Just Do Art!

WORKING ON A SPECIAL DAY Ana Graham and Antonio Vega (from Mexico City’s Por Piedada Teatro) star in this stage adaptation of the 1977 Italian film starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. On the very same day in 1938 that sees Hitler paying a visit to Mussolini’s Italy, an overworked housewife and a radio announcer (who’s just been forced out of his job for being gay) bond.

Jan. 11,12,13, 14 at 7pm; Jan. 15 at 2pm. At The Flea Theater (41 White St., btw. Church and Broadway). For tickets ($20 general admission, $25 reserved seats), call 212-352-3101 or visit playco.org. Also visit theflea.org.

MIRANDA: A STEAMPUNK MURDER-MYSTERY CHAMBER OPERA Classically trained composer and singer Kamala Sankaram has spent her time lately collaborating with the decidedly modern likes of the Philip Glass Ensemble and Anthony Braxton. But when it came time to create her first full-length chamber opera work, she drew on everything from Baroque Opera to Tango to Hindustani classical music to Hip-Hop — while incorporating elements of a Victorian Sci-Fi mashup genre. Described as “a steampunk murder-mystery chamber opera,” six musicians sing and perform all of the roles in “Miranda.” As the curtain rises, we in the audience find ourselves watching a live taping of “The Whole Truth.” This reality TV show asks the jury (also known as the audience) to determine who killed Miranda Wright. Will mom, dad or Miranda’s lover get the ax? Your robotic host D.A.V.E. (the Differential Autonomous Verification Engine) and a sinister bailiff will help (or force) the jury to reach its verdict. This run of “Miranda” (which features fantastical steampunk costumes and gadgetry and video projections) was developed over three years, as part of the HERE Artist Residency Program.

January 12–21; Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 9pm. Additional performances Mon., Jan. 16 & Tues., Jan. 17 at 9pm. At HERE (145 Sixth Ave., one block below Spring St.). For tickets ($20), purchase at the box office after 5pm on show days, or visit here.org or call 212-352-3101.

LYNDA CASPE: CITY PAINTINGS INSIDE AND OUT Painter, sculptor and poet Lynda Caspe’s “City Paintings Inside and Out” is an exhibition of her paintings and bronze sculptures based on New York City interiors and exteriors. Through Feb. 28. At Soverign/Santander Bank (110 Hudson St., corner of Franklin St.). Hours: Mon. through Fri., 8:30am-5:30pm (Thurs. until 7pm). For more info on the artist, visit lyndacaspe.com.

 ART: RATHER UNIQUE  From the street to the wall, right where they belong. See “Rather Unique.”

Woodward Gallery’s first-ever guest curator — Harlem-based street Artist Royce Bannon — has accepted the honor and risen to the challenge with “Rather Unique.” In this exhibition, both the gallery and the curator challenge audiences to acknowledge the contributions being made by contemporary street and graffiti artists. A similar challenge to experiment and refine their creativity has been given to the participants (Cassius Fowler, Celso, Chris RWK, Cope2, Darkcloud, H.veng.Smith, Indie184, infinity, KA, Keely, Kenji Nakayama, Kosbe, Matt Siren, Moody, Nose Go, Royce B, Russell King, UR New York, Veng and Wrona). “Each one of them has a rather unique style that I really can’t compare to any one else’s,” says Bannon. “Everyone does wheat paste and stickers or (tag) throw ups. But this group of artists…make what they do really pop.”

Through Feb. 19. At Woodward Gallery (133 Eldridge St.). Gallery Hours: Tues. through Sat., 11am-6pm and Sun., 12-5pm. Visit woodwardgallery.net.

 

PARSONS DANCE Skilled, athletic and precise: Parsons Dance has everything you’d expect from a contemporary dance company. But what inspires repeat viewings of the same program is their passion for the work, coupled with a charismatic groupthink presence. Boasting a repertory of over 80 works choreographed by David Parsons, the 2012 ensemble will be dipping into their formidable reserves in addition to performing two world premieres. “Round My World” (by David Parsons) explores globalization and digitization, and is set to music by cellist and composer Zeo Keating. “A Stray’s Lullaby” (by former Parsons dancer Katarzyna Skarpetowska, in collaboration with composer Kenji Bunch) takes four down and out characters on a quest for salvation — a perfect example of why there’s more to Parsons’ appeal than pleasant leaps and bounds.

