If you’ve ever read this site before (and if so, you are my hero – THANKS!), you know that I am crazy for Joey Arias. Joey keeps alive the part of New York that only exists in vintage photos and recollections of “the good old days” before New York became gentrified, when creative expression was much more important than the financial bottom line that everything seems to be reduced to these days. Aside from Prince, I’ve probably seen Joey Arias perform more than anyone else, and no matter how many times I see him, I always leave his shows inspired and with a huge smile on my face. He socks it to you with a great voice, stunning costumes and with comedic delivery that makes you come back for more.
Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke
Seeing Joey on his own is well worth the admission price, but sweetening the pot is the fact that for 2 special shows (April 20 and April 27, 2014, respectively) German/Dutch cabaret star Sven Ratzke (along with his fabulously talented piano player Charly Zestru) are also on the bill.
Before the night is over, prepare to be wowed by Ratzke’s amazing voice, prepare to laugh your butt off with Sven and Joey as they ad-lib with the crowd and most importantly, they will seduce you with their voices – and it’s likely you’ll hear songs like “You’ve Changed,” “Windmills of Your Mind,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “God Bless The Child,” “Perfect Day” and as you are about to see, “Alabama Song.”
Just press play!
Thanks to Joey, Sven and Charly for a fabulous night! If you’re a fan of the site, you already know that my night didn’t even there, however. The night reached the crescendo when I chatted with the stars of the show at its conclusion, who are just as amazing off stage as they are on.
Charly Zastru, Sven Ratzke, Geoffrey Dicker, Joey Arias. Photo taken by a complete stranger.
Thanks again Charly, Sven and Joey. I heart you!!!
Photos by G (except for the ones I am in). Art by Kenny Scharf.
Kenny Scharf – Kolors. Showing at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York through May 4, 2013
There are some nights in New York that get more epic by the second and the opening night reception for Kenny Scharf’s latest amazing exhibit “Kolors” at Paul Kasmin Gallery on April 4, 2013 was one of them.
And of course, the donuts were served on golf cart featuring Kenny’s art.
Kenny Scharf – Kolors
But that’s not all! The guest list for “Kolors” included so many legends, the Paul Kasmin Gallery was bursting with creativity and inspiration.
Kenny Scharf and Fab 5 Freddy
Moments later, I found myself in a conversation with two of the most creative people I’ve ever encountered (and please know that I’ve been going out in the art and music scene nearly every night for over 20 years, so this speaks volumes!) – Joey Arias and Mark Kostabi!
Joey Arias, Mark Kostabi, Geoffrey Dicker
These final two photos are too heavy for words. All I can do is express my gratitude to Joey, Mark and Kenny for being such major inspirations in my life! THANK YOU!!!
Kenny Scharf and Geoffrey Dicker
Do not miss seeing “Kolors” by Kenny Scharf for any reason! “Kolors” is on display at Paul Kasmin Gallery (located at 515 West 27th Street) in New York through May 4, 2013.
Every time I see Joey Arias perform, it reassures me that I made the right decision to move to New York. We live in a world of cookie cutter entertainment these days, so when you have the chance to see a treasure like Joey Arias perform, it’s an opportunity that should not be squandered. I saw Joey Arias perform exactly one month ago to the day and in that time, Joey has learned a new show and took this particular show on a brief West Coast tour culminating in the final sold out date at Joe’s Pub on March 10, 2013. This show is entitled “Lightning Strikes” and is performed with singer/songwriter Kristian Hoffman who, along with Joey Arias, collaborated with Klaus Nomi.
Kristian Hoffman (2nd from left) and Joey Arias’ Band
In the nearly 2 hour show, Joey performed many of Klaus Nomi’s songs including the very hard to sing “Nomi Song,” “Simple Man,” “Total Eclipse” and “Lightning Strikes.” But it didn’t stop there, Joey also performed a new song called “Sex is Beautiful,” as well as dramatically different than the original interpretations of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?,” Cream’s “White Room” and “You’ve Changed,” where Joey channels the late great Billie Holiday to the point where if you closed your eyes, you’d think Billie was on the microphone singing.
The intimacy of Joey Arias’ performances make you think he was performing in your living room as he talks to the crowd and gets everyone involved whether you get flirted with or he walks through the audience and hands you the microphone to contribute background vocals. New York downtown scene royalty were in the audience last night including Penny Arcade, Isengart and promoter Earl Dax and all of us witnessed the funniest moment of the night when Joey Arias asked a quite young audience member how big his dick was. One thing lead to another and the next thing you knew, the young man was on stage and Joey dropped his pants to the ground, stuck his microphone inside the guy’s pants and finished off the song on his knees (see photo below).
Joey Arias having fun with an audience member
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, performers like Joey Arias are a rare commodity these days and really need to be celebrated. There is no lip-synching. There is no pre-recorded music. The shows performed are not carbon copies of each other. Instead, what you get is pure entertainment where anything could happen (and it always does – just see above photo!) and it puts to shame so many alleged A-listers who don’t have a fraction of the talent that Joey Arias possesses. Joey mentioned that he’ll be back in May at Joe’s Pub so if you want to experience what “old New York in the modern world” is all about, you will not miss this show! Thanks again to Joey Arias and his band for another brilliant night!
As a person who experiences seeing hundreds of live shows a year, I can honestly say that one of the best performers I’ve ever seen is Joey Arias. Joey Arias wrapped up a 3 week residency at Joe’s Pub in New York on February 10, 2013 and not even the after effects of a blizzard could keep the sold out crowd away. It’s hard to describe Joey Arias other than to say he is otherworldly. For those that have never had the pleasure to see Joey Arias live (and you need to remedy that immediately!), here’s a brief description: he performs in drag – and last night wore a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutin high heels, channels Billie Holiday with his amazing voice, keeps the audience laughing their asses off with in between song banter and always keeps it fresh by performing new material.
Phoebe Legere and Joey Arias
Joey brought out special guest (and fellow New York legend) Phoebe Legere for a show-stopping cover of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” which was the perfect cap to the nearly 2 hour show. Joey’s set also included covers of Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking,” Billie Holiday’s “You’ve Changed,” Cream’s “White Room,” and some original songs such as “Sex Is Beautiful.” He flirted mercilessly with the crowd and I left the show with my face hurting from smiling for the duration of the show.
If you live on the West Coast, you have a few chances to see Joey Arias this week and next week, and I cannot emphasize enough that you should not miss seeing Joey Arias under any circumstances!
Joey Arias plays the Castro Theatre in San Francisco on February 14, 2013 and does a mini-tour ending in Salt Lake City on February 28, 2013. GO!!!
Arias With A Twist Deluxe at Abron Arts Center in New York. Now playing through October 15, 2011.
New York! If you missed the amazing show Arias With A Twist a few years ago, great news – the show is back for a limited one month run at Abron Arts Center in New York. Joey Arias is sensational! Before the night is over, the legendary performer sings songs from “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin to “You’ve Changed” by Billie Holiday. You’ll laugh and groove as the prodcuction finds Joey Arias lost in the magical world of Basil Twist’s puppet kingdom. If you want to get a taste of what the downtown scene in New York is really like, this show is a must. I’ve seen the show half a dozen times and I absolutely love it. I hope you will too. You’d better get your tickets quickly as nightly performances sell out fast. You have less than a month to see this wonderful show, so get your tickets now!