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Performance Picks: Dystopian Theater, A C.R.E.A.M. Afternoon, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Nova Experiment / Facebook)

EthnoGraphic
Thursday, January 24 at Eris Evolution, 8 pm: $11 advance, $15 doors

The average show in Brooklyn—comedy, burlesque, music, and beyond—seems to have gotten a touch more diverse in recent years, but it’s still common to walk into a venue and see predominantly white faces staring back. That’s not the case at burlesque performer Stella Nova’s EthnoGraphic, a variety show featuring exclusively performers of color. As Nova does burlesque herself, the lineup is filled with striptease and pasties, with acts from Abby Fantastic, Fox Squire, and Lady Mabuhay, as well as slam poet Omar Holman and comedian Lauren Clark. More →

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Performance Picks: Exponential Festival, Comedy, and Sex Work

(image via Exponential Festival / Facebook)

The Exponential Festival
Now through February 2 at various venues, various times: $20

The Exponential Festival is a little different from the many theater festivals setting up shop in venues across the city this month. It’s exclusively based in Brooklyn, the material it champions is a little weirder and genre-expansive than what you might typically think of as “theater,” and it runs longer, which means both more shows (a dizzying array, really) and more chances to see them. Some highlights include a new short play by Athena playwright Gracie Gardner, a double bill of comedy from Justin Linville and David Perez, a play based on the Talmud and Kung-Fu films, a dystopian psychosexual musical with a disco soundtrack, an intimate show involving one audience member and one performer, and A Doll’s House, Part 3.

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Performance Picks: Three Theater Festivals and Quit-Happy Comedy

A scene from Chambre Noire, running January 10-13 at The Public Theater as part of The Public’s 15th Annual Under the Radar Festival. Photo Credit: Benoit Schupp

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 13 at The Public Theater (some shows at offsite venues), various times: $30

Yesterday marked the start of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, which showcases new performance from around the globe and is now in its impressive 15th year. While most of the shows take place at The Public, some are staged elsewhere, from Chelsea’s SVA Theater to The Met. Festival loyalists may recognize some familiar names—Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey’s [50/50] old school animation, a monologue-based work about violence that’s hard to adequately describe, also appeared as part of UTR’s smaller fest-within-a-fest last year, but is chillingly compelling enough to warrant a repeat viewing. Other highlights include creative storytellers James + Jerome filling the halls of The Met with their music-laced tales, multimedia puppet-centric riffs on both Frankenstein (Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein) and Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas (Plexus Polaire’s Chambre Noir), an evening with darkly odd comedian Lorelei Ramirez, and more. More →

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A Jane Jacobs Theater Festival, Machine Learning Comedy, and More Shows To See

WEDNESDAY

(image via Caveat / Facebook)

Internet Explorers
Wednesday, December 19 at Caveat, 9 pm: $10

The internet can be a scary place, so that’s why this show has comedians to help you navigate the tangled mess that is the World Wide Web. If only it was a Mr. World Wide Web, and Pitbull was the sole creator and moderator of the online world. How different things might be… But they aren’t, so come to Caveat and see Mark Vigeant, a custom-made Twitter bot, and a merry band of assorted jokesters (including Botnik Studios, an “entertainment group” that uses machine learning) serve up their best material about artificial intelligence, the force that may one day replace humanity. More →

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Performance Picks: Drag Karaoke, Bread and Puppet Theater, and More

THURSDAY

(image via BEEF Show / Facebook)

Yell Club
Thursday, December 14 at Rockbar NYC, 9 pm: FREE

People seem to like karaoke, and people seem to like drag shows. These two groups don’t necessarily seem to always overlap, but come Thursday night they will unite at Yell Club, where one person sings karaoke while a drag performer lip-synchs that very same song. So, those of you who feel uninterested or afraid of doing drag but like singing songs when weird MIDI tracks and projected lyrics are involved (shoutout to Sun Fly, the weird karaoke backing track brand bug mascot I have taken a liking to), this will be your night to shine while also giving other performers some material.

