Kevin Smith Kirkwood as Whitney Houston. (Photo provided by Joe’s Pub.)
By Matthew Wexler
Located in the heart of downtown New York City, Joe’s Pub is a beacon for diverse performers. Celebrating the indomitable spirit of Pride, the hip venue invites fans from all over the world this June to come together and celebrate Pride inside with Joe’s Pub Live! — a free series of live-streamed and archived performances from its iconic stage.
Here’s just a taste of what’s planned for the month:
Thursday, June 4, 8 p.m.
Writer/performer Isaac Oliver (Intimacy Idiot, The New York Times, HBO’s “High Maintenance,” Netflix’s “GLOW”) returns to Joe’s Pub for an evening of his signature sit-down comedy.
Kim David Smith Sings Kylie Minogue
Saturday, June 6, 8 p.m.
Kim David Smith salutes perennial pop goddess Kylie Minogue with an intimately fabulous cabaret-fantasia celebrating Kylie’s catalog of gargantuan hits and glittering deep cuts, from 1987’s “Locomotion,” all the way through to 2018’s “Golden.”
Labeled the “male Marlene Dietrich” by the New York Times, Smith deconstructs three decades of Minogue dance anthems with music direction by the multi-MAC Award-winning Tracy Stark, and with costumes by Miodrag Guberinic (Katy Perry, Madonna, Nicki Minaj).
The Martha Graham Cracker Drag Cabaret
Friday, June 12, 8 p.m.
This balls-to-the-wall drag cabaret is hosted by Martha Graham Cracker, who is, perhaps, the world’s tallest and hairiest drag queen. Backed by a four-piece live band, Martha Graham Cracker, hailed as “The Drag Queen King” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, performs new arrangements and mashups of songs by artists ranging from Prince and Lady Gaga to Black Sabbath and Nina Simone, and a bit of everything in between.
Lea DeLaria’s Fuck Love
Thursday, June 18, 8 p.m.
Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her three-time SAG Award-winning, standout role as ‘Carrie’ Big Boo’ Black’ in the Netflix hit series Orange is the New Black. However, DeLaria’s multi-faceted career as a comedian, actress, and jazz musician, has, in fact, spanned decades. She holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on television in America, which led to countless television and film roles portraying police lieutenants, physical education teachers, and the lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women.
Kevin Smith Kirkwood’s Classic Whitney: Alive!
Saturday, June 27, 8 p.m.
The legendary Whitney Houston has come back to earth, reincarnated in the body of Kevin Smith Kirkwood, to deliver a one night only retrospective concert and celebration of some of her icon live performances. Here, Whitney is backed by a full band and back-up singers (who also play guests including her mother, Cissy Houston, brother Gary, and even Bobby Brown) and musical director Drew Witke. With a script constructed from bits of her live concert banter and re-enactments of her live concert musical arrangements, it’s the ultimate Whitney tribute from the ultimate Whitney fan!
Justin Sayre Makes The Case for America
Saturday, July 4, 8 p.m.
Are you worried about the impending demise of our democracy? Has the approach of a fascist dictatorship got you feeling a little blue? Are you seething with anger as you’re being “gaslighted,” out of a future? Well, not to worry, (still worry), but join Justin Elizabeth Sayre for a live ‘Love-in to Get You Through!”
Justin invites you to ‘their apartment’ for one of his “philosophizing nights,” a ritual where Justin asks the big questions. Why are we here? What are we doing? The night involves lots of stories and all the feelings and even a little fried chicken. The question for this show, what does it mean to be an American at this moment, and how do we move forward?