African Spirits Opening Thursday, July 11 at Yossi Milo Gallery, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. On view through August 23.
Your standard art history education tends to stay pretty Eurocentric, so some people might not know that portrait photography has had quite a heyday in Africa, dating back to the early 1900s, when both European visitors and African locals experimented more and more with the form. The 1950s through the 1980s were considered the “golden age” of portraiture in West Africa, and images from this time will be showcased in a new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Yossi Milo Gallery, which range from staged studio imagery to more candid nightlife captures. These photos will be displayed alongside works from more contemporary photographers of all stripes.
July 4th weekend tends to come with less events happening than usual, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of quality fun to be had between the days of July 5 and 8. The night after the 4th, you can finish digesting all those processed meats at Cry Baby, a recurring comedy show and party in a DIY Bushwick venue hosted by performers Dekunle Somade and Abe Gatling. It also has iterations in DC and Philadelphia, in case you want to become a comedy show’s groupie. The latest Brooklyn edition features Sydnee Washington, Shane Torres, Devon Walker, Sam Evans, Chanel Ali, and Pockets Graham.
Oh, Such A Huge Show, Oh! Saturday, July 6 at The Bell House, 7 pm: $18 advance, $23 day of show
As you might have gleaned from the title, Josh Nasser and Ethan Beach’s Oh, Such A Huge Show, Oh! is in fact a big show with a long, hefty lineup, and the proceeds will be going to The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Long lineups can become dreary over time, but this one is too jam-packed with fun and talent to feel that way. A taste of the performers that await: The Lucas Bros, Ziwe Fumudoh, Conner O’Malley, Ana Fabrega, Anna Drezen, Emmy Blotnick, Josh Sharp, and even more.
Get Your Panties In A Brunch Sunday, July 7 at Dromedary Bar, 1 pm: FREE
Brunch can feel like an event in and of itself, but if eating eggs while calculating how many mimosas you can down before your bottomless time runs out isn’t enough for you, there’s a way to make brunch feel even more like a show. Enter drag brunch, where (you guessed it) drag performers strut their stuff right before your hungry eyes. There are several drag brunches out there to choose from, but a solid one in North Brooklyn can be found at tiki bar Dromedary, where the drag-collective-with-a-penchant-for-wrestling The Nobodies take over every Sunday. Expect a rotating cast that includes Emi Grate, Lady Beatrice Andrews, Ariel Italic, and Blvck Laé D.
Miss Meatface Opening Tuesday, July 2 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through July 13.
No, “Miss Meatface” does not refer to the latest right-wing woman to adopt the “carnivore diet,” that frightening all-beef culinary regime embraced by the likes of Jordan Peterson; it refers to the artist Kat Toronto, who creates bizarre and entrancing “performance-based photography” under the name Miss Meatface, which resemble stills from some surreal, experimental, BDSM-laced film you want to immediately consume in full. In addition to an exhibition of recent creations by Miss Meatface, Tuesday’s reception will also feature a zine signing and an artist talk between Meatface and The Untitled Space’s director, Indira Cesarine.
Runnin’ On Empty With Yotam and Lisa Thursday, June 27 at le poisson rouge, 7 pm: $2 advance, $3 doors
Some comedy shows in Manhattan require hefty cover charges and overpriced food and drink minimums, but the aptly-named Runnin’ On Empty only asks for a slim smattering of dollar bills: three, to be exact, or two if you Venmo in advance. Hosted by Lisa Franklin and Yotam Tubul, the show features a blend of seasoned and recognizable performers and stand-ups who are still starting out. Will you be able to tell who is who? Well, as long as you have a nice time, I guess it doesn’t matter. This time, the show welcomes Myq Kaplan, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Usama Siddiquee, Madeleine Olnek, Brittany Carney, and Felipe Di Poi.
Near the Jefferson L in Bushwick, you can find plenty of big and/or glitzy bars and venues. There’s the ubiquitous House of Yes, burlesque troupe Company XIV’s new-ish theater, party spot Lot 45, and scores of other watering holes of every shape and size. But until now, there hasn’t been anything quite like The Turk’s Inn. Opening this Thursday, the two-level supper club, which also encompasses a separate music venue and kebab shop, is a replica of a shuttered Wisconsin institution of the same name.
Family Album Opening Wednesday, June 26 at Anton Kern Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 16.
Margot Bergman’s paintings draw you in, both with their rich colors and their appeal that’s grotesque, realistic, and dreamlike all at once. It makes sense, then, that she paints “imagined people,” abiding by only the rules of her brain when bringing brush to canvas. A selection of her curious, feminine creations will be on view at Anton Kern Gallery starting this Wednesday; Bergman usually only exhibits paintings, but Family Album will also include an array of “theatrical photographs” taken by the artist, featuring subjects posing with portions of Bergman’s collection of dolls and figurines.
If you were near the Marcy J back in 2015, or more recently at music venue Baby’s All Right, you might have eaten food made by the folks at Kichin. You could have taken a rice ball or Korean fried chicken to go, or snacked on homemade curry at a party thrown by the musician Yaeji. Kichin has served at many places, but now they have a storefront of their own again on Myrtle Avenue, steps from the Central M.
Failure Pride: Idols Thursday, June 20 at Club Cumming, 8 pm: $10
Queer culture is full of idols: pop icons like Madonna and Lady Gaga, classic stars of the stage like Barbra, drag queens of all sorts, activists like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the list goes on. Plus, we needn’t forget American Idol, which must at least count for something here. Tonight, the recurring performance series Failure: A Queer Workshop, hosted by Ragamuffin, La Llorona, and Le Petit Dumdum, will present a conversation on idols in all their forms, featuring guest performers Cher Noble, Lu Reyes, Agave Lamour, and Jojo Soul.
We the People Opening Wednesday, June 19 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 21.
Some people go to prestigious and expensive schools to learn how to make art, throwing piles of cash at nice supplies in the process. Guy Woodard, on the other hand, honed his craft using a cheap ballpoint pen while incarcerated. The former counterfeiter and forger is opening a solo show of intricate ink drawings at Howl Happening in the East Village starting tonight. In addition to his drawings, which explore both political events and the ins and outs of everyday black life, the exhibition also features a selection of Woodard-created forgeries, including one of Trayvon Martin’s Howard University diploma.
Who is Stacy? I personally don’t know, but comedians Marissa Goldman, Caroline Doyle, and Charlie Bardey might, considering the trio hosts a show boasting that name every month at cozy, colorfully-lit Bushwick bar Rebecca’s. Apparently, this Stacy has recently embarked upon an archaeological dig, but it was not so successful, and she’s feeling a bit downtrodden. (Who wouldn’t, if they were promised dinosaurs and didn’t discover any?) The three hosts have gathered an evening of laughs to serve as the antidote, which will be delivered by Rachel Pegram, Pat Regan, Tim Platt, Jolie Darrow, and Rufat Agayev, with an additional dose of drag from Chola Spears.