Clinton Hill/ Fort Greene

Gentrification gets its own opera tonight and Friday at BRIC

Disney's version of Br'er Rabbit and Uncle Remus. What you'll see at BRIC is probably a little more intense
Oh no, don’t open your coffee shop in Williamsburg, it’s way too dangerous there

Hey so, remember how when we first told you about BRIC House’s exciting spring line-up of performances and events, we mentioned that it was pretty much impossible squeeze all their upcoming shows into a single post? Well, we definitely left out a pretty damn interesting show about Brooklyn gentrification. It’s called “Brer Rabbit,” and it’s only playing tonight and tomorrow! Hopefully you’re reading this post in time to cancel any other plans you might have for the evening or the weekend and catch this funky performance while you can.

Created by performance artist Aisha Cousins—in collaboration with musician Greg Tate and the Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber—the show is part origin myth and part rock opera, rife with “tricksterism, techno-animism, and urban survival techniques.” Its hero is based on the folkloric character of Br’er Rabbit, but this version is just a guy in marketing who’s all about the American Dream. Said guy moves into a notoriously dangerous ‘hood only to find himself face-to-face with the American Nightmare (read: BK gentrification).

In case you missed the Disney movie about this, the original Br’er Rabbit is a fictional character known for using his wits before brawn to problem-solve, and the “Briar Patch” that he calls home is apparently just a cozy place that comes off as too gritty for the uninitiated. Well, that sounds like a heckuva lot like some neighborhoods in this borough. And Cousin’s use of the bunny for her gentrification allegory at BRIC is especially apt, since stories about Br’er Rabbit are primarily descended from the diaspora folklore of non-white cultures.

Let’s just hope they treat the tried subject of gentrification with a little more originality than some folks do.

Both performances of “Brer Rabbit” are at 8pm, and take place at the BRIC House Ballroom (647 Fulton Street). Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. Not too steep for a show, especially compared to rising rent costs in the gentrified neighborhoods it’s talking about. BRIC’s listing warns that there’s material not suitable for children, so best to treat this as date-night material and leave your kids with the babysitter. If you don’t have kids, even better! Besides, on the inside, you’re probably still one yourself.

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