Some friends of GAYLETTER are putting together this play that’s part of this year’s 24th annual HOT! Festival of Queer Culture at Dixon Place. It’s happening this Saturday, for one night only. Directed by Rau Ry Szelong, it’s written by Kyle Rogers. PENTUP Studio (who did some B.T.S videos for our last issue) is doing all the visuals for the show. It features Kai Cameron & Reid Spencer Gilbard. Here is some information about the show, it “tells the sexual-coming-of-age of a small boy who is Not Quite Like His Peers. Through memory, accidents, and copious amounts of shame, we watch the small boy debate with himself how to evolve when there’s been no template before him. We watch him develop and actualize a potential – one that’s not quite successful, not quite traditional, yet still self-fulfilling.” To be honest with you, I haven’t seen the show yet, but GAYLETTER started as a word-of-mouth newsletter and we kind of have to trust our friends. Chase from PENTUP told me that “It’s shaping up to be quite a spectacle of pinks and projections and pretty boys of all kinds.” As long as there’s fucking, I am totally down.
If you haven’t been to a Mx. Justin Vivian Bond show it’s probably because you are basic...or because you are an ignorant person or worse, because you don’t read our newsletter or our magazine (issue 1). I am kidding, I just wanted to grab your attention, but seriously you really need to go see Justin before the end of the Summer. Justin performed an Earth Day concert at this venue, Rockwood Stage 2 and loved it — “so much fun I’m coming back for more.” Justin will be performing with Thomas Barlett. I hear that V will be debuting some new original songs (yes bitch!) as well as performing some stuff from the albums Dendrophile and Silver Wells. It’s happening on Sunday, July 31st, so it’s kind of like going to church, but trust me you’ll learn more at this concert than from any preacher. Also, $15 for a ticket is very cheap, Justin is an expensive performer so this is a fucking bargain. Finally, Justin’s hair is super long and blonde at the moment, which we are really into. So like stop being basic and go see V, you owe it to yourself.
If you’re anything like me, you have a touch of German in your bloodline, resonate strongly with your own idea of what is means to be German, but truthfully know next to nothing about the country’s history. With that being said, Earl Dax’s cabaret Weimar New York is back at Joe’s Pub for one night only, on July 15.
I actually had to google what the Weimar-era was before I wrote this, but I did learn that Jessica Lange’s AHS: Freak Show character Elsa Mars was based on this culturally chaotic time in Germany where everything was about the arts and creatives focused on highlighting the darker side of life. Sounds a lot like 2015.
Australian cabaret star and Prince’s dopplegänger, Paul Capsis (who is a major star in Australia) hosts the show which “uses the rubric of Weimar Germany to highlight unsettling parallels between the rise of fascism then and conservative political elements today.” Performers include Rachel Mason, boylesque sensation Enormvs Muñoz, comic and solo performer Marga Gomez, singer-songwriter Carol Lipnik and the glittering Pixie Harlots. After tonight, the show moves back to Bard’s SummerScape for their 6th season. Don’t miss out!
$25, 7:30PM, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette, NY, NY.
It’s a whiskey slugging cabaret sing-a-long. It’s a self-aware train wreck. It’s Molly Pope Likes your Status. People are raving about this shit. Apparently her voice sounds like Bette Midler and Bridgett Everett shaken into one long Manhattan. Even the queens over at Time Out New York describe her as a “viscerally thrilling alto.” Plus, she literally drinks almost an entire bottle of Jameson during every show. While singing. Ok Molly Pope.
The performance is Friday, July 10th, at the Duplex Cabaret and Piano Bar. A friend of GAYLETTER, Joshua Weidenmiller, told us “She’s like an old icon that feels brand new.” Now, I’m not saying she’s the new Amy, but it sounds like this lady is fucked up in all the right ways. If you’re looking for some retro glam debauchery with a 60’s beehive to boot, this sounds like your move. “The boys go crazy for her.”
$15-18, 9:30PM, The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. New York, NY.
