There’s lip synching and then there’s Lypsinka. I have never seen any body, drag queen or otherwise do linguistically what she can do. Although not a single word is coming from her vocal chords Lypsinka manages to deliver a performance as if it was her last breath — not one syllable out of place. Enough praise, Lypsinka The Trilogy now running at the jewel of an off-broadway house, The Connelly Theatre on East 4th Street, is up until the first week of January. There are three productions running in rotating repertory: the revivals of Lypsinka! The Boxed Set and The Passion of the Crawford and the premiere of John Epperson: Show Trash. Lypsinka is the iconic creation of John Epperson, who got his start in show business as a rehearsal pianist for the American Ballet Theatre, has been gracing stages with his electric talent worldwide for the past three decades.
Abi and I got to see the classic, ‘Lypsinka! The Boxed Set’ and were thoroughly entertained and left wanting more by show’s end. The production includes audio from singers Ethel Merman, Fay McKay and Dorothy Squires to name a few and text by Judy Garland, Gloria Swanson, Natalie Wood, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Phyllis Diller and then some. I could go on and on about Lypsinka but let me end here by encouraging you to go see the performer many regard as the “Goddess of Showbiz” do her thing!
Last night I had the pleasure to visit the launch of Bedell Cellars’ First Crush Red 2013, a light and juicy blend of merlot and cabernet franc whose label bears the image of a woman’s face created by one of our favorite artists, Mickalene Thomas. The bright collage was created in preparation for a painting in Thomas’ Tête de Femme series, and perfectly represents the spirit of the radiant blend that lies inside. Her image joins a prestigious roster of artworks that grace the front of bottles from Bedell.
Bedell, owned by the art collector Michael Lynne, has already engaged in a number of artist collaborations. Previous labels have been created by Barbara Kruger, Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, April Gornik and Howard Schatz. The First Crush Red 2013 is created from sustainably farmed young vines on the North Fork of Long Island, and is as enjoyable to drink as it is to look at. I’m already brainstorming what to do with my bottle after I drink it! I’m tempted to keep it unopened as an art piece, but with that excellent juice inside, I doubt I’ll be able to resist. Perhaps we’ll drink it on GAYLETTER thanksgiving — its bright fruit will pair easily with a range of foods, and everyone can appreciate Mickalene Thomas’ phenomenal work in the center of the table.
Talking all things Wagstaff, Mapplethorpe and Photography
If you are a fan of photography or especially interested in the “gay sensibility” in photography then this evening presented by The School of Visual Arts is right for you. Writer and photography critic Phillip Gefter will be in conversation with the talented writer Edmund White to discuss his new book Wagstaff, Before and After Mapplethrope. For those of you that don’t know Sam Wagstaff, besides being Mapplethorpe’s infamous lover he was “an early and unflagging advocate of photography as a legitimate art form.” He collected thousands of images bought and sold at auction as well as flea markets and permanently changed the art market. All the elements are in place for a truly lively and invigorating conversation, Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff, Edmund White — you can’t go wrong, plus it’s free and open to the public!
FREE, Monday Nov. 17 at 7:00PM, SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd Street, NY, NY.
The legendary photographer needs funding to purchase a digital camera and materials...
Whether or not you’re familiar with the work of James Bidgood, the dreamy landscape he creates in his art is a place anyone would be happy visiting.
Though these surreal photographs and illustrations seem celestial and otherworldly, the majority of them were staged and produced in Bidgood’s tiny Manhattan apartment. Among shelves and stacks of glue, paint, tissue paper and tulle is a small studio space in which Bidgood spends countless hours rendering these fairytales. His work is truly astounding and comes to life with unmatchable color and energy.
But his glitter supply is running low, and time and technology have moved quickly ahead of Mr. Bidgood. He needs your help to carry himself and his art towards the future.
This Thursday November 13
If you’re sick of watching Jessica Lange talk about wanting to be a movie star with no legs — or something — on American Horror Story: Freak Show, but are still yearning to visit a carnival of wonders, then look no further than Williamsburg. Art collective The Culture Whore is back with their bi-monthly performance showcase, Sideshow, and it’s going to be freakier than ever.
The Culture Whore is known throughout NYC for throwing some of the weirdest, wildest, queerest art parties around, and with Sideshow they curate a lineup of underground performers and give them the freedom to experiment.
