Richard Kennedy brought this event to 54 Below a few months ago, but this time around he’s way more excited because the event is happening at Joe’s Pub — this venue carries lots of history of experimental downtown performance. “It’s such an important cultural space for all of us, so we really couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to be so very COOL!” Richard team up with Mark Dommu and Paul Leopold (aka Boywolf) from The Culture Whore to make this event happen. Paul and Mark are performing in or involved in events almost every week, so they seem like the right match. They have put together a great line up of performers and experimental queer nightlife personalities that includes Psychoegyptian, Babi Audi, Donna Vivino, John Arthur Greene, Macy Rodman and Chris Tyler. Plus, Richard, Paul and Mark will be performing together, awwwww! cute. These homos are interested in bringing together “the two extremes, Broadway and underground performance.” Mark adds, “we were such little theater faggots in high school who have grown up to be the ultimate queerdo party boy artsluts.” Looks like their dreams will continue to come true this Saturday night!
Blood Orange dresses like a supporting character in a mid 90’s Robin Williams film (sorry for the topical and sad reference). That isn’t a read, it’s just a fact. He loves a pair of faded 90’s moms jeans and a leather cap. He could have been the 4th dad in Full House. I just mention it, because it’s something I’ve always noticed. He brings me back to my childhood, which both comforts and confuses me. His music on the other hand ALWAYS excites me. Let’s be real, Solange’s last album was all Blood Orange. I know she tried to come for him on Twitter acting like she made that album all on her own, but please girl, we know what’s up. Dev is a brilliant producer and wonderful musician. This Saturday he’s playing at the Summer Stage in Central Park. If you’ve never seen a show there, you absolutely must go — it’s so pretty and peaceful. It’s like a mini Bonnaroo or Coachella — there’s so much nature and good vibes. Joining him on stage are guests Moses Sumney and Sean Nicholas Savage. Best of all it’s FREEEEE!!!
Summer 2014 feels like the right time to try new things, at least that’s what we have been doing this Summer at GAYLETTER HQ. We got an email from Mr. Murray Hill and it seems that he’s approaching the season with a similar attitude: “Hope summer is kicking! If you’re in town this weekend on Friday night, I’m back uptown for another show. It’s a one man show - like a Vegas lounge act — with my band. This is one of the first shows done without acts or ‘hosting’ so it’s a super exciting challenge.” Usually what keeps Murray going when he’s on stage is the company of some voluptuous ladies — Murray loves being around big boobs... He might have at least one pair, his show is accompanied by the The Rimshots. They consist of “4-time ASCAP Award-winning bandleader Jesse Elder (piano), Matt Parker (tenor sax), Kenbal Zwerin (bass) and Arthur Vint (drums and rimshot specialist).” We’re told to expect lots of camp, “contemporary humor,” tales from his earlier career and "his trademark blend of hammy Borscht Belt humor, irreverent monologues, joint-popping slapstick, so-bad-it’s-gotta-be-good crooning, and freewheeling ad-libbing.” It’s Summer, it’s showbiz!
Le Petite Versailles is a lovely little garden in the LES that hosts the performance series Summer Nights on Jupiter. It’s curated by novelist, poet and performer Stephen Boyer, and this week features readings and performances by Wo Chan, Tommy Pico, Ariana Reines and Pamela Sneed. The organizers are saying that rain or shine the show will go on. I just checked my Mac’s weather App and it looks as if it’s going to be pretty sunny, so I don’t think they have anything to worry about. If you are unfamiliar with any of the performers I’d suggest doing a quick google search. There’s not enough space here to lay out a full bio for each of them, but needless to say they’re all super talented and accomplished in their own right. GAYLETTER doesn’t promote talentless hacks, now does it? xo
John Early (pictured without a hat) is a funny and talented young man we met a while back (he hosted a Fire Island Performance Series benefit that we were involved with) and was a pleasure to be around. John has become the regular host of Showgasm. As he told us, “It’s a variety show!” Basically John MCs and Hamm Samwich DJs. Hamm is the “Robin Quivers” to John’s Howard Stern, always there to ground John “with her startling intellect” he yammers on too much. Each show they have a bunch of special guests. This week there’s “SNL’s John Milhiser” (he was actually fired from the show today — fuck ‘em boo, it happens to the best of us) ”food exhibitionist Thu Tran (of IFC’s Food Party — Ina Garten meets David Lynch), burlesque revolutionary Bruce Bundy (of The Hunger Games), truly gorgeous LA comic Nate Craig, chanteuse Grace McLean and dancing fools DNA Comedy.” It’s only $5 to get in, so you really have no excuse not to go. John also wanted us to mention that “unlike most events listed in GAYLETTER you will not leave feeling cold or terrorized by the art community.” You Cunt!
The hilarious and cunt performer Chris Tyler emailed us a while ago to tell us about this new play he’s helping produce. The play Who Are You? Who are We? What is This? is an “interactive and immersive experience to find yourself.” It’s performed by “two awesome writer/performers,” Daphne Gardner and Carl Holder (both pictured) — I don’t know much about the lead actors, but just look at that boy’s lovely right nipple! Hi nipple! Chris told me that the plot of the play goes like this: “two struggling writers try to get their shit together before their rehearsal but get overwhelmed by their shitty jobs, overbearing mothers and low grade desperation... it’s dealing with the unique kind of millennial melancholy one experiences in their late 20s...” Sounds interesting, but honestly, after seeing that nipple I was already convinced! Click here for tickets.
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Pack up the wine, cheese, deviled eggs and a bag of cherries and head over to Prospect Park tonight around 7:00PM, lay down your blanket and pop that cork because the fucking NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC is putting on a free concert that starts at 8:00PM sharp. I’m bringing some lovely tomme de savoie, a baguette and a bottle or two of organic Malbec that I plan on having all to myself, unless you’re cute in which case I’ll share.
The program for the evening will include some Strauss, Smetana (Widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music, I googled) and the overture fantasy from Romeo and Juliet, by none other than Pyotr Tchaikovsky. I also hear, although it may be a rumor, that there will be fireworks. The brilliant conductor and music director of the Philharmonic Alan Gilbert will be at the helm so be assured it will be an impeccable night of music. Arrive on the early side to secure a good spot, I’m sure the savvy New Yorkers will come fast and hard for an opportunity like this!
FREE, 8:00PM, Prospect Park at the Long Meadow Ballfields.
Penny Arcade aka Susana Ventura has been absent from our social calendars for a while. Now I know why. Penny has been on a massive, non-stop tour of Europe, but this Saturday she’s back in NYC and performing at Joe’s Pub for the first time in 3 years. She’s bringing us a new show ‘Longing Lasts Longer.’ Her performances are always wonderful, invigorating and full of truth, but it’s often hard to pin down a theme or a topic. Not that she needs to be that formulaic — she generally just unleashes her brilliance upon the audience, and the audience sits back and takes it, gratefully. However here’s what we have been told to expect: “An evening of dangerous ideas and radical inquiry by the undisputed Queen of Underground Performance into what it means to be human, right now! Right here!” Sounds like the perfect way to spend Saturday night. Welcome home my dear.
I once heard someone talking about how the ultimate goal for all humans is to be shameless. Because when you think about it, being shameless, meaning free of shame, is true freedom. It’s the greatest, purest state to live your life in. It’s weird that our society attaches negative connotations to that word. And it’s time we took it back. This event is a good start. It’s a “showcase of bravado, absurdity, love, death, sex and filth brought to you by renowned producer Jen Gapay of Thirsty Girl.” The night is hosted by a fellow Aussie, the “Drag Idiot” Shivannah. You can expect performances from some shameless legends like Amber Martin, Captain Kidd (AU), Trixie Little & The Evil Hate Monkey, Glitta Super Nova (AU, pictured), Jenny Rocha & The Painted Ladies, Diety Delgado, Dee Dee Luxe, Cheeky Lane & more! It’s all going down at Drom, an unusual, but surprisingly spacious space on Ave A. Get your tickets in advance and save some cash. You gotta be shameless about these things.
A week of thought-provoking queer performance workshops
As the big rainbow-touting holiday that is NYC Pride approaches, now is as good a time as ever to take a look back at the history of queer theory. Queer theory is the branch of sociology that surfaced in the 1990s out of queer and women’s studies, postulating the idea of ‘queerness’ itself in the monumental work of writers such as Judith Butler, José Esteban Muñoz, David Halperin, and many, many more. These writers’ manifestos and theories challenged contemporary social mores and brought queerness into the realm of critical thought, which is historically one of the most essential ways we’ve managed to come as far as we have in politics at large. So, naturally, any opportunity to overlap theory with actual practice is something that should always be taken advantage of. Lucky for you, one of those opportunities is available starting this week: organized by dancer, choreographer, and arts organizer Li Cata, What Is Queer Performance? is a set of workshops made by and for queer artists, bridging ‘queer writing practices with queer body based practices‘ in performance-centered classes.
Housed in the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, the workshops are all performance-based, but not in the sense you may think. Performativity, in its theoretical meaning, is the “capacity of speech and gestures to act or consummate an action, or to construct and perform an identity.” So for What Is Queer Performance?, queer artists will be touching on “text, sound, witchcraft, impulse, free association, and movement” to inspire, teach, and provoke your inner performative instincts and bring them to the forefront. The workshops are led by Luke George, Mariana Valencia, Jaamil Kosoko, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Iele Paloumpis, and Marissa Perel, and they all sound crazy fantastic. Improvisation based on a group of random items? Blurring the lines between sound production and movement? An astrology-based dance workshop focusing on inclusion of all kinds of bodies? Yes, please.
Tickets are only $10, so go buy one to any/all of these workshops and make good use of those queer theory electives you took in college.
Workshops start June 11 and run through June 14. More information can be found here. Space is limited.