The critically acclaimed exotic fantasy of song and puppetry currently plays an extended run through New Year's Eve at HERE Arts Center's Dorothy B. Williams Theatre. Arias with a Twist began performances June 12.
Credited with turning drag into high art, Arias returned to New York in Arias with a Twist, following an extended run headlining the Las Vegas production of Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity. The newly conceived production conjures "ecstatic desires, lavish nightmares and bizarre premonitions in a bejeweled cabinet of curiosities that could only be found in one of downtown's last enclaves for bohemian New York style."
Basil Twist also directs the production that features a marionette band of musicians, an alien abduction, poisonous snakes, a Busby Berkeley sequence — and a trip to hell.
Arias with a Twist was recorded during a live performance in September and captures Arias' uncanny Billie Holiday-inspired vocals as well as covers and original songs composed by Alex Gifford of Propellerheads, the late Klaus Nomi and Griff Williams.
The track listing for Arias with a Twist follows:
"Jungle of Eden"
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
"Within You Without You"
"Clair de Lune"
"I’ll Take it to My Baby"
"All By Myself"
"You Gotta Pull Strings"
"Ooh, What a Feelin’" Bonus Tracks:
"Use Me, Abuse Me"
"Harmonics Mood in Jazz Blue"
"All By Myself"
The recording, priced $14.99, is available by visiting AriaswithaTwist.
The buzz-generating production, which received a noteworthy boost in a rave from The New York Times, has become a popular destination for New York tastemakers, with visits from Grey Gardens Tony-nominated composer Scott Frankel and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright, as well as Tony and Oscar-winner Joel Grey, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters front-man Jake Shears, designer Michael Kors, Oscar nominee Laura Linney, Tony winners Jack O'Brien, Jerry Mitchell and Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei.
Arias with a Twist features costume concepts by Thierry Mugler, costume execution by Chris March, musical arrangements by Elliot Douglass and Jean-Francois Houle, musical production by Jean-Francois Houle, sound design by Greg Duffin, lighting design by Ayumu "poe" Saegusa and video design by Daniel Brodie. Alex Gifford has penned original songs ("Lately" and "The Jungle of Eden").
Arias with a Twist was developed through HERE Arts Center's Dream Music Puppetry Program, which is now celebrating its tenth year nurturing new puppetry techniques and incorporating new opportunities for puppetry artists through interdisciplinary collaborations.
Arias with a Twist will be seen 9 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays, with additional midnight performances on Saturdays. Sunday performances are at 6 PM and 9 PM.
Tickets are available by calling (212) 352-3101 or by visiting HERE.
HERE Arts Center is located at 145 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.