Glow Up!: An All POC Variety Show Thursday, August 16 at Starr Bar, 8:45 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors
Queer drag performers Noctua and C’ètait BonTemps host this variety show featuring exclusively artists of color. If you’ve been posting on social media about how bad white supremacy in America is lately, attending would be a good way to put your money where your mouth is and support a show where the lineup, hosts, and producers are all people of color. And what can you expect out of the night? The lineup isn’t too packed with people, but the ones they do have really pack a punch: burlesque performer Miss Sugar Mamasota, soulful singer Cherry, drag and music artist Laé D. Boi, and Texas-based pole and burlesque performer Black Orchid.More →
Teenage Dick Now through July 15 at The Public Theater, 7:30 pm (weekend matinees at 1:30 pm): $50+
As I’ve discussed several times before, wacky Shakespeare adaptations are a dime a dozen. Normally, this manifests in the form of doing something other than the expected set design, costume design, or casting, while leaving the original script—and sometimes other age-old practices—intact. Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick, presented by the Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with The Public Theater, does something different. It portrays Richard III (“the most famous disabled character of all time”) as a high school junior with cerebral palsy who is determined to become class president, and will do whatever it takes to get there. Given that most productions of Richard III feature an able-bodied actor in the titular role even when breaking with tradition in other parts of the staging (yes I’ve written about this topic before), this play’s focus on both authentic casting and disability is a breath of fresh air. More →
Citizens United II: What Happened? Wednesday, January 17 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15
If you couldn’t tell from the title alone, this is a political show. Though just to clarify, it’s not a staged reading of the Hillary Clinton book. At least, I don’t think it is. “Leftist performance collective” Citizens United returns once more to the Ars Nova stage to parse through these troubled political times by way of drag shows, poetry, performance art, punk music, and more. The group joins the many artistic efforts happening this month to commemorate-slash-mourn the one-year anniversary of the presidential inauguration. In fact, the last time Citizens United brought their unique stylings to the stage was January 2017. What has happened since that fateful month is dizzying and often cringe-worthy to think of, and possibly perfectly summed up by a night of chaotic performance. More →
It is time once again for the slew of winter theater festivals that usually fill the month of January to its very brim, and cause many an artist to triple-check their schedule and/or wallets to see how they can make it all work. Beginning on Thursday is one of the most notable fests, Under The Radar, presented by The Public Theater. Though it’s only 12 days, there are more than 155 performances across five venues. Even slightly pondering that gives me scheduling-related anxiety.
A brief sampling of highlights: Roger Guenveur Smith and CalArts’s piece exploring the New Year’s Eve concert Jimi Hendrix played in 1969 in NYC, queer ensemble Split Britches’s meditation on anxiety and doomsday created in collaboration with local artists and elders, a concert of work by Erin Markey and Emily Bate, harunalee’s exploration of how memory can be gendered and racialized, Cuban company Teatro El Público’s underground drag-cabaret version of Antigone, and more. There is truly so much more. More →
Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology Opening Thursday, December 14 at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 21.
Though the title of this exhibition may call to mind a really wrinkly cell phone, it is in fact a reference to the ideology of the creator of the Nintendo Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi. This sort of reference feels right at home when it comes to this show by Shinji Murakami, which will transform a gallery space into an illuminated augmented reality playland. His materials of choice tend to be more traditional, such as wood, plastic, and glue, but he also uses vast amount of LED lights. Altogether, this creates a homage to 1980s gaming, particularly the simple and nostalgic 8-bit aesthetic. In the midst of this 8-bit world, the artist has turned an LED panel into a real-time display of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed, a clear reminder that while the gallery may look rooted in the technology of the past, we are in the present, and it’s a present that may not be too far away from colonizing other planets. More →
(flyer via Branded Content: A Corporate Variety Hour / Facebook)
Branded Content Presents: Whole Foods Thursday, November 2 at Pine Box Rock Shop, 8 pm: FREE
Ah, it appears the brands are at it again, my friends. The brands are always at it again. In this case, the brands are going seasonal, as the weather is finally getting colder some of the days but other days it feels like summer still and the earth will surely burn to a crisp sooner than we know it. Anyway, while we still have time on this strange planet we call home, you might as well spend a Thursday night watching some free comedy at a show that is all about the perils and peculiarities of brands and their content. The evening is hosted by Simone Norman and Jackson Fisher, and features Jay Jurden, Jeremyah Schur, Mary Houlihan, Kate Dellis, Gianmarco Soresi, and Chanel Ali, with a little help from the biggest jokester of all, Whole Foods. More →
Chocolate Dances’ Costume Party Tasting Performance Wednesday, October 11 and Saturday, October 14 at Triskelion Arts, 8 pm: $30 advance, $35 doors
Sometimes, chocolate is paired with wine. Sometimes, ice cream. Sometimes, milk. Sometimes chocolate is eaten in groups, sometimes alone in a bedroom in large quantities in the dark of night. Less so is chocolate associated with dancing, but this show will almost certainly change that. Chocolate Dances is a company run by Megan Sipe, who is both a choreographer and a literal chocolatier. She has wisely combined these two things into a night that pairs dance performance with handmade chocolates, from decadent infused truffles to smatterings of cacao nibs. Plus, there will be colorful and fun costumes, and even some for the audience to try on, which might be a good idea in case you get chocolate on yourself, which is likely. I’ve seen Megan and her cohorts perform several times before, and tried her chocolates, and I must say you will be in for a treat. Literally and figuratively. More →
Street Theater September 20-October 4 at The Eagle Bar, 7 pm: $25
The “father of modern queer theater” is back, and fittingly doing a show inside a gay leather bar in Manhattan. Yes, the late playwright and Stonewall Uprising participant Doric Wilson, who recently received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to gay theater, is bringing his satirical Stonewall play Street Theater to Chelsea’s The Eagle.
Street Theater, which won an Innovative Theater award for a recent prior revival, was written in part to chronicle the events and people Wilson experienced personally at Stonewall in 1969. It’s produced by The Other Side of Silence (TSOS), one of the city’s first LGBT-centric theater companies, initially co-founded by Wilson and “resurrected” in 2002 by Wilson, Street Theater‘s director Mark Finley, and Barry Childs. Plus, after the show tonight, it’s “jockstrap night” at the bar. More →
What is a body? Well, that’s a good question. For one, it’s a sack of flesh with some organs in it. But it’s also so much more. This performance and panel discussion delves into the inherent relationship that live performance has with bodies. If you make something and perform it yourself, the way your body exists, moves, and functions affects how that performance happens. Additionally, the societal constructs regarding bodies and how they should act and appear will affect the audience’s perception of the performance. Is there a way to prevent or subvert this? Performers Erin Markey, Neil Goldberg, and Jonathan Gonzalez will all show you some of their work, and then discuss what you’ve seen and how it relates to the big wide world of bodies. More →
The Sex Myth: A Devised Play August 16-20 at HERE Arts Center, 8:30 pm (Sunday at 4 pm): $35
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to state that most of America had either an awful sex ed or none at all. Sure, you can take to the internet in all its glory to learn a thing or two, but formal sex education programs are notoriously lacking. This has created a hush-hush attitude around carnal matters, which leads to shame, misinformation, sensationalism, and a whole host of other not-so-great stuff. A new devised show, The Sex Myth, uses real stories and experiences to expand conceptions of what is “normal” in bedrooms and bodies alike.