Wednesday, January 30
Time to get up your culture quotient with Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde with conductor Daniel Barenboim. The controversial Patrice Chéreau is directing, which is one way to get the worldwide opera community talking. But if even if you’re not a Wagner fanatic, it’s a show not to miss. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (at 95th St.), 212-864-5400; 6, $21.
Sci-Fi Art Show
If you’re tired of the white-box art world, then you’ll enjoy the kooky cartoons and artifacts on the walls at MF Gallery’s latest wacko exhibit, The Sci-Fi Art Show. The opening party had plenty of FAN-tastic costumes and performers, but the art still hangs so you can let your inner sci-fi geek enjoy aliens with three eyes and sexy bombshells from some unknown planet. MF Gallery, 157 Rivington St. (betw. Clinton & Suffolk Sts.), 917-446-8681; Wed.-Sun. 2-7, free.
Thursday, January 31
It’s can-can girls and more at the annual Karneval Bohemia presented by Zum Schneider. Come in costume to get in on the good old-fashioned Bavarian fun, which will include hit songs, skits and, of course, the best beer in town. Jan. 31-Feb. 5. Zum Schneider, 107 Ave C (at E. 7th St.), 212-598-1098, www.zumschneider.com; 8, $13/$17.
More Murray Hill
Murray Hill moved his microphone a little farther south and hosts This Is Burlesque, a bawdy and bodacious stage show featuring a bevy of beauties, singers, swinging music and strip teasing. Be prepared for the Italian Stallionette and reigning Miss Cyclone Angie Pontani, the tapping tornado Helen Pontani as well as Peekabo Pointe; The World Famous Pontani Sisters, Dulce De Leche and Melody Sweets. Corio, 337 W. Broadway (at Grand St.), Thurs.-Sat. 8, $25.
Israel on Your Mind
We never seem to tire of a good film fest, and at least during the Fourth Annual Brooklyn Israel Film Festival there’s less to choose from (and less to feel guilty about missing). The opening-night screening is Souvenirs by Shahar Cohen & Halil Efrat, a documentary about a soldier’s service in the Jewish Brigade during WWII. The Saturday evening film is Someone to Run With and the final film is Watermarks. Kane Street Synagogue, 236 Kane St. (betw. Court & Clinton Sts.), B’klyn, 718-875-1550; Thurs. 8, Sat. 8; Sun. 7, $10/$25 (series).
Tribute to Toni
Toni Cade Bambara has a slew of high-profile friends (including Toni Morrison), and tonight a panel discusses the author during the book signing for Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara. Farah Jasmine Griffin, Clyde Taylor, Louis Massiah and others discuss the influential African-American author’s cultural impact (and maybe a few juicy bits of gossip of what it’s like working with her). NYU, Riese Family Lounge, 721 Broadway, 1st flr., 212-998-4222; 7-8:30, free.
Friday, February 1
If you don’t come to Political Subversities, you may be letting the terrorists win. Well, we won’t go that far, but Elizabeth Swados’ wild and edgy theater pieces typically consist of pithy songs and monologues that skewer both the right and left (expect some topical Obama/Hillary humor). The talented cast members she attracts seem like they could be just as comfortable on SNL—as they strum on guitars and sing about bird flu, global warming and other hot-topic issues—as a Broadway stage. It’s a good time and a learning experience—like a bit of live Daily Show without the lineup outside in the cold. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (at 4th St.), 212-967-7555; 11:30pm, $12-$15.
Groundhog’s Day Eve is Funny
It’s not very often that you get free cookies just for showing up to something, but this is one of those times. Family Hour with Auntie Sara: ALL STARS! is just the event you’ve been waiting for! When you’re not stuffing your fat face with cookies, you can laugh your ass off to some of the best comedians around, including Andrew Rose, Roger Hailes, Tom Shillue and many more! Hosted by “Auntie” Sara Benincasa (MTV News Choose or Lose 2008 and Tub Talk with Sara B.), this comedy package will include a good cause, too. You can donate to Comedy Cures Foundation (comedycures.org) on your way out, if you didn’t O.D. on cookies. Ochi’s Lounge at Comix, 353 W. 14th St. (east of 9th Ave.), 212-524-2500; 7, No Cover.
Saturday, February 2
Watch Where Your Step
Get ready for more Gregor Samsa as a bug during Puppet Blok. Artists never cease to be inspired by Kafka’s literary works, and for “Puppet Kafka” by Drama of Works, the entire text of The Metamorphosis has been used. And if that doesn’t do it for you, Yvette Edery presents “Circo Vida,” a family story told with dolls and string—without the bugs (we hope). Dixon Place, 258 Bowery, 2nd flr. (betw. Houston & Prince Sts.), 212-219-0736; 8, $10-$12.
Painters of Sound
Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Corigliano Festival celebrates the 70th birthday of Brooklyn’s own John Corigliano. The philharmonic plays Corigliano’s “Pied Piper Fantasy,” one of the 20th century’s most compelling orchestral works, and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” with Michael Christie conducting and Alexa Still on flute. But the real party gets started following the concert, when several of Mr. Corigliano’s most acclaimed former students will honor him with a late-night concert in BAM Café. It must be great to be so honorific. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue (between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street), Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, 7:30pm, $20-60.
Sunday, February 3
Let’s Get Physical
We guess Bridget Everett and Kenny Mellman weren’t satisfied with the crazy sex and revelations of At Least It’s Pink, so now they’re back with Sexercise Live! A Tribute to the Potty Mouthed and Profound Millie Jackson. It’s already causing us to recall those jump-rope marathons to Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” and all the kinky implications this has caused since the ’80s. Thank you, Bridget, we’ll get sweaty with you anytime. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. Astor Pl. & E. 4th St.), 212-967-7555; 9:30, $15.
Seeing the City
Rudy Burckhardt and Yvonne Jacquette influenced an entire generation of poets and artists of the avant-garde. Tonight David Shapiro, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman and others honor the two during From Here Look Home: A Poetry Reading in Honor of Rudy Burckhardt and Yvonne Jacquette. Expect plenty of aging artists that have survived the city and love to tell their tales. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave. (at 104th St.) 212-534-1672, ext. 3395; 2, free (w/ museum admission, RSVP required).
Trading for Tradition
Bring home fragrant peach blossoms, citrus trees, flowering quince, and other seasonal flowers to decorate your home for the Lunar New Year. Enjoy an afternoon of outstanding performances from such groups as Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera, the Red Silk Dancers and the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute of New York. Families can participate in interactive workshops, enjoy traditional foods, and take Chinese- and English-language tours that feature the Garden’s Asian plant collections (indoors, of course). Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., B’klyn, 718-623-7200; 10am-4:30pm, $8.
Monday, February 4
Armed and Restless
The Fire Dept presents an expanded and updated version of its acclaimed At War: American Playwrights Respond To Iraq, an evening of material by noted and emerging American playwrights with a myriad of views on the war. One sec it’s funny, next moment you’re crying; but don’t worry, you’ll also be on the lookout for celebs like Bebe Neuwirth, David Strathairn and Janeane Garofalo to add some star power. Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker (at the corner of Bleecker & Lafayette Sts.), 212-239-6200; 7:30, $38.50.
Tuesday, February 5
It’s improv, it’s funny, it’s Sax & Dixon: Are Town. The duo gives life to over 20 characters in a fast-paced, raw and edgy evening focused on folks in a small-town high school. Time to laugh at the jocks, cheerleaders, band geeks and theater kids of your youth. Again. Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.); 212-868-4444; 8, $15.
Gray for a Day
The exhibition, Jasper Johns: Gray, examines the use of the color gray by the American artist in more than 120 paintings, reliefs, drawings, prints and sculptures. Don’t worry, it ain’t all that gloomy. Starts Feb. 5, until May 4. MoMA, 1000 5th Ave. (at 82nd St.), 212-535-7710; $20.
Wednesday, February 6
Bye, Bye Birdie
Composer Charles Strouse is best known for his scores for Annie, Applause, Bye Bye Birdie and Golden Boy, but tonight, during This is Life: Eric Comstock Salutes Charles Strouse @ 80, we get the jazz side of the legend. Eric Comstock is joined by Harry Allen on tenor sax, Vito Lesczak on drums and Peter Washington on bass. Let the tribute begin. Allen Room, Broadway (at 60th St.), 212-721-6500; 8:30, $35-$70.
Wednesday, January 30
Wednesday, January 23
WRITERS STRIKE, JOKES DON’T DIE
The writers may be on strike, but their jokes aren’t! Ars Nova, together with the writers and staff of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, presents what promises to be a hilarious night of stand-up, sketch and film, featuring The Daily Show’s Rory Albanese, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Rob Kutner, Adam Lowitt, Sam Means, John Oliver, and (maybe) Daniel Day-Lewis. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit staffers affected by the WGA strike. Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-868-4444; 9, $15.
MENTOR ME MENTOR YOU
Susan Shapiro knows something about mentoring. Her memoir, Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus, recounts her quest for success as a writer and the mentors who showed her the way. Tonight she hosts a mentor/protégé reading and publishing Q & A discussion with her protégés: Kimberlee Auerbach, author of The Devil, the Lovers and Me; Kristen Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdales; Abby Sher, author of Kissing Snowflakes; Liza Monroy, author of the upcoming Mexican High. Rapture Café and Books, 200 Ave. A (betw. E. 12th & 13th Streets), 212-228.1177; 6:30, free.
SO HOT IT’S COOL DANCE 2008
What do you get when you mix traditional Korean dance with contemporary? We have no idea either. But you can find out (for free!) during Cool New York 2008 DANCE Festival, which features the work of over 60 dance companies from NYC and beyond, including erformances by Natasa Trifan Performance Group, Aimee Rials and Dancers, Mare Hieronimus, Jamal Jackson Dance Company, Amos Pinhasi, ChangMu Dance Company (from Korea) and WHITE WAVE Young Soon Kim Dance Company. Jan 24-27 & Jan 31-Feb 3 John Ryan Theater, 25 Jay St. (at John St.), B’klyn; Thu-Sat, 7-8:30, 9-10:30; Sat., 2-3:15pm; Sun. 4-5:30, 6-7:30, free. Their Annual Benefit Dinner, Jan. 23 at 7pm for $50. whitewavedance.com.
IS THAT YOUR HAND ON MY LEG?
30,000 Kilohertz of Sound is an improv comedy act in the dark. Some would say intimate, others would say creepy. We say perfect place for your next date. Magnet Theater, 254 W. 29th St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.), www.30000khz.com; 9:30 (also Jan. 30), $5.
HER NAME WAS CREAMY
It’s the middle of the week, why not head out to hear jokes, tunes and see some burlesque? If this sounds enticing, try Evan Laurence’s Sexahol Revue. It’s quite a name, and it promises to be quite an evening with special guest Creamy Stevens, Kate Brehm, David F. Slone, Lady Clover Honey, Kyle Supley, The Snapptones and more. Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. 7th St. (betw.2nd & 3rd Aves.), 212-982-3006; 7-9, $5 + 2 drink min.
Thursday, January 24
STOP STARING AT MY BOOKS
Sharon Mesmer, author of Annoying Diabetic Bitch and Marc Nasdor (Sonnetailia) celebrate the release of their books, and they want you to party with them as they get down with Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello. Now that’s reason to celebrate. Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, 113 Ludlow St. (betw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.), 212-625-0981; 8, free until 10:30, $10 after.
(ART & THEATRE)
BANALITY AND REDEMPTION
These are the themes that performance artist Joseph Keckler explores in Cat Lady, a new solo show in which the storyteller narrates an afternoon in the home of his mother, who has created a theater, of sorts, where cats are the actors. Past lives are recalled, songs are sung, and finally a trip to the vet’s is made in “this humorous and dark exploration of the relationship between art and trauma.” He will be joined by another performance artist. Dixon Place, 258 Bowery (betw. Houston & Prince St.), 212-219-0736; 8, $15.
Thursday nights from here on out, DJ Gatsby spins ambient jazzy hip-hop, funk, downbeat, indie electronica and a touch of throwbacks for good measure. Of course he wants you to come by and let it all hang out in this cool, low-key bar. Hacienda at 40c, 40 Ave. C (betw. E. 3rd & 4th Sts.), 212-466-0880; 10:15, free.
