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Culture Orgy: Winter Edition

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FEBRUARY

1. Self-proclaimed “anti-pop” rockers Big Head Todd and the Monsters take their mix of Delta blues, funk, and psychedelia to Irving Plaza.

2. Secret pregnancy, facial disfiguration, incest leading to infanticide—the Met’s production of Leos Janacek’s Jenufa offers heady melodrama sweetened by phenomenal Finnish soprano Karita Mattila.

3. David Byrne, who teamed with Fatboy Slim to spin the Imelda Marcos saga into a multimedia song cycle, performs Here Lies Love at Carnegie Hall.

4.Maybe Judith Regan would like a ticket? The Theatre for a New Audience stages Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, with F. Murray Abraham playing Shylock and Barabas, the most vilified Jewish characters of all time.


5 Tina Turner, Diddy, and ultrafemme designer Tracy Reese: The Museum of the City of New York’s “Black Style Now” runs the gamut from hip-hop to high fashion.

6. Free Press releases Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s memoir of her annus horribilis in Holland, which began with the murder of her collaborator, filmmaker Theo van Gogh.


7. TiVo part 2 of season 3 of Lost, and go see Justin Timberlake channel Prince and Gumby at MSG.

8. If you can’t swing that Tulum trip this February, settle for a shot of southwestern alt-country when Calexico warms up Lincoln Center.

9. Sondheim’s Follies has weathered good times and bum ones—grab your chance to hear Christine Baranski prove why she’s still here, playing Carlotta Campion in “Encores!” at New York City Center.

10. The Hamburg Ballet’s erotic and austere Death in Venice comes to BAM.

11. Contemplate synthetic beauty (and its discontents) at P.S. 1’s Silicone Valley show …


12. … Or ponder true physical perfection at the 131st Westminster dog show.

13. Gaga for film noir and madcap musicals? Hurry to 59E59 for Adrift in Macao, Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick’s mash-up of Casablanca and Hitchcock.

14. Tonight’s the night—for roses, prix fixe price gouging, and Rod Stewart at MSG.

15. Eight hours, 44 actors, and one heart scare equals TBD number of Tonys: The final installment of Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia opens today.

16. Looking to relive Narnia’s box-office magic, Disney remakes Katherine Paterson’s revered Bridge to Terabithia, still a perfect wormhole into your sixth-grade self.

17. Take advantage of the Jewish Museum’s free Saturdays to see Alex Katz’s paintings of Ada, 40 portraits of his wife and muse done over 50 years of marriage. Ask your partner what he (or she) has done for you lately.

18. Cowboys, Caballeros, and Copland: It’s the Orchestra of St. Luke’s rollicking kid-friendly set at Carnegie Hall.

19. Moody Austin, Texas, post-rockers Explosions in the Sky hype their anticipated new album, All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone, by playing Warsaw.

20. The Asia Society unveils Free Fish, a new work by Okinawan turned New Yorker Yuken Teruya and stages the first solo museum show of the artist’s scissored-paper tableaux and ingenious dioramas.

21. Stay in and watch Criterion’s new DVD, 49th Parallel, the World War II propaganda thriller with the kind of topflight talent even Altman might have had trouble wrangling: Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey, and Leslie Howard.

22. Jefferson Mays, Boyd Gaines, and Hugh Dancy bring their spectacular London revival of Journey’s End, a World War I trench-friendship drama, to the Belasco. Will it be this year’s History Boys?

23.Director Craig Brewer follows up Hustle & Flow with Black Snake Moan. Premise: Retired bluesman Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) decides to cure wild child Rae (Christina Ricci) of her nymphomania—by shackling her with a twenty-foot chain.

24. Spider-Man, Superman, and Stephen King visit the Javits Center for the second annual Comic Con(vention).

25. Join Joan, Melissa, and the other red-carpet Valkyries at the 79th Academy Awards. Stick around to see whether Clint Eastwood sweeps or Borat makes at least one onstage appearance.

26. Two months after Art Basel Miami, the art world comes together once again, for the five-day, 148-gallery Armory Show on the Hudson, a less decadent but still quite lucrative affair.

27. Three weeks before the four-year anniversary of the Iraq war, four-star general Wesley Clark addresses “War: Past, Present, and Future,” at the 92nd Street Y.

28. Dance as political art. William Forsythe’s Three Atmospheric Studies at BAM is a defiantly non-balletic and sometimes discomfiting look at war and hypocrisy.


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