The A list


Volume 75, Number 27 | November 23 – 29, 2005

The A – List

In a Nutshell For admirers who grew up dazzled by the Sugar Plum Fairy, but who may have seen Lincoln Center’s Nutcracker too many times, Urban Ballet Theater adds some Latin flavor to the holiday classic. Their version, “Nutcracker in the Lower” will run Nov. 26—Dec. 3 at the Abron Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement. In this Lower East Side conversion, Daniel Catanach combines tutus and toe shoes with salsa spins, hip-hopping rats, Flamenco stomping sweets, Russian sword fighters, African drummers, and traditional Chinese ribbon dancers. Perturbed that the original steps convey non-European cultures stereotypically, Catanach solicited artists from the Lower East Side, like a teacher from the Chinese Institute and a Georgeian sword-fighter, to help choreograph. Guest dancers will include Glen Allen Simms from Alvin Ailey, and Danny Tidwell, a UBT founding member, who will share the stage with the UBT chore and students from Catanach’s school at the arts center. Visit urbanballettheater.org for times and tickets. By Geoffrey Tischman

Their Bodies, Ourselves It’s not often that an art exhibit includes a Chief Medical Director among its curators, but in the case of “Bodies…The Exhibition,” biology and aesthetics go hand in hand—quite literally. The show features 22 bodies and over 260 organs and partial body specimens permanently preserved with liquid silicone rubber, which renders every part of the body— from bones to blood vessels—impervious to decomposition. “Your body is the only thing that you carry with you from the moment you are born until your last breath. Yet we know surprisingly little about ourselves,” said Dr. Roy Glover, the MD in charge. The show promises to be a must-see, and not just to gain insight into ourselves. A brewing controversy over the source of these human cadavers, which were taken entirely from China, means a human rights imbroglio for the organizers. Tickets $18.50 +. South Street Seaport, 11 Fulton Street, Fulton Market Building. For more info, go to www.bodiestheexhibition.com. By Premier Exhibitions

Return of the Rentheads In his movie version of “Rent,” Chris Columbus did what few film versions of musicals do: include most of the original cast members. Present on screen will be Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, who married after starring in the Broadway show, Jesse L. Martin, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal and Wilson Jermaine Heredia. Because of post-Guiliani music ordinances, however, many of the big numbers were shot on a Hollywood set, with the exception of one in Tompkins Square Park and a rooftop song. It opens Thanksgiving eve, an auspicious night for a film (and musical) about embracing difference, and giving thanks for our time on earth. Opens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas,260 West 23rd Street. Columbia Pictures

Jazzmaster Jim Hall, one of the true masters of the guitar, will be appearing at the Village Vanguard Tuesday, November 29 through December 4 with his trio, the format in which he is arguably the most influential. Hall’s highly developed harmonic concept; exquisite ear for subtlety in music; profound sense of lyricism; and remarkably warm sound are among the attributes that have served to place him in the pantheon of great jazz artists, while significantly impacting virtually every major jazz guitar player of the last 40 years. His extraordinary career began in the late ‘50’s and has seen him record with an abundance of legendary players including Sonny Stitt, Ron Carter, Bill Evans, Art Farmer and Sonny Rollins. Joining Hall is a supportive and sensitive rhythm section that consists of Steve La Spina (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums). Tuesday 11/29-Sunday 12/4. $15 cover/$10 minimum. 178 Seventh Ave, near 11th St. (212-255-4037; villagevanguard.com). courtesy jim hall

Sly Fox Jeremy Blake, a multimedia artist with the makings of a modern-day renaissance man, turns stream-of-consciousness musings into a digitally animated opus, “Sodium Fox,” now on view until December 3 in Chelsea. His striking, 14-minute film blends pop cultural iconography like tattoos, graffiti, neon lights and strippers, and sets it to snippets of sound and non sequiturs from David Berman, the Nashville poet and frontman for the alt country group, Silver Jews. Like the film, which was inspired by a Delacroix painting, the exhibit also includes a digital riff of Ed Ruscha’s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip.” Feigen Contemporary, 535 W. 20th Street, near 10th Ave. (212-929-0500; feigencontemporary.com). Courtesy Feigen Contemporary, New York.