Friday, January 25
TAP MY PAN, BANG MY TOASTER
Sauce is a band that mixes sounds of kitchen appliances with live jazz and Hawaiian and electro-acoustic instruments. Led by cellist Greg Heffernan, Sauce blends the varying musical textures of the lap steel by Toronto-native Myk Freedman, electric guitar with Todd Neufeld, bass with Josh Myers, tenor sax with Ohad Talmor and live percussion with Rich Stein and Max Goldman. They play in the “Loft Party” Series at the Williamsburg Music Center, Brooklyn’s only black-owned and operated, non-profit, jazz institution. Williamsburg Music Center, 369 Bedford Ave. (at S. 5th St.), B’klyn, 718-384-1654; 10, $10.
THE BEATBOX CITY
Adam Matta, a beatboxer and artist in residence at Cornell, turns NYC’s noise into art. In Beatbox Drift, the artist interacts with NYC by collecting and regurgitating city sounds and rhythms. Highlights include “Mareo,” an ode to the Lower East Side with beatbox and video; “Underground,” a blues-trance composition for beatbox and voice inspired by the world beneath the city’s streets; “Day in the Life,” a New York story told entirely through sound effects; a new composition for bike wheel, Walkman, laptop, theremin, and beatbox. Intrigued? We thought you might be. Art on the Bowery, New Museum, 235 Bowery (betw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.), 212-219-1222; 7, $8-$10.
Saturday, January 26
(MUSIC ON A BARGE)
The Mendelssohn String Quartet take to the barge. Bargemusic has presented music in an unlikely and startlingly beautiful venue—a floating barge at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge with the dramatic backdrop of the East River and lower Manhattan skyline. Bargemusic is at Fulton Ferry Landing near the Brooklyn Bridge, 718-624-2083; Sat. 8, Sun 4pm, $25-$40.
The annual Outsider Art Fair brings the “fringe” artists… wait, we mean the folk artists… umm, maybe the crafty artists (?) to the center of the city so you can snatch up their wares before they are anointed as crazy and go for zillions. Hey, whatever you’re looking for—whether it’s braided hemp imbued with pee pigment, religious zealotry in sculptural form or just a few gender-confused paintings—it’s sure to be available. Jan. 26-27. Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St. (at Houston), 212-777-5218; Sat. 11am-8pm; Sun. 11am-7pm, $20 (daily).
Sunday January 27
The Upright Citizens Brigade performs longform improv with special guests from Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The late show is free, but since it remains one of the most popular shows on a Sunday night, better get there early for your tix. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W. 26 St. (near 8th Ave.), 212-366-9176; 9:30, free (7:30 show $8).
READ IT TO ME
For one night only, the TWEED Fractured Classicks Series presents a fully staged reading of a classic film exploring the dynamics of a family in crisis. Twisted by jealousy, insecurity and resentment, Posteriors is the story of an interior designer mother deserted by her husband, and her emotionally glacial relationships of their three grown daughters. Interpretations by Julie Halston, David Rakoff, Peter Frechette and Downtown performers Steve Hayes, Brenda Bergman, David Ilku, Jodi Lennon and Lennon Parham. Directed by Kevin Malony. Seating is limited. Comix, 353 W. 14th St. (at 9th Ave.), 212-254-2500; 7, $18-$30 (dinner reservations available/discount for WGA members).
Monday January 28
THEY MIGHT BE GIANT
MTV talents Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development) and Paul Scheer (Best Week Ever) are The Human Giant. Each week they present a collection of sketches, short films and presentations that have all been pre-approved by the other “human giant” (Michael Clarke Duncan). In addition, if anyone leaves the show unsatisfied, Mr. Duncan has agreed to go to the homes of Mr. Ansari, Mr. Huebel and Mr. Scheer and personally beat the shit out of their family. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W. 26 St. (near 8th Ave.), 212-366-9176; 11, free.
Tuesday January 29
WHAT A PEACH
Millions of peaches, wait, make that one. Moldy Peaches’ Toby Goodshank performs at Boog City’s d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press. The series hosts a different non-New York City small press each month. This time around it’s Instance Press, with editors in Boulder, Colo.; Oakland, Calif., and New York City, the latter being Stacy Szymaszek, the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church’s artistic director. With readings from Kimberly Lyons, Kevin Varrone and Craig Watson. ACA Galleries, 529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr. (betw. 10th & 11th aves.), 6-8, free, welcometoboogcity.com
SEX IN THE SEA OF THE CITY
There are a lot of fish in the sea, and writer/performer Desiree Burch has caught them all, which she collected in the epic deck of cards that comprises 52-MAN PICKUP, a card-shark’s guide to sex in the city that never sleeps with the same person twice. A salacious evening of storytelling that’s equal parts stand-up comedy, poetry, memoir and manifesto. Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10 & 11th Aves.), 212-868-4444; 8, $15.
EAST MEETS WEST
That’s the theme of KGB’s Nonfiction Reading Series on Tuesday night, with free readings by seriously talented writers. Come hear Nina Burleigh (author of three nonfiction books, including The Stranger and the Statesman) and Zachary Karabell (The Last Campaign). KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St. (betw. Bowery& 2nd Ave.), kgbbar.com; 7-9, free.
Wednesday, January 30
Top Value Television was a pioneering video collective that helped define radical documentary in the 1970s. They used portable, low-tech video equipment to get a behind-the-scenes look at televised spectacles. To get into the award-season/Super Bowl spirit, experience “TVTV Looks At The Oscars” “TVTV Goes To The Super Bowl” to recall how to subvert the idiot box. Lily Tomlin stars as “Judy Beasley” the year Barry Lyndon Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, Nashville, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest competed for best picture. And then experience the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys in Miami for Super Bowl X with Bill Murray and Christopher Guest providing color commentary throughout. Anthology Film Archives, 32 2ND Ave. (at 2nd St.), 212) 505-5181; 7:30, $5-$8.
Wednesday, January 16
Heebs On Screen
The 17th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival continues this week (until January 24) with four screenings today, each featuring a pair of short films. Things get started at 1 with the U.S. premiere of Itamar Alcalay’s documentary Stefan Braun, addressing the glamorous public profile of the eponymous Tel Aviv socialite of the 1960s and ’70s. This is followed by Oded Lotan’s comic fairytale investigation of circumcision, Quest for the Missing Piece. Then at 3:45 we get two stories of cultural interaction, Philippe Faucon’s Two Ladies and Joanna Jurewicz’s Goyta. At 6 two films make the most of borrowed footage and themes: Miss Universe 1929 reconstructs a director’s love for his beauty queen cousin, and Battle of Cable Street adapts Harold and the Purple Crayon to documenting a pocket of London’s social history. Finally, at 8:15, two U.S. premieres showcase Evgeny Tsymbal’s Red Zion—investigating the short-lived Soviet Jewish Autonomous Area in Crimea—and Herman Szwarchbart’s Buenos Aires’ Pogrom, which looks at a violent episode for immigrant workers. Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W. 65th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.), 212-496-3809, filmlinc.com; $7/$11.
The Country Music Association Songwriter Series continues with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters saluting the music of Rascall Flatts and celebrating the CMA’s 50th Anniversary. Songwriters include Bob DiPiero, Steve Bogard, Tony Mullins, Danny Orton, D. Vincent Williams. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. E. 4th and Astor Pl.), 212-967-7555; 6:30, $20.
Thursday, January 17
(BOOK READING & SIGNING)
Professor, author, literary critic and editor of Lebanese daily An-Nahar’s cultural supplement, Elias Khoury reads from his most recently translated novel, Yalo. Set in a stylized Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, Yalo follows the eponymous young man as he lives in the city’s streets, on the fringe of an unstable society. 192 Books, 192 10th Ave. (at 21st St.), 212-255-4022, 192books.com; 7, free.
Barge Right In
Bargemusic Jazz Night with Bill Lee, musician, conductor and composer—and Spike Lee’s papa. All you have to do is step foot on the floating barge in the East River. It’s worth it for the small stage with the dramatic backdrop of the East River and lower Manhattan skyline. Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing (near the Brooklyn Bridge), 718-624-2083, bargemusic.org; 8, $20/$35.
Friday, January 18
(MUSIC & THEATER & PARTY)
Electro Face Off
Fill your fun and culture quotas without going to more than one place. Start with a set by Face Improv (at 7:30, $5) melding a jazz quintet and actors (who may also do some abstract dancing, natch) who improvise music and scenes building on audience suggestions. After all the zaniness, stick around the front room for AVZ’s electro party (at 10, $7) featuring live performances by Diet Kong and ADM, DJ sets by Slouch, BollyGirl and Dimmsummer, and visuals by DV Surge and Alan Clary. Galapagos Art Space (front room), 70 N. 6th St. (betw. Wythe & Kent Aves.), 718-782-5188, galapagosartspace.com.
How to classify the unclassifiable music of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, performing tonight and tomorrow at The Kitchen in Chelsea? It might look like a big band orchestra, but its style is improvisational like a jazz ensemble. Its influences are canonical, like Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix, but also straight from the street, like Divine Styler and the Bomb Squad. Curious and confused? Come check out their latest mix of acid-funk, groove, electronica and hip-hop, Rise of the Mojosexual Cotillion, preceded by the more classifiably alternative Sparlha Swa. Wait, “mojosexual”? What the… The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-255-5793, thekitchen.org; Fri. & Sat. at 8, $10.
Syren is dedicated to producing high-caliber, accessible work to spark a continued interest of the public in modern dance. These free one-hour, mixed-bill events focus on the process of creating choreography. Three to four choreographers show finished or in-progress choreography with audience discussion following each work. 92nd Street Y, Harkness Dance Center, Buttenweiser Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. (at 92nd St.); noon, free.
Saturday, January 19
Still Life With Dam
Big winner at 2006’s Venice Film Festival, Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke’s Still Life has finally made it to onto a screen Stateside. The film follows the immense events disturbing the veneer of everyday activity in the small village of Fengjie: a coal miner arrives, searching for a wife he hasn’t seen in a dozen years and their daughter he’s never met; a nurse comes to seek a divorce from the husband who left her two years earlier. Over this human drama, the environmental drama that is the Three Gorges Dam signals impending submersion for the entire town and imminent displacement for its citizens. IFC Center, 323 6th Ave. (at W. 3rd St.), 212-924-7771, ifccenter.com; $8/$11.
Kori Newkirk, a celebrated multidisciplinary artist, elegantly blends medium and message-using photographs, wax, hair pomade, beads and neon lights-to forge a new paradigm in art practice. His conceptual practice is based on transforming modest materials into loaded signifiers that question cultural and aesthetic notions of beauty. Until March 9. The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125th St. (betw. Lenox Ave. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.), 212-864-4500, studiomuseum.org.
Sunday, January 20
If there’s a photo of it, it must be true, right? Not so according to both exhibitions opening this week at the International Center of Photography (ICP). In The Collections of Barbara Bloom, the photographer, installation artist and designer explores our habit of collecting through her own archives of photographs, clippings, videos and installations. The other new exhibition at ICP, Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, has more than a dozen artists exploring and undermining archival systems and our assumptions about truth, objectivity and history. The featured artworks mix installations, fictional biographies, found images and artifacts, slideshows and photomontages. Both exhibitions continue until May 4. International Center of Photography, 1133 6th Ave. (at 43rd St.), 212-857-0000, icp.org; 10-6, $12/$8.
Make Him a Boy
Don’t miss the darkly surreal, adult-version of Pinocchio at La MaMa, which enters its last week today. Teatro Del Carretto, the renowned company founded in 1983 in Lucca, Italy, by director Maria Grazia Cipriani and designer Graziano Gregori, is widely recognized as one of Italy’s most innovative theater companies. Until January 27. Thursdays-Sundays, La Mama E.T.C., Annex Theatre, 66 E. 4th St (betw. 2nd Ave. and Bowery), 212-475-7710, lamama.org; 7:30pm, $20.
Monday, January 21
The Fire Dept will present an expanded and updated version of its acclaimed At War: American Playwrights Respond To Iraq, an evening of alternately moving, haunting and funny material by noted and emerging American playwrights, woven together to present a kaleidoscope of views on the war. Staged as a single cohesive evening, the piece is crafted by Fire Dept. Artistic Directors Jessica Blank, Erica Gould and Audrey Rosenberg from writing by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (The Exonerated), Bathsheba Doran, Cory Hinkle, Rajiv Joseph, Ryan Kelly, Peter Maloney, Obie winner and Oscar nominee Jose Rivera (Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot), Lynn Rosen and Jonathan Schaefer. The presentation features a rotating rep of big shot actors and celeb hosts, including Bebe Neuwirth, David Strathairn and Janeane Garofalo. Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker St. (at Lafayette St.) 212-239-6200; 7:30, $38.50.
