Surf Reality

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Surf Reality
Surf Reality's House of Urban Savages
Address 172 Allen Street, Lower East Side
New York City
Coordinates 40°43′20″N 73°59′20″W / 40.72212°N 73.98883°W / 40.72212; -73.98883
Owner Robert Prichard
Type Performance Art Theater
Capacity 65
Current use yoga studio
Opened 1993
Closed 2003

Surf Reality's House of Urban Savages, also known as Surf Reality, was a 65 seat performance venue on Manhattan's Lower East Side from 1993-2003. A laboratory for experimental performance of all kinds, Surf Reality was known for cutting edge comedy, performance art, classic burlesque, modern music, vaudeville and experimental theater.

Surf Reality began as a video production company that produced a series called The Movie of the Month Club, including such works as Dick and Jane Drop Acid and Die and Manic A-Go-Go.

The theater also served as the home for Faceboyz Open Mic, New York's longest-running weekly open stage. Other acts that passed through Surf include The Upright Citizens Brigade, Todd Barry, Dave Chappelle, Maggie Estep, and Jonathan Ames. Surf Reality was noted as a venue for "alternative comedy, along with performance art and theater pieces" where "visitors have to be buzzed in through its scrap-metal door and climb up to a loftlike second-floor space" by The New York Times. [1]

Robert Prichard, former proprietor of Surf Reality, produces various shows throughout Manhattan under the "Surf Reality Presents" brand. Most recently, Surf Reality produced 64 Paintings/64 Plays, a multimedia collaboration between playwright Timothy Braun, painter Jennilie Brewster, sound artist Tom Tenney, and animator Ashleigh Nankivell. The live performances were directed by Faceboy and were first workshopped at Bowery Poetry Club in June, 2011. Robert Prichard produced and directed "64 A Vaudeville of The Mind" for the 2011 Re/Mixed Media Festival at the One Arm Red Theater in Brooklyn on Oct 22nd and again at the HERE Arts Center as part of their Spring Artists Lodge, March 15–17, 2012 in the Dorothy B. Williams Theater.

Surf Reality has a long running re-occurring show called "Radical Vaudeville" that has been credited by Webster's On Line Dictionary with reviving the concept of vaudeville in the 21st century. The 2015 edition of Radical Vaudeville is running at the COW (Celebration Of Whimsy) Theater at 21 Clinton St on Manhattan's Lower East Side every first Wednesday of the month at 9PM. The show is Co-produced and MC'd by Gabrielle St. Evensen AKA Gabrielle Penabaz and features an eclectic mix of old and new school downtown performance art, music, comedy and variety.


  1. ^ Pareles, Jon (September 9, 1997), "The New Bohemia: It's East of SoHo And Still Unspoiled", The New York Times (The New York Times Company), retrieved 2008-08-11 

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