Cheap Seats 8, other events this week


At: Cambridge YMCA Theatre, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Thursday, 8 p.m. All ages. Suggested donation $5-$10. 617-661-9622,

The deal: Jamaica Plain’s eclectic, avant-garde artist collective, Whitehaus Family Record, is taking over the Cambridge YMCA Theatre with the performance-art variety show Cheap Seats. For this eighth installment, coordinator/audiovisual-superman/stressed-out stage manager Erich Haygun is experimenting with a new format in which roughly a dozen acts will perform two five-minute sets with no predetermined set list. “Now Wave” as he calls it, is Haygun’s neologism, describing a state where, “immediacy triumphs over all — no one really knows what will happen next.”

The performers: Cheap Seats is about the amalgamation of many creative media from poetry and music to stand-up comedy and burlesque dancing. Haygun is particularly excited about a group of installation artists from London’s Light Eye Mind collective, who are here for a showing at Cambridge’s Blanc Gallery and will be dropping by with some funky light module installation.

Who goes there: The weird-and-proud crowd: creators, thrill seekers, nonconformist types. Those with sensitivity to light, or proneness to seizures, may want to sit this one out.


The tip: Wear pants, as these cheap seats are right on the floor of the theater. Consider grabbing a drink before the show; no liquor will be served at the venue. And to enjoy this experience to its fullest, Haygun recommends arriving on time, or you may be left in the dark — literally.

Stephanie Hiltz

Stephanie Hiltz can be reached at