Musicals are often full of emotion, especially during moments of song. When a woman sings of wanting the people who irk her “slain,” it’s usually not a threat to be taken literally. But in Ambition: The Female American Serial Killer Musical, now playing as part of the Planet Connections Theater Festivity in the East Village, such musical stylings do indeed foreshadow death.
Ambition is written by Asian-American playwright and performer Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, who is also the co-creator of a web series called 2 Girls 1 Asian and helps produce and curate a bimonthly performance series called Undiscovered Countries, which is how we met. Since then, we’ve performed in each other’s respective variety shows and I’ve generally kept tabs on her work. When I heard about this project I knew I had to check it out, as I am the type who spent many childhood years up late combing through the Wikipedia pages of people who have done awful things. People, but largely men.
Erin Markey: Humping A Gatorade Bottle At The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, West Village. 9:30pm. $15 plus a two drink minimum. More info here.
Performance artist/comedian/writer/singer/actress/my friend Erin Markey is always a pleasure to watch onstage. Her cabaret shows at The Duplex and Joe’s Pub are full of strange and compelling life stories, odd characters, impressive voice work, jokes you might not realize are hilarious until five seconds after they’re told, and some very nice singing. This show, with the truly memorable subtitle of Humping a Gatorade Bottle, is sure to be no less wonderful and intriguing, in addition to being a “heartwarming crossfit program.” Now that’s what I call one-stop shopping.
Circus Revue: Love, Trust, and Partnerships House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Bushwick. 7pm doors, 8pm show. Also on Friday. Tickets are $15. More info here.
In a special edition of House of Yes’s recurring circus revue, this show is totally devoted to the magic number two. Yes, each act in this high-flying variety show will be a partnered one, so instead of the singular dazzling aerial, burlesque, dance, and circus acts you’re used to this glitzy venue delivering, you’ll be seeing double. In the spirit of deux, this show will be going on for two nights instead of its usual one, so there’s no excuse not to check it out. Plus, there’s a free dance party afterward, where you can probably unsuccessfully attempt some of the moves you saw.
Secret At La MaMa, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Free. More info here.
I can’t say I know a ton about Watoku Ueno’s one-night-only piece at La MaMa, but maybe they’re staying true to their name and keeping all the juicy details a secret… What I do know is that it’s based off Japanese folklore, specifically a story known as “Crane Wife,” where a man marries a woman who is really a crane in disguise and makes money by weaving her own feathers into silk brocade and leaves once her husband finds out she’s really a crane. That is true independence and craftiness, if I do say so myself. Secret includes not only dance and live music but also some glorious shadow puppetry that will bring this odd little tale to life. More →
Dead Darlings At Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Greenwich Village. Free. More info here.
Typically, when we go see a performance of any sort, the material we’re watching has been written, rewritten, and carefully narrowed down from a presumable slew of ideas. Dead Darlings, a monthly show curated by performer and female drag queen Amanda Duarte, seeks to assemble a group of artists to show work that didn’t make the final cut or has not yet found a home. This time is “book club edition,” so there’ll be a gaggle of authors reading their work: Dave Hill (Inside Amy Schumer), Michael Schulman (Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep), Rebecca Traister (All The Single Ladies), and Cintra Wilson (Fear And Clothing).
The lack of women-led, produced, and directed theater productions and companies is a well-known phenomena both in the theater world and beyond. Michole Biancosino, the co-founder and artistic director of the Project Y Theatre Company, decided to address this disparity by hosting an entirely female-produced festival, starting on June 9 and continuing in July. The first annual Women in Theater Festival will be held in various locations throughout the city, including Under St. Mark’s in the East Village and ART/NY Studios in Brooklyn, and has become a passion project for Biancosino.
Circus of Dreams At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $7 suggested donation. More info here.
This monthly performance art variety show has been going on for a couple years now and still never fails to surprise me. Though it’s impossible to predict or even properly describe what shenanigans will occur, there will be gender-blurred burlesque, shocking circus stunts, a senior citizen contortionist who has had several hip surgeries and is still going strong, dominatrix performance art, and zany audience participation. And that’s just a sampling. This month is glam-themed, so I’m sure there will be sparkles and over-the-top outfits everywhere the eye can see. Get there early to beat the inevitable crowd, it’ll make getting a drink in a timely manner much more feasible and you can see some nice preshow go-go dancing. More →
Ike At Night Now through June 4, Wednesday through Saturday at The Bushwick Starr: $18.
Acclaimed comic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts a talk show of his own creation at the Bushwick Starr. Each night is different, featuring a new selection of handpicked artistic guests each time, including B+B fave M Lamar, theatre director Richard Maxwell, performance group Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Dance Cartel choreographer Ani Taj, and more. More →
Strays Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here.
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.
Ignite At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $10 suggested donation. More info here.
Fire is normally regarded as a bad thing to be around, especially with the added element of drunk people at a bar. But don’t forget, Bizarre isn’t your average bar. I’ve seen my fair share of fire performances there, whether it be fire eating, fire breathing, fire dancing, or just someone who looked really hot. Miraculously, I felt safe for almost all of them. Tonight, you can see all that and probably more at this variety show that’s more fiery than average, in the most literal sense of the word. And don’t worry, these are professionals, so the only thing catching fire (aside from what’s regularly scheduled to) will hopefully be your heart.