Tackling Gentrification One Cupcake at a Time! MDC Live Arts presents the Incomparable Penny Arcade

Miami, Nov. 2, 2018 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) MDC Live Arts presents legendary avant-gardist and queen of New York’s underground, Penny Arcade, in Longing Lasts Longer, a thought-provoking and subversively funny solo performance piece that offers a cutting but ultimately hopeful critique of gentrification—not just of cities and neighborhoods, but of the mind and culture. Running Thursday, Nov. 8 – Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m., at the MDC Live Arts Lab.  

Born Susana Ventura, Arcade climbed out of her bedroom window as a teen to join the “fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, deviants and geniuses.” She moved to downtown Manhattan, where she was sheltered by drag queens and fell under the tutelage of gay artists including John Vaccaro, founder of glitter-glam political theater, Play-House of the Ridiculous (with whom Penny made her debut at age 18); Andy Warhol (who recruited Penny to be one of his “Factory Superstars“and featured her in his satire film, Women in Revolt); and the filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith.  She became a contemporary of Patti Smith and Debbie Harry, among others.

Taking a cue from her drag mentors, Ventura adopted the name ‘Penny Arcade’ and has remained champion of “the other” and “the outsider,” solidifying her place in the downtown performance scene with her singular brand of feminist sexuality, fearless display of personal conflict, and emotionally- and intellectually- charged style. She’s presented shows incorporating burlesque dancers, and mixed personal biography with passionate and sarcastic monologues about the AIDS epidemic, the women’s and gay rights movements, and her own right to flaunt her body and her mind. Her willingness to speak truth to power at the expense of career concerns, and her efforts to use performance as a transformative act, have made her an international icon of artistic resistance.

With five decades performing, Arcade has become known as “the queen of the underground.” And now, she feels the need to offer young people a queer, punk-rock, alternative to the mainstream. Thus her latest show, a rock n’ roll blend of stand-up comedy and memoir that refutes nostalgia, slams mediocrity, razzes millennials, shreds gentrification and strikes a blow against “the golden age of stupidity.”

The Times (London) has hailed her the “most quotable theatrical party in town…audacious and irresistible!’

 WHAT:             MDC Live Arts presents Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer

WHEN:             Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.

WHERE:           MDC’s Live Arts Lab, Bldg. 1 300 NE Second Ave. Miami, FL 33132


Tickets are $35.  To purchase tickets, please visit  mdclivearts.org


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MDC Live Arts is Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing extraordinary national and international performing artists to Miami. The annual series presents today’s most exciting artists and designs meaningful engagement between these artists, the students of MDC, and the greater community. MDC Live Arts seeks artists from across the globe who push boundaries and honor traditions relevant to Miami’s diverse community, and aims to offer audiences opportunities to discover new ideas, perspectives and forms of expression. For more information, please visit www.mdclivearts.org.

MDC Live Arts Contacts: Alexa Burneikis, Marketing Manager, 305-237-7733, aburneik@mdc.edu

Lisa Palley, Palley Promotes, 305-642-3132, lpalley@bellsouth.net