You never know exactly what will be waiting at the other end when you make the long trek eastward from the subways to Abrons Arts Center. Last season included a charged, explicit version of Beauty and the Beast with disabled performer Mat Fraser and his beauty-queen wife, Julie Atlas Muz, not to mention a queer multimedia solo by Miguel Gutierrez as he received oral attentions from a young man live on stage. Under Jay Wegman’s direction since 2006, Abrons Arts has become the go-to venue for aesthetic pioneers like Big Art Group and Forest Fringe, and it plays host to the American Realness extravaganza every winter — among many other things. With a crackle of creative energy palpable every time you enter the odd building, Abrons Arts isn’t just on Manhattan’s geographical fringe — it anchors a Lower East Side community and cuts an edge in the performing arts.
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