Time magazine declared a “transgender tipping point” in 2014 when it featured actress Laverne Cox on its cover. In the two years following that proclamation, mainstream media and pop culture attempted to follow suit. TV shows and movies like Transparent and Tangerine garnered critical acclaim and media buzz, but not all of it was positive. Despite increased portrayal of trans characters in media, the people creating and playing them remain predominantly cisgender.
Wednesday, December 7 at Vox Bizarre, 8 pm: FREE
Vox Bizarre is a new Ridgewood-based “store and workshop” pop-up devised by four design labels: Casey Caldwell, TILLYandWILLIAM, Claire Fleury, and LACTIC. Aside from all creating unconventional and intriguing attire and accessories, the common thread that unites these labels is that they are interested in shedding binary gender classifications within fashion and developing pieces that are inclusive to all body types. In addition to selling their wares, they’ve planned a variety of community-based events, such as performances, workshops, photoshoots, and more.
Thursday, December 1 at The Annoyance Theater, 9 pm: $10.
Surely many of you have taken a crack at reading David Foster Wallace’s behemoth of a novel Infinite Jest; perhaps some have even gotten through the entire thing. Or maybe the idea of parsing through a book so large it could double as a weapon seems daunting, and you’d rather sit in a basement watching a comedy show that vaguely riffs on the novel but is set in a vaguely dystopian future where the NFL is in cahoots with the government. In that case, Brian Pisano and Sam Taffe’s sketch comedy play Infinite Jets may be the thing for you. Our current future prospects aren’t looking too hot, so might as well laugh at a made-up future before ours becomes all too real. The show comes as a double feature with Deep Space Live, a late night talk show set in space hosted by a man whose only friend is a robot.
Wednesday, November 23 at The PIT Underground, 7:30 pm: $5
It seems like a sensible enough idea to ready your stomach for the inevitable large amounts of food you are going to funnel into it come Thursday. Some may do this through going to the gym or going for a brisk walk. If that’s not your style, consider stretching out the old gut with some hearty laughter at The PIT’s night of comedy by an all-Latinx (for the uninformed, a gender-neutral term for Latina/Latino) lineup. You’ll be treated to stand-up, improv, storytelling, and other ways of spinning words in a humorous fashion. Plus, the event hints at “perhaps some delicious treats.” Whether this means metaphorical treats in the form of comedy or actual snacks, it sounds like a good evening to me.
Furry! / La Furia!
Continues through November 26 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm (November 20 show at 3 pm): $15.
Imagining the everyday life of someone who dresses up as Elmo and roams around Times Square for tips is entertaining enough, but now you have a chance to see it on stage, in two different languages. Playwright William Burke has teamed up with Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Brooklyn Gypsies Collective for a “Spanish/Spanglish/human” translation of his play FURRY to be performed by Jimenez and Olander “Big O” Wilson. Also, this play isn’t even about the regular life of an Elmo in Times Square, however odd and intriguing that may be. It’s about “a street Elmo who rises to power by taking over the streets of 42nd to 46th Street by using The Art of War.” I don’t think I could imagine the details of such a thing if I tried, so you’re better off checking it out for yourself. More →
Edgar Oliver is a memorable man. I feel as though I could listen to him recite a portion of the phone book and throughout it I would find humor, joy, and sorrow. That’s not to say he has a terribly wide range of vocal inflection, but rather quite the opposite. Somehow he treats every word nearly the same way, with the same great deal of care and dramatics, and yet an entire world opens itself up among the syllables.
In Attorney Street, Oliver’s third solo storytelling show, he explores a new chapter of his life in a new apartment on the Lower East Side after being made to leave the small East Village SRO he’d remained for decades. With this major change, he also tracks other shifts in his life and surroundings: a vacant lot he cherished is now no more, a young boy that awakened desire in him as a child now has a child of his own, and so on.
Haha, Wow! By Reductress: Hillary Clinton Won!
Thursday, November 10 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5.
Everyone’s favorite (and maybe the only) satirical women’s magazine Reductress, fresh off the release of How To Win At Feminism (check our interview here), gears up for another edition of its monthly live show. Hosted by Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg, the show offers chuckles, lady power, and “tips on how to sex good,” duh. But this one’s a little different. The theme is “Hillary Clinton Won.” I’m not sure if this title was decided upon before Tuesday, but either way it’s gonna be a little painful to emerge back into the world once the show concludes. But for one hour of blissful pretending, you can “live your life like Hillary Clinton won with some of our favorite comedians.” Take it while you can. The show features Sydnee Washington, Alyssa Limperis, Shalewa Sharpe, and JANDA. More →
Thursday, November 3 at Bluestockings Bookstore, 7 pm: FREE.
Now that this show’s title has your attention, let us give you some details. Unless you don’t want them, and wish to blindly saunter into a show called “Comedy Cunt.” That’s admirable. For the rest of you, this is a recurring show, hosted by Arti Gollapudi, where marginalized individuals harness the medium of comedy to delve into their own life experiences. This time around, they’ve got Joe Castle Baker (who recently delivered perhaps the most memorable and manic riff on infomercials I’ve seen, which is impressive, as I love work about infomercials), Ayanna Dookie, Chandler Moses, Katie Fay Behrmann, Amy Zimmer, and Mamoudou N’Diaye, who used to teach science to youngsters. Plus, a “video performance” by Amanda Justice. Might I say, justice is served? More →
Nightcap By Ike
Thursday, October 27 at Joe’s Pub, 9 pm: $12.
Comedian, solo performer, and all-around entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu, oft-described as the theoretical offspring of Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra if such a thing was logically feasible, once again takes to the stage to bring you a “singular mélange” of jokes, special guests, and music. His performances are frequently in the style of a live talk show, infusing an oddly deadpan and NPR-esque affect at times to the typically over-the-top enthusiasm of talk show hosts. Ufomadu also uniquely lives in many aspects of the performance world, with one foot in the comedy world, another in the experimental theater scene, perhaps a hand in performance art and cabaret. Come Thursday, you’ll see it all. But in a digestible, nightcap form.
Wednesday, October 15 at The Bell House, 8 pm: $15.
Lane Moore‘s celebrated show Tinder Live returns to Park Slope venue The Bell House for yet another amusing evening of dating mishaps and more. This time around, she’s joined by comedians and/or generally creative folk Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight), New York Times bestselling author Mychal Smith, and writer Chloe Angyal, who genuinely has a PhD in romantic comedies. Moore is quite a multitasker herself. In addition to jokin’ and hostin’ her acclaimed comedy show, she also fronts the band It Was Romance (they garnered plenty of media attention for their Fiona Apple-inspired music video for queer song “Hooking Up With Girls”) and writes for a variety of publications. But enough about all that, this evening is all about Tinder. In a good and funny way, we swear. And in a real way: there will be live swiping. Maybe one day you’ll even end up as one of the folks Moore engages with onstage. There are many routes to stardom.