House of Yes’s days on Maujer Street are numbered, but the groundbreaking performing arts space isn’t leaving without one last big blowout.
On Aug. 16, the three-story Bushwick venue known for its racy productions, aerial classes, and costume workshops will host one last variety show before it leaves its home for the last five years due to rent hikes.
“We want to leave feeling really good about what we’ve done,” said Anya Sapozhnikova, an acrobat and aerialist who runs the space with artists Kae Burke and Elena Delgado.
In its last days, House of Yes will continue to host the kinds of events that put it on the map in the first place. There will be costume workshops, as well as a blackout party on Aug. 14 in honor of the 2003 power outage, a burlesque tribute to Meat Loaf on Aug. 15, and one final variety show on Aug. 16. The lineup that night will feature some of the superstars of the city’s cabaret scenes, says Sapozhnikova, and includes breakdance troupe Poetrymotion, burlesque performer Veronica Varlow, magician Albert Cadabra, Brenna Bradbury on aerial silks, and Sapozhnikova herself performing with Benjamin Cerf. A dance party until dawn will wrap it all up.
According to Sapozhnikova, the rent at the Bushwick warehouse was going to increase from about $5,000 to $10,000 — more than the performance company could afford. Mike Weitzman, the real estate broker for the site, had no comment on the building or its future tenants.
After the final show, House of Yes will still exist, just in a different way, says Sapozhnikova. It will continue to put on events in other venues while she and her partners hunt for a new space that meets their specific needs — at least 25-foot-tall ceilings, about 5,000 square feet, and rent at market rate or lower in North Brooklyn.
“Ideally we’re looking to make the first proper theater in [the area],” said Sapozhnikova.
Until then, regulars are already mourning the loss of House of Yes until it finds a new home.
“The space itself is so big and special, I’m really going to miss it,” said Adam Hussein, who has been taking classes and performing at the space for the past five years. “It’s going to be a big three-story hole in my life.”
Variety show at House of Yes (342 Maujer St. near Morgan Avenue in Bushwick, www.houseofyes.org). Aug. 16, 8 pm, $20.