Because I wasn't romping around lower Manhattan in the 1990s—I was romping around middle school and high school—I missed the Joey Arias downtown performance-art thing, and now, for people who were paying attention to avant performance in the 1990s, people who know what they're talking about, Joey Arias is old hat. But if you haven't seen Joey Arias before? And you have at least a passing knowledge of Billie Holiday? Holy shit.
In case you've never heard of him: He's a 50-something drag performer with a twitchy, awkward, compelling stage presence and a freakish vocal ability to sound just like Billie Holiday—the hesitation, the cragginess, the prettiness, the force. He's rightly famous for this. It's impossible to watch him sing those songs and not get the chills.
I'm told there are still tickets for tonight. If you've seen him before, grab some young person into theater or performance or Billie Holiday or drag and drag them along. You'll blow their mind.
To get you in the mood, here's some Billie: