Performance Picks

No Comments

Virtual Shows: Forced Collaborations and Comedic Capers

THURSDAY

(image via DPTV)

On 1 Condition: Quarantine Qitchen
Thursday, May 21 on Zoom, 7:30 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

Virtual shows inherently lend themselves to some art forms over others. It’s easier to, say, play a virtual concert in a bedroom with an acoustic guitar than it is to organize the logistics of a remote 4-piece rock band. And then there’s dance. It’s a full-body art form that typically needs plenty of open space, something that isn’t exactly available in abundance these days. However, that hasn’t stopped dancers from doing their thing. Dixon Place’s On 1 Condition: Quarantine Qitchen presents a unique challenge to dancers: they must create a new dance piece that abides by a “crazy rule.” Featuring performers from not just NYC but Hawaii, Australia, LA, and more, this show will surely surprise—if anything, because the rule for the dancers hasn’t been revealed yet. More →

No Comments

Frankie Cosmos, Drag King Channel Surfing, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

The Cake Night Show
Wednesday, May 13 on Twitch, 10 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

Since quarantine began, it could be argued that drag queens didn’t get any less visible. After all, if you’re usually going out during Friday’s episode of Drag Race and are now stuck at home, you might as well tune in. But of course, queens aren’t the only type of drag performer out there. There are drag kings, and drag performers who constantly blur the lines of gender. They may not have a mainstream TV show, but they’re doing work that deserves to be seen. Tonight, collective The Cake Boys takes to streaming platform Twitch to give you a show that has drag, yes, but so much more. Structured as an absurd channel-surfing experience, you’ll get peeks of all kinds of creativity, from wacky fitness videos to what very well may be a Satanic version of Bob Ross. Oh, and there’ll be commercials, but not the kinds you’re used to.

More →
No Comments

Virtual Performance Picks: New Music and Create-Your-Own Cult

THURSDAY

Max Vernon (image courtesy of Everyman Agency)

New Songs Now In Your Living Room
Thursday, May 7 at Rattlestick on YouTube, 8 pm: FREE

These days, everything happens in your living room. Or your kitchen, or your bedroom, or maybe your balcony, if you’re lucky enough to have something like that. On Thursdays, you can welcome the dulcet tones of new music to your living room, thanks to Rattlestick’s new virtual series. They’re spotlighting local songwriters and theater composers, who will be performing new material and discussing their artistic processes, so you can see the sausage and how it’s made. Yes, that’s an unsettling metaphor, but so be it. This week, composers Max Vernon and Rona Siddiqui get their turn in the virtual spotlight. 

More →
No Comments

Improvised Tarot, A Theatrical Saga on Zoom, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

The cast of the 2013 production of Regular Singing, written and directed by Richard Nelson, the final play of The Apple Family Plays at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

What Do We Need To Talk About?
Wednesday, April 29 at The Public Theater on YouTube, 7:30 pm: FREE

We’re used to movies having sequels for years on end, but when it comes to live performance, this practice is much rarer. It’s far from nonexistent, though—just ask Richard Nelson. The playwright’s epic Apple Family saga (formally known as the Rhinebeck Panorama) has stretched for a literal decade, and has always been performed at The Public Theater. Obviously things are different now, but the story continues nonetheless. Nelson wrote this latest play very recently while quarantined in Rhinebeck, and of course, it takes place over Zoom instead of over the dinner table. And if you’re new to this tale, Nelson’s previous Rhinebeck plays are available to stream for free, so you can get all caught up.

More →
No Comments

Stripped-Down Sets, a Zoom Opera, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

Kings of the World
Wednesday, April 22 on Twitch, 9 pm: FREE ($10 suggested donation)

Big cities and nightlife go hand-in-hand, but when it comes to virtual shows, it doesn’t matter where you live. Drag king showcase Kings of the World knows that well, seeking to virtually spotlight kings from all over rather than just focusing on major metropolitan areas. Hosted by LA-based performer Mo B. Dick, the show does indeed have drag kings from practically every part of the world. There are acts from Ireland, India, Australia, Puerto Rico, Spain, DC, and more, illustrating the wide range of queer performers out there. And of course, NYC is represented, in the form of local Brooklyn performers Muscles Monty and Uncle Freak. A $10 suggested donation gets you acts from 20 kings, and that’s quite a deal indeed.

More →
No Comments

Virtual Performance Picks: Theater from the Archives and Actual Bedroom Pop

THURSDAY

Theresa Buchheister and Ryan William Downey in Sleeping Car Porters
(photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

Sleeping Car Porters
Thursday, April 16 at The Brick on YouTube, 8 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

The thing typically said about live theater is that it’s ephemeral. It happens for a certain amount of time, and then it’s gone. But in the wake of the pandemic, that’s starting to somewhat change. Many venues are combing through their archives, offering viewers the chance to stream filmed versions of shows that have since closed. The Brick in Williamsburg is the latest to do so, starting Thursday with their experimental, acclaimed, Western-ish play Sleeping Car Porters. Sure, it won’t be quite the same as being in the room with a group of performers, but we have to take what we can get, and the chance to see theater after it happened IRL shouldn’t be underestimated.

More →
No Comments

A Morning Show For All, Doctors Doing Comedy, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via @maryhoulie / Instagram)

Mary Houlihan’s Lil’ Morning
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at @maryhoulie Instagram Live, 11 am: FREE (donation suggested)

While many comedy shows are only appropriate for an audience of adults, there’s plenty of funny fare out there for everyone to enjoy. Plus, it’s a specific type of achievement when someone is able to create something that makes multiple age groups laugh. You can catch something of that sort an impressive three times a week in the form of Mary Houlihan’s Lil’ Morning, found on Instagram Live every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the early-ish hour of 11 am. It’s technically a show for kids, but Houlihan and her gang of funny, musical friends are more than capable of putting a smile on everyone’s faces. So pause that pandemic-themed movie you turned on and start your day with something a little brighter.

More →
No Comments

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.

More →
No Comments

Performance Picks: Clowns and Musical Trauma Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Darian Lusk / Facebook)

Piano Boy
Thursday, February 27 at Vital Joint, 8 pm: $5

Billy Joel made a name for himself by being a Piano Man, or at least singing about one. But that was in the past. Now, it’s the era of the Piano Boy. Or at least it will be on Thursday night when musical comedian Darian Lusk performs his hourlong one-man show of the same name. In it, Lusk will take to the piano (or at least a little Casio keyboard) to perform an array of songs he’s penned over the past year, delving into topics from Judaism to group chats. He’ll be joined by opener Mary Houlihan.

More →
No Comments

Performance Picks: Black Friday and Socialist Comedy

THURSDAY

(image via Paid Protest / Facebook)

Paid Protest
Thursday, February 20 at Secret Loft, 8 pm: $10 suggested donation

It’s getting to be that time of the year, the time where it’s impossible to ignore electoral politics no matter how hard you try. Of course, it’s important to stay informed, but there’s a balance one should strike between staying ignorant and getting completely enveloped in, say, Twitter conspiracies. One way of doing that is by logging off and heading to Paid Protest, a DSA fundraiser comedy show that was once in Brooklyn but has now made its way to Manhattan’s Secret Loft. This time, the team is raising cash for DSA’s Housing Working group through sets by Kate Willett, Alise Morales, Moss Perricone, Judah Friedlander, Jordan Jensen, and Shalewa Sharpe, alongside hosts Kath Barbadoro, Simone Norman, and Alex Ptak. Plus, there’s free pizza.

More →