Listings – 1/13/2004






The prologue to “Ojo de Dios” is a series of drawings of fountains designed for the 1964 World’s Fair. “Peace Through Understanding,” indeed. What follow are “protective” 3-D glasses (put them on) and a fully functional Cold War fallout shelter, complete with air filters, ducts, freeze-dried-food cans, and a glorious psychedelic explosion of luminescent disks made from the lids. The gallery calls this “a scenario of desperate improvisation.” It’s also pure residual paranoia raised to orange alert. LEVIN

Through Saturday, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, 39 Wooster Street, 212.334.3455



Rife with provocative symptoms, poet Amie Siegel’s serious, playful essay on the art and craft of psychoanalysis is blatantly several films in one—psychological melodrama, historical essay, and shrink verité. The friendliest of the interviewed analysts recounts the pleasure of watching women walk in and lie down on his couch. How did watching the movie make me feel? Interested, amused, and um, empathetic. HOBERMAN

Opens today, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212.727.8110



What’s the (onetime) fastest rapper in the world to do? Loved by Puffy and Jay-Z, Twista has yet to establish himself on a national level, although his 1996 Adrenalin Rush steadily sells almost 2,000 units a month, one of hip-hop’s top catalog albums. His current radio hit, “Slow Jamz,” makes it sound more like Twista’s guesting on Kanye West’s song than the other way around, but such is the fate of the man whose tongue just won’t quit. Expect high-profile guests who won’t need subtitles. With T-Cole. CARAMANICA

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



A street urchin, a prince, and, naturally, a parrot are the key figures in the Italian folktale that’s the source of the Talking Band’s latest work, a musical with text by Paul Zimet and music by Ellen Maddow. Renoly Santiago, known to theatergoers for his stint uptown in Paul Simon’s Capeman, preens his feathers in the title role. FEINGOLD

Previews begin tonight, opens February 4, the Flea, 41 White Street, 212.352.3101


Melissa James Gibson, whose [sic] was well received by the press despite the typographic confusions engendered by her work’s title, ventures again into the uncertain world of Gen X’ers with this study of two women who endlessly postpone finishing their dissertations. Daniel Aukin directs; the cast includes Colleen Werthmann, Jeremy Shamos, and [sic]‘s Christina Kirk. FEINGOLD

Previews begin tonight, opens Friday, SoHo Rep, 46 Walker Street, 212.868.4444





An hors d’oeuvres tray for the indie rocker, this show offers a sampling of Pitchfork-approved subgenres. Cex has abandoned IDM and hip-hop in favor of NINdustrial, at least for now; Stevens’s star is rising due to an acclaimed orchestral-pop concept album about the state of Michigan; Baby is Craig (Shudder to Think) Wedren’s electro-r&b project; Landing play hypnotizing drone rock; Witmer is an Elliott Smith-style singer-songwriter. With Ezra Reich. PHILLIPS

At 8:30, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006


The elegant pianist has recently found ways to have his somewhat common trio setting yield a somewhat unusual approach to give and take. But he’s always had a way with solo situations, too—check the simple grace of “Skylark” on his last disc. He’s a canny improviser who disdains flash and reveres touch, unconsciously blending John Lewis and Roland Hanna. This stretch of solo shows is a sharp booking. MACNIE

Tonight through Sunday at 9 and 11, Smoke, 2751 Broadway, 212.864.6662


Branford’s imprint has a damn good batting average so far. It finds Harry Connick Jr. forsaking croonery for pianistics. It finds Doug Wamble working a blues-swing nexus on his guitar. It finds alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón bursting with Puerto Rican riddims and New York energy. And it finds the head honcho’s foursome ramming the mainstream with their truly rad chops. They all participate in this round-robin affair. MACNIE

Through Saturday at 9 and 11, Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 212.581.3080



Before he and Bill T. Jones formed their dance partnership, Zane was a photographer with, not surprisingly, a feel for images of the body. The early-’70s pictures gathered here, all seductively small, are as much about identity as physicality, and include a number of self-portraits, along with portraits and nude-figure studies of Jones and other friends. Quirky, intimate, and deliberately unmoored in time, these might be pictures from an extended and unexpectedly inviting family album. ALETTI

Through February 7, Paula Cooper Gallery, 521 West 21st Street, 212.255.1105



Incoming artistic director Brian Kulick inaugurates his regime at Classic Stage Company with his own assemblage of texts from the beginning of Western drama—the medieval church plays known as “mysteries”—to the present. It’s a good choice—the theater’s been struggling through rough financial times, and a prayer or two won’t do it any harm. FEINGOLD


Opens today, CSC, 136 East 13th Street, 212.677.4210






People who speak in hushed tones about George Balanchine’s impact on ballet tend to overlook the fact that he made his reputation, and his living, choreographing musical comedies for decades before he founded his blue-chip troupe. Celebrating the lighter side of his genius, Broadway director-choreographer Susan Stroman contributes to the centennial celebration a new ballet, Double Feature, with a cast of 70, and music by Irving Berlin and Walter Donaldson, orchestrated by Doug Besterman and arranged by Glen Kelly. ZIMMER

At 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, Sunday at 3, and February 3 through 5, New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street, 212.307.4100



E.A. Dupont maneuvers his trademark mobile camera around a tawdry showbiz triangle: The proprietor of the deco Club Piccadilly dumps his resident jazz baby to pursue Anna May Wong’s slum goddess. She’s sensationally expressive and so is this magnificently restored movie—evidence of silent cinema at its aborted peak and Wong’s frustrated potential to have been among its greatest stars. HOBERMAN

