LGBT Summer Performance Festaculars
This summer there is a veritable cornucopia of LGBT Performance Festivals celebrating Pride and beyond.
Culturebot Contributor Rachel Kramer Bussel provides us with an overview of QueerFestsNYC!
June is here, and with that comes several exciting queer festivals to get your motors revving and keep you busy all summer long. QueerfestsNYC encompasses Queer@HERE, the HOT! Festival, and the Fresh Fruit festival, happening at HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, and Arlenes Grocery/Sidewalk Café respectively, and offers a truly nonstop summer extravaganza. With over 60 shows and 300 performers, this is an opportunity to see some of the best of local queer theater, and with the festivals working together, schedules are staggered to optimize your viewing pleasure.
Queer@HERE opens June 15 and 16 with In Heat: An Amusing Evening of Discomforting Essays written byLisa Haas, directed by Jocelyn Sawyer and performed by Kent Gibson & Lisa Haas, its being billed as a satire on King Herod, daschshunds, sex fiends and other things that go hump in the night. In Heat plays in rep with Culturebots own Andy Horwitz in Naked and Famous, a new comic monologue about “the perils of getting what you think you want.”The festival is headlined by the inimitable Taylor Mac and the newly restaged version of his performance art cabaret bombshell Cardiac Arrest or Venus on the Half-Clam.
Other highlights include Elizabeth Whitney’s Bulletproof Wristbands, the NYC premier of Hijack Dance featuring Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder, Honey Toes Makes a Scene by Amy Jo Goddard, in which Goddess-worshipping Mistress HoneyToes conspires to concoct the perfect scene for a uniquely deviant client on June 19 and 20 and, June 24 and 25, Puttin’ on the Agony, combining puppetry and found text by Daniel Lang/Levitsky, billed as Social dances for paper dolls with gay 90’s music boxes and queer 00’s over-sharing.
For tickets, visit SmartTix.com or call 212-868-4444.
Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival, now in its 14th year, takes place July 6th – 28th and features puppetry, burlesque, drag, circus, performance, music, theater, dance, spoken word, and video. Most events take place at Dixon Place, 258 Bowery (between Houston and Prince), but check their website for all times and locations, or call 212-219-0736 for reservations. Theres a free opening night performance and preview July 6th, featuring Performance Art Legend John Fleck in COCKaDoodleDANDY: A Weapon of Mess Construction. Theres everything from the Veteran Series to numerous works-in-progress, and of the former you wont want to miss Felice Shays premiering Naked Femmes on Crutches about the power of sex, cupcakes, paid domination, and Judaism in stilettos. You can also catch Shelly Mars in The Bug Chasers. With everything from an all-woman firehouse to a fictional Jean Genet, the darker workings of the religious right to gay men who talk too much, how can you go wrong?
The Fresh Fruit Festival runs July 11 25, with various types of performances every night of that two week period that celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, beyond the stereotype (and TV friendly) middle class white men that are funny. From cucumbers to kumquats, theres everything here from lesbian poetry to food from Lower East Side restaurants, a true smorgasbord of queer art. From Bobby Brady Was a Homosexual to lesbian nun talks, queer hip-hop and adultery with a twist, and music galore (including the always brilliant Jenn Lindsay), this festival is sure to present the kinds of eye-opening art you dont see every day of the year. Visit their website for all the details.
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Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York-based freelance writer focusing primarily on sex, smut, books, music and popular culture. She has written for numerous publications including Alternative Press, Bust, San Francisco Bay Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice and others. She currently writes a nightlife column for New York Blade and serves as a Contributing Editor at Cleansheets.com and Editorial Assistant at On Our Backs.