A fixture of New York City's vibrant downtown performance scene for 30-plus years, Joey Arias is a bona fide NYC icon. Most recently Joey headlined Central Park SummerStage and played Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the Antony-curated Meltodwn Festival. He also stars in Z Chromosome, a short film directed by Manfred (Thierry) Mugler which opened the 18th Annual Cheries-Cheris Festival this past October in Paris.
Arias lived and worked with legendary musician Klaus Nomi until Nomi's death in 1983. However, he long ago stepped out of Nomi's shadow to gain fame in his own right as a performance artist, cabaret singer and drag artist. From outrageous performances at seminal New York nightclubs Jackie 60 and Squeezebox to the now-legendary nights at Bar d'O where he held court with Raven-O and Sherry Vine, Arias has distinguished himself with scandalous wit, sleek style and an extraordinary voice... evocative of Billie Holiday yet uniquely his own. "Strange Fruit," Arias's tribute to Lady Day ran for a year at the Astor Place Theater in New York and received a glowing notice from John Lahr in the New Yorker.
Arias originated the role of the Mistress of Seduction in Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas spectacular Zumanity, for which he co-wrote 2 songs. After 6 years in that role, Arias returned to New York with a splash as the star of Arias With a Twist, a show he co-created with master puppeteer Basil Twist. The show was a critical and commercial hit (Ben Brantley memorably began his New York Times review of the show, "Eat your heart out, Madonna!") and extended repeatedly for a total of 8 months at HERE Arts Center.
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