Holiday Guide: Arts Listings

Holiday Guide: Arts Listings

MUSIC

Edited by Seth Colter Walls

Dinosaur Jr.

December 1

You might call any album other than You're Living All Over Me the best work by Dinosaur Jr., but you'd be wrong. For its 25th anniversary, the band will play the work front to back. But because it's just 36 minutes long, they'll need to do more than just regurgitate the album. Good thing they've released a trio of improbably great records in recent years, including this year's I Bet on Sky. Kurt Vile and a bevy of "special guest stars" are also promised. Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street, terminal5nyc.com

Olga Neuwirth

December 6

During the holidays, most of New York's classical institutions turn to chestnuts of the repertoire, making for something of a dry run of concerts. That cannot be said of Columbia University's Miller Theater, however, which is devoting an entire night to an exploration of the Austrian composer's midcareer works. Count on the spectral, atonal heritage of late-20th-century masters like Murail and Nono (both of whom Neuwirth studied under), and also bet on strong performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble (whose executive director, Claire Chase, just won a MacArthur award). Miller Theater, 116 Broadway, millertheatre.com

Robert Glasper Experiment

December 13 through 14

The pianist turned in one of this year's best overall jazz records with Black Radio, a work that played around with hip-hop/r&b fusion without falling victim to any clichéd pitfalls. But now it's on to the next project, a reworking of songs from Stevie Wonder's catalog (and some new Wonder-inspired tunes by the leader). Questlove, who turned in a Black Radio remix, pops up to assist Glasper's core electronic group. Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Avenue, harlemstage.org

John Cale

January 16, 18 through 19

He co-founded the Velvet Underground. What else does he have to do before you buy a ticket? New music is promised on the two nights that the Wordless Orchestra is set to help Cale perform his solo classic 1919; if uncut nostalgia is your thing, go for the separate evening billed as "a tribute to Nico." Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org

David Virelles

January 31

In the young pianist's latest songs, avant influences like Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill get mixed up with Cuban rhythms, computer music, and poetry recitations. Judge the results on the group's debut album from Pi Recordings, titled Continuum. You might suspect a muddle from so much complexity in the blender—instead it contains hints of both grace and mystery, along with a strong dose of improvisational power. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street, 92y.org/Tribeca/index

THEATER Edited by Alexis Soloski 'Volpone'

Begins November 27

Sure, it launches in the midst of flu season, but Ben Jonson's 1606 play, revived by Red Bull, promises to cure whatever ails you. Volpone concerns a deliciously immoral magnifico who decides to dupe three noblemen of their wealth by feigning a deadly illness. Happily, Red Bull director Jesse Berger has attracted a healthy cast, including Rocco Sisto, Stephen Spinella, Alvin Epstein, and Tovah Feldshuh. Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher Street, redbulltheater.com

'The Other Place'

Begins December 11

The commanding Laurie Metcalf stars as Juliana Smithton, a brilliant, thorny research scientist who fears a diagnosis of brain cancer. But just as we've settled in for a familiar illness drama, Sharr White adroitly flips the script, forcing audiences to question everything we've come to believe about character and plot. Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, manhattantheatreclub.com

'Picnic'

Begins December 14

If the world of American theater were a just one, William Inge would nudge his way into the pantheon typically reserved for Williams, O'Neill, and Miller, with his gentle and devastating surveys of small-town life. The admired director Sam Gold makes the latest case for Inge's inclusion, staging a revival of Picnic, about a locale discombobulated by a smoldering drifter, for the Roundabout. And he's attracted a remarkable cast to lay out the fixings: Reed Birney, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Ellen Bursty, et al. American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, roundabouttheatre.org

COIL

Begins January 3

P.S. 122's COIL Festival begins the year with performative bangs and Chekhovian whimpers. The five theatrical works include Kristin Kosmas's There There, which features a character from Three Sisters, and Half Straddle's Seagull (Thinking of you). Non-Russophile shows feature Radiohole's "blood chilling and completely strange" Inflatable Frankenstein; Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver's Ruff, in which Shaw returns to the stage after a stroke; and Tea Tupajic and Petra Zanki's The Curators' Piece (A trial against art), which places P.S. 122's artistic director in the dock. Various locations, ps122.org

'Bethany'

Begins January 11

Apparently, real women have Off-Broadway contracts. Taking a brief sabbatical from film and television, America Ferrara arrives on the Women's Project stage as Crystal, the hard-pressed heroine of this new play. Another victim of the financial crisis, Crystal watches as her home is foreclosed on, her child taken away from her, and her job threatened. Laura Marks, a recent Juilliard graduate, makes her professional debut with this script. Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who has made an acerbic splash with two dark Simon Stephens plays, repossesses it. New York City Center Stage II, 131 West 55th Street, womensproject.org

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