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Comedy Dance Darinka Exhibit Film Music Performing Arts Photography Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals Interview with Gary Ray – “Darinka”

Darinka Membership Card

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Alien Comic and DanceNoise at Darinka Flyer from 1985.

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Darinka interior archive shot.

‘They Might Be Giants’ performing at Darinka.

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The archives from Darinka were donated to The Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU. Here is a Biographical/Historical note from the archives.

Darinka: A Performance Studio was opened on April 21, 1984, by Gary Ray Bugarcic (aka Gary Ray). The club served as a venue for artists of all disciplines, including performance, theatre, music, dance, film, video, fine art, and poetry and prose. In keeping with the Eastern European roots of the East Village/Lower East Side, the club was named after Gary’s mother, who was Croatian-born. Darinka is a derivative of the Slavic word dar, meaning “gift.”

The club was located at 118 East First Street, two doors down from Avenue A, and had a speakeasy type entrance under the residential stoop of the building. Up to the late 1970s, the space was used as a local Italian Social Club until a fire destroyed it. During the renovation of the space, all the old charred beams were laid in the backyard to provide an urban rustic wood patio enjoyed by patrons during the hot summer months. The interior of the club had a small proscenium stage that was described by many as looking like a live television. A variety of local painters such as James Romberger and Mark Kostabi showed their work on the walls of the club until the permanent murals and stencils were painted. Regular performers included They Might Be Giants (considered the house band), performance artist Steve Buscemi (still a fireman when he started performing), Karen Finley, Jack Smith, Charles Long, William Pope L., Kembra Pfahler, Nick Zedd, Anna Deavere Smith, and John S. Hall. In addition, there were many writers who read during the Sunday prose and poetry nights, including Darius James, Patrick McGrath, Hal Sirowitz, Lynne Tillman, Mark Dery, Nina Zivancevic, Peter Cherches, Bob Holman, Ira Cohen and Taylor Meade.

On June 29, 1985, the NYPD raided the club during a mushroom party and performance by artists David West and Andy Somma. Gary Ray and the bartender, Robin Clements, were arrested for operating an unlicensed bottle club. Several months later Darinka reopened as a private club with Randy Lee Hartwig and John Gernand as managers. As a private club, each new member would fill out a membership application card upon entrance. The application cards were kept in a file near the door in case of a police inquiry. Membership cards were also distributed.

Darinka was the first home of “The Church of the Little Green Man.” The church was founded by conceptual artist Mike Osterhout and had its first service in December of 1986. Darinka closed in May of 1987.

Articles mentioning Darinka have appeared in The Village Voice,  New York magazine,  Performance,  East Village Eye,  Toronto Globe and Mail,  The New York Times, and  The Drama Review (Spring 1985). The club is also acknowledged in the documentary  Gigantic: A Tale Of Two Johns.

Gary Ray Bugarcic, a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, has worked as an actor and stage director in almost every downtown New York theatrical venue. As a musician, he played in several bands, including State of Desire and The Academy, which performed regularly at CBGB and Danceteria before opening Darinka. After closing the club he toured with Karen Finley in her play  The Theory of Total Blame and worked with The Ridge Theatre Company as well as with Kestutis Nakas and in Jeff Weiss’s “Hot Keys.” He has also appeared in such indie films as Todd Haynes’  Poison and  Desperately Seeking Susan.  New Blood magazine published his poetry in the 1980s and his “3-D Lenticular Photographs of the Eighties” have been shown in several New York City galleries, including the Participant Gallery.

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Here is a calendar list that Gary provided me to give an idea of the lineup that appeared every week at Darinka in 1985.

1/4, Ted Sputnik & his Orchestra plus the music of Kid Ego (Gary Quasar), plus performance with Mike Smith.

 1/5,  Show of Force, films and performance w/ Richard Kern and Brian Moran.

 1/6,  Short stories & Poetry w/ M.Kasper, Kennon Raines, Sadik Sedan (Sedik Grice), Bruce Benderson and Lisa Blauchild.

 1/11, performance w/ Leonard Grendel in “Do You Want to Fight $11,750,000 ?” plus music w/ Tom Cora.

1/12,  Accordion Summit # 2 presented by Zeena Parkins w/ the B’Z’s Squeezes and Billy Swindler and the Happy New Yorkers. Also Guy Klusevek performed.

