Just Do Art!





The School of Visual Arts (SVA) Distinguished Alumnus Lecture Series welcomes back Inka Essenhigh — who will give a talk on the eve of her solo exhibition opening at Pace Prints gallery. Known for placing abstracted figures in the midst of mythical landscapes, influenced by the Surrealists, Essenhigh’s paintings first assure viewers that they’re navigating familiar territory — then ask us to reconsider how the unexpected use of distortion changes and challenges the most basic of assumptions. Not sure what it’s all about? Pin her down during the Q&A and see how forthcoming she is! FREE. Thurs., March 3, 7pm at the School of Visual Arts’ SVA Theatre (333 W. 23rd St. btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). For info, visit www.sva.edu. For info on Essenhigh’s solo exhibition at Pace Prints (Chelsea location: 521 W. 26th St.), call 212-629-6100 or visit paceprints.com (gallery hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am-6pm; Sat., 11am-6pm). For info on the artist, visit www.inka-essenhigh.com.

For more talk that’s challenging and cheap (free, in fact), the SVA Spring 2011 Design Criticism Lectures offer thoughtful presentations, lively Q&A sessions and intimate receptions where designers, critics and design enthusiasts can continue the conversation with the featured guest. FREE. Tuesdays, 6-8pm, through April 12. At 136 W. 21st St., 2nd floor. RSVP to 212.592.2228 or dcrit@sva.edu.



As Restoration comedies go, they certainly don’t make them like “The Rover” anymore. Good thing for us New York Classical Theatre decided to wipe the dust off of Aphra Behn’s rarely produced 1677 work and give it a respectful but ambitious rendering. Using NYCT’s signature panoramic staging style, the play will unfold throughout the entire 3.5-acre World Financial Center complex. Carnival carousing and swordfights populate this prototypical feminist romp — which unleashes a scenario in which women are freed from societal restraints and left to follow their own desires (a fitting theme, considering it was written by the first professional female playwright in the English language). Along the way, you’ll see live music performed by the actors — who will also chat up audience members while escorting them up and down staircases and around mezzanines. To further celebrate its bawdy Carnival setting, there will be a special Mardi Gras performance on March 8, featuring Mardi Gras festivities and refreshments after the show. FREE. No tickets or reservations required. Wed.−Sun., March 2-20, 7pm (show length, approx. 90 minutes). At One World Financial Center (200 Liberty St. Enter at One World Financial Center, via the bridge at Albany & West Sts.). For info, 212-945-0505 or artsworldfinancialcenter.com. Also visit newyorkclassical.org.


Sure, you can make that farting noise with your armpit — and you’ve got some decent knock knock jokes memorized — but that won’t cut it when it’s just you standing in front of an audience at a comedy club. In that high-pressure atmosphere, the sound of mom’s laughter and nobody else’s will cut you like a red-hot knife twisting its way through a block of cold butter. Good thing for us — and them — that the spring crop of “Kids ‘n Comedy” talent have been well-trained for their telling moment in the hot, unforgiving spotlight. First up, on Feb. 27: Charlie Bardey, Avery Landau, David Thompson, Andrew Vatier, Conor Williams and Zach Rosenfeld are on the not quite alphabetically organized bill. With a median age of 15, it’s likely you’ll be seeing the work of early career writer/performers instead of precious tweens coasting on their dimples. All shows take place on Sundays at 1pm on Feb. 27, March. 13 & 27, April. 10 and May 15 and are appropriate for ages nine and up. At Gotham Comedy Club (208 W. 23rd St. btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Shows run just under two hours. For tickets ($15 cover, one-item minimum; under 12 menu available), call 212-877-6115 or visit gothamcomedyclub.com. Visit kidsncomedy.com, facebook.com/kidsncomedy and myspace.com/kidsncomedy. 


The SoHo Gallery for Digital Art presents, proudly we’re assured, “SoHo: The Musical!” — starring Amber Petty, Tara Copeland, Ashley Ward and, to no small degree, the music of Jody Shelton. Most of us know this neighborhood’s periods of pain and rebirth, but how many of us have tapped our toes while that epic tale has been told? Get to know the south of Houston beatniks, artniks and yupniks as they teeter on the edge of annihilation by commercialization. Will they fall into the abyss and succumb to the dark forces of high rents and expensive restaurants? If so, at least they’ll go down dancing. Thurs., March 3, 7pm. At the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan St.). For info, call 212 228-2810 or visit sohodigart.com. Tickets: $20 at the door or at 52musicals.com.