Arias With a Twist Triumphs Again


After a series of curtains dramatically open onto each other one by one, a kaleidoscopic light show erupts, followed by an overture played by a puppet orchestra.

And on comes the star in full dominatrix gear, strapped to a neon hoop that rotates as aliens probe and examine him and he belts out “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin.

Scared yet?

That’s the beginning of Arias With a Twist–the stunning collaboration of performer Joey Arias and puppeteer Basil Twist–and from there it only gets more mind blowing, stimulating you with trippy imagery, clever stagecraft, and multiple mood changes.

Joey ends up dancing with snakes, eating the New York skyline, and closing with a concert in which he sings “You’ve Changed” with a rich, honey-soaked voice (I’m starting to think its actually Billie Holiday who’s imitating him, not vice versa) before spinning on a cake filled with kicking legs as a mirror reflects it, Busby Berkeley-style.

But none of these descriptions can really capture the oddball, loosely structured charm of Arias with a Twist, which started at Here and is now ensconced for five weeks at Abrons Art Center.

This is the real Spiderman.