House of Yes has final variety show before closing down due to rent hikes

One last Yes

for The Brooklyn Paper
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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, Aug. 16, 8 pm, $20.

Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runind Brooklyn says:
"and the wheels on the gentrification bus go round and round, round and round"
and now Ty and Ethan will insist on chiming in and telling me what fun this circus was even though they have never set foot in the place. (for the record, I have) because Ty and Ethan are the voice of their generation, and must chime in on everything. Why not chime in on what will probably happen to the place or why if this circus was so very much fun it can't make enough to pay its rent cause......."the wheels on the gentrification bus go round and round, round and round"
Aug. 9, 2013, 3:52 am
o3 from bk says:
had alotta fun there at a halloween show & party a few years back. look forward to their new venue ))
Aug. 9, 2013, 6:55 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Swamp, I'm surprised you've actually been there.

They could make enough to pay their rent. They can't make enough to pay double their rent. I have no idea what will go there next--it's not legal to make it residences. No one's going to pay $10k/month to put in a bar that has no one near it.
Aug. 9, 2013, 7:01 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
This speaks to the point I have been hammering on for three years, and for which the messenger (yours truly) has been shot at from almost every quarter of the gentrification debate. To wit:

You cannot have your safari in the ghetto forever. If you make theater, art, bars, bands, and all kinds of cool and enlightened stuff, you WILL gentrify the neighborhood.

The place will become more desirable and more people and businesses will want to move here.

Not only that, but this is a GOOD THING. That is to say, it is a normative development which, for various reasons, has been greeted with a lot of crocodile tears.

Who are you, and I say this to the artists of Brooklyn, to wield the Midas Touch over these neighborhoods, and then wheel around and growl at landlords, developers, and community boards, and pretend to be the champions of the poor and uneducated locals in these barrios who will be displaced and whose lives and histories you cannot fathom.

And who are you to have contempt for yuppies. They are your brethren. They are your final audience. Even if you artists are not all yourselves bourgeoise, your taste is, and a performance of Brecht will not change that.

You should be proud of the role you have played in the rebirth of Brooklyn, and I mean this without irony. View yourselves as the cultural wing of the embourgeoisement of Brooklyn.

In the overarching scheme of things, this is a progressive development that challenges the hegemony of Manhattan and will result in more social mobility and opportunity throughout the city.

My hope is that the House of Yes will not move farther out into Brooklyn, but rather, to downtown Williamsburg, to take up its rightful place as the premier theater company in northern Brooklyn.

Issue Project Room moved from Gowanus to downtown Brooklyn. The House of Yes could take up residence in the great dome of the Williamsburg Savings Bank. It is now a hotel, and would be an ideal place for a theater company as well.
Aug. 9, 2013, 10:10 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
I hate to interrupt, but does anyone know if Anya Sapozhnikova is single? I would love to ask her out on a date. Forgive me for saying so.
Aug. 9, 2013, 10:49 am
SwampYankee from runind Brooklyn says:
When I moved here 2 years ago, I would go to this place quite a bit. Never was able to meet any girls though. :(
Aug. 9, 2013, 12:38 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
must have hit close to home. Got Ethan to post under his own name and Ty to post under mine. Like Yah!!!!
Aug. 9, 2013, 6:03 pm
jay from nyc says:
you and 2 million other guys and probably women too, john wasserman, good luck though
Aug. 9, 2013, 6:27 pm
ty from pps says:
Actually, hate to burst your self-righteous bubble, but I didn't post because I didn't give a crap about this article or your whining... Are you sad I didn't respond to you original goading? Your life in your inherited house is so hard, Swampy. I feel for you.
Aug. 9, 2013, 6:45 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Whoop! there it is!
Aug. 9, 2013, 7:08 pm
Purple Purchase from South West says:
Dang, That's funky.
Aug. 11, 2013, 3:07 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
ty, when your life is as sad and pathetic as mine, then you can complain as much as I do. I will now retire to mother's basement for more internet and hot pockets.
Aug. 12, 2013, 10 am
The Chooch from Hiphopolis says:
She's very attractive. That alone can raise the rent. When a racy hipstress walks down the street you can hear the rents going up. ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Aug. 12, 2013, 7:01 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
She still has not responed to my Face Book request, and it's been DAYS. Pardon me.
Aug. 13, 2013, 2:16 pm
kevin k from les says:
As usual, you snooze, you lose.

House of Yes, like RUBULAD, the Art Star scene and NonsenseNYC all pride themselves on being as APOLITICAL as possible, ensuring Republicans stole the past 5 elections in "democratic" NYC.

Then, they complain when Republican administrations do as they always do: CRUSH FREEDOM, civil liberties, affordable housing etc.


It's like you forgot to put gas in your car and then cry because it stopped running.

You have no one to blame but yourselves. Anya and Kae knew for over a decade that their rent would skyrocket, b/c they fought to make sure there is no RENT CONTROL FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES, amongst many other sins by them.

Oh well.

Be careful what you wish for.
Sept. 20, 2013, 1:17 pm
kevin k from les says:
Oh, watch how hard everyone you know works to make CERTAIN the GOP / media / 1% don't sneak JOE LHOTA (ex-Giuliani scumbag) into City Hall in November.

You'll see most of the artists HELPING the Republicans steal their 6th election.

Sept. 20, 2013, 1:18 pm

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