Political Burlesque: The Citizens Band Perform

Last night, with the opening of "The Panic Is On," The Citizen's Band, that ragamuffin troupe of theatrical hipsters, reminded us of what it means to be a critical citizen. A reprisal of their 2007 staging of the show, this three-night run at the Henry Street Settlement Abrons Arts Center deep in the Lower East Side, featured turns by It-sters Zoe Kravitz, Leah Siegel, and Domino Kirke. Set Designers Sam Wheeler and Dino Siamps created a decadent set—a cross between a party and a circus with velvety red couches, hanging circus hoops, confetti, and a 5-layer "birthday cake." A mix of vaudeville and cabaret, cultural criticism was often as central as the spectacle—though the high-flying rope dancer trumped all politics. Outside the venue, performer Nina Persson (of the Cardigans) noted that compared to her native Sweden, politics in the U.S. was far more black and white than her, "generally dull," homeland."Here," she said, "politics is a lot sexier than anywhere else." Certainly, the very American Citizens Band wraped their political activism in a tasty layer of burlesque.

The Citizens Band will perform at the Henry Street Settlement, 265 Henry Street
New York, 212-766-9200, Saturday October 25 at 8pm. To buy tickets, go to www.ovationtix.com. For more information visit: www.thecitizensband.net.

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