Through January 22. At The Joyce
Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). Performances are Tues./Wed. at 7:30pm; Thurs./Fri./Sat. at 8pm; and Sun. at 1pm/5pm. On Sat., Jan. 14 (at 2pm), the Family Matinee features the must-see stroboscopic masterwork “Caught” (which left audiences appropriately stunned when performed during the 2011 run). For tickets ($10-$59), call 212-242-0800 or visit joyce.org. For a schedule of the two rotating programs, visit joyce.org and parsonsdance.org.

 THE CANTERBURY TALES REMIXED Imagine taking Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” and throwing it into a Cliff Notes brand blender until the dense and layered contents congealed into a funky remix suitable for consumption by contemporary audiences. Then add in some masterful turntablism by the London based DJ and producer Mr. Simmons. The end result would resemble something very much like Canadian hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman’s “The Canterbury Tales Remixed.” In that mix, you’ll find references to everything from the epic poems of Gilgamesh and Beowulf to Chaucer’s venal Merchant and sensuous Wife of Bath to the muscular heroes of ancient lore. As it turns out, the moral struggles and flesh-based appetites of these ancients have much to do with the modern quests of Eminem or Kanye. By the time you emerge from Brinkman’s 90-minute hero’s journey, you’ll have enough food for thought to keep you fat and happy all winter long.

Through Jan. 29. Wed.-Sat. at 7:30pm; Sat. & Sun. at 3pm. At the SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam St., btw. Varick St. and Sixth Ave.). For tickets ($55-$19.50), call 866-811-4111 or visit SoHoPlayhouse.com.

THEATER: BOB

Inspired by the creative life and colorful times of avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson, the one-man show “Bob” was developed by those who knew him well. SITI Company artistic director Anne Bogart conceived the work and directs. SITI founding member Will Bond (who has worked with Wilson) brings his former collaborator to life. Bogart created “Bob” from hundreds of interviews she recorded over the course of several decades. Irish writer and dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke sifted through the contents, then penned (as Bogart describes it) “a dip into an engaging perspective about family, art and American culture.” Dramatic vignettes that reference Wilson’s past work (such as his production of the Philip Glass opera “Einstein on the Beach”) are used to turn the tables on their creator — who put his own avant-garde stamp on mainstream pop culture by anchoring large-scale, high tech productions with content culled from his own life as well as those who came into his orbit. “Bob” tips its hat to Wilson’s way with spectacle by bringing a minimalist interpretation to his epic creative output — taking something as simple as a milk bottle and an empty glass and imbuing them with iconic powers.

Jan. 19-21 and 24-28 at 7:30pm; Jan. 22, 29 at 2:30pm. At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Tickets are $15 for the Jan. 19/20 previews, $40 at the door, $32 in advance online. To purchase, call 212-924-0077 or visit newyorklivearts.org. Also visit siti.org and robertwilson.com.

 

 

MIKE WEISS GALLERY PRESENTS WILL KURTZ: “EXTRA FUCKING ORDINARY”

In a profane nod to that favorite multitasking word New Yorkers know, love and use so well, Will Kurtz’s debut exhibition at Mike Weiss Gallery — “Extra Fucking Ordinary” — doesn’t dance around the “F Word” with the use of three timid ***s where the “u-c-k” belongs. That would be an insult to the “blunt, colorful, borderline-manic” subject matter captured by Kurtz through his iPhone camera lens. Back at his studio, those images of “real people engaged in real scenarios” (old married couples, eccentric dog walkers, curmudgeonly smokers and reluctant floor-sweepers) become life-size sculptures constructed from discarded and recycled newspapers, wood, wire, screws, tape and everyday objects. Captured in mid-gesture, these prototypical New Yorkers are timeless — even though the stuff they’re made of is yesterday’s news.

Jan. 12-Feb. 18. At Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Gallery Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-6pm.For info, mikeweissgallery.com or call 212-691-6899.


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2 Responses to Just Do Art!

  1. I’m hoping to put toeehtgr a Traverse City class this summer actually, but it involves a lot of computer stuff, so this place probably won’t work for it. If the course goes, I’ll have to figure out a way to at least go out there to see this place.My only point in terms of selling it and in terms of the paper value of it all is that it’s not the same as someone writing a check for $2.4 million and giving it to the university, that’s all. This center and the land is a great idea and it’s worth a lot certainly, but I dunno, I think the dollar figure is a little deceiving. And I think Alum’s point is that if EMU was going to sell it, it would have to come at a time long after the original purpose makes sense. The Starkweather example for religious purposes is a good one; of course, in my time at EMU, that building has housed the grad college and now honors, which I guess are about as church-like as EMU gets

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