Penny Arcade Gets Real About Trump, Gentrification, And New York In “Longing Lasts Longer”

by Michael Levine


Actor, performance artist, playwright, activist and feminist Penny Arcade has been honing her craft for over 40 years. She is, without question, an iconic figure of the NYC art, film and theater scene. She has many productions to her credit—most of which have toured internationally—including Bitch, Dyke, Faghag, Whore and Penny Arcade In Motion.

Arcade’s recent show, Longing Lasts Longer, performed at New York bar Pangea, asks the question, “What the hell happened to New York City?” Arcade accurately describes the dissolution of NYC from a bohemian enclave that people flocked to in search of artistic expression and personal freedom to, well, New York: The Mall. On the subject of the culture of wealth, she says, “They don’t feel the need to reinvent themselves. They just think that they need to become successful and make a lot of money.” Ain’t that the truth.

In fact, there are so many truths in this piece that one could get very depressed, but Arcade’s sharp wit and empathetic humor keep things moving. She shares spot-on examples of short-sighted urban gentrification. There’s a hysterically funny section about the ridiculous number of cupcake shops that have sprung up all over town in the last few years.

Don’t think that the Trump presidency is left untouched. One of Arcade’s on-target observations of today’s political climate is, “The only relief is that it gave us a break from the Kardashians and Taylor Swift.” Amen to that. Arcade has been successfully touring with this show, giving it the much wider audience which it deserves. Do not miss an opportunity to see this show and experience the magnetic, oracle Penny Arcade tell it like it is. 

Penny Arcade will give a free performance of Longing Lasts Longer at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center on Thursday, February 15. See additional upcoming dates for Longing Lasts Longer here.

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