theater

Shakespeare in the Popup Park Kicks Off Tonight (7/25) [UPDATE: Cancelled Due To Weather]

Central Park might have the Delacorte Theater, but north Brooklyn has Bushwick Inlet (popup) Park, and the good folks at Hip to Hip Theater Company are turning the provisional green space at 50 Kent Avenue into a makeshift Globe Theater this summer.

Hip to Hip will stage All’s Well that Ends Well tonight, and King Lear on August 22nd. Each performance will begin at 7:30 and run 95 minutes. An interactive kids workshop will begin 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Tickets are not necessary; blankets, low chairs and picnic fare are encouraged!

What: Shakespeare in the Popup Park
When: [CANCELLED] Tonight August 22nd at 7:30pm
Where: Bushwick Inlet (popup) Park, 50 Kent Avenue

UPDATE: Tonight’s performance has been cancelled due to the rain. Check out King Lear on August 22nd.

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“Then She Fell” Continues to Lure Audiences to North Brooklyn — And Down the Rabbit Hole

Photo by Chad Heird

Much like the White Rabbit, I was very late to the party.

Third Rail Projects has been enchanting audiences in Brooklyn since 2012 with its immersive show Then She Fell, a deep dive into the rabbit hole and through the looking-glass. Last week, I finally got to experience this gritty gem.

Set inside the Kingsland Ward at St. John’s (195 Maujer St) in East Williamsburg, the three-story building is made out to be an eerie sanatorium of sorts that probes into the underside of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass — examining the insidious relationship between the author and his muse, the young Alice Liddell. In light of current conversations about #MeToo, the alleged relationship between Charles Dodgson (the man behind the pen name of Carroll) and Alice Liddell leaves little room for speculation. Continue reading

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The Bushwick Starr’s “Singlet” Tests the Limits of Intimacy

Singlet at The Bushwick Starr, photo by Sasha Arutyunova

Consider yourself blessed, Brooklyn: the downtown and all’s-fair-in-love-and-cabaret artist Erin Markey is performing within walking distance from the L Train. Markey, whose preferred gender pronoun is they, has written — and is performing in — Singlet, a bold world premiere that is now extended at The Bushwick Starr through June 12 (207 Starr Street). Known for their one-of-a-kind and genre-defying Manhattan performances, Markey now comes to their home borough with a stunning and zippy world premiere. Continue reading

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Ladies Who Ranch, Art on Airwaves, La Banubas, Paint and Sip — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (3/7–3/13)

For just $1 get a ride to nearby subway stations to/from Greenpoint with Via, an on-demand ridesharing app!! Download the app here and set your pick up or drop-off location by moving the pin on the map to the locations for any of the following train stations:

  • Marcy Av (JMZ train)
  • Vernon Blvd – Jackson Av (7 train)
  • Bedford Av (L train)
  • Lorimer St/Metropolitan Av (L and G trains)
  • Graham Av (L train)
  • Nassau Av (G train)
  • Greenpoint Av (G train)

Expires Monday (March 12, 11:59PM). Install the Via app now! [Sponsored]

WEDNESDAY 3/7

^ Tables of Contents Reading Series: Hunt! Gerrard! Caldwell! @Egg (109 North 3rd St), 7pm, $5, Each reading will be paired with snacks inspired by its text, plus you’ll be in for an author-curated playlist and a rangy Q&A/discussion on writing, craft, aversion, and creativity to wrap up the night. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, and WORD will be present slinging text, More info
☺ Ladies Who Ranch @ Vital Joint (109 Meserole St), 8pm, $5-10, Group of women does jokes for laughs at comedy show to change the national conversation. The show is followed by the Ladies Who Ranch Open Mic, an experimental comedy mic that especially encourages multimedia performances, More info
♫# Live Flamenco in St Charles Cellar @St. Mazie Bar (345 Grand St), 8pm, FREE, A night of authentic Flamenco in our beautiful speakeasy. Full dinner menu available as well as a 3 course Pre fixe menu, cocktails, absinthe and more… Ole!, More info
♫ Carte Blanche @Radegast Hall (113 N 3rd St), 9pm, FREE,French, Latin and American tunes while you sample the incredible selection of authentic german beers on tap and maybe have a giant german pretzel or bratwurst from the grill!! Space to dance!, More info