Tuesday, January 22
Just think, you could be your friends’ most trusted aficionado on obscure trade magazine ads for personal hygiene! Those are just a couple of the topics—to be covered by Paul Lukas and Russell Scholl respectively—on the schedule for tonight’s first installment of Adult Education: A Useless Lecture Series. Other lecturers will analyze the architecture of converted fast-food joints, Indian and Eskimo perspectives on food packaging and the meta-phenomenon of photographing tourists taking photographs. The evening is hosted Charles Star. Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) B’klyn, 718-638-4400; 8, free.
(BOOK RELEASE PARTY)
Celebrate a year of great sex (writing) with Best Sex Writing 2008 editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, along with contributors Rachel Shukert (“Big Mouth Strikes Again: An Oral Report”), Lux Nightmare (“The Pink Ghetto”), Miriam Datskovsky (“Absolut Nude”) and Liz Langley (“Sex and the Single Septuagenarian”). Rapture Café, 200 Ave. A (betw. 12th and 13th sts.), 212-228-117, rapturecafe.com; 7, free.
Wednesday, January 23
Artists are mad, and they want you to know it. As part of Artists Against the War, an exhibition by 60 top graphic artists and illustrators, the Society of Illustrators and The Nation host a panel discussion titled The Media: The First Casualty in Iraq, which deals with the obstruction of free speech in pictures and text during the Bush administration. Political cartoonist Steve Brodner acts as moderator with panelists Christian Parenti, historian Steven Heller and David Wallis, editor of Killed Cartoons: Casualties from the War on Free Expression. The Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St. (betw. Park and Lexington aves.), 212-838-2560; 7, $6/$10.
When a fashion exhibition is sponsored by Manolo Blahnik, you know you’re in good hands (or heels, rather). Blog.mode: addressing fashion (until April 13), takes a decidedly populist approach to high fashion. The assortment of outrageous and outrageously stylish outfits, from the institute’s historical and contemporary collections, explores style as a symptom of the larger culture. In addition to the curator’s notes on each outfit, visitors are encouraged to offer their interpretations and impressions of each piece on the exhibition’s website and on computers in the gallery space. Unfortunately, none of the items on display can be bought in the museum gift shop. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave. (at 82nd St.), 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.
Susan Shapiro, author of Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus hosts a mentor/protégé reading and publishing Q & A discussion with her proteges: Kimberlee Auerbach, author of The Devil, the Lovers and Me; Kristen Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdales; Abby Sher, author of Kissing Snowflakes and Liza Monroy, author of the upcoming Mexican High. Rapture Café, 200 Avenue A (betw. 12th and 13th Sts.), 212-228-117, rapturecafe.com; 7, free.
Wednesday, January 9
Take a seat across from each other. Put on the headphones and listen to your directions. Now you’re acting! Part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and presented by The Foundry Theatre, Etiquette is an interactive experience that pairs two people in a public space. The half-hour “play” takes place in the East Village restaurant Veselka every 30 minutes starting at lunchtime and ends at midnight. Get ready for your borscht. Through Jan. 20. Veselka, 144 2nd Ave. (at 9th St.), foundrytheatre.org; $20 for a pair.
Thursday, January 10
The HERE Art Center’s festival Culturemart 2008 continues this week with The Gospel According to Jack Vitrolo, a neo-expressionistic nightmare vision of contemporary healthcare (today until Saturday); followed by Mosheh, a VideOpera, a contemporized mixed-media look at the life of Moses, and what role women played in shaping his story (Saturday and Sunday). Meanwhile, HERE is also hosting the Los Angeles-based theater organization Automata’s presentation of Frankenstein (Mortal Toys) until Jan. 19. The production’s cast are all puppets, whose features were crafted in the image of 18th Century portraits. Mary Shelley’s classic tale is electrified to life on a miniature stage with lavish set design and original music. Culturemart 2008 ends Jan. 21. HERE Art Center, 145 6th Ave. (betw. Spring & Broome Sts.), 212-352-3101, here.org; $15/$20.
For tonight, why not take a wine-induced trip into the fourth dimension? Sounds complicated, I know, but really all you need to do is head to Chelsea’s Bellwether Gallery for the opening of Jonah Groenberg’s The Measure installation (continuing until February 16). The artist’s three pieces consist of forms made from suspended strings. The shapes hint at solid forms and cohesive wholes, but simultaneously appear to be malleable and fluctuating. By placing his audience into this unstable relation with the space around them, Groenberg recreates the scientific conundrum that is the fourth dimension, and lets us bask in its ungraspable shifting. Bellwether Gallery, 134 10th Ave (betw. 18th & 19th Sts.), 212-929-5959, bellwethergallery.com; 6-8, free.
With little more to bring them together aside from a common publisher and references to Greece in their debut novel titles, Marie Phillips and James Collins will be at the Housing Works Used Book Café tonight for “Greek To Me: Updates on the Classics.” Phillips and Collins will read from, discuss and sign their books (Gods Behaving Badly and Beginner’s Greek respectively). Phillips, a British bookseller and blogger, has devised an uproarious debut that finds the Greek gods struggling (mostly against each other) to make ends meet any way they can in contemporary London: Appollo works as a TV psychic, Aphrodite makes her money as a phone-sex operator, and, well, you get the idea. Collins, New Yorker writer and one-time Time editor, turns in a delightfully absurd romantic comedy with Beginner’s Greek, in which true love is always just out of reach and only the most far-fetched scenarios will bring it closer. Housing Works Used Book Cafe, 126 Crosby St. (at Jersey St., betw. Prince & Houston Sts. ), 212-334-3324, housingworks.org/usedbookcafe; 7, free.
Friday, January 11
The poetic film chronicling daily life in a village in Northern Turkey, 2006’s Times and Winds, begins a one-week run at the Anthology Film Archives today. The film explores village life as it is experienced by a trio of pre-adolescent friends (played by nonprofessional children) who are growing – more or less happily – into the roles inhabited by their parents, and their parents’ parents before them. As village customs come up against youthful dreams and ambitions, the three preteens gain a broader understanding of their parent’s lives. Writer and director Reha Erdem unfolds the narrative in five segments, corresponding to the five calls to prayer that structure the pace of life in Turkey’s rural areas. Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. (at E. 2nd St.), 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org; 7 & 9:30, $8/$5.
Saturday, January 12
How does a giant boiler room become an art gallery? That’s the question posed to the artists participating in Site 92: Phase II, an exhibition of installation art opening tonight at DUMBO’s Smack Mellon, a gallery that used to be – guess what? – a giant boiler room! Responding not only to the specific rehabilitation of industrial space into art galleries, but also office space and luxury condos, the twelve participating artists investigate DUMBO’s history, ongoing development (read: gentrification), and its relation to the rest of Brooklyn and New York. The exhibition continues until February 24. Smack Mellon, 92 Plymouth St. (at Washington St.), 718-834-5233, smackmellon.org; 5-8, free.
Sunday, January 13
After a marathon year 2007 for American cinema (despite what Armond White might want you to think), MoMA invites us to look beyond our borders with two new film series in this first month of 2008. The first, Global Lens 2008 (continuing until Jan. 24), is the fifth annual collaboration between MoMA and the Global Film Initiative, which seeks to promote filmmaking in countries with developing film industries. The series presents eight films from eight countries. Today’s first film is Iranian director Ali Raffi’s The Fish Fall in Love (2), which follows a man’s return to his home village and the woman he loved and left there so many years ago, just as a similar set of circumstances develop in the woman’s daughter’s life. The second film in the series today is Phillipino director Jeffrey Jeturian’s The Bet Collector (4), chronicling a mother’s increasingly desperate situation when she becomes a number-runner to help make ends meet.
The second new series at MoMA this week is a retrospective of the work of Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic, which continues until January 31, and features new prints of 13 of his feature films and two shorts. Among the most highly-regarded Eastern European directors, Paskaljevic roots his realist films in the often unpredictable but wonderfully human trajectories of his protagonists. Today features two films in the series, the first being 2004’s Midwinter Night’s Dream (2). The film’s protagonist deserts the Serbian army after witnessing horrors in Bosnia, and, returning to his Belgrade apartment years later, finds two refugees – a woman and her autistic daughter – with whom he develops a delicate way of life. Then tonight, Paskaljevic’s best-known feature The Powder Keg/Cabaret Balkan (5), follows the experiences of multiple characters over one night as Belgrade is torn apart by war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Museum of Modern Art,11 W. 53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-708-9480, moma.org; $10/$8.
Are you feeling a little bewildered by the pace of change in Lower Manhattan? Or are you frustrated with the grinding pace of reconstruction at Ground Zero? Either way, urban historian Joe Svehlak will help you make sense of it all, or at least get you acquainted with what’s going on “down there” as he leads today’s Downtown: New Connections tour. Organized by the Municipal Arts Center, the walk looks at successful and failed building preservation, the smattering of old and recent public artworks and the network of transportation and transit centers that crisscrosses the area. Don’t forget your MetroCard, as the tour will include a look at the Fulton Street/Broadway Nassau Street subway station. Meet at 1 outside St. Paul’s Chapel, 209 Broadway (at Fulton St.), 212-935-3960, mas.org; 1, $12/$15.
Monday, January 14
What better way to chase away those Monday blues than sitting back and letting someone make you laugh. Whether you find yourself in Midtown or Downtown, there are two great ways to laugh off your troubles today. Strike Night at Crash Mansion on the LES provides a platform for comedy writers affected by the current Writers Guild of America strike. Tonight’s lineup includes Eric Drysdale of the Colbert Report, J.R. Havlan of The Daily Show, and Kristen Schaal of South Park. Meanwhile, in Hell’s Kitchen, expert monologuist Mike Daisey will perform his latest one-person piece, Tongues Will Wag. The endearing and side-splitting monolog takes an honest (if humorous) look at the relationship between man and dog. Strike Night, Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery (at Spring St.), 212-982-0740, crashmansion.com; 7:30, $8 (and two-drink minimum). Mike Daisey: Tongues Will Wag, Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-868-4444, arsnovanyc.com; 8, $15.
Tuesday, January 15
(TASTING, TV & TALK)
With the dramatic success of competitive cooking shows and food networks, it’s time to trace this intimate relationship between television and food. Tonight, author and food historian Francine Segan hosts TV Dinners: Famous Television Food Scenes and Tasting, which looks at the interaction of taste buds and televisions from multiple angles. Throughout the evening – and amidst tasting TV-related dishes – attendees will look at classic food scenes from TV shows old and new, watch memorable commercials, investigate the rise of cooking shows, and learn how hectic TV filming schedules are made to accommodate eating on-set. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. (at 92nd St.), 212-415-5500, 92y.org; 7-9, $35.
(FILM & DISCUSSION)
Ten years after its opening at the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm tonight, which will be followed by a discussion and a party (with open bar!). Unfortunately Sigourney Weaver, who was originally to be in attendance for the event, will no longer be able to make it. But who knows, enough of the film’s other big names (Lee, Kevin Kline, Elijah Wood) are in the New York area that one or two might show up. Star-sightings aside, this is a great opportunity to see this fast-tracked American ‘classic’ – a probing look at the sordid underbelly of New England suburbia under extremely tense weather and mental conditions – on the big screen. Walter Reade Theater,
Looking for a comfortable environment of supportive and understanding peers in which to have weekly discussions of your problems with an upcoming comic-to-film adaptation? The Comic Book Club is without question that place, a live talk show all about comics happening every Tuesday at The Peoples Improv Theater (PIT). The Club features an impressive set of guests coming in each week, and the irrepressibly delightful trio of hosts: Pete LePage, Justin Tyler and Alexander Zalben. Today’s edition is devoted to “Amazing Spider-Man,” with its editor (Steve Wacker) and all four writers (Bob Gale, Marc Guggenheim, Dan Slott and Zeb Wells) on hand for discussion with hosts and fans. Comic Book Club (at The PIT), 154 W. 29th St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves.), 212-563-7488, popcultureshock.com/cbclub; 8, $5.
