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A Show With A Spanking Booth, Oscars Comedy, and More Performance Picks

FRIDAY

(image via Cry Baby / Facebook)

Cry Baby
Friday, February 7 at Secret Location, 9:30 pm: FREE

It’s supposed to rain quite a bit today, which is kind of like the sky is crying. That’s fitting, as today is the return of the Cry Baby comedy show, serving up a night of lively stand-up followed by a party in a secret, DIY location in Bushwick. Hosted by comedic dynamic duo Abe and Dekunle, tonight’s show features Nore Davis, Sonia Denis, Eman El-Husseini, Lucas Connolly, Shelley Kim, and Jeff Wiles. Perhaps you’ll laugh so hard you’ll cry.

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Witchcraft Is Everywhere, and I’m Trying It Out For a Spell

Emma Westbrook is a modern witch, business owner, and intuitive. She’s been reading tarot since age 16. (Photos courtesy of the subjects.)

On the Aries full moon, October 13, Emma Westbrook, an Aries, orders iced coffee. Her sharp, neon space babe acrylic nails toy with her disintegrating compostable straw. A nostalgic smile tugs at her lips as she recalls her first spell, one she cast on her high school boyfriend. She sat at the counter in her family’s Long Island kitchen with some cinnamon (to “quicken things”), some basil (a “love herb”) and two unscented tea-lights because her parents “hate scents.” More →

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Art This Week: Updated Art History and Design for Old Age

(image via Pratt Exhibitions / Facebook)

New Old: Designing For Our Future Selves
Opening Thursday, February 6 at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 23.

Technology has always been both a blessing and a curse, but recently this sort of cognitive dissonance has become more and more apparent. Amidst looming hyper-surveillance and other technological developments that might give you goosebumps, there’s still the truth that tech and design can be harnessed for good. The latest exhibition at Pratt’s 14th Street gallery, curated by Jeremy Myerson, explores this by focusing on innovation in the field of aging and how that can manifest by way of design, from cars to clothes and beyond. 

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Haven’t Seen ‘Parasite’ Yet? Be a Mooch and Watch It For Free

Ever since Parasite made its local premiere at the New York Film Festival in October, everyone’s been talking about the Bong Joon-ho thriller about a working-class Korean family that insinuates itself into the life of a much wealthier family, to– let’s just say– memorable effect. If you haven’t seen it because movies are just so expensive these days, and if, somehow, no one has spoiled it for you at this point, you may want to get over to Industry City on Friday for a boozy free screening. Score one for the proletariat! More →

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Unpacking the Asian Artist’s Identity in America

From left to right: Paula Sim, Katrina Bello, Gamin Kang, Chongren Fan and Kuldeep Singh.(Photos: Hoa P. Nguyen)

Since arriving in the U.S. five years ago, Paula Sim feels like she hasn’t found her community. “When Crazy Rich Asians came out and then The Farewell came out, there was such a big media frenzy about Asian representation in media. But these are mostly Asian Americans,” said the Singapore-born actress, who moved to New York after earning an MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. “I was like, that’s not me still.”  More →

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Can Political Buttons Tell Us Who’s Going to Win the Election?

(Photos by Frank Mastropolo)

Iowa may be overrun with presidential candidates before tonight’s caucuses but campaign junkies gathered Sunday at Seward Park High School for the annual Political Memorabilia Show. The school’s alumni association and the Big Apple Chapter of the American Political Items Collectors presented a dizzying array of posters, buttons and banners dating to the 1800s. More →

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The Early Word on Five Buzzy NYC Films That Premiered at Sundance

Dick Johnson is Dead” (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Dick Johnson is Dead

Dick Johnson dies many times in Dick Johnson is Dead, a hilarious and moving documentary portrait helmed by critics’ favorite Kirsten Johnson. Dick is Kirsten’s dad, and he’s suffering from dementia. The documentary charts her relationship with him over his final years, during which he moves out of his rural home and into Kirsten’s one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Over the documentary, Kirsten stages various ways in which her father could die — such as falling down a staircase, or getting crushed by a falling AC unit while doddering down the street. Each of these “deaths” feels grisly to a ridiculous degree, and as we watch Dick stand back up, alive, after each encounter, the movie evolves into a kind of absurdist cinematic therapy. Droll and divine in equal measure, Dick Johnson is Dead was a highlight of this year’s festival, proving Johnson a master of her craft. More →

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Red Envelopes Become Rat Envelopes When Artists Celebrate the Lunar New Year

(Photos by Zijia Song)

During Lunar New Year celebrations, Chinese, East Asian, and Southeast Asian elders traditionally give red envelopes to their children and grandchildren, who eagerly tear them open to find out how much money is inside. But Wednesday night at DeKalb Market Hall, the humble red packets were themselves valued at $10 to $400 apiece. No tearing in sight. More →