16 October 2008

Ars Nova Has a Lot of Shit Going On

Okay, the problem with Ars Nova's launch show and party for their A.N.T. Fest last night is that I am simultaneously really jazzed about what they have going on, but also way too tired now to write about it well. Way to shoot yourself in the foot, Ars Nova! With your step team and your whiskey. Pssht.

So A.N.T. Fest ("Ars Nova Theater Festival") is "six weeks of mayhem." It's true. From tonight through November 24th there will be 30 one-night-only performances - theatre, music, comedy, dance, crazy-ass hybrid shit. The festival is "designed to present superb, new work by artists we feel are contributing to the next wave of ingenuity in live performance." Bless the folks at Ars Nova - this is mayhem, and they had open submissions, taking proposals and applications for anything you could do live on a stage. I get tired just thinking about it.

The show last night featured glimpses of a few of these performances, hosted by the really wonderfully hilarious Sara Schaefer. Then they opened up the Ars Nova Penthouse and set us loose to mingle with bunches of the A.N.T. Fest artists and random people we sorta know from college.

Some highlights:

  • I was accused by 3/4s of an alternative comedy troupe of having taken levels 1, 2, and 3 at the UCB, but that was just the open bar talking.
  • I cornered a boy and made him tell me everything he knows about organic chicken farming. That, too, was just the open bar talking.
  • I was conned into singing "Sk8er Boi," something that, yes, I will do stone cold sober. Thank god the room was really fucking loud, so I went mostly unheard. Then someone started playing "Seasons of Love," and it was time to get the fuck out of there.
Oh, what, you want highlights of the A.N.T. Fest? Fine. Here's what I think will be especially awesome:
(all shows are at 8pm. all tickets are $10. the entire festival program, as a pdf, is here.)

Step - Thursday, 10/16 (tonight!) My biggest (only?) regret from high school was not joining the step team. God, it is so awesome. I shouldn't have been such a fraidy cat little white girl. And these folks, who opened the show last night, are amazing. If you don't have plans tonight, pony up ten bucks and GO SEE THIS.

Liquid Gold - Friday, 10/17 Featuring last night's awesome host, Sara Schaefer, and the always wonderful and weird Becky Yamamoto, this is "an evening of comedy, music, and video so hot, it will melt all your precious metals." I just typed 'previous metals,' but Sara and Becky were so great that I bet they can melt that, too.

Project - Saturday, 10/18 I don't know anything about these guys other than what the little A.N.T Fest booklet tells me, but they look really cool - "Combining a classical repertoire with original compositions, this dynamic young ensemble... fuses jazz, hip-hop, and one-of-a-kind beatbox flute." The picture features a cello, stand-up bass, and flute. The beatboxing flute, obvs.

Just Jump - Monday, 10/20 This was the weirdest and maybe also the most exciting piece I saw last night. A crazy fusion of dance and socio-political commentary, it was not like anything I've ever seen before. Damn exciting, stuff that's so totally new. I have no idea what it's about - the bit we saw was on gay rights... and cavemen... - but I wouldn't miss this one.

The Story of America - Thursday, 10/23 More from Becky Yamamoto (who, btw, was the awesome main chick in Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven). She's crazy and brazen and really fucking funny.

The Lance and Ray Show - Friday, 10/24 Okay, yes, I know these fuckers. But they are funny and talented.

Gato Loco Coconino - Saturday, 10/25 Another one I'm judging just based on the picture and blurb. "Deranged Latin big band... an evening of hot and heavy grooves accompanied by a rich visual landscape of live video images and hallucinatory, 1920s-style animation." Lotsa folks in the band, lotsa giant saxophones.

Yes to Everything! - Monday, 10/27 There are lots of talented actors in this evening of short plays, and the picture is of a dude who got punched in the face. It promises a "wildly talented houseplant." I think it will deliver.

Girls I've LIKE Liked - Thursday, 11/13 "Josh Halloway shares some of his favorite unrequited love stories in this candid, auto-bio-fictional romp." We saw part of this last night, and it includes a slide show to the highest comedic effect.

Dial 'P' for Pasties - Saturday, 11/15 I shared an elevator with this "acrobatic burlesque super-duo," but don't worry - they were wearing clothing. Awesome clothing. This show is a "burlesque who-done-it that seamlessly integrates acrobatics, dance, striptease, and shenanigans." You'd think striptease might fall under 'shenanigans,' but I guess they have more up their sleeves. Until they take their sleeves off.

The Worst of Us - Saturday, 11/22 I loved these kids. I did not see them, the "alternative comedy troupe," perform, but I spent some time hanging out with them at the party and I get the strong sense that their funny translates very well to the stage. Oh, and word, check it out! Their blurb talks about killing babies! I knew I liked them. "Comedic conventions are awkwardly slaughtered as these four savage innocents smother babies and smile rainbows." Fuck yes.


anna said...

jaime, if i didn't already want to move back to new york, you have made me want to move back, yesterday, JUST FOR THESE SHOWS.

Colin said...

What a great post (bias alert)! If you're planning to come to any of the remaining shows on your list, follow our twitter account and save at the bar! And keep following for more fun!