Arcade’s fire: Penny Arcade brings incendiary show to Dumbo

Penny for your thoughts: Performance artist Penny Arcade will stop at St. Ann’s Warehouse starting on Dec. 1 for the American premiere of her one-woman show “Longing Lasts Longer.”
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

She’s putting in her two cents!

Legendary political performance artist Penny Arcade will stop in Dumbo next month for the American premiere of her incendiary one-woman show, after a year-long world tour. In “Longing Lasts Longer,” opening at St. Ann’s Warehouse on Dec. 1, Arcade takes on gentrification and the city’s changing neighborhoods — something Brooklyn residents are very familiar with, she said.

“Brooklyn is a simulation of what Brooklyn was. It’s like a board game now, it’s not a real place, it’s not a real city,” said Arcade, who lives in Manhattan. “It’s impossible not to be part of gentrification because New York City has been colonized — this has befallen all of our inner cities, invaded by a culture of wealth that creates a mall-like character.”

But more insidious than yuppies buying up real estate is the way that moneyed gentry have co-opted the symbols and language of society’s outsiders, said Arcade.

“There is a gentrification that happens to neighborhoods but there is also a gentrification that happens to ideas,” she said. “Once bikers and strippers had tattoos and those tattoos were a rite of passage — now every stock broker has multiple tattoos. The word ‘queer’ denoted a person who had experienced a period of societal exclusion that marked them as an outsider forever. Now people who have never had an outsider moment in their lives call themselves queer.”

In her show, Arcade will share personal stories of protesting the Vietnam war and coming of age in the city, against a soundtrack of music from the last five decades. She hopes the stories will inspire young people to take up their own crusades, she said, and give them some context from someone with experience standing up to the Man.

“ ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ is really directed to young people. Young people need an ally and I have chosen to be that ally. The engine of evolution has always been the hunger and energy of young people with the wisdom of older people,” said Arcade. “And I have faith — I’m part of a generation that helped stop the Vietnam war, threw Nixon out of office. I believe we can make a difference but we need to be awake and form coalitions. And that’s what ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ is about — it’s to inspire individuality and authenticity in all of us.”

“Longing Lasts Longer” at St. Ann’s Warehouse [45 Water St. at Old Dock Street in Dumbo, (718) 834–8794,]. Dec. 1–11, Tue–Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 3 pm and 8 pm, Sun at 5 pm. $35–$55.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
It's sad that people will pay money to listen to a geriatric who left her hometown to escape to New York complain about people younger than herself who did the same thing. But it's not "colonization" when she did it because she got hers, and now wants to pull up the ladder after she climbed aboard. Some ally! She laments that young queers haven't had it hard enough.
Nov. 28, 2016, 7:10 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Is she still making Monica Lewinsky jokes?
Nov. 28, 2016, 12:41 pm
tony from east village says:
she rocks!!!!
Dec. 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: