Just Do Art! | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Just Do Art!


Just for the record, we have it on good authority that performers booked for shows at the Canal Park Playhouse almost always show up. But that’s not the case when The Piccolini Trio sits down to enjoy a performance from a circus that never arrives. Fortunately, clowns always travel with an antique trunk full of all the props, costumes and surprises necessary for putting on a show of their own. Combining contemporary as well as classic European clowning, the Piccolinis (Joshua Shack, John Stork and Joy Powers) also draw from the collective experience of having performed with the likes of Circus Smirkus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and the Moscow State Circus. The result is a repertoire of routines that use music, acrobatics, physical comedy, juggling and pantomime in unique and unexpected ways. Their show, “Circus in a Trunk,” is part of Canal Park Playhouse’s Classic Brunch Matinee series — at which audience members can enjoy a selection of items from The Waffle Iron Café (open from 10am-6:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays, for ticket holders only). Among the Café’s repertoire: Hot-off-the-waffle-iron spinach, mushroom, smoked chicken sausage frittatas; French toast and traditional Belgian waffles. Greek yogurt, granola and fresh fruit provide a nice alternative to those making good on their New Year’s resolution to live on slightly less grease and sugar.

Appropriate for all ages. From Sat., Jan. 7 through Sun., Jan. 29; Sat. and Sun., at 2pm and 4pm. At Canal Park Playhouse (508 Canal St., btw. Greenwich and West Sts.). General admission is $20, with a pre or post-show pre-fixe brunch available for an additional $8 in advance or $10 at the door. For reservations or more info, call 866-811-4111 or visit canalparkplayhouse.com. For info on the artists, visit piccolinitrio.com.


Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) had three children. Poets Marie Howe, Evan and Joanna Smith Rakoff, Martin MacKinnon, and Tina Chang (Brooklyn’s poet laureate!) all have children of their own. No tykes will be in attendance, though, at this 21+ event. Good thing too — because we hear this Burns tribute will almost certainly afford audience members the chance to imbibe whisky in addition to the usual opportunities that present themselves at the wine bar. The impressive roster of poets/parents will read some of Burns’ poems and some of their own. They’ll also discuss the challenges, rewards and proven methods of balancing one’s creative life with being a parent. This unique event, which even a bitter single person can enjoy, is from the fertile (and justifiably frazzled) collective known as Pen Parentis — an organization founded to encourage the production of creative written work by authors who are also parents.

Free. Tues., Jan. 10, at 7pm. At The Libertine Library at Gild Hall (15 Gold St.). For more info, visit penparentis.org.


For a guy who wants us to know that those noble stabs at New Year’s self-improvement are useless (what with the impending Mayan Apocalypse of December, 2012), Downtown’s daring master of ceremonies, Faceboy, certainly knows how to have a good time before the end times. Case in point, the second installment of his new monthly series at Bowery Poetry Club. Inspired by the famed Folies Bergere, “Faceboyz Folliez” pays homage to those days of yore by gathering a core group of Downtown legends, upcoming newbies and special guests. The result, Faceboy assures us, is a “variety show of the weird and wonderful, with an emphasis on bawdy humor… daring burlesque, live music, creepy films, great writers and crazy fun!” Remember, this offer just might be good only through December, and is void in Tennessee (sorry, Tennessee). January’s installment features St. Rev. Jen Miller, Velocity Chyaldd, Stormy Leather, Amanda Whip and Eva Patron — with special guests John S. Hall, Deity Delgado and Dame Cuchifrita (plus music from The Fools and short films by ASS Studios).

Sun., Jan. 8, at 10pm. At Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, btw. Bleecker & Houston). Admission: $10. For info, call 212-614-0505 or visit bowerypoetry.com. Also visit facebook.com/FaceboyzFolliez.

Photo by Amy Carrigan

“Leakey’s Ladies” pays tribute to three pioneering primatologists.


Ten women (all members of the Brooklyn-based puppetry collective known as Drama of Works) bring innovative puppet design, original music and tiered staging to this collection of short plays based on three primatologists who devoted their lives to studying and saving the great apes. “Leakey’s Ladies” are Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey (1932-1985) and Biruté Galdikas. “Leakey” is British scientist Louis Leakey (1903-1972) — who inspired and mentored the three “ladies” from the earliest days of their groundbreaking research through their later struggles and achievements.

Jan. 13-Feb. 4; Fri. & Sat. at 7:30pm. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the box office; student/senior tickets, $12 in advance and at the box office. For advance purchase and more info, visit dixonplace.org. Also visit dramaofworks.com.


Created by HERE resident artists Suli Holum and Deborah Stein — and inspired by a true story — this multimedia project takes audiences on a high-tech voyage into the world of medical chimerism (the phenomenon of containing two different sets of DNA within one body). When Jennifer Samuels discovers that she is her own twin, modern science and ancient mythology both play a part in shattering her notion of identity. “Chimera” is a joint production from HERE and the Under the Radar Festival (which runs Jan. 4-15, at multiple venues).

In previews beginning Jan. 5; opens Jan. 8, closes Jan. 28 (Jan. 5 at 3 & 7pm; Jan. 6, 7pm; Jan. 7 & 8, at 3 & 7pm. From Jan. 11-28, Wed.-Sun. at 7pm, with 10:30pm shows Fri. & Sat.). At HERE (145 Sixth Ave., one block below Spring St.). For tickets ($20), call 212-352-3101 or visit here.org. For more info on the festival, visit undertheradarfestival.com.


Painter, sculptor and poet Lynda Caspe’s “City Paintings Inside and Out” is an exhibition of her paintings and bronze sculptures based on New York City interiors and exteriors. Through Feb. 28. At Soverign/Santander Bank (110 Hudson St., corner of Franklin St.). Hours: Mon. through Fri., 8:30am-5:30pm (Thurs. until 7pm). For more info on the artist, visit lyndacaspe.com.