Penny Arcade's Bad Reputation Book Party
>excerpt from the theatre of Penny Arcade

Steve Zehentner:  Bad Reputation Book Party design/direction/sound score,
Video edi

A book release party with erotic dancers, the glamorous Debbie Harry and the fabulous DJ Lady Miss Kier? Yes, leave it to Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner to reinvent the book party at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Readings and performances from Sarah Schulman, Jennifer Belle, Mario Giacalone, Tigger, Judith Malina, Taylor Mead, Debbie Harry, Chris Rael, Reno, Bruce Benderson, John Kelly, Penny Arcade; dancers Akynos, Deity, Freeze, Alicia Hopkins, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Heather Rabbit, Tigger and Xavier.

Penny Arcade: A runaway at thirteen, a reform-school graduate at sixteen, a performer in the legendary New York City Play-House of the Ridiculous at seventeen, and an escapee from Andy Warhol’s Factory scene at nineteen, Penny Arcade emerged in the 1980s as a primal force on the New York art scene and an originator of what came to be called performance art. Arcade’s brand of high camp and street-smart, punk-rock cabaret showmanship has been winning over international audiences ever since.

Penny Arcade is the author of ten full length performance pieces including the mainstream hit Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! Her work been presented in venues as celebrated as the Sydney Opera House and as sordid as New York’s Pyramid Club.

With long-time collaborator Steve Zehentner, Arcade is the co-producer of The Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history project. Her first book, Bad Reputation, was published by Semiotexte/MIT, and she was portrayed by Sex in the City actress Cynthia Nixon in the film, Englishman in New York, the biopic about her friend Quentin Crisp.

If there is an underlying thematic in all of Arcade’s work, it is perhaps this concern to advocate the full expression of our “life force”—creative, sexual, physically and verbally expressive—and to speak out against those societal and political forces that would repress such energizing self-realization.  – Stephen Bottoms, University of Leeds, U.K.