 1/13,  Poetry w/ Robert Kendall and friends.

 1/18, They Might Be Giants, plus the music of Bond Bergland.

 1/19,  Films by Mark Kehoe including; “Revenge of the Amazons,” “Metal Madam,” and “The Naked Hiptress.” Plus performance w/ Michael Smith and the music of Burnt Orange.

1/20,  Poetry w/ Amy Shaipiro & friends with Sharon Gannon, David Life, Sue Ann Harkey, Judy Berger, Eric Eddy, and Stephen Paul Miller.

 1/25, Performance w/ Cindy Frawely’s  “War Dreams,” plus video & performance w/ Steve Thurston and James Minnis.

 1/26,  Directart Productions Ltd. Present A Cavalcade of films. “Three Step” & “Minute of Mystery,” animation by Joey Ahlbum and “Bass Line” & “Devil Movie’ by Barry Masterson, “Dapple-Grey’ & Dirt Road” by Leslie Pascel-Laufer, “Soul City” by M.Henry Jones, “Bloody Stump” by Michael Wolfe & Sidney Gilbert. “A Portrait of the Man’ by Fabio Roberti & Directart Films. Plus 2 films about the local band The Jickets; “Good Lovin’ Guitar Man” and “Heterosexual Love” by Directart Films.

 

1/27,  Celebrate Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Birthday “ The Disciplines of Distress” a play by Greg Masters & Jeff Wright w/ Elinor Nauen, Doris Kornish, Francesca Shrady, Blair Breard, Jeff Wright  and Greg Masters. Plus readings by Carla Liss, Don Yorty, Mayer, Hamilton and Mastersschiff.

 2/3,  The Tweed Theatre presents: Tzara’s “The Gas Heart.” Directed by Kevin Malony. Plus Club 86’ed w/ Mike Golden, Bob Riedel, Meegan McCombs, Rusty Hoover, Janet Cannon, Phil Herter and Mike Schwartz.

 2/8,  music and dance w/ Gregg Bendian, Ned Rothenberg, Sally Silvers and Pooh Kaye.

 2/9,  “A Hollow Venus (the Diary of a GoGo Dancer),” performance w/ Heather Woodbury.

 2/10,  Hard Boiled Night of Readings curated by Peter Cherches w/ Bill Dupp, Jim Strahs, Lee Eiferman and Sue Weinstein.

 2/15,  Nancy Cassaro’s “Be My Valantine” w/Otis Jah Baker, DeWitt Mebane, Jennie Moreau, Mark Nassar, Hal Simons and Moira Wilson.

 2/16,  Barbara Lehmann’s “Physical Education” performance concerning her medical history.

 2/16,  Music – Hugo Largo- w/ Mimi Goese.

 2/23-24, They Might Be Giants plus performance with Watchface.

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Thanks to Gary Ray for this interview!

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Categories
Book Shelf Comedy Photography

The Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Grove New American Theater”

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GROVE NEW AMERICAN THEATER

A Good dose of downtown NYC theater!

Plays included in this volume are: Dasvedanya Mama, Ethyl Eichelberger; The Theory of Total Blame, Karen Finley; The Mysteries and What’s So Funny?, David Gordon; The American Plan, Richard Greenberg; Dead Mother, or Shirley Not All in Vain, David Greenspan; and Sincerity Forever, Mac Wellman.

Included are photographs from some of the productions including Karen Finley’s “The Theory of Total Blame”. Presented in 1989 at Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY. The cast included Karen Finley, Tom Murrin, Carol McDowell, Gary Ray, Chazz Dean and Michael Owen. Photograph by Dona Ann McAdams

Categories
Comedy LaMaMa etc Music Performing Arts Photography Physical Theater The Kitchen Video Women Writer

‘And That’s How the Rent Gets Paid’ @ The Kitchen – July 14th, 2015

Jeff Weiss & Richard C. Martinez:

AND THAT’S HOW THE RENT GETS PAID

Presented at The Kitchen

Directed by Brooke O’Harra

Musical Direction by Nicky Paraiso

Jeff Weiss at The KitchenDowntown performer/playwright Jeff Weiss at the special 3 night event presented at The Kitchen.

