Just Do Art: October Essentials

Urban songbird Tammy Faye Starlite takes flight with a new show at Pangea. | Photo by Bob Gruen


Uptown class meets East Village edge at Pangea, the progressive musical performance venue whose October roster includes chameleonic chanteuse Tammy Faye Starlite. A gifted, unpredictable interpreter of everyone from Marianne Faithfull to Nico, Faye is a ray of cosmic kookiness locked in a battle between genius and madness that commands respect — and rapt attention. Thursdays, 7 p.m. in October, “She Comes in Colors” puts her highly collectible stamp on the Rolling Stones’ loved/reviled studio experiment, “Their Satanic Majesties Request.” Cover is $25. Call 212-995-0900 or visit pangeanyc.com.

Local history programming, free at The Tompkins Square Library, includes Oct. 10’s 5 p.m. author talk with Alice Sparberg Alexiou and Kerri Culhane on the “Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery.” Oct. 19, Clayton Patterson and Penny Arcade are among the living legends on hand for “The East Village in the 1980s.” Now through Nov. 1, the vigorously researched exhibition “A Look Back on the East Village of the 1980s” does just that, by focusing on the neighborhood’s creative counter culture. Call 212-228-4747 or visit nypl.org/locations/tompkins-square.

They write the songs — and will sing as well. That’s the ironclad guarantee from BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center’s “Singing Our Songs: A Night of Singer-Songwriters” concert. The Oct. 12 installment features talented multitaskers Mario Giacalone (a musical artist, actor, and director), Queens-based folk singer Joshua Garcia, folk/jazz artist Lindsey Wilson, and Bev Grant (current founder/director of the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus and former leader of the ’70s/’80s folk/rock/world music fusion band Human Condition). For tickets ($21), call 212-220-1460 or visit TribecaPac.org.

Bev Grant is a featured artist at Oct. 12’s “Singing Our Songs” concert at BMCC Tribeca PAC. | Photo courtesy of BMCC Tribeca PAC

After taking last year off for the first time since its inception, expect the New York International Fringe Festival (aka FringeNYC) to come roaring back no signs of having frayed, and with more edge than ever before. The sprawling, multi-venue fest runs the entire month of October, and there’s at least one element of it that hasn’t changed a bit: Many performances are already sold out. Plot your brick and mortar binge strategy now, by visiting fringenyc.org.

They’ve been presenting some of the East Village’s most raucous, laugh-out-loud, and quite possibly diagnosably insane comedy showcases for a full decade — and that’s no joke. Now, Todd Montesi and Richard James’ “UG! Comedy Show!!” has found a new home for their Tuesday night destination event: Drexlers, at 9 Avenue A (btw. First & Second Aves.). Talent booked for this month includes Mo Vida and Lisa Chanoux (Oct. 9), Ian Koranek and host Ricki Sofer (Oct. 16), Luke Touma and Liz Glazer (Oct. 23), and Terence Hartnett and Devon Walker (Oct. 30). For info and reservations, call 646-524-5226 or visit ugcomedyshow.tumblr.com.

Trigger Warning for a Carpenters reference: Rainy days, we can’t do anything about — but at least one Monday a month won’t get you down. That would be when the fast-paced, monthly variety show “The Mosquito” lands in the Lounge at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). Hosted by the wry, sincere-instead-of-ironic, witty wordsmith (and Emmy award winner!) Nancy Giles, the Oct. 15 installment of this always-free series could very well feature any, or all, of the following oddball regulars: Pat Candaras, Cynthia Kaplan, Peri Gaffney, Kathryn Rossetter, Sheila Head, Susan Burns, Sue Giles, and Nancy Shayne. For more info, visit dixonplace.org.

Give them three hours and they’ll take you places you’ve never, ever been before, even if you’re a regular visitor to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86 (W. 46th St. and 12th Ave.). On Sat., Oct. 6, the already-awesome and frequently interactive museum will launch “Below Deck & Behind the Scenes: The Intrepid Hard Hat Experience.” This all-new guided tour lets you put your own mark on the footsteps of the Intrepid’s crew, by exploring unrestored parts of the legendary aircraft carrier that have, until now, remained beyond the grasp of the viewing public (including the emergency diesel generator room and the sickbay). In addition to these seldom-seen sights, there are sounds: The tour guides will regale you with tales of what it was like at sea during the Intrepid’s many years of service. For reservations and tickets ($150, with discounts for Museum member and veterans), call 212-245-0072 or visit intrepidmuseum.org. The minimum age for this tour is 16, and participants will get to keep the branded bump cap they must wear for protection during the tour — which, they want you to know, “requires extensive walking and standing” and requires one to “navigate under shallow clearings, up and down steep angled Navy ladders and through the ship’s hatches” — a small price to pay for such high adventure!

Pooches play dress up at The High Line Hotel’s annual Dog Costume Parade. | Photo courtesy of The High Line Hotel

ALL HAIL HALLOWEEN! | Some people like candy corn, while others favor candy apples. But what kind of monster doesn’t love a Dachshund dressed up like a hot dog? So get to work now — and by 10am on Sun., Oct. 28, you’ll have your own doggone clever outfit for Fido to strut in The High Line Hotel’s annual Dog Costume Parade (11:30 a.m.). The free “fur-ocious” festivities include doggie refreshments, snacks for humans, and face painting for kids of all ages. Canine costume contest categories include Funniest, Most Stylish, and, of course, Best in Show. For more info, visit thehighlinehotel.com/dogparade.

Fully formed apparitions hold conversations with visitors, notes play from a phantom piano, and snoring is heard on a couch with no mortal occupants: These things, and more, happen at Merchant’s House Museum, a genuinely haunted (whatever that means) 19th century domicile built by the wealthy Tredwell family. Hear about it all, and get a history lesson to boot, on their Candlelight Ghost Tours. Book your journey into the unknown now, because these annual October tours fill up quickly. Not spooky enough for you? At the stroke of midnight on select dates, paranormal investigator Dan Sturges (who’s logged hundreds of hours at the house) takes you through the house, while discussing his methodology and eerie findings —including some spine-tingling call and response audio between the living and, possibly, the dead. Visit merchantshouse.org.

We double dare you to take a ride on Dandy Darkly’s terror train. | Photo by Atticus Stevenson

Venerable basement theater space UNDER St. Marks is the place for a witch’s brew of eccentric Halloween atrocities. First up, kabuki-faced killer clown and rapturous, alliteration-loving gothic storyteller Dandy Darkly brings his latest back to his home base of NYC, after packed-to-capacity performances in Edinburgh, London, and San Francisco. “Dandy Darkly’s All Aboard!” (Oct. 11-14) finds the satanic shaman serving “Deep South shame alongside sizzling social satire and howling humor.” Think creepy corporate robots, African spider gods, beauty shop gossip, and plenty of trains. Also in the underground black box venue, creep show scribe extraordinaire Clay McLeod Chapman offers frights up close and personal, with a version of his long-running storytelling series that plays to a single audience member at a time. In performance since September and in high demand due to deeply disturbed, cult-leader-like Chapman’s cult-like following, “Pumpkin Pie Show: One-on-Ones”was scheduled to end this weekend, but has just been extended through Oct. 28. Get your tickets to see Dandy and Chapman at FRIGIDnewyork.info. Access artist info at dandydarkly.com and claymcleodchapman.com.

A slice just for you: Clay McLeod Chapman serves up a one-on-one version of his “Pumpkin Pie Show” at UNDER St. Marks. | Photo by Antonia Stoyanovich

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