Having a hard time laughing at today’s dating scene? That’s because you haven’t heard its horrors told by the right people. The comedy duo of Cathleen Carr and Daiva Deupree makes the romantic tribulations of women in New York a little easier to bare with Two Girls for Five Bucks, a series of scenes, sketches, songs and stories that make light of the whole depressing scene. Unless you have a hot date, there’s no excuse to miss Carr and Deupree’s only performance tonight at Ars Nova. If you do have a date, why not follow a romantic dinner with Pant-Hoot, a free stand-up comedy show at Brooklyn’s Magnetic Field. Tonight’s line-up includes Moody McCarthy, Andrew Lederer, DJ Hazard, with host Charles Star and an educational interlude courtesy of Monkeywire on that most comic of monkeys, the chimpanzee. Two Girls for Five Bucks, Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-868-4444; 8, $15; Pant-Hoot, Magnetic Field, 97 Atlantic Ave. (betw. Hicks and Henry Sts.) B’klyn, 718-834-0069, magneticbrooklyn.com; 8, free.
Wednesday, January 16
(READING & DISCUSSION)
Defying the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, author Rich Merritt will answer questions and read passages of his books that draw on his experience of being a gay Marine. His latest, a novel entitled Code of Conduct, weaves a complex narrative of murder, conspiracy and cover-up following the (at least a little autobiographical) character Don Hawkins who becomes the unofficial leader of a group of silenced gay Marines. Merritt’s completely autobiographical Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star will certainly provide plenty of fodder for discussion as well. Barnes & Noble, 675 6th Ave. (betw. 21st & 22nd Sts.), 212-727-1227, barnesandnoble.com; 7, free.
In its effort to destabilize our collectively-held assumptions regarding museums, today the New Museum updates its opening exhibition The Unmonumental with Collage: The Unmonumental Picture. This addition will see the three gallery levels already housing sculptures have their walls adorned with collages by eleven contemporary artists (including Kim Jones, Martha Rosler, Jonathan Hernández and Wangechi Mutu). By adding works in two dimensions, the museum’s curatorial team means to complement the vast array of sculptural assemblies that have been on view since the New Museum’s re-opening last month in its blockbuster Bowery building. The Unmonumental continues (with two more expansions) until March 30. The New Museum, 235 Bowery (at Prince St.), 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org; $12/$8, free Thursdays from 7-10.
Did you tear through Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, all the while wondering if the author is actually as beautiful as the book jacket picture makes her out to be? Symphony Space has orchestrated a way to find out. Smith will be on hand tonight for a reading of works from a book of short stories she has edited titled The Book of Other People. Other authors in attendance – whose works appear in the collection – will include George Saunders and Vendela Vida. Proceeds generated by ticket sales for the event will be donated to 826NYC’s programs providing free tutoring and writing for children. Symphony Space Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway (at 95th St.), 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org; 8, $25.
Thursday, January 3
How to deal with the craziness that is contemporary society? Make art about it! At least that’s the premise behind The Incomplete, the current exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum. Rather than try to make sense of our world, over 30 artists covering four generations show us how to embrace the instability of present in the contemporary world and become comfortable with how we’ll never get “it”—that “it,” in fact, might not even exist. Sounds like a good therapy session.
Chelsea Art Museum, 566 W. 22nd St. (at 11th Ave.), 212-255-0719, chelseaartmuseum.org; Tue.-Sat. 11am-6pm & Thurs. 11am-8pm, $4/$8.
Friday, January 4
Tonight’s opening at PIEROGI Gallery provides an introduction to two drastically different New York-based artists. Ryan Mrozowski’s paintings depict eerie gatherings of crowds and groups around some unclear central event. Martin Wilner, on the other hand, exhibits a small fraction of the sketchbooks and journals he’s created during his travels throughout the city. Wilner’s prolific output looks in detail at those anonymous and strange individuals who make up Mrozowski’s loosely-defined crowds. Eerie huh?
PIEROGI, 177 N. 9th St. (betw. Bedford & Driggs Aves.), 718-599-2144, pierogi2000.com; 7-9, free.
Saturday, January 5
Do you miss the days of radio serials? Do you wish you’d been around in the days of radio serials so you could claim to miss them? Your local crime and mystery bookstore has the solution to your predicament. Today’s installment of the bi-monthly W-WOW Radio Plays takes us back to the good ol’ days when families would gather in hushed silence around their radio. Partners & Crime, 44 Greenwich Ave. (at Charles St.), 212-243-0440, crimepays.com; 6 & 8, $5.
For people looking to soak up every scrap of Andy Warhol knowledge, or those who never took to the modern art mogul’s style, the recent documentary A Walk Into The Sea offered a refreshing glimpse of the films made by a less-known Factory-member, Danny Williams. Tonight’s Danny Williams: Factory Films is a rare opportunity to witness three of the young man’s silent films screened in their entirety, one with a live score. The films feature intimate moments with Warhol and other Factory stars such as Paul America, Brigid Berlin, Billy Name, Edie Segwick and Ingrid Superstar, as well as Williams’ film of a Velvet Underground rehearsal, the earliest-known footage of the band. Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St. (betw. 5th & University), 212-924-3363; 11:30pm, $10.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Chelsea’s RARE art gallery opens two new exhibitions. The first is William Anskis’ Thrones, which features the artist’s intensely colorful and shiny mixed media on aluminum works depicting incomprehensible architectural spaces inspired by retro video games, cartoons and sci-fi movies. Meanwhile, the gallery’s latest emergent artist project, Barry and the Universe by Nic Rad, showcases the young artist’s rendering of our over-saturated information and media networks. Anskis and Rad offer different ways of making sense of how technology and information are changing our relationship to the physical world. RARE, 521 W. 26th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-268-1520, rare-gallery.com; 6-8, free.
Sunday, January 6
For those not quite comfortable with surrealist cinema (if that’s even possible), Anthology Film Archives has devised its Clair/Picabia/Buñuel Program as a crash-course of the genre. The screening showcases three shorts by the foremost pioneers of surrealism’s extension into film. The best-known is Buñuel’s collaboration with Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou, which confounds any attempt to understand its plot. Clair and Picabia’s Entr’acte, originally created to entertain guests during intermission at a Dada performance, is a macabre parody of our funerary rituals. Finally, the surreal documentary Land Without Bread offers a portrait of the extremely isolated and primitive inhabitants of Spain’s Las Hurdes region. Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. (betw. 1st & 2nd Sts.), 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org; 7:30, $5/$8.
Monday, January 7
As part of its eclectic screening series, Still Moving: Special New Year’s Edition, 2008, MoMA presents two outstanding and divergent films today: François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 and BMW of North America’s The Hire. Truffaut’s 1966 adaptation of a Ray Bradbury novel about an Orwellian future in which all emotion is suppressed stars the mesmerizing Julie Christie. The second is a series of eight short-films-cum-flashy-ads produced by BMW that focus on a driver (Jason Stratham) who gets important passengers from one place to another—in a BMW, of course—and are directed by a ridiculous slate of major directors: John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Woo, Joe Carnahan and Tony Scott. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-708-9480; 6 & 8:30, $8/$10.
What’s better than seeing a live rock band? Being a live rock band! Every Monday Arlene’s Grocery lets you do both with a couple of live shows followed by Rock and Roll Karaoke. First up tonight will be Michigan-based Al and the Black Cats at 8pm, then Buffalo’s Displaced one hour later. Then at 10pm, the real bands clear the stage to leave room for the crowd to dive into the karaoke set-list. Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St. (betw. Orchard & Ludlow Sts.), 212-995-1652, arlenesgrocery.net; 8, free.
Tuesday, January 8
Join The New York Playwrights Lab for a series of free, daytime readings from until Thursday. All three days feature a reading of Ten Ex-Lovers at 4pm, a series of 10 short plays by lab-members on the theme of ex-lovers. Today, the preceding play at 2pm is Richard Vetere’s comedy, 3 Sisters from Queens. Tomorrow at 2pm the reading will be of Neena Beber’s A World Beneath, and Thursday at 2pm you can catch Horovitz’s Sins of the Mother. It’s all free but reservations are a must. Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St. (at Bedford St.), 212-989-2020, nyplaywrightslab.org; Tues.- Thurs. 4-6pm, free.
Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemna) and Dan Barber (Blue Hill in Greenwich Village) address the ethical conundrum of how to eat healthfully in an age of guilt-inducing food activism during Hedonistic, Healthy and Green: Can We Have it All?, a discussion mediated by nutritionist and Columbia professor Joan Dye Gussow. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. (at 92nd St.), 212-415-5500; 8:15, $26.
Wednesday, January 9
The National Theatrer of Great Britian’s production of Samuel Beckett’s deeply cynical portrayal of modern notions of companionship, Happy Days—in which Winnie wakes up to find herself buried waist-deep in rubble, and tries desperately to stay distracted from her dire predicament—opens this week. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St. (betw. Ashland & Rockwell Pl.), 718-636-4100; 7:30 (until Feb. 2), $25.
Woman at the Beach, Korean director Hong Sang-Soo’s subtle portrayal of disillusioned young romantics, begins a two-week run at Film Forum today. The film follows the pitfalls of a young director, played by Kim Seung-woo, as he tries to escape the stresses of his job by escaping to a seaside resort with his production designer (Kim Tae-woo) and the latter’s girlfriend (Ko Hyeon-geong). What develops, inevitably, is an apparently simple love triangle that evolves into a strange and compelling case of displaced identities and doubling. Hong Sang-soo’s most successfully executed film yet merits to be seen, as it promises even better work ahead. Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.), 212-727-8110; $5.50/$10.50.
Opening today, MoMA’s new exhibition Selections from the Richard Bellamy Papers (on view until February 25 in the museum’s Education and Research Building) highlights the role of an independent art dealer, gallery director and art enthusiast. Bellamy was able to have an instrumental role in the art world he followed so closely, sparking and supporting the careers of many talented and successful artists through his various institutional roles. This exhibition, compiled from MoMA’s Archives, features various correspondences, press materials, gallery catalogues and pamphlets that Bellamy accumulated throughout his personal and professional research. Highlighting Bellamy’s exhaustive work, MoMA foregrounds the curatorial and financial aspects of the contemporary art industry, which have become just as important as the art itself. Museum of Modern Art,11 W. 53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-708-9480; 6 & 8:30, $8/$10.
Thursday, December 20
What better way to get a grasp on the multitude of ethnicities, religions, generations, classes, nationalities and sexualities brought together in New York than to assemble artworks from all these groups and subcultures? The newest exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art, New York State of Mind, investigates the ways the city has changed over the years—both its physical everyday reality, and its part in the world’s collective imagination. With works ranging from the 1960s to today, the exhibition also offers a micro history of modern art’s evolution, with pioneers such as Marcel Duchamp presented alongside contemporary voices like Iona Rozeal Brown. Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 718-592-9700; Wed.-Fri. 10am-5pm, Sat. & Sun. noon-5, $5 donation.
Already dreading the barrage of boring family stories you’ll be hearing over the holidays? How about some entertaining, unscripted, unrehearsed, tall but true tales from a talented set of writers and performers? Tonight’s edition of SpeakEasy: Stories from the Back Room should be just that kind of event, with stories courtesy of Nicole Beckwith, Martin Dockery, Gautum, Suzanne Guilete, Margot Leitman and Steve Zimmer. Biscuit BBQ, 230 5th Ave. (at President St.), B’klyn, 718-399-2161, speakeasystories.com; 8, $10 + food/drink min.
Friday, December 21
(ART & VIDEO GAMES)
Wait, an exhibition about video games? Well it’s about damn time… Digital Play at the Museum of the Moving Image looks at how video games have evolved over the last two decades, and how certain original formulas (think Pacman or Asteroids) still have an influence in today’s super-complex gaming world. Gaming is also moving ahead visually at an incredible pace, so Digital Play highlights the increasing intermingling of visual art and video games. Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St., Queens, 718-784-0077; free on Fridays from 4-8.
Saturday, December 22
Is getting a movie made solely thanks to star power the ultimate marker of pop music success? Michael Jackson did it, Madonna did it, Britney did it, Eminem did it and now Daft Punk has done it. The French house duo created the silent feature-length Daft Punk’s Electronica and premiered it at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The narrative follows two robots as they trek across a beautifully surreal American landscape of deserts, highways and small towns in hopes of—what else?—becoming human. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), B’klyn, 212-260-4700; 8, $10.
Sunday, December 23
If there were such thing as blockbuster avant-garde theater, it would look a lot like Beckett Shorts. The new show at New York Theatre Workshop features four of Samuel Beckett’s one-act plays (well, two are actually mime pieces, and one a TV script) directed by five-time Obie Award-winner JoAnne Akalaitis, scored by composer Philip Glass and featuring legendary ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. The show’s four pieces feature typically bleak and depressing situations inflected with Beckett’s dark sense of humor. The show continues through January 20, but tickets are only $20 on Sunday nights (otherwise $65). New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. 4th St. (betw. Bowery & 2nd Ave.), 212-460-5475, nytw.org.
