Volume 80, Number 44 | March 31 - April 6, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photo by Karl Giant
Dirty Martini: Vision of loveliness or delicious cocktail? You be the judge.
Take Trav S.D.’s April double dog dare
The cruelest mouth groans under the weight of its own fabulosity
BY TRAV S.D.
Ah, here’s what I like! There are so many interesting shows and events happening this month that I could scarcely fit them all in this column. April is fairly groaning under the weight of its own fabulosity. Just TRY to be bored during the month of April. Me and April are DARIN’ ya! We DOUBLE DOG dare ya!
On March 31, Manhattan Theatre Source opened previews for what they’re billing as their first-ever show with an open-ended run: “The Greenwich Village Follies.” The new show apparently has nothing to do with the historical “Greenwich Village Follies” — which ran from 1919 to 1928 and was a platform for such major artists as Ted Lewis, Joe E. Brown and Cole Porter. This one is a musical revue which purports to tell the entire history of the neighborhood (from the time of the Lenape Indians to the present). I wonder if they’ll find room to talk about that historic moment when I threw up into my hat at The Duplex? For info and tickets, go to thegreenwichvillagefollies.com.
April 1 through 30, the incomparable theatrical iconoclast Young Jean Lee will be performing, of all things, a rock show (with her band Future Wife). This, too, is a theatrework, and presumably as giddily disorienting as past plays like “Lear” and “The Shipment.” In “We’re Gonna Die,” she promises “an entertaining show that an ordinary person can perform.” A bold and fearless lass is that Young Jean Lee. The performance schedule for this Joe’s Pub gig is too erratic and convoluted to break down here, but you can get all the info at youngjeanlee.org.
I know Alicia Levy’s comedy stylings chiefly from short videos she has sent to my email box from time to time (alright, enough of your insinuating snickers). Levy is a hysterically funny character comedian, who does any number of accents and is particularly adept at lampooning infomercials. One of my favorite bits is for “The Self Esteame” — which uses steam to improve your skin tone, but also makes your makeup run and your hair frizz like a Brillo pad. April 7, she reopens her show “Chickapalooza” which features her videos, celebrity impressions and comedic songs). At the People’s Improv Theatre; Thursdays at 8pm through the April 28. For more info, visit thepit-nyc.com.
On April 7, Dixon Place is holding a 25th Anniversary Community Birthday Party, 6-9pm. Not only is the event free, but it features live entertainment like the great electronic noise-making artist-thingy lumberob (Rob Erickson) and musical acts Adam Tendler, Ultraviolet Astronomy and Tarrah Reynolds. I’ll be there eating, drinking and otherwise making merry! More info: dixonplace.org.
April 9 through the 30, Larry Kunofsky’s new play “The Un-Marrying Project” will be up at the Paradise Factory. I saw Kunofsky’s “What to Do When You Hate All Your Friends” on Theatre Row a couple of years ago and found it memorably funny and thought-provoking. Produced by his company Purple Rep, the new work is about what happens when a bunch of happily married couples decide to divorce until gay marriage becomes legal. The farcical-sounding plot reminds me of that Alfred Hitchcock comedy “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” — if you don’t know it, you don’t watch enough TCM. Tickets and info are at purplerep.com.
On April 14, hipster surrealist Jonny Cigar will be turning Dixon Place upside down with his “Sinatra Simulacra” (Immersive Libation Theater). Crooning, jazz, and drinking are promised. It is a project of Noble Rot — his itinerant wine salon. As an unsettling improv comedian, Jonny could out-non-sequitur the ghost of Andy Kaufman. He did some of his Sinatra lip-synching at one of my recent variety shows, and it had me drinking One for My Baby, One for the Road, and a Third One, just to Keep the Other Two Settled Down. Evidently, Mr. Cigar has great faith in the enterprise. At $55 a head, it’s higher than the usual Dixon Place ticket by far — but I do believe you get flavorful value added (the kind that gives you the hiccups) as part of the deal. More info: dixonplace.org and jonnycigar.com.
The following night (April 15), another coolio number at Dixon Place: thingNY and the Panoply Performance Laboratory, along with conceptual artist and former Glamazon Alison Ward, are presenting “TIME: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts” — a “chance based” multidisciplinary work featuring music, video and performance “which tells of time throughout time, in real time, and sometimes just in time.” The show starts at 8pm. Don’t be late (just kidding)! More info at dixonplace.org.
The Highline Ballroom will be the site of a star-studded screening of Gary Beeber’s new film “Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque” on April 16. I’ve seen the movie in preview and found it contains more than a few eye-openers. Did you know that gorgeous burlesque queen and international jet setter Dirty Martini started out as a ballerina? True fact! That she shops at Trash & Vaudeville? True fact! That she used to be the First Lady of Argentina? Gotcha! That one was; Evita. Anyway, the Downtown stars of the film are all coming out for this event. Keep an eye peeled for Tigger, World Famous *BOB*, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Bunny Love, and others — including The Slipper Room’s James Habacker, who’ll be hosting in his hilarious guise of Mel Frye. To purchase tickets, and for info, highlineballroom.com
April 27-May 7, Anne Bogart and SITI Company will be presenting the New York premiere of Charles Mee’s “Under Construction” — a work inspired by the unlikely pairing of Norman Rockwell (the Michelangelo of Americana), and installation artist Jason Rhoades (whose favorite subject matter, as is the case with so many, was female genitalia). What could such a play be but the collage the promoters are promising? Why, the very concept of this production makes my cheeks glow apple red! “Under Construction” will be at Dance Theatre Workshop. Tickets and info: siti.org.
Last but probably most: On April 25, P.S. 122 is having their 30th Anniversary Season Gala — featuring a gaggle of Downtown megastars, including honorees Justin Bond, Danny Hoch, and Carmelita Tropicana, hosts John Kelly and Lisa Kron, presenters Julie Atlas-Muz and Jennifer Miller, and performers Rufus Wainwright and Peggy Shaw, among many, many more. Tickets start at $325 — and it doesn’t sound that steep, since it works out to about a dollar per art star. For more info, go to ps122org.
Well, that about does it for me, muchachos (not sure why I’m suddenly Mexican). I’m very much looking much to navigating this turbulent sea of glamorous, creative madness; and hopefully not springing a leak, like I did last month. I look forward to seeing you Downtown!