If you’re lucky enough to have Martin Luther King Jr. Day off, we’re giving you an extra day of great, inexpensive ideas to keep your three-day weekend perfectly filled. Highlights include the second annual Black Comic Book Festival 2014, Feeling Gloomy’s Cheer Up, Bowie! party, and the Whitney Houston Jukebox Musical: A Hastily Written Masterpiece Starring the Audience. Yes, that means you!
[Art] If you’re a lover of arts and comics, the second annual Black Comic Book Festival 2014 should be a special treat. The two-day event features panel discussions, film screenings, hands-on workshops and exhibit tables with premiere black comic artists from across the country, and begins today with a networking reception titled “Putting the Unity Back in Community.” Tomorrow brings two interesting panels on “Black Women in Comics” and a Q&A on self-publishing.
At 5:30 p.m., and noon on Saturday, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, free.
[Art] The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art presents a fascinating new show starting today titled “Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community.” The group show, curated by John Chaich, explores notions of aspiration, socialization, and representation within the LGBTQ community through artists employing thread-based craft materials, techniques, and processes. One highlight is a piece by artist James Gobel titled Fitting No. 1, a painting of one of our favorite designing duos, Jeffrey and Robert of Costello Tagliapietra.
At 6 p.m., Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, free.
[Party] If you’re not familiar with the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which is part food market, part art fair, and part concert, tonight is the perfect time to get acquainted. Musical guests are MNDR and The Mast.
At 7 p.m., Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Brookyln, free.
[Art] Vogue‘s Andre Leon Talley at Studio 54, revelers at the Palladium, Mickey Rourke at his birthday party — photographer Alexander Borodulin captured all the cool kids during the heyday of the club era, and now you can relive the good times at his exhibition “New York 1970s-1980s.” In addition to party shots, you’ll see images of beachgoers at Coney Island, pretty models (including Gia Carangi, whom Alexander was dating at the time), and some of the city’s most memorable characters, including Ugly George, who used to rove the streets with a video camera and beg women to take off their clothes.
Gallery opens at 10 a.m., Nailya Alexander, free.
[Party] David Bowie is hitting a new stride. Last year he released The Next Day, his first album in 10 years. And just last week he turned 67! But apparently the dudes from Feeling Gloomy (one of our favorite UK parties that comes to New York once a month) think Bowie is down in the dumps: “Lately, David Bowie just hasn’t seemed like that same old Bowie. On his new record, he felt so lonely he could die, he lost love, he talks a lot about Berlin (Germany! Depressing!) and thinks a lot about doing stuff like setting the world on fire, or how he’d rather be high. Jesus, Bowie, you’re bringing us all down. We think we should celebrate his birthday and try to make him feel better.” Tonight’s Cheer Up, Bowie! party includes a Bowie-themed cake and Bowie face-painting; Labyrinth-style codpieces are highly encouraged. If this party doesn’t put a smile on his face, nothing will.
At 11 p.m., The Grand Victory, Brooklyn, $6.
[Poetry] Do you have a knack for writing beautiful verses but lack the training to be an elegant writer? Today’s Gotham Writers’ Workshop: In(Verse): Poetic Techniques For Non-Poets could be the closest you and I will come to attaining an MFA in creative writing: “This course isn’t about writing poetry; it’s about using poetic techniques to write better in every form that is not poetry: fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, stand-up comedy, humor writing, songwriting, even social media.” Sign us up!
At 11 a.m., Housing Works Bookstore, free.
[Comedy] Because Macaulay Culkin is a national treasure, it’s only natural that there’s a comedy night devoted to him. The Macaulay Culkin Show, hosted by Brett Davis and Brian McElroy, is a monthly comedy show that pays tribute to the Home Alone star. Tonight’s show features sets by Dave Hill (WFMU’s Goddamn Dave Hill Show), Murderfist (Adult Swim), Larry Murphy (Bob’s Burgers, Delocated), Brooke Van Poppelen (Girl Code, Comedy Central), Noel Wells (Saturday Night Live), and Good Cop Great Cop (NYTVF, Funny or Die).
At 7 p.m., Shea Stadium, Brooklyn, $5.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day some of you have the holiday off, so enjoy!
[Sports-Spectator] New York offers many unusual sports venues, and this is one of our favorites: a full squash court in the middle of Grand Central during the Tournament of Champions. All the action is in full view of passersby along with arena seating for 500. Squash is an international sport with more than 15 million players in 120 countries, including 400,000 in the U.S. It’s estimated that last year 200,000 New York commuters thrilled to the game as balls zoomed at speeds up to 175 mph. This is the 17th year for the tournament, which showcases the top squash players in the world.
At noon, Grand Central Terminal, tickets start at $8 (limited).
[Party] No matter who was your favorite Muppet, if you’re a fan of Jim Henson tonight’s Muppet Vault: Gonzo the Great! party will be entertaining to say the least. ToughPigs, a Muppet fan site, is celebrating all things Gonzo with an evening of his most memorable moments. The event includes a screening of the classic Muppet Show episode in which Gonzo threatens to (god forbid) leave, plus lots of Gonzo-centric clips and songs from various Muppet productions both beloved and obscure. There will be plenty of audience participation, with sing-along fun, cool giveaways, drink specials, and more.
At 7:30 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, $8.
[Theater] As far as we know, no one has made a musical about Whitney Houston’s life — until now. Tonight’s Whitney Houston Jukebox Musical: A Hastily Written Masterpiece Starring the Audience is everything you dreamed a Whitney Houston musical should be, especially the fact that it features you in the lead role. With Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson of Upright Citizens Brigade and Jo Firestone of Punderdome 3000 leading the way, tonight’s tribute brings together Houston’s greatest hits in a coordinated plot that involves the audience and . . . gremlins. We never said this show would make sense.
At 8 p.m., Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn, $10.