Failure Pride: Idols Thursday, June 20 at Club Cumming, 8 pm: $10
Queer culture is full of idols: pop icons like Madonna and Lady Gaga, classic stars of the stage like Barbra, drag queens of all sorts, activists like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the list goes on. Plus, we needn’t forget American Idol, which must at least count for something here. Tonight, the recurring performance series Failure: A Queer Workshop, hosted by Ragamuffin, La Llorona, and Le Petit Dumdum, will present a conversation on idols in all their forms, featuring guest performers Cher Noble, Lu Reyes, Agave Lamour, and Jojo Soul.
Though technically Pride month doesn’t kick off till June, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy some good old fashioned queer performance before then (and, of course, during Pride month too). Tonight, it’s the return of Vylette Tendency’s punk drag showcase Queer as in Fuck You, taking up residence at East Village bar for tiki weirdos, Otto’s Shrunken Head. This time, they’re paying tribute to the OG punk poet, Patti Smith. Grab a drink, park yourself in the back room, and have a queer old time watching performances by C’était BonTemps, Ash Blight, Chris of Hur, and winner of this year’s Brooklyn Nightlife Award for Drag King of the Year, God Complex. More →
Wallbreaker Thursday, May 9 at Macri Park, 10:30 pm: donation suggested
By now, you’ve probably heard of Drag Queen Story Hour, a wholesome event where drag performers from the local community go to a library or other such space outside of nightlife hours and read a story to some children. Once the sun goes down, you can support this heartwarming initiative at the latest edition of Wallbreaker, a monthly fundraiser party and drag show that will be aiming their philanthropy at Drag Queen Story Hour this month. There will be a raffle featuring all sorts of prizes alongside the main event: performances by Dezi 5, Junior Mint, Juniper Juicy, Mini Horrorwitz, and more. More →
Internet Explorers Thursday, April 18 at Caveat, 9 pm: $10 advance, $12 doors
If you don’t have your eye glued constantly to social media, you might’ve missed that Instagram’s meme-makers have started to non-ironically unionize. It’s undeniable memes are a bigger deal than ever, so it only makes sense there’ll be a live comedy show about them tonight at Caveat, as part of Mark Vigeant’s recurring Internet Explorers show. As tonight is all about memes, Vigilant will be hosting online comic artist Branson Reese and a trio of journalists who report on all things internet (The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz, who wrote the aforementioned meme article, plus Buzzfeed’s Katie Notoupoulos and The New York Times’s Amanda Hess). There’ll also be a game of “meme Shark Tank,” where a group of comedians will try to out-meme each other.More →
Brown Privilege Comedy Thursday, March 21 at Friends and Lovers, 8:30 pm: FREE (donation suggested)
The 39th edition of Saurin Choksi and DJ Sareen’s Brown Privilege Comedy returns to Crown Heights bar Friends and Lovers tonight. As always, the show spotlights some of the best comedians of color the city has to offer, with nary a token white person to be found. This time, they’re bringing along Gibran Saleem, Aminah Imani, Ayanna Dookie, Kevin Iso, and Alex English. After all the jokes have concluded, stick around—DJ Sareen takes the stage and the show becomes a dance party.More →
Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular Thursday, February 14 at Brooklyn Bowl, 7:30 pm: $25
There are a staggering number of events of all stripes happening on Valentine’s Day, as show and party producers rush to appeal to the lovers, the lonely, and everyone in between. Some happenings are best enjoyed in a coupled sense, but others are fun for anyone. I wouldn’t say something called the Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular is necessarily fun for the whole family, due to the large quantities of well, titties, but it’s an evening that can certainly be a good time for anyone regardless of relationship status. “Singing siren” Shelly Watson will welcome a stacked lineup that includes Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Darling Just Darlinda, and this year’s Miss Coney Island Pearls Daily, plus live rockabilly music.More →
Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) February 7-9 and 13-16 at The Kitchen, 8 pm: $25
One of the most common ways people encounter opera is when very old compositions from well-known classical greats like Mozart are revived. This opera at The Kitchen is also a revival of sorts, but a more modern one: it has “newly reconstructed” a work from 1985 by late experimental composer Robert Ashley, staging it with a chorus of live vocalists and an “electronic orchestra.” The opera centers less around the Don in the title, but around a woman named Linda. She embarks upon many types of ventures spanning many locations and historical periods throughout the opera, all with varying degrees of success—something that should spark some level of familiarity in us all. More →
“Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986” Image credit: Courtesy Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts/ Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Andy Warhol: By Hand, Drawings 1950s-1980s Opening Tuesday, January 22 at New York Academy of Art, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 10.
Most people know Andy Warhol by his colorful printed pop art creations, films, and tendency to bring together some of the city’s most intriguing artists, writers, socialites, and drag performers. Or perhaps his associations with The Velvet Underground or Interview magazine come to mind. But Warhol also made drawings—he started out as a commercial illustrator—and you can see a selection of them created over the course of 30 years in a new exhibition at the New York Academy of Art. Rather than the bold shades of Warhol works like the iconic painting Campbell’s Soup Cans, these drawings are more minimal, often featuring nothing more than a pencil and paper. If you’ve already seen the sprawling Whitney retrospective, here’s a chance to see the artist in a new light.More →
On a recent afternoon at 3 Dollar Bill in East Williamsburg, a group of performers brainstormed ways to involve the audience in their upcoming site-specific show. “Play Truth or Dare with them?” suggested one. “Make them react to specific musical and verbal cues?” echoed another. “Play trivia: drunk people love trivia!” interjected a third.
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.