Just Do Art! | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Just Do Art!

Stephen Hall’s “Self Portrait of Congolese Woman in Drag.”  Image courtesy of the artist

LEGACY: A STEPHEN HALL SOLO EXHIBITION  The colors, shadows and light sources that give Stephen Hall’s canvases their neon-like intensity seem as if they’ve been rendered with the perfect, precise assistance of zeroes and ones. Not so. “There are no digital prints, photographs, collage, airbrush or projections involved in my work,” Hall vows. Instead, he achieves this distinct look through hand painting “rows and rows of acrylic colors or tones, going from dark to light in countless layers.” That layered technique extends to the subject matter. The world citizens who populate his work are given skin made of hypnotic patterns, and armed with objects that belong on the totem poles of other cultures. The end result is one of comfort by way of chaos — where information overload delivers the sublime message that all is, if not well, then at least strikingly similar across cultures, space and time.

Through April 15. Tues.-Sun., 1-6pm. At  Westbeth Gallery (55 Bethune St.). For more info, visit stephenhallart.com.

Rooftop horseman Federico Restrepo struts his stuff, in “Urban Odyssey.” Photo by Richard Greene

URBAN ODYSSEY  Back in 1985, Columbia native Federico Restrepo created Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company to explore and expand the use of puppetry in dance theater. Since 2002, he and his collaborators have been investigating the immigrant experience through a series of performances. “Nine Windows” was a multi-media look at displacement. “Open Door” examined the immigrant influence on NYC’s cultural diversity — and “Room to Panic” chronicled the rites of passage on the road to achieving the American dream. The culmination of that decade-long project, “Urban Odyssey” ponders the inevitability of a new American culture. With original music by Obie Award Winner Elizabeth Swados and text by Elias Khoury, the piece utilizes rhythmic music, dancers, body puppets and larger then life marionettes.

Through April 8, Thurs.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. At La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4th St., btw. 2nd Ave, & Bowery). For tickets ($25, $20 for students/seniors), purchase at the box office, call 212-475-7710 or visit lamama.org. Running time 80 minutes; appropriate for ages 12 and up. For more info, visit loco7.org and lamama.org.

A biblically epic lady, for our troubled times: Charles Busch stars in “Judith of Bethulia.” Photo by David Rodgers

JUDITH OF BETHULIA  For services rendered to comedy, and for sending up religion while dressed in a dress, Charles Busch is either going to get a heavenly reward or a hellacious punishment on the day he meets his maker. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen for a very long time, because we need him in the here and now. Last seen on the stage working a nun’s habit in the long-running “The Divine Sister,” the playwright’s latest work makes its world premiere at Theater for the New City (as did the funny, frothy, intrigue-filled “Sister”). This time around, Busch stars as the striking redhead “Judith,” in a spoof of Hollywood Biblical epics. That genre’s fascinating blend of excesses and reverence is a perfect match for a man who’s built an empire on satirizing and celebrating those very qualities. Carl Andress (the deft director of “Sister” and “Die, Mommie, Die!) is at the helm. The cast includes Jennifer Cody, Dave August, Christopher Borg, Mary Testa and Jennifer Van Dyck.

March 30-April 28. Wed.-Sat., 8pm and Sun., 3pm. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., at 10th St.).  For tickets ($25), visit smarttix.com or call 212-868-4444. Also visit theaterforthenewcity.net. Follow “Judith” on Facebook, at facebook.com/judithbethuliaonstage. For Twitter: @BBBway.

“Faceboyz Folliez” regulars Paaije Flash and Velocity Chyaldd, during a photo shoot for their new band (Alpha Fatale). Photo by Alex Colby”

FACEBOYZ FOLLIEZ  Why spend your April Fool’s Day negotiating the cheap tricks of amateurs who are only out to prey on your kind, and perhaps gullible, nature? If it’s laughs you want (served up with a little bit of dark cruelty), then grab a seat for “Faceboyz Folliez” — where the performers aren’t the only ones grabbing themselves! Sexy surprises and serious fun will be served up by your amiable yet troubled host Faceboy, along with his unstable stable of regulars: St. Rev. Jen Miller, Velocity Chyaldd, Stormy Leather, Amanda Whip and Paaije Flash (with short films from ASS Studios, directed by Courtney Fathom Sell). This month’s guests are writer Zoe Hansen, the band The Fools, musician Sean T. Hanratty and burlesque performers Evelyn Vinyl and Deity Delgado. There will also be an ass dancing contest — so you might want to hold off on getting that incriminating tattoo removed. Yeah, you know the one we’re talking about.

Sun., April 1, 10pm-Midnight, at Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, btw. Bleecker & Houston). Admission: $10 (for advance purchase, web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/912203). For info, call 212-614-0505 or visit bowerypoetry.com. Also visit faceboyzfolliez.com and join them on facebook.com/FaceboyzFolliez.