Just Do Art!

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Photo by Web Begole Ali Ahn (left) and Christopher Larkin. See “Sugar House.”
When dad dies, mom goes on a “grief pilgrimage” and leaves Chinese adoptees Greta and Han in the quasi-capable hands of their ex-rock star uncle and his considerably younger girlfriend…and that’s just the beginning of Carla Ching’s new play. Shipped off to the wilds of New York, Greta and Han do mom one better in the grief-stricken soul-searching department — when Greta runs afoul of the law and Han runs away to become a street musician. Live music, and a live Twitter feed, put a very contemporary spin on the familiar rites of passage that come from growing up fast and finding yourself. Presented by the always ambitious, Ma-Yi Theater Company — a Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning collective that consistently delivers challenging, entertaining new works by Asian American playwrights.

Through Sun, Dec. 4; Tues.-Fri. at 7:30pm; Sat. at 2pm/7:30pm; Sun. at 3pm. At The Connelly Theater (220 E. 4th St., btw. Aves. A & B). For tickets ($25), call 212-352-3101 or visit ma-yitheatre.org.

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The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. Left to right: Anthony Bellov, Jane Rady, Rosalind Gnatt and Dayle Vander Sande.
Halloween has come and gone. But before you succumb to visions of sugarplums and holiday merriment, spend a little more time contemplating mortality — 19th century style. “Chant Macabre: Songs of Death and Enchantment” is the latest from the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society (BSESS), a talented ensemble with a (vocal) flair for the dramatic. As the arts group-in-residence of the possibly/probably haunted Merchant’s House Museum, BSESS concerts have been known to attract the attention of the museum’s deceased Tredwell family members, servants and caretakers. Why? The 19th century, BSESS tells us, “is replete with gothic stories and melancholic poetry. This heritage, rich with beautiful lamentations, gothic ghouls and otherworldly tales touches the heart to its core with either compassion or dread.” So come mourn your cares away, as the BSESS pour their voices into harrowing musical tales and expressions of sympathy for the dearly departed. Then, and only then, should you begin penning that letter to Santa.

Fri., Nov. 18, 7pm. At the Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. 4th St., btw. Lafayette and Bowery). Admission: $25 general, $15 for museum members. Proceeds benefit Merchant’s House (a non-profit). For info, call 212-777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org.

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Photo courtesy of Charles Fairbanks Irma Gonzalez displays strength, charm and muscles. See “Tender Muscles.”
Filmmaker and wrestler Charles Fairbanks will be there in person — when Anthology Film Archives screens a few of his popular short films. From his home base in Mexico, Fairbanks wrestles (with a camera built into his mask) as “El Gato Tuerto” (“The One-Eyed Cat”). Fairbanks promises to show up with 2009’s “Pioneers,” a self-portrait that finds the director returning to his roots in Lexington, Nebraska. “The Men,” from 2010, is a three-minute video offering the fighter’s perspective in submission wrestling (“an immersive experience between intimacy and violence,” according to its creator). “Wrestling with my Father,” also from 2010, needs no further explanation — and the 2010 video “Irma” reveals the strength, humor, feminine charms and masculine strength of Irma Gonzalez — the former women’s professional wrestling world champion. Finally, 2010’s 23-minute “Flexing Muscles” delivers some of Fairbanks’ cats-eye-view footage from his own Luca Libre wrestling matches.

Thurs., Nov. 17, 7:30pm. At Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Ave., at Second St.). Tickets: $9 general; $8 Essential Cinema (free for members); $7 for students, seniors, & children (12 & under); $6 AFA members. For info, call 212-505-5181 or visit anthologyfilmarchives.org. Also visit charlesfairbanks.info.