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.
If you ask Anya Sapozhnikova, co-founder of glitzy Bushwick club and venue House of Yes, Halloween is the biggest party season in New York. It’s also “kind of the most consent violation-y weekend of the whole year,” she tells me, something that’s far scarier than any ghouls or fake blood. That’s why starting this week, both her venue and Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. will be spearheading a consent education initiative in the form of a website and posters that will be displayed in prominent nightlife venues throughout the city, with future plans that could make this type of consent-centric signage required. More →
Red Emma and the Mad Monk Now through September 1 at The Tank, 8 pm: $20-30
Nowadays, when one thinks about theater (particularly any form of commercial theater, Broadway or otherwise), radical politics aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second or third for that matter. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see this serve as the cornerstone of Red Emma and the Mad Monk, a new play with music by Alexis Roblan presented as part of The Tank’s Ladyfest. It centers around a 12 year-old girl who has a mystic Russian imaginary friend and enjoys fighting online with “deplorables,” an unsettling pastime for someone so young, but it probably happens more than we’d like to think. In the midst of this, she learns about the influential anarchist activist Emma Goldman, and starts to consider the world a bit differently.More →
Hot Mess: Drag Competition Wednesday, July 11 at House of Yes, 10 pm: FREE
When you think of a drag competition, surely one certain television show comes to mind. But, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has made clear, not every type of drag performer is allowed to partake. But at Madame Vivien V’s live drag competition Hot Mess, there are no such limitations. “All drag is equal so whatever form you take, [whether] you are a seasoned professional or a baby darling, if you’ve got something to say, we want to give you the stage,” the event page articulates, noting that the show will include queens, kings, “queerdos,” and whomever else may want to strut their stuff. The winner will receive the coveted title of Mx. Hot Mess, as well as $100 cash. Plus, unlike a lot of events at the glitzy House of Yes, it’s free.More →
The toast of Brooklyn’s nightlife descended on the Poconos for BangOn!’s Elements Lakewood Festival, now in its second year. The best of our local DJs, performers, and party organizers united with an international roster including Claude VonStroke, REZZ, and Jamie Jones to create an extrasensory experience for the roughly 5,000 attendees, with music and more going well past dawn every day. More →
(photo: Ian Douglas, courtesy of American Realness)
American Realness Now through January 16 at Abrons Arts Center and other venues, various times and prices.
If you thought last week’s Performance Picks covered all the winter theater festival shows to see, you would be incorrect. There are actually more, believe it or not. Abrons Arts Center and Gibney Dance’s American Realness festival began yesterday, bringing with it a slew of dance and movement-based works, including several world premieres. Whether you’re interested in profound performance art, classic dance, or pop cultural tribute, American Realness likely has you covered.
Some intriguing titles include nora chipaumire’s punk salute to Patti Smith and Zimbabwe, Neal Medlyn’s investigation into Pina Bausch and his years as an “untrained dancer in New York contemporary dance,” NIC Kay’s solo performance inspired by queer ballroom and Butoh, Adrienne Truscott’s “dance about dance without any dance,” Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis’s physical delve into the seeing and perceiving of bodies both disabled and not, and of course, more. More →
Ok. I know what you’re thinking. You want to see a magic show, but you don’t know where to go. Well, as it turns out there is one happening tonight. While you ooh and ahh over my magnificent mind-reading skills, Wondershow is gearing up to show you mind-bending tricks at the Bushwick venue with some of the bendiest bodies I’ve ever seen, House of Yes.
Wondershow is hosted by magician and mentalist Eric Walton. I would explain his work by relating it to someone else’s, but the event description calls him “incomparable,” and I don’t want a magic spell to be cast on me if I disobey. The show also features mind reader Eric Dittelman (of America’s Got Talent), knife-thrower The Great Throwdini, “Western variety arts” master Chris McDaniel, and ballerina/burlesque performer Aurora Black. For those ageless or nostalgic folk mourning the loss of the early 20th century burlesque and vaudeville shows that used to be so commonplace in areas like Midtown, surely you’ll be in for a treat.
From You Are So Lucky’s Halloween party in Alder Manor last fall. Credit: Alex Nero.
When they arrive at You Are So Lucky, the mysterious three-day spectacle this weekend in which “125 artists, musicians, and performers are taking over an abandoned gothic manor at the edge of the city,” the first thing attendees will see are the sprawling 33-acre grounds of a 72-room Gilded Age mansion overlooking the Hudson.
In some ways the venue itself is the headliner, said renowned underground party impresario Will Etundi, one of the organizers. “The grounds are incredible. Grass at your feet, the open sky, a sweeping view of the Palisades,” he said. “It feels like you are in a fairy tale, with old mansions, trees, old statuary, rock formations….You are right on the edge of New York City but it feels like you are a few hundred miles, and a few hundred years, away.”
Tonight, witness this fine-tuned evening of powerhouse performance, live music, and installations from an array of artists working in movement, visual, and sound mediums. Curated by multidisciplinary gal Ariele Max (who will also be performing), the evening is comprised of hyper-sexual “inverted gospel” musician/performer Cole, choreographer and installation artist steeped in dystopian imagery Kathleen Dycaico, research and ritual-based artist Autumn Ahn, and musician/choreographer/etc Richard Kennedy.
It’ll cost you $10 to get in, but the price includes a full day of exploring Superchief Gallery, plus wine and the mysterious notion of “edible art.” Why touch the art when you can eat it? More →
Sexxxplosion! Wednesday, December 14 at The Rosemont, 9 pm: FREE
This event is for the later crowd, especially if you like to experience a show and a party all at the same time, in the same place. Queers, colorful folk, and nightlife crawlers alike will gather in jazzy Bushwick cocktail bar The Rosemont (opened by Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce) for a night of lip-sync and general debauchery. The lineup, hosted by Andrew Ayres, includes ultra-flexible burlesque babe Apathy Angel, “vegan goddess” Slater G. String, photographer and performer Gypsy Hill, and “part dandy part showgirl” Nellee Dii. Rounding out the evening is Neon Music, spinning tunes all night. Performances begin at 11 pm, which is late enough to feel mysterious and nightlife-y but early enough for people to actually be conscious for them. Grab one of the Rosemont’s bespoke cocktails (or a beer and a shot) and prepare for a “Sexxxplosion.”