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Friday 12.19.14

Performance: A VERY MUSLIM CHRISTMAS

I was reading the description for this show, it starts like this, “America’s most celebrated Hollywood legend, Nicholas Gorham, returns this year with a brand new television special live from Egypt!” My first reaction was “really? mmmkay,” but then seconds later, I realized that they were not really serious — I love crazy shit like this... I am not saying that Nicholas couldn’t host a live show from Egypt, in fact, I can tell you that the boy is very talented and we have loved his nice ass since we first saw him perform, but it’s unlikely. When Tom first saw him, he was like, he’s so good, “I want to have sex with him...” Anyways, I went to Facebook chat and tracked down Nicholas to ask him more about this. “The whole show is crazy,” I was right! “The play’s premise is that we are in Egypt doing a U.S.O tour and are forced to rethink our misconceptions about the Muslim world. I always write a Christmas play that is more about our society and the collective issues...I’ve found that this time of year is when, as an outsider, all of America’s insanity becomes its most epic, so I feel as though it’s the perfect time to showcase how ridiculous we all are about things.” Nicholas will be joined by other performers (and members of the cast) including Enid Ellen, Cynthia Bastidas and David Commander. Click here for tickets!

$15, 8:00PM, WILD PROJECT, 195 East 3rd St. New York, NY.

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Wednesday 12.17.14

Performance: Christmas with the Crawfords

Let me set the stage — we’re in Joan Crawford’s living room in Hollywood and famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper is there to do a live Christmas broadcast with Joan and her children... then the shit hits the fan. Gary Cooper lives next door and there’s a steady stream of guest’s ringing the doorbell thinking they’re going to Cooper’s party that continually interrupt the broadcast. Joan is played by none other than Joey Arias, who delivers a beyond stellar performance, Chris March (yes the Project Runway former contestant) plays the beloved daughter Christina, Connie Champagne is Judy Garland, Flotilla DeBarge is Hattie McDaniel, and a flawless Sherry Vine plays Hopper and cinema’s Baby Jane Hudson. There’s a parade of other Hollywood luminaries that stop by including Carmen Miranda, Liberace, Ethel Merman, The Andrew Sisters and a hilarious Gloria Swanson. It’s really a technicolor wonder beautifully staged and performed with the perfect ironic dose of holiday cheer. Come one, come all, just make sure you come! Get tickets!  

$45, 7:30PM, Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St. New York, NY.

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Saturday 12.13.14

A Murray Little Christmas

Featuring Bridget Everett, Perle Noire, Trixie Little, Mr. Gorgeous, Carmine Covelly & The Craig's List Quartet

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The “reigning patriarch of downtown performance,” Murray Hill kicks off the festive season on December 13th with his annual sold-out show, A Murray Little Christmas. A staple of the New York comedy and the burlesque scene, he’s performed, emceed, hosted and cameo-d across the world, accruing rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, Time Out and New York Magazine — and of course he’s a GAYLETTER favorite.

 

With his signature blend of comedy, music and heart, this one night only performance is an absolute must. And no cocktail holiday party would be complete without the riotous Bridget Everett, one of this year’s VIP guests, who will join Perle Noire, Trixie Little, Mr. Gorgeous and Carmine Covelli (a.k.a. Sebastian the Elf) in ensuring this is a night to remember (or not, depending on how free flowing the booze is).

 

A Murray Little Christmas’ home this year is (Le) Poisson Rouge, and doors open at 6:30PM. Tickets — if you’re lucky enough to find any left — can be purchased here. So get your dose of holiday cheer, and have a gay ol’ time.

Friday 11.21.14

Lypsinka The Trilogy

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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!

 

$45 for 1 show, $80 for 2 shows, $105 for 3 shows, Connelly Theatre, 220 E. 4th Street, NY, NY. 