(MUSIC & FILM)
Perhaps this year’s most inclusive holiday event is tonight’s Jewltide 5, JDub Records’ fifth installment of the Christmas Eve classic. The night features presents (free copies of Michael Showalter’s Sandwiches & Cats album for the first 100 people in the door), free food (Chinese, of course), a movie (the corny and exuberant Jewish summer camp classic Wet Hot American Summer) and music (DJ Rekha will be spinning out her hybrid style of hip-hop and Bhangra—with hints of dancehall and dub). Southpaw, 125 5th Ave. (betw. Sterling & St. John’s Pls.), B’klyn, 718-230-0236, spsounds.com; 8, $10/$15.
Monday, December 24
There’s no better time to revel in one’s Jewish-ness than Christmas Eve. That’s exactly what the folks at Heeb magazine figured out three years when they started Heebonism, their annual Matzah Balls-to-the-wall bash. This year, the event takes over the Knitting Factory (with an open bar for the first hour!) and features live sets by Terry Diabolik, June D and DJ Krowd Pleezr. If the concert crowd gets too rowdy, why not try your hand at some of the other seasonal activities of the night, like Christmas Carol Karaoke or (get ready for it) Strip Dreidel! Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St. (betw. B’way & Church St.), 212-219-3132, heebmagazine.com; 9, $20/$25.
Tuesday, December 25
If the karaoke with the family gets a little out of hand after the eggnog, then head on down to Pennie’s Open Mike for a supportive crowd to urge you on to greater vocal heights. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Karma Lounge, 51 1st Ave. (betw. E. 3rd & 4th Sts.), every Tues. at 8:30, free.
Forget It’s a Wonderful Life, the new black-and-white Christmas classic is Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights! Well, OK, this eight-day long re-release at Film Forum might have more to do with Chaplin’s passing away 30 years ago today, but City Ligthts’ story of generosity and inclusiveness certainly soaks up nicely with the proverbial holiday spirit. Throw in some slapstick, romance and jokes about class difference and social mobility, and you’ve got something for the whole family to enjoy. For cinephiles of any rank, seeing City Lights on the big screen might in fact be the best Christmas present conceivable. Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.), 212-727-8110, filmforum.org; 1:30, 3:25, 5:20, 7:15, 9:10 until January 1.
Wednesday, December 26
If you’ve never heard (or never heard of) somebody playing the Theremin—an entirely electronic instrument invented in 1919 that is played without being touched—head to the back space at Galapagos tonight for Theremin Night. Brooklyn-born sound designer, composer, professor and Theremin virtuoso, Anthony Jay Ptak, shows you how it’s done. Spaniard Javier Díez-Ena will also be on hand to give his rendering of the electronic instrument’s capacities, and to prove that even if you’ve never heard of it, the Theremin has made it at least as far as Spain. Galapagos Art Space, 70 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe) W’Burg, 718-599-9411, galapagosartspace.com; 8, $5.
What do you get when you re-edit a four-part TV mini-series into a feature-length film? A very long film, like Ingmar Bergman’s three-hour-and-ten-minutes long Fanny and Alexander. Fortunately, the recently deceased director’s 1982 existential epic on religion, authority and love is held amongst the all-time greats. So great in fact that IFC has prepared a belated gift for New Yorkers: the original and uncut version of Fanny Alexander, opening today. So grab a coffee and go spend some of that much-needed post-holiday alone time with the late Bergman’s sprawling masterpiece. IFC Center, 323 6th Ave. (at W. 3rd St.), 212-924-7771, ifccenter.com; $8/$11.
Thursday December 13
What better place to learn about the current state of street art than the East Village? No, it’s not an impromptu street-corner symposium, but a book-signing by photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn. Her recent book Some Kinda Vacation follows fellow street artists like Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen and Chris Johanson across the country. In doing so, Dunn combines documentary and portrait photographs of the other artists at work, all the while compiling her own body of images that chronicle the similarities and disparities of urban America’s streetscapes. Giant Robot, 437 E. 9th St (betw 1st Ave. & Ave. A), 212-674-4769, grny.net; 6, free.
Thursdays @ 10: Happy Sunshine Kung-Fu Flower depicts a group of “not-so-good” outsourced Japanese ninjas hired by China to infiltrate American life in a show that blends political satire with sketch comedy and music. They claim that “if the ‘Electric Company,’ ‘Colbert Report’ and ‘South Park’ were to have a baby, this would be their afterbirth.” Ars Nova, 511 W 54th St. (at 10th Ave.), 212-868-4444; 10, $15.
Friday, December 14
(EROTIC FICTION READING)
Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg is hosting Sex and Candy, where Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel will team up with a variety of local erotic fiction writers to read from their upcoming book, Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories. Free candy is on hand, as well as giveaways and copies of the book. Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St. (at Richardson St.), Williamsburg, B’klyn718-302-3770; 7:30, Free.
In a very different kind of Friday night book-related event, Marjane Satrapi will be signing recently released Pantheon copies of her critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Complete Persepolis. The book documents her upbringing in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution, and she’ll be around for the evening to discuss it with fans. Her novel has been adapted into a film to be released by Sony Pictures on Christmas Day. McNally Robinson Bookstore, 52 Prince St., 212-274-1160; 7, FREE.
Tired of trite condo developments and conventional public spaces turning the cityscape into a boredom factory? What would you say if a giant whale took the place of the Museum of Natural History, a volcano sprouted in Midtown, and a Loch Ness-style monster took up residence in the East River? Such is the fantasy depicted in New York, New York, New York, an installation and interactive art exhibition featuring contributions from over 100 artists, opening tonight at Queens’s Flux Factory with live performances by artists Miwa Koizumi and Marie Losier. Taking the concept of the scale city model as its point of departure, New York, New York, New York calls into question our assumptions about our city and our reality. Flux Factory, 38-38 43rd St. (betw. 37th Ave. & Northern Blvd.), Queens, 646-226-8611, fluxfactory.org; 7, free.
If you’ve always wanted to be a singer, but lacked the talent or drive to see that dream come to fruition, you might want to attend Unsilent Night on Saturday, when composer Phil Kline asks the New York City public to dig up their analog boom boxes from the 1980s and gather at Washington Square Park. He’ll equip you with your own cassette that will play a unique voice, melding together with the voices of the other participants as you parade around the park, for a pretty awesome twist on a carol. Washington Square Park, 5th St. & Washington Square N; 6:45, free.
Saturday, December 15
This is the last weekend to catch The Cinema of Max Ophuls, BAM’s screening series of the acclaimed German director’s work. Known for his kinetic camera that never seems to stand still, Ophuls specialized in conveying women’s confinement throughout his career. Like his frame, Ophuls moved ceaselessly, making films in five different countries. Today and tomorrow, BAM screens The Earrings of Madame De… from his second stint in France. Considered by many critics to be one of the best films ever made, it follows a pair of earrings as it is exchanged between spouses and lovers, all the way back to its point of origin. The series continues until Tuesday. BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave. (betw. St. Felix & Ashland), 718-636-4100, bam.org; 5, 7:15, 9:30 (with a 2:30 matinee Sunday), $11/$7.50.
Stop feeling guilty about your dusty collections of marbles and Trolls, and come check out a real pack rat’s work. Kansas-born, Oslo-based artist Charlie Roberts creates paintings, sculptures and installations that are obsessed with counting and cataloguing. At the same time, his saturated and infinitely detailed works challenge the viewer with the impossible task of tabulating their component parts, which seem to multiply the more you look into each individual element. Get your first glimpse of those infinite details at tonight’s opening reception. Kravets/Wehby Gallery, 521 W. 21st St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-352-2238, kravetswehbygallery.com; 6-8, free.
Sunday, December 16
A Christmas Story and Best Indie Shorts: If you want to spice up your regular holiday viewing of A Christmas Story with a little indie cred, check out this event at the Galapagos Art Space. The evening will start with three independent shorts depicting the childhood of three local filmmakers, before launching into the main film. Dress as a character from A Christmas Story and you’ll get $2 off admission. Galapagos Art Space, 70 N 6th St. (betw. Kent and Wythe), Williamsburg, 718-782-5188; 8, $5.
Monday, December 17
Lincoln Center’s Film Society 16th annual Spanish Cinema Now reaches its halfway point today (continuing until the 27th). This is the last opportunity to see Shortmetraje, the festival’s showcase of contemporary short films from Spain (today at 1 and 7:15). Freed from the narrative demands of feature-length work, these shorts go all out, unleashing their creator’s imagination in full force. Other films from the festival showing today are Julio Medem’s Chaotic Ana (2:45, 9), the story of a young artist coping with incomprehensible visions, and Lola (5), Miguel Hermoso’s intimate chronicle of the famous flamenco dancer Lola Flores. Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W. 65th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.), 212-496-3809, filmlinc.com; $11/$7.
Tuesday, December 18
Part dark comedy, part variety show, the 52nd Annual Davenport Clan Yearly Family X-mas Spectacular follows the attempts of siblings Dickie, Stanley and Violet Davenport to put on the family’s annual show on their own. In preceding years, we are told, their recently deceased parents did most of the gruntwork. Now, after mom and dad Davenport’s parasailing deaths, the next generation comes to terms with their losses and anxieties, all the while indulging in songs, slideshows, dancing and cabaret. It’s theatre of the absurd meets musical theatre, and a perfect cathartic outlet for our holiday doldrums. Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 218-868-4444, arsnovanyc.com; today and tomorrow at 8, $10.
26 year old Chicago-native rapper Lupe Fiasco flies in to the city to perform tracks from his breakthrough album, Food and Liquor. The appeal of this young artist lies in his earnestness as he winds complex rhymes around everything from his love of skateboarding to his mom to the evils of the Bush administration. He’s everything commercial rap traditionally is not, and it’s refreshing to see. The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Plaza (at E 15th St.), 212-777-6800; 7, $30.
Wednesday, December 19
(DISCUSSION & PERFORMANCE)
Why not join independent filmmaker John Sayles tonight, and spend An Evening with Danny Glover talking about movies and listening to music. Glover and Sayles will discuss the formers extensive career – which includes Dreamgirls, The Royal Tenenbaums, Beloved and the Lethal Weapon series – as well as their collaboration on this years Honeydripper, a film about the impact of rock n’ roll in 1950 rural Alabama. The evening, organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, will also feature music by Gary Clark Jr., blues guitarist and Glover’s co-star in Honeydripper. At The Times Center, 242 W. 41st St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.), 718-784-4520, movingimage.us; 7, $25.
Thursday, December 6
If you’re into film so independent it hasn’t even been made yet, The Raw Word at Galapagos may be for you. Three up-and-coming actors perform three 10-page excerpts of scripts from up-and-coming writers. A film industry special guest provides feedback on the cold-read material. Galapagos Art Space, 70 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), B’klyn, 718-782-5188; 7:30, Free.
Earlier this year, the largest steal plant west of the Mississippi was closed down. As the long deconstruction began, photographer Chris Dunker went to Vineyard, Utah, to document the process, producing the series Dismantling Geneva Steel. His photographs emphasize the immense size and scope of modern industry, simultaneously suggesting how fleeting its mass and permanence can be. In addition to Dunker’s photographs, a group show entitled Less is More opens as well. Less is More looks at the possibilities for restraint and simplicity in an over-stimulated culture that goes for quantity rather than quality. 511 Gallery, 529 W. 20th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-255-2885, 511gallery.com; 6-8pm, free.
Friday, December 7
The 16th edition of Spanish Cinema Now is as much about the country’s history as it is about its current film industry. Continuing until December 27, the festival includes 15 new movies and seven short films. Highly anticipated feature films such as Félix Viscarret’s first, Under the Stars (today and Sun.), and Rafa Cortés’ debut Yo (Sat., Sun., Tues.) screen with their directors in attendance. Meanwhile, the short film series (screening Dec. 15 & 17) highlights the creative cutting edge of Spanish filmmaking. Finally, the premiere outside Spain of The War on Film presents the eight-chapter series in four parts, showing footage of the Spanish Civil War shot from both sides. Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W. 65th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.), 212-496-3809, filmlinc.com.