There are a thousand and one reasons to go see the legendary dance company Alvin Ailey perform during their two week engagement at Lincoln Center that kicked off with the Ailey Spirit Gala earlier this week but I’ll just share a few here.
On June 11, at 6:30pm the Ailey Extension instructor Eddie Stockton and DJ C_Boogie are throwing down a free house dance class outside on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center. They say all ages are welcome and no experience is necessary. Then later on in the evening the company is performing the world premiere of hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ Exodus,“a poignant and powerful depiction of the transition from our physical world to the spiritual afterlife.” Not to worry if you can’t be spontaneous and go tonight, you have other opportunities to see it.
There are so many other treats in their program including Ronald K Brown’s Grace, Hofesh Schechter’s Uprising and Christopher Wheeldon’s After The Rain Pas de Deux. Of sad note, the company will be performing one of my new absolute favorite pieces called Chroma on June 18th for the last time….ever! I went on and on about it here when I saw it at the Joyce, it is flawless. So go get your dance on, tickets start at $25 and it’s Ailey at Lincoln Center honies!
Ticket prices and performance times vary. David H. Koch Theatre, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, NY, NY.
Raise a martini, grab your kerchief, and search for a sugar daddy, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, calls for all three. Debuting at Café Carlyle from June 2nd until June 13th for $100 a pop, Alan Cumming’s performance covers a slew of songs and personal stories from Billy Joel and Miley Cyrus to family trauma and emotional strife. Despite the seriousness intermingled with his theatrics, Cumming remains the provocative, occasionally insane pansexual you know and love.
Co-host of the latest Tony’s, Cumming is now joined on stage by a pianist, cellist, and drummer to entertain his increasingly intimate crowd. Covering Broadway and contemporary Pop alike, he runs the full, flaming gambit in his Cumming cabaret fashion. But if you haven’t yet picked up on the purpose of this post or the puns there in, let me lay it out flat: Cum, come, come to Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs before it’s too late.
$100-120, 8:45PM & 10:45PM, Café Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street at Madison Ave. New York, NY.
Mx. JVB knows a thing or two about love. V has plenty of experience with heartbreak, and has the stories to prove it. V’s new show (it premiered in Paris and was also performed in the UK, but it’s new to us) is all about the craziness of love. It’s only on for 4 nights and features guest performances by some Bond favorites: Matt Ray, Claudia Chopek and Nath Ann Carrera. We’re told the evening will be a “celebration of obsession, sex, romance and all their queer and mysterious complications.” Expect songs from Dendrophile and Silver Wells, numbers from v’s stage and film appearances and some insightful and hilarious tales from one of the most unique and captivating cunts alive today. We have never been to a bad JVB show, even the time V was high on pain pills and upset after a visit to V’s family...in fact that might have been one of our favorites. V always manages to find the absurdity and humor in even the most tragic or unusual situations and we can’t wait to see what V has to say this Friday night about L-O-V-E!
A new show by Rebecca Patek at The Chocolate Factory
GAYLETTER last spoke with “Dancer and Lover of Sperm” Rebecca Patek during 2013, in an interview of the same name. After spending the afternoon researching and chatting with her, my crush on Rebecca is so intense that as a gay man I’m uncomfortable. But then, discomfort is what Patek usually serves — take her 2013 show Inter(a)nal f/ear, a blisteringly funny satirical dance-and-multimedia performance exploring her experience of being raped, or her newest piece, The Future Was Looking Better In The Past, running from May 20th to May 23rd at The Chocolate Factory.
The unnerving subject at the center of “Future…” is the “Leopold and Loeb” murders. Remember those? It was that one time in 1924 when super hot, super rich teenage homos Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb gave America the “trial of the century” when they murdered 14-year old fellow trust fund kid Bobby Franks with a chisel because, like, Friedrich Nietzsche and #übermensch and “just for kicks” really. Funny thing is — and in Patek’s sly hands it WILL be funny, whether we like it or not — both murderer Loeb and victim Franks were Rebecca’s cousins on her father’s side.
