WEDNESDAY The Annotated History of the American Muskrat Continues through July 16 at the New Ohio Theater, 154 Christopher Street, West Village. 7pm. Tickets are $18 ($15 students/seniors). More info here.
Originally developed in Boston, this play-slash-experiment was written by John Kuntz in collaboration with the show’s original cast of performers, and now will have a short run as part of the New Ohio Theater’s annual Ice Factory Festival. It follows a group of 8 people who must prepare and give a presentation about muskrats if they would ever like to sleep. American muskrats, specifically. Yes, these guys. Will you learn a lot about the muskrat? Will you learn anything at all? Is this really happening to these people or is it all some sort of wild rodent dream? Find out all this and more at the theater… More →
As we’ve mentioned recently, DIY art and game space Babycastles has been working hard to offer alternatives to the often exclusionary world of video games, showcasing work by indie game designers and artists who reveal that yes, there can be more to video games than mindless shooting and the Mountain Dew-guzzling men who often play them.
The previous exhibit on view was Toronto-based Kara Stone’s The Mystical Digital, offering a witchy and introspective take on games, with selections like Techno Tarot, where a robot gives you a detailed tarot reading, and Cyclothymia, a narrative exploring connections between emotions and astrology.
Another Canada-based game designer and programmer, Mx. Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifier, has similar wishes to disrupt the tired norms in video games and video game culture. Rather than appealing to one’s inner mystic or the Bushwick dwellers who frequent places like Catland, Squinky’s games are more familiar to those who might stay in on a Friday night, presenting playable stories of awkward social interactions and small Claymation creatures of indistinct gender.
The Montreal-based artist’s second solo exhibition, Squinky Hates Video Games, is a compilation of work from the past three years in the form of ten different games, some of which were created during a stint at UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. Squinky completed the program in 2015, and was recognized by Forbes that year as one of 30 Under 30 in Games.
On the northern side of Sara D. Roosevelt Park sits a large brick structure. Once a youth center, the Stanton Building was shut down during a time of high crime in the Lower East Side and is now used only for storage by the Parks Department. Since the late ’90s, there’s been talk of returning it to community use, but that has yet to happen. So, Wednesday afternoon, a group of local activists gathered outside of the building in what was the first of three events intended to stimulate collective planning about its future.
At The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 8:30pm. $10. More info here.
A ragtag gang of particularly zany folk come together to present this supposedly long-awaited public showing of some of the citizens of Sparkleberry’s theatrical creations, a town full of kindred spirits who also happen to be incredibly dumb. Needless to say, such a combination will probably make for some engaging material. The production features Eliza Hurwitz (who has also created a show that is dedicated to her love of Duane Reade), Steven DeSiena (the Music Man in recurring cartoon/puppet/sketch show Cartoon Monsoon), and Bardia Salimi (who I meant to see in a backyard comedy show in May but he spent too long getting an ice cream.) With a team like that, what could go wrong?
Musicals are often full of emotion, especially during moments of song. When a woman sings of wanting the people who irk her “slain,” it’s usually not a threat to be taken literally. But in Ambition: The Female American Serial Killer Musical, now playing as part of the Planet Connections Theater Festivity in the East Village, such musical stylings do indeed foreshadow death.
Ambition is written by Asian-American playwright and performer Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, who is also the co-creator of a web series called 2 Girls 1 Asian and helps produce and curate a bimonthly performance series called Undiscovered Countries, which is how we met. Since then, we’ve performed in each other’s respective variety shows and I’ve generally kept tabs on her work. When I heard about this project I knew I had to check it out, as I am the type who spent many childhood years up late combing through the Wikipedia pages of people who have done awful things. People, but largely men.
Erin Markey: Humping A Gatorade Bottle At The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, West Village. 9:30pm. $15 plus a two drink minimum. More info here.
Performance artist/comedian/writer/singer/actress/my friend Erin Markey is always a pleasure to watch onstage. Her cabaret shows at The Duplex and Joe’s Pub are full of strange and compelling life stories, odd characters, impressive voice work, jokes you might not realize are hilarious until five seconds after they’re told, and some very nice singing. This show, with the truly memorable subtitle of Humping a Gatorade Bottle, is sure to be no less wonderful and intriguing, in addition to being a “heartwarming crossfit program.” Now that’s what I call one-stop shopping.
Circus Revue: Love, Trust, and Partnerships House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Bushwick. 7pm doors, 8pm show. Also on Friday. Tickets are $15. More info here.
In a special edition of House of Yes’s recurring circus revue, this show is totally devoted to the magic number two. Yes, each act in this high-flying variety show will be a partnered one, so instead of the singular dazzling aerial, burlesque, dance, and circus acts you’re used to this glitzy venue delivering, you’ll be seeing double. In the spirit of deux, this show will be going on for two nights instead of its usual one, so there’s no excuse not to check it out. Plus, there’s a free dance party afterward, where you can probably unsuccessfully attempt some of the moves you saw.
Secret At La MaMa, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Free. More info here.
I can’t say I know a ton about Watoku Ueno’s one-night-only piece at La MaMa, but maybe they’re staying true to their name and keeping all the juicy details a secret… What I do know is that it’s based off Japanese folklore, specifically a story known as “Crane Wife,” where a man marries a woman who is really a crane in disguise and makes money by weaving her own feathers into silk brocade and leaves once her husband finds out she’s really a crane. That is true independence and craftiness, if I do say so myself. Secret includes not only dance and live music but also some glorious shadow puppetry that will bring this odd little tale to life. More →
Dead Darlings At Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village. Free. More info here.
Typically, when we go see a performance of any sort, the material we’re watching has been written, rewritten, and carefully narrowed down from a presumable slew of ideas. Dead Darlings, a monthly show curated by performer and female drag queen Amanda Duarte, seeks to assemble a group of artists to show work that didn’t make the final cut or has not yet found a home. This time is “book club edition,” so there’ll be a gaggle of authors reading their work: Dave Hill (Inside Amy Schumer), Michael Schulman (Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep), Rebecca Traister (All The Single Ladies), and Cintra Wilson (Fear And Clothing).