Performance Picks

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Performance Picks: Cannabis Comedy, Grimm Burlesque Tales, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Brown Privilege Comedy / Facebook)

Brown Privilege Comedy
Thursday, March 21 at Friends and Lovers, 8:30 pm: FREE (donation suggested)

The 39th edition of Saurin Choksi and DJ Sareen’s Brown Privilege Comedy returns to Crown Heights bar Friends and Lovers tonight. As always, the show spotlights some of the best comedians of color the city has to offer, with nary a token white person to be found. This time, they’re bringing along Gibran Saleem, Aminah Imani, Ayanna Dookie, Kevin Iso, and Alex English. After all the jokes have concluded, stick around—DJ Sareen takes the stage and the show becomes a dance party. More →

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Performance Picks: The TEAM, Drippy Dollars, Butch Dionysus

THURSDAY

(photo: Eoin Carey, via the TEAM / Facebook)

Anything That Gives Off Light
Now through March 30 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm (some dates at 9:30 pm): $35

The latest endeavor from theater collective The TEAM—working in collaboration with the National Theater of Scotland and music duo The Bengsons—is staged not in a traditional theater space but the cabaret coziness of Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater. Of course, that’s purposeful, considering the show is partially set in a London pub. Amongst pints and whiskeys, two Scottish men and an American woman cross paths and begin a journey that takes them throughout Scotland, America, and the inner workings of the mind, all set to a Scottish-influenced folk-punk score.

FRIDAY

(image via Wet Cash NYC / Facebook)

Wet Cash
Friday, March 15 at GG’s Social Trade and Treasure Club, 7:30 pm: $10 suggested donation

Yes, this comedy show to benefit Make the Road NY is named Wet Cash, but it’s probably not the greatest idea to stroll up to the venue (a Bushwick thrift store) and attempt to pay your suggested donation using a bunch of dollars that were once floating in a bucket of water. However, you might end your night with some—the team behind the show will be giving out drippy dollars (which could be a good band name) to a lucky(?) audience member. That’s not the only liquid present, however, there will also be free beer from Braven, and of course, comedy by Dylan Adler, Rachel McCartney, Ben Katzner, David Drake, and host Noah Rocklin.

SATURDAY

(photo: Sandy Honig)

Cream Sauce
Saturday, March 16 at The Windjammer, 8 pm: 

What is there to say about cream sauce? It is indulgent and sometimes too filling, but it is also good. Those three descriptors could very well also characterize comedian Edy Modica’s play of the same name, coming to Ridgewood’s The Windjammer this Saturday. Fittingly, Modica will be presenting absurd anecdotes of all sorts inspired by the Italian side of her family, with help from fellow performers Brian Fiddyment, Eliza Kimberley, Francesca d’Uva, Rachel Kaly, Chase Montavon, and opener Steve Girard. Expect tales of pasta, funerals, cannoli, and of course, plenty of sauciness.

SUNDAY

Leigh Silverman and Madeleine George (image via NYTW / Facebook)

Hurricane Diane
Now through March 24 at New York Theater Workshop, various times: $69 ($25 same-day rush tickets available for young people, artists, and East Village and Lower East Side residents) 

The hedonistic, hard-partying Greek god Dionysus has shown up in countless pieces of culture over the years, from the old classics to the name of a record label. Currently, you can find the wine-soaked deity in Madeleine George’s play Hurricane Diane, directed by Leigh Silverman. Rather than a bearded being clutching the traditional grapes and a drinking horn, George’s Dionysus takes the form of Diane, a butch lesbian gardener with a penchant for seducing housewives. Diane is played by actor Becca Blackwell, who describes themself as “someone living both genders,” and according to mythology, it’s likely that the actual Dionysus did too.

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Performance Picks: Futuristic Sex Bots, Creepy Schoolhouses, Messy Comedy

FRIDAY

(Photo: Russ Rowland, via One Year Lease Theater Company / Facebook)

Eat The Devil
Now through March 9 at The Tank, 8 pm: $25 

The best way I can describe Eat The Devil, a multimedia-laden play by Nadja Leonhard-Hooper and Dan Nuxoll of Rooftop Films, is kind of like a cross between the movies Sorry To Bother You and Ex Machina, but way weirder, way more online, and with more theatrics. But even that doesn’t really do its uniqueness justice. The play, set in a strange-yet-feasible version of the future, centers around the development of Mia, an artificially intelligent sex doll played by nonbinary drag performer Theydy Bedbug. Meanwhile, airlines are sponsored by porn tube sites, Amazon is run by a flying Alexa device, Alex Jones is still screaming away, and furries are experiencing a cultural moment. It’s both a night of delightfully strange escapism and a harrowing vision of what very well may soon be our reality.

SATURDAY

The Mess With Jesse Roth
Saturday, March 9 at The Footlight, 7 pm: $5-10 sliding scale

Some comedians describe themselves as clean, but performer Jesse Roth prefers her work to err on the messy side of things. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into flinging food and mud around (though there have been comedy shows where those things happen), but rather, she embraces the flawed nature of experimentation. At her recurring show at The Footlight, Roth delves into stand-up, dance, sketch, solo performance, music, and more, finding out what works along the way, and what doesn’t. This Saturday’s show features guests Steve Jeanty of hip-hop improv group North Coast and Graham Techler.