“I found out about the connection two years ago, and got obsessed with it,” Patek says. “The idea of exploring ‘tainted blood’ started as kind of joke, but then you do start to think about these family strains, and look for repeating patterns, and there’s something eerie about it.”
Do your family members have feelings about you doing this piece? “Well my dad plays the voice of the defense attorney, and my mom wrote the music for it, but they haven’t seen it…they just sent me the materials without seeing the work. In fact they’ve never seen any of my work before so….” She laughs.
To hear Rebecca describe her signature equation of dance+shame and violence+satire makes the singular sound simple. “Satire means that you can get at grey areas more easily….the way language can be violent, for example, the way we read each other physically, the more subtle forms of violence and manipulation. But these power dynamics…can be shown in the body. You can use the body in the same way.” Listening to this elegant explanation while staring at a picture of her face covered in cum, I ask Patek if she’s into S&M. “My work has in the past gone to the level of public humiliation that could be called psychological S&M, yeah there’s something there…hmm…” she trails off, and I sink into my seat, smitten.
Since Patek devised and choreographed “Future” but, for the first time in her career, isn’t performing in it (though the cast does feature talented GAYLETTER favorites Sam Roeck and Chris Tyler joined by John Hoobyar, Sheila Lewandowski, David Patek, Peter Mills Weiss and Jaime Wright) — she may have to find that thrill of abjection somewhere other than the stage…..although perhaps sitting next to her parents while they encounter her work for the first time in this twisted tale of family depravity could be masochistic enough.
A few weeks ago I attended a performance by The Dance Cartel (which is a group of 12 rotating dancers founded by Ani Taj) at the Ace Hotel. When I arrived at the door I couldn’t hear anything, the show had not even started, and it was already so loud and super high energy… I told Mossy who came with me, that I thought we were too sober for this. 3 drinks in, the music started to adjust a little. I was like why didn’t I smoke some greens before? The performance started, and the dancers started to move like they were in club in the 70s high on something. I mean they were already having so much fun 5 minutes into the performance, it was fascinating. They describe the show as “new modular-dance-party-arty.” I asked Thomas Gibbons (one of the dancers and a friend) to elaborate on that: “it’s really a mashup of all things we love. We often work off of the music that we find exciting and it informs whatever we’re doing. It could be a trap song that inspires some kind of Apache or agro style dance or a top 40 track that will evolve into Brazilian carnival dance.” It was great to see that they were not taking themselves too seriously. I got really into it, the audience is encouraged to dance and that’s what I did later on. “At the end of the day we just want the audience to have fun because we’re having fun.” This week’s special guests is one of our favs, John Early along with many others. See you on the floor!
A show inspired by Joni Mitchell's iconic album Blue
I’ve Been to Sea Before reimagines Joni Mitchell’s heartbreaking travelogue, Blue, as an epic odyssey on the open ocean. You will get wet. You’ll probably fall off the boat. You may need to be rescued. There really is no way to prepare yourself for this spectacle, but it helps if you get in early, get comfortable, and order Martinis.
With a vibrant history as an actor & playwright performing in some of New York’s most eclectic venues, at long last, Salty Brine (the only 2 adjectives I use to describe oysters, btw) has taken up a well-deserved cabaret artist residency at The Red Room. Accompanied by 2 musical geniuses that move as seamlessly between their instruments as they do as supporting characters, you’d best hunker down for a performance that rocks wildly amongst the currents of the silly and sorrow. You’ll probably also leave feeling guilty about having only paid 10 bucks for a ticket. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.
Imagining track lists as blueprints for evenings of musical mayhem, Salty and his exceptionally talented ensemble bring you the spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret with a show every Wednesday night until April, 29th. Do yourself a favor and get on board. Oh, the door boy is a massive babe. Please get in touch.
$10, 8:00PM, The Red Room, 85 E. 4th St. NY, NY.