In an ode to the idea that the best way to get over traumatic past experiences is to learn to laugh at them, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater presents Death by Roo Roo: Your F*ed Up Family. Rather than sit with your shrink for an expensive hour wailing about your daddy issues, why not confide in the performers, who craft their show on audience confession. Sound traumatizing? But also hilarious and therapeutic. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 307 W. 26th St. (betw. 8th & 9th Aves.), 212-366-9176; 11, $8.
Frustrated New York anime addicts rejoice, the first New York Anime Festival takes over the Jacob K. Javits Convention center today until Sunday. The festival features nearly 200 exhibitors ranging from film & TV companies, to toy manufacturers and independent artists, as well as magazine, book and comic publishers. Dozens of panels and screenings will keep attendees busy, not to mention talks given by special guests from related industries, video gaming tournaments and (gasp) costume contests! Jacob K. Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St. (at 11th Ave.), nyanimefestival.com; individual day pass $30, full weekend pass $55.
Saturday, December 8
Most people agree that holiday shopping is a pain in the ass, best dealt with by approaching it as a grim but important task, ready to knock over shuffling old ladies and grasping consumers who get in your way. But BUST magazine asks: Why shouldn’t holiday shopping be fun? 200 vendors come together in this “Craftacular” to peddle their wares, and Amy Sedaris signs copies of her book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, while selling homemade cupcakes. There’s also a DJ spinning the perfect mix of work-meets-play music. The Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC 125 W. 18th St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves.); 10am-8pm, $1.
Gender Offenders, the city’s premier queer/alternative performance troupe, choose to synthesize the biggest concerns of the moment in America with their irreverent show, Christmas in Iraq! Based on the premise of drag performers Candy Samples, Chic and Sassy crossing enemy lines in order to serenade the troops with holiday favorites, it’s perfect for those who like a little subversive thought with their Christmas festivities. Christopher Street Theatre at Pieces Bar, 8 Christopher St. (near Gay St.), 212-929-9291, 8 & 10, $5 + 2 drink min.
Sunday, December 9
Slam poetry, the oft-overlooked and (we can only assume) soon-to-be Olympic sport, comes to the LES’s Rapture Cafe for girlstory’s Slam-Poetry Semi-Finals. The women’s writing collective brings their multi-generational and multi-cultural brands of poetry into the fierce (and amicable) competition, all the while highlighting social issues such as race, age, sexuality, gender and class. Make sure to be there early if you want to get a seat, then relax with a book (maybe poetry) and a coffee until the opening bell rings in the first round at 4. Rapture Cafe and Books, 200 Ave. A (betw. 12th & 13th Sts.), 212-228-1177; 4-6pm, free.
Monday, December 10
What better way to get a clearer sense of your city than by taking a jaunt across the Atlantic? The Center for Architecture does just that in the exhibition Berlin – New York Dialogues: Building in Context (until January 26). By juxtaposing the major urban and architectural upheavals in these modern metropolises, the exhibition teases out similarities and differences between the cities’ current building booms. Center for Architecture, 536 Laguardia Pl. (betw. Bleecker & W. 3rd), 212-683-0023; free.
Tuesday, December 11
Whether you’re a serious foodie, fat kid or just really like dessert with your information, Francine Segan’s lecture and food tasting on Italian desserts will be of definite interest. Noted food historian, Segan has written books on certain eras in cuisine, and now she shares her knowledge of cannoli, biscotti, gelato and more, with tastings to boot. Also, there’s a hands-on marzipan sculpting lesson, which is just a cool thing to know how to do. You can tell your friends you learned it in Italy. 92nd Street Y, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., 212-415-5500; 7-9, $35.
Wednesday, December 12
It’s impossible not to notice how quickly New York (and America) is changing, but it’s even harder to remember when this frenetic upheaval began. That would be 1908 according to journalist and author Jim Rasenberger. As he explains in his new book on the subject, the origins of modern America (and New York) first crystallized some hundred years ago. As evidence, Rasenberger discusses 1908 innovations large and small (like the world’s fastest elevators appearing in New York and Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers). The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl. (Betw. 1st Pl. & West St.), 212-945-6324; 6:30, free (RSVP recommended).
Thursday, November 29
Another Long Weekend
You’re still trying to wash off all that wholesome family goodness? This Thursday doesn’t involve fowl play, just dancing. 432 Promotions presents its monthly dance event, The Long Weekend, complete with cheap drinks and music from DJ OP! and DJ Knomad. Uncle Mings, 225 Avenue B, 2nd Fl. (betw. 13th & 14th Sts.), 212-979-8506; 9, free.
If you go to see dance because of the half-naked performers and amazing agility, rather than for the snooty snoot factor , then Nutcracker: Rated R is what you’ve been looking for. Returning for its second year, the raunchy take on the holiday classic is set during a 1980s punk/new wave scene and includes plenty of garish eye makeup, mesh tops and experimentations with coke. Last year’s dueling dildo scene was one for the storybooks—just make sure to leave the tykes at home. You’ll want to enjoy this one without having to cover anyone’s eyes (or ears). Begins today, runs through Dec. 23. Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave. (betw. 9th & 10th Sts.), 212-254-1109; Thurs.-Saturday 8; Sun. 3, $10-$15.
Hands-On Porno Handbook
Haven’t been getting your quirky comic book fix lately? Well the folks at Rabid Rabbit (including our own illustrator, Paul Hoppe) will change that with the release of their latest edition: “Rabid Rabbit’s Unabridged Hands-on Handbook to Recognizing and Evaluating the Fallacious and Scrupulous Traits of PORNOGRAPHY—A Users Manual!” Join the artists who dare to defy boundaries of the lewd and the lascivious, who flirt with taboo and titillation, as they commemorate the culmination of their most spectacular collaboration! And so as not to disappoint: Yes, there will be cake! Beauty Bar backroom, 231 E. 14th St. (betw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.), www.rabidrabbit.org ; 7-10, free.
Friday, November 30
Fathering a Continent’s Cinema
If African cinema is a major gap in your knowledge of film history, this is the perfect occasion to start learning from the beginning. It’s commonly agreed that Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene, who passed away this summer, was the first African filmmaker. In light of his death, Film Forum and New Yorker Films have organized Sembene, a retrospective running from today to December 13 and screening all nine of his feature films and one short. Sembene was a successful novelist who turned director at age forty, recognizing the latter medium’s capacity to reach a much larger audience in Africa. His films focus a critical lens on everything from European colonialism and its lasting effects, corruption and sexism in liberated African societies and the inability of tribal traditions to cope with modern problems, amongst many other loaded topics that earned Sembene frequent censoring both in Europe and Africa. Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (Betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.), 212-727-8110, filmforum.org.
Cornucopia of Jiggles
Nasty Canasta and Jonny Porkpie don’t think the usual November celebrations are sexy enough. So to combat the usual Puritanical bent of the holiday season, the Burlesque Alliance presents Novemberfest: A Night of Song, Snakedance and Sexiness. Other than Maiiah’s unusual snake dance, be prepared to judge the competition for the eventual crowning of the first-ever SixPoint Beer Queen, “Miss Sweet Action.” It’ll make you forget all about those pesky Pilgrims. Southpaw, 125 5th Ave. (betw. Sterling & St. John’s Pls.), B’klyn, 718-230-0236; 9, $15
Saturday, December 1
Get Your Book On
Getting to the bottom of your reading list? Looking for impressive and obscure Christmas gifts for friends who have everything? Solutions to these problems abound at the 20th edition of the Independent & Small Press Book Fair, taking place in Midtown this weekend (10 to 6 on Saturday, 11 to 5 on Sunday). With more than 100 presses from throughout the U.S. and the world, and a rich slate of events—including readings and Q & As with celebrated authors and publishers, a panel on writing and publishing erotic fiction, another on translation etiquette and a literary trivia quiz—you’ll be overwhelmed by how quickly you feel like a dilettante. If nothing else, pick up some goodies and hang out with a few books at the fair’s Literary Café, open throughout the event. New York Center for Independent Publishing, 20 W. 44th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-764-7021; nycip.org.
A Night at the (New) Museum
It’s not a Disney movie and Ben Stiller probably won’t be there, but this might be the most important opening night of the season. Target 30 Free Hours at the New Museum welcomes New Yorkers to the opening of the first museum to be built in downtown Manhattan. Starting today at noon and running through the night until 6pm on Sunday, attendance is free – though tickets should be secured in advance via the New Museum website. Be among the first to see the museum’s stunning new building and Unmonumental, its opening exhibition of contemporary sculptures from around the globe, as well as other new artworks and installations commissioned by the museum. The New Museum, 235 Bowery (at Prince St.), 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org; Sat. Noon-Sun. 6pm, free.
Catch the Gingerbread Man
If you’re a still-life snob, forget Michael Alan’s Draw-A-Thon. But if you’re up for a bit of bizarro performance for your sketching pleasure, then this latest concept—female models chase the Gingerbread Man and eat him—may just be one of the strangest uses of naked ladies in the service of “art” that we’ve seen in quite a while. Teatro IATI, 64 E. 4th St. (betw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery), michaelalanart.com; 4pm-1am, $15-$20.
Sunday, December 2
Girls in Bikinis
If you feel you may have a little more to jiggle post-Thanksgiving, then take it to the jello mat! The gals who run Amateur Female Jello Wrestling, take their “satire sport” back to Arelene’s Grocery, with musical guests EvenEye, Vesper, and DJ Xerox. Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St. (betw. Orchard & Ludlow Sts.), 212-995-1652; 8, $5-$20 (Ladies wishing to wrestle: RSVP to email@example.com, and show up at 6:30pm for the mandatory, free wrestle lesson).
Monday, December 3
(LECTURE & FILM)
Commemorating A Controversialist
The Italian Cultural Institue, Fondazione Aida and the Film Society of Lincoln Center continue to celebrate the life of the infamous filmmaker and artist, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Today Vincenzo Cerami gives a masterclass titled “The Tale of Reality.” But earlier in the day you can check out The Gospel According to St. Matthew at Lincoln Center (2pm) and end the evening with a screening of Pasolini’s most famous work, Salò (8pm). It’s enough to make you feel a little dirty. Masterclass at CUNY Grad Center, Skylight room, 365 5th Ave. (betw. 34th & 35th Sts.), pasolininewyork.com; 6:30, free; Screenings at Walter Reade Theater, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212 875 5600; $7-$11.
Rick Moody can be unbearable to watch and listen to on his own (only so many self-satisfied smirks we can handle), but perhaps he’ll be toned down during this evening of “sound work” with the poet Thalia Field and audio artist Laura Vitale. Four pieces will run consecutively, followed by a Q & A with the artists. Poetry Project, St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 E. 10th St. (at 2nd Ave.), 212-674-0910; 8, $5-$8.
Tuesday, December 4
Tell a Story
Sherry Weaver has herded another batch of guys and gals who like to tell you their life stories during her regular SpeakEasy: Stories From the Back Room series. Featuring Mike Daisey, Jean Michele Gregory, Andy Christie, Tracy Rowland, Greg Walloch and Michele Carlo, it’s sure to be a chance to hear some secrets, learn some new vocab words and even have a laugh or two at someone else’s expense. Who needs comedy when you have salacious stories? Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves. by W. 4th St.), 212-989-9319; 8:30, $10 + food or drink min.
Wednesday, December 5
Already bored on the second night of Hanukkah? The 14th Street Y has organized a cure for your conundrum: the Menorah Horah Hanukkah cabaret. Come revel in this campy celebration featuring burlesque by the Schlep Sisters and Trixie Minx from New Orleans, sultry cabaret crooners Allison Tilsen and Raven Snook. Mr. and Mrs. JewS.A. 2007/5768 will also be in attendance and leading the way on the dance floor. If this sounds like too much Hanukkah fun, don’t worry: There will also be latkes to eat, a menorah to light and a Dreidel Spin Off to dominate. Slipper Room, 167 Orchard St. (at Stanton St.), 212-253-7246, 14streety.org; 9:30, $5.
Thursday, November 22
If you need to get out of the house and mix it up with the rabble, then head over to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We recommend convincing your friend with a 14th floor office to let you in for a comfy vantage point (far away from the potential inflatable tragedy-waiting-to-happen). So, stop being jaded, enjoy the girls in skimpy skirts high-stepping it through the freezing rain. Begins at 77th St. and Central Park West and proceeds to Columbus Circle and then turns onto Broadway, finishing at Macy’s Herald Square.
