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Head to a Greenpoint Church and Watch Some Cult Comedy

We’re gonna go ahead and guess it’s probably been a while since you’ve visited a church (unless you were enticed by the Jesus karaoke at that new “hipster” Bushwick church, that is). But tomorrow night Lucy Cottrell and Catherine Cohen will make it worth your while. The comedian-artists are hosting a New Age-like ritual (otherwise known as a comedy show) at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint.

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This Week’s Performance: Scary Stories, Clowns, More Scary Stories

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.

WEDNESDAY

afraidWhat 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.

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This Week’s Theater: Prohibition-Era Cyndi Lauper, Masculine Bodies, Garden Plays

From Cyndi Lauper drag cabaret shows to garden romps, here’s this week’s local (and affordable) theater and performance.

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

(photo: Daniel Albanese)

WEDNESDAY
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.
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Shakespeare As You Like It: In a Park or in a Parking Lot

Last year's production of "Othello" in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

Last year’s production of “Othello” in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

After construction of Essex Crossing bumped it from its home last year, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will relaunch just three blocks away, in a parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Center. From July 9 to 26, The Drilling Company, led by Hamilton Clancy of Orange Is the New Black, will imagine “As You Like It” in a “Steampunk paradise,” and from July 30 to August 15, they’ll be doing free performances of “Macbeth.”

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On Stage: Art Nerds, Bike Mechanics, Swinging Singles and Sad Clowns


Visual artist, performer, and gay stage icon Chris Tanner brings true-life tales, and, in his words, “humiliating stories of the sexual awakening of a nerdy art queen,” to the stage in Football Head. Tanner sings and tells the stories, accompanied on the stage by three doo-wop singers and collaborator Lance Cruce. The show is first and foremost about his family, intermingled with shame, guilt, and celebration thrown in for good measure.
La MaMa, East Village, begins June 20, tickets $10-$18
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The Schlep Sisters Celebrate Ten Years of Schtick

(Photos by Melody Mudd) Darlinda Just Darlinda (L) and Minnie Tonka (R) perform at their anniversary show.

(Photos by Melody Mudd) Darlinda Just Darlinda (L) and Minnie Tonka (R) perform at their anniversary show.

The Schlep Sisters, the burlesque duo of Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka, have celebrated ten years as a team, performing what they call “the sexiest slap-‘schtick.’” Their acts lean towards the ridiculous, with unison choreography and ditzy frozen smiles often  accenting music by The Barry Sisters. Themed shows take the oy-vey to the extreme, such as The Burning Bush vs. The Second Coming, which offered Jews and Christians a way to duke it out goodnaturedly about Passover vs. Easter—and featured an audience game of “Hide the Afikomen” using Tigger’s body for maximum hilarity.

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The 15 People You’ll Meet at Fringe Festival (Starting With Tom Cruise)

tomkatWith over 200 companies clamoring for attention at New York International Fringe Festival, it can be super tough to decide which of the 1,200+ performances to attend. But one thing’s for sure: gimmicks help a production stand out, and there’s no better gimmick (or “plot device,” if you prefer) than using a celebrity, dead author, or an Austrian shrink or two as your subject matter. Here now are 15 people who are serving as fodder for some of this year’s standout productions — from deities to Wilhelm Reich to a singing Sigmund Freud.
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Mark Your Calendar For These Two Outdoor Arts Festivals in the East Village

2012's FAB! Festival. (Photo: Whitney Browne)

2012’s FAB! Festival. (Photo: Whitney Browne)

The East Village’s cultural institutions are taking it to the streets again, as the details of two big outdoor arts festivals were announced today.

Theater for the New City is preparing to kick off its annual Summer Street Theater Tour, which has been bringing free outdoor theater to low-income communities since the 1970s. This year they’ll be hitting up neighborhoods in all five boroughs, including Bed-Stuy, the South Bronx, Jackson Heights, Coney Island, Harlem, West New Brighton, and the East Village.
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Burlesque for Nerds and a Dance Party with Imelda Marcos

Tburlesque Blitzhe prolific Horsetrade Theater Group, which operates the Kraine Theater and Under St. Marks in the East Village, is getting even busier than usual, with a Summer Burlesque Blitz beginning July 18. Four days of live performances include GeekBoys (a “Nerdy-Burly review” with bearded strip-tease artists making pop culture references) and RAWR! Burlesque, which has performances in honor of classic cult films. Expect jokes about light sabers at either or both. Visit Horsetrade’s website for the full schedule, and read on for our July theater round-up.
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