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I realize that I’m a cat. Excerpt from Penny Arcade’s The Faghag and Her Friends in The Summer of Love

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I realize that I’m a cat. Excerpt from Penny Arcade’s The Faghag and Her Friends in The Summer of Love

Joe’s Pub
July 6, 14, 25, August 1
Doors at 6PM
Show at 7PM
Ticket Price: $20.00

The Faghag and Her Friends in The Summer of Love is the latest offering from the undisputed queen of downtown performance: Penny Arcade. Join the “High Priestess of Gay Wit and Wisdom” in this hysterically funny, moving and insightful new show from Penny Arcade and longtime collaborator Steve Zehentner that has had audiences singing its praises from their first few improvisational performances.

Be part of the development of this new experimental, narrative play, drawn from memoir and oral history, and set in the fomenting place of modern culture, where the ridiculous meets the sublime, where criminality forges with intellectual innovation, where low art meets high art, creating a threshing ground for unique world views.

It is an intoxicating combination!

The play travels through 1960’s Provincetown to the gay cafes and night clubs of the 1960’s NY to the milieu of New York’s celebrated demimonde where tragedy and transformation walked hand in hand and created a breeding ground for revolutionary thinking and artistic innovation.

“When I was 14, 15, 16… my goal every night was to get to sit at the table with the old queens, a difficult invitation to get for a teenage girl when the word faghag was only a pejorative, only a put down,” says Penny. “Just sitting at a table of old queens in a dark bar or fluorescent coffee shop, lifted your IQ twenty points!”

Penny Arcade: A runaway at thirteen, a reform-school graduate at sixteen, a performer in the legendary New York City Play-House of the Ridiculous at seventeen, and an escapee from Andy Warhol’s Factory scene at nineteen, Penny Arcade emerged in the 1980s as a primal force on the New York art scene and an originator of what came to be called performance art. Arcade’s brand of high camp and street-smart, punk-rock cabaret showmanship has been winning over international audiences ever since.

Penny Arcade is the author of ten full length performance pieces including the mainstream hit Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! Her work been presented in venues as celebrated as the Sydney Opera House and as sordid as New York’s Pyramid Club.

With long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner, Arcade is the co-producer of The Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history project. The project’s biographies cablecast in New York City every Wednesday at 11pm EST. LIKE us on Facebook and see the current cablecast schedule

Her first book, Bad Reputation, was published by Semiotexte/MIT, and she was portrayed by Sex in the City actress Cynthia Nixon in the film, Englishman in New York, the biopic about her friend Quentin Crisp.

If there is an underlying thematic in all of Arcade’s work, it is perhaps this concern to advocate the full expression of our “life force”—creative, sexual, physically and verbally expressive—and to speak out against those societal and political forces that would repress such energizing self-realization.

– Stephen Bottoms, University of Leeds, U.K.

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