HOT!, the annual summer-long queer performance festival, is in its 17th steamy season at Dixon Place, and though its new Chrystie Street digs will be more spacious, nestling into your seat in the tiny second-floor black box at 258 Bowery is half the fun. The homey space brims with dimly lit camp—leather benches, velvet sofas, and a bartender lurking under a disco ball. HOT!’s offerings (which include musicals, comedy, poetry, dance, drama, and pornos) can’t help but be thrillingly intimate, whether you catch a hit or a near-miss.
Annie Lanzillotto’s The Flat Earth: WherdaFFFhuck Did New York Go?, a “narrative palimpsest,” is vaunted as an experiment in “deconstructing Manhattan geology”—a description sure to strike fear into the hearts of those who are sick of preachy spoken-word. But Lanzillotto’s performance simply glows; spiked with delightfully dyke-y humor, her anecdotal love affair with New York is an engrossing elegy for the city in flux. She and three other performers storm through 75 minutes of energetic narrative, concluding with a wedding in which she and the city are pronounced woman and wife. Before taking her vows, Lanzillotto admits (in her Bronx twang) that her love may well be masochistic: “New York City is a lover—a lover who leaves you for a rich girl.”