Dixon Place Founder Reflects on 25 Years Downtown

photo by thelodownny.com

Ellie Covan, founder and executive director of Dixon Place, in front of their new home at 161A Chrystie St.

I stopped by Dixon Place recently to check in with founder and executive director Ellie Covan as she was preparing for the 20th Annual HOT! Festival. An exultant LGBT theatrical extravaganza, the festival runs through August 6th and features over 40 different shows.

Looking at the treasure trove of photos and old programs that cover the walls in the Dixon Place Lounge, I was reminded that the company, itself, is celebrating 25 years of championing new and experimental work in the heart of lower Manhattan. It’s clear that what started out as a small literary salon in Covan’s living room on East 1st Street has become an essential creative space for artists from all walks of life.

HOT! Fest Continues to Sizzle This Friday and Saturday

A still from "BARDS" at Dixon Place for the 20th Annual HOT! Fest

The fun out of the sun continues at Dixon Place this weekend as the 20th Annual HOT! Fest presents BARDS, a new, gay Elizabethan adventure from 3 Sticks Theatre on Friday, July 1. Also on Friday, two dance performance pieces, ‘How Brief Eternity AND The Matthew Shepard Dance,’ from choreographers John J Zullo and Michael Freeman. On Saturday, July 2, it’s a night of ‘Burlesque With Essence Revealed And Friends.’

You can see the complete schedule for the HOT! Festival and purchase tickets here. The Lo-Down is Local Media Sponsor. We’ll have more coverage throughout the festival run.

20th Annual HOT! Fest Debuts at Dixon Place

A quartet from BARDS belts out a harmony from their gay Shakespearean adventure.

New York City journalist and television producer Barbara Simon reports from a momentous opening on the Lower East Side last night:

Scenes from “Some Like it Hot” flickered on the wall and the sweet melody of “Summer Wind” floated out of the piano at Opening Night of the 20th Annual HOT! Festival at Dixon Place on Friday. We got a taste of the annual celebration of queer music, dance, comedy and performance art coming out for HOT! as performers delivered a few minutes of their acts to be featured between now and August 6.

Dixon Place Kicks Off 20th Annual HOT! Fest

Our friends at Dixon Place are kicking off their 20th Annual HOT! Festival this Friday with an opening night party hosted by Anti-Diva, also known as Liz Liguori and Jessie Mann. The festival, declared “New York’s Best Gay Theater Fest” by The Village Voice, is also known as “a pioneering festival of queer performance and culture – and the oldest, continually running festival of its kind in the world.”

Dixon Place to Host 25th Anniversary Open House

Downtown experimental performance lab and cultural hub Dixon Place is kicking off its 25th Anniversary with an open house tomorrow evening from 6-9pm.  They write: What better way to kick off our 25th anniversary than with a special event for you: our friends and neighbors in the downtown community. It’s our way to thank all of our artists and supporters for everything you’ve done to make our first quarter century an overwhelming success! We’ll also be showcasing materials from our new archive project–a retrospective of our theater’s history. Please come down and join us for live music and performances by some of our dynamic artists and a special toast to the next 25 years!

Tom Judson Brings His Canned Ham Back to Dixon Place

Tom Judson - Photograph by Hudson Wright

Beginning tomorrow, Broadway performer, legit film star and one-time gay adult film star, Tom Judson, will be back at Dixon Place with a month-long run of his hit show, Canned Ham. Judson certainly has some unique experience to bring to the one-man show, which was work-shopped at Dixon Place last fall and ran over the summer in Provincetown. 

Paul Oakley Stovall’s New Bio-Musical at Dixon Place

Current real-life member of the Presidential advance team, Paul Oakley Stovall, is bringing a workshop production of his “loosely-fictionalized musical” CLEAR to Dixon Place for a special three-week run.  The show, which opens tonight, is loosely based on Stovall’s experience as an event organizer for Barack Obama.

Under The Radar Festival Comes to Dixon Place

Your Brother at Dixon Place as part of The Public's Under The Radar Festival 2011

Dixon Place has been included as an official venue for The Public’s Under the Radar Festival this year. Now in it’s seventh season, the theater festival has quickly become known as one of the best around. The lineup includes experimental and multi-media work from local and international artists, including comedian Reggie Watts, performer Suzan-Lori Parks and companies from as far reaching as Belarus.

“Bowery History: A Celebration” at Dixon Place

Bowery Stereocard circa 1901 via The Bowery Alliance

The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council will host “Bowery History: A Celebration” – an evening of cocktails, music, performance, film and speakers – This Tuesday at Dixon Place. The evening will be hosted by Kent Barwick, former Landmarks Preservation Commissioner, and will feature performances by Poor Baby Bree, chanteuse, and Bob Holman, poet Bowery Poetry Club; and speakers Margaret Chin, City Council; Kerri Culhane, architectural historian; Peter Quinn,

Playwright Felipe Ossa Featured in Page to Stage Series Tonight

The Dixon Place series, “Page to Stage,” will feature Brooklyn playwright Felipe Ossa’s new work, Fulana, this evening. The play is about a foreigner with a shady past who seeks a brighter future with two wealthy women. A forum for plays in development, Dixon Place writes, “Page to Stage is in essence a ‘spiffed-up, tricked out’ staged reading series (with basic added admin and tech support.)” $10 // 7:30pm // 161A Chrystie Street.

Weekend Guide

From "Anchises" at Abrons through Sunday

This weekend is packed with great performances on the Lower East Side.  Here are some top picks for events happening in the neighborhood:

  • Don’t forget to get your act together and audition for the Lower East Side Talent Showcase. They are seeking singers, actors, dancers, bands, comics, poets, and novelty acts.  Auditions will be held this Friday from 6-9pm and Sunday from 3-6pm at Abrons Arts Center –  466 Grand Street.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

magic kids

MAGIC KIDS – Friday, Nov. 12 | 8PM at Mercury Lounge

True Panther Sounds, the label on which Magic Kids are signed, describes the young Memphis band’s music as “unapologetically joyful”. With hugely addictive, bouncy songs like Hey Boy, and Superball, I whole-heartedly agree, joyful indeed – and really, no apology necessary.

Five ‘Til (solo) Debuts at Dixon Place

Five ‘Til (solo), a new version of a piece written and performed by Obie award-winning actor Edwin Lee Gibson opens tonight at Dixon Place. Described as a “blues fairytale” the story is based on Dante Wallace, a career criminal accused of a heinous crime that he claims he did not commit (the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl), five minutes before his execution in Huntsville Texas State Prison. “Part lucid hallucination; part fairytale with music that captures the pain, joy and flight in the stylistic traditions of negro spirituals, blues, and soul.”

The Downtown Clown Review Comes to Dixon Place

A monthly mash-up of different clown acts, from the pros and “emerging clowns” alike, is coming to Dixon Place via The Downtown Clown Review. They write:  If you want to see cutting edge clown theatre, present your clown act, or connect with clowns this is the place to do it. Each month at the Clown Revue there is a new lineup of top clowns and red-nosed-newcomers from circus and stage.

Weekend Guide

Looks like another action-packed fall weekend on the Lower East Side is in store for us:

The Pickle Guys owner Alan Kaufman, one of many participants in this Sunday's 10th Annual International Pickle Day. Photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis for The Lo-Down