Arts & Culture

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Virtual Performance Picks: Wordy Wonderlands and One Final Drag

WEDNESDAY

(image via @oopstagramt / Instagram)

Oops!
Wednesday, April 1 on @harajukubk Instagram Live, 10 pm: FREE (suggested donation)

Typically happening at queer bar The Rosemont, drag show Oops is one of the events that immediately flocked to a virtual setting. Hosts West Dakota and Harajuku have been drawing digital crowds in the hundreds to witness their antics, which have ranged from more traditional lip-syncs to leaning into the virtual format by playing with the split screen video feeds that come with an Instagram Live. In lieu of the dollars tossed at IRL drag shows, the queens accept Venmo tips, of course. After a couple weekly shows, this will be the final Instagram Live version of the show, according to their social media. Is it a savvy April Fool’s joke or is the novelty of virtual shows already starting to fade? Presumably, the only way to find out is by tuning in.

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Hasidic Williamsburg Has Been Making Grim Headlines; Netflix’s ‘Unorthodox’ Aims to Trade Sensationalism For Authenticity

(Stills from “Unorthodox” courtesy of Netflix)

“You can really get into the weeds,” said Alexa Karolinski, the co-creator and co-writer of Netflix’s new mini-series Unorthodox. “Like, should she wear something on her head during her wedding? Should he be wearing white socks? Should the shirt be fully buttoned?” Being hyper-specific in dress and in ritual was vital for capturing a tradition-rich community on the margins, and Unorthodox has positioned itself as one of the most ambitiously detailed renderings of the Williamsburg Satmar Hasidic community ever on screen.  More →

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Virtual Performance Picks: Queer Bedroom Comedy and a Cannabis Cabaret During Quarantine

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Doll Body)

High Concepts
Wednesday, March 25 on @highconcepts Instagram Live, 9 pm: FREE (suggested donation)

People who regularly go to bars are surely having a hard time lately, but stoners might be doing a little bit better. They probably already spend a lot of time chilling out in their rooms. But for performers Doll Body and Vylette Tendency, it’s a bit different. They host a monthly “cannabis cabaret” at a DIY venue, featuring drag, burlesque, and other surprises, and things usually get hazy in a good way. While that’s on pause, they’re taking to Instagram Live for this month’s show, which celebrates producer Vylette’s birthday. Pray your internet connection will stay stable, and prepare for shows from Deity Delgado, Professor Lionel Longlegs, Bad News Bear, Foxy Belle Afriq, and your hosts. Ingest whatever you like while you watch, and don’t forget to tip.

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Livestreamed Shows Are Facilitating Community and Creation (With Some Technical Difficulties)

Screenshot of Mark Vigeant’s Let’s Play Learning Games With Comedians (via Caveat / YouTube)

People have always said that the New York of the present is nothing like the old New York. If you compare today to just one week ago, that sentiment has never felt truer. Venues, bars, and countless other establishments are now closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means live, in-person shows are a thing of the past for now. But many artists are adapting, putting on shows that are live-streamed or otherwise virtually broadcast. Anything from drag shows to intimate acoustic sets can now be consumed from your bedroom, provided you’re willing to tolerate some buffering.

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Last Day of Disco: Crawling Brooklyn’s Bars Hours Before the Shutdown

Skinny Dennis bartender Ben Mann (right) alongside regular Ed Fordham, 3/16/20 at 5pm in Williamsburg.

There’s been a few “last nights of normal” this past week: the night the national emergency was declaredthe last night of church services, and on Monday, the last night of regular bar and food service. And it was a brief one. Every bar I visited on Monday was observing the 8pm statewide closing and regulars came in for less-than-social-distanced drinks before what would’ve been the biggest drinking day of the year. More →

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This Tattoo Artist Created a Timely Tarot Deck For the End of an Empire

(Photo by M. H. McFerren)

Artist-designed tarot decks have become increasingly popular in recent years—and it’s no coincidence. “Politically, culturally and socially, we are in a very kind of crumbling-of-the-Roman-Empire situation right now,” said Fyodor Pavlov, the creator of one such deck. “And I think there is kind of a desperate search for meaning in the world.” More →