As I walked through the Friday night rain, clutching an umbrella with a price that far exceeded its quality, I felt lost. I was looking for the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, which that evening was opening Queer WAH, an exhibition of contemporary work by queer artists. Little did I know the shabby green door I had confusedly paused by was the very place. Despite the official sounding name that calls to mind tours and pamphlets, the WAH Center sat far more unassuming than I had initially guessed.
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What do DJ and New Museum darling Juliana Huxtable, a former member of industrial outfit Throbbing Gristle, and “drag mother” Flawless Sabrina have in common?
Empty Spaces takes a closer look at the buildings that used to house well-loved establishments, shuttered due to inevitable rent hikes or an unfortunate turn of events. When one establishment leaves a building, it is expected that another will take its place. Some, however, remain unoccupied for months or even years. We check in on these Empty Spaces to find out what’s up.
Address: 940 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick
Whether you’re craving a futuristic folk-rock-et-cetera musical, some cartoonish comedy, or an entire three-day performance festival, there is something here for you.
October 7-9 at the Martin E. Segal Center, The CUNY Graduate Center, Murray Hill. Various times; all events free. Full schedule here.
Downtown-style performance art saunters uptown a bit for the 12th annual Prelude Festival. Spanning three days, Prelude celebrates exciting and zany performance and multidisciplinary artists who are making work today. Come get immersed in the world of the theatrical with installations, panel discussions, and performances from notable artists like high-belting queerdo Erin Markey, site-specific pioneers En Garde Arts, and Obie-winning experimental playwright Mac Wellman. Attendees will be transported via party buses to the closing party Friday night at PioneerWorks in Red Hook. Best of all, it’s free.
Prelude 2015 is curated by Antje Oegel and Tom Sellar.
Picture this: you’re at a small performance space underneath a neon-lit jazz club, amidst a pink-lit bar and decorative mannequins. After a few moments of mingling and sipping PBR, a man comes onstage and informs everyone that if they didn’t already know, this show involves fully nude bodies. If we are so shocked by this horrid fact and want a refund, they are available at the door.
With a simple blue sundress and patriotically-colored eye glitter, 25-year-old Isabella Bustamante practically looks like she could be a teen herself. That’s not to say she’s immature, rather quite the opposite. She is the sole founder and director of Teen Art Salon, a new “arts platform that supports, develops, and promotes adolescent artists across North America.” Barely a few months old, Teen Art Salon’s main feature is its open studio space in Long Island City. Shared with a yoga studio that Bustamante’s mother operates, it is free for teens to use.
Whether you’re in the mood for scary stories, live nude bodies, or something completely different, there’s a show out there to tickle your funny bone or take your brain for a spin.
What Are You Afraid Of?
Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave., Williamsburg. 8pm; tickets are $5 at the door.
Former child actress turned writer and comedian Mara Wilson hosts What Are You Afraid Of?, a comedy and storytelling show that explores fears and anxieties of all shapes and sizes. This particular show features a small but mighty lineup consisting of B+B favorite Sue Smith, Chemda, Susan Kent, and Wilson herself. Take a peek into these funny people and their frightened brains. Maybe you’ll find you have more fears in common than you thought.
Who is Janice Gunter? With handmade postings anywhere from Williamsburg to NYU advertising her strange services and conveniently-rhyming name, it would appear that this bespectacled woman is the latest to join the ranks of NYC’s colorful flyer characters. Visit Janice’s Facebook page and you’ll find nearly six month’s worth of ghost-related status updates, bad jokes, and musings about her Ma’s tendency to videotape everything they do.
Janice also has an Instagram and even a LinkedIn profile, where she explains “[g]host hunting is officially classified as a pseudoscience, but my customer service and attention to detail are more like an art form.” She also worked as a cashier at CVS for an impressive eight years before deciding to follow this ghostly path.
From Cyndi Lauper drag cabaret shows to garden romps, here’s this week’s local (and affordable) theater and performance.
Cabaret artist Salty Brine continues his residency at The Red Room on East 4th Street with HE’S SO UNUSUAL, a dazzling evening of song and scene that places Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual into a world of Prohibition and perfectly-coiffed pansies. No stranger to taking on entire albums in one evening, Brine’s past “Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret” shows have included Joni Mitchell’s Blue and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. There will be surprises, and there will definitely be impressive costumes.
The consistently affordable prices at Carrera’s were a welcome comfort in the midst of a neighborhood that seems to be getting pricier by the day. Chips and salsa were free, chips and guac were $5, and their generously portioned entrees typically ran in the $7 to $11 range.