Shen Wei Takes Over the Armory (& the Rest of a Very Busy Week)

Little Lord's "Babes in Toyland"

Well, December is upon us, and the last burst of energy in everyone’s fall seasons is playing out–it feels like–this week. There’s a lot to see (more than we’re going to get to), all worthy of attention. Here’s a brief list of openings we won’t be making or short-run shows we want to make sure you hear about before it’s too late.

Peter Jacobs/The Assistant Theater, SAND at the Chocolate Factory (through Dec. 10; tickets $15). It’s been way too long since I’ve been up to Long Island City to visit the good folks at the Chocolate Factory. This week, the new theatrical presentation by long-time New York director-performer Peter Jacobs opened. A sci-fi influenced drama, the work promises to be visually stunning and intellectually engaging as Sand leads audiences through worlds of unreality and referential meaning.

Susan Eve Haar, Sex in a Coma at HERE Arts Center (through Dec. 11; tickets $18). This is one I actually hope to get to see next week, but it’s opening for a two-week run this Thurs., Dec. 1. Playwright Susan Eve Haar has woven a strange, torn-from-the-headlines story into an exploration of science and identity. Inspired by the story of a guy who raped a comatose woman, Haar offers up a much more complex Romeo and Juliet-esque portrait of love, obsession, and identity, extrapolating from cutting edge science the idea of what self is like in a comatose state. Sound intriguing? Well it’s directed by and was developed with legendary director Lee Breuer.

Shen Wei Dance Arts, Undivided Divided (& other works) at the Park Avenue Armory (through Dec. 4; tickets $35). It’s undeniable that the sheer scale of the Park Avenue Armory is both a daunting challenge and a fantastic opportunity. But  choreographer Shen Wei knows something about scale, having choreographed part of the now legendary opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. The result of a year-long creative residency, in Undivided Divided Wei’s company will taking over the entire space of the armory to offer a performance that appears both deeply personal and grandiose in scale. In addition to the new work, Wei will be presenting both his version of Rite of Spring (2003) and Folding (2000), a pair of works that helped establish his reputation. It’s also worth pointing out that a mere two weeks later, Elizabeth Streb is presenting a new work at the Armory, so get your tickets soon.

Little Lord‘s Babes in Toyland at the Brick (through Dec. 10; tickets $18). The cheeky ensemble behind Jewqueen and (oh my god i am so) THIRST(y), Little Lord’s Babes in Toyland is billed as a “recession spectacle,” a low-tech, made-by-hand affair that makes the most of our current era of austerity. And yes, it has a certain holiday synergy about it. Produced by Culturebot contributor Jane Jung, it promises to be a fun evening in the madcap absurdist vein of Charles Ludlam.

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