Downtown’s alternative supper-club Pangea has the bragging rights in May. To what exactly we’re not sure! But among the highlights are the avant-gardians Heather Christian, Salty Brine, and Matteo Lane; Downtown fixtures Frankie C, and Tom Judson, and — getting back to the future — the old-school party-animals Barbara Bleier & Austin Pendleton in a new show… not to mention the there’s-nothing-regular-about-these-regulars Mark Nadler and Carol Lipnik.
Things get off to a fast start on Wednesday: The Obie-winning composer-performer Heather Christian sings her guts out in “The Year of Caterwaul,” her time-traveling year-in-review before it even gets started! The devised-theater illusionist has collaborated memorably with Taylor Mac, Salty Brine, Mac Wellman, Witness Relocation and the TEAM. Here Christian — the globe-trotting avant-torch singer who fronts Heather Christian & the Arbornauts — will be gone in a flash. ONE TIME ONLY Wednesday May 3 at 7:30pm Cover $20.
Downtown tastemaker Frankie C. curates the next dimension of Motown in “Motown and More” — a wild ride through a familiar neighborhood you’ll barely recognize. With special guests Michael Musto, Lina Koutrakos, Matt Rogers, Rhys Tivey, Mackenzie Shivers, Marika Galea, Henry Russell Bergstein, Dave Mizzoni and Sandra Ward… with Henry Koperski keeping it moving on piano. ONE TIME ONLY Saturday May 6 at 8pm Cover $20.
Studly Charles Busch collaborator Tom Judson breaks out in “Mostly from the Movies,” an evening filled with classic and lesser-known songs first heard in films of the musical and dramatic variety. The peripatetic and loose-jointed Judson composes for film and stage (Whit Stillman, Ann Magnuson, Lisa Kron), writes stuff, and acts — in legit, or, as his resumé humbly attests, jaw dropping gay porn. With Mark Verdino on bass and an inevitable cameo by a glamour goddess of enormous star-power. ONE TIME ONLY Monday May 8 at 7pm Cover $20.
And make no mistake, a month that features Pangea favorites Austin Pendleton and Barbara Bleier is perfectly beautiful… it’s their new show that’s a mistake, or, as they call it, a “Beautiful Mistake.” Featuring the story-songs of John Bucchino and Amanda McBroom, these brainy amigos have become our Pangea sweethearts. Three shows for now… Tues May 9, Thur May 18, and Tues May 23, all at 7pm. Cover $20.
Do you have enough salt in your diet? Doubt it. That’s why it’s sweet that Salty Brine’s latest tsunami of fun is “Welcome to the Jungle,” the next installment of his Spectacular Living Record Collection series (of performances built around popular albums). Here the recipe involves mixing Harry Nilsson’s hit album “Nilsson Schmilsson” with Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Another obvious combination! Wednesdays May 10, 17, 24, 31, and June 7, all at 7:30pm, cover $20.
In May Tammy Faye Starlite finishes up her astonishing 6-week resurrection of downtown rock starlet Nico. A marvel of in-character improv, this mind-blowing show celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nico’s “Chelsea Girl” solo album features Eszter Balint, David Dunton, Richard Feridun and Keith Hartel. ONLY 2 MORE CHANCES Thursdays May 4, 11 both at 7:30pm Cover $25.
Downtown Diva Carol Lipnik — with fellow songwriter Matt Kanelos on piano — makes sure the spell goes unbroken. Her “Goddess of Imperfection,” a dreamlike meditation on the uncertain state of the world, continues on Sunday May 7 at 7pm (Sun June 4). Cover $15.
Mark Nadler’s run of monthly party-shows on select Saturdays continues on Sat May 20, back-to-back 7pm & 9pm. Cover is $30.
The comedian and vocalist Matteo Lane (from MTV’s GirlCode and a regular on LOGO and Comedy Central) embodies a 19-year-old Barbra Streisand, playing her famous jazz set at the Bon Soir. It’s a daunting task, but pianist Henry Koperski on keys helps make it all come out like butta! Sat May 27, at 9:30pm. Cover is $15
Pangea is the ultimate in alt! There is a $20 food and drink minimum for all shows. To purchase tickets online visit www.pangeanyc.com , or for info call 212/995-0900. Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue (between 11th & 12th Streets).