Today through January 29, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212.505.5181



Maiden are like, fuckin’ cool . . . (snort). They indeed are back—and on fire! Last year’s MSG metal extravaganza with Dio and Motörhead was a time warp to their halcyon days. The primo Piece of Mind-era lineup, the trademark anthemic gallops and multiple-guitar attack (the addition of gangly hotdogger Jens makes three), and all the headbanging classics, plus several hard-hitters from the recent Dance of Death. Amen. With Arch Enemy. BOSLER

Tonight, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 6:30, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, 212.485.1534


Finally one of those “Free (fill in the blank)!” campaigns worked. After getting detained by the INS and ultimately set free after over a year in the clink (by failed Clinton appointee Kimba Wood), Slick Rick has reemerged lighter in the belly and itching to rhyme. This is his first official comeback performance, so expect the coals to be simmering hot. With Morningwood, the accidental opener, and an after-party by the seemingly ubiquitous Hollertronix. CARAMANICA

At 9, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006





Soft Skull presents a release party for Greenman’s Superworse, the “remix” of his 2001 collection Superbad. Superbad was subtitled “Stories and Pieces,” whereas Superworse is billed as a novel, but both feature tight, clever, poignant pieces such as “What 100 People, Real and Fake, Believe About Dolores” (“Captain Ahab: That he would have liked to meet her”) and “Sometree/Anytree” (in which a tree discovers the pain of love). Rees is the clip-art auteur of Get Your War On and My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable. GRINSPAN

At 7, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, 212.614.0505


Poet and translator Hofer is joined by “negative anthropologist” Kunin, whose forthcoming chapbook, The Sore Throat, translates Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande using only a 200-word vocabulary. How did he pick those words? It’s complicated and involves “ambient language” and a self-devised “binary hand-alphabet.” The result? Language like a caged beast—by turns funny, irreligious, implosive, always threatening—that hits visceral paydirt with unexpected precision: “It is hard to hear the voice of god;/It seems so narrow now.” REIDY

At 4, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, 212.614.0505



These prog-metal-leaning but mysteriously emo-identified Baltimore art-rock missing links between fish and amphibians have been recording steadily since 1990, and their two most recent albums—2000’s Necrophones and 2003’s Love Is Love—sound a whole lot more like Rush than like Dashboard Confessional. They look somewhat like lumberjacks, and the singer is a poet whose words suggest a kind of liberation theology. Heavy, beautiful, weirdly optimistic. With Beauty Pill. EDDY

At 9, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006

OLD 97’S

The bad news is that their major label finally dropped them. The good news is that transplanted New Yorker Rhett Miller is playing with his Dallas buddies. Not that he doesn’t loosen up with a backing band. But with this unit his dynamic, recognizable songs take off. CHRISTGAU

Tonight and Sunday at 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212.533.2111


They’re local if Secaucus is local, but their drummer lives in South Jersey, which further limits this veteran band’s gigging opportunities. Drummerless at the Bowery, they were impressive—all three could sing. In Jersey they’ll rock too. And they’re coming off the best album of their lives—so far. They feel old, they say. But they also have plenty to prove. With True Love and the Rules. CHRISTGAU

At 9:30, Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201.653.1703




In 1960, Garson Kanin adapted Felicien Marceau’s Paris hit about a girl’s rise from young coquette to grande cocotte, as a vehicle for his wife, Ruth Gordon, but the vehicle somehow got damaged in transit. The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) takes it for another spin with this staged reading, directed by Kyle Fabel, in which Delphi Harrington and Simon Jones figure prominently. FEINGOLD

Through Monday, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 212.307.4100






The chef d’oeuvre of Vienna-based mixed-media artist Valie Export is one of the richest avant-garde features of the ’70s, a feminist reworking of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Export’s rambunctious idea-fest staggers under the weight of its assembled gags, digressions, and visual bits of business but prevails with a winning combination of sexual frankness and visual wit. HOBERMAN

At 7, Ocularis, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718.782.5188






Fort Thunder transplanted Pink and Brownster John Dwyer as Frisco’s answer to Pussy Galore; i.e., shit-fidelity no-wave Cramps muffle not quite back from the grave. Despite hiding six feet under, his songs quite often feel (and even rock) like songs. The rumbling new Bangers & Fuckers includes a killer take on Alice Cooper’s “Muscle of Love.” EDDY

At 8, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006






Live music by a host of soloists and ensembles highlights a season featuring the world premieres of Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Rain, to a soundscape by percussionist Glen Velez, and Donlin Foreman’s Song, which has an a cappella blues score by Lisa DeSpain that 24 members of the New York Choral Society will perform live. Also on deck: Steven Ryan playing Chopin to accompany Foreman’s Cascade, DeSpain conducting her Catfish Corner Blues Band for his Mean Ole World, and three other Buglisi pieces. This largesse is spread over two programs. ZIMMER

At 7, through February 1, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212.242.0800



So how does the photographer most identified with the acceptance of color in the 1970s look in black-and-white? Pretty damn good, judging from this wide-ranging selection of 68 vintage prints from the ’60s and early ’70s. Although Eggleston’s debt to Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and the snapshot aesthetic is apparent, his eye for the mundane is unique and just about flawless. Whether his subject is a stack of metal chairs or a doughy teen on a sunny street corner, Eggleston pins it down with remarkably nonchalant brilliance. ALETTI

Through February 21, Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, 212.242.7727