Union Square Theatre
100 East 17th St.
Thursday - Monday through June 1, $37.95 - $127.95
If you don’t like La Soirée, well, then you just don’t know how to have fun. The raunchy, risqué mixture of burlesque, cabaret, vaudeville, circus, and Coney Island sideshow that has been touring the world for the last several years — an earlier iteration called Absinthe ran in the Spiegeltent at the South Street Seaport back in 2006 — is playing at the misty Union Square Theatre, where the audience is seated in the round, centered by a small circular platform where most of the often mind-blowing action takes place. Hosted by emcee Aidan O’Shea (among others, depending on which night you go), the two-hour evening features a core group of performers along with special guests. Singer-comic Amy G gets intimate with audience members and uses an unusual part of her body to play an instrument. Rhythmic gymnastics champion Lea Hinz contorts her arms and legs while suspended in the air in a hoop. The self-deprecating Marcus Monroe juggles a home-made combination of dangerous items. Jeans-wearing Joren “Bath Boy” Dawson splashes plenty of water while engaging in acrobatics in and around a claw-footed tub.
Marawa the Amazing shimmies with a vast array of Hula hoops. Scrawny, wild-haired Ringling Bros. Clown College graduate Manchego offers a different take on the male striptease. The English Gents (the dapperly dressed — and undressed — Denis Lock and Hamish McCann) dazzle with breathtaking feats of skill and strength, balancing on each other’s bodies; the highlight of the night might just be McCann’s gravity-defying one-man “Singing in the Rain” pole dance. Burlesque star Julie Atlas Muz somehow gets inside a large balloon bubble. Other performers you might catch at La Soirée, which was first presented by Brett Haylock, Mark Rubinstein, and Mick Perrin in London in 2010, include Bret Pfister, Scotty Blue Bunny, Miss Ekaterina, Mooky Cornish, Le Gâteau Chocolat, Ursula Martinez, Cabaret Decadanse, Meow Meow, Jess Love, Miss Behave, and Mario, Queen of the Circus. There’s also free popcorn, a bar that remains open throughout the show, lots of audience participation, and surprises galore in this randy, very adult romp that isn’t afraid to go too low, or too high, to get a laugh, a smile, a gasp, or even a groan.
Gotham Comedy Club
208 West 23rd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Tuesday, December 24, $25 (two-drink minimum), 7:30 & 9:30
Every Christmas Eve, while most of America is sitting down to their holiday dinner, Jews gather in comedy clubs, laughing hysterically as Jewish comedians tell endless jokes about goyim. Well, maybe that’s not quite the gist of it, but only those in the know really know. On December 24, the Gotham Comedy Club will host its annual Yuletide celebration “A Very Jewish Christmas,” featuring Last Comic Standing finalist and anagram specialist Myq Kaplan (“Menorah? Harm one? Her moan? More? Nah.”) March Madness 2010 Comix champion Sam Morril (“I just complained to my mom on the phone for 40 minutes about how someone wasted my time”), former journalist Chloe Hilliard (“Christmas Eve you can find me at the Jewish show @ Gotham. Oh yeah! I’m probably getting paid in Chinese food.”), New York Giants fan Gregg Rogell (“Obamacare killed Brian”), and World’s Dumbest star Rachel Feinstein.