At this edition, there’s more magic on the stage than ever before. Rainbow Trybe, Gramma, and Ian Gallagher will all present enthralling live music. Momo Shade will take you to church with irreverent drag. David Serotte‘s experimental dance will terrify and enthrall you in equal parts. Plus, Mark Dommu, Tom Barranca, and Boywolf will bend your mind with performance art that plays with drag, video, and music. Run away and join this queer circus!
$5, 11:30PM, Don Pedro, 90 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn, NY.
The queer experimental festival is celebrating their 27th year
If MIX NYC was a person, you’d desperately be trying to make them your best friend. They’d be that person who is unapologetically themselves, artistically prodigious and proudly, loudly queer. The kind of person who is serving looks (likely homemade yet inexplicably high fashion) whether it’s Wednesday morning or Saturday night. They’d go to the parties you wish you knew about, and probably turn up fashionably late after a quick stint in jail for protesting corporate greed. Let’s be real, you’d probably fall in love with them.
Well, you sound crazy because they aren’t a person. But luckily you CAN love a festival and in the 2014 MIX Festival there is plenty to get an intellectual boner about. Over the next week MIX will immerse you in the vibrantly queer worlds of experimental film, art installations and warehouse parties in their Festival HQ — known as the MIX Hive and described as an “opulent beehive cathedral.” Sign us up, honey! Hundreds of volunteers have transformed this Brooklyn space into a community hub where you can lounge around on cloud pillows, discover new friends and experience art that is daring, challenging and fabulously queer.
Celebrating their 27th year, MIX kicks off the 2014 season on November 11 with their Opening Night event “Colony Collapse Disorder,” featuring performances by Peter Cramer and his experimental band NYOBS, an audiovisual extravaganza by Chris Berntsen & January Hunt, and of course a program of transcendent films that you won’t see anywhere else. As the night rolls on, the MIX Hive unravels into a unique warehouse soiree featuring DJs and shows from the likes of Kembra Pfahler, Cornelius Loy, Mike and Claire and many more.
There’ll be screenings every day through to Sunday November 16, so browse the full program and discover something that tickles your fancy. Pop on down to Brooklyn and support this incredible festival — the result of dedicated volunteers and the sublime embodiment of two things: experimental film and queer friendship. So let’s celebrate — because where else can you watch queer experimental films with a few hundred new friends and party late into a Tuesday night?
Entry to the MIX Hive is FREE, Opening Night is $25, General Screenings $13. From Tuesday November 11 – Sunday November 16. The 2014 MIX Festival, 337 Butler St, Brooklyn, NY. Click here for tickets and more info.
An evolving exhibition project generated by Michael Stipe — NYU Steinhardt Department of Art & Art Professions Fall 2014 Artist in Residence.
Casey Spooner hosted the official release for his new book at VFILES
A new show performed by Mike Albo, Nora Burns and David Ilku
I have been saying “Linkedin is the new Facebook” to people so much recently, mainly as a an ironic icebreaker, that I’m pretty sure at this point, I believe it myself. I tried the line again the other week when I was stuck for conversation at the Stonewall Inn with a hottie. Turns out he was a Digital Social Media Consultant Coordinator or whatever, and he didn’t think it was very funny. I guess it wasn’t? I’ve since given up on social media jokes.
Fitting perhaps that I returned to the Stonewall Inn last night in the hopes to see Mike Albo, Nora Burns and David Ilku deliver a better round of social commentary that me, and boy, did they ever. Opening up with a fresh angle roasting our addiction to social media, the trio unleashes multiple acts of genuine, brilliantly funny and honest social commentary covering everything from Ebola to ISIS, from our (healthy? unhealthy?) obsession with Kale, to the girls in Grindr profile pictures. It’s a sassy display of brilliant, contemporary comedy that even prompted one lady in the audience to yell “GENIUS!” halfway through an act. That would ordinarily annoy me, just like people who clap when the pilot lands an aircraft successfully, but I was prepared to let it slide this time. She was right.
Mike told me that the trio have been performing together for 15 years, and over the past 2 months they “just got together and just talked about what really pisses them off.” Isn’t that great? Everybody loves to bitch.
The term ‘must see’ gets thrown around a lot, but there’s only one show remaining. So if you’re the guy who’s updating Facebook with the number of miles you ran with your Nike+ app or making sincere status updates about the changes in your diet, you won’t enjoy the show. But considering that’s not you, there’s no excuse to miss out! Like it, share it, endorse it, whatever, November 4 is your last chance to see it.
Unitard – House of Tards is playing at Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St. Nov 4th, 8:00PM, $15 (advance tickets), $20 at the door.