|NICKY PARAISO & FRIENDS CHRISTMAS 2003 is
the annual Christmas/End of the Year celebration in The Club. The evening,
hosted by Club curator Nicky Paraiso, features special guests Alien Comic,
Little Annie, Carmelita Tropicana, Scotty the Blue Bunny, singers Rebecca
Moore and David Clement, and The Jesubelles (Jim Andralis, Clint Asay and
Ben Lerner from that hot East Village boy band, The Isotoners). Paraiso
also promises a bevy of Downtown divas, superstars and unusual suspects.
The evening is successor to the tradition of "Salón Paraiso,"
a variety evening of comedy and song, emceed by and featuring Nicky Paraiso,
which started in 2000. It's the show that got Nicky the gig as Cultural
Minister of The Club. Ellen Stewart, Founder/Artistic Director of La MaMa,
saw that the well-known Filipino-American actor, musician and performance
artist, could deliver a boffo lineup. A performance curator was born.
Nicky Paraiso is widely noted for the excellence of his supporting work
in prestigious ensembles led by Meredith Monk, Jeff Weiss and others.
When these Salóns were born, Stewart was urging Paraiso to step
out of the supporting shadow and become a headliner in his own show at
La MaMa, where he had been a prolific actor since 1979.
Paraiso was a member of Meredith Monk/The House and Vocal Ensemble (1981-1990),
touring extensively throughout the US, Europe and Japan. He has also worked
with Jeff Weiss and Carlos Ricardo Martinez since 1979 and was an actor
and musical director in "Come Clean" and the Obie-winning "Hot
Keys." He is also affiliated with Yoshiko Chuma and the School of
Hard Knocks, with whom he has appeared in four major productions since
1988. His solo play, "Asian Boys" (1994), was co-produced by
Ma-Yi Theatre Ensemble and P.S. 122 and excerpts of it have been published.
He is also a frequent performer with Ma-Yi Theatre/NATCO. Paraiso's awards
include a 1987 Bessie and a NYSCA Performance Art Initiative Grant. He
was nominated for the prestigious Cal Arts/Alpert Award in 1998. His films
include "Book of Days," "Fresh Kill" and "Jeffrey."