Friday, November 23
Most of us spend the day after Thanksgiving in a tryphtophan- and booze-related coma, letting the bloat and laze ooze over us as we contemplate getting up to go to the fridge for another turkey sandwich. But wouldn’t it be better to check out the PIT’s Thanksgiving Variety Marathon? It’s sure to be a jolt of energy in an otherwise lackluster day with a full night of sketch comedy, music, standup and film starts beginning at 7. The Peoples Improv Theater, 154 W. 29th St. (near 7th Ave.), 212-563-7488; 7, $8.
An Original Documentarian
Tired of the documentary-cum-propaganda of Michael Moore? Overloaded on the mockumentary goofs of the Christopher Guest-types? Head to the Anthology Film Archives and discover one of the pioneers of the form, Humphrey Jennings (1907-1950). The series Picturing a Nation in Wartime: the Films of Humphrey Jennings, runs through Sunday and includes his only feature-length documentary Fires Were Started, eight shorts and a film looking back on Jennings’s life and work. Many of his films are set in war-time London, focusing on the daily experiences of Brits under the constant threat of bombardment—and doing so from a distinctly working-class perspective. Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. (betw. 1st & 2nd Sts.), 212-505-5181; anthologyfilmarchives.org.
Saturday, November 24
Crooked Disco not only has an open vodka bar starting at 10, but check out Purple Cursh, Krames, DJ Tameill and DJ Morsy. Galapagos, 70 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), B’klyn, 718-384-4586; 10, $10.
Sunday, November 25
Mira & Miller
Gotham Awards Event: Q & A with director Mira Nair and Bennet Miller. If you’re like us, you think Mira Nair is fabulous for films like Monsoon Wedding and Mississippi Masala, and you are willing to forgive minor transgressions like Vanity Fair. She also has a killer Indian/Anglo accent. So listen up while she talks with director Bennet Miller of Capote fame. IFC Center, 323 6th Ave. (at W. 4th St.), 212-924-7771; 3, $11.
Monday, November 26
Get in on the action tonight during Annie Dorsen’s Democracy in America Launch Party. It’s a performance piece in which the consumers are the creators, so join the market frenzy and buy a dance or song or the first word of the show. Performances by Okwui Okpokwasili, Tony Torn and Philippa Kaye, as well as a and a brand new song by Stew and The Negro Problem. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. Astor Pl. & E. 4th St.), 212-967-7555; 9:30, $10.
Commemorating a Controversialist
Pier Paolo Pasolini was a published poet before turning 20, a ruckus-raising writer and filmmaker. He was then killed in mysterious circumstances just after completing his most ambitious and incendiary film, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Now, 32 years after his death, the Italian Cultural Institue, Fondazione Aida and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have organized Pier Paolo Pasolini—Poet of Ashes, which runs through Dec. 4 and features a series of screenings, readings, concerts and exhibitions to celebrate his output. For a full schedule of events and venues, go to pasolininewyork.com.
Tuesday, November 27
Writer/Performer Peter Neofotis blends excerpts of his book, Concord, Virginia, to tell the story of small town life. He mixes performance and storytelling by committing chapters of his book to memory, in a literary style that has been compared to the “comic grotesque tradition of…Flannery O’Connor.” Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (at 10th Ave.), 212-868-4444; 8, $10.
Wednesday, November 28
Words in Your Face, a “Slam Poetry Extravaganza” features slam poets Darien Dauchan, Marty McConnell, Shadokat and is hosted by Words in Your Face author, Cristin Aptowicz. All aim to showcase the roots of slam poetry, from the Harlem Renaissance and before. McNally Robinson Bookstore, 52 Prince St., 212-274-1160; 7, free.
Wednesday, November 14
(ART & FOOD)
Joshua Katcher curates another evening of video art during RAW: Video Art & Dining. Including video works from Belgium, Finland, France, Canada, Norway, U.K. and the U.S., it’s a chance to watch four walls of obscure images while chowing down on some gorgeous vittles. Monkey Town, 58 N. 3rd St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), B’klyn, 718-384-1369; 7:30 & 10, $40-$45.
Thursday, November 15
Ironic Beauty Pageant
It’s that time of year again, wherein the Lower East Side public, at least people who like to drink in the LES, vote on the annual Mr. Lower East Side Pageant. Contestants are judged on a one-minute talent competition and the ability to be ironic toward “eveningwear” and a “swimsuit” competition. Judges are comprised of whoever gets there at 9:30 and asks to be a judge. Winner will receive a 6-pack of Budweiser and the questionable distinction of being the King of all LES hipsters. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (betw. Houston & Bleecker), 212-614-0505; 10, $7.
Bruce Benderson is one of our favorite dirty old men. Famous for his portrayals of hustlers and the seedy side of Times Square (remember those days?), he has a new collection of his previously published essays titled Sex & Isolation and Other Essays. It’s a fascinating collection of gender theory, first-person memoir and profiles of unusual characters like Manuel Puig (author of Kiss of the Spiderwoman), prizefighters and drag queens. But it’s the two lengthy essays, “Toward a New Degeneracy” and “Sex & Isolation” that really show the ex-pat at his best. Reading & signing at Fales Library, NYU, 70 Washington Sq. South, 3rd Fl, 212-998-2596; 6, free.
Friday, November 16
Last Comic (Book) Standing
The Big Apple Comic Book, Art, Toy and Sci-Fi Expo is this weekend at Penn Plaza Pavilion. Buy and browse goods including comic books, DVDs, action figures and games from more than 300 dealers. And for the more mainstream-minded, they’ve got famous people too: Heroes stars Hayden Panettiere and Kristen Bell, among others. Through Nov. 18, Penn Plaza Pavilion, 401 7th Ave. (at 33rd St.), BigAppleCon.com; 1-8, $18/$20.
Saturday, November 17
The final showing of Ed Schmidt’s Dumbolio: The Body Parts Edition features a cast of performers who each take on one body part and artistically depict it through song, monologue or spoken word. Lisa Levy, who has the brain, will psychoanalyze members of the audience. If you’re an exhibitionist lacking the resources for private therapy, this could be the show for you. powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., Dumbo, B’klyn, 1-866-99-ARENA; 8, $20.
Girls on Skates
It’s your last chance to see Gotham Girls battle it out on roller skates. The undefeated Bronx Gridlock will take on the Queens of Pain at CCNY for the championship bout. Don’t expect hair-pulling or eye-gouging, these tough girls get it on with kneepads and brutal dedication to their sport. And if you stick around for half time, the show will include the quizzical sounds of the Hungry March Band. City College of New York, 138 St. (at Convent Ave.), www.gothamgirlsrollerderby.com; 6:30 (doors)/8:30 (whistle), $19.75-$29.75.
Bring Up Bergman
Still grappling with masterful director Ingmar Bergman’s recent passing? You may finally be able to face your grief this week. To ease the human suffering caused by the loss of the filmmaker—whose career-long preoccupation was the silence of God in the face of human suffering—Scandinavia House and BAM have organized a concise and personal tribute. Scandinavia House will present Marie Nyeröd’s uniquely intimate biography-documentary Bergman Island on Saturday, offering a portrait of the director looking back on his career. Monday, BAM will hold a memorial tribute in its Harvey Theatre, with many long-time Bergman collaborators on-hand, and showing clips from Bergman Island. Tuesday BAM’s Rose Cinemas will screen Bergman’s films Persona (at 6, introduced by actor Bibi Anderson), and Shame (at 8:45, introduced by local author Jonathan Lethem). The series ends Wednesday with Fanny and Alexander (at 7, introduced by actor Pernilla August). November 17, 19-21. Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave. (at 38th St.), 212-847-9746, scandinaviahouse.org; 5:30, $8. BAM Harvey Theatre, 651 Fulton St. (at Rockwell Pl.), 718) 636-4100, bam.org; 6, free. BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave. (betw. St. Felix & Ashland), 718-636-4100, bam.org; $7.50/$11.
Sunday, November 18
Collective Company presents $1 Improv Night, where you don’t simply have to suffer through amateurs or wannabe comedians. The NYC-based improv troupe No Filter performs tonight, and if you’re one of the amateurs or wannabes, after they’re done you can get up on stage and try out your skills on the crowd as well. Spark Café & Art Center, 161 W. 22nd St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves), 212-929-3381; 7:30, $1.
Monday, November 19
Get Your Fix
Dr. Nora Voklow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, gives a lecture on addiction and the effects of drugs on the brain. Whether you’re just curious or need fodder for an intervention, it should be a enlightening talk. 92nd Street Y, 92nd Street( at Lexington Ave.), 212-415-5500; 8:15, $26.
This bi-weekly play-reading series in which emerging playwrights get a chance to try out their stuff with a supportive audience. This week features Kathryn Walat’s comedy, Smile in which a fluke fire launches Cassie and her stressed-out pet turtle into NYC apartment limbo and then hijinks ensue. Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th St. (at 10th Ave.), 212-868-4444; 7, free.
Tuesday, November 20
As part of the PERFORMA 07 biennial performance art extravaganza, Dave McKenzie will be enacting his All Together Now: We Shall Overcome, the first in a four-part series about the artists past and present hinging on interactions with the public. If you’re into snarking on white Democratic political figures, McKenzie’s march through Harlem wearing a Bill Clinton mask as a commentary on his recent presence in this neighborhood should be an entertaining time. Starts at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125th St. (Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. & Lenox Ave.), 212-864-4500; 1pm, free.
Wednesday, November 21
The biggest going-out night of the year is upon us (you know, cuz tomorrow’s Thanksgiving?), and what better way to begin it than by playing some bingo for a good cause? Will Clark has raised over $50,000 to date for LGBT charities in NYC through is Porno Bingo, and this week’s cause is Wings Theater, a small nonprofit theater. Cheap drinks abound and prizes include two tickets to Die Mommie Die! at New World Stages as well as Minimum Wage at the Lafayette Street Theater. Plus free giveaways, gay porn, videos, lube and more. Perfect to show you what you’re thankful for. 9th Avenue Bistro, 693 9th Ave. (betw. 47th & 48th Sts.), 212-397-8356; 9, No cover.
