London Artists Projects presents the US premiere of avant-gardist Penny Arcade's rock 'n’ roll blend of stand-up comedy and memoir about New York’s slide from the “city that never sleeps” to the “city that can’t wake up.” More…
In this thought-provoking and subversively funny solo piece, veteran NYC performer Arcade offers a fierce, visionary, and ultimately hopeful critique of gentrification—not just of cities and neighborhoods, but of the mind and culture.
"A Village Hero, delighted to be in her mid-sixties and operating with the throttle wide open…She's almost always doing some version of the Pony, hopping in circles as she tries to spur us to greater authenticity…She alternates her charm with wake-up calls, her humor with rage. Arcade in her marvelous middle age is a lovely example to us all. Yes, you've got to tell all your truth to power, but you don't have to stop dancing to do it." Full Review
"Her funny, hectoring tone and her perky mien bring a lively new perspective to an oft-heard plaint...She is often blistering—much of the show is essentially a free-form rant—but her anger is always tempered by natural warmth...A few too many of the complaints feel recycled, and none are likely to ruffle the feathers of anyone in her audience...Still, it was only when Ms. Arcade shifted into uplift mode that my interest began to flag...I loved her most when she was freely hating." Full Review
for a previous production "An exhilarating, passionate plea to those who care to actually do something about it...With this particular show she has never been more prescient. In this piece, Arcade exposes the process that has resulted in a society where mediocrity is the new black, aging is seen as failing and consumerism is an aspiration. Arcade's satire is characteristically punctuated with immensely quotable, razor-sharp soundbites to illustrate her points. Her delivery is insistent rather than aggressive." Full Review
for a previous production "Penny Arcade abounds in the kind of wisdom gleaned by grabbing life with both hands and suffering numerous blows to the heart along the way. She dispenses it in poetic cadences, with a smile, an invitation to dance, and a hefty dose of Manhattan moxie...Ferociously intelligent, endlessly questioning, bursting with energy, Penny takes aim at advertisers, political correctness, gentrification...A roller-coaster of hilarity and pathos...Agree or disagree, you won’t leave unstimulated." Full Review
for a previous production "Penny Arcade is less a breath of fresh air and more a force 10 gale, who could easily blow the less sturdy away. To describe her views as forthright is understating the case...The performer’s delivery falls somewhere between stand-up comedienne and radical, tub-thumping politician, which ensures that audience members will be kept on their metaphorical toes...The lively performance is considerably enhanced by a wonderful soundtrack, carefully choreographed to fit the words." Full Review
for a previous production "These killer one-liners – delivered with the camp, chewed up expressions that Arcade no doubt picked up from her time in the 1960’s Playhouse of the Ridiculous – sustain a rather academic entreaty...More so, there is desperation in Arcade’s fear-filled eyes, having seen the decline of 1960s revolutionaries and Warholian superstars, and the rising dominance of political-correctness epitomized by today’s Millennials...Arcade is drug, sex and rock’n’roll, a damn champion of the counter-culture." Full Review
for a previous production "Penny Arcade is a counter-cultural legend. Unlike the false rebels of rock'n'roll, who are willing to relax into nostalgia and revisit their glorious past, Arcade is still raging...With only a live DJ mix for support, she takes on what she sees as the triumph of advertising and the gentrification of the mind...She recalls a preacher, shouting to the wilderness. It is a bracing hour, a sermon stripped of theatricality but those who have ears will hear." Full Review
for a previous production "Arcade’s 'Longing Lasts Longer' is a heartfelt critique of a world that she thinks is hurtling headlong into consumerist mediocrity...While the outlook sounds mournful Arcade’s personality is anything but downbeat. She bounces on the spot and apologizes for her wobbling breasts. She goes off-script and loses her place and the looseness is endearing. And she certainly makes a heap of valid points." Full Review
for a previous production "There’s no defining Penny Arcade. When she climbs on stage to perform the 65-year-old New York underground diva makes it clear in the first minute or so that this is not theatre, nor stand-up comedy, nor even performance art; it is, she says, something else, a rap or maybe a rant, about a few things that have happened to the human mind during her lifetime...Presented at high speed and accompanied by a thundering mix-tape of musical cues from Arcade’s underground past." Full Review
for a previous production "Arcade is intent on emphasizing the integrity and cultural substance that an appreciation of history gives. She casts aside the passivity of nostalgia and presents to us a more active state which she names longing. Those still skeptical will not be able to deny her commanding stage presence and the vigorous life that exists in her eyes as she discusses today’s culture and what she can see within it. Arcade’s show is enlightening and often satirically funny." Full Review
for a previous production "There is something invigorating about seeing a gobby older woman loudly and unashamedly owning the stage. Yep, she shouts quite a lot and there’s plenty of sloganising, most of which doesn’t really bear too deep an examination. But there’s something so warm about the way she sprays the verbal bullets that you can’t help nodding along, even if the ultimate message sounds suspiciously like something out of a self-help manual." Full Review
for a previous production "Penny Arcade looks like some sort of cartoon superhero – and she has the commanding stage presence you’d expect of one too...Her material is divisive at best, offensive and boring at worst...Her bright stage presence can only do so much: it soon becomes clear her set is just complaining. She makes controversial assertions and often fails to follow them through...It’s a confused message, though it’s full of heart...I'll say one thing for her: she’s damn sure of herself." Full Review
See it if You want to hear her take on Facebook, Taylor Swift, college reading/discussion, and PREP for HIV prevention. No holds barred.
Don't see it if You don't like loud music that is occasionally played. The 1 hour 38 minutes flies by.
See it if You like energetic solo performance that's got brains, humor and directly challenges the audience to think differently.
Don't see it if You prefer stand-up to solo performance; don't like artists over 40.
See it if you want to hear a lifetime's worth of insights into life, love, and Western culture from the viewpoint of a 60s feminist performance artist
Don't see it if you don't have the patience to listen to a 50-minute (comedic but insightful) monologue set to lights and music
See it if you want to see a show that is fresh and vibrant and relevant about what is going on in the world. Told by someone who has been there.
Don't see it if you don't like one person shows and if you don't like loud music in intervals.
See it if you're looking for a entertaining and thought-provoking examination of the decline and fall of NYC as an artistic mecca.
Don't see it if you don't enjoy monologues or want flashy sets and costume changes. Penny is a whirlwind unto herself and doesn't need any accoutrements.
See it if You like one man/woman shows because it's just a lot of talking. She's a character...dated, but still relevant.
Don't see it if She does yell a bit. sometimes I felt like I was being lectured, but I thought her commentary was wonderful.
See it if you have a working brain cell! This is so much more than stand up, or commentary, this is truth told as clear as I've ever heard it!
Don't see it if ...just SEE IT!
See it if If you love NYC and how it has changed since the 60's. Penny gives us a entertaining edgy look on how we live love cry & laugh at our selfs.
Don't see it if If you don't like NYC and a fabulous edgy feminist out look on our fading urban life. If your a Trumpy you just won't get it.
Also Bravo Girlfriend you simply rock!
See it if witty sarcasm & insightful observations amuse you. My favorite one person show ever! Come early for Penny's pre-show improvisations.
Don't see it if you hate one person shows although this is unusual in that it has excellent music and lighting coordinated with the commentary.
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