A series of plays written by Jeff Weiss and Richard C. Martinez were presented on July 14th. The event also took place on July 15th and 16th.

These photographs and videos are from the July 14th presentation.

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DADDY AND BILLY – The Picnic

Jim Fletcher and Danny Ryan perform at The Kitchen” width=”720″ height=”462″ />Jim Fletcher (Daddy) and Danny Ryan (Billy) are snuggled together for some picnic in the woods fun.

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ROBIN & JOJO DISCUSS THE BUSINESS

Heather Littleer and Brian Byus perform at The KitchenBrian Byus (JOJO) and Heather Litteer (ROBIN) get into some domestic heated discussion.

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STONE HARBOR, NEW JERSEY. A CONDOMINIUM ON 111th STREET

Andrea Darriau and Shane Baker perform at The Kitchen.Andrea Darriau (VICKI) and Shane Baker (SOL) discuss their upcoming trip to Atlantic City to meet Frank Sinatra.

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TOM AND NONA PERSKY AT HOME

Kate Valk at The Kitchen” width=”720″ height=”590″ />Mary Shultz (NONA) looks on in despair as Kate Valk (Tom Persky) walks away.

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ROOM 122. THE BATHS. CONNIE’S PLACE, NYC

2015.07.14_JWeiss.124Jim Fletcher (BJORN) tells another story to Brian Liem (BILL) as he sticks out his tongue.

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PRATT BORROWS A CUP OF SUGAR FROM FLOSSIE NAGAHARA

Jiro Ueno at The Kitchen” width=”720″ height=”569″ />Jiro Ueno (FLOSSIE) startles his visitor David Cale (PRATT) while he just wanted to borrow some sugar.

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PERSKY AND THE ROOKIE: SURVEILLANCE

Kate Valk and Nicky Paraiso at The KitchenKate Valk (PERSKY) looks at some nice views as Nicky Paraiso (WOO) gets excited having already seen it.

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ZERO HOUR AT DICKY’S: Part Three

2015.07.14_JWeiss.181Brian Byus (JOJO) looks down as Gary Ray (DICKY) confronts him at the bar. Moe Angelos (PECS) looks on.

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CONNIE AND MAMA SCENE

2015.07.14_JWeiss.209Becca Blackwell (CONNIE) looks over the table to Brenda Cummings (MAMA) in this touching scene.

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NICK GRUNDOWSKI INTERROGATES DICKY

2015.07.14_JWeiss.263Hye Young Chyun (STEWART) on left looks on as Gary Ray (DICKY) is crazed looking at the horrendous photographs. Danny Ryan looks down.

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THE BEACH HOUSE: STONE HARBOR

Jane Bradley and Dan Peeples at The Kitchen.Jane Bradley (LOIS) sits atop of Dan Peeples (Wesley) in this sexy scene.

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CONNIE  VISITS HIS SISTER IN THE STATE HOSPITAL

2015.07.14_JWeiss.323Becca Blackwell (Connie) visits the hospital where Dorothy Cantwell (ANNIE) is residing.

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There were a few other scenes which I did not get a chance to document.

The final song to cap off a great night of theater by Jeff Weiss and Richard C. Martinez.
Presented at The Kitchen, NYC
Directed by Brooke O'Harra and Musical Direction by Nicky Paraiso.
The end of the video has a special "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" song for Brooke O'Harra.

©2015 Jim R. Moore

Will be posting more videos from this evening’s festivities in the next few days.

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Categories
Comedy LaMaMa etc Performing Arts Photography Tom/FEST Video

Tom Murrin’s play “Sport-F*ckers” (1999) A Reading at The Club at La Mama

Gary Ray in Sport=Fu*kers at LaMama
Gary Ray (director) introduces the illustrious cast.
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The gang reminisce about an outstanding orgy at church last Wednesday nite.
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The hosts of the swingers get-together Zeroboy(Tal) and Kiki Flynn (Jan).
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Mike Amato (Pete)cringes as his wife Celest Villanueva (Geri) explains the joys of good firm balls!
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Michele Carlo (Marie) does not like Diane’s accusations one bit.
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Mike Amato, Celest Villanueva and Michele Carlo love the sport of swinging!
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Penny Arcade is not happy that a few swingers are breaking the rules by kissing.
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Matthew Wells read the stage directions with glorious enthusiasm!
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Walter Novak (Bill) watches as Penny Arcade demonstrates on her husband Regge Allan Bruce (Cal).
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The swingers relax for a moment while Bill and Rev.Bone enjoy each other in the bed room.
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Gary Ray (Rev. Bone) testifies that fuck, suck & run amok were the true first 3 commandments.
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Celest Villanueva (Geri) the experienced swinger.
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Penny Arcade (Diane) discusses the health benefits of swinging!
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Kiki Flynn (Jan) says let’s get this party started right!!!

