Agenda Newsletter - September 21-23, 2007

Triple show stands above
Huma Bhabha

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Following up on her breakthrough at ATM last year, Bhabha’s triple show is a tour de force of archeology, form, memory, and post-apocalyptic dreams. Strange, cobbled-together figures—part Egyptian, part Mesopotamian, part junkyard, and part alien totem pole—stand like sentinels of history and golems of the imagination. A lone pair of feet stands in for millennium of lost civilizations, passing time, and rediscovered sources. This don’t-miss outing is a candidate for best show of the year.
    Brad Pitt plays the original celebrity
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  This melancholy actors’ showcase is about the birth of American star culture—the way the ex-Confederate robber Jesse James became a folk hero through tall tales, told in the press, that magnified his charm, danger, and Robin Hood–like heroism. Brad Pitt, of course, is perfect in the role of a man radiating star power while seeming trapped in his own fame (he also looks great on a horse). It’s enough to make you wonder: Without Jesse James, would we have Brangelina? Warner
Opens today
Showtimes  »   More weekend picks
Hair cast disrobes in Central Park.
Chemical Brothers get ecstatic live.     Architecture in Helsinki
at Studio B
Melbourne’s jangly indie-rock collective play their Places Like This at Studio B. Enter to win tickets!

Untitled Document

ATM Gallery, Salon 94, Salon 94 Freemans; Through October 26;    

Judge our next lit idols yourself
The Stars of Tomorrow Reading
  “I can’t write in public anymore, because I still get emotional,” Maaza Mengiste told us in our summer books issue. Since you can’t check her out at the coffee shop, hit the bar tomorrow: The Literary Idol winner and her fellow New York–designated “Stars of Tomorrow” Mark Edmund Doten, Elliott Holt, Martin Hyatt, Maaza Mengiste, David Rogers, and Joshua Williams come together for a group reading hosted by Boris Kachka. We’ve long wanted to say this: Watch your back, Pessl. KGB Bar
September 22
7 p.m.
More info  »   More weekend picks

Squid and the Whale star goes Off Broadway.

Rilo Kiley return the love live.      

Woman documents grandpa’s glory
  This documentary, says David Edelstein, has a joyous swing that would have gladdened the heart of its subject, Toots Shor, “saloonkeeper extraordinaire, confidant of gangsters and sports legends and competitive drinking buddy of Jackie Gleason (maybe showbiz’s most colorful and insatiable alcoholic).” Credit filmmaker Kristi Jacobson, Shor’s granddaughter, who gathers Walter Cronkite, Yogi Berra, Mike Wallace, Frank Gifford, and many other old talking heads, who seem significantly less old reminiscing about all the boozy glamour Toots represented. Catalyst Films Review  » Showtimes  »   More weekend picks

Sean Connery plays double-o-scheven.

Another Iphigenia revival to rave about.      

World’s biggest shorts fest takes one night
Tropfest@Tribeca 2007
  Tropfest arrives from Australia, where it grew to be the world’s biggest short-film fest, for just one night. What do you get for your free admission? Sixteen shorts (none longer than seven minutes), eleven of them by New York filmmakers. Picnic starting at five, or hit the grass at eight and catch the weird little doc Bird Strikes, about Bob Leporati, a guy who uses falcons to hunt down meddling birds on the runways at JFK. World Financial Center Plaza
September 23
Entertainment at 5 p.m.
Screenings at 8 p.m.
More info  »   More weekend picks

Last call: The Donner Party.

Video art—from space!      

Acrobats achieve true feats
Paper Doll Militia
  This Santa Fe–based group of young alterna-circus types have a coup de grace that truly lives up to the term: It’s a dreamy, funny acrobatics act in which four women lift, tilt, twirl, and flip a guitarist while he’s playing the act’s soundtrack. The show involves aerial dance, too, and in Sunday’s for-kids version, interactive segments about how movement tells stories—this one’s about four fairy-tale misfits, including a boy with half a soul and a girl with an electric touch. Bowery Poetry Club
September 23
Doors at 11:30 a.m.
More info  »   More weekend picks

Cool lessons on global warming.

Dan Zanes splits musicals and rock.        

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September 21-23, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - September 21-23, 2007