Volume 75, Number 31 | December 21 - 27, 2005

The A - List

In the Band The reality of jazz in the 21st century is that there are many talented players, but not enough long term collaborations between musicians sharing common musical values and a similar vision. The Vinson Valega Trio seeks to defy this trend, using its five years as a working group to carefully construct a book of original and standard songs that reflects their extensive experience together while keeping in tune with each member’s inventive style. Drummer and leader Vinson Valega describes the group as a trio that “suffuses a soulful approach with an airy aesthetic.” Indeed, a typical set sees them shift between moods, using Anton Denner’s highly expressive and fluent alto and Valega’s and Gary Wang’s (bass) creative and supportive rhythm section to realize compelling and seamless transitions. Tuesday, December 20, 9:30 pm-12:30 am at Detour, 349 E. 13th St., btwn. 1st & 2nd Aves. (212-533-6212; jazzatdetour.com). — Lee Metcalf. Courtesy Vinson Valega

A Christmas Carol Scrooge, Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit are back in Manhattan’s only professional production of the Dickens classic. The Theaterworks/NYC musical, which features Kevin Del Aguila, the bookwriter for “Altar Boyz,” and Tom Plotkin from “Suessical,” is geared toward the younger set (ages 5 and up) and features new sets, new costumes, more music, and more characters than in previous years. Through December 31 at the Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher Street (212-279-4200; twusa.org). Photo Joan Marcus

The new master of manipulation At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, director Michael Haneke summed up his method with a forceful rejection of his own medium: “I always say that films are 24 lies per second.” In “Caché,” his eight film, he uses every moment — from first shot to last — to force the viewer to actively consider what he is seeing. Haneke has been compared to Hitchcock as the new master of voyeurism, á la “Rear Window,” and in “Caché” we watch as an affluent and ambivalent family sees their life of comfort disrupted by anonymous mailings that may — or may not — be threats against them. These mysterious tapes are a series of recordings from surveillance cameras that Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche watch and observe in much the same way we do them. “Caché,” which was awarded best director at Cannes, has started to surface on a number of year-end top-ten lists, and finally opens Friday at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema. 143 East Houston Street, (212-330-8182, landmarktheaters.com). — Steven Snyder

One Man Brand Tap dancing whiz Savion Glover is flailing his arms and dread locks back to the Joyce Theater this holiday season to debut his new show, “Visions of a Bible.” Commonly complimented with revolutionizing Gregory Hines’ tapping style with his hip-hop swagger, Glover will stay at the Chelsea theater for four weeks. Now that he has been deemed agile-toed king of modern tap for almost a decade — he even trademarked his own name — Glover has settled into his image in more ways than one. His jazz band, The Otherz, which joined him in his Joyce performance last January, “Classical Savion,” continues to accompany him in “Visions.” Similarly, “Visions of a Bible” implies that Glover will play upon traditional ideas of gospel, possibly the way he spun Bach in “Classical.” The main musical guest will be Lori Ann Hunter, a soul singer from Newark, New Jersey. December 20th to January 15 at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (212-242-0800; joyce.org). — Sara G. Levin

Funny Girl “Jackie Hoffman: Chanukah at Joe’s Pub,” is becoming a holiday ritual in its own rite. Her cabaret act last year became the club’s longest running show, and already, four new shows have been tacked on this season. The Obie-award winning actress’s set combines a jazzy medley of Chanukah tunes with off-color acts like “What Was I Diagnosed With This Year?” (a fibroid tumor). It’s certainly a reprieve — and for many, a relief — from Santa Claus. Through January 4 at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, (212-239-6200; joespub.com).Kevin Yatarola

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