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Agenda Newsletter - April 26, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Catch this show before it closes
Josh Smith

Luhring Augustine; closes April 28; more info

For the last few years, Josh Smith has made an impressive series of paintings of his name— a subject, unsurprisingly, he has a feel for. Rendered in a loose, almost generically abstract style, the works make Smith the subject of his art while allowing his paintings to be the stars. In his new canvasses, which come down Sunday, odd bits of letters appear, but he's taking an even more daring turn toward one of the more dangerous -isms in all of art: Expressionism.


   
Populist Watch last year's best movie
The Queen
 
How much did David Edelstein love Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning performance in this movie, now on DVD? We'll give you a hint: He called it "the year's best performance." (And, oh, he also called her vehicle "the year's best film.") So what, Mr. Edelstein, makes Mirren so mesmerizing? "The queen neither snorts nor sighs. It's uncanny how many emotions bleed through her regal mask: distaste, horror, pity, regret, bewilderment, and perhaps something else—envy" of her daughter-in-law. Miramax
$29.99

Buy it  »
Review  »
     
Indieist See these openers headline
The Constantines
 
We might duck out for a solo gig if we were touring with the Tragically Hip, too. These perennially underrated, rough-and-tumble Canadians have been opening for the Hip, but tonight they’re headliners, and rightfully so. It’s been two long years since they released their last album, and the manic spirit with which the boys bash out their loose-limbed, feedback-drenched tunes—like the rumbling, near-perfect “Young Lions”—means that you’ve got to see them live. Luna Lounge
9:30 p.m.
$12

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Square See video at the opera
The Tristan Project
 
Like anything else, there are gimmicks in opera—puppets, cute animals, etc. And then there’s the genuinely cool video, created by the artist Bill Viola, in this multimedia adaptation of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. With the projection as a backdrop, the stars appear to walk on water and right through fire. Grab tickets while you can—not only has this warhorse been brilliantly transformed, but the $500 seats have already sold out. Avery Fisher Hall
May 2 at 6 p.m. and May 5 at 2 p.m.

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Beirut at Bowery Ballroom
Trumpet-wielding wunderkind Zach Condon takes a break from recording to play Bowery Ballroom. The shows are sold out, but we've got a pair of tickets to the May 7 show for one lucky winner!
Take a chance now

See recent Agenda winners
   
Aesthete Witness a revolutionary moment in art
Sylvia Sleigh
 
The 91-year-old Sylvia Sleigh has long had a way of painting body hair, penises, and paisley prints that's simultaneously erotic, neurotic, and riveting. She specialized in super-detailed portraits of naked men and women, many of them movers and shakers in the seventies New York art world. This survey is a mouthwatering revel in that wistful yesteryear when second-wave feminism crashed upon the mostly male shores of the art world, altering much in its path. I-20 Gallery
Through May 10

More info  »
     
Kids Introduce the kids to highbrow comics
Owly, Volume 4: A Time to Be Brave
 
Those darn kids—they outgrow everything so fast. Here's a comic they'll enjoy at almost any age, and not just because there aren't any words to trip them up (or make them feel too old). These elegant illustrations will remind you of fables and nursery rhymes. Here our gentle protagonist Owly (he is an owl) meets a new visitor to the forest who is misunderstood because of his frightening looks. Spoiler alert: Friendship conquers all. By Andy Runton
Top Shelf Productions
$10

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Monday April 26, 2007
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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
On Broadway
Circle in the Square Theatre, w. 50th St (between B’way & 8th Ave)

Performance schedule: Tues 7; Wed 2; Th-Fri 8; Sat 2 & 8; Sun 3 & 7:30

"A Riotously Funny and Remarkably Ingenious Musical Comedy." – The New York Times