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See bizarre theater at this experimental festival all month long

Jillian Anthony

Are you ready to get weird? Because Ars Nova’s monthlong All New Talent Festival (ANT Fest) is sure to get freaky.

The theater’s mission is to support emerging and experimental artists (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 was born here), and the ANT Fest—now in its 10th year—is the ultimate showcase of the wacky and wonderful world of underground theater. “At ANT Fest we look at the horizon of what’s happening in performance in New York right now and get people to throw something up for a night,” says artistic programs associate Eric Shethar. “Every year we get interested in hybrid work, so things that take a lot of hyphens to describe, move between genres and ask, ‘What is live entertainment in 2017?’ Every one of these shows has its own compelling reason why folks should show up to see it live.”

The 280 applications for this year’s fest were narrowed down to 22 kooky participants. In Black Girl Magic Show! (June 27 at 7pm; $15), NicHi Douglas writes and directs an irreverent variety show about what it means to be a black woman in the U.S. today, with plenty of wigs, dance music, real magic and an all-black–woman cast. Stand-up comedians Mo Fry Pasic and Tim Platt invite you and all their friends to an awkward orgy in Pasic & Platt: Orgy (June 15 at 7pm; $15), in which they experiment with long-form improv and loose narrative (and sex positions?). And if you’re in the mood for some sweet Europop, head to Heaven is Here!: A Eurodance Party and Spiritual Rebirth Seminar (June 20 at 7pm; $15), at which fictional band All Ball—which believes Koko the gorilla is communicating from the spirit world through YouTube videos—performs original dance music.

Don’t miss special performances of Ars Nova standby variety show Showgasm, hosted by Cole Escola (June 8 at 9pm; $6) and Nicole Spiezio (June 22 at 9pm; $6). And check out the full schedule for whatever kind of bizarre fun best suits your interests.

ANT Fest is at Ars Nova Mon 5–July 29 ( Various times and prices.


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