Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reggie Watts!!! Magnificence at Highline Ballroom

I saw Reggie Watts on Friday, who was an absolutely incredible performer. Both a comedian and a musician, Watts's performaces are improvised acts that blend stream-of-conscious storytelling with incredible beats and comedy. He used a looping machine and a piano, very quickly veering from a musical performance to comedic storytelling to everything in between.

As reviewed by Brian Eno: ""Reggie Watts is a most unusual talent: a huge vocal range, a natural musicality, and a sidesplitting wit. Is he a comedian? A singer? A performance artist? I've seen him a few times since then and I still can't decide. Whatever, he ain't like nobody else."

And that is how Reggie Watts is. See him if you ever can.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun New York Christmas-Related Events

I want to go to both of these!!!! Who's in?

The House of Yes Christmas Spectacular in Williamsburg and The Hard Nut at BAM in Brooklyn!

December 16th, 17th and 18th


House of Yes is at it again, with the second annual House of Yes
Christmas Spectacular! This year, producer duo Anya Sapozhnikova and
Kae Burke are bringing audiences “Xmas Around the World”, a
delightfully offensive celebration showcasing different cultures and
their customs of Christmas joy.

Featuring more talent than that other “Christmas Spectacular”,
this show will be overflowing with festive theatrics including racist
reindeer, Chinese elves, holiday aerialists, and international Santas!

Performers from the Lady Circus, Dead Bunny Burlesque, Spazz Hands,
Desert Sin, extra special guest Miss Rosewood and many more will be
bringing Christmas cheer to the stage this year guaranteeing that this
will really be the Most Wonderful Show of the Year.

Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm

$20-$40 sliding scale. Limited number of $15 tickets will be available
for the Thursday show, first come first served basis.

Tickets will only be available at the door, cash only please.

(PG13: strong language, drug references, nudity(full frontal, male and
female), sex, racial profiling, strobes.)

House of Yes Theatre

342 Maujer Street (near Morgan Ave)

Grand St. L train

All proceeds go to benefit House of Yes theatre improvements for 2011!

and ...

The Hard Nut

Part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival

Dec 10, 11 & 15—18, 2010, 7:30pm
Dec 12 & 19, 2010, 3pm

The Hard Nut is the annual Richard B. Fisher Next Wave Presentation, which receives special support from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

Presented by BAM and Mark Morris Dance Group

Featuring the MMDG Music Ensemble with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Conducted by Robert Cole
Choreography by Mark Morris

"Morris' choreography is formally dazzling, uproariously funny." —San Francisco Chronicle

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Mark Morris Dance Group reprises its irreverent and much loved The Hard Nut, a retro-modern take on the holiday favorite The Nutcracker. Morris’ rendition—which has won Ovation TV’s Battle of the Nutcrackers contest for three years running—transplants the story from the decorous 1890s to the swinging 1970s, a freewheeling era realized with panache and wit. Inspired by the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous score, and the comic book art of Charles Burns, Morris captures the beauty and tenderness of this classic while infusing it with supreme musicality and raucous humor.

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
120min with intermission
Tickets: $25, 45, 60, 70

Appropriate for ages 4 & up

Set design by Adrianne Lobel
Costume design by Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting design by James F. Ingalls
Based on the novel by ETA Hoffman, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This NY Love & Hate Relationship

I made my way, early this afternoon, to Manhattan to indulge in a facial at FineLiving New York, purchased weeks earlier from Lifebooker Loot. Enthused to redeem my deal and have my face soothed from winter's harsh effects -- especially at a place so focused on a holistic, all-natural approach -- I tried to block the cold from seeping into my thoughts and my fingertips as I briskly walked along 14th St. Then, literally out of nowhere, right by Union Square, a man kicked my leg, suddenly appeared by my side, glared at me and growled, "Don't you EVER walk up behind me like that again!"

Completely taken aback, my heart pounding from the realization that I had so suddenly and quickly been mildly accosted and assaulted, I literally froze. I saw the man cross the street and disappear. My instinct was to dial 911. After an aggravatingly long talk with the operator -- "You're where exactly? It happened where? You want to meet the police, where?" -- I stood in the exact spot where the man had so quickly appeared and then evaporated, waiting for police officers to show up. Then I saw a man with a "Union Square" work-related jacket, and I asked him if he had seen what had just happened. I wasn't hurt from the incident at all, but I was -- and am -- more shaken up from it than I had expected to be. He seemed mildly concerned for me but said he hadn't seen anything. There obviously were witnesses -- streams of people were walking all around me -- when the incident happened, but in characteristic New York fashion, not a single person stopped to offer their sympathy, ask if I was okay or offer to be a witness.

The only descriptors I have for the man are vague: he was black, about my height, of unidentifiable age, and wearing a leather jacket. How infuriatingly, maddeningly stereotypical. I realized that I should have opened up my phone and snapped a picture of him with it, if I would've even had time for that. At this point, my plan to stay relatively immune to the cold before I reached my destination had proven unsuccessful, and police were still nowhere to be seen, so I simply continued my walk, trying -- unsuccessfully -- to recompose myself.

Finally, once at my ayurvedic spa, I managed to fully calm down and sink into facial-inspired bliss maybe 10 or 20 minutes into the treatment. Poor, disempowered, possibly mentally ill and/or drug-addled man, and heck if I was going to let someone as desperate and angry as him make me not feel safe or become angry and vengeful because of one ignorant, angry act. And so I made myself forget about him for awhile and relax into my little afternoon pampering session.

Ironically enough, when I returned home, I found in my mailbox the newest issue of New York Magazine: "Reasons to Love New York". The last reason given, Reason #59, "Our Most Notable Recent Exile Can't Stop Thinking About Us," quotes author Jonathan Lethem. Here is an excerpt of what Lethem had to say: "I love and hate, disgorge and devour, exalt and revile my old-and-always home just as fiercely and the same way each time I've fled, only to find it stalking me around my mental corner."

Sigh. New York.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Cheer in Williamsburg!

So I missed the Santacon barcrawl/party this Saturday, but in honor of both having recovered from a cold and having an old friend in town, I went out this weekend and had my fair share of holiday cheer.

The weekend started off on Friday at Happy Ending, my favorite LES dance bar, which fully lived up to its reputation. And Saturday we kept it local, even though, as my friend remarked, as Brooklyn seems to be getting trendier, perhaps "Manhattan is the new Brooklyn" in terms of weekend parties.

But I ended up Saturday at Whiskey Town, which apparently started in the East Village but is now open right on Berry Street in Williamsburg. And we danced the night away with Santas.

'Tis the season!