Thursday November 8
Playing With Dolls
Taking his trademark doll installations a step further than in previous works, Philadelphia-based artist Adam Parker Smith’s first solo show in New York, Bold as Love, opens tonight with a reception at the Priska C. Juschka Fine Art gallery. For this exhibition, Smith draws inspiration from an imagined scene in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. The arrangement of 70 heads on pikes—some of which depict celebrities, others Smith’s friends and colleagues—interrogates the sensationalization of violence in today’s media and teases our addiction to it. Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, 547 W. 27th St. 2nd Fl. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-244-4320, priskajuschkafineart.com; 6 to 8, free. (Benjamin Sutton)
Friday November 9
The sexy historical drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love is one of less well-known films being screened during the IFC’s A Tribute to Mira Nair, the acclaimed director of Monsoon Wedding and this year’s hit The Namesake. Set in the 16th Century, Kama Sutra follows two best friends who grow up into opposite class situations, eventually turning against each other in a duel of seduction and deceit. Kama Sutra plays today through Sunday at noon, with other Nair films showing the following two weekends. IFC Center, 323 6th Ave. (at W. 3rd St.), 212-924-7771, www.ifccenter.com; noon, $8/$11. (Benjamin Sutton)
The blowout performance of Saw IV at the box office last weekend proves audiences can still stomach the torture porn trend, but that doesn’t mean any boos and whistles will do. You won’t find a better opportunity to discern the dividing line between grotesque ingenuity and empty frights than at the After Dark Horrorfest. Self-proclaimed as “the largest film festival in the world,” Horrorfest is mostly a chance for direct-to-video releases to screen on 300-odd screens before falling to whims of the average video store drifter. Kudos to After Dark Films for including Mulberry Street, Jim Mickle’s clever send-up of NYC grime, which finds metropolitan dwellers turning into vicious rat people in a chaotic tale of survival. Various venues; Nov. 9-18; www.horrorfestonline.com. (Eric Kohn)
Saturday, November 10
Artsy Flea Market
Support one of New York’s last artist housing communities at the Westbeth Artists Housing’s beautification committee’s annual flea market and yard sale. Every year the artists living in the community purge their closets and apartments, getting rid of unwanted treasures that can now be yours. Handmade sweaters, original art, designer clothing and much more is available at rock bottom prices. Runs through Monday. Westbeth Underground, 55 Bethune St., 212-691-1574; 11 am to 6 pm. (Carla Zanoni)
Sunday November 11
Uncool Crisco Kids
Remember all those dorky games you played in the basement with friends and family? Now you can do them in the Lower East Side and feel hella-cool. But really we know Disco Crisco Twister is just an excuse to squeal like a dork. Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St. (betw. Allen & Ludlow Sts.), 7, $5/$8. (RSVP at going.com/discocriscotwister) (Molly Garcia)
Walk Into the Sunset
Need to brush up on your neighborhood knowledge? Become an expert on a beautiful Brooklyn area by taking the Municipal Arts Society of New York’s Sunset Park Walking Tour. Focusing on the eponymous park in the nabe, the city’s largest nationally-registered Historic District and its third largest Chinatown, urban historian and local activist Joe Svehlak will get you up to speed on the area’s past, present and future. Group meets at 10:30am at the N.E. corner of 43rd St. & 4th Ave. in Manhattan. Municipal Art Society of New York, 212-935-3960, mas.org; $12/$15. (Benjamin Sutton)
Monday November 12
The Green Movement is all about being sexy, so forget the crunchy pas at the Garden of Hedonism party that promises a celebrity solar-powered mechanical bull riding contest. Yes, we’re not making this up. So look for Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Coolidge, John Ventimiglia and others riding bareback. Johnny Utah’s, 25 W. 51st St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-265-8824; 6-9. (Molly Garcia)
PERFORMA 07, the second visual art performance biennial, seeks to address new issues in art by looking to past traditions. Sanford Biggers’ The Somethin’ Suite is a nod to the old negro variety shows, highlighting the problematic racist attitudes and the paradoxical talent that lies therein, which superimposes spoken word poetry and song to spin the past 60 years of popular American music on the traditional minstrel show. The Box, 189 Christie St. (betw. Rivington & Stanton Sts.),212-982-9301; 10, $25. (Nida Najar)
Tuesday, November 13
Bridging Between Bridges
You don’t know about the new bridge in Dumbo that runs between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges? The first public artwork in the Dumbo Arts Center’s Outer Space program is an installation by Osman Akan. Dubbed The Third Bridge, Akan’s luminous work is a meditation on the various social functions of bridges; as connections between once distant peoples, metaphors for social mobility, markers of natural borders, testaments to humanity’s inventiveness and countless other social and natural phenomena. On display until January 14, make sure to see it by night, at its most dramatic. Brooklyn Bridge Park, at Walter & Dock Sts., B’klyn, 718-694-0831, dumboartscenter.org; 8am to 8pm, free. (Benjamin Sutton)
Big Girls’ Toys
Babeland hosts a wine and cocktail hour honoring a bunch of sex toys that a wise and discerning public have deemed their favorite means to a happy end during A Toast of Thanks to Our Favorite Toys. A breakdown of the virtues of the store’s best-selling sex toys aptly accompanies free booze and other activities.
Just for fun, see how you measure up to other New Yorkers in terms of sex smarts with their sex trivia test. As an added bonus, they give away a prize bag with $75 worth of sex toys to one lucky prize winner. Babeland, Rivington St. (near Ludlow), 212-375-1701; 7:30, free. (Nida Najar)
Wednesday, November 14
Complexions Contemporary Ballet returns to the Joyce Theater for a two-week run. Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s company, celebrated for its electrifying physicality, passion and virtuosity over the years, unveils two different programs and works by Rhoden and guest choreographers William Forsythe, Rennie Harris, Nicolo Fonte and Uri Sands. Highlights include the new “Peace Project,” consisting of dances by company members as well as new duet by Rhoden for Desmond Richardson and Carmen De Lavallade. Tonight’s show features a revival of “Pretty Gritty Suite,” Rhoden’s 2004 tribute to Nina Simone. Runs through Nov. 25. The Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave. (at 19th St.), 212-242-0800, www.joyce.org; 7:30 , $44. (Carla Zanoni)
Want to get a mini-MFA experience? Three Global City Review contributors, Linsey Abrams, Fred Tuten, and Michelle Yasmine Valladares, read from new work. Abrams is the Director of the MFA Creative Writing program at City College and the author of Our History in New York and Charting by the Stars. Tuten is the author of five novels including The Green Hour, which is his most recent book. He teaches at both City College and The New School. Valladares teaches at City College and has published a collection of poetry called Nortada, the North Wind. McNally Robinson Booksellers 52 Prince St. (at Mulberry St.), 212-274-1160; 7, free. (Nida Najar)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24
WHERE WOMEN DARE TO TREAD
Treading the line between danger and humor, 10 Plates explores the heartbreaking and ridiculous elements of everyday fears faced by women. Performed by the five-girl troupe Ex.Pgirl, expect to see dancing security guards, fighting bears and snow pants. Premiering today and continuing through Sunday at Here, 145 6th Ave. (betw, Spring and Broome Sts.), 212-352-3101; $15.
ALL TOGETHER, NOW
Kicking off today and running through Nov. 17, the unabashedly eclectic Crown Point Festival is the only event out there with the balls to combine DJs and mockumentaries with a film about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Abron Arts Center, 466 Grand St. (at Pitt St.), 212-352-3101; crownpointfestival.org.
BAMcinématek’s annual showcase of contemporary French cinema includes the New York premiers of five films. Wednesday’s Very Well, Thank You (director Emmanuelle Cuau in attendance) follows a likeable everyman lost amidst a faceless bureaucracy. Thursday’s film, Demented—adapted from a Timothy Findley novel—shows a family’s collapse through the eyes (and fertile imagination) of its youngest member. The series’ only documentary, Friday’s Je t’aime…moi non plus: Critics and Artists investigates the relationship between the film industry and film critics through interviews conducted at Cannes. A panel discussion with several film critics will follow the 6:50 screening. On Saturday, Anna M. (whose director Michel Spinosa will attend) presents the disturbingly intimate portrait of a mental patient who becomes hopelessly obsessed with her doctor. The series closes on Sunday with The Betrayal, which delves into France’s endemic racism by way of a group of French soldiers in Algeria in the 1960s.Oct. 24-28. BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave. (betw. Ashland & St. Felix), B’klyn, 718-636-4100; $7.50-$11. (Benjamin Sutton)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25
DRUM N BASS
Two generations of improvisers meet in one extraordinary evening of multimedia spectacle. Septuagenarian trombonist Roswell Rudd pairs up with Mark Dresser, a veteran of the Los Angeles free jazz scene of the early 1970s. Next up is Wildflowers, the duo of percussionist Adam Rudolph and Oguri, America’s leading Butoh artist, in an improvisatory dialogue of dynamics and motion. Roulette, 20 Greene St. (betw. Canal & Grand Sts.), 212-219-8242; 8, $15.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
(HALLOWEEN-THEMED MUSICAL BONANZA)
Heavy Weather is Soul/Jazz/Rock, and the Octomen are Surf, but Witches in Bikinis, they are Theatrical Pop/Rock, and, like that Halloween store that opens once a year, this is their time to shine. Kenny’s Castaways, 157 Bleecker St. (at Thompson St.), kennyscastaways.net; 7:30, $tbd.
Abomination: Homosexuality and the Ex-Gay Movement profiles the journeys of four gay Christians as they attempt to “exorcise” their homosexuality by following the treatment protocols of the “ex-gay ministries.” We won’t give away the endings, but suffice it to say this is tragicomedy of the highest order. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.), 212-620-7310; 7:30, $10.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year—more boo-hoo than boo!—you’ll have to get your grooves on a little early. GalleryBar (a maniacal hybrid of gallery and bar) is hosting its first annual Costume Ball this year, and it’s our pick for early-Halloween party spot for the year. Winner of the best costume contest drinks for free all night. GalleryBar, 120 Orchard St. (betw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.), 212-529-2266; 9, $10 (free with RSVP).
Climb aboard the haunted “Ship of the Dead” and hang with gargoyles, ghosts, goblins, dead sailors, vampires and other scary things you wouldn’t want your kids to see. It’s enough to make your skin crawl—in a party-on-a-boat-leaving-from-a-museum sort of way. South Street Seaport, Fulton St. (at Front St.), 212-748-8786. The ship sets sail at 6,7,8 & 9. $15-$20. Reservations required.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
IT SCARES A VILLAGE
Not for kids under age seven, the Halloween edition of the Watson’s Adventure—an increasingly popular Village scavenger hunt for families—will take on the haunted homes of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain, bats on a building, Dickensian doorknockers, Harry Potter’s nemesis and a gorilla in a window. Call 877-GO-HUNT for location and reservation; 6, $20.50.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 29
WILD AND CRAZY GUYS
The parallels between the Franco and Billy Show and Monty Python are undeniable. They are both sometimes surreal, sometimes historical, and sometimes completely incomprehensible. They toss film clips, music and sketch comedy into a single puke-colored but delicious stew. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W. 26th St. (betw. 8th & 9th Aves.), 212-366-9176; 8, $8.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30
SLASH ON SLASH
The polysyllabic, understated coverline for Slash’s new autobiography, Slash—co-written with someone else, of course—goes like this: “It seems excessive, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” That is a little like saying, “Satan is kind of a dick.” Whether Slash himself will be at the reading or just the guy who helped him write the books is unclear. Astor Place Barnes & Noble, 4 Astor Place, 212-420-1322; 7, free.
GIRLS WILL DO GIRLS
A stage adaptation of Ann Bannon’s groundbreaking lesbian pulp fiction of the 1950s and 1960s, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, written by Kate Moira Ryan, follows the lives and loves of Laura, Beth and Beebo as they navigate uncharted territories of desire. Through Oct. 28 at The Fourth Street Theatre, 83 E. 4th St. (betw. Bowery & 2nd Ave), 212-352-3101; $20.
Travel back to the gritty days of pre-Giuliani New York: 1848, when Canal Street was a festering canal and rents were dirt cheap. A Glance at New York, written in 1848 as a contemporary vaudevillian entertainment, follows a burly firefighter named Big Mose. Known as the toughest man in the nation’s toughest city, Mose spends much of his time beating everyone in his path, finally seeking redemption by rushing off to rescue a screaming innocent from a burning tenement. Through Nov. 17 at Axis Theatre, 1 Sheridan Sq. (just off 7th Ave.), 212-352-3101; $20.
EEKS AND CREEPS AND CHILLS AND…
Hold your breath but don’t cover your eyes: The Shortened Attention Span Horror Festival is in town. Running every weekend through Oct. 28, five very short plays guaranteed to scare the pants off even the most jaded theatergoers. Each week the audience will select a favorite with the three winning short horror plays to be presented on Halloween. The Players Theatre and Loft, 115 MacDougal St. (betw. W. 3rd St. & Minetta Ln.), www.theatermania.com; Thurs.-Sat. 8; Sun. 3, $17.
BRINGING IT HOME
On display through Oct. 28 in Long Island City overlooking the New York skyline, Takashi Horisaki’s Social Dress New Orleans: 730 Days After is an awesome, eerie spectacle: a full-scale latex replica of a demolished Lower Ninth Ward shotgun-style home. Socrates Sculpture Park, 3201 Vernon Blvd. (at Broadway), socratessculpturepark.org. On display seven days a week, 10am-sunset; free.
Through Nov. 17, five rarely seen paintings by American master Frank Stella. Culled from an early but pivotal phase in his development (1958-1965) they include “Your Lips Are Blue,” which is one of only two such paintings with text that still exist. Also on display: “Bafq,” an exotic dazzle of mixed orange, green and purple bands named for an ancient Iranian city. Peter Freeman Gallery, 560 Broadway (betw. Prince and Spring Sts.), 212-966-5154. Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm.
(ART OF ICK)
Michael Whittle’s very finely wrought, somewhat icky pencil drawings are reportedly inspired by a Dylan Thomas poem. We don’t see it. What we do see is an almost scientific approach to imaginary organic or natural forms, like the blueprints for props in a David Cronenberg flick. “Cloud, Gland, Tributaries,” for instance, could be a river or a fleck of skin magnified a thousand times. Either way, you’ve been warned. The one-man show runs through Oct. 27. Daniel Cooney Fine Art, 511 W. 25th St. (betw. 10th and 11th Aves.), 212-255-8158. Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm.
THE WRETCHED AND THE RADICAL
Since his immigration here from Canada in 1979, photographer Clayton Patterson has been a dedicated chronicler of the hippies, hipsters, outcasts and in-crowds that have made the Lower East Side arguably the most storied nabe in the city. The first ever gallery exhibition of his photographs—they could be seen only in published anthologies and at this own Essex St. studio—is on display now, until Oct. 27 at Kinz, Tillou and Feigen, 529 W. 20th St. (betw. 10th and 11th Aves.), 212-929-0500. Call for hours.