SUNDAY

(photo: Maria Baranova)

Skinnamarink
Now through March 23 at New York Theater Workshop, 3 pm (most shows at 7:30 pm): $30+  

First of all, if you don’t get that little children’s song in stuck in your head eternally after reading the title of this show, I envy you. Skinnamarink, the latest production from offbeat theater company Little Lord, takes its inspiration from McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, a series of vintage children’s books dating back to the 1800’s that aimed to teach the youth to read. Using this source material (and peanut butter, so if you’re allergic, consider yourself warned), the ensemble immerses the audience in a “little one-room schoolhouse of horrors” to educate on the curiously dark state and history of the American education system.

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Performance Picks: Living Dolls, Coding Controversy, and More

THURSDAY

(flyer via Eventbrite)

Quitters
Thursday, February 28 at C’mon Everybody, 8 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors 

It could be argued that February is a quitter. All the other months stretch on for 30 or 31 days, while February stops short. It gives up. And then, suddenly, it’s March, and you’re left wondering why rent costs the same for 28 days as it does for 31. Celebrate the last day of this short month tonight at Quitters, a comedy show hosted by Sam Corbin and Ian Goldstein that embraces failure in all its forms, particularly the funny ones. This time, they’re welcoming guests Karen Chee, Brett Davis, Marcia Belsky, and Matt Buechele to the stage, and audience members have the chance to confess their own memorable moment of quitting for a chance to win a free drink. More →

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Performance Picks: Green New Deal Raps, Comedians Get Serious

THURSDAY

(image via Make/Shift / Facebook)

SHE Creates 2k19
Now through February 24 at New Ohio Theater, various times: $25 

The hills are alive with the sound of performances from female-identifying and genderqueer artists at She Creates, a festival presented by Make/Shift and Akin running through the end of the weekend at the New Ohio Theater. The festival centers around the premiere of The Clark Doll, a play by Liz Morgan about three black women figuring out how to escape a confining situation, but it offers much more than just plays, with night after night of drag, performance art, live music, visual art, and more. More →

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A Very Burlesque Valentine’s, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Jen Gapay / Facebook)

Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular
Thursday, February 14 at Brooklyn Bowl, 7:30 pm: $25 

There are a staggering number of events of all stripes happening on Valentine’s Day, as show and party producers rush to appeal to the lovers, the lonely, and everyone in between. Some happenings are best enjoyed in a coupled sense, but others are fun for anyone. I wouldn’t say something called the Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular is necessarily fun for the whole family, due to the large quantities of well, titties, but it’s an evening that can certainly be a good time for anyone regardless of relationship status. “Singing siren” Shelly Watson will welcome a stacked lineup that includes Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Darling Just Darlinda, and this year’s Miss Coney Island Pearls Daily, plus live rockabilly music. More →

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Performance Picks: Electro-Opera, Kinky Dungeon, Experimental Comedy

FRIDAY

(image via The Kitchen / Facebook)

Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)
February 7-9 and 13-16 at The Kitchen, 8 pm: $25 

One of the most common ways people encounter opera is when very old compositions from well-known classical greats like Mozart are revived. This opera at The Kitchen is also a revival of sorts, but a more modern one: it has “newly reconstructed” a work from 1985 by late experimental composer Robert Ashley, staging it with a chorus of live vocalists and an “electronic orchestra.” The opera centers less around the Don in the title, but around a woman named Linda. She embarks upon many types of ventures spanning many locations and historical periods throughout the opera, all with varying degrees of success—something that should spark some level of familiarity in us all. More →

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Performance Picks: Gross Girls, Thirst Traps, and More

FRIDAY

(image via The Nobodies / Facebook)

The Nobodies Hosting All Stars 4
Friday, February 1 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 7 pm: FREE

The fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is upon us, and has been for some weeks now. It also happens to be the only season I have ever watched, and every week I am reminded of how much the main challenge of each episode typically resembles something I was once made to do in theater school. If you don’t want to watch alone, sashay to Brooklyn Bazaar, where drag collective (and pro-wrestling aficionados) The Nobodies will be hosting a screening of the latest episode, as they do every week. Obviously when drag performers host a Drag Race screening, you’re not just going to get people sitting and staring at a screen. This is a show in its own right: expect live drag acts, bingo, banter, and even the chance to do your own lip-synch if you so desire.

SATURDAY

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Performance Picks: Dystopian Theater, A C.R.E.A.M. Afternoon, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Nova Experiment / Facebook)

EthnoGraphic
Thursday, January 24 at Eris Evolution, 8 pm: $11 advance, $15 doors

The average show in Brooklyn—comedy, burlesque, music, and beyond—seems to have gotten a touch more diverse in recent years, but it’s still common to walk into a venue and see predominantly white faces staring back. That’s not the case at burlesque performer Stella Nova’s EthnoGraphic, a variety show featuring exclusively performers of color. As Nova does burlesque herself, the lineup is filled with striptease and pasties, with acts from Abby Fantastic, Fox Squire, and Lady Mabuhay, as well as slam poet Omar Holman and comedian Lauren Clark. More →

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Performance Picks: Literary Roasts, Asian Drag, 100 People In A Room

WEDNESDAY

(image via Drunk Education / Facebook)

Drunk Education: Roasts of ‘Great’ Literary Men
Wednesday, January 16 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 7 pm: FREE

The books you read in school growing up (and maybe even now) were most likely written by (white) men, save for a few exceptions. There were plenty of opportunities to discuss this work, usually mandatory, but most of the time this involved parsing through the analytical layers of it all, marveling at what a multifaceted creation had come into existence at the hands of these men. Wednesday’s Drunk Education is a little different. Notable literary men will be the central topic, yes, but they’ll be roasted by three women writers (Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos, Observer’s Helen Holmes, and freelancer Becca Schuh) until nothing is left but some charred remains. More →