The Perfect Play Wednesday, December 21 at JACK, 7 pm: $15
Not much seems perfect in 2016, especially in these last few moments. However, at Clinton Hill art space JACK, experimental performance ensemble Banana Bag and Bodice will summon a crop of luminaries of the downtown theater and performance world in a grand attempt at perfection. If a pursuit of flawlessness makes your eyes roll into oblivion, let me clarify that what these folks are actually doing is staging their fourth annual adults-only musical weirdo version of the classic Nativity story. You know, the perfect child, the virgin birth, etc.? Perfect. There’s certainly a lot to unpack here. Particularly the virgin birth– I still have a lot of questions about that. But I trust that this merry gang of creators, who have also dreamt up concoctions like a Beowulf musical and an experimental piece on political prisoners scored by a soundscape of found objects like fishbowls and license plates, will do the whole thing justice. After the formal show, stick around for drinks and “special Christmas musical maneuverings.”
The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”
What is “pole fitness”? Isn’t it an exercise fad for bored midwest housewives? “Hopefully it will be one day,” says Karimah Gottschalk, an advertising resource manager by day and pole dancer by evening. “That’ll be the trickle-down effect of it becoming non-stigmatized.” With a thriving competition circuit, the mainstreaming of pole fitness may already be on its way.
(Photo by Brody Brodo, courtesy of Schtick a Pole in It)
Comics have a lot to compete with in this town– each other, for one– so it’s safe to assume that a stand-up can only be trying to realize some kind of suicide pact if they willingly join a lineup filled with pole dancers. But as Schtick a Pole In It– the monthly show at Drom that brings together comics and pole jockeys (unfortunately not pole dancing comics, yet anyway) whose third anniversary is happening in January– proves, the combination actually makes for a seriously titillating experience that benefits everyone involved.
If you thought pole dancing was just a thing for strippers and dance instructors (or strippers turned dance instructors), you thought wrong. It’s a thing for art galleries too. This Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. artists Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly will be showcasing their exhibition P.O.L.E.—People, Objects, Language, Exchange—at the New Museum Lobby Gallery. The exhibit will be on daily at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. from February 4 to 15. The main attraction is Two Brothers, where a colorful array of entertainers—from exotic dancers to contemporary artists to those ever embattled subway performers —will perform around two 16-foot brass poles. More →