Wednesday 11.19.14

Performance: Luke George – Not About Face

The Australian choreographer Luke George was in New York City in the summer teaching the What is Queer Performance workshop, which we covered in our newsletter and on our site. Luke is back again to premier his first New York show titled ‘Not About Face’ at The Chocolate Factory Theater, from November 19-22. The artist tell us that it’s a very queer piece “where the performers (Hilary Clark and myself) and the audience are all dressed in sheets and spend about an hour in pseudo-spiritual/cult like interactive group experiences.” If you go see his show be prepared to join the performance, not to worry if you are shy, they’ll cover you in a robe and everything will be anonymous. Performance art is always so hard to explain, but when you experience it you always leave with a better understanding. of it. Just go with an open mind. I’ll leave you with a deep quote from the press release: “We will come together. We will become anonymous. We will fake belief or believe in faking it.” Sure thing!

$15, 8:00PM, The Chocolate Factory Theater, 5-49 49th Ave. Long Island City, NY.

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Sunday 11.09.14

Performance: Longing Lasts Longer

I feel like we haven’t seen Penny Arcade in ages, it was nice to get an email from her earlier this month telling us about her new show ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ that she’s been working on with Steve Zehentner. They both designed and directed the show and Penny tells me that she has been completely immersed in it. The show is a “rumination on love, longing and the loss of New York’s cultural identity.” They shot a lot of video and they are hoping to develop this into a full length theatre performance piece containing video, music and songs — Penny adds “I’m returning to my 1980’s work with live music and songs.” Yes Penny! There are only a few performances left. It’s very hard for me to fully explain what this show is about, but if you know Penny then you should just go... you’ll always learn a thing or two from Mama Arcade!

$20, 9:00PM, Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. New York, NY.

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Monday 11.03.14

Unitard – House of Tards

A new show performed by Mike Albo, Nora Burns and David Ilku

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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.

Thursday 10.16.14

Performance: Brooklyn Bred – Clifford Owens

So our dear girlfriend Renée Cox is performing at BAM this Thursday night as part of The Brooklyn Bred series of the Next Wave Festival. You might know her mainly as a photographer/provocateur, but give the girl a chance. She’s sharing the stage with the headlining performance artist Clifford Owens — who is sure to shock, as well as Amanda Alfieri, Shaun Leonardo and Martha Wilson. Owens’ performances usually involve audience interaction with his physical body in some fashion creating spontaneity and chance to drive the performance. After much deliberation, and as a counterpoint to Owens’ piece, Cox is showing an 8 minute film called “The Goddess.” Over the phone she elaborated, “I’m doing a meditation, let the rhythm be your guide.” As for the title she added, “The Goddess who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared force on the planet.” OK now I’m scared too, but more power to you if you can distill that into an 8 minute movie. The evening promises to be an enthralling night of performance based art, so sit back, inhale, then exhale and let the rhythm take you with it.

$20, 7:30pm & 9:00pm, BAM Fisher Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place BK, NY.

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Tuesday 10.14.14

The opening of Gio Black Peter’s SEE YOU IN HELL

The exhibition is now on view at the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division

Friday 10.10.14

NYPAC BENEFIT GALA HONORING MX JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND

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Justin Vivian Bond (pictured) is like the patron saint of GAYLETTER. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve featured events featuring V. If it was anyone else you might be forgiven for thinking our coverage was overkill, but with Justin — no one can get enough. Which is why we are so excited to help celebrate Justin on Wednesday, October 22 at the Cock. It’s technically a fundraiser for NYPAC, a non-profit organization that supports performance art.

 

The location for the benefit is especially fitting for Mx Bond, “who performed at The Cock’s original 12th Street location every Saturday, and was the first performer to christen its current — and soon to be former — incarnation. This benefit will be an opportunity to celebrate both Mx Bond and the history of the East Village and Lower East Side, which have been so actively intertwined.”

 

There’s going to be performances by Joseph Keckler, Erin Markey, Casey Legler, DJ Lina and Juliana Huxtable. It’s also highly likely that Justin will perform at some stage during the night (we can’t promise that, but it’s highly likely). Grab your tickets now.

 

Benefit Gala $150, After Party $50, Gala 7:00PM & 10PM, Wednesday, October 22, The Cock, 29 2ND AVE, NY. Buy your tickets here!