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La MaMa to present Ivo Dimchev's "In Hell with Jesus / Top 40" (US premiere)

La MaMa to present Ivo Dimchev's "In Hell with Jesus / Top 40" (US premiere)


La MaMa x Ivo Dimchev


La MaMa’s Downstairs Theatre, 66 East 4th Street, Manhattan, NY


Thursday, November 16, 2023 - 8:00pm daily through November 18, 2023
Sunday, November 19, 2023 - 4:00pm daily through November 18, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023 - 8:00pm daily through November 25, 2023
Sunday, November 26, 2023 - 4:00pm daily through November 25, 2023



La MaMa x Ivo Dimchev




New York, NY, September 18, 2023 – Internationally renowned performance artist Ivo Dimchev, known for his radically imaginative performances, brings his latest work, In Hell with Jesus / Top 40, to La MaMa this fall. Performances will take place November 16–19 (Thursday–Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm) and November 24–26 (Friday–Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm) at La MaMa’s Downstairs Theatre, 66 East 4th Street, in Manhattan.

In Hell with Jesus / Top 40 is another experiment in which Dimchev’s interests in religion, sexuality, postmodernism, absurdism, and popular culture collide in a peculiar, contemporary, and entertaining way. Playing the host of a musical in the making, Dimchev offers a biting and humorous critique of the contemporary theater industry and society in an interactive performance. Whether it’s a casting audition, a late-night talk show, a weird festival in Copenhagen, or a healing concert at a private birthday party in a New York gay bar where suddenly everyone dies—does it really matter? For better or worse, during the show, some of us are going to hell with Jesus, while others will choose to get in bed with the Dalai Lama. While we’re still figuring out what’s going on, some members of the audience are already earning $20 for their unprofessional tap dance and for smashing a dildo on stage while shouting, “Respect art!” And yes, amidst this “holy mess of a musical,” we will still be graced with Dimchev’s most beautiful live songs.

“Rather than glossing over the unpleasant aspects of the [theater] industry, Dimchev unflinchingly exposes them, packaging the performance in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.”—Michaela Preiner, Something Great.

Twelve years ago The New York Times wrote: “Clearly, it’s time to give Mr. Dimchev a run that lasts longer than one night.” In 2023, La MaMa is giving Dimchev seven nights. Will that be enough, or do we need more?

Tickets: $30 (general), $25 (students/seniors). The first 10 tickets are $10 (limit two per person). Ticket prices are inclusive of all fees. Tickets are available at https://www.lamama.org/shows/in-hell-with-jesus-2023.

On October 24, Ivo Dimchev will have a one-night-only concert at Joe’s Pub. He will perform many of his best hits, ranging from the hardcore melancholic to his naughty, hilariously dirty tracks. If you haven't seen Dimchev’s work live, going to his solo show is great preparation for his massively wild group show at La MaMa.


Ivo Dimchev is a choreographer, visual artist, singer-songwriter, and activist from Bulgaria. His work is an extreme and colorful mix of performance art, dance, theater, music, painting, and photography. He is the author of more than 40 stage performances and has received numerous international awards for dance and theater. He has also written more than 100 original songs. 

Dimchev’s work has been presented throughout Europe, South and North America, and Asia. In Hell with Jesus / Top 40 is the fifth theater work Dimchev has presented in New York, following his acclaimed shows Lili Handel, ICure, Fest, P project, and Some Faves, and more recently, his music performances at Pangea. During the Covid-19 pandemic Dimchev performed more than 400 private concerts in people’s homes in Bulgaria, Istanbul, New York, and Los Angeles. The private concerts are the subject of a forthcoming documentary by filmmaker Kristina Nikolova, and were covered in The New Yorker in a profile on Dimchev titled “The Extravagant Exuberance of Ivo Dimchev.”

Dimchev is the founder and director of Bulgaria’s Humarts Foundation. In 2009, after doing his master’s studies in performing arts at Dasarts Academy in Amsterdam, he opened Volksroom in Brussels, a performance space that presents young international artists. In 2014, he opened MOZEI in Sofia, Bulgaria, as an independent space for presenting contemporary art and music. In addition to his artistic work, Dimchev gives master classes at the National Theater Academy (Budapest), the Royal Dance Conservatorium of Belgium (Antwerp), Hochschule der Künste (Bern), and DanceWeb (Vienna), among others. www.ivodimchev.com


About La MaMa

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa’s 62nd “Radical Access” Season comes on the heels of its 61st season when the organization re-opened its newly renovated, original theater at 74 East 4th Street. The building’s $24-million makeover provides the return of the fully accessible Club, a new Community Arts Space for neighboring groups in the East Village, and an expanded public lobby and galleries. La Mama’s “Radical Access” initiative builds an infrastructure of opportunity that supports new ways of connecting us to people and communities around the world, expanding our means of connectivity and providing space where artists and digital tools converge from multiple points of entry.  

La MaMa has been honored with 30-plus Obie Awards, dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award, and most recently, a 2023 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Special Citation. La MaMa is a creative home to artists and resident companies from around the world, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Bette Midler, Ed Bullins, Ping Chong, Jackie Curtis, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Playhouse of the Ridiculous, Tom Eyen, Pan Asian Rep, Spiderwoman Theater, Tadeusz Kantor, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Mabou Mines, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Tom O’Horgan, Andrei Serban, Liz Swados, and Andy Warhol. La MaMa’s vision of nurturing new artists and new work from all nations, cultures, races and identities remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961.

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