Volume 20, Number 45 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 23 - 29, 2011

LEFT: Jazz Ain’t Dead’s Gershwin mashup’s got plenty of something. (Photo by James George ) RIGHT: Thirst for revenge: The latest tale from Vampire Cowboys gets real. (Photos by Robert Ross Parker)

Just Do Art!


We can’t say where, exactly, that Downtown gal who goes by the (stage?) name Franny Fluffer hails from — but it must be a place where the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air. Oz, maybe, as imagined by David Lynch and Mark Frost. Their dark and trippy TV show asked the soap opera-friendly question “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” — and it’s a safe bet that the little girl who’d morph into Franny Fluffer was inspired by the damaged beauty of “Twin Peaks.” Ms. Fluffer and friends do their tribute thing, with the ongoing series “David Lynch Burlesque.” Last month’s premiere installment sold out fast, so get your tickets, like, NOW for the March 30 edition. “Special Agent” Bastard Keith hosts. Performances by Amelia Bareparts, Foxy Vermouth, Franny Fluffer, Gemini Rising, Madame Rosebud, Miss Rose (from Philadelphia) and go-go dancing by Doctor Flux PhD. Wed., March 30, 9:30pm, at Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston St. at Attorney). $10 cover, two-drink minimum. Ages 21+ only, please — it is, after all, a burlesque show. Visit frannyfluffer.com. Twitter: twitter.com/frannyfluffer. Facebook: facebook.com/frannyfluffer.

Jazz Ain’t Dead means to confirm the young urban music and dance collective’s namesake, and mission statement, by taking classical jazz standards and re-imagining them into house, acid jazz, funk and soul. The spring season offers two dynamic programs of singers, dancers and a DJ performing new music and revived classics — as well as selections from their tribute concert, “Jazz Ain’t Dead Celebrating the Legacy of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.” — which re-imagines the Gershwin opera (danced music includes “Summertime” done as jazzy burlesque with original spoken word by special guest Mo Beasley; “Ain’t Necessary Soul” as acid house; and “A Woman is a Sometime Thing” performed as an old time juke joint boogie down funk). Thurs. through Sun, March 24-27. At Joyce SoHo (155 Mercer St.). Performances are 7:30pm on 3/24; 7:30pm & 9:30pm on 3/25 & 3/26; and 6pm on 3/27. For tickets ($22; $15 for students/seniors), 212-242-0800 or joyce.org. For the program schedule, visit JazzAintDead.com.

The last full-on bloodbath from Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company — 2010’s “Alice in Slasherland” — had so much going on, it took no less than three of our critics to attend, consume and review. Their latest effort (once again written by the sly, satirical, fundamentally mental Qui Nguyen) promises to contain the usual body count of highly choreographed violence and pools of red stuff. This time around, though, they’ve drawn from a true story — as opposed to their trademark melding of pop culture icons, images and narrative traditions. Some things don’t change, though, and why should they? “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G” follows the titular character as he returns to Vietnam after (what else?) a prolonged absence. The reason? Revenge, baby. Sweet, bloody revenge. March 24 through April 16: Thurs. through Sun., 8pm. At Incubator Arts Project (St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E. 10th St., at Second Ave.). For tickets ($18), visit incubatorarts.org or call 212-352-3101. For more info, vampirecowboys.com.

In collaboration with the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, Asian American Arts Centre presents “Boom Box.” The exhibition (located on CSV’s 2nd floor and installed in the Abrazo Interno Gallery) is curated by Eun Young Choi and features the work of Amy Chan, Ming Fay, Jung Hyang Kim and Hyungsub Shin. Together, these four artists transform the white walls of this rectangular gallery into a vibrant, colorful space populated by dreamlike abstractions, a fruit-laden urban jungle, surreal landscapes and blooms created from traditional hand-held fans. Through March 30. Open to the public 7 days a week, 3:30-7pm and by appointment.

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center is located at 107 Suffolk St. (btw. Delancey & Rivington near the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge). For info, call 212-233-2154 or visit artspiral.org and artasiamerica.org.  

Universal struggles transfer exceedingly well across cultures. The problems of an Iranian man may bear a striking resemblance to yours (or anybody who’s ever struggled with keeping food on the table and keeping the home fires burning. For the first time in English, Noor Theatre presents a concert-style reading of acclaimed writer and actor Houshang Touzie’s comedic play (In “Our Sweet Life by the Pacific Ocean”). The reading does double duty: First, as a benefit for both Noor Theatre and the Persian Arts Festival; and secondly, as the opening event of the 5th Annual (aforementioned) Persian Arts Festival. More reasons to go? It stars the Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo; playwright Touzie; Matt Pascua, Dina Shihabi and Barzin Akhavan (as directed by Shidan Majidi). Sat., March 26, 7pm. At the 92Ytribeca (200 Hudson St.). For tickets, 92YTribeca.org or 212-601-1000. Visit persianartsfestival.org and noortheatre.org.

In the wake of suicides at universities in New York — and inspired by his time spent working for the Tijuana-based nonprofit Esperanza (“hope”) — Steve Sherman crafted the characters who would end up populating “On Campus.” Speaking about why he chose the world of undergraduate academics as the location for his play, Sherman noted, “It is a very defining time, a kind of post-high school/pre-life where decisions and relationships feel very crucial. More and more pressure is placed upon college students today and On Campus reflects the consequences that result from how the pressure is handled.” Through March 26 (Wed.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm), at the LABA Theater at 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St. btw. First and Second Aves.). For tickets ($18, $12 with valid student ID), visit theatermania.com, call 212-352-3101 or purchase at the box office 30 minutes before curtain. Visit oncampustheplay.com.

Australian playwright Daniel Keen’s, well, keen sense of dark humor and heightened reality seems a natural fit for theater company One Year Lease’s mission to, Artistic Director Ianthe Demos declares, “create contemporary productions inspired by ancient myths.” In “The Killing Room,” it’s every brother for himself as the world comes to a very ugly end made worse by the greed, violence and betrayal of two brothers (whose dysfunctional dynamic bears a striking resemblance to that of Atreus and Thyestes — who fought each other for the throne of Olympia). Wed.–Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm, through April 2, at Teatro Circulo (64 E. 4th St.). For tickets ($25), call 866-811-4111 or visit www.theatermania.com. Coming up next from One Year Lease: The world premiere of “Manmade Mistakes” by Danny Mitarotondo (at Teatro Circulo May 18-28). For more info, visit oneyearlease.org.

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