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Performance Picks: Talk Hole’s GAPE, A Senior Center Collaboration, and More

WEDNESDAY

(image via Talk Hole / Facebook)

GAPE: Gift Activating Public Experience
Wednesday, December 5 at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, 7:30 pm: FREE

While government organizations like USPS are taking the day off today to mourn George H.W. Bush and making my packages arrive in the mail a day later than they’re supposed to, which I will continue to be excessively salty about, others are taking to the streets for a little public engagement. Or shall I say, engape-ment? Anyhow, weirdo comedy queers Talk Hole (Stephen Phillips-Horst and Eric Schwartau) are taking over the World Trade Center Oculus for a seasonal evening of jokes, surprises, gifts, and gapes. Maybe not the last two, this is a public space after all, but you never know with these guys. Joining the duo will be Cole Escola, Ayo Edebiri, Lily Marotta, Ruby McCollister, Alex Schmidt, and DJ Physical Therapy. More →

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Performance Picks: Perspectives On Slave Galleries, Vengeful Burlesque, and More

THURSDAY

(image via SUP Comedy / Facebook)

The ‘SUP Show
Thursday, November 8 at Caveat, 9 pm: $8 advance, $10 doors

Once again, this recurring comedic showcase of women, queer, and gender non-conforming performers comes to Caveat to give you the best bits n’ jokes found at their open mic of the same name, which recently moved to The Footlight Bar in Ridgewood. The whole affair is hosted by Juliet Prather, Maddie Fischer, Fareeha Khan, Jesse Roth, and Stephanie Pace, which I always find to be an impressive amount of hosts. The lineup for this particular shindig is TBD, but the fact that you’re going in not knowing the lineup, but still knowing it’s going to be free of racist white dudes complaining about how everyone is offended makes me feel a lot more confident recommending it. More →

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Performance Picks: Spooky Shows (And More) Galore

THURSDAY

(image via Vic Sin / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, October 18 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

If you think that most drag, burlesque, and variety shows aren’t going to be spooky-themed for pretty much the entire month of October, you’d best think again. You’d be hard-pressed to find an evening that doesn’t involve some sort of witches, blood, ghouls, or at the very least, goth attire. Vic Sin’s monthly Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret makes no exception; its “spoopy show” promises to be everything you’d expect from a Halloween show and simultaneously nothing you’d expect, with performances from Sugar Mamasota, Shanita Bump, Madame Vivien V, Seedy Edie, Jack Barrow, Larissa McCoy, Pieretta Viktori, and burlesque duo The Schlep Sisters. More →

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Comedic Techno, Talking Rakes, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(photo by Patrick Arias, image via Facebook)

Queer As In Fuck You: Is It Halloween Yet?
Thursday, October 11 at Otto’s Shrunken Head, 10 pm: $5-10 suggested donation

No, it’s not technically Halloween yet (just a few more weeks!) but being in attendance at Vylette Tendency’s punk drag show Queer As In Fuck You (guest hosted this time by devilish drag demon God Complex) might make you forget that, as you’ll be surrounded with spooky, creative looks and costumes far as the eye can see. While most alternative drag takes place in Brooklyn nowadays, this show did win the Brooklyn Nightlife Award honor of “Best Reason To Leave Brooklyn,” so you know it’s worth making the trek to 14th and B for tiki drinks, alt vibes, and performances by Ms. Ter, Angelica Sundae, Mini Horrorwitz, and Richard Dicocko. More →

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Performance Picks: Juggalos, Kinky Basement Shows, and Macabre Burlesque

THURSDAY

(photo: Theo Cote)

Kink Haüs
Now through October 14 at La Mama, 8 pm (some performances at 10 pm): $30+

It’s common for performances to happen at late-night dance parties, but how often does a performance piece contain its own party? It does at Gunnar Montana’s Kink Haüs, a sexually-exploratory show in La Mama’s literally underground theater that doubles as a  “brutal underground nightclub where no f*c ks are given.” Perhaps if you haven’t been to notorious Berlin nightclub Berghain, where there’s dancing upstairs and debauchery downstairs, this will be some kind of version of that. Or not. Only one way to find out. More →