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SUPERMAN AT 75
From the pulpy Fleischer brothers cartoons of the 1940s to the fleshy George Reeves of 1950s TV to Christopher Reeve’s chiseled 1978 big screen incarnation, the last son of Krypton has been reimagined dozens of times since his first appearance in 1938’s issue #1 of Action Comics. Throughout 2013, as Superman turns 75, you’ll be seeing much more of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s creation (including this summer’s cinematic reboot, “Man of Steel”). DC Comics will officially acknowledge his birthday in June — but the Center for Jewish History is getting the celebration started with a panel that discusses the muscled crusader’s wide appeal, hidden depth and Jewish roots.
“Superman at 75: Celebrating America’s Most Enduring Hero” features Former DC Comics publisher and president Jenette Kahn, Denny O’Neil (who spearheaded a remake of the Superman storyline in the 1970s), Jim Shooter (who sold his first Superman story as he was turning 13), Nicky Nicholson Brown (granddaughter of the founder of the company that became DC Comics) and Sam Norich (publisher of The Jewish Daily Forward). Larry Tye, author of “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” moderates the event. After the panel discussion, an exhibit will be unveiled featuring Joe Shuster’s pencil sketches of Stanley Weiss — who, in 1945, was stopped on the street by Shuster because of his remarkable resemblance to the comic book hero. David Weiss, son of Stanley, will also be on the panel, to talk about his dad’s chance meeting with Superman’s co-creator.
Sun., Jan. 27, 1pm. At the Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Admission is $25 (includes a copy of Larry Tye’s “Superman: The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Hero”). Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required. Call 212-868-4444 or visit smarttix.com. Also visit cjh.org.
Blink and you’ll miss him. That challenge is nothing compared to the pressure on the man tasked with performing David Parsons’ “Caught.” One wrong step, and he’ll miss his target, in this extraordinarily impressive display of timing that uses strobe lights to follow a dancer’s trajectory from planted feet to leaps and bounds to soft landings on the precise point at which a spotlight is aimed. The masterwork will be performed in both Program A and the family-friendly Program B — when Parsons Dance makes its annual January return to The Joyce Theater.
The ensemble will also premiere two new works. Set to the music of Grammy Award-winner Andrew Bird and Miami’s legendary Tiempo Libre, Parsons’ “Dawn to Dusk” celebrates the people and landscapes of Southern Florida — by merging high-def footage of dancers in the sunshine state’s Big Cypress, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas and Everglades National Parks with their onstage counterparts. In “Black Flowers,” former Parsons dancer Katarzyna Skarpetowska explores her Polish roots with choreography that guides six dancers through a mystic lamentation and a mourning ritual (set to the music of Poland’s greatest composer, Frédéric Chopin).
Jan. 15-27. Program A is performed Tues.-Wed. at 7:30pm; Thurs.-Fri. at 8pm; Sat. 2pm (Jan. 19 only) & 8pm; Sun. 1pm & 5pm. Program B, the family matinee, is performed Sat., Jan. 26, at 2pm. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). For tickets ($10-$59), call 212-242-0800 or visit joyce.org.
BARBARA RUBIN’S “CHRISTMAS ON EARTH”
Boo-Hooray Gallery extends the holiday season through the middle of the month, with an exhibit comprised of images and ephemera from 1963’s “Christmas on Earth.” Filmed at 56 Ludlow Street (which at the time was occupied by John Cale and Tony Conrad, and later home to Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison), “Christmas on Earth” was among the first sexually explicit films of America’s post-war avant-garde. All about “fantasies that freely expressed our sexual needs and dreaming beliefs” painted on the nude bodies of both gays and straights, filmmaker Barbara Rubin spent three months “chopping the hours of film up into a basket” until its contents were ultimately separated onto two different reels, with one reel projected at half size inside the other reel’s full-screen image. In 1966, the film was projected onto the performing Velvet Underground as a part of Andy Warhol Up-Tight (an early incarnation of his Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia events). Rubin, who introduced Bob Dylan to Allen Ginsberg (and, according to John Cale, Edie Sedgwick to Andy Warhol), died in 1980 (in childbirth, in France) at the age of 35.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Boo-Hooray is publishing a limited edition book of still images from the film, which comes with an extended biographical essay and bibliography by art historian Daniel Belasco, alongside rare ephemera and correspondence.
Free. Through Tues., Jan. 15. At Boo-Hooray Gallery (265 Canal St., 6th Fl., btw. Broadway & Lafayette). For more info, visit boo-hooray.com.
“TRIBES” CLOSES JAN. 20
The most nominated new play of the 2012 season is set to close in early 2013, after almost 400 regular performances at the Barrow Street Theatre. Directed by David Cromer (whose outstanding production of “Our Town” also had a similarly long, acclaimed run at Barrow Street) and written by Nina Raine, “Tribes” concerns the emotional awakening of Billy — who, born deaf into a hearing family, ventures beyond his parents’ politically incorrect and idiosyncratic cocoon when he meets a young woman on the brink of deafness.
Through Sun., Jan. 20. At the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St., at Seventh Ave. South). For tickets ($79.50), call 212-868-4444, visit smarttix.com or purchase in person at the box office, open at 1pm daily. Performance schedule: Tues.-Fri. at 7:30pm and Sat./Sun. at 2:30pm & 7:30pm. For more info: barrowstreettheatre.com and oandmco.com.
PS122’s COIL FESTIVAL PRESENTS “MAGICal”
In this collaboration between director Annie Dorsen and choreographer/performer Anne Juren, the canon of historical feminist performance art is placed into the context of a magic show. Referencing seminal 1965-1975 works by Martha Rosler (“Semiotics of the Kitchen”), Yoko Ono (“Cut Piece”), Marina Abramovic (“Freeing the Body”) and Carolee Schneemann (“Interior Scroll” and “Meat Joy”), “Magical” uses the illusionist’s skillful employment of trickery and transformation to reveal the contradictions that exist in contemporary feminism, contemporary art by women and the contemporary female body.
Tues., Jan. 15 through Sat., Jan. 19 (Jan. 15, 17, 18 at 7:30pm and Jan. 19 at 6pm). At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St., btw. Seventh & Eigth Aves.). For tickets ($30), call 212-924-0077 or visit newyorklivearts.org. For info on the COIL Festival, visit ps122.org.
FOCUS 2013: DANCE GOTHAM
Presented as part of Gotham Arts Exchange’s FOCUS 2013 event, Dance Gotham’s annual performance series at the Skirball Center expands to three nights, with an expanded roster of companies whose aesthetic ranges from post-modern athleticism to seasoned theatricality. Among the offerings: Keigwin + Company’s “12 Chairs,” Parsons Dance’s “A Stray’s Lullaby,” Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’s “Patterns in Space,” Armitage Gone! Dance’s “Quantum” (an excerpt from “Three Theories”), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s “Square None” and Lucky Plush Productions’ “Cinderbox 2.0.” FOCUS 2013 events are also taking place at New York City Center and Chelsea’s The Joyce Theater (where Parsons Dance will have a stand-alone run Jan. 15-27).
Dance Gotham is presented (with varying performers on each night’s bill) Fri., Jan. 11 & Sat., Jan. 12 at 8pm and Sun., Jan. 13 at 7pm. At NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place, at Washington Square South). For tickets ($18), call 212-352-3101 or visit nyuskirball.org. For info on other FOCUS 2013 events, visit focusdance.us.