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Performance Picks: Puppet Folktales, Chilean Mine Immersion, and Some Much-Needed Laughs

WEDNESDAY

(image via Facebook)

(image via Facebook)

Secret
At La MaMa, 66 E 4th Street, East Village. 8pm. Free. More info here
I can’t say I know a ton about Watoku Ueno’s one-night-only piece at La MaMa, but maybe they’re staying true to their name and keeping all the juicy details a secret… What I do know is that it’s based off Japanese folklore, specifically a story known as “Crane Wife,” where a man marries a woman who is really a crane in disguise and makes money by weaving her own feathers into silk brocade and leaves once her husband finds out she’s really a crane. That is true independence and craftiness, if I do say so myself. Secret includes not only dance and live music but also some glorious shadow puppetry that will bring this odd little tale to life.
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12 Hours on a Bed Of Salt and 4 More Performances You Should See

(photo: Nick McManus)

(photo: Nick McManus)

WEDNESDAY

Circus of Dreams
At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 10pm. $7 suggested donation. More info here
This monthly performance art variety show has been going on for a couple years now and still never fails to surprise me. Though it’s impossible to predict or even properly describe what shenanigans will occur, there will be gender-blurred burlesque, shocking circus stunts, a senior citizen contortionist who has had several hip surgeries and is still going strong, dominatrix performance art, and zany audience participation. And that’s just a sampling. This month is glam-themed, so I’m sure there will be sparkles and over-the-top outfits everywhere the eye can see. Get there early to beat the inevitable crowd, it’ll make getting a drink in a timely manner much more feasible and you can see some nice preshow go-go dancing.
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Performance Picks: PowerPoint Presents and an Appearance by Ronald Trump

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

Ike At Night
Now through June 4, Wednesday through Saturday at The Bushwick Starr: $18. 
Acclaimed comic performer Ikechukwu Ufomadu hosts a talk show of his own creation at the Bushwick Starr. Each night is different, featuring a new selection of handpicked artistic guests each time, including  B+B fave M Lamar, theatre director Richard Maxwell, performance group Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, The Dance Cartel choreographer Ani Taj, and more. More →

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Performance Picks: Campy Cats, Poetry Brothel Séance, and Experimental Comedy

THURSDAY

(photo: Jody Christopherson)

(photo: Jody Christopherson)

Strays
Continues through May 14 at The Brick, 575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. 7:30pm (Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm). $18. More info here
Imagine an episode of Law and Order with only two people in it. Now imagine those two people playing every character. Add a missing cat, a suicide prevention hotline worker who also once worked as a stripper, some lo-fi multimedia, and a hearty scoop of madcap campiness, and you’ll have a thick stew similar to acclaimed writer and performer Kim Katzberg’s new play Strays, where two actors (Katzberg, with Nora Woolley) take on a long list of character and an even longer list of hijinks.

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Crawl Into The Gutter as a Brooklyn Ale House Vet Recounts His ‘Life Behind Bars’

via Dan Ruth

(Photo by Jamahl Richardson)

Walking the streets of Williamsburg, Dan Ruth can point out the buildings where squatters used to hold court. He still remembers the excellent soundtrack at King’s Pharmacy, the unvarnished temperament of the lady behind the Stroll-In Video counter, impromptu concerts in the back of bars, and gaggles of old ladies acting as the sentinels of his block. He wouldn’t claim to be part of the first wave of artists and musicians moving out to Williamsburg in search of cheap rents, but he was definitely hot on their heels.

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Weekend Performance Picks, And One To Spice Up Your Monday

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(photo via Lorelei Ramirez / Facebook)

FRIDAY

Do Something Variety Show
At Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg. 8pm. $5 suggested donation. More info here
The wacky and humorous Jo Firestone co-hosts this bizarre-sounding recurring variety show of mostly comedic madness this Friday night. There will be poetry readings, tunes, comedy, and even something “wiggly and crazy.” Also someone/thing named Crimbo, who remains a mystery to me. Throw in some cheap drinks, and I am not sure one needs anything more.

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4 Performances Not to Miss This Weekend

FRIDAY

(photo: Patrick Moore)

(photo: Patrick Moore)

Lear
Continues through February 20 at New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th Street, Chelsea. 7:30pm; Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here
Acclaimed dance artist Valda Setterfeld, sporting a shock of white hair, crafts her own version of Shakespeare’s Lear in collaboration with Irish choreographer John Scott. Interestingly, Setterfeld herself plays Lear while the King’s daughters are played by three men. Don’t expect this to be an evening of period dress and Classical language. Setterfeld may be the right age to play Lear, but this unique and movement-driven creation seems anything but typical.

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With Erotic, Girl-Power Snow White On Stage, Who Needs Seven Little Men?

Center in red, Hilly Bodin  as Snow White , Laura Careless as the Queen (Photo by Mark Shelby Perry, courtesy of Company XIV)

Center in red, Hilly Bodin as Snow White , Laura Careless as the Queen (Photo by Mark Shelby Perry, courtesy of Company XIV)

I was not feeling particularly delighted when I nestled into my seat at Company XIV‘s stage production of Snow White. Firstly, the theater smelled like a brothel before Yankee Candle Company was invented (intentionally, I assume), and Sundays are the last day I want to be getting all experimental with my olfactory receptors. All. Organs. Ache. Even my ability to laugh is usually squandered at this point– lolz are wasted on the youth, am I right? So when this baroque, gyrating, barely-clothed, indulgent mishmash of Versailles’s gaudiest decor, the charming Weimar cabaret, classical ballet, pole dancing, and remnants of the Brothers Grimm managed to turn my bottom-grazing sulk into 100-percent authentic laughter and delight, I was so, so happy I’d crawled out of my bed to be with Company XIV’s Snow White.

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Performance Picks: Erotic Monologues, Black Mass, Durational Dance

Missed January’s exhausting theater festivals and still crave stuff to see? This week brings variety shows (as usual), erotic monologues, a black mass, durational dance, and more.

WEDNESDAY

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

Circus of Dreams

At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9:30pm. $7-20 suggested donation. More info here

This is one of the first weird variety shows I ever went to, and I haven’t looked back since. Circus of Dreams, an unpredictable and odd monthly variety show formerly hosted by Matthew Silver and now helmed by the vivacious Lindsee Lonesome (one-half of brash music group Marital Dispute), is both a strange wonderland and warm community of weirdo artists who consistently bring their wacky ideas to life in the typically welcoming and aptly-named Bizarre Bar. Sometimes you’ll see naked people. Sometimes you’ll get cake thrown on you. Sometimes both will happen. Either way, you certainly won’t be bored. And admittedly this week I’m working the door, so come say hi.

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Performance Picks: Bloody Celeb Humor, Motherly Folktales, Murder Mystery

If the The Fire This Time Festival and The Exponential Festival have you festivaled out, here are some other choice performances to check out.

WEDNESDAY

(photo via mollypope.com)

(photo via mollypope.com)

An Audience With Molly Pope At Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., East Village; 9:30pm (also at 7pm on 1/27). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here
“Neo-retro” cabaret artist Molly Pope has performed many times all over the city and garnered much praise along the way, but this time she’s doing a little something more: recording her first album. Of course, that’s also happening in front of a live audience, led by a six-piece band. And don’t worry, there will be a sing-along, and audience members who partake will in fact be credited as back-up artists on the album. It’s your chance to be a star!

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