Renegade Cabaret in the New Yorker, May 26 2016

Out of Line: Renegade Cabaret

May 26 2016

One night in 2009, a former punk photographer was met with a beam of light flooding the window of her West Twentieth Street loft, in which she’d happily lived since 1978. Newly installed exit lights at the top of the stairway to the just-opened High Line were pointed directly into Patty Heffley’s apartment, a familiar city nuisance that was nonetheless insufferable. The eight-hundred-and-forty-one-dollar a month pad held a washing machine but no dryer, and she’d hung her clothes out on her fire escape for more than three decades; the new audience from below could complicate laundry day, she worried. So Heffley repurposed the window into a stage, performing cabaret songs in a red tutu, with animal-print underwear standing in for stage skirting. Her Renegade Cabaret soon became a hit with park visitors, as she invited talented friends to perform comedy routines, musical numbers, and even science lectures. The show has since outgrown its fourth-floor origins, and will be staged on the High Line’s lower sun deck. It opens the Out of Line summer series of free performances in the elevated park.

The High Line

Entrance on West 14 Street, at Tenth Ave.
New York, NY