Just Do Art! STRAIGHT solidarity edition
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
THE PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT: A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR HOUSING WORKS
Housing Works, which runs a lovely little thrift shop here in Chelsea (at 143 W. 17th St., btw. 6th & 7th Aves.), provides housing, healthcare, job training and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. Their Downtown Bookstore Cafe hosts a variety of contemplative and entertaining special events — and on June 25, it’s the site of a benefit concert from The Portland Cello Project. The indie orchestra with a cult following is known for its unpredictable and unconventional playlist. You’re as likely to see an improvised version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” as you are a centuries-old classical selection.
Mon., June 25, 8pm (doors open 7:30pm), at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Houston & Prince Sts.). Tickets ($15; guarantees admission but not seating) are on sale now at housingworks.org/events. For more info, call 212-334-3324. All ticket sales benefit the Housing Works mission of fighting to end AIDS and homelessness.
GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL
It never got beyond the theoretical stage, but back in 1994 (the year after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was enacted!), the U.S. military contemplated developing a chemical weapon that would drive the enemy to hot, hard distraction by turning them gay. Today, our out, proud troops fight, train and shower alongside their straight brothers in arms — and the Republic has yet to crumble. But in the alternate universe of “Gay Bomb: The Musical,” newly minted right-wing President Felching is desperate to make good on his promise to defend the U.S. from homosexuality and “Mooslem” threats. His solution: embrace a controversial chemical weapon called the “Gay Bomb.”
With music by Frank Spitznagel and book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte, this satirical romp skewers prejudice, power and paranoia — and leaves no stereotype unscathed. The ensemble is full of gays, straights and switch hitters. Many of them are cast against type…so keep a scorecard during the show, and don’t be afraid to ask probing personal questions after the curtain!
At 8:30pm, June 15, 18, 22 & 29. At the Magnet Theater (254 W. 29th St., near 8th Ave.). Run time: 80 minutes, no intermission. For tickets ($15), visit brownpapertickets.com/243612. For info, visit gaybombthemusical.com.
READING: “THE WHIP”
“The Whip” is Karen Kondazian’s speculative, fictionalized account of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879). During the Old West era, Charley lived most of her life as a man — spending time as a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo, and living with a housekeeper who fell in love with her while unaware of Charley’s true sex. Kondazian will read from the novel, and if asked politely may even share the tale of how Charley killed a famous outlaw.
Tues., June 19, 7pm, at Bluestockings Bookstore, Fair Trade Cafe and Activist Center (172 Allen St., at Stanton St.). FREE (Bluestockings always passes the hat, but you’ll never be turned away from an event for lack of cash). For more info, visit bluestockings.com.
ALSO AT BLUESTOCKINGS, AT 7PM: On Wed., June 20, Barbara Carrellas (author of “Urban Tantra” and “Luxurious Loving”) celebrates the release of her book: “Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide.” This unique blend of queer and kink-friendly exercises and philosophies is designed to help you “explore your erotic self and delight in the infinite possibilities of ecstatic expression.” Assuming you have time to leave your apartment after reading that one, head back to Bluestockings on Sat., June 23 — for the Hot Poets Collective’s Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon. They’ll celebrate the release of their debut chapbook: “Of Fire, Of Iron.” On Tues., June 26, Vittoria Repetto (the hardest working guinea butch dyke poet on the Lower East Side) hosts the Women’s/Trans’ Poetry Jam & Open Mic. Come out, sign up and perform up to 8 minutes of your poetry, prose, songs and spoken word. Visit vittoriarepetto.wordpress.com for more info.
READING: “LOVE, CHRISTOPHER STREET: REFLECTIONS OF NEW YORK CITY”
Edited by Thomas Keith with an introduction by Christopher Bram, the 26 native New Yorkers, American transplants and international writers who contributed to “Love, Christopher Street” represent four decades of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life that transpired on that famous street and throughout the five boroughs.
At an upcoming event sponsored by Out Professionals, several authors will read from their original essays. Among them: “Dis-membering Stonewall” — the Rev. Irene Monroe’s eyewitness account of that hot night in 1969 when police raided the Stonewall Inn and drag queens fought back. Bob Smith’s “Silence = Death: The Education of a Comedian” recalls life as an out stand-up comedian in the 1980s. You’ll have to pick up the book if you want to hear “An Old Queen’s Tale” — Penny Arcade’s saga of how, as a runaway, she was taken off the street by gay men who introduced her to Warhol’s Factory. Also among the authors featured in the book, but not at the readings: Martin Hyatt (“My Last Big Addiction”), Justine Saracen (“The Opera Singer’s Pants, and How I Got In Them”) and Charles Rice-González (“A 1986 Bronx Story”).
On Wed., June 27, from 6:30-9pm at the LGBT Community Center (208 W. 13th St.). Admission is $10. Author readings from Mark Ameen, Christopher Bram, Martin Hyatt, Fay Jacobs, Michele Karlsberg, Rev. Irene Monroe, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Bob Smith & Judy Gold and Charlie Vázquez. For more info, visit “Love, Christopher Street” on Facebook or email email@example.com.
NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE’S ‘TWELFTH NIGHT’
Currently being performed in Central Park (through June 24), New York Classical Theatre’s production of “Twelfth Night” takes its show on the road — all the way down to Battery Park — beginning on June 26. Selected performances of this roving play will be preceded by the company’s popular family-friendly workshops. Led by cast members, the workshops use games and exercises to help audiences better understand the play’s comedic but complicated plot.
Shakespeare’s lively journey of mistaken identities, misguided lovers and joyous celebration recasts the play’s setting to New York City, circa 1900. “The turn of the twentieth century was a magical time of excitement and possibility here in New York City, and that perfectly parallels this story of self-reinvention and new beginnings,” said NYCT founder and artistic director Stephen Burdman. “This is my 25th year as a director, and I wanted to present this play, which includes some of Shakespeare’s greatest poetry, as a ‘love letter’ to the city that has provided me such a rewarding
Free performances run June 26-July 22,
7pm — and family workshops are July 7, 8, 21 & 22 at 5pm. At Battery Park (meet in front of Castle Clinton). For more info, call 212-252-4531 or visit newyorkclassical.org/whats-playing.
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES 2012 FILM PRESERVATION HONORS & BENEFIT
With Tribeca Cinemas, 92YTribeca, Film Forum, Angelika Film Center, Quad Cinema and the IFC Center all within walking distance of each other, Downtown has an embarrassment of cinematic riches. But for sheer volume, scholarship and scope, nobody does it better than Anthology Film Archives. During four decades spent preserving, presenting and promoting independent, non-commercial and avant-garde cinema, Anthology has amassed over 20,000 films and 5,000 videos. Each year, they preserve an average of 25 films, while hosting nearly 1,000 public programs. All of that comes at a price, though…and that’s where you come into the picture. Their Annual Film Preservation Honors and Benefit celebrates those who’ve made important contributions to film heritage — and the proceeds help support Anthology’s preservation and public screening programs. This year’s honorees: The Women’s Film Preservation Fund, film restoration lab Cinetech and Richard Pena (who earlier this year retired as Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Director of the New York Film Festival). A raffle (you don’t need to be present to win) will reward winners with prizes such as a private screening at Anthology, a visit to the set of “Boardwalk Empire” and VIP tickets to
“The Colbert Report.”
Mon., June 25, 7-10pm, at The Standard (High Line Room + Terrace; 848 Washington St. at W. 13th St.). For tickets ($175), visit anthologyfilmarchives.org/support/2012honors or call 212-505-5181, x10. Raffle tickets are $25 each; $100 for five.