Going Gaga for the East Village
Manhattan’s East Village has been a cultural and entertainment hub for over a century, and residents of the East Village’s Greatest Building have an exciting opportunity to learn more about their neighborhood in a fun and entertaining way. “A Gaga Guide to the Lower East Side” is a one-man show crossed with a walking tour that takes guests on a 14-block journey through the Lower East Side’s musical past, with a sprinkling of drama along the way. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the East Village’s past and to see how this production will give you a new appreciation of this slice of Manhattan history.
The Lower East Side, and the East Village in particular, have storied pasts as havens for artists whose careers existed in the shadows of the mainstream theater and music scenes. Starting in the early 1900s, the East Village was home to the Yiddish Theatre District, a collection of theaters where the unique immigrant performance style found its fullest expression. George and Ira Gershwin were born in the area during this time and got the inspiration that would propel their meteoric careers while attending Yiddish theater performances as young boys. As the 20th century progressed, Yiddish theaters gave way to punk clubs, the Nuyorican literary movement, and a host of off-Broadway venues, maintaining the area’s reputation as one of the city’s cultural hot spots — as well as a place where budding artists could afford the rent.
This history is combined with an appreciation for Lady Gaga, the singing star who was living on Stanton Street during the formative years of her career, and whose presence anchors the walking tour. Hosted by Phill, an eccentric tour guide coming off a failed attempt to become a reality TV star, “A Gaga Guide to the Lower East Side” is part immersive theater piece, part walking tour, and all entertainment. The piece blends the familiar beats of the urban historical walking tour with fun interludes where the guests get to know Phill, cutting what can be a somewhat dry format with levity to create an unforgettable and informative outing for history buffs and “Little Monsters” alike. By tour’s end, guests will have learned about the neighborhood’s theatrical past as well as the location of Gaga’s early career haunts, giving them a complete picture of this unique area’s cultural heritage that can only be gleaned by seeing it for themselves.
“A Gaga Guide to the Lower East Side” will be performed through May 28, so get your tickets today and make the most of your new East Village apartment at EVGB!