Listings

At 10, Crobar, 530 West 28th Street, 212.629.9000

Photo

LAURA LETINSKY

Monkey see: Mansaku Nomura II and his grandson go bananas at the Japan Society (see Wednesday).
photo: Japan Society
Monkey see: Mansaku Nomura II and his grandson go bananas at the Japan Society (see Wednesday).

Even if Letinsky's messy tabletop still lifes look a bit self-conscious this time out, these landscapes of after-dinner disarray are oddly seductive. Possibly because nearly all of them are draped in rumpled white linen, the tables suggest beds and their wine stains and spilled sugar read as evidence of sensuous, post-coital satiation. The romantic domesticity Letinsky staged with couples in her earlier photos now seems rather prim next to her witty, sexy spreads of overripe fruit and dirty dinner plates. ALETTI

Through January 17, Edwynn Houk Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue, 212.750.7070

 


SATURDAY

DECEMBER 13


 

Music

WADADA LEO SMITH'S GOLDEN QUARTET

A veteran of the '70s expansion of jazz, which combined collectivization, new material, and the absorption of diverse ideas, Smith is a highly personal trumpet player and theorist working on the bounding edge where Miles and Bowie collide. This quartet should quicken the pulse: bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, taking off from the AEC drummer Jack DeJohnette, taking off from Keith Jarrett and pianist-composer Anthony Davis, returning to his roots as a musician. GIDDINS

At 7:30 and 9:30, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.539.8770

Theater

'HOW TO TURN DISTRESS INTO SUCCESS'

The Bread and Puppet Theater's latest work arrives in town just in time to put some national rethinking, as well as some theatrical flamboyance, into your holidays. It's set in an exotic imaginary place called "the More-More-More Society" that may look surprisingly like your own country. FEINGOLD

Through December 21, Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, 212.254.1109

'RIGHT YOU ARE (IF YOU THINK SO)'

Luigi Pirandello's mordant comic masterpiece, about a woman whose puzzling dual identity sets a whole town abuzz, has been sorely missed in our gossip-prone city. Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre means to repair the lack with this new production, by opera director Fabrizio Melano, which features Penny Fuller, Maria Tucci, and Randall himself among the gossips and gossipees. FEINGOLD

Through December 21, Pace University, Michael Schimmel Center, Spruce Street and Park Row, 212.239.6200

 


SUNDAY

DECEMBER 14


Film

'FLANEURS OF LOWER MANHATTAN'

Two walkers in the city, assemblagist Joseph Cornell and photographer Rudy Burckhardt, collaborated on a number of evocative street movies celebrating the lost Manhattan of the 1950s. Philip Lopate put together this show, which also features an hour of Burckhardt's solo films, including his 1948 Climate of New York and 1953 Under the Brooklyn Bridge. HOBERMAN

At 7, Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718.782.5188

Music

ASHFORD & SIMPSON

Motown songwriting stablemates who turned into a long-running advertisement for romantic marriage, they've kept a low profile live in recent years, and they were always a little weird onstage—for such an uxorious guy, Nick has a colossal ego. But they have some book. And they have a cause. Benefit concert and gala dinner for "Save a Child's Heart." CHRISTGAU

At 4, B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, 237 West 42nd Street, 212.307.7171

KOOL KEITH & ICE-T

Two years ago, Kool Keith and Ice-T collaborated to form the Analog Brothers, a quasi-concept group about pimping. This was not their finest moment. However, each of them alone can sustain a great concert—Keith with his space-age eccentricities and Ice-T with his cocksure bravado. Here's hoping they understand the virtues of going it alone. CARAMANICA

At 9, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212.243.4940

Theater

'HANDY DANDY'

An activist nun confronts an ultra-conservative judge in William Gibson's comedy, which isn't new but may sound a lot like things currently going on outside the theater. Don Amendolia's production for the Colleagues Company stars Robert Hogan opposite multiple Tony Award winner Helen Gallagher, who's more familiar to audiences in tap shoes than in a nun's habit. FEINGOLD

Through January 4, Neighborhood Playhouse, 340 East 54th Street, 212.239.2996

 


MONDAY

DECEMBER 15


Books

TOBIAS WOLFF+DONNA TARTT

Old School, Wolff's slim, episodic first novel, nails a brand of prep school ambition so old-fashioned one fears it's become extinct: the lust to become a writer—a great writer. His dependably luminous prose has an ingenious vehicle: three times a year, a writer—a great writer—visits the school, holding a private conference with one handpicked aspirant. The impersonations of Frost, Ayn Rand, and Hemingway are so flawless and spry they're inhabitations; right before our narrator is kicked out of Eden, his deep affection for this privileged academic existence culminates in a rhapsodic name-checking of over two dozen "old schools," from Andover to St. Mark's. Donna Tartt, in a rare New York appearance, reads from her second novel, The Little Friend, now out in paperback. PARK

At 8, 92nd St. Y, 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, 212.415.5500

Music

DAVID BOWIE+MACY GRAY

The thing about David Bowie is that no matter how many mediocre albums he puts out, he will always be, at least occasionally, David Bowie. He'll be goofy and wince-inducing and say stupid things to stupid fans. Then he'll do "Heroes" or "Life on Mars," something in him will get triggered, and suddenly he's the Nazz with God-given ass. He's appearing with the similarly flaky Macy Gray. WALTERS

At 8, Madison Square Garden, 31st Street and Seventh Avenue, 212.465.MSG1

WYCLEF JEAN & 112

The Preacher's Son, Wyclef's new album, doesn't have the street pretensions of his last record, Masquerade, or the dilettantism of The Carnival. Ecleftic? Sure, but not wantonly so. And Clef's stage show has always been easier to swallow than his records. 112 make hi-NRG r&b even if they're not wholly sure that's what they're doing. Benefit for Wyclef Jean Foundation. CARAMANICA

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