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Sport-F*ckers looks at the world of suburban swingers and the issues that arise during an intense sex party! First produced in 1999 at Theatre For The New City, it’s back as a staged reading for the Tom Murrin Festival with a hilarious cast of downtown notables including; Kiki Flynn, Penny Arcade, ZeroBoy, Celest Villanueva, Mike Amato, Michele Carlo, Regge Allan Bruce, Walter Novak, Matthew Wells and directed by Gary Ray.

Categories
Abrons Art Center Avant_Garde_Arama Film Performing Arts

PS122 – “Avant-Garde-Arama” @ Abrons Arts Center – DAY 2 – Sat. April 13, 2013

Saturday night was the second of a two night celebration of performance artist Tom Murrin (aka Alien Comic) presented at the gorgeous Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side.

The lineup for Sat night’s show was as follows:

Lucy Sexton and Mike Iverson (Co-hosts)

Jason SchulerThe Operating Theater Company

Unitard – Mike Albo, Nora Burns and David IIku

 Chris Tanner

Jeremy X Halpern

Andrew Schneider (YOUARENOTHERE)

Jo Andres (Video featuring Steve Buscemi)

Tigger

Laurie Berg

 Mimi Goese

[title of show] includes Susan Blackwell, Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff, Larry Pressgrove, Michael Berresse

Here are some images from Saturday evening’s show.

The Mob Dance @ Avant Garde Arama

The Avant Garde Arama ‘dancers’ perform the Tom Mob dance.

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Celebrating the Full Moon of Tom Murrin with one of his routines performed on Sat. night.

CoHosts Mike Iverson and Lucy Sexton

CoHosts Mike Iverson and Lucy Sexton

Chris Tanner performing at Avant Garde Arama

Chris Tanner performing a monolog followed by a song.

Unitard Comedy group performing at Avant Garde Arama

Unitard Comedy group performing at Avant Garde Arama

Steve Buscemi featured in Jo Andres film.

Steve Buscemi featured in Jo Andres film “When the Curtain Comes Down” based on a song by Diana Krall.

Laurie Berg dances up a storm.

Laurie Berg dances up a sultry storm.

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[title of show] /Now. Here. This. – Original Cast members.

Andrew Schneider performing at Avant Garde Arama

Andrew Schneider performing with interactive electronics.

Cohost Lucy Sexton

Cohost Lucy Sexton introducing the next act.

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Production/Stage manager Lori E. Seid shows PS122 Director Vallejo Gartner that his time is up to finish his beer.

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Dixon Place founder and Director Ellie Covan explains the new ‘TOMMY” awards to the audience.

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R. Sikoryak reads from Moby Dick for this ’40secondstreet’ piece. One one leg!

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Alice Krugler performs a ’40secondstreet’ segment.

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Salley May talks about the ’40secondstreet’ segment to the audience.

Gary Ray performs in '40secondstreet' segment to get something 'off his chest' as he explained to me later!

Gary Ray  performs in ’40secondstreet’ segment to get something ‘off his chest’ as he explained to me later!

Helen dances up a storm for the audience.

A regular at the ‘Avant-Garde-Arama’ for many years, Helen dances up a storm for the audience. (she is 90 yrs old)

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The audience went wild when Helen was dancing on stage.

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Mimi Goese performs a beautiful song and performance piece to music by Kevin Macleod and How How.

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Nurse Baby Aspargus towering of the body of Lucy Sexton. (Cohosts of the show)

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The Operating Theater Company (with Jason Schuler) performed a hysterical ‘hippie cast’ play.

Tigger performs a wild routine.

James (Tigger) Ferguson performed a wild and crazy ‘boylesque’ piece with smashing apples together that covered the front row audience members.