Quiet as a Space Opening reception Thursday, March 14 at 54 Eldridge Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 1.
One type of trendy online content today can be found under the label “oddly satisfying.” Paint cutting videos, hands poking indents in spheres of colorful slime, objects fitting perfectly into one another, and so on. Imagery like that can be calming to observe, even if you don’t know exactly why. The work of artist Adrian Kay Wong, an LA dweller bringing his work to the Lower East Side beginning Thursday, has a similar feel to it. Smooth diagonal slashes, even squares, symmetrical curves, and more calming geometry abounds in Wong’s paintings, which are graced with bold colors and landscapes populated with desks, lamps, couches, and flowers. They’re simple, they’re impressive, and they’re definitely satisfying.More →
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.
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.
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.
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 →
It’s a shame you can’t consume paintings with more than just your eyes, as the works on view at Food For Thought, opening Thursday at Soho gallery Louis K. Meisel, certainly look good enough to eat. That’s not a metaphor: they’re artistic renderings of food, from sugary, cellophane-wrapped confections to simple still lives of walnuts or onions. The edible item isn’t always front and center in this stuffed show—some pieces are intricate retro renderings of the signs outside of diners, bars, or burger joints; others are painted nudes where the subject just happens to be holding an apple. Either way, the food is there. Sometimes you have to look for it, sometimes it’s so prominent you’ll start feeling peckish.More →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Destruction and Transformation: Vernacular Photography and the Built Environment Opening Thursday, February 7 at The Walther Collection, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 25.
No geographic location ever looks exactly the same over time, but if there’s one type of place that has the most potential for rapid transformation, it’s cities. This photo show at Chelsea’s The Walther Collection seeks to spotlight photographs taken throughout history that reveal the ways buildings and land have been knocked down and built upon, and not always in beneficial ways. Taken between 1876 and 2000, this “vernacular photography” (defined as “utilitarian imagery made primarily for commercial or personal purposes”) illustrates how urban expansion has been historically valued more than preserving the natural world, from mining towns in rural Kentucky and West Virginia to the sprawling metropolises of NYC and Los Angeles.More →
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.
Tilt, the basement bar and club underneath the McKibbin Lofts not to be confused with nearby arcade sports bar Tiltz, is about to get a whole lot gayer. The bar, which co-owners of the legendary Lit Lounge opened in December 2016 with The Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce, is about to re-open as The Vault, a gay bar helmed by a team who are no strangers to queer Brooklyn nightlife.
The trio of owners—Meg Cavanagh, Cameron Cole, and Josh Luis—met through their various involvements (“bartending and DJing and working for drag queens”) in Brooklyn’s thriving LGBTQ nightlife scene, primarily at the now-closed Williamsburg space This N’ That. Cavanagh explains Tilt’s owners reached out to some of their friends about how to go about transforming the space into a gay bar, and their friends referred the trio to Tilt. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened; East Williamsburg bar The Rosemont went from a jazz club to a queer space filled with drag shows back in 2017. “It’s always easier to start a space that has some kind of beginnings to it than to start from scratch,” Cavanagh adds.