THURSDAY 3/8

* Kombrewcha’s International Women’s Day Celebration @ The Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave), 6:00pm, $3, Boss Ladies doing big things. We’ll be hosting a panel on Women Who Do. Buy tix
* NYC DRAFT Meetup @ PencilWorks (61 Greenpoint Ave), 6:30pm, FREE, Fast-paced hour of ideas, entrepreneurs and bikes, capturing the exciting things happening in the bike industry, RSVP
♫ ♦ Art on the Airwaves @ Union Docs (322 Union Avenue), 7:30 pm, $10, A showcase of radio documentary selected by James T. Green, cofounder of Postloudness, a collective of independent audio shows by people of color, women, and queer-identified hosts that aims to create a community of unique voices in audio. Buy tix
♫ Anna McClellan (Record Release), Navy Gangs @ ALPHAVILLE (140 Wilson Avenue), 10pm, $10, Buy tix
♫ Mughal Legion 3 Ft. Fanaa @ Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Ave), 10pm, FREE, Part 3 of a monthly-ish series of musical rites to be performed at Legion Bar, curated by Mughal Muesli. More info
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Peace, Love, and Dopeness in The Bushwick Starr’s New Spaceship Spectacular

"The Brobot Johnson Experience" with Darian Dauchan, photo by Maria Baranova
“The Brobot Johnson Experience” with Darian Dauchan, photo by Maria Baranova

“An Unidentified Flying Boombox has landed in Bushwick.”

This announcement, along with a pre-show layer of purple haze, are harbingers for Brobot’s cosmic arrival. Cast out of the planet Nubian, he’s here to share the human — er, robot — experience in order to save planet earth. (The reason our blue marble is in jeopardy is never made clear, but look no further than daily headlines to grasp Brobot’s desperation to save us.)

Brobot arrives, lays down some beats, and harnesses audience enthusiasm à la Tinker Bell resuscitation to refuel his spaceship and return home. This is the flimsy and stilted premise of Darian Dauchan’s new show, The Brobot Johnson Experience, now playing at experimental powerhouse The Bushwick Starr (207 Starr Street) through March 17. Dauchan writes and stars in his a one-robot, existential spaceship-palooza, and though director Andrew Scoville keeps the pacing breezy and the staging kinetic, the show remains rather plotless: After a few numbers, a craving for conflict (or other characters) settles in. Without any dramaturgical verve, all fuel (literally absent from the ship) must come from our trusted time and space traveler.

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“Dandy Be Good” Offers Sizzling Tales in Bitter Weather

Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk
G.J. Dowding. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

Vital Joint’s venue is tiny, but the amount of pre-show audience chitchat was enormous. Most was facilitated by a a suit-donning and larger-than-life Rhinelander (more on him later), but some was organic: “Did you make that necklace” or “Hey, the bar serves beer” pleasantries were also exchanged. If there was ever a lull, our German friend was quick to fill it with a quip or suggestion that the cash-only bar is steps away. “This is experimental theater,” he said. “You’ll need a drink.”

This is all the prelude to Dandy Be Good, queer artist GJ’s storytelling cabaret now playing through January 27 at Vital Joint (109 Meserole Street) as part of Brooklyn’s Exponential Festival. Like the pre-show banter, Garlan Jude (GJ)’s show fosters community and togetherness. They lip sync to songs from Judy Garland (a fun reversal on the performer’s name?) and interviews from socialite women of yore. But GJ doesn’t hog the stage — they share it with a trio of guest performers: a vaudevillian-reminiscent actress, a consummate orator, and — yes — our chatty German pal.

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Activists Are Real? See For Yourself in The Buswick Starr’s New Comedy, “Cute Activist”

Madeline Wise in “Cute Activist” at The Bushwick Starr

Milo Cramer has made his Bushwick Starr debut.

I’m not just discussing his play, the zippy and zany Cute Activist. Cramer wrote it, but — in a lovely surprise — is also in it. And like his play, the performance is delightful.

Cramer, alongside Sebastian Pray, puppeteers his way through his new comedy, now extended through February 3 at The Bushwick Starr (207 Starr Street). Cute Activist gingerly but probingly tackles capitalist greed, interracial dating, and — yes — activism. (Sound designer John Gasper comically conjures *thunder* each time that forbidden word is uttered.) Or is it slactivism? It’s hard to say. Cramer doesn’t try and pin down the elusive term, but he does winningly show how his heroine Jen — short for Jen-der, or Jen-trification — illuminates it for herself. Continue reading

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New Office Satire “R&D” Comes to The Keep January 11-13

Reversible floor tiles. Sleeve Me Alone. A pencil that’s also jerky.

Practical or utterly useless, these are a small handful of the colorful pitches in Brouhaha Theatre Project’s upcoming R&D: a nightmare in three flowchartsAnd while these may seem the stuff of Call-Now-and-Save infomercials aimed at sexagenarians comfortable in their recliners, they originate from the fresh minds of one of Brooklyn’s youngest and most promising theater companies.

R&D is basically a portrait of a team of Young Professionals who leave everything behind to devote themselves to this crazy startup called BrainSoul,” said Sam Myers, one of Brouhaha’s five company members and R&D’s playwright.

R&D (as in “research and development”) overflows with exhausting and all-too-familiar corporate jargon that is ripe for comedic satire. Office lingo like “impressive stapling work” and “on the same page” are often tossed around. Somehow, outside of the workplace and inside the theater, these phrases feel like poisonous earworms, which may be the point. 

“Over the course of the play, the YoPros’ enthusiasm for the company becomes more and more cultish,” Myers said. “It’s an office comedy that tries to push the toxic insularity of work life to a really extreme place.”

The show debuted last year at Dixon Place in Manhattan and now comes to the basement of Bushwick/Ridgewood’s The Keep (205 Cypress Avenue), a bar with as much spunk and funk as Brouhaha’s latest project. 

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Heather Christian Unleashes a Ravishing Tour de Force in The Bushwick Starr’s “Animal Wisdom”

Heather Christian in her Bushwick Starr show, “Animal Wisdom.” Photo by Maria Baranova.

The richest musical score this season might not be found on Broadway. To add to its allure, it’s created by a “migraine-suffering musician who talks to dead people.”

It’s a bold self-proclamation, but Obie Award winner Heather Christian’s Animal Wisdom is an equally bold work — and one that’s near impossible to pin down. To call it a play lumps it in with traditional narratives, and yet to label it a folksy-Requiem-mass-drama barely trumpets its dynamism, élan, and pure resplendence.

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A Fiery, Absurdist “Chamber Music” Now Playing at St. John’s

Members of the “Chamber Music” cast at St. John’s

“The chair recognizes Joan of Arc.”

It’s hard not to recognize her, in the theatrical sense — like the Joans we’ve seen, this one’s armor-clad, cross-bearing, and all-powerful. But is this Joan? Well, of course not; it’s merely a depiction.

But is the performer (a marvelously focused Bre Northrup) playing Joan, or a character who believes they are Joan? This is one of the central questions in Arthur Kopit’s Chamber Music, now playing through September 16 in the basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton Street).

Director Emily Moler makes dynamic use of her staging Kopit’s absurdist play, setting it in the round and utilizing the subterranean locale’s low-budget though ample space. In fact a church basement may be the unlikely, appropriate setting for Chamber Music: the play actually takes place in a mental institution, so a church (with its rigid mores) lends itself winningly to this story’s strict asylum. The “Joan of Arc” and other lady icons, from Osa Johnson to Pearl White, inhabit this jail, and their meeting of the minds feels echoed in the opening of Top Girls, Caryl Churchill’s feminist anthem. Continue reading

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