Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The other shoe has dropped

Well, it seems to be official at this point, that as of today the end of July, Rififi has closed its doors. After months of living month-to-month but seemingly stable, the owner is calling it quits...and gave all of the employees and show producers just about 24 hours notice that they no longer had a job, or a venue for their show, as of tonight. So, yeah, that is pretty much the worst fucking way possible to handle an already lousy situation. And now, one more venue for independent, live entertainment in Manhattan is gone.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Drop your weapons, you're surrounded by armed bastards!

Speaking of television, I've been circling warily around the announcement that there will soon be an American version of one of my favorite TV shows of the last decade or so, the British time travel-cop show mashup Life On Mars. But today I read that Harvey Keitel will be playing the American version of my personal hero, Gene Hunt. So...maybe it won't suck? Too much? We'll see.


I didn't even remember Roddy McDowell was in it

Just passed a taxi-top ad for Spamalot, now starring Stephen Collins. Sure, 7th Heaven, blah blah, but do you remember....this? My favorite show of 1982.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What song is she doing? Some people call her the space cowboy...

I know, I know, if there's anybody out there still reading this: all I've done since around, oh, March is write about burlesque shows. I'm sorry, it's been a busy summer! And I promise to lay off that and write about other stuff...but first I have to plug this Wednesday's show. Clams Casino is taking part in what certainly must be an all-time first: a burlesque-karaoke-dance party! Put on by Runaround Sue of Sugar Shack Burlesque, at the Habana Outpost in Fort Greene. It should be a fun and funny night, and you should come out to the Habana Outpost anyway; it's an all-solar powered, eco-conscious restaurant with outdoor space and, if it's anything like its sister restaurant Club Habana in Nolita, it's the home to the best goddamn Cuban sandwich in the country.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

The things you see while gluing and painting a big fucking gun out of styrofoam, at midnight on a Thursday.

Last night, working on finishing the props for Clams' new number at Pinchbottom this weekend (Clambo. Seriously, you don't want to miss this show!) and we were watching the debut of the new version of the Gong Show on Comedy Central. Suddenly, appearing on the stage: Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey! They performed their usual amazing, acrobatic and hilarious stuff, and I'm happy to report did not get gonged. It's always so funny and surreal to see burlesque performers we know on reality TV, and mainstream television never quite knows what to make of it. On the Gong Show, which is going for a rowdy, late-night vibe, they went over pretty well. And on America's Got Talent earlier this year, the Slippery Kittens, a troupe we saw perform at Exotic World in June, got a surprisingly positive reaction, considering Michelle L'Amour had been famously booed on the same stage a couple of years ago.

Anyway, Trixie and Monkey will be in town next week from Baltimore and you can see them onstage at Monday Night Burlesque in Williamsburg, they are crazy talented, amazing performers and I can't recommend enough that you come out for it! Plus, Clams is there too, making it a chance to see the two performers who tied for Most Innovative at this year's Exotic World Weekend, on one stage!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, and did I mention Pinchbottom?

So many shows that I'm excited about this summer, but between now and our own Coney Island endeavor AM GOLD, the one I'm looking forward to the most is the 25th Annual Miss Pinchbottom 1983 Pageant, at Coney Island! Thursday, July 24th, this will certainly be hilarious fun, and I'm proud to say that the genesis of the idea comes from our very own Tivo, which preserved the Miss American 1983 Pageant after when it was shown on the short-lived cable channel Trio. Remember Trio?


And this is certainly, certainly the last time they'll do this particular show, since this war theme won't be relevent much longer, right?

I mentioned in a post from this weekend that there's a lot of volatility happening at venues for a bunch of long-running shows in town; one big example is Pinchbottom Burlesque, which has been housed in a theater at 279 Church Street in Tribeca, under the auspices of the non-profit Collective:Unconscious, since its first show over two years ago. Last month a sewer eruption in the basement led to a compound of issues that resulted in Pinchbottom (and Collective and other theater companies in the space) losing the venue with very little notice.

This week's Pinchbottom show, Pinchbottom Declares War! (Or, Full Frontal Jacket) is part of the Underground Zero theater festival, and luckily they've had the opportunity to move around the corner to a great theater called the Flea. This is also the first time that Pinchbottom has presented a show for a three day run, Friday through Sunday. So, here's the message for patrons of not only great burlesque but independently produced live entertainment in new York: buy your tickets now! Not only will you be seeing a great show, with a great lineup of performers and a really hilarious script, but this is the show that proves that burlesque can look with a real satirical eye and real emotional heft at the issues of our times. No, seriously! As the producers of Pinchbottom look to land in a new home, a sellout weekend will help a whole hell of a lot. So we'll see you there!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The summer of shows continues

We took the Jersey shore by storm again this Saturday at Asbury Lanes, and now it's time to gear up for more great shows coming up this summer. Of course, this Thursday is the next installment of Gameshow Speakeasy, the last of the summer before we take an August hiatus. And of course, coming up in August, AM GOLD! Above: the greatest flyer ever, thanks to the genius of photographer and designer Ted D'Ottavio. (click for the large view)

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The new name of the place isn't too inspiring, but that's ok

On Flickr, some backstage shots from last Monday's grand re-launch of Monday Night Burlesque at the venue formerly known as Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg, now called Public Assembly. New producer, new owners, new stage, big blowout show to celebrate, it was a fun night. In a summer when there's a ton of volatility happening with long-time venues and shows around town, it is great to see new owners of a venue continue a long-running weekly burlesque night.


Friday, July 04, 2008

It's on ESPN right now, everybody!

I love Nathan's and all, but Japanese competitior notwithstanding, isn't competitive eating really America's biggest "Fuck You!" to the developing world? Happy 4th everyone!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

We're hitting the road!

Sure, all you're thinking about right now is what you're doing this weekend, but what about after the holiday, after the barbecues are over and the smell of the fireworks has drifted away? You're going to Jersey, that's what! Clams Casino and Neil O'Fortune are joining Nasty Canasta and Jonny Porkpie for The Shore Thing: A Burlesque Road Trip! Next Saturday, July 12; you should be reserving your Zipcar right now, seriously; we're bringing Ruby Valentine and Anita Cookie with us, and heading to the greatest venue on the East Coast, Asbury Lanes on the Asbury Park boardwalk, for a show that is not to be missed--including the first ever Burlesque Bowling Challenge. Seriously, like you have other plans NEXT weekend?

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