got to chattin’.
Though it’s easy to get distressed about how white and male-dominated the artistic landscape still is today (because it really, truly is), it’s important to acknowledge and seek out the exciting and prevalent work being made by artists of color in spaces that are perhaps not as commercial as, say, network television. Some of it has been in comedy: recently, we’ve written about black comedian and activist Elsa Waithe and an all-Muslim comedy showcase.
Ever find yourself wondering about Satan, or listening to music that mothers would pale to hear? Banish those devilish desires of yours with a trip to everyone’s favorite Bushwick-based occult bookstore and event space, Catland, to take in the Satanic Panic Propaganda Video Show, a compilation of short videos showcasing the moral panic of the ’80s and ’90s centering around the potentially violent dangers of Satanic rituals and cults.
While you still have a staggering amount of Manhattan performance festival shows going on this week, don’t be afraid to take a break from sifting through show schedules in order to check out some of these other options.
This week and next: more performance festivals than you ever knew could happen at the same time. And plenty more to choose from.
(image via ps122.org)
PS122’s COIL Festival Through Jan. 17, various times and various venues. Full programming, schedule, and tickets here. They may not have moved into their renovated East Village space yet, but that’s not stopping Performance Space 122 from presenting their contribution to APAP, the COIL Festival. Exploring the theme of transformation, they’ve hunkered down in venues all over, including La MaMa and Paradise Factory in the East Village and New Ohio Theater in the West Village. Offerings include Annie Dorsen’s live musical piece utilizing algorithms to slowly transform The Beatles’s Yesterday into Tomorrow (from the musical Annie) and Frank Boyd and the TEAM’s one-man live jazz radio show.
If you’ve decided that Stairwell Theater’s scatological Ubu Rex seems a little too extreme for you, there’s no shortage of oddball performance events around every corner this week. But sorry to all you straight-laced folk out there, none of them are particularly traditional.