Volume 80, Number 35 | January 27 - February 2, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Dennis Ho

Don’t go gently: See “Gentrifusion.”

Just Do Art!

Compiled by Scott stiffler

Red Fern Theatre Company’s latest project charged several playwrights with the task of exploring the “different truths” surrounding the gentrification of New York’s neighborhoods. The short plays of “Gentrifusion,” we’re assured, will reach beyond the clichéd ideas of gentrification to explore how imposed changes on the place where you live both improves and diminishes the community. What they’ve found out already is that “both long-time residents and the new crop of gentrifiers benefit and suffer in different measures and different ways.” The roster of short plays are supported by projections created from photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Dennis Ho (dwho.com). Jan. 27 through Feb. 13. Thurs. at 8pm, Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 3pm (Super Bowl Sun., Feb. 6, at 2pm). Additional performance on Mon., Feb., 7 at 7pm. Running Time: 120 minutes, with intermission. At LABA Theatre at the 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St. btw. First & Second Aves.). For tickets ($25), visit redferntheatre.org or call 866-811-4111.

“Culturally deprived?????” asked the terse but accurate letter we received in the mail this week because of last week’s silent film star SNAFU. A photo we ran incorrectly referenced Buster Keaton when the gentleman in question was Harold Lloyd. An anonymous letter-writer took us to task for the mistake — with a clipping of the photo taped to custom-made black cat stationary.

We were wrong, of course, and we’re sorry. So we’re running the photo again with an amended caption, and hoping it draws an audience to the deserving event listed directly below. See page 21 for that photo.

Arts World Financial Center’s “Silent Films/Live Music” series (Feb. 2-4, 7pm each night) features some of Hollywood’s greatest physical comedians — backed by the sounds of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics (courtesy of the three-man ensemble, Alloy Orchestra).

Wed., Feb. 2, 1920’s “One Week” stars Buster Keaton; 1919’s “Back Stage” stars Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle; and 1917’s “Easy Street” stars Charlie Chaplin. Thurs., Feb. 3, 1928’s “Speedy” features Harold Lloyd as the eponymous hero who attempts to save the last horse-drawn trolley bus from greedy railway magnates. It was shot on location in NYC and features several landmarks including Yankee Stadium, Luna Park, Columbus Circle, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Fri., Feb. 4, 1926’s “The Black Pirate” has Douglas Fairbanks as a man who, bound by honor, vows to avenges the death of his father at the hands of a pirate gang.

FREE. At World Financial Center (220 Vesey St.). For info on these and other events, call 212-945-0505 or visit artsworldfinancialcenter.com.

Wish legendary composer and performer David Amram a happy 80th birthday — and many more — when you attend this celebration in his honor. Amram first performed on the Bowery at The Five Spot, along with Charles Mingus and other noted jazz greats, in 1956. He wrote the music for, and acted in, 1959’s “Pull My Daisy.” For more background on his formidable list of achievements, spend five minutes on Google and emerge sufficiently impressed and inspired. The $10 admission fee will go to support writing programs for elementary school children. Amram will be performing with his quartet, as well as with friends (including John Ventimiglia of “The Sopranos”). Sun., Jan. 30, 8pm, at The Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery).

It’s got a beat, and you can think to it — and while the sounds are pleasurable, Sufi music is not the stuff of bubble gum pop diversion. Instead, it’s a reflection of Sufism views on the afterlife. This unique performance is a programming event accompanying the NYPL’s insightfully curated and philosophically sound “Three Faiths” exhibit (on display at the 42nd St. & Fifth Ave. branch through February 27). Hear the mystic sounds of Sufi, which include the kanun (a string instrument found in Near Eastern traditional music); the ney (an end-blown flute); and the def (a frame drum). The music will be accompanied by the poetry of Rumi. Light Turkish food will be provided. FREE. Sat., Feb. 5 at 1pm. At the Jefferson Market Library (425 Ave. of the Americas, at 10th St.). For info, call 212-243-4334 or visit nypl.org. This event is fully accessible to wheelchairs.

Sadhus — the mystics, ascetics, yogis and wandering monks of South Asia — renounce worldly life, earthly possessions and social obligations. Instead, they devote their lives to religious practice and the quest for spiritual enlightenment. The tradeoff for all that self-denial? They look damn good (not that they need the ego boost). Good thing for us, though, that Thomas L. Kelly’s exhibit “Body Language” is brimming with photographs documenting the enigmatic, vividly decorated (or nude) ascetics of Hinduism. Hot bods and life at a level of discipline and dedication that’s utterly foreign to most of us is reason enough to get you through the door — but the contemplative folks at the Rubin Museum of Art hope you’ll emerge from this and other exhibits with more doors open than the one that’s just let your libido out. Maybe you’ll find enlightenment, illumination and transcendence of the physical body by looking (and leering?) at these Sadhus — whom Kelly describes as “disturbing, annoying, inspiring, exasperating, irrational, wise and powerful.”
Jan. 28 through May 30, at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St.). Call 212-620 5000 or visit rmanyc.org. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors and students (with ID) — free for seniors the first Monday of every month, and free for children under 12 and for museum members. Gallery admission is free to all on Fridays between 6pm and 10pm. The museum is open Mon., 11am to 5pm; Wed., 11am to 7pm; Thurs., 11am to 5pm; Fri., 11am to 10pm; Sat. & Sun. from 11am to 6pm (closed on Tues.).

After several years living out of the country, “America’s Tenor” makes his long-awaited return to New York — and Chelsea Opera (home of his operatic debut as Canio in “Pagliacci,” circa 2006). The return is made all the more sweet given that the program has a notable February holiday on its mind. “Daniel Rodriguez — A Valentine Homecoming” is a benefit concert at which Rodriguez will be joined by soprano Marla Kavanaugh and mezzo soprano Leonarda Priore. Their eclectic repertoire will range from pop standards to Broadway favorites to heart-wrenching operatic arias. See it with someone you love…and bring tissues! Sun., Feb. 13, 3pm, at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 W. 69th St.). For tickets, go to chelseaopera.org/events or call 866-811-4111.

 Parsons Dance returns to The Joyce Theater with three programs. Their typically busy and ambitious schedule includes three world premieres, two new pieces by David Parsons and one by Monica Bill Barnes.  All three programs include Parsons’ “Caught.” That 1982 work — an internationally renowned stroboscopic dance masterpiece — features a solo dancer performing more than 100 leaps in less than six minutes. Each leap is “caught” by the flash of a strobe light, to create a breathtaking illusion of flight. “Caught” has been performed thousands of times, worldwide, for more than 27 years (and shows no signs of slowing down). Parsons Dance performs Jan. 26 through Feb. 6 at The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.). Tues., Wed. & Sun. at 7:30pm. Thurs., Fri. & Sats at 8pm. Sat. & Sun. at 2pm. Tickets begin at $10. To order, call 212-242-0800. For a full schedule of the featured pieces in Programs A, B & C, visit joyce.org and parsonsdance.org.

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