Whether in a club, basement, or bar, most comedy shows are indoors. And that’s fine. But what kind of stuff could happen at a comedy show in a backyard, free from oppressive building structures and rules? If your guess was “a lot of messy stuff,” then you should win some prize from someone other than me, because I don’t have any prizes. However, comedian Andrew Benedict and his sketch group SOAP (also featuring Erin Coughlin, Ben Hosley, and Joel Straley) may very well have created a gem with their “messy backyard show” this Saturday, which promises “all the bits too messy to do indoors.”
Posts by Cassidy Dawn Graves:
Circus of Dreams
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $7 suggested donation. More info here.
This monthly performance art variety show has been going on for a couple years now and still never fails to surprise me. Though it’s impossible to predict or even properly describe what shenanigans will occur, there will be gender-blurred burlesque, shocking circus stunts, a senior citizen contortionist who has had several hip surgeries and is still going strong, dominatrix performance art, and zany audience participation. And that’s just a sampling. This month is glam-themed, so I’m sure there will be sparkles and over-the-top outfits everywhere the eye can see. Get there early to beat the inevitable crowd, it’ll make getting a drink in a timely manner much more feasible and you can see some nice preshow go-go dancing.
Ike At Night
Now through June 4, Wednesday through Saturday at The Bushwick Starr: $18.
Acclaimed comic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts a talk show of his own creation at the Bushwick Starr. Each night is different, featuring a new selection of handpicked artistic guests each time, including B+B fave M Lamar, theatre director Richard Maxwell, performance group Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Dance Cartel choreographer Ani Taj, and more. More →
Any show that begins in full blackout long enough for the elderly patron next to me to start murmuring and glancing at the program with the light of his phone screen is one that is going to pique my interest.
Evening – 1910, a new musical written by Randy Sharp and Paul Carbonara (a former guitarist and music director for Blondie), has many interest-piquing factors. Indeed, it began in the pitch dark. It’s an entirely sung-through musical in a quaint and intimate space (the Axis Theater in the West Village) with a live band. It follows immigrants who arrive in the city in 1910. Some are showgirls at a failing variety show theater on the Bowery who dream of finding more fulfilling work, one is a man who enjoys using his camera. Their lives are interrupted by a rich man who intends to transform the theater into a cinema.
Orphan Action League
Continues every Wednesday through June 1 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 8:30pm. Tickets are $10. More info here.
An eccentric orphaned millionaire who found success in a children’s book series about orphan children has now taken his fictional dreams into the real world with a hand-selected group of crime-fighting orphans called, fittingly, the Orphan Action League. Follow their adventures (including some neat choreographed fight scenes and a fully-produced original theme song) weekly at The Annoyance with this show by Andrew Benedict, directed by Annie Donley. There may be no parents, but there will certainly be chuckles n’ thrills.
On May 20, the 50,000-square-foot Knockdown Center will become the site of a bold new experiment in live performance. Authority Figure, directed by performance/dance/sound artists Monica Mirabile and Sarah Kinlaw, is an immersive and participatory experience exploring themes of surveillance, authority, and obedience. Appropriately vast in scale, it features over 150 performers (including a child and a pregnant woman), and has been created with six choreographers, seven installation artists, and six musicians, including local faves Pictureplane, SOPHIE, and Hot Sugar.
Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here.
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $10 suggested donation. More info here.
Fire is normally regarded as a bad thing to be around, especially with the added element of drunk people at a bar. But don’t forget, Bizarre isn’t your average bar. I’ve seen my fair share of fire performances there, whether it be fire eating, fire breathing, fire dancing, or just someone who looked really hot. Miraculously, I felt safe for almost all of them. Tonight, you can see all that and probably more at this variety show that’s more fiery than average, in the most literal sense of the word. And don’t worry, these are professionals, so the only thing catching fire (aside from what’s regularly scheduled to) will hopefully be your heart.
Wednesdays With A “W”: Wormholes
At The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7pm. $7. More info here.
This is the second iteration of a monthly “art party,” sporting a whimsical theme and featuring a slew of performances from artists of all disciplines, including live painting, interactive performance art, a human canvas, a bug petting zoo, and an alien experiment. Naturally eschewing any average theme for an event, this evening is themed for wormholes. You heard that right. Whether it be actual worms digging holes or folks traveling through space and time or something else entirely, expect excitement and unusual